Rivers Edge

chrisfraser05

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Joined
12 Jun 2010
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402
Using a dosing pump to do water changes? - That's an interesting idea.

Presumably the level is governed simply by an overflow?

What percentage of your new water ends up going 'straight' out the overflow in a given 24 hour period I wonder.

I am putting an overflow bulkhead in the back corner of my new tank, the idea being that I just pump new water in and let old water overflow out through the bulkhead - but was moving away from that idea as was thinking that too much 'new' water would end up going straight out the overflow.

Was thinking about putting a 'T' junction and stop taps on the lily pipe inlet:

  • Switch off filter,
  • reverse taps, pump new water in through lily pipe,
  • then switch taps back and restart filter.

Yea it's a height setting overflow with a shrimp safe mesh cover. Also allows for floating plant/leaves clogging etc.

With the dosing pump I'm dripping directly to a high flow area, so I'm fairly confident the water is mixing fully.

Mathematically it's definitely removing some of the new water while it gets added, but the proportion isn't high.

Adding say 3lt to the system volume of say 60lt, it's 5% added.

You remove 5% (the maths is actually slightly more technical but it's close) of the new, 95% old.
Of 5lt removed you are removing 4.75 old, 0.25lt new.

So 5% less efficient that remove then add, but also much easier therefore going to always get done and will continue when I'm away on the rigs etc.

Stability being the key.
 

maj74

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Joined
19 Oct 2008
Messages
77
The only other thing I’d be curious about...?

Is a dosing pump up to being used to pump multiple litres volume several times a week.

That’s a lot more work for a dosing pump than it was intended for is it not? Intended for just a few cms cubed per day aren’t they??
 
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chrisfraser05

Member
Joined
12 Jun 2010
Messages
402
The only other thing I’d be curious about...?

is a dosing pump up to bring used to pump multiple litres volume several tiles a week.

That’s a lot more work for dosing pump than it was intended for is it not? Untended for just
A few cms cubed per day aren’ they??

D-D made these in conjunction with Kamoer who make medical grade stuff, also they made my 3 channel unit which is still going now after 10 years.

As you say normally they are used to only do a few dozen ml per day in the hobby, but they are estimated at least 2000 hours for the pump motor and have a decent warranty.

I'm happy to replace the pump after a year or two, or even the whole unit at £70 after a couple of years.

The other options being a DIY solution where either there's a faster pump, or sourcing a peristaltic pump and associated control boards, the ability to change dosage amounts via the phone without bending into the cabinet etc.

All my DIY options added up to a higher cost or more risk of failure.
 

maj74

Member
Joined
19 Oct 2008
Messages
77
Fair enough!

I think it's an interesting idea - and I see what you mean about the proportion of new water (roughly) that's likely to go straight out - it's not much.

I am installing a sump tank in the cabinet under my new tank, with a pump sitting in it that would connect to a 'T' junction to the Lily pipe.

So for me a water change would be: Turning off the filter, changing the taps on the 'T' junction, turning on the pump to empty the sump into the tank via the lily pipe, 'old' water simply overflows through the overflow bulkhead, and when done, switch the taps back and turn the filter back on.

I will also have a pump to refill the sump afterwards from the rainwater tank outside.

I'll prob stick with the pumps, as I already have them - but I like the idea of using the dosing system as you can automate it - outside the box thinking!



D-D made these in conjunction with Kamoer who make medical grade stuff, also they made my 3 channel unit which is still going now after 10 years.

As you say normally they are used to only do a few dozen ml per day in the hobby, but they are estimated at least 2000 hours for the pump motor and have a decent warranty.

I'm happy to replace the pump after a year or two, or even the whole unit at £70 after a couple of years.

The other options being a DIY solution where either there's a faster pump, or sourcing a peristaltic pump and associated control boards, the ability to change dosage amounts via the phone without bending into the cabinet etc.

All my DIY options added up to a higher cost or more risk of failure.
 

Luketendo

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Joined
25 Feb 2008
Messages
626
Location
Australia
D-D made these in conjunction with Kamoer who make medical grade stuff, also they made my 3 channel unit which is still going now after 10 years.

As you say normally they are used to only do a few dozen ml per day in the hobby, but they are estimated at least 2000 hours for the pump motor and have a decent warranty.

I'm happy to replace the pump after a year or two, or even the whole unit at £70 after a couple of years.

The other options being a DIY solution where either there's a faster pump, or sourcing a peristaltic pump and associated control boards, the ability to change dosage amounts via the phone without bending into the cabinet etc.

All my DIY options added up to a higher cost or more risk of failure.

How many hours does it run a week?
 
Joined
30 Aug 2020
Messages
75
Location
Bristol
The only other thing I’d be curious about...?

Is a dosing pump up to being used to pump multiple litres volume several times a week.

That’s a lot more work for a dosing pump than it was intended for is it not? Intended for just a few cms cubed per day aren’t they??

if its a well built pump, a well made peristaltic just keeps quietly doing its thing day in day out. run lots of them in laboratory testing conditions moving all sorts of stuff, as long as it was in solution via a flea at the time of going into the pipe, it always made it to where it was wanted, its not going to shift huge volumes, but what its built for it does very well.
 

maj74

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19 Oct 2008
Messages
77
Sounds promising Bob. Although you do use the phrase 'not going to shift huge volumes' which is precisely the point I'm querying.

I'm not saying I'm doubtful - I'll be completely honest, I'm new to dosing pumps and have no idea of their longevity.

But I'm guessing it might take a dosing pump a good 2/3 hours to pump several litres of water into a tank? If they are rated to somewhere in the region of 2000 hours usage, then actually, you could be wearing the pump out in only 2-3 years.

Plus the life might be shortened if it's working several hours continuously when it may have been designed to work for only a few seconds / minutes at a time.

As I said - I don't know - Just asking the questions in order to understand the idea.

I really like the idea of a dosing pump for water changes, because it's so easy to automate. Sometimes something is perfect for a job it was not actually intended for.

if its a well built pump, a well made peristaltic just keeps quietly doing its thing day in day out. run lots of them in laboratory testing conditions moving all sorts of stuff, as long as it was in solution via a flea at the time of going into the pipe, it always made it to where it was wanted, its not going to shift huge volumes, but what its built for it does very well.
 
Joined
30 Aug 2020
Messages
75
Location
Bristol
most places seem to call them magnetic fleas from working in labs here, France and Norway. There must have been one or two respect fellows that called them that and any one coming across there path has adopted this into the labs vernacular alongside all the abbreviations, you need to remember as well as how folks take their break drinks.
 
Joined
30 Aug 2020
Messages
75
Location
Bristol
Sounds promising Bob. Although you do use the phrase 'not going to shift huge volumes' which is precisely the point I'm querying.

I'm not saying I'm doubtful - I'll be completely honest, I'm new to dosing pumps and have no idea of their longevity.

But I'm guessing it might take a dosing pump a good 2/3 hours to pump several litres of water into a tank? If they are rated to somewhere in the region of 2000 hours usage, then actually, you could be wearing the pump out in only 2-3 years.

Plus the life might be shortened if it's working several hours continuously when it may have been designed to work for only a few seconds / minutes at a time.

As I said - I don't know - Just asking the questions in order to understand the idea.

I really like the idea of a dosing pump for water changes, because it's so easy to automate. Sometimes something is perfect for a job it was not actually intended for.

I would suspect the life expectancy of the micro tic pump I was using to move RO from the storage barrel into the sump would be far shorter than a peristaltic,
it runs low and slow, and is ideally not turned on and off all the time, the top up on the other hand would trigger each time the sensor noticed the water drop a little from evaporation and dump a short burst of water. a lot of the tanks on here seem to be low volume, if I do a partial water change its at least 6 25ltr barrels im syphoning back into the sump, so for me it would not work, though I would like to get to where the marine tank was and only top up evaporation in time.
 

maj74

Member
Joined
19 Oct 2008
Messages
77
I would suspect the life expectancy of the micro tic pump I was using to move RO from the storage barrel into the sump would be far shorter than a peristaltic,
it runs low and slow, and is ideally not turned on and off all the time, the top up on the other hand would trigger each time the sensor noticed the water drop a little from evaporation and dump a short burst of water. a lot of the tanks on here seem to be low volume, if I do a partial water change its at least 6 25ltr barrels im syphoning back into the sump, so for me it would not work, though I would like to get to where the marine tank was and only top up evaporation in time.

Fair enough. Sounds like you have a pretty large tank! The biggest I've ever had was a 350l discus tank.

I don't think the OP was talking about using the dosing pump just to top up from evaporation. We're taking about a multi litre water change being carried out at set points while the OP is away.

I do like the idea of a (relatively) low cost dosing pump being a solution for an automated water change.

I will have to stick to my plan of using a pump in the sump. As I want to minimize pipes into the tank, I am trying to use the Lily pipe as my 'new water in' route for water changes - simply changing taps on a 'T' junction to switch between the 'filter' and 'new water in' feed to the lily pipe.
 
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chrisfraser05

Member
Joined
12 Jun 2010
Messages
402
Little update.

Eheim 5e 600t filter arrived and all setup.

Decent bit of kit but I've given up with the network side of it for the night.

Also my plant order from Aqua essentials came, but that's waiting till the morning now.

Can't wait.

20201006_205707.jpg
 

chrisfraser05

Member
Joined
12 Jun 2010
Messages
402
Decided as the auto feeder feeds a little too much I need a few more fish in the tank.

Flirtation, or parameters and hiding spotsare not a problem so why not.

Any guesses what's acclimating?

20201017_190844.jpg

20201017_190853.jpg
 

chrisfraser05

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Joined
12 Jun 2010
Messages
402
So that's me away to the Rig for my first 3 week trip since setting the system up.

Things seem pretty settled and stable so far. I've got a CCTV camera pointing at the tank and can monitor a few things, but planning some extra things over the next little while for further piece of mind.


I also run a Smart Home system, Homeseer which is a reliable always on system. I use a combination of Zwave and WiFi devices for this.
I've only just moved into this house (Rental while i save for the next place, which should be 12-24 months) and am building my smart home from scratch with the parts removed from the old house.

So plans are;

1. Install new connected Thermostat and TRV's. - Away mode will keep the rest of the house at a lower temperature. The Hobby room will however stay in the range of 19-21 degrees to minimise evaporation and protect the tank incase of heater failure.

2. Flood Sensors - Install Flood sensors behind tank on unit, and in base of cabinet. Have Email and App alerts for this. Possibly turn off filter automatically in event of leaks, but more likely leave this as manual switch after verifying on CCTV that the tanks water level is still high or if it has dropped etc. Can also send the email to my girlfriend who has a key and can call one of friends who understand aquariums for assistance.

3. Weigh water drums - Using Arduino and Mqtt I'm going to build a scales for under both the Freshwater and Drain water drums. I can import these values into Homeseer for both displaying on the tablet on the front of the tank, but also I can then see them when away, setup alerts for when either needs refilled/drained and also can use an alert system if more water seems to be going into the tank that out of the tank. This is either too much evaporation, or a possible undetected leak.

4. Micro Switch Cabinet Front - I still need to build a front panel for the cabinet and get it painted up. I'll add a micro switch for the cabinet lighting when i do this so it comes on as soon as the panel is removed.

5. TDS Meter - Again Arduino based with MQTT. Constant monitoring of TDS & Temp fed to Homeseer. Less so for alerts and instantaneous checks, but more so for long term logging. Temperature can alert and turn off the heater (Ehiem Thermo Filter has separate plug for the heater so this can be turned off via a Zwave plug if needed).

6. PH Meter - Again Arduino based. will be interesting to see in a graph how the PH swings, and maybe even set alerts. Reading up Milk can be used as a calibration reference regularly (6.5 to 6.7ph).

7. Auto Feeder - I was looking into "hacking" the Ehiem feeder so i could feed the tank at intervals longer that 24 hours, simply as using the ehiem with a small pellet/flake i believe it overfeeds. When looking I found a feeder that is actually USB Powered and WiFi controllable for £16! The WiFi part/smart components are made by Tuya who actually make fairly decent Smart kit so I'm going to roll the dice on it.
Tuya Smart Life stuff intergrates with the Homeseer system, so I can use the smart home system to change feeding intervals etc.
Plan is to replace the small pellet and flake in the Ehiem feeder for large algae wafers, and adjust it so only one or two fall out per day (one feeding per day being min feed). Then use the small stuff in the Tuya feeder, and feed it every couple of days.
Having this redundancy means if one feeder fails the tank is simply lean fed for the duration. The likelyhood of a feeder failing and continuing to rotate dumping all it's contents are very very minimal so not concerned on that front.

8. Overhaul Control Tablet - Android Tablet is running fairly old version of android. Fluval App works, and my Home Automation App and launcher work fine, unfortunately the D-D/Kamoer app doesn't work correctly.
To remedy this I'll have to install a newer third partly ROM to the tablet so i can run a newer version of android. Also I need to replace the USB Cable with a 90 Degree usb to tidy it up, and also possibly make a 3D printed surround or make one from wood (Routed).

Resources for projects;

https://www.instructables.com/Arduino-Bathroom-Scale-With-50-Kg-Load-Cells-and-H/
https://www.arduino.cc/reference/en/libraries/mqtt-client/
https://how2electronics.com/tds-sensor-arduino-interfacing-water-quality-monitoring/
https://how2electronics.com/ph-meter-using-ph-sensor-arduino-oled/
https://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-tab-3/development/official-xenonhd-7-1-2-t3605172
 
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