Auto fertilizer - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2008, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Auto fertilizer

I don't know if this was posted before, but it just came to my mind while I was making my new yeast mixture for my CO2. I was thinking of using DIY yeast CO2 to auto dose liquid fertilizer. The amount of CO2 released by yeast is quite stable and the amount can be controlled by the amount of yeast initially added into the mixture. From the picture, I will explain how the method works.
1. An air tight bottle containing your yeast mixture is connected to your bottle of liquid fertilizer
2. Noticed that one tube is suspended above the liquid fert level, while the other is almost near the bottom of the bottle.
3. As the yeast release CO2, the pressure from the yeast bottle is transfered into the fert bottle, creating pressure in the empty space in the fert bottle.
4. As the pressure builds up, the liquid fert is forced down and into the tube, then up into your tank.

I have never tried this method nor seen anybody ever talking about it. I was just wondering if it'll work. Any comments or advice please
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2008, 10:41 AM
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I think I have seen something like that somewhere,,
but instead of a yeast mixture there was an air pump with a timer, I think the airpump and timer might be a bit more predictable.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2008, 04:00 PM
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yes, for dosing ferts you want predictability and accuracy which yeast fermenting provides neither.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2008, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Then wouldn't an air pump be too fast? Even with a timer, the smallest air pump can put out enough air to fill an entire bottle in about a minute. Yeast puts out a slow supply of gas that will dose the fert in minimal amounts over a longer period of time.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2008, 05:31 PM
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(a) bigger bottle
(b) digital timer that works by seconds
(c) split the air line and put a valve that lets out some air reducing the amount of air that goes into the container
... just a few ideas off the top of my head...
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2008, 07:11 PM
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CO2 production from a DIY setup depends a lot on temperature and age of the mix. I would not use it to drive a fertilizer dispenser. The airpump method works good. There are ways to regulate the air output (cheap needle valves) and fairly precisely dose a particular amount per minute.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 05:04 PM
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And here I thought I was being clever with that idea and everyone's already done it, hehe.

A note, however: I've noticed that depending on the bottle size which holds the ferts, the pressure from the pump seems to decrease as the solution is drained until it won't inject the ferts anymore and the bottle has to be refilled.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 05:10 PM
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What happens is that air can be compressed. If the bottle is full, there is little air to compress, also the fertilizer level is higher (closer to the tank rim).

As it empties out, the air space increases and it takes longer and longer to compress the air until the fertilizer solution reaches the outlet.

A way around that is to use a relatively wide and short bottle. Or, even better, use a different way to inject fertilizers.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/eq...g-methods.html


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 06:36 AM
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Following your suggestion in using a shorter bottle, Wasserpest, I've since replaced the original 2-liter fertilizer bottle with a Kahlua bottle. It's smaller and doesn't flex (being glass), so I notice varying pressure to be far less of a problem. Also, since it's nearly opague, it prevents the precipitation.
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