I'll start with the parts / equipment needed and what they cost.
2x's aqualifters .....around $12 each ($24)
2x's DIGITAL lamp timers....around $12 each at walmart. ($24)
THE LAMP TIMERS HAVE TO BE DIGITAL!!! The one's with the little tabs will not work for this application.
8'ish of airline tubing.....I don't remember exactly, but I'll guess it cost $8.
2x's airline ball valves....about $3
containers for your two part (optional, you could just use the ones they come in if you want).........$5 for two one liter containers with a lid at wal mart.
test kit vial (API works well since it's set at 5ml).
Total cost (estimate)...... <$60.
Here's how it all works.
First, you need to know how much two part solution your tank consumes in a 24 hour period. My tank requires 25mL of each part so we'll use that as an example.
Plug one of the aqualifters into one of the digital timers. Now connect a piece of airline tubing to the nipple on the aqualifter that sucks air in. This piece of airline tubing will be placed in whatever container you decide to use for each of your two parts. Next connect another piece of airline tubing into the nipple on the aqualifter that pumps air out. At the end of this piece you will need to attach the airline ball valve.
Now that you've got it all put together it's time for the "hard part". Set the timer to turn one for ONE MINUTE, and then turn back off. While the pump is on adjust the valve so that it restricts the flow quite a bit. Basically you want to adjust the flow rate until it will only let the pump produce 5mL in one minute. This part will take a few tries to get it dialed in perfectly (took me about 5 or 6 attempts), you just have to be patient.
Now that you've got the pump dialed in it's time to set your lamp timer. As stated earlier, my tank requires 25mL of each part daily. So I have my timer set to turn on and off for one minute 5x's throughout the night to dose for Alk. I don't remember at exactly waht times I have the timer set to dose, but it's about every 2 or so hours. I have it set to dose throughout the night to help prevent Ph swings, which works outstanding I might add!!
In case you guys are wondering, the lamp timer can turn on and off up to 6x's a day. Whenver my SPS and clams are starting to use more than 25mL of each part daily adjustments to the system won't be a problem at all. I'll simply reset one of the times that the timer turns on and off from one minute to 2 minutes. Thus dosing 10mL. You could apply the same prinicple until you reach the desired dosing amount.
For Ca I do basically the same thing as above except I have that pump set to only turn on and off once a day. It turns on a 3:00pm daily for 5 minutes, dosing the full 25mL at once.
I hope that makes sense, and that some of you guys can use this sytem. It's worked quite well for me and my tank for well over 6 months. My readings fro dkh stay extremely consistant at 10, and Ca at 440-460 (API test kits). According to the data log on my Acjr. Ph doesn't fluctuate more than .12 in a 24 hour period.
This should be common sense, but I'll go ahead and state it anyway. MAKE SURE THE THE OUTLET NOZZLE IS PLACED HIGHER THAN THE LIQUID LEVEL IN YOUR 2 PART RESERVOIR CONTAINERS!!! If not then once the pump turns on for the first time it will start a syphon and drain the resErvoir......this will obviously cause BIG problems. Be careful!!
I've been using this system for close to a year without any problems.
Edited by glennr1978, 17 April 2009 - 09:16 AM.