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Cheap Quick Easy Manual Fert Dosing.

Discussion in 'Articles' started by vidiots, May 5, 2007.

  1. vidiots

    vidiots Prolific Poster

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    Although this was not my idea and I can't remember where I read about it, I recently tried using liquid soap/lotion dispensors for dosing ferts and it works great.

    I bought several empty dispensor bottles from Walmart for $0.97 each. Measured how much liquid they contained and how much they dispensed per pump. To my suprise they dispense fairly consistant 5-10% variation per pump, provided the bottle is held straight up and pumped slowly and smoothly.

    To make things easy I calculated how much dry ferts I needed to add to get 1 dose per pump for a 10gal tank. With the bottles I used I had to mix it fairly highly concentrated because it only dispensed 1.8mL per pump. The bottle only holds 110mL.

    The neatest part is that I can dose my 10gal tank with 1 pump, my 29gal tank with 3 pumps, and my 55gal tank with 5 pumps.

    The only measuring required is when mixing the bottle. I found this to be a major time saver for my non-automated tanks.
     
  2. DaveMill

    DaveMill Junior Poster

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    You can also use TMG containers

    Tropica Master Grow used to be a popular plant food, but it seems to have lost favor. I once bought a 500ml bottle. It has two screwtops, one for filling, one for feeding.

    [​IMG]

    You can refill the bottle with premixed liquids, then squeeze out exactly how much you need. The upper chamber is has ml marks, so you can squeeze out 1-30ml, plus minus a couple ml.

    The lotion bottle method may be more accurate, but I don't measure that accuately anyway.
     
  3. Laith

    Laith Lifetime Charter Member
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    A bit off topic but why do you say it has lost favor? I still think TMG (or the new name Aquacare Plant Nutritions liquid) is one of the best iron and trace element ferts on the market... and I've tried lots of them.
     
  4. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    For what its worth, I love TMG.. amazing stuff. If anything, Id say that TMG is probably the most popular, at least on here anyway.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    TMG use to be very popular, then folks went to Seachem, now back to TMG.

    Good write up for the liquid dispensers.
    They do tend to be fairly accurate and cost a lot less than the ADA dispenser bottles:cool:

    Same quality for the most part and we can pre mix the ferts ourself and make/place anything specifically tailored to our needs.

    Some say that is much more convenient for them and that's why they use ADA, but...........if you can buy simple dispenser bottles for less than 1$, and the 500mls of KCl cost 20$ for the ADA brand....... send me 19$:D

    I'll be publishing some concentrations for the ADA line sometime this summer as well as a sediment comparison test I'm doing at the lab.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. Anti-Pjerrot

    Anti-Pjerrot Prolific Poster

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    Good idea with the soap-disperser there... ill try that. Its easier than my bottle/syringe i use now, and i guess theres different dosings (ml/pump) from different dispensers...

    Great share - thanks!
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Rumor has it............. that the ADA dispensers are pirporitory, being perfectly in tune with the entire ADA line............ and well designed, lasting many years and looking much nicer than common junky DIY disperser and who wants to hassle with having to be bothered to search all over and stop off somewhere other than the L:FS or ADA on line dealer?
    :rolleyes:

    Same dang argument I hear about other stuff.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. naman

    naman Prolific Poster

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    Did I pushed dispencer once or twice for this tank this morning? Was that macro or micro?
    To do not ask this questions every other day use Syringe - much much MUCH better idea than dispenser. Get inside weekly dose, dose during the week as you wish/can and you will never over/underdose this week. You don't have to remember whether you "pushed" dispenser twice, triple etc this day/week or this morning. Two syringes needed - macro and micro for this week for every tank. Use neddle as cap. Good luck.
    Qoute: Same dang argument I hear about other stuff.
    Thanks Tom.
    BTW for nano tanks there is a dosing pipettes with scale if you still prefer dispensers.
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, I like the syringe methods as well, they are suited well for nano tanks.

    I've kept nano tanks for several years, I have 6.
    Some with CO2, some without.

    I've dry dosed them with amazing flexibility. I do not see a need for such precision.
    Just consistency and making sure you have enough.
    Beyond that, they are fine with excess.

    But if folks want more precision, nopthing wrong with that either, the trade off for it is not that much of an issue.

    However, when folks suggest that you need/it's required/you must use a precise method, I will have an issue with that.

    Will it help?
    Well, not with the plants so much, it will help with a goal of more precision that we arbitrarily set as "needed".

    After a certain excess point, plants are adapted to only a high level.
    Adding more will not cause them to acclimate more to the higher conditions in terms of growth.

    At lower levels, where things can be slightly limiting, then such precision is required more to maintain stable growth/uptake etc.

    This is true for CO2, NO3, PO4, K+ etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. vidiots

    vidiots Prolific Poster

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    I like the idea of the recycled TMG bottle. I've never used TMG before to know it came in a bottle like that, I assumed it came in bottles like SeaChem's stuff.

    I have been considering trying TMG when I run out of the CSM+B mix. I've seen posts from Tom saying he pefers it, and trying his preferences hasn't steered me wrong yet.. :)

    I'm also on the lookout for other cheap bottles that dispense more per pump and hold more fluid. I didn't even try doing the KNO3 that way, because after doing the math to get one dose per pump, I think I'd have too much KNO3 to disolve in too little water. And having to count many many pumps by diluting the mix complicates the otherwise simple and causes frequent refills adding to the effort I'm trying to eliminate.

    One of the things I want to do is to get something extremely cheap and easy. Then take some to my next local aquarium society meeting and pass them out to some of the other members that are struggling with plants.
     
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