Dosing Pump Questions

thegasman

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I'm thinking of adding a dosing pump that is capable of dosing 3 liquid ferts- KNO3, KH2PO4 and CSM+B.

My questions are-
What are some decent brands under $500?
How long will the CSM+B last if it's not refrigerated?
I think I read somewhere that you can preserve the CSM+B with Seachem Excel. If so, how much should be added?

I'd like to make batches of ferts that will last about a month before I need to mix another batch.
Why do I want to do this? Less maintenance, even more stable fert levels and one less thing to worry about when I go on vacation.

Thanks.
 

Tom Barr

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Bulkreef.com sells a decent one for 79$.


CMS+B with some Excel should last a month easily.
Maybe 20 mls excel per 500 mls of CMS.

I'd simply buy 2 pumps, and mix the macro nutrients into one vat, and then the traces into another.
FYI, your make up water can be pure Excel if you wanted to auto dose that as well.
 

gsjmia

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I bought two of these Drew's dosing pumps about two years ago and they work great. I posted this thread to show the head pressure capacity: http://www.barrreport.com/showthrea...Peristaltic-Pump-Not-Limited-by-Head-Pressure

The went up a little I see they are now $94 each. http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/brs-drew-s-doser-peristaltic-dosing-pump.html

One for CSM+B and one for macros.

At Home Depot you can get digital timers for each pump for about $20 each.

I used a half-gallon plastic milk jug for each with about a 10" piece of 1/8" acrylic hard tubing through the cap to the bottom-attach vinyl hose and strap hose to the handle so it doesn't crimp after a while.

There are a lot of dosing threads, but it's not that complicated. I like this calculator by pat w: http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7706-Stock-Solution-Design-Spreadsheet-StockSol-xls/page2
Here is a link to what I think is the most recent version of the StockSolPro calculator: http://www.ilia.name/florin/StockSolPro.zip

Make one calculator for CSM+B and one for macros. I based it on 1,000 ml of distilled water. The results will be in ml per dose per day based on 3 times a week. After I get it where I want, I then add another 1,000 ml to cut it in half and then dose for 6 days instead of 3 days, skipping Sunday when I do my water change.

If your calculator says you need to dose, say 10ml per day, using the measuring cup that comes with the pump, time it to see how long it takes to pump 10 ml. (9 minutes as I recall). I would add another minute or two on the timer

Using the above to dose a 46 gallon bow front, I get enough for about 3 months.

Check KN03 each water change to make sure its in the right ball park. If its light, add a minute or two on the timer (or reduce minutes if too much KN03).

Started getting growth-sludge which actually clogged up the CSM line. Like Tom said, I added 20 ml of Excel and all clear.

After the experience with the sludge blockage, I keep a blue masking tape marker on the water line and move it each water change to keep watch on whether its pumping. I try to remember to shake the jugs each week.

I expected to have to replace the tubing about once a year, but so far its still working.
 
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thegasman

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Another question. I know that the phosphate can cause the iron to precipitate out. How is this avoided if I dose all ferts everyday? Do I dose the iron just before lights on and then dose the rest of the ferts about two hours latter? I know that I could dose on alternate days with digital timers, but I prefer the pin type timers. Easier to use, and will stay synced with my lighting timers in the event of a power failure. I know there are some with battery back up, but I have had bad luck with them.
 

gsjmia

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As long as you don't mix them together it shouldn't be a problem (like in Ghostbusters-don't cross the stream). You can dose both at the same time and on the same timer (assuming you adjust your dosing strength so that they both are appropriately dosed for the same number of minutes).

Just let it drip in such a way that they don't mix together soon after dropping into the tank, e.g., place the hoses about 1 or 2 inches apart.
 

gsjmia

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Tom said:
FYI, your make up water can be pure Excel if you wanted to auto dose that as well.

Aha, I have been meaning to ask this question since I didn't feel like buying another pump/timer for Excel. Now I have to figure out how much Excel to substitute for water to get the desired dose. The extra Excel will also keep the fungus out.

Any issues with solubility using Excel instead of water? I guess I will find out.
 

Tom Barr

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No issues with solubility.

Excel is 1.5% glut so it's mostly water and it's not an acid or a reductant(at least in any significant way I can think of really).

So you should not need more than 2 dosing pump ever.
Unlike the ferts, if the Excel is over dosed a significant amount= dead fish, so make certain you use a high grade dosing pump!!!

Also do an "oh crap" reality check and dose the timed solution into a jug and measure it a few times to be sure BEFORE setting it up on your tank with fish/shrimp etc in it.
 

Gerryd

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Hey all,

I think this is an excellent thread and I made it a sticky :)

I think I may give this an attempt in the near future. I can at least purchase the pumps. I am not a precise doser by any means lol and it would be a good learning experience for more involved testing, learning simple ppm conversions and such, and basic experience with dosing pumps and the like.

I am a much better daily doser than in the past, but mixing up a 1 or 2 gallon container full of ferts and auto dosing sounds nice. I have other stuff automated (lights and co2) so this could be a nice win all around.

Thanks to all for posting!
 
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Tom Barr

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If you do dose this method, then dose about 15 minutes after the lights come on.

So set the timer to do that.

Bulk reef sells two types of dosing rates, I chose the lower flow, I think it's 1.1 mls/min.

So after 30 mins, you have 33 mls.
The slower dosing allows me to to use the cheaper and easier to operate non digital peg type timers easily.
Also, if I need to run them on smaller tanks, no issue. Or on larger tanks.

I can change the concentration of the stock solution and still use the peg style timers.
Excel should be added right as the lights come on or VERY soon thereafter.

For about 100-200$, you can automate the dosing.
Add a pH meter, then a good KH test kit, the Hanna Alkalinity digitals are decent and this should cover most folks.

You can dial in CO2 and dosing pretty accurately.
This leaves you with only one thing left: fully automated water changes.
Do that, then it's just a trim/filter cleaning job.
 

thegasman

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As far as top off water, I'm using a Tunze ATO unit. I went ahead and added some Excel to the reservoir. Thanks for the idea Tom. Why didn't I think of that?! My reservoir is 5-1/2 gallons which lasts about 10 days for my 34 gallon tank.
 

thegasman

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As far as the dosing pump goes, what would be the advantages/ disadvantages between the standard BRS unit and the Drews version?
 

gsjmia

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Based on quick look, BR carries two pumps in this range:

This is a 2 part BRS dosing pump-but if you look at the rollers, it only has two. As I understand it, you need 4 rollers to prevent siphoning/back flow (assuming your pump is lower than the output): http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/brs-2-part-doser-1-1-ml-per-minute.html

And then there is the "Drew's Dosing Pump" which BR now seems to call a "BRS Drew's Dosing Pump". (Who the hell is Drew?). It has 4 rollers and is about $20 more. When I bought mine 2 years ago, I recall that the BRS and the Drew's looked identical, but then I thought that they must have used similar hobby style boxes (you can get them in Radio Shack). http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/catalog/product/view/id/85/

FYI, the boxes take up a lot of room. I opened the box and its 75% air. In the future, I might remove the pumps from the boxes and combine into a single box or mount on a piece of acrylic to consolidate space.
 
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thegasman

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I earned a really sweet bonus from my employer so I'm thinking about getting an Apex controller to go along with the dosing pumps. The Apex seems to be able to address several things that I'd like to be able to control- pH/co2, temperature, dosing pumps, lighting, MP10 and sump return pump (for feeding time). I also like that it can alert me via email/ text message if certain issues come up with the tank. It will also help me to clean up all of the wires and timers.

Back to dosing- With the Apex controller, is there any advantage to dosing the ferts a little at a time over a certain period of time versus just dosing them all at once?
 

Tom Barr

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This is what I use:

71.99$ each

http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/brs-2-part-doser-1-1-ml-per-minute.html

As far as controllers, they take a fair amount to get them set up and I find they do not really offer me that much convenience personally.
Things like water changes and automated dosing do however.

As far as the rest, I need to watch and trim mostly, so I'm not, or the client's not going to get out of that much.
You automate too much, then you have to keep all that running correctly.

Temp, you do not need, pH/CO2, nope, if you use auto feeding and auto pump stop for feeding time, okay.........alerts are okay(water on the floor etc).
I also do not think it helps to dose a little vs a daily slug.

MAYBE if you dosed NH4 or something.........
 

thegasman

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Tom Barr;113661 said:
This is what I use:

71.99$ each

http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/brs-2-part-doser-1-1-ml-per-minute.html

As far as controllers, they take a fair amount to get them set up and I find they do not really offer me that much convenience personally.
Things like water changes and automated dosing do however.

As far as the rest, I need to watch and trim mostly, so I'm not, or the client's not going to get out of that much.
You automate too much, then you have to keep all that running correctly.

Temp, you do not need, pH/CO2, nope, if you use auto feeding and auto pump stop for feeding time, okay.........alerts are okay(water on the floor etc).
I also do not think it helps to dose a little vs a daily slug.

MAYBE if you dosed NH4 or something.........

Good points Tom. I reviewed the owners manual and the set up seems a bit daunting. I'll have to ponder the pros and cons a bit more, but I'm leaning towards not worth it at this time. For what I want to do with the controller, I'd be looking at darn near $1K all in.
 

Tom Barr

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The cost is just one of the trade offs with all the stuff.

Some folks are really into it.

I can take it another level beyond this also, gas pressure gauges that send signals to let you know when the tank pressure drops, gas mass flow controllers to tell you the gas flow etc.
Got 2000$? I can spend it for you.
 

thegasman

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Tom Barr;113674 said:
The cost is just one of the trade offs with all the stuff.

Some folks are really into it.

I can take it another level beyond this also, gas pressure gauges that send signals to let you know when the tank pressure drops, gas mass flow controllers to tell you the gas flow etc.
Got 2000$? I can spend it for you.

LOL! I did consider getting one of these auto switch over devices http://www.superiorprod.com/featured-products.html so that I didn't have to worry about running out of CO2 as much. I can get them at wholesale prices since I'm thegasman, but they are still a bit spendie.
 

Tom Barr

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Those are for folks that need continuous switch over. The digital pressure gauges are nice because they will send a signal to let you know BEFORE the tank runs out.
Those run about 125-200$.