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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just curious what you guys think about the Aqua Medic Reefdoser - Quadro. The manual says that it can be used for freshwater ferts dosing. Do you guys think it would work well for our planted tanks? Any opinions or other suggestions? I wold love to automate all of the dosing on my planted tank.
 

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I'm sure the Aquamedic would work just fine.

BTW, there are some peristaltic pumps quite a few guys are using on the forum from here...http://www.aptinstruments.com/peristaltic.htm

You could do a search in DIY section for peristaltic and probably come up with some stuff. I think Iunknown and a few others (Scolley or Sergio) have some posts on using these pumps. I believe they are the SP100 unit and are reported to work very well... One would need one for macros, trace, and PO4 as you don't want to mix PO4 with NO3, I believe. Its on my future list.

For now I'm doing Wasserpests Autodoser which is a budget DIY with a powerhead and some airline hose. Works well and cost very little. Its in the DIY section too, posted by Wasserpest and called "autodosing for dummies", or something like that.
 

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Hmmm...I suppose you could make it work. It has a fixed flow rate of 3L/hr, which equates to just under 1 mL/second. Dosing stock solutions might be tricky using the standard dilutions we use. You'd need to program the timers in increments of seconds, rather than minutes, OR you'd need to dilute your stock solutions. But sure! It could work. :)
 

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Just curious what you guys think about the Aqua Medic Reefdoser - Quadro. The manual says that it can be used for freshwater ferts dosing. Do you guys think it would work well for our planted tanks? Any opinions or other suggestions? I wold love to automate all of the dosing on my planted tank.

Depending on how automated you want to go I have found that a simple IV bag or gastronasal feeding bag for babies works well. I mix 1 weeks worth of ferts in 2L of dechlorinated water and fill the bag. I have adjusted the drip rate so that by day 6 or 7 the bag is empty. Takes 10mins or less to setup on a sunday nite and then you are free all week to enjoy the tank.

As a side not when you go to the drug store to ask for a the bag ask for the gastronasal one you get very strange looks if you ask for an IV bag. They are essentially the same thing except one has a needle fitted to the end which you do not need anyway.
 

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One would need one for macros, trace, and PO4 as you don't want to mix PO4 with NO3, I believe.
Where did you read/hear about an incompatibility between PO4 & NO3? It's very ill-advised, and well known to be so, to mix traces (with iron) and PO4 due to the iron & phosphorus reaction, but PO4 & NO3? I know there was a post talking about that somewhere in the DIY section, but that's the only thing I've seen. It seems sometimes there's also confusion about what you're not supposed to mix PO4 with.

I plan on getting the dual reefdoser personally. I found a guy on APC that has one (the dual) and uses it to dose macros & micros, said he's not had any problems with using it that way; for what it's worth.

I think that when you add up the cost of timers (good digital ones that can go down to 1 minute resolution) and those APT pumps, it's usually more cost-effective to just go with the Aquamedic solution.
 

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I think that when you add up the cost of timers (good digital ones that can go down to 1 minute resolution) and those APT pumps, it's usually more cost-effective to just go with the Aquamedic solution.

Yeah, after doing a poll on timers a couple weeks ago the point was made if you are controlling multiple aquariums and multiple things, instead of buying over a dozen fancy digital timers its actually quite cost effective to adapt something like the X10 home automation system to aquarium use. Once you get the starter kit and controller (I think it was around $50) then you can add appliance modules (wich replace your digital timers) for about $10 each. And you control them through your PC even remotely from the internet anywhere. And you can expand from that and use it for regular stuff around the house too. Even with the cost of the controller I am pretty sure I can setup DIY dosing on 2 tanks for much less than those Aquamedics, and it will have much more control and monitoring features.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I read about the X10 and for the money it sounds too good to be true, and as the saying goes...if it sound too good then...
With these X10 you can control pretty much everything, lights, pumps, air pumps, pretty much anything you can plug in a receptacle. They have starter kits for around ~$60, that is pretty good. I wonder if anyone here has a full set up with teh X10, and how is it running.
 

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I run basically a X10 setup with a Neptune AquaController. I say basically since right now I'm cheating and using a Digital Timer (minute) for my Auto Dosing, but that might change if I find a good place to pick up another X10 module...can't seem to find them easily. :mad:

I control both banks of lights on the Coralife 4x65 fixture, so I can adjust my photo period. I also have a CO2 solenoid hooked up which is the only thing I've had problems with while using X10. I have to plug something else in with the solenoid to get it to fully turn off, due to some electrical loading. But that's not a big deal, just have my 2128 heater cord plugged in, works fine.

The nice thing about X10 with the AquaController is that it polls the system every five or so minutes and resets what you want...so if the power goes out, it'll get everything back to the correct settings. I've heard that doesn't happen with a basic X10 kit.
 

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I read about the X10 and for the money it sounds too good to be true, and as the saying goes...if it sound too good then...
With these X10 you can control pretty much everything, lights, pumps, air pumps, pretty much anything you can plug in a receptacle. They have starter kits for around ~$60, that is pretty good. I wonder if anyone here has a full set up with teh X10, and how is it running.
Scolley, who arguably has on of, if not the most, automated tank on this forum runs all of his components off of X10. It doesn't sound too good to be true. Technology is a wonderful thing. :wink:
 

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Basic X10 controller and active home pro software is $50, then appliance modules are $10/ea if you buy atleast 4 I think. So basically once you have the controller its $10 for every timer your replacing with a module. Try activehome.com. I was told by their tech support that the system will not loose any setting is the power goes out. But I'll be running mine of a UPS for short outages, so hopefully I wont have to find out.

About the neptune controller, I've been thinking about that as well as I hear they will work with X10 modules too? They seem pricey but you also get temp control. But the problem is I like having everything controlled from the PC and also remotely viewable/controllable over the net. It looks like the aquacontroller jr just has a serial port. I havent had a PC with a serial port in years (except my really old webserver box but that runs linux). If they had something more modern and reasonably priced I'd be all over that.
 

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I am not certain if Scolley has jumped over to the Neptune controler yet, but once he did warn me about one thing on X10. You have to be able to disable something called "local control", by sniping a circuit lead or such. There is a diagram available on the web to show the procedure. Otherwise, sometimes the units will come on when you don't want them to, perhaps by a power spike or such. Also, there are a few other nuances he mentioned. If using for critical things like heat, CO2, or in my case, an auto water change, well, I could have a wet floor without some kind of fail safe backup to prevent some un wanted turning on.

Also, I was informed that they work much more reliably if all the modules are plugged into the same circuit. Unfortunately, do to a remodel in my ex garage, now fishroom, I have three different circuits running four different tanks, so X10 didn't seem as good of option for me. But I still want to try it out sometime. Pretty cool program, if you can get over the cheesy website and marketing of activehome.

Where did you read/hear about an incompatibility between PO4 & NO3? It's very ill-advised, and well known to be so, to mix traces (with iron) and PO4 due to the iron & phosphorus reaction, but PO4 & NO3? I know there was a post talking about that somewhere in the DIY section, but that's the only thing I've seen. It seems sometimes there's also confusion about what you're not supposed to mix PO4 with.
I believe the thread was by Wasserpest on his autodoser with a Aquarium Systems 606 pump. If I remember correctly, by mixing PO4 with the other Macros, one got a stinky foul dosing mixture much more quickly. After reading that, I never tried and still dose that manually. PO4 is the easiest one to dose with a syringe, anyhow.
 

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Pretty cool program, if you can get over the cheesy website and marketing of activehome.
...and the memories of the x10 camera marketing campaign; that alone pretty much rules out my ever purchasing anything they make. :icon_twis

I'd rather go with either the Reefkeeper II or Aquacontroller jr if I was going that route; the increase in features compared to the cost is definitely worth it, especially if one wanted to use a CO2 controller and didn't already have one. Either one of them can come with a controlled power strip in place of all those X10 controller boxes (which still need to be plugged into something).

I believe the thread was by Wasserpest on his autodoser with a Aquarium Systems 606 pump. If I remember correctly, by mixing PO4 with the other Macros, one got a stinky foul dosing mixture much more quickly. After reading that, I never tried and still dose that manually. PO4 is the easiest one to dose with a syringe, anyhow.
Ahh, yes, that's the one. Any repeats of that experience you've seen? That's the only thing I've found. I guess the best solution would be to just give it a try; if after two weeks or so of sitting around the mixture gets funky for me I personally know to just get a triple doser instead of the dual. You're right though, manually dosing PO4 is pretty high on the easy list.

Another thought, and it ought to work, would be to 'tee' together two reservoirs, with appropriate dilution, so that the pump pulls both at the same time. They'd only mix from the 'tee' onto where they go into the tank, versus a large volume of potential nastiness.
 

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Another thought, and it ought to work, would be to 'tee' together two reservoirs, with appropriate dilution, so that the pump pulls both at the same time. They'd only mix from the 'tee' onto where they go into the tank, versus a large volume of potential nastiness.
Yeah, thats a good idea and merits experimenting. I believe some have tried that, but the difficulty being to get the pump to actually pull the correct amount of X dose out of X resevoir, with airlines and dose volumes and such being different lengths / pressures etc. I do think the APT peristaltic pumps are probably the better, albeit more spendy way to go. Or possibly the Aquamedic doser . BTW, welcome to the board. :icon_wink
 

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Ahh, yes, that's the one. Any repeats of that experience you've seen? That's the only thing I've found. I guess the best solution would be to just give it a try
I've mixed 100 days worth kof KNO3 and KH2PO4 in RO/DI water with no funk. I don't use K2SO4 - maybe that gets funky?


I wonder if anyone here has a full set up with teh X10, and how is it running.
I do. There are some caveats, as stated, but there are also workarounds. If you're energy concious, and use a lot of screw in CFL's, either be prepared for some MAJOR electrical work in terms of inline noise filter installation, or scrap the whole idea. They produce way too much line noise. The "local control" feature is very easy to defeat, takes me about 11 seconds now to open a module, cut the lead and close it back up. ;) X10 can be programmed via macros to maintain a specific state in case of a power outage (which according to the ActiveHome people, isn't necessary due to the battery backup in the contoller.) Example: your dosing pump needs to be on for 8 minutes to dose the appropriate amount of macros. You program your timer for 8 minutes, then set macros for an "off" signal to be sent every 5 minutes for the balance of the 24 hour period to ensure that you won't get a catastrophic overdose in the case of a power outage - well, a power "return" to be precise. It's a bit tedious to program, but it is exactly how the Neptune "monitors" state, if I understand correctly.
 

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I've mixed 100 days worth kof KNO3 and KH2PO4 in RO/DI water with no funk. I don't use K2SO4 - maybe that gets funky?
Thanks for re-confirming (I guess, heh) that it is indeed okay to mix KNO3 & KH2PO4. This post gives a redux of things tried in terms of mixing solutions. *Shrug* It doesn't say if RO/DI water was used, at least in that post anyway. Perhaps a lot does have to do with dilution. I can't think of any reason there'd be a bad reaction unless there was a biological contaminant, probably from the water. Something was clearly happening in that thread, but I still doubt it was the compounds being mixed.

To help set my mind at ease/make a decision, I mixed up approximately the solution I plan on dosing with the Reefdoser. I need to check the math, but it should be close enough. I'll let that sit under my aquarium for a while and see if anything bad happens.
 

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What exactly does disabling the local control actually disable? Are you giving up some kind of feature or control when you do this?

Yes I do think activehomes website is about 99% advertising. To the point where you cant even figure out what there advertising lol. Its rediculous. And dont get on their mailing list either, I have been getting 1 ad a day from them. Not that 1 unwanted email a day is a big deal but c'mon how much changes in the world of X10 every day that they need to send out more ads to you dialy. And their email is like all thier website in 1 message... huge.
 

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Local control sensing circuitry is designed to detect small chages in electrical state caused by PHYSICALLY turning a device on and off (by its own switch). This would allow you to turn a device on by its switch when the module is in the "off" state.

By disabling this, you would only be able to turn the device (if pluggeg into an X10 module) on by an X10 remote, the ActiveHome Pro (or corresponding) program, or a timer/macro programmed into the controller.
 

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Interesting, thansk for the info SuRje, I may need it. I wonder why disabling a manual switch control actually helps anything though, that sounds unrelated with the problem. But without having a shcematic of the modules circuitry its hard to tell whats going on. Anyone know if Neptune is going to release something with USB? And can the Neptune systems be monitored/controlled remotely over the web? I'm guessing I am going to have to stick with activehome for that functionality for cheap.
 
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