Why Use a Dosing Pump?
Dosing pumps have been used with aquariums for years, but most aquarists have never used one because it’s so easy to dose manually. Yet, we strongly encourage the use of dosing pumps. They’re now more affordable than ever and can greatly help your aquarium by increasing stability through consistency and precision.
Dosing pumps are controllable peristaltic pumps that automatically add liquid additives such as calcium, alkalinity, buffers, trace elements, fertilizers and liquids to your aquarium. Once the pump is programmed, you can simply place a hose in your additive bottle and not touch it again until the bottle is empty. If the ease of maintenance is not enough to convince you, then consider how using a dosing pump can actually be better for the fish, coral, and plants in your aquarium.
Benefit #1 - Increased Consistency
Rhythm is part of life. The sun rises and falls each day, the moon has repetitive fazes and the seasons change at the same time each year. The animals in our aquariums have adapted to regular time tables. Just like you might get upset if you skipped a meal, your corals and plants might get upset if you miss a day of dosing. Machines do not forget; people do. More than simply forgetting, we have lives, and because we have lives there will be days we miss dosing additives or postpone dosing until later. A simple solution to our own inconsistency is having a dosing pump. Having a dosing pump means you can leave for the weekend, or have a busy evening without your tank suffering.
Benefit #2 - Increased Precision
Have you ever carefully looked at the syringe or measuring cup you use to dose your additives? Sometimes the line is right on the number you want, sometimes just below, and sometimes just above. We are not very accurate at measuring additives. If three people measured 10 ml of solution, they would get three different amounts and none would be exactly 10 ml. Using a precision device originally used for medical and laboratory use is a much better way to dose your tank. Dosing pumps can be easily programmed to dose regularly and accurately.
Benefit #3 - Increased Stability
Through precise and consistent dosing you will have a more stable aquarium. A stable aquarium is one with minimal variation in water parameters. If your pH is 7.8 at night and 8.4 during the day your aquarium is not very stable. Aquarists often use additives boosting pH, calcium or iodine once or twice a week. The result is having a really high level after dosing and then a really low level later in the week before you dose again. This constant change can put stress on the animals in aquariums. With a dosing pump, additives can be added as often as every hour. This greatly helps to minimize the variation in your aquariums water parameters. Some dosing pumps such as the
Neptune Systems DOS Dosing & Fluid Metering System
or Milwaukee Instruments MC720 Dosing Pump Kit
can even be programmed to dose when the pH is low. Using these pumps with a buffer solution such as Seachem Reef Buffer
can keep your pH ultra stable.