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

LondonDragon

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a1Matt said:
I hope you get it sorted Paulo. Might be worth testing out the timer, I had two timers and one of them was very sporadic, it often cut the timing short, or just failed to come on at all. The other (identical make and model) worked fine.
(Auto dosing in my tank was not viable anyway as my PH is too high (no Co2 injection) which causes the chelator within the allinone solution to break down as soon as soon as it hits the water... causing very cloudy water)
I have tried a few more things this week when I changed the bottle with the solution again. I have made the dosing tube much shorter it was way too long and I am going to try and place the pump and bottle higher in the cabinet also so less pressure for the dosing. oh yeah it didn't help the previous time I placed the 5Kg FE on top of the dosing tube LOL and the bottle remained full all the time, no wonder my tank has gone to crap LOL so I will try auto again for another 3 weeks and see, and if things don't improve I will try manual and report back.

AdAndrews said:
I mayaswell just dose manually. i spose it doesnt take a minute doing it when feeding the fishes
thanks anyways paolo and matt
For a small tank manual is the way to go, I dose my shrimp tank whenever I can remember to do so and its doing great :)
 

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Just a quick update, I found out that the tubbing I had from the pump to the tank was way too long (couple meters) and also didn't help when I placed the 5kg FE on top of it without knowing lol.
I have since adjusted the cable lenght and position of the pump and bottle and its all been working fine since, and the tank is looking much better now, just need to give it a couple more weeks to see if the algae clears.

In the end it was user mistake rather than the pump not working properly ;)
 

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After some further testing I have found the SP3000 pump to be very unreliable, it started off pumping 40ml per minute, it is now pumping 45ml every two minutes. I am going to start looking for an alternative, I might just get one the same has James to see if it more reliable than the SP3000, since he is having great success with his.
 
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LondonDragon said:
After some further testing I have found the SP3000 pump to be very unreliable, it started off pumping 40ml per minute, it is now pumping 45ml every two minutes. I am going to start looking for an alternative, I might just get one the same has James to see if it more reliable than the SP3000, since he is having great success with his.
Ah, that's a shame - I've just ordered an SP3000! Any idea why it's failing? Has the motor slowed? Have you tried fitting the spare peristaltic pipe (if you've got it)?
 

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LondonDragon said:
After some further testing I have found the SP3000 pump to be very unreliable, it started off pumping 40ml per minute, it is now pumping 45ml every two minutes. I am going to start looking for an alternative, I might just get one the same has James to see if it more reliable than the SP3000, since he is having great success with his.
To be honest Paulo, I gave it a try for a while and then gave up after a month. I couldn't trust to dose my old 180.
 
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Superman said:
LondonDragon said:
After some further testing I have found the SP3000 pump to be very unreliable, it started off pumping 40ml per minute, it is now pumping 45ml every two minutes. I am going to start looking for an alternative, I might just get one the same has James to see if it more reliable than the SP3000, since he is having great success with his.
To be honest Paulo, I gave it a try for a while and then gave up after a month. I couldn't trust to dose my old 180.
Oh dear! I'm even more worried now. Does this thread need a health warning: "Great Idea, but may not work long term"?
 

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paul.in.kendal said:
Oh dear! I'm even more worried now. Does this thread need a health warning: "Great Idea, but may not work long term"?
With the right pump it will work fine, but those cost about £200 :wideyed:
 

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paul.in.kendal said:
Oh dear! I'm even more worried now. Does this thread need a health warning: "Great Idea, but may not work long term"?
I think the problem I had was that the pump was too low down compared to the tank. In addition, I didn't have a non-return valve between the pump and the output into the tank. If I were to try this again, I would have the pump at the same height as the water level and have the non-return valve.

I think it will work long-term but think that you need to get the full setup right. I would of continued to try it but as I broke down my tank, then I couldn't continue to test.
 
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It seems a shame if I have to keep the dosing pump level with the waterline (and in view) rather than hidden in the cabinet. Sounds like the ferts reservoir will also have to be at a higher level, too.

Do either of you know anyone else using this system, and whether they're succeeding or not?
 

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I would of tried the check valve first and leave everything in the cupboard hidden away.
What I found was that the pump worked, but when switched off the water flowed back into the bottle a bit. Therefore, it meant that the minute of being on, was spent pumping the water back up a bit.
 

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Here are my thoughts. It was me that brought Clark's SP3000 off him and I find it works faultlessly. Because I now use a different trace I'm no longer able to use my all in one solution so have two pumps, one for the traces and one for the macros.

Don't use a non return valve that is designed for gas as it creates too much back pressure creating liquid bypass in the tube. There should be no build up of pressure anywhere along the tubing. I don't use a NRV.
The tube that enters the tank should be just above the water line just in case of any flow back.
The tubing in the pump mechanism needs to be maintained and no kinks, etc to be present. TBH it requires very little maintanence due to the low amount they are used.
If the dosing solution in the tube is flowing back then this is because something isn't setup right. It shouldn't flow back one bit and if it does then you need to look at the tubing in the pump.

I have my 2 bottles in the bottom of the cupboard with both of my SP3000 and washing machine pumps on the shelf. The tubes then go up to just above the water line in the tank. I pump in for two minutes once every day. The solution in the tubes doesn't fall back a bit and remains at the top. The volume pumped is within a couple of ml week after week as it should be.

James
 
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JamesC said:
Here are my thoughts. It was me that brought Clark's SP3000 off him and I find it works faultlessly. Because I now use a different trace I'm no longer able to use my all in one solution so have two pumps, one for the traces and one for the macros.

Don't use a non return valve that is designed for gas as it creates too much back pressure creating liquid bypass in the tube. There should be no build up of pressure anywhere along the tubing. I don't use a NRV.
The tube that enters the tank should be just above the water line just in case of any flow back.
The tubing in the pump mechanism needs to be maintained and no kinks, etc to be present. TBH it requires very little maintanence due to the low amount they are used.
If the dosing solution in the tube is flowing back then this is because something isn't setup right. It shouldn't flow back one bit and if it does then you need to look at the tubing in the pump.

I have my 2 bottles in the bottom of the cupboard with both of my SP3000 and washing machine pumps on the shelf. The tubes then go up to just above the water line in the tank. I pump in for two minutes once every day. The solution in the tubes doesn't fall back a bit and remains at the top. The volume pumped is within a couple of ml week after week as it should be.

James
That's very reassuring James - thanks.

I got all my powders from Fluidsensor - I'm assuming with their Trace and my very soft water I'm still OK to make up an all-in-one solution? Was it the chelators that caused you to switch to two separate dosings?

Was the shift to two-minute pumping to give more precise delivery of a weaker solution?
 

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paul.in.kendal said:
That's very reassuring James - thanks.

I got all my powders from Fluidsensor - I'm assuming with their Trace and my very soft water I'm still OK to make up an all-in-one solution? Was it the chelators that caused you to switch to two separate dosings?

Was the shift to two-minute pumping to give more precise delivery of a weaker solution?
Fluidsensor's trace mix uses EDTA as chelator which works fine with the all in one solution and also best in soft water. I'm curently using a HEEDTA chelated trace mix which seems to have issues with either the ascorbic acid or potassium sorbate, so have gone back to the more traditional separate trace and macro dosing.

I just set the timer to 2 minutes and haven't been bothered to change it - no other reason. I use 2.5 litre bottles so they last a fair while anyway.

The motor in the SP3000 is a decent one and plenty strong enough for the job. The problem is if the tubing that is squeezed isn't installed correctly or is damaged then the pumping won't be accurate as some of the solution will bypass the pumping mechanism. The way to check this is to have the end tubing up in the air and have the solution pumped up to the top of the tubing. You should be able to leave it for days on end with the pump turned off without the solution level falling back. If it does then it's because the solution it getting past the squeezed part of the tube in the pump.

James
 

davideyre

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have just got the sp3000 pump, the instruction manual has a diagram with the pump used to dose from a reservoir below the level of the tank, which features a non-return valve. the caption by the diagram mentions that if the pump stops in the 'horizontal' position fluid may leak back and the valve prevents this. in the diagram water syphoning from the main tank is prevented by placing the dosing hose above the water line - as mentioned above.

i know james mentions that his pump works without the non return valve, but for some reason i can only get the set up not to leak back with the non-return valve supplied - so might be worth trying with a non-return valve if you are struggling, although might have to be one designed for fluid rather than the airline valves?
 

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Now that I've been using the SP3000 for a while I've come to the conclusion it is a load of rubbish. The solution keeps running back into the bottle all the time which is pretty poor imho. The way to get around this is to install a non-return valve for liquids or place the dosing bottle at the same height as the tank. I can fiddle with the tubing and get it working for a day or two but then it goes back to the leaking again. The main problem is that the SP3000 only has 2 rollers compared to the ebay one I brought which has 3.

For those wishing to do the autodosing I'd stay clear of the SP3000 and stick to the ebay one I brought in the picture below.

Pump.jpg


James
 

LondonDragon

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JamesC said:
Now that I've been using the SP3000 for a while I've come to the conclusion it is a load of rubbish.
I have to agree with James on this, I had nothing but problem since I started using the SP3000. I have now returned to manual dosing and the plants are looking great once again, I am even growing HC successfully now ;)
 

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