Which dosing pump to get?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Tskiller, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Tskiller

    Tskiller Guest

    Well, I'm already tired of dosing 2-part by hand. What all dosing pumps do you guys use?

    The two I'm most seriously considering are the Neptune DOS and the GHL Doser 2 (4 channel.

    I like the DOS because it completely integrates with my Apex. One UI, one control panel, that I can access from anywhere. The major downside is the cost. 350 big ones for two channels. That's enough for 2-part, but I'd like to also at the very minimum dose carbon, and maybe acropower or some other nutrient.

    So for three channels, that DOS will cost me $700.

    The GHL Doser 2 has a 4 channel model for $459.90. The downside? It doesn't integrate with my Apex and I have to use a different UI to control it.

    They are both high quality units with stepper motors, so no issue of accuracy here. I guess I don't really know which would have the better build quality.

    Anyone have any thoughts? Are there any other units I should consider? Or should I say screw it and just get a couple cheapo BRS pumps?
  2. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Im loving my bubble magus dosing pump t01.

    People like the jebaos dosing pumps but with both pumps youll hear some horror stories.

    My bubble magus has been spot on with its 5mL dosing increments.

    Between those two pumps I would get the GHL.

    What specific features were you looking to control with the Dos And the Apex?
    Tskiller likes this.
  3. Tskiller

    Tskiller Guest

    In an ideal world I'd like to be able to adjust the volume, speed, and frequency of dosing from the Apex UI. I would also like to be able to view logs for the dosing pump and an estimate of how much fluid is left. I don't need an actual sensor in my reservoir, but if it like, lets me input my volume and just have it keep track of the dosing it has completed since I last filled it up would be fantastic.

    I'm only dosing 6ML of alk/ca a day right now (still relatively young tank)to keep up with my coral growth so I may need more precision than what the magus offers.

    Honestly the more I think about it the more I'm leaning towards the GHL. It's cheaper per channel, and its smaller. Yeah, I'd love the convenience of controlling everything from apex fusion, but I'm not sure that is worth an extra couple hundred dollars .
  4. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I realize the Neptune unit is probably higher end than other units (if you can believe the reef blog sites that are given free samples to review :D), but no way would I ever go with a DOS unit. I would rather sacrifice slots on my power bar and go with an OEM peristaltic pumps to dose with, in fact that would probably be cheaper too, plus you get another power bar with more spots! I think the big strike against using the Apex unit to dose is simply that there's no feedback mechanism to let you know if you need to dose more/less, probably not going to see a calcium and/or alkalinity monitor for a long time (unless you want to fork over Mindstream money... and that only monitors, it doesn't integrate with controllers), so at the end of the day you're basically paying a premium price for the ability to change your dosing via your smartphone/internet.

    I went in the cheap direction for my dosing, you can get a Jebao 4 port dosing system for $90. Although with the tiny amount you're dosing, that might backfire if there is a mishap. However I have "successfully" dosed about 3 gallons of 2 part to a 180g tank when my Neptune controller failed and stuck on, and I had a bad case of precipitation that occurred (snowy tank) but nothing that killed corals.
  5. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    At this year's Aquarium Controller Workshop hosted by Neptune Systems, there was a hobbyists who said

    "I set up my pump to pump freshwater into my tank whenever the Salinity probe measures a decrease in salinity"

    You could hear the audience in the room saying "ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh noo!". Not really related to this topic, sfsuphysics post reminded me of it.
  6. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I'm using the Pacific Sun Kore 5th doser.

    Overall I'm pretty happy with it. 5 heads, comes with ATO sensor n pump. Can be purchased with dual pumps for awc. Temp sensor included. They just announced a fan unit that is controlled from the dosing unit.

    The unit is very accurate, down to 0.1 ml. But the smallest drop you can get is 0.4ml. Has 3 types of tubing for 3 different dosing rates so you are not running the pumps for a long time if you need to dose a large amount and on the flip side, gives you the precision you need for small amounts. I've tested the unit's accuracy by carefully calibrating and adjusting it till it calibrates perfectly. Then asking it to dose an amount like 7.6 ml. It's perfect every time.

    1st head has special programming to allow the dose to be spread out 144 doses which works out to a dose every 10mins. Most ( including myself) use this for alk. 2nd pump has some special timings as well. You can set when to start dosing but the intervals are set based on a 24hr time period. There have been a few programs added where you set the stat time and it doses a set number of times ( I think 5 ) every hr. That's good for folks who want to dose dose only at night or during the day.

    The last 2 pumps can be configured to be used as an awc if you don't want to buy the optional pumps.

    Downsides? It's not as programmable as the DOS under Apex. No internet connectivity and no controls on the device itself. Only interface is through Bluetooth and only through windows or an android device atm. Mac OS is still in beta and the iOS app is vapor ware.

    So every time I need to change something, I have to pull out the laptop. And the bt interface is not very robust. Even with the suggested class 1 bt device, the only way I can get a strong connection is if the laptop is within 3 ft of the dower.

    They are releasing a bt/wifi interface but also another piece of vapor ware atm.

    I just received the Drop Dose from the US distributor. It is an attachment you install the output tube to. It is a cylindrical tube that sits partly in the water so the tip stays moist. Supposed to alleviate the clogging some get with their alk tube ends.

    So overall mixed feelings for me. Good product and great reliability (so far) but poor execution on the ui.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  7. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    +1 for jebao doser. Simple and cheap. You can afford 2-4x of these units vs. the more expensive options.
  8. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    +1 Jebao. 10 months and no issues...
  9. Seaslugteam

    Seaslugteam Guest

    @wpeterson & @Nav, which Jebao pump model are you using? There seems to be quite a bit on the market.
    (Also, my arduino dosing pump experiment has failed so I will probably go the commercial route).
  10. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I purchased a Jebao DP-4 for $75, the four-head dosing model.

    Like most Jebao products, the value is excellent but you may have issues with quality. My first DP-4 had two heads that did not work. If you buy through Amazon it's easy enough to exchange it. The new one hasn't had any problems and works reliably.
    Seaslugteam and jonmos75 like this.
  11. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Supporting Member

    Good to know I have been thinking of maybe getting one to dose Red Seas Colors A,B,C & D...a friend has been getting good results...
  12. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    It's a simple piece of electronics with an two-line LCD screen and 6 buttons. You can program each head to dose up to 24 times a day and on certain day intervals. For each time slot, you program the amount to dose in 1ml increments. You can calibrate each head to measure it's flow rate.

    It's a simple interface and I had no issues or confusion setting up my dosing patterns. Changing dosing is as simple as pulling out the doser and editing the program with the interface built into the box. No phone or computer needed, which is a nice amount of simplicity.

    The downside is that if you're using a 24 hour program, simple things like "increase each dose by 1ml" requires pressing like 100 buttons - you have to cycle through each dosing slot and edit each value. It can be a tedious exercise, but still only takes 5 minutes or so.

    However, I'd choose this simplicity over complex software or mobile integrations or needing to run another ethernet cable.
  13. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I'm thinking of picking up the dp4 for the frag tank. So to program in a 40ml dose split into a 24hr time period I have to 40/24 then plug that value in for every time slot!?! Does this apply to every slot for every day I dose?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Yes :-/ I would probably do 8x 5ml instead of trying to split it evenly.

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