Auto Dosing EI with a dosing pump (diagram and calculations)

LondonDragon

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EDIT: Note that I haven't had a great deal of success with the SP3000, but mine was second-hand to start with so a brand new pump could be different or a different model. Read the post for alternative pumps.

EDIT 2: The problem with the Aquamedic SP3000 can be easily fixed be placing a non-return valve before and after the pump to prevent it back flowing when the rollers are on the vertical position.

Hi Guys,

Thought I would create a separate post for this and also make a diagram to show my setup. Might help others that want to try out the same thing.

I purchased an Aqua Medic SP3000 dosing pump with the intention of automating my dosing regime, I kept forgetting to dose before leaving to work some days and sometimes I didn't have a clue what I dosed the day before, if it was macro or micro so decided to go this way and using JamesC All-in-One Solution.

Link to James website where you can find more information: http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/allinone.htm

My calculations for EI are made using NutriCalc (This was suggested to me by Matt Holbrook-Bull when I first joined the forum and works a treat for me).

Windows users can download it here: http://www.cherniaksoftware.com/homepag ... riCalc.exe

For my aquarium which is 125 litres the following values were achieved:

KNO3 = 1.77 grams 3x a week
K2S04 = 0.8 grams 3x a week
KH2PO4 = 0.5 grams 3x a week
MgSO4 = 4.6 grams 3x a week
Trace from AE = 0.5 3x a week

You will also need E300 Ascorbic Acid and E202 Potassium Sorbat.


After various tests I found out that my SP3000 actually doses 40ml per minute and not the 50ml stated on the manual, I tested this various times over a few days to make sure I always got the same values.

So I am using a 1.5liter bottle, so I will be mixing my powders into 1.4 litres of water which will give me 35 daily doses.


Here my calculations with the help of JamesC (many thanks):

1,400ml and dose 40ml per time. So that's 1,400/40 = 35 doses.

KNO3 = (1.77x35x3)/7 = 26.6g
K2S04 = (0.8x35x3)/7 = 12g
KH2PO4 = (0.5x35x3)/7 = 7.5g
MgSO4 = (4.6x35x3)/7 = 69g
Trace from AE = (0.5x35x3)/7 = 7.5g

Ascorbic 0.5x3 = 1.5g (0.5g per 500ml recommended)
Sorbate 0.2x3 = 0.6g (0.2g per 500ml recommended)

In my final solution I added an extra 20% on top of the total amounts given on the calculations above, I always prefer to over dose than to under dose.

Below the diagram of my setup:




My CO2 comes on 2 hours before lights on and dosing is done using a digital timer (on for 1 minute) 15 minutes before lights on. I mix the solution using the airpump for 2 minutes before dosing.

I cover the dosing bottle with a blanket to prevent it getting any light into the bottle.

Hope this helps and good luck :)
 

LondonDragon

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Thanks guys :)

johnny70 said:
great write up, looks very easy :D only need to make 11 now for all my tanks :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

JOHNNY
One pump, 11 selonoid valves, 12 timers, lots of tubbing and T pieces!! lol
 

Steve Smith

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Hey LD. A thought for your bottle arrangement. Have you seen these brine shrimp hatchery kits? It's basically a stand for a pop bottle to screw into, with attachments for airline etc:



It might mean less fabrication. You can usually pick up a kit (with some egg sachets and salt) for about £8. I have one myself which I use a 1.5litre bottle on. Pretty sturdy bit of kit :)

Search around for "Brine Shrimp bottle hatchery" :)
 

LondonDragon

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SteveUK said:
You can usually pick up a kit (with some egg sachets and salt) for about £8. I have one myself which I use a 1.5litre bottle on. Pretty sturdy bit of kit :)
Thanks mate, but why pay £8 when you can have one for nothing ;) I will see if I can find a cheap one ;)
 

a1Matt

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LondonDragon said:
Hope this helps and good luck :)
Much appreciated LD, for me the diagram in particular is a great reassurance :) Should I get around to this in the future I will let you know how I get on.
 

BINKSY1973

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Yep great wtite up and pictures there mate.

How important do you think it is to mix up the mixture with the air pump before dosing?

Cheers Gordon.
 

LondonDragon

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BINKSY1973 said:
Yep great wtite up and pictures there mate.
How important do you think it is to mix up the mixture with the air pump before dosing?
Cheers Gordon.
Thanks Gordon, to be honest I am not sure, my current solution will end soon and my next one I am going to try it without the air pump, I am only going to use the air pump as I am mixing the powders as it disolves them in no time, specially the MgS04. I will report back with my findings.
 

BINKSY1973

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LondonDragon said:
my current solution will end soon and my next one I am going to try it without the air pump
Well look forward to your findings of this, im currently looking for a dosing pump myself.

Cheers Gordon.
 

Superman

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I'm on the hunt for a cheap dosing pump. They're not too bad at about £50 brand new.

I thought about the airline in, I might try the "TPN+" type bottles. Leave the smaller chamber top opened so that when you suck out from the bottle, the air should be pulled in from the other chamber.
 

Steve Smith

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LondonDragon said:
Thanks mate, but why pay £8 when you can have one for nothing ;) I will see if I can find a cheap one ;)
I've got one you can have if you like :) Haven't used it in a little while, bought last year. Call it a token thank-you for all the shrimp! :D

PM me your address again and I'll dig it out :)
 

three-fingers

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Nice work, looks awesome! Just the kinda thread I was looking for.

I was looking at dosing pumps a few days ago, found these cheap ones: http://www.williamson-shop.co.uk/100-series---230v-ac---silicone-tubing-83-c.asp.

I have a couple of questions :D.

Is potassium sorbate harmful to shrimp at all? I'm not too keen on the idea of dosing anti-mould into an aquarium, especially because of all the warnings that come on the packets of silicone that contain anti-mouls agents ("DO NOT USE NEAR AQUATIC LIFE" :bored: )

Next question: How do you time it to keep the pump on for only a few minutes? Do the aquarium dosing pumps come with timers? Or are normal household digital timers accurate enough?
 

three-fingers

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That's great, good to know I can use those digital timers.

This is very useful for me.

Last time I went high-tech, I couldn't keep up with the fert dosing and pruning...so I decided I would stick low-tech for a while.

After seeing the tanks on this site, I'm now making my shrimp tank high-tech :rolleyes:.

Hopefully all this automation will mean all I have to do is weekly water changes :D .

I think I'll just forgo the potassium sorbate and hope I don't get mould though, I'd rather not risk my shrimp.
 

JamesC

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three-fingers said:
Is potassium sorbate harmful to shrimp at all? I'm not too keen on the idea of dosing anti-mould into an aquarium, especially because of all the warnings that come on the packets of silicone that contain anti-mouls agents ("DO NOT USE NEAR AQUATIC LIFE" :bored: )
Potassium sorbate is perfectly safe with your shrimp and everything else as well. Just look at the ingredients of a lot of the things you eat and you will see it. But if you choose to omit it and you don't get any mould problems then great.

There are many anti-mould agents of which some may not be very nice. Not sure what 'packets of silicone' is though.

James
 

Joecoral

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I'm assuming a "packet of silicone" is what one would use to seal their shower or bath other bathroom type things, like you would use in a mastic-gun. More of a tube than a packet
 

JamesC

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Decided to give this auto dosing a go. Had my eye out for a peristaltic pump for some time now but have always been a tad expensive. Just brought this peristaltic pump 24V DC nutrient dosing water pump which looks like it will do the job. I've got a 24V DC adapter and a digital timer as well.

James

EDIT: Just noticed they have put the P&P up. I paid £5.00 and it's now showing £8.30.
 

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