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Dosing pumps and water reconstitution

Discussion in 'Non-CO2 Methods' started by angus, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. angus

    angus Prolific Poster

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    Some questions for you folks who have gone the non-CO2 route. Do any of you use a dosing pump to dose with? Are there any particular brands or models you prefer? Having used them in the past for other tasks, I'm partial to the diaphragm type, as opposed to the peristaltic type.

    Secondly, and only slightly related, I've purchased an RO filter to "make" my own water from scratch, so to speak. I think th expense is warranted in my case, as my well water is terrible. Even though it passes through a water softener, it is loaded with iron, hydrogen sulfide, and I have no idea what else. I don't even consider the water to be potable, it's so bad. I use it for bathing, washing dishes and the cars, and watering the plants only. My wife and I use bottled water for everything else.

    Once I have produced a vat of RO water, what should I use to replace the "good" mineral salts, buffers, etc. that the RO filtering has removed? I would prefer to go with something I can simply buy over the counter, and I would like to stick with products tht all come from the same manufacturer. From my reading here and other forums, I see that the SeaChem line seems to be popular with many.

    My ~87 gallon aquarium (48"L x 20"W x 21" D) will be moderately planted, with four 48" T5 HO bulbs suspended over the aquarium. and my wife wants a small shoal (~8) of Blue Pinoy Angels as the main fish. I also want to add some panda corydoras some Otocinclus, and a few dwarf plecos.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Non CO2 is more about not having to do as much and allowing things to progress on their own sweet time.
    Dosing pumps, not really a needed thing, dosing is only once every 1-2 weeks typically.

    Hopefully you look at the tank, feed the fish more often than 2-4x a month. Which is no harder than dosing.
    I use tap to add replacement water.

    That's a lot of light for a non CO2 tank.
    I'd only use maybe a pair of those lights about 12" off the water
     
  3. angus

    angus Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Tom. In retrospect it seems I kind of overdid it with the lighting. I used to keep reef tanks, over which more light was always better, as long as the water temperature could be kept under control.
    I think I'll probably end up going with CO2 reactor and pH controller at some point. I'm a sucker for gadgetry.

    Do you have any opinion as to what I should use to reconstitute my RO water? SeaChem Neutral Buffer and/or SeaChem Discus buffer, and SeaChem Discus Trace? Or something entirely different?
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Non CO2 is a little liek a reef, you set things up and it sort of does it's own thing, little dosing though, no water changes, no high light.
    My ADA 60p was like this, but now it's a reef:) Well, once I get around to adding some corals.

    No need for RO water also for FW planted tanks, unless your alk is really high, 5 or above, then you can blend and get it to about 3-4 should be fine.
    For top offs, then tap is 100% kosher.

    Gadgets are a 2 edged sword. The issue is that pH can move around if the alk changes from the source water, or if the alk is influenced by other acids or you have peat or tannins added from wood, soil, or if those tannins are removed slowly over time after you get things set up well.
    Then your pH controller will the CO2 to add too much, or too little.

    If you set the flow rate for CO2 at say 50mls/5 minutes, this will not change no matter what is going on with the tap, tank water etc.
    So if you cannot help yourself do this: get a really nice CO2 dual stage CO2 system, maybe add digital gauges that link to your smart phone etc, mass flow controller etc.
    Some things okay, but they are not needed either.

    pH controllers are not cure alls and most planted aquarist do NOT use them, many newbies think they are useful.
    Most of the top scapers do not use them. Amano is no fan of them either.

    There's no need to use all that crap for tap or RO. Baking soda and GH booster are it.
    KH and GH.

    I think 90% of folks use RO only to redeuce the KH down to say 3-4 degrees and blend with tap water rather than going back and adding baking soda back again.
    Some folks are use to this with reefs, where such approaches are helpful, but not so much with plants.
    We are not limiting ferts or PO4, we are adding them!

    I think you will find that I suggest the chemical and that's dirt cheap in bulk or at the grocery store, on line bulk fert aquarium vendors, not a brand name.
    Some reefs folks get in on this somewhat, but there's many brand loyalist. DIY is good for many things, but something a brand name is useful.

    But baking soda is pretty easy to come by, as is GH booster.
     
  5. angus

    angus Prolific Poster

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    Thanks once again. I've already bought a RO unit, as I really feel I need it because of my terrible water supply, the water is loaded with bacterial iron, Hydrogen sulfide, and I imagine quite a bit of Sodium from the water softener.
    As for the CO2 system, I've been looking at GLA's "Ultimate CO2 System (two stage). Although it has been more than a few years I've used similar systems on my reef tanks, my learning curve should be a bit shorter than someone starting from scratch. My wife has already given her approval for the purchase and I hate to pass on the opportunity. :)

    Do you have any recommendations for controllers that would link with my iPhone 5, and also work with GLA's two stage system?

    Now that I've succeeded in winning my wife over, I'm working on finding a good automatic top off system and a setup for automatic water changes. I would greatly appreciate suggestions for those as well.
    My wife and I came to agreement about the aquarium - I get to pick the equipment and plants, and perform all the maintenance, while she gets to pick the fish. She's settled on a small shoal of Blue Pinoy angelfish.
    She initially wanted discus until she saw the prices of adult discus. So now we're both happy.
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    There are massive Dual stage "how to build" threads here.

    Not that tough.

    I'd suggest that, best bang for your $.

    I've always been more about folks DIY and using base parts/ferts when convenient.

    Some of the brass or chrome plated brass dual stage regs on ebay are nice.
    Then you get a nut stem if needed, and a 1/4" to 1/8" brass adapter, then on to the solenoid, Brurkets are good
    Then the needle valve(Swaglok, parker, Ideal).

    Then a check valve with relative low crack pressure. Then decent tubing.

    You can diffuse CO2 quite a few ways, but they all have the same basics.

    Takes a bit of time to piece this together, but then you can replace and fix anything later on.

    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&toolid=10001&campid=5338187531&icep_item=171053869144

    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&toolid=10001&campid=5338187531&icep_item=121129285967

    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&toolid=10001&campid=5338187531&icep_item=121126926456
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

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    There are massive Dual stage "how to build" threads here.

    Not that tough.

    I'd suggest that, best bang for your $.

    I've always been more about folks DIY and using base parts/ferts when convenient.

    Some of the brass or chrome plated brass dual stage regs on ebay are nice.
    Then you get a nut stem if needed, and a 1/4" to 1/8" brass adapter, then on to the solenoid, Brurkets are good
    Then the needle valve(Swaglok, parker, Ideal).

    Then a check valve with relative low crack pressure. Then decent tubing.

    You can diffuse CO2 quite a few ways, but they all have the same basics.

    Takes a bit of time to piece this together, but then you can replace and fix anything later on.

    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&toolid=10001&campid=5338187531&icep_item=171053869144

    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&toolid=10001&campid=5338187531&icep_item=121129285967

    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&toolid=10001&campid=5338187531&icep_item=121126926456
     
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