Whether you’ve got a freshwater or marine tank, you must look into aquarium automation to control certain parameters, which is exactly what a Dosing Pump does. Its function is to simply monitor the aquatic conditions persistently so as to maintain a consistent and stable environment for marine life.
A dosing pump is a comprehensive aquarium automation solution that feeds in the right additives to keep the aquatic ecosystem stable and healthy. Its job is to monitor various parameters of your aquarium and add the requisite nutrients whenever is required. This way, it can maintain an aquarium much better than humans can and without your intervention.
Dosing pump devices have come a long way from being bulky, noisy, and expensive to be absolutely quiet, small, and affordable. No matter what your requirement and budget are, one of these dosing pumps mentioned below is sure to be the perfect accessory for your aquarium.
Why do you need a dosing pump?
Dosing pumps are required to maintain adequate levels of magnesium and calcium, and also keep the salinity and alkalinity of the water in check. Aquariums that have corals in them are very sensitive to the number of nutrients present in water.
Reef-building animals require minerals like magnesium and calcium to build the reefs. The plant life also needs essential nutrients and these pumps do this replenishment job for you without any hassles.
7 Best Aquarium Dosing Pumps and Accessories You can Buy in 2021
1. Jebao Programmable Auto Dosing Pump DP-4
The Jebao Auto Dosing Pump DP-4 model comes in with 4 separate channels that are independently programmable. They dispense the precise amount of chemicals in the water to maintain the nutrient balance.
The dosing heads can be programmed for up to 24 times a day of dosing. The Jebao Auto dosing pumps are suitable for minerals like calcium, magnesium, and salt.
Each channel can be programmed to release from 1 ml to 9,999 ml of solution. This makes it suitable for both small and large aquariums. The unit is small – 23.5 cm x 15 cm x 6.5 cm, and it can be installed conveniently. This is not a universal voltage device as it operates only at 110 V.
You do get a power supply out of the box, but not a 100ml calibrating instrument. Standard 3/16” tubing works well with the Jebao Auto Dosing Pump.
The Jebao pump comes with a controller that is easy to program. The unit requires a one-time calibration with 100 ml of solution. If you’ve calibrated the machine well, it is pretty accurate and precise.
Inside the pump, the four solutions are fed through pipes. The system doesn’t use any suction or pressure system. It is a peristaltic system where rollers press against tubing to allow the solution to flow into the aquarium.
It is recommended to not add any corrosive substances in the tubes. Any damage to the tube may cause the solution to leak out of the device.
Customers are pretty satisfied with the Jebao Auto Dosing Pump. Users have reported that the buttons, LED, and display are of high-quality and look durable. Once calibrated properly, users report that there are no problems with the product, and it works as advertised. Many customers like its 24-times programmable setting.
Customers who have used the Jebao pump for larger tanks say that the solution cylinders hold quite a large amount of solution and the pump is powerful enough for 6’ of height. One area where Jebao could have improved is the cord length. Users report the pump being less accurate if dispersing the very little amount of solution.
Those who are looking at a hassle-free dosing pump for mixing up to 4 chemicals into their aquariums, don’t need to look any further as this is the perfect product to go for.
- 4 channels, independently operable
- Small device
- Works accurately
- The power supply cord could have been longer
- 100 ml calibration instrument not supplied
- Inaccurate at very low volumes of dispersal
2. CD-3-M Marine Color Dosing Pump
The MCD-3-M is a microcomputer-controlled dosing pump with three channels where each channel can be programmed independently. The supplied pump and hoses are rated tens of times more than regular offerings that have silicon tubes. Even though the MCD-3-M is a triple channel pump, a combination can be used for up to six channels.
One of the best features is that there is battery backup, so you won’t have to worry about those blackouts.
The flow rate is between 1 ml and 4,999 ml. The unit can be programmed to work up to 24 times a day. The manufacturer rates the accuracy of the pump within a 3% limit once it is calibrated correctly. A beneficial feature is that all the parameters can be seen on the screen. This is a small device having dimensions 220 mm x 140 mm x 60 mm.
What’s in the box: The device comes with a universal power adapter with an output of 2 A at 12 V. Six meters of silicone tubing is included and comes with the box. A measuring cylinder is provided with the box and is appreciable.
Users report that the pump works as expected with no calibration errors even after weeks of use. Medium and long-term reviews have been positive, and if calibrated periodically, there have been no reports of any issues.
Cost-effectiveness and the ability to expand to six channels have been reported as a major plus and can trump those dosing pumps with only 4 channels. A measuring cylinder provided out of the box has been reported as positive by a lot of users. Customers, however, say that had the tubes been a little thicker, it would have been better to ensure proper flow.
- Long-term reviews are positive
- Extendable up to six channels
- Calibration is effective and lasts for long
- Some have reported loud operating noise
- Thinner tubes have been challenging for some
3. Aqua Medic Reef Doser EVO 4 Aquarium Water Pump
The Aqua Medic Reef Dosing Pump can rejuvenate your aquarium by dispensing essential minerals at pre-programmed times. It comes with four channels and is extremely simple to use and maintain. The LCD screen and adjustment buttons can help you quickly set the required feeding values.
The dosing time per day, interval, and dosing volume can be adjusted using the buttons. The manufacturer recommends that the pumps should not run for more than 15 minutes at a time while dosing. Exceeding 15 minutes can reduce the life of the pumps.
The Aqua Medic Doser supports the controlled addition of calcium and bicarbonate into aquariums with a coral reef making it the best reef dosing pump. This not only adds minerals but also balances the pH of the system. An indispensable feature is that the dosing system also supports Kalk and live zooplankton. This system allows all the dosing pumps to be calibrated and controlled individually for accurate delivery of chemicals.
There is an internal timer system that can be programmed to set the cycle time for the nutrients to be added. This is applicable individually for each pump and ranges from seconds to days.
This is a self-priming system and is very simple to mount. The EVO’s dimensions are 25 cm x 13 cm x 6.4 cm (L x W x H) and the dimensions of the controller are 14 cm x 6.5 cm x 3.6 cm (L x W x H). It is rated at a universal voltage: 100-240 V AC / 50 – 60 Hz, which is beneficial for those living in other regions; and the output is rated at 12 V DC 2.0 Amp. The company provides a warranty of 24 months on the device.
Customers report that the EVO 4 works as advertised. The backlit LCD and the buttons are reported to be good quality, and the system is easily programmable. Users say it is best to set the date on the unit so that you can be in sync with the system.
Some reviewers have said that with an extra controller, two units can be clubbed to work together – This is beneficial for those who require more chemicals to be pumped in.
Dose adjustments are reasonable, and the volume dispensed is also fine, except in low-volume cases, where it could have been a little better.
- Extendable up to six channels, with an extra accessory
- Universal power supply – 100 to 240 V
- 24 months warranty
- Some customers reported DOA (dead on arrival)
4. Eshopps Dosing Master Pump
The Eshopps Dosing Master Pump is small and easy to use the device. This is a 2-channel dosing pump, and it works precisely because it uses a microcontroller. This pump can be used for calcium adjustment, alkalinity setting, the addition of trace elements, and feeding common minerals like magnesium, iodine, iron, and amino acids.
One of the useful features of the Eshopps Dosing pump is that it does not release the substances together during a dosing cycle. There is an interval of 5 minutes between two substances so that the chemicals do not react with each other before mixing in the water. The control panel is backlit by LED and it is waterproof.
Eshopps has made the offering pretty comprehensive, and this is what you get in the box:
- 2 Channel dosing pump
- 2 heads
- Power adapter
- 10 feet tubing
- 4 pieces of connectors
- 9 stickers
The power adapter is rated at 12 V DC and supplies 0.8 amp. The 10 feet-long tubing is enough and can be cut as per the desired dimensions. There are nine stickers so that you can mark the cylinders, the tubes, and other things to understand which system is carrying the designated substance conveniently. The flow rate (per 24 hours) can range from 1 ml to 1,999 ml, and then a number of cycles per day can be set as per the user’s requirement.
For example, if 50 mg of Calcium is to be added in one day, the user can select from among 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 24 cycles. If the user selects 4, the system will add 12.5 mg of Calcium every six hours. The cycle setting is dependent on volume and can be programmed as per the user’s manual.
Customers are mainly positive about the Eshopps dosing pump and have consistently reported the ease of installation and hassle-free use as the best thing about this device. Moderate and long-term reviews are positive, with people having encountered no problems even after 15 months of continuous use.
Some customers have reported that the pumping capacity was weaker for their requirements.
- Easy to setup
- Long Life
- Slave channels added to master can enable 5-8 channels
- The pump could have been more powerful
5. CoralBox WiFi Dosing Pump
The CoralBox WiFi Dosing Pump is an advanced system that can be monitored and controlled through your smartphone. Apart from what it is supposed to do, it also has built-in weather protection. If such adverse conditions are detected, the machine will shut off automatically and switch on automatically when the conditions resolve.
The setup is simple, and there is a one-time WiFi setup required to pair the machine with the router and configure the app on the phone. Once it is done, this is a system that can be operated remotely. Made from Aluminum, this dosing pump has 4 channels and can be used for saltwater aquariums.
The dosing schedule can be programmed using the smartphone, and it has an accuracy of up to 0.1ml. The liquid levels can be monitored too which is a welcome surprise. There is support for both Android and iOS.This is a universal voltage device of 100-240 V, weighing 1,900 grams, and its dimensions are 180 mm x 75 mm x 70 mm.
Another advanced feature in this pump is that if the motorhead is prone to failure, the user would be alerted on the smartphone. The manufacturer recommends that the hoses be tightly attached to prevent air bubbles from entering and that the aquarium should not be placed higher than the system; otherwise, you may encounter siphoning issues.
Consumers report that the quad-channel pump is straightforward and intuitive to use, and the ability to monitor the system through a smartphone is brilliant. The accuracy of the system is as described, and medium-term reviewers have had absolutely no complaints.
Some users who did not tighten the hose correctly reported air bubbles entering the system, but the problems were resolved once the hoses were fixed.
- Durable construction
- WiFi and smartphone monitoring
- High accuracy – 0.1 ml
- Some users found WiFi setup time-consuming
- Air bubbles if hoses are not tight
Aquarium Dosing Pump Accessories
Just like dosing pumps make your aquarium better equipped, accessories specially designed for dosing pumps help you further. Here are two important accessories you must consider:
1. Soft Tube Fixture Holder for Dosing Pump
This accessory will make your dosing system handier, and organized. This is supposed to be used with rimless dosing equipment. This fixture holder will keep the dosing lines safe and in place which is extremely necessary for safe operation.
This acrylic and the soft tube-based holder will make your setup more streamlined and less cluttered.
The manufacturer recommends that it be used up to a glass thickness of 19mm. This comes with bolts to easily secure the fitment.
Most users are positive about the accessory and say it is extremely simple to use and does its job well. The ability to streamline the pipes is something that users appreciate.
Those who have gone against manufacturer specifications and used it for a rim-based system have faced trouble with it.
- Durable construction
- Simple setup
- No reported problems
- Cannot be used for a system with a rim
2. Marine color Acrylic Made Liquid Storage Bucket 3 Rooms, 4.5 Liters
This is a valuable accessory for use with dosing pumps. Made of a 3.8 mm sheet of Acrylic, it has 3 storage rooms, with each room having a volume of 1.5 liters; so the total capacity of the system is 4.5 liters.
This can act as a good reservoir for the dosing liquids required by the pump. The 1.5-liter capacity is significant and thus requires lesser refills. There are nipples over the tubing slips through which the pipes can be attached to the system. The quality of material construction is top-notch. The acrylic is sturdy and even the connections are tight and leakproof. There is an orange tubing supplied for liquid flow.
This product has extremely positive reviews from the users. Consumers have liked the sturdy quality and they feel that the product is a complete value for money. The stiff tube helps ensure that it reaches the bottom of the container.
An area of improvement suggested by some users is that the tube could have been see-through so that it would have been easier to diagnose problems.
- Durable construction
- Simple setup and good quality tube
- No reported problems
- Great value for money
- The tube is colored, not see-through
Those passionate about setting up a well-functioning marine ecosystem at home need to take good care so that corals, reefs, aquatic plants, and fishes can flourish in their aquarium. Aquaria are not just tanks filled with water and marine life. In order to get these flora and fauna to live well, it is necessary to maintain them as an ecosystem. Oceans have their natural cycle through which they get replenished for nutrients. Your own system needs manual replenishment, which these dosing pumps and accessories can do for you.
People are busy and may forget to add the nutrients or add the wrong quantity, both of which could be catastrophic to marine life. These systems can be calibrated to supply the accurate amount of chemical substances at the correct time.