Another brand of auto dosing pump has entered the UK market and is very reasonably priced, says Jeremy Gay.
Bubble Magus, the manufacturer of some excellent skimmers and other reef products, has created the BM-T01 to take care of all your dosing needs.
It will autodose three different liquids in precise dosages as set by you and at timed intervals.
There is also an add-on model available to give you another four channels if necessary, meaning you can autodose seven things at once, and over a 24-hour period, or add two extras and dose 11 channels.
Each channel can dose from as small as 1ml per day up to just under two litres a day, and when you get to large quantities it can split them into 24 dosing intervals within that day too.
Why would you need one and what does it do?
Most reef tank owners add liquid supplements on a daily or weekly basis and this machine can do that for you.
Tell it you want 5ml of calcium adding per day, stick one tube in a bottle of liquid calcium supplement and another tube in your sump and it will it do it for you, precisely, and at the same time each day.
You'll just need to make sure you give it enough quantity of liquid to be up to the job.
Being a three-channel pump, you could dose calcium, alkalinity and magnesium all separately, as you would do if using the Balling method. You could even dose coral food on one or more of the separate channels.
I tested ours using the Balling method in the name of brand loyalty. I combined it with a bracket to stick it on inside your cabinet, a fixture for the tubes to clip onto your sump, and some shiny acrylic liquid storage buckets.
To supply the elements I opted for Royal Nature's new Balling salts - dry powders to add to RO water - and filled the liquid storage buckets with that.
When first getting an autodoser, work out how much of each element you want to dose. This I did by testing water daily, plotting it on an Excel spreadsheet and working out daily consumption of each parameter.
Next I manually dosed the liquids to calculate the effect they had on each reading. After a week I was ready to set the doser up with my exact dosage requirements.
Set-up was straightforward, although, as Nathan Hill has found out with some other BM products, the instructions appear in broken English. Set the time, select your channel, tell it how much you want to dose per day, how often per day, and away it goes.
It will dose as low as one millilitre of something and even split that up into several intervals, so you could just dose a few drops of something, allowing for really accurate micro dosing, but also making it suitable for nano tanks.
Cost is an issue with all dosing pumps, although this one comes in at under £300 and that means it's the least expensive model I've seen yet.
Remember that if you autodose calcium, magnesium and alkalinity you won't need that calcium reactor and CO2 system, which in itself could easily top £300.
What's more, I find that even calcium reactors need help from a dosing pump to keep their output nice and regular.
I think this is a great product and I'm liking Bubble Magus more and more as a brand. This has great quality and great features, yet at a great price. I love it!
This will definitely be my weapon of choice as opposed to a calcium reactor and I recommend it to anyone who grows corals, gets through lots of supplements on their tank, but strives for some stable parameters.
Price: Main unit under £300, bracket £22.98, tube holder £9.99, large buckets £31.00 each and four-channel extension unit under £200. Distributed in the UK by J and K Aquatics.
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