Anyone Using Jebao DP-4 Dosing Pump? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone Using Jebao DP-4 Dosing Pump?

I do EI dosing and Excel on one of my tanks and doing it manually works fine. But I am a tinkerer and I'm looking into automation. Auto dosing is the next logical step before going to a full pressurized co2 setup. However, many of these dosing pumps available are prohibitively expensive and I can't see why. There's nothing complicated or load intensive about a small pump that doses in calibrated increments. Enter the DP-4 which has relatively good buzz among reefers, but planted tanks are a different animal entirely and I'd like to hear your opinions. Anybody using one of these?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 03:36 AM
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I have 4 of these dosing units on 4 different tanks and while they are not a super precise, they will provide a good affordable option for fert automation. My pumps are 3+ years old and none of them have failed me yet BUT 3 of the 4 pump had some of the backlights for the display go out so they are a little harder to read but no big deal. The last unit I bought has an auto off option which I think I just forgot to set on the other 3. I think they turn the auto display off for the newer versions.

One thing that I do is I do not follow the calibration method. I set a target dose for all pumps (Ex, 10 ml) then I calibrate the pump until each line can dose exactly the target dose. Sure you will adjust the dose as you go but you will be sure you have a good baseline dosing amount that is properly calibrated.

Another tip is to use a higher liquid amount for dosing. Instead of doing small 1-2 ml doses, make your fert solution diluted and use 5-10 ml doses.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 03:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodbytes View Post
I do EI dosing and Excel on one of my tanks and doing it manually works fine. But I am a tinkerer and I'm looking into automation. Auto dosing is the next logical step before going to a full pressurized co2 setup. However, many of these dosing pumps available are prohibitively expensive and I can't see why. There's nothing complicated or load intensive about a small pump that doses in calibrated increments. Enter the DP-4 which has relatively good buzz among reefers, but planted tanks are a different animal entirely and I'd like to hear your opinions. Anybody using one of these?


I think a problem with auto dosing is the ferts settling so not being a good mix before it goes in the tank. Not saying it can't be done but the bought ones I do not think mix before dosing. I've seen some diy auto dosers that have a powerhead in the container constantly mixing which is the way to go. Are you looking at dry or liquid dosing?


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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Right now I'm using nilocg's liquid ferts in my medium-high light tank which I've had good experience with. I'd like to get all the necessary dry ingredients and start mixing my own liquid ferts at some point but I'm not going to start doing that in the near future. I'll start doing that after I upgrade my other low tech tank and start autodosing that one too. The idea is just to drop a hose into each liquid fert container and one into the jug of Metricide and pump the appropriate amounts from each on the correct days. I haven't had any problem with the mix settling out of these but in the future if I mix my own, having to shake a couple of bottles once a week wouldn't be much trouble.

Also, do these have a memory or will I have to reprogram them every time the power goes out?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 10:22 PM
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Very helpful link on how to dose micros and macros. I was using the wrong solution/concentration and definitely noticed my plants had issues

When I run out of solution I'll give this a try


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 12:20 AM
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I have the DP-4, but only for about 3 months. Like @PortalMasteryRy, my doses are 10ml, mainly because I found that slight variations in daily dosing with a DIY I had created, were greatly mitigated at the 10ml level. Although I calibrated the DP-4 pumps, they did drift slightly, over time, which could also be a function of the differences in flow rates depending upon the amount and type of fertilizer going through each pump. So, again like @PortalMasteryRy, I calibrated timing based upon measurements of actual doses.

In about 5 years of various auto-dosing schemes, with DIY mixes, I never encountered any precipitation issues with micros or NPK. So, no mixing was/is required over the 30 days of dosing. However, various salts involving Mg and Ca did result in some troublesome precipitation even though I was well below solubility limits. So, I set lower loadings that did not cause such problems, but these would them need more than 10ml doses.

I should point out that my reservoir setups, including the current DP-4, are all fed from the bottom of this 300ml canister (30 days at 10ml/day): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1. This is a hanging reservoir and easily refilled without disturbing the setup.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 04:07 PM
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I have the three head Jebao. Be prepared for the frustration of terrible instructions.
There is a second calibration step not even mentioned that helped me. Without getting into detail I used the rotation counter number to dial in the dose.

Honestly, its not a reliable unit. You need check valves to keep the liquid in line from backing up and the amounts dosed are inconsistent. I'm going to try a more diluted mix and larger dose as mentioned above.

On my main tank I ended up springing for the Neptune Dose unit. Very expensive but I wanted accuracy.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 04:28 PM
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I agree, lower concentration and higher dosage seems to help smooth it out. It seems like if you try to dose lower volumes every other day it has difficulty because the line backwashes a bit into the container. Also, I've had issues with mold growth in the micro mix that had been gumming up the lines, so I go extra heavy on the glutaraldehyde in that bottle.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 05:28 PM
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Also, I've had issues with mold growth in the micro mix that had been gumming up the lines, so I go extra heavy on the glutaraldehyde in that bottle.
Try adding ascorbic acid (500mg/500ml) as an antioxidant and potassium sorbate (200mg/500ml) as a mold inhibitor to any of your fert mix bottles.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 05:48 PM
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Thank you for starting and posting in this thread!
I was also wondering how good is this Jebao DP-4 Dosing Pump. I want one too.....but for PPS pro not EI.

Is extreme precision really required in our planted tanks........after all EI's strategy is simply overdose and change water weekly, no?
What will a couple of mls overdose/underdose do? Maybe I am missing something.

(Sorry, total newbie here, so just trying to understand, not diss upon people going for more accuracy.)

-Raj

Last edited by rajdude; 05-23-2020 at 05:49 PM. Reason: added info
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Gallagher View Post
Also, I've had issues with mold growth in the micro mix that had been gumming up the lines, so I go extra heavy on the glutaraldehyde in that bottle.
Try adding ascorbic acid (500mg/500ml) as an antioxidant and potassium sorbate (200mg/500ml) as a mold inhibitor to any of your fert mix bottles.
Looks like I can pick these up pretty cheap, thanks for the tip!
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rajdude View Post
Is extreme precision really required in our planted tanks.
An answer to this question can be found in this thread, particularly the last 4-5 pages of it: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...asy-green.html
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 02:51 AM
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I am sorry Deanna, but I did read 4-5 pages of that thread but did not get a solid answer to the the question which I have in my mind which is

Is extreme precision in dosing really needed? Do you have a pointer to a specific post there which you feel sheds more light on this?



There are lot of conflicting views in that thread..........but frankly, all I wanna know is should I buy the Jebao DP-4 or not. I am tired of breaking out the syringe every morning......and also am a big fan of automation...hey we are well into the 21st century, right?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
An answer to this question can be found in this thread, particularly the last 4-5 pages of it: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...asy-green.html

-Raj
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 03:50 AM
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I am sorry Deanna, but I did read 4-5 pages of that thread but did not get a solid answer to the the question which I have in my mind which is

Is extreme precision in dosing really needed? Do you have a pointer to a specific post there which you feel sheds more light on this?



There are lot of conflicting views in that thread..........but frankly, all I wanna know is should I buy the Jebao DP-4 or not. I am tired of breaking out the syringe every morning......and also am a big fan of automation...hey we are well into the 21st century, right?

You have correctly ascertained, from that thread, the answer: there are "conflicting views." However (IMO), do the most important things right, and the fertilizer becomes something where precision is not necessary. The benefit of an autodoser is that you need not dose yourself, other than refilling the doser.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 04:08 AM
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Thank you! That settles it.........gotta start shopping now :-)




Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
You have correctly ascertained, from that thread, the answer: there are "conflicting views." However (IMO), do the most important things right, and the fertilizer becomes something where precision is not necessary. The benefit of an autodoser is that you need not dose yourself, other than refilling the doser.

-Raj
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