DIY Ferts Auto Dose System

Discussion in 'Completed DIY Projects' started by DTL, 30 Dec 2012.

  1. DTL

    DTL Member

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    Thought I'd share how I've set up my ferts dosing system.
    I'm running EI with Macro and Trace on alternate days, six days a week.
    System is based on small peristaltic pumps available from the manufacturer on line. Small electric pumps, oem & end user, peristaltic pumps for drain and grease trap dosing
    I believe these may have been seen on other projects on the UKAPS site.
    I'm dosing based on the guidelines here : James' Planted Tank - Estimative Index Explained .
    The pumps I chose run at 1ml per minute, which allows me to easily adjust the dosages using a digital timer.
    I'm using 2L containers for each solution, which means I only have to top up every few weeks, and I have a small pump in each container that is turned on for 15 mins daily before dosing to ensure everything stays well in solution.
    My drip feed doohickey is made of spare bits of tank stuff that I had lying about, but I think is a reasonably tidy solution.

    Couple of pics below:

    dsc00523vi.jpg
    dsc00525gj.jpg

    Any comments / feedback / questions welcomed.
    Cheers
     
  2. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Nice setup, how much did the pumps actually cost fully assembled? also what is the rate per minute? Cheers
     
  3. DTL

    DTL Member

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  4. Arana

    Arana Member

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    very cool:thumbup:
     
  5. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the info, something to consider, I am getting bored of dosing everyday! lol
     
  6. Gary Nelson

    Gary Nelson Member

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    Yes a great setup... This has got me thinking now :)
     
  7. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah me too and I am going to go for it, just getting one pump and then mixing an all in one solution instead ;)
     
  8. Spikey-Mike

    Spikey-Mike Member

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    I also run an auto dosing scheme. I'm just about to add another pump to dose LC when I can get round to it.....

    One question though. I can see the benefit of the small pumps inside the bulk tanks to stir everything up (and I've seen a scheme somewhere which uses an air pump to do the same thing) but is it really necessary? Once the salts are in solution will they not stay there?

    Cheers, Mike.
     
  9. DTL

    DTL Member

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    Dunno. I added them as a safety precaution. I would say the macro solution stays clearer with the pumps cycling so it's probably helping. Since the trace solution is dark it's hard to tell in there :)
     
  10. Spikey-Mike

    Spikey-Mike Member

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    I have macro in a 1 litre bottle (4 weeks supply) and I dose micros on water change day. I don't get any precipitate in the bottle so always assumed that there was no problem.... I guess it depends on the concentration and the temperature.

    I can see the wisdom of stirring the micro solution, though if it's opaque.

    Cheers, Mike.
     
  11. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Just ordered one pump yesterday to give it a go, got an aquamedic pump but its not reliable, the pump idea inside the bottle is good but I am worried that the solution will stop it working pretty quickly as the ferts will become sticky inside the pump, an air stone will work but you need to leave space for the air to escape at a good rate or you risk an accident, so both have pros and cons. I am going to use it to dose Tropica ferts to start with so no need for the mixing.
     
  12. Spikey-Mike

    Spikey-Mike Member

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  13. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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  14. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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    These are 12V pumps, so you will have to a**e around with power supplies, though

    12Vdc 0.5A Power Supply with 2.1mm Tip : Fixed Voltage Power Supplies : Maplin Electronics

    will probably work, but then that's another £20 cost to your build and yet more things to go wrong.

    The B&Q timers (at least the ones I have) have a Mon, Wed, Fri and a Tues, Thur, Sat setting so you can alternately dose macro and micro with water change Sunday.

    This is/was my solution to alternate dosing.
    DIY dual peristaltic dosing pump with alternate switching. | UK Aquatic Plant Society
     
  15. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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    As to all the people asking if the ferts settle out and need stirring. In the 6 months odd I have been using mine, no sign of precipitate in the ferts bottles, no sign of crystals or debris in the pumps & piping. There are occasional crystals/crustiness on the outlet pipes at the tank end, but easily wiped/knocked off at water change time.

    Also try to buy the peristaltic pumps with as large as pipe as possible (3mm from Willamson pumps) as less prone to blockage, also you can use standard 4mm connecting pipe (willamson do clear PVC suitable for their pumps), put cable ties on pipe to pump connection to prevent accidental pulling pipes off. Get 4 roller pump as no need for one way valves as 4 roller wont back flow and obviously the slower the pump RPM (3rpm in my case) the longer the pump & tubing will last. Also Norprene lasts longer the silicone.
     
  16. DTL

    DTL Member

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    Nice set up. Yours was the system I referred to in my original post. Agree with all of the above, although not sure about the 4 Vs 2 rollers comment as even with 2 rollers 1 is always in contact with the tube, otherwise it would not maintain the flow. Some interesting detail here : Peristaltic pump - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  17. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    I would agree with the 4 rollers I have a 2 roller pump at the moment from aquamedic and it has some back flow which is not good, I have ordered one of these now with 4 rollers, looking forward to testing it out :)
     
  18. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Got mine already and its all setup, got the 4 rollers 3rpm version, it does 0.5ml per minute, therefore you can be very accurate about the amount you dose, you can does straight from a Tropica/ADA/etc... bottle and will be great for nanos too! No more forgetting to dose the tank, will get another to EC!
     
  19. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Here it is, just need to buy some airline tube to connect the bottle then its all set to go ;)

    201301121957382.jpg

    This is very accurate dosing, so I will be purchasing another another one, one for ferts the other for EC.
     
  20. DTL

    DTL Member

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    Muito Bom!
     

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