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PEX PILLER: Quick and Easy DIY Root Tab Injector /  Substrate Inserter / Pill Bottom Release for under $10!


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Wow, wow, wow! From the @Bill Smith Menlo Park R&D think tank comes another great product! And just like always, @Bill Smith has shared all the trade secrets too.

It appears to be just the right size for the Aquarium Co-Op Root Tabs, right? The design is so elegant, that is what makes it genius.

Be prepared for a deluge of orders on this one!

@Randy Here is your prototype, send all royalties to @Bill Smith at the Aquarium Co-Op Forum by way of @Lizzie Block

 

Edited by Daniel
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4 minutes ago, Daniel said:

Wow, wow, wow! From the @Bill Smith Menlo Park R&D think tank comes another great product! And just like always, @Bill Smith has shared all the trade secrets too.

It appears to be just the right size for the Aquarium Co-Op Root Tabs, right? The design is so elegant, that is what makes it genius.

Be prepared for a deluge of orders on this one!

@Randy Here is your prototype, send all royalties to @Bill Smith at the Aquarium Co-Op Forum by way of @Lizzie Block

 

 

LOL Thanks Daniel. Yes, it is sized for the Aquarium Co-Op root tabs; 5/16" is the perfect hole diameter. I have updated my post above to be more clear about that. I suspect that's a fairly common capsule size.

Edited by Bill Smith
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1 hour ago, Cory said:

That's a great design. The reason these cost so much is the shipping is absolutely killer. Basically oversized product shipping 😞

Thanks! Yeah, totally makes sense. From my internet search, it seemed a couple of these (like the ADA one) were packed in some fairly elaborate packaging, when a short poster tube would have sufficed.

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Really cool design, I like the step by step guide too. I got really annoyed that they float so I  started squeezing them until they release a little air bubble. I put them in the tweezers and once I get to the bottom, purge the air and put in the gravel. They seem to stay put, not sure if giving them a little squeeze is bad but I haven't seen any ill effects from doing it. 

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21 hours ago, Bill Smith said:
 
 
I placed an Easy Root Tab in the end, just far enough for it to grip, but not so far that it won't push out easily. I inserted the tool with one hand into the tank, pushed the plunger, and voila! A deposited tablet in 5 seconds!
 
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But I am over the moon about how this tool turned out. I just placed about 20 tabs in two minutes. Even with coarse gravel, forcing the pill in was no problem. The two pieces come apart for drying, as that wood dowel won't last forever.
 
Now I understand why the professional ones are so expensive. This makes things so much easier. I'm definitely making a longer one for deeper tanks.
 
Hope you find this useful. Thanks for reading!
 
Bill

Quite possibly the coolest thing I have seen on this forum yet!!

Edited by Randy
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  • 3 weeks later...
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Made one today. Likely now my favorite and possibly least expensive aquarium gadget. Slightly modified, as the hardware store did not have 1/4 inch pipe, but did have 3/8 inch ID flex pipe. It is way more rigid than tubing but more flexible than PVC. I just upsized to the dowel that fit inside,  I think it was 5/16" OD. Works great! The Aquarium Coop pills fit snugly in the end.

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/9/2020 at 9:34 PM, Cory said:

That's a great design. The reason these cost so much is the shipping is absolutely killer. Basically oversized product shipping 😞

Hi Cory, is there any way to make a collapsible one, like the way a folding travel cane is made? There is an elastic infused fabric rope on the inside that holds the whole thing as one piece, and you pull apart sections to fold into a convenient size. That would solve your shipping size problem, and be convenient for storage, too. If you're so inclined and can make a profit from it. I'd buy one! My big tank is 24" deep!

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for sharing Bill! 👍😁

I bought the materials from my Home Depot last night and installed 20 root tabs today in less than 5 minutes. I used long tweezers before but this is much quicker and cleaner. With the tweezers I would twist the root tabs into the substrate to bury them and would stir up stuff in the water column. This is just a nice push to the bottom of the tank, pinch the plunger, and done. 

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5 hours ago, CedcJon said:

Thanks for sharing Bill! 👍😁

I bought the materials from my Home Depot last night and installed 20 root tabs today in less than 5 minutes. I used long tweezers before but this is much quicker and cleaner. With the tweezers I would twist the root tabs into the substrate to bury them and would stir up stuff in the water column. This is just a nice push to the bottom of the tank, pinch the plunger, and done. 

Really glad it's working for you! Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective. 🙂

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  • 1 month later...

@Bill Smith I just shared this design with someone on this forum, and I realized I never thanked you for your directions. I followed them to build my own, and I LOVE it. It makes adding Root Tabs in the middle of the week effortless. And I was extremely thankful for the detail on what I was looking for at the store.  I was able to add everything to a cart and walk around the store to their exact locations and quickly grab the item I needed. 
 

This is my favorite post on the whole forum. 

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Posted (edited)

Wow, thank you so much for the kind words, that was very generous of you to say.

I'm really happy you were able to use it! I love it when something so simple and inexpensive can make such a difference in the maintenance tasks!

Hope it sells more Easy Root Tabs for the Co-Op! I know I wasn't really buying them prior to having an usable tool...

Edited by Bill Smith
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Holy crud @Bill Smith, this is cool! I know it's been said before, but you sir are a genius!

I've  got to make one of these for my 75. Not a big fan of dunking my armpits in the tank for root tabs.
I have discovered an effective way of removing duckweed from my tanks however... just dunk my hairy arms in there.
Way faster than using a net.

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@Bill Smith, just made one of these yesterday and had to tell you that you took possibly my most frustrating task in fishkeeping (they really should take "Easy" out of the name, because getting these super-bouyant suckers to stay under the substrate, particularly in my tank that has the light Fluval volcanic soil, is a major PAIN) and you made it actually easy. It took me longer to find my root tabs then it did to insert them into my tanks. If we ever meet, please allow me to buy you a drink!

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