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Okay, I have a DAS 115G with an internal H99 filter. Basically, it's a Protein skimmer with pump, two 15" long slide-in cartridges for whatever foam I want, and a sponge filter with a powerhead on top of that.

I plan on removing the protein skimmer, plumbing the output of it's pump to the outside of the tank to a CO2 reactor (Thanks Gover!), and then back into the tank to the remainder of the filter. What I want to know, is I also have a Kent Auto-Doser.. It's basically a hanging bottle, some tubing, and a roller-ball valve kinda like they use in hospital IV's on occasion. Is there a way of hooking this to the plumbing so I can continuously dose fertilizers (so many drops per hour or whatever) rather then adding them every few days? Any ideas?
 

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Hey,

Certainly. You have to do your homework though. Just calculate how much fertilizer you are using on a daily basis and then break it down to the drop rate of your doser. It gets a little more complicated if you use a diluted solution.

Actually, dosing this way prevents the nutrient swings that come as a result of weekly dosing.
 

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Something to consider is that you will either be fighting negative or possitive pressure depending on where you pump is relative to the CO2 reactor (assumine you want to "drip" inline). I would just drip right above the tank where the water is most turbulent. Should work fine that way once you get the rate figured out. ADVICE: UNDERDOSE at the beginning. easier to deal with than overdosing on ferts ;)
 

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It may be very tricky to work it into the plumbing as Gomer pointed out. You will probably have positive pressure to work against if you place the doser under the tank, this would stop the flow as it relies solely on gravity.

Sounds like you are a converted reefer.... if so, you could run a sump (if you have one), this way you can drip the ferts into the sump without any plumbing. If you run a small enough pump as the return you should be able to avoid the usual CO2 losses that sumps represent.

You could also try using a venturi in your filter's intake tube, just like the ones used for venturi driven protein skimmers. you can then run the drip directly into the venturi. You'll be dealing with negative pressure which will try to suck the ferts out of the drip bottle, in this case you'd need to restrict the flow even more. A drip counter would probably be a good idea if you used this setup.

Otherwise use a fluid pump to dose the ferts, many of them can be found on eBay quite cheap:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?MfcISAPICommand=ViewItem&item=2388056473

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
 

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Gian, do you have that Liquidoser recipe? Sorry for going off topic, but I remember you saying that it was the perfect "Dupla 24"... :wink:
 

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You're referring to the AB topic right?

I don't think I was the one who had the perfect Dupla 24, but this works for me.

Here's my current mix:

20ml KNO3 (Source: 2tbsp KNO2 in 250ml water)
20ml N2SO4 (Source: 2tbsp K2SO4 in 250ml water)
2ml Fleet Enema
5ml Flourish
10ml CSM+B
5ml Kent Vita

This is for a 55 gallon tank, the mixture lasts about 10 days with the current settings.

I also dose the following 1 day after weekly water change:
10ml KNO3
10ml K2SO4
1ml Fleet Enema
5ml Flourish
5ml Kent Vita

Giancarlo Podio
 

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Yes the mixture will settle overtime. I don't know how practical it'd be to put one of those tiny powerheads in the storage bottle.

To me personally such a continuous drip fertilization is unnecessary. The tank should do good with a few fertilizations a week. If the tank is not high light then you may even end up fertilizing only when changing the water.

--Nikolay
 

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Actually, besides a small film on the bottom of the individual bottles I don't see any deposits at all. I make enough mixture for a month and obviously shake things up pretty good before using them. What's in the doser itself doesn't settle as the doser rotates like a cement truck every time it dispenses a dose (Eheim Liquidoser). If you use higher concentrations of the individual components you do get deposits, I guess there's enough water in there to keep everything in solution.

The main degradation I notice of the mixture sitting in the doser is oxidization from being exposed to oxygen and light. But the mixture only lasts 10 days so no big deal. The rest of the mixture sits safely in a black bottle in the fridge.

Regarding dosing weekly or daily, there are advantages to dosing certain elements daily as they do have a limited life span once in the tank. It's really just an extra little touch, for some the extra work is not worth it, if you have a doser however you start to see things differently. It actually allows me to skip a few weekly dosings here and there when I'm lazy or occupied with something else.

Before I started to dose daily, pearling was at it's greatest for the first couple days after a water change and would then taper off slightly towards the end of the week, now it's quite constant. It won't make or break a tank however.

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
 

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It doses around 1ml per rotation. You can set it to dose a maximum of 8 doses throughout the day. It's not a swiss watch, but if you keep a log of the amount of mixture you add each time, it's quite constant.

Giancarlo Podio
 

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Giancarlo, which of the 2 premixed sol's need's to be put in a dark bottle or it'll oxidize?

Btw... I did the math w/ what you listed above Giancarlo, and your giving your tank 12ppm of no3/wk. Isn't that a bit high? (2tbsp/250=.44ppm x 28ml per wk=12ppm)
And for your k? I "think" your adding the total k..from both kno3 + the k from kso4 to get a total of 16.8ppm? Though Chuck's calc. said you can't dissolve 33gms(2tbsp)/250mls..only 30 gms. Do you have a problem dissolving all the compound?

Thanks for the great specifics...helping me alot get my liquidoser going.

Chris
 

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[quote="chrisl"Btw... I did the math w/ what you listed above Giancarlo, and your giving your tank 12ppm of no3/wk. Isn't that a bit high? [/quote]

I have a liquidoser but stopped using it till I got my 55g settled down, going to have to start experimenting with it again now that I have tammed the algae (for now atleast). As for dosing 12ppm of no3 a week, not really high. I'm sure his tank is eating up the excess. I dose about 7.5-10 ppm of no3 at water changes and then dose another 5-7.5 ppm's usually midweek on a 55g. Even at that rate my tank gets down to the 2.5-5ppm rate. Atleast it doesn't bottom out. So I am dosing around 12ppm on a weekly basis as well in my 55g.

Matt
 

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When I did mainteance, we always set up a reservior with a float switch in the tank, we placed the ferts in there for the make up water. It was fairly consistent over a week's time.

If you dose every other day, that is fine also. Some find their routines work better doing something daily vs 2-3x a week etc.

I'll dose macros on one day and the traces on the opposite.

Pearling will be reduced after a few days if you do not keep up on adding it if you have high light.

I've not seen that occur in lower light tanks.

I don't think that is a doser issues, that is habit issue.
If your habits are irregular, then you will need to get a dosing pump.

If not, then an every other day with the macros/traces for folks with the higher light tanks work very well.

Separating the traces and macros might help also when using a drip IV method also. The nutrients will stay in soultion better and not foul the drip system.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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