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So I have a high-tech planted tank, 15 gals with 55 watts of PC lighting and pressurized co2. The problem is, I'm not home enough to dose the ferts. I have work most days, and I frequently sleep at my grandparent's and boyfriend's house in order to get there, so often I don't even get a chance to go dose the tank. The fish have a very reliable autofeeder, but I need to know if there's some way I can still dose my ferts without being there every day. Often I am not home for 3 days in a row, and while I know EI fert dosing is designed so that you can skip a day or so, regular 3-day breaks are taking a toll on my plants.

I can't afford liquidosers at this point in time. Thoughts?
 

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Check this out at DrsFosterSmith.com, it's an auto feeder that would be perfect for auto (dry) dosing.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4430+4464&pcatid=4464

It Has a nice capacity (check out the size of the bins next to the electrical plug) and would be precise, you fill each bin with whatever amount you want, with 28 cells you are covered for almost a month! or you could make it work double duty and alternate between ferts in one cell and food in the next and set it to dispense twice a day (first ferts, then food each day) That would cover you for ferts and feeding for 2 weeks at a time.

I have actually been looking at this myself, but fo me it is more that I'm lazy than not home, so it's hard to justify...
 

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I can't afford liquidosers at this point in time. Thoughts?
Just want to be sure, dry or liquid fert?

If liquid fert, there are a few method of DIY liquid autodoser.
The method I use is with Tom Aqualifter suction pump (less than $15) with digital timer set to 1 sec, you have to adjust your liquid fert mixture depend on how much the pump would pump out in the amount of time you set.
 

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I assume your lights are on a timer but how long do you keep them on each day?

You may be able to cut the lights back to 6-8 hours a day. I find that quite a few plants "close up" around the 8 hour mark so an hour or two (maybe even three hours) less per day probably will work out fine. It may take a week or two to find the "sweet spot" for your situation but should be able to make it work.

Reducing your photoperiod by 25% each day (10 hours to 7 1/2 hours, 8 hours to 6 hours, etc) should reduce fertilizer consumption and plant growth by about the same amount. Just make sure you reduce the time the CO2 is on if you don't use the same timer for lights and CO2. Try reducing the photoperiod first and if that doesn't work, try adding a bit more fertilizer (with the light reduction) on the days you are home, i.e. try adding 3/8 tsp of KNO3 instead of 1/4 tsp KNO3.
 

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Check this out at DrsFosterSmith.com, it's an auto feeder that would be perfect for auto (dry) dosing.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4430+4464&pcatid=4464

It Has a nice capacity (check out the size of the bins next to the electrical plug) and would be precise, you fill each bin with whatever amount you want, with 28 cells you are covered for almost a month! or you could make it work double duty and alternate between ferts in one cell and food in the next and set it to dispense twice a day (first ferts, then food each day) That would cover you for ferts and feeding for 2 weeks at a time.

I have actually been looking at this myself, but fo me it is more that I'm lazy than not home, so it's hard to justify...
Been there, done that, never again.

While it looks like it would work in theory, in practical application there were two fatal flaws when it came to using the Rondomatic to dispense dry fertilizers.

1. The humidity above a tank will cause the fertilizers to chemically react with each, and/or harden into a rock and stick inside the bin.

2. The drive mechanism is inside a compartment that is not well sealed. If you spill any fertilizers while refilling, it will get into the drive compartment and affect the mechanism. It's almost impossible to be careful enough to not spill some while refilling. If you open the drive compartment the wrong way up, a gazillion parts fall out.
 
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