Auto Dosing Ferts

dean

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Just one of my many crazy daily ideas to make things simple
I know you can set up dosing pumps etc - looks complicated and I believe needs an external filter
So this has just come into my head

“Drip feeding ferts”

If you suspended two containers above the aquarium and could control the drip would it work ?
It would mean that both macro and micro were dripping in each day - is that a problem ?


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Zeus.

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I know you can set up dosing pumps etc - looks complicated and I believe needs an external filter
Doesn't matter if the filter is internal or external. Its not complicated it just costs dependant on your choice of dosing

“Drip feeding ferts”
should work with an All in one fert, but dosing macros and micros would need some automation to control it.
 

dean

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What’s the problem with dripping tiny tiny amounts of macro and micro in on the same day ?


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ian_m

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Won't work, been tried here before, couple of issues if I remember correct.

- Virtually impossible to get low enough drop rate
- End of drip tube salts up blocking tube.

So peristaltic dosing pump is really the only way to go.
 

dean

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[QUOTE="ian_m, post: 560440, member: 8584”]
- Virtually impossible to get low enough drop rate
- End of drip tube salts up blocking tube.[/QUOTE]

Isn’t that all subjective to the volume of the container and the strength of the mixture ?

I mean if you mix it up to aquariumplantsfoods rules them sure it will clog up but what it the container had x 4 or more of water to ferts so they are more diluted ?
For example instead of 30mls per day you drip in 100mls so that’s 1/2 litre over 5 days ?
That’s only a plastic drinking water bottle x2 sat above an aquarium






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X3NiTH

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As Ian said, but also other things that can complicate the variability of the drip rate are head height and atmospheric pressure. Gravity fed low pressure systems are vulnerable to these effects. There is the Venturi Proportioner method where you tap into the water line with a feed line and the fertilisers get drawn up and into it at a constant rate (depending on the aperture of the Venturi), this system isn't affected by head height pressures (fertiliser bottle can be lower than the feed line its tapped into, not gravity fed) or evaporation (the problem with extremely slow gravity drip rates is that 1L over 24hrs is probably going to see a fair bit of evaporation).

Rather than say 'Nah, not possible' why not run the test how you envision it to see if it works sufficiently or not.

Alternatively if your handy with DIY and have a Lidl nearby they may have the Florabest Battery Operated Spray Gun (about £7 and runs on 2 AA's), dismantle this completely and you will find a small peristaltic pump attached to a DC motor with a filtered feed line draw tube, connect it to a power pack instead of batteries and stick it on a timer. I'm picking this ghetto option over gravity feed even though I have not implemented this idea yet, but I have taken the thing apart to see its gubbins. I haven't done any calibration tests with it so I have no idea of the feed rate over one minute (minimum switching time period for an off the shelf digital plug timer), I can see it has potential though!

:)
 

Jamie McGrath

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What’s the problem with dripping tiny tiny amounts of macro and micro in on the same day ?


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I think I’ve read that micro and macro cancel each other out if you use them together. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.
 

ian_m

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I think I’ve read that micro and macro cancel each other out if you use them together. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.
Yes the iron in the micro "unchelates" and reacts with the potassium phosphate in the macro and precipitates out of solution as insoluble iron phosphate, thus becoming unavailable to plants. Thus you would normally dose, assuming EI mixture, 10ml per 50l tank water of macro on Mon, Wed & Fri and 10ml per 50l micro on Tue, Thu & Sat, with Sun a rest day.

You could of course use an "all in one mix" that is acidified to keep the iron chelated and unreactive with the phosphate. Has preservative but you would seriously have to keep it away from light, black tubes etc as many people report their all on one solution going mouldy and precipitate forming, in both bottles and tubing if exposed to aquarium lights.

Getting the dose rate would be very hard, via drip feed, and very easy to overdose (wont have any effect on fish or plants but will affect wallet), which is why we have never seen this before.
 

X3NiTH

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This is the gubbins inside what I was waffling about above (minus the electrics), from looking elsewhere this is a 3v Liquid/Air Diaphragm pump. (Duty cycle is around 25,000 minutes, non continuous use).

image.jpeg


This is what the spraygun looks like from Lidl.

image.jpeg


Using two AA batteries the output at fine mist setting works out around 150ml/min, removing the spraynozzle gave 200ml/min. Fully disassembling unit to the top configuration gave around 50ml/min (this was a secondary unit though as the first two quick tests were performed on an undisassembled unit), I'll retest this unit properly in the three configurations when I've bodged the power back on it (wires were poorly soldered onto the connections and came apart whilst carefully handling).

:)
 

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