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Autodosing fertlizers

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Hi Fish Friends!

I have been battling string algae for a while and I am thoroughly convinced that it is due to a lack of nutrients in my water.  My aquarium is 10 gallons, with amano shrimp, bloody mary shrimp, nerite snails, 3 ottos, 2 grown platys and I believe 5 two week old fry.  The aquarium is planted with various types of crypts and windelov java fern, the algae issue has really beaten up my plants.  Unfortunately my aquarium is in my office and since covid started I have not been going to my office 2-3 days per week, usually at the start of the week so regular fertilizing has not been happening.  

I have ordered a Jebao Programmable Auto Dosing Pump from that place with the smiles on their boxes and I already have Easy Green, Easy Iron, Easy Carbon and Seachem potassium.  I ordered a set of glass bottles off Etsy to hold my solutions for the system.  I just need some advice for how to set it up, especially for a nano aquarium.  Things I have questions about are

Do I need to dilute the fertilizers so I can pump larger volumes into the aquarium? 
If I do dilute them how do I do that? I work in a lab so have access to DI water. 
Do I need some sort of check valve to make sure water from my aquarium doesn't flow back into the solution bottles? 

Any other advice that anyone has would be very much appreciated. I haven't ever set anything like this up but I think it is a necessary step to keep my aquarium thriving. 

Thank you in advance for your advice! 

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I have used that same doser with mixed results, which I’m sure are all user error…

To answer your questions:

  • Yes you can. Depends on the concentration that you’d dose for your tank vs what the pump can provide. 
  • I use distilled water in my mixes, not sure if DI is necessary. 
  • Absolutely. I’ve got a bum check valve on mine and while I haven’t gotten tank water in, I have seen the fertilizer drop down the hose and then for my next dose I get nothing. 

Also, another tip: don’t let the fertilizer line get in the water. You will siphon excess fertilizer into your tank. I used some drip acclimation kit tube for my setup. Probably need to make some sort of holder to make it easier to keep out of the water, but it works alright for now.

Also, I highly recommend you check this video out to setup and program your pump. The instructions aren’t helpful if you don’t read Chinese!

Good luck!

Edited by RadMax8
Added video link
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