Anyone Dose Pre-Mixed Ferts in Auto-Top-Off Water Sytem? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2005, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
 
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Anyone Dose Pre-Mixed Ferts in Auto-Top-Off Water Sytem?

I am wondering if anyone doses their ferts via an auto-top-off system? Meaning that their ferts are pre-mixed into their makeup water and automatically added to the tank as the tanks water evaporates?

Seems that this would be an easy way to top-off evaporated water and we should be able to calculate the proper amount of ferts to coincide with the evaporation rates.

Anyone do this? If so, what are the tricks?

Louey

Last edited by Louey; 03-30-2005 at 12:48 AM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2005, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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28 views and zero replies. Come on people, tell me what you think about this subject.

Is my thinking crazy for some reason?

Louey
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 05:45 AM
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I guess I am not sure what you mean by auto top off, as for figuring out how much ferts to add as to evaporation IMO they are not corelated, the levels would not change due to evaporation, just by plant uptake. Only water evaporates, all of the disolved solids remainunless something else is using them. but on a related note, somewhere, ( I will look, probabally to no avail) I came across using a pc and many probes to monitor and dose ferts.

Or I could be completely misunderstanding what you are looking for
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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I was thinking of adding a float switch in my tank that would control a pump that would pump water from a bucket that I would locate under the tank.

I would try and calculate the amount of ferts to put in the make-up water bucket so that the correct amount would be added to the tank on a daily basis without me having to add it manually.

For exapmle: A 5 gallon bucket of water would probably last about 10 days. I currrently add about 5 ML per day of PMDD. So I would just add 50 ML's in the 5 gallon bucket and not have to think about it again for 10 days.

That ought to work, shouldn't it?

Louey
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 02:19 PM
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It seems like it could work but you would have to make sure that your evaporation rate is pretty steady.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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Evapration rates are usually pretty steady since I have and use cental AC system year round. Humidity would affect the evaporation rate seasonally. I could monitor and increase/decrease dosage of ferts accordingly.

One other thing I might need to do is to put a powerhead on a timer to stir the ferts up a couple of times per day.

I am surprised that more people don't do this. I hate "having" to do any sort of daily maintenace. I shouldn't say hate, but I prefer to automate things as much as possible.

I am assuming that most people don't dose their ferts in this fashion since only one person replied to this thead.

I'm going to give it a try and post the results.

Louey
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 12:30 AM
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Go find the user "scolley" He has a pump for daily dosing.

Moved to Tucson.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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I just search solley's post and it appears that he doses with a pump, but not with his makeup water.

I just edited my original post and the topic to make my question more clear.

Surely someone else does this.

Louey
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louey
...we should be able to calculate the proper amount of ferts to coincide with the evaporation rates.
Sorry Louey. Wasn't ignoring your thread exactly. It's just that we are indeed doing very different things. Me - minor calculated doses of straight. You - much larger volumes of diluted "fert water", with concentrations varying based on evaporation rates.

I'm interested in getting into auto replenishment myself. But I'm holding off due to running a closed system, and that complicates things a bit. But I've always assumed that the two things need to be tackled separately - dosing and replenishment, precisely due to the problem you are recognizing - variable fert concentration requirements based on varying evaporation rates.

But if there is any way I can help. Pls let me know.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks scolley.

My evaporation rates vary slighly by season, so I don't think it'll be a big deal to tweak the amount of ferts to add to each batch of make-up water.

I was wondering if there was a chemical reason why this wouldn't work and I am guessing that there is not, since no one disagreeed with what I am suggesting.

I am going to give it a try.

Louey
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 02:03 AM
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IMO it'll work as long as you don't include any fert with iron in it. I can't remember if it is potassium or phosphate, but one of the two doesn't mix well with it. Now in your diluted concentrations, it might work. But I guarantee you that if you take normal strength ferts, and mix them with something with iron like Seachem Iron, or TMG, you'll get precipitates.

So for me, that means I can only dose macros. I use TMG for micros, it has iron, so I have to dose that separately. I need that 2nd pump!

So, I guess you need to be careful in the same regard. Only problem is, in that water volume, a precipitate would be really hard to see. But at the same time, at that level of dilution, maybe it would work just fine.

Who's to say. Any chemists in the house?

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 05:36 AM
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And dont forget that you will also have evaporation in your fert supply, concentrating it as well.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 10:50 AM
 
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Not to hijack the thread but when I have some extra cash I think I'm going to get this:

http://www.aquazoo24.de/product_info...a63a71dd31b2ea

From Aqua Medic, the same company that does the AM 1000 CO2 reactor. Two dosing pumps so I can dose macros and micros separately...

They also have top-up systems...
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumpyfunk
And dont forget that you will also have evaporation in your fert supply, concentrating it as well.
That's why my ferts are in a Kent Aquadosing container. I don't use the drip feed, but the wide mouth plastic, screw on capped lid and hole in the bottom makes it a perfect container for storing and dosing ferts (without evaporation).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Laith
Better check that out Laith. I looked at that, and all the similar Aquamedic dosing products. As I recall, they could not dose small enough quantities. I believe the problem was with flow rate. You can, of course, overcome that with a large enough, dilute enough amount of fertilized water. But that problem I believe, is the point of this thread.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 03:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scolley
Better check that out Laith. I looked at that, and all the similar Aquamedic dosing products. As I recall, they could not dose small enough quantities. I believe the problem was with flow rate. You can, of course, overcome that with a large enough, dilute enough amount of fertilized water. But that problem I believe, is the point of this thread.
This is exactly what I will be setting up within the next week, to dose macronutrients. I'll be making a more dilute solution and using a digital timer so I can program it to come on for a minute and activate the Aquamedic dosing pump, SP300. For micronutients, I'll either use Kent's dosing drip or just add it along with macros. I'll be going on vacation for two weeks in April, so I gotta get it set up and tested before then.
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