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Re: Dispensing PMDD
A question was asked awhile ago about using IV style, or gravity operated,
systems to dispense PMDD.
I used one for about a year when I had a 125 gallon open-top tank running
350W metal halide lighting. I live in a dry climate and the combination of
these factors amounted to about a 1 gallon loss per day.
I got tired of replacing water on a daily basis so I looked for
alternatives. The least expensive was the gravity feed system.
Having collected a bunch of spare parts over the years from other endeavors
in the hobby, I was well on the way to having a complete IV drip system that
not only replaced evaporated water but could be used to deliver
PMDD/fertilizer as well. All I needed was a large container and the small
roller-clamp mechanism to regulate the flow.
I got a new, unused, 5 gallon jug from a local janitorial supply dealer. I
think it cost about $13. These are square plastic jugs with a spigot and a
vent used to store cleaning solutions. I also purchased two IV kits from a
local medical supply dealer. these cost about $5 apiece. One had a dial type
flow regulator and the other had the traditional roller-clamp.
The volume of PMDD and/or fertilizer was calculated by multiplying the daily
dose by the number of days it took to empty the jug after setting up the
system and adjusting the flow rate to match the rate of evaporation.
The dial type regulator clogged after a few weeks and the roller-clamp
offered better service life as it can be moved up or down the tubing. This
helps reduce material fatigue of the plastic tubing after it has been
clamped in the same spot for a long time. The delivery tube was directed to
the air intake of a submerged powerhead used for additional water
As my system turned out, I only had to fill the jug every 6 days. Of course,
the hard part was lifting a 40 pound jug of water to place it on a shelf
above the aquarium.
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