Auto dry salt dosing, possible with this?

Discussion in 'Hardware & DIY' started by LondonDragon, 4 Aug 2008.

  1. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Was thinking about one of these to dose my dry ferts automatically, any thoughts?
    Anyone uses something similar???

    fish-mate_f14.jpg

    Thanks
     
  2. Superman

    Superman Member

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    My impression of automatic feeders is that they could always malfunction and dump it in all in one go.
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Well I guess anything can malfunction, but you also have the problem of humidity which makes some powders clog up, but in a pinch they work such as when you have to go away on holiday. :idea: Worth trying if they are cheap enough and have well sealed chambers...

    Cheers,
     
  4. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Think I might get one of these if I can get it cheap enough and try it just on a bowl for a few days and see if it works fine.
    Then do a test run on the tank and see if the chambers get humid/wet. Might be usefull to find out, would be ideal for all that dose dry salts straight into the tank. ;)
     
  5. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    Thats a great idea pal, can't beleive it hasn't been mention before.
    The only issue i can see is the amount of ferts that you can fit in the little compartments, looks kinda small? Mind you it's been so long since i dosed dry ferts directly to the tank i can't remember how how bigger vessel you'd need.
     
  6. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    I've got that very feeder for 1 tank at school and one of the rotating drum kind for the other. They both have a fitting for an airline and this is definitely a good idea to use or the food clogs, never mind dry powders. They other problem with the Fish Mate feeder is it works by moving the ring with the compartments in around and that ring simply rests on plastic base. Some of the powders will creep underneath. I'm trying to think how you could solve that but no ideas yet...
    It is a good feeder, especially for feeding fry as you can set it to give four feeds a day. Mine's been working for over two years with no problems.
     
  7. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

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    how about putting the powders in tiny PVC bags? all you fisherman will know what I mean. would be easy to make them up

    On hitting the water, the PVC bag will disolve into an inert nothing, leaving the powder perfectly packaged.

    the only thing would be the humidity melting the baggies prematurley.



    there is another way though.. you could always just make a liquid stock solution and use those little pumps that AGA reported on in one of their 06 journals. Might be better doing that anyway.. you could have a constant feeding system setup.. would be much better for the plants than dumping it in bi-daily.
     
  8. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Just purchased one of these for £12 so going to give it a try, going to place it above the luminaire so it says warm and dry during the day at least, and will report back on any findings.
    I though about the liquid dosers and have been watching a few on ebay, but that means I would have to make a liquid solution and I can't really be bothered with that.
     
  9. planter

    planter Member

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    Ha ha :D you know the same thing crossed my mind Matt! You mean PVA bags mate ... think these would be mega agro tying up tiny PVA bags lol. And if youve ever tried tying these things up in the rain you will know that one drop and of water and its game over lol. Whilst thinking about PVA fert bags It also crossed my mind to use EI capsules. Theres definatley a product in the making here ! colour coded capsules in a foil wrapper marked Mon - Sun (sound familiar?).
    You could even load the capsules into your auto feeder LD! Making up the capsules could be more greif than its worth though? Interesting stuff.
     
  10. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    I like that idea, and a quick search on ebay (where else) I came across these: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/5-000-Empty-VEGET ... .m14.l1318

    And these hold 1gram: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Gelatin-Capsules- ... m153.l1262

    Could it work?
     
  11. planter

    planter Member

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    Remember where you heard it first!!!
     
  12. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    haha we could work out a deal, and sell these EI capsules, rather than dosing by tea spoons and grams, dose by capsules lol

    Thing is what if a fish eats the capsule???
     
  13. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    PVA Matt! PVC would just sit there on the water! :wideyed:

    Good idea!

    Edit: Sorry Planter, just read your post!
     
  14. planter

    planter Member

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    Location:
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    It would have to be a big fish to eat the capsule !!! I suppose a plec or an otto might latch onto it though??

    Solution - put the capsule in a net hung in the tank :)
     
  15. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    I could always drop it on the internal Juwel filter ;) now have to go and buy some empty capsules! lol this is going to be interesting!
     
  16. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    i am excited to see if it works!
     
  17. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

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    PVA! yes thats em!

    I add about 12 grams of salts every time to my tank, so a 1 gram capsule would be a bit small, maybe they go bigger.. like horse tablets or something!
     
  18. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    Or suppositories!!! :wideyed: :wideyed: :arghh: :lol:
     
  19. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    I tried dry dosing with an automatic feeder once for 3 weeks and here are my experiences...

    I bought this one: http://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/fish/tech ... ders/19512

    the compartment trays aren't very big: I can easily fill up 3 or 4 trays with one days worth of food and ferts. Not a big deal, but worth considering when deciding which feeder to purchase and how long you are going to be away for.

    humidity: so as not to get caught out by humidty I left my hood and cover glass open. This worked. Downside was the evaporation loss was quite high.

    spillage: If when filling up the trays you spill any powders (which I did repeatedly) they get between the trays and the feeder jams. Once jammed it doesn't spin around and release the food any more.

    Unfortunately my feeder turned up the day before I went on holiday (even though I ordered it a month before, dont ask!). Given more time, I could have taken more care when filling.

    I got one of my sisters to visit every few days and she manually rotated the feeder and lowered the tray releasing the ferts\food into the tank. She also topped the tank up to compensate for the evaporation loss. During this time the fish got fed half as much and I switched form full EI dosing to about 1/3. Also went from 50% weekly WC to none.

    I came back to a healthy tank (some pin holes in large Amazons, no algae at all) and my sister enjoyed looking after it which was a bonus because I am way for 4 weeks this December ;)
     
  20. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for that Matt, I will probably use an airpump too for this experiment, so will keep you guys posted ;)
     

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