Automatic dosing system? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Automatic dosing system?

I am thinking of doing a diy automatic dosing system to dose Excell and other liquid ferts. I have found theads on it but most use a pressure system.

Could I use a pump like this one. Just have 2 bottles (Excell and Liquid ferts, which is Brightwell multi and Iron) with input to pump and output to tank?
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 04:37 PM
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I think in order for that to work the way you want it to, itll have to be placed above your tank or not too far from it. Height wise.


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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, yes!! Gravity is a factor in water flow. I could just put the pump on top of the diy light case.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 05:03 PM
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Interesting. My DIY senses are tingling.

So, you attach it to a timer? I thought that it might be better to use some type of medical device to ensure perfect measured doses. What kind of a setup are you thinking?
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dave-H View Post
So, you attach it to a timer?
Oh, yes the pump would be connect to a timer. Set up will like a diy Co2. Instead of power head use the Aqua-Lifter Dosing Pump. I wonder if a glass diffuser would work? If not need to get something to create a drip. What though, and from where?
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 05:47 PM
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I use tom's aqualifters for dosing and they work great. I have my fert bottles (1 gallon water bottles) in the stand and its about 4 feet from the bottle to the top of the tank.

Here's a crappy pic of my set up

The way it's set up is:
airline tube is ran from the bottle into the aqua lifter, then out into the tank, I have the ends of the airline tube ziptied to my lily pipe so that when the ferts are dosed, they drip into the tank. Make sure not to have the ends of the tubes under water since this will cause a siphon.


I set up my fert bottles so that I get about 2 weeks of dosing out of them, (i fill it up with DI water, and add 2 weeks of macros and micros to each bottle. I use kno3, kso3, k2po4 (i think) for macros, and csm+B and excel in my micros) I know for some people when they mix up a large solution of micros, it grows some weird white stuff after a few days, but I haven't noticed it. I think the excel and the DI water(being sterile) helps with this)

Then I time how long it takes the aqualifters to pump 1/14th of the 1 gallon bottle into the tank (in my case it takes about 4-5 minutes). Then I set the timers to turn on in the morning for 5 minutes. 2 weeks later when the bottles are empty (or close to empty) I just refill them.

Oh, and when I'm timing it to see how long it'd take, i do this with just water and not the ferts solution.

Hope this helps, if you have any questions feel free to ask! It's REALLY freed me up from dosing, since I'm not home a lot I don't have to worry about my plants not receiving their ferts
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 05:50 PM
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You will have to dilute the solutions and find timers that run on 15min or less cycles. less is better.

Mix solutions with distilled water and place in opaque bottles(light deteriorates excel. Also needs to be somewhat air tight to prevent deterioration and evaporation(causing a change in concentration).
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 05:53 PM
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I use the electronic timers that can be set to 1 minute intervals

also, for the fert bottles themselves,

I drill a hole thru the top which i snake the airline piping through. I then cut a tiny slit next to this hole to allow some air to come in, to prevent a vacuum when the solution is pumped out.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 06:09 PM
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I purchased a IMED PC-2 Gemini infusion doser for $60 off of the internet. Works flawlessly and very versitile. By the time you purchase a couple of the lifter pumps and timers, it adds up to close to the same price.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IWANNAGOFAST View Post
Here's a crappy pic of my set up
The way it's set up is:
airline tube is ran from the bottle into the aqua lifter, then out into the tank, I have the ends of the airline tube ziptied to my lily pipe.

I fill it up with DI water, and add 2 weeks of macros and micros.
I don't understand how you have the ends of the airline tube ziptied to my lily pipe. Don't you have to make a hole into them? I have a canister filter so could connect the tubing into the out tube somehow.

What is DI water?
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xJaypex View Post
I think in order for that to work the way you want it to, itll have to be placed above your tank or not too far from it. Height wise.
X2 on this.

I've used IWANNAGOFAST's pumps on my tank and on the first few days I had the pumps below my tank and didn't notice any significant drop in the fert bottles. Tested it out again and found out the pumps needed to be placed above the water line with shorter tubing for the least amount of back pressure to the pumps. Worked like a charm afterwards.


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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 06:25 PM
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I hear the noise of iv pumps all day at work. I can pass on listening to it at home....
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over_stocked View Post
I hear the noise of iv pumps all day at work. I can pass on listening to it at home....
Now THAT would be a perfect "auto-doser".


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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
I don't understand how you have the ends of the airline tube ziptied to my lily pipe. Don't you have to make a hole into them? I have a canister filter so could connect the tubing into the out tube somehow.

What is DI water?
I just tie them to the tube like this:


DI water is de-ionized water. I have an RO/DI unit for my reef tank so I get it from there, you can also buy it from stores if you want.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 06:37 PM
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IWANNAGOFAST you're a freaking artist! haha damn your good. :P


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