Dosing Pumps: 6 Great Units Easy to Calibrate and Setup

Aquarium automation is one of the hottest trends in aquarium keeping. What’s aquarium automation? It’s the use of electronic devices to control important functions in your freshwater or marine tank.

The primary goal behind aquarium automation is to make keeping an aquarium easier by continuously monitoring and controlling important parameters. Automation also helps in maintaining a consistent aquatic environment, which helps keep fish, coral and plants healthy and vibrant.

My favorite dosing pump is the Jebao, keep on reading for more options!

Dosing pumps are one of the primary types of aquarium automation devices. They’re designed to automatically add precise amounts of additives to the aquarium water. The idea is to consistently add just the right amount every day to ensure a stable aquatic environment. Dosing pumps can even be used to automatically change aquarium water!

What kind of aquariums benefit from a dosing pump?

How do dosing pumps work?

Which dosing pump is right for me?


Aquarium Dosing Pump Reviews

1. Jebao DP-4 Programmable Auto Dosing Pump

The Jebao DP-4 is a low-cost, four-head dosing pump. Each pump can be programmed to dispense a precise amount of liquid up to 24 times a day.

This allows a user to keep their tank parameters stable, and removes the need for mixing supplements every day. The controller is easy to set up and use.

Each pump can be programmed to function individually.

The DP-4 is perfect for any tank, as it allows for dosing in both large and small increments. The DP-4 comes with a power supply and is plug and play after it is calibrated with a 100mL graduated cylinder. An extra slave unit can be added to bring the pump count to eight.

Features

  • Each channel provides 1 to 9999-ml per day.
  • Dose up to 24 times per day.
  • Each pump can be programmed individually.
  • Functions as a master pump is slave unit is added.
  • Each pump head must be calibrated to 100 ml before use.

2. Aqua-Medic Reefdoser Evo 4

The Aqua Media Reefdoser system uses four professional grade peristaltic pumps.

Each pump can be independently programmed for accurate control of the dose rate or operated manually.

The pump fits nicely under the aquarium stand.

The Evo 4 uses an external wired controller that attaches to the pump.

The touch pad has an easy to read LCD display, making set-up and programming simple and fast. With only a few presses on the keypad, the dosing system up and running. LEDs light when the Evo 4 is powered and indicate which pumps are operating.

The Aqua Media Reefdoser can be used with freshwater, saltwater and reef aquariums. It is a stand-alone system that does not require an external controller.

Features

  • Doses: 1-24 doses/day.
  • Interval between dosing (0-30): Days in between the dose schedule (0=every day, 1=skip a day, etc.)
  • Dose volume in milliliters: 1-9999 milliliters.
  • Automatic dosing of two-part calcium solutions for corals.
  • Day or night feeding of live and prepared plankton and invert foods.

3. Eshopps Dosing Master Pump

The Eshopps IV 200 Dosing Pump is a 2-channel aquarium dosing system.

It is a stand-alone unit that does not require a separate automation interface.

The dosing pump is capable of precise dispensing liquid aquarium supplements from 1 milliliter up to 1,999 milliliters.

You can dose pH buffers, calcium supplements, two-part additives, fertilizers, trace elements, amino acids and more. The pump can also be used to add water to compensate for evaporation.

The push-button controller is easy to set-up. No complicated programming is needed. Simple push-button programming lets you quickly enter dosing amount and frequency.

The waterproof control panel has a bright backlit LCD display.

The pump automates routine calcium, alkalinity, trace elements, magnesium, iodine, iron and amino acid supplementation.

The Eshopps IV Dosing Pump IV-200 is a Master Unit. It can be expanded by connecting three-channel IV-300 Slave Units. You can add up to two expansion slave units for up to eight independently controllable dosing channels.

The programming feature prevents dosing pumps with different liquids from pumping at the same time. Each pump activates at 5-minute intervals when pump channels are set to dose at the same time.

Features

  • Expandable up to 8 independent dosing pumps.
  • Quiet motors.
  • Works with standard 3/16 airline tubing.
  • Comes with a mounting bracket.

4. Bubble Magus 3-Channel Dosing Pump with Three Dosing Containers

This kit includes the Bubble Magus T-01 Doser, three 1.5 liter dosing containers, one Bubble Magus tube holder, and one Bubble Magus mounting bracket.

The T-01 dosing pump has three independent pump heads mounted to the controller box.

The T-01 uses a US-made microprocessor that stores the program settings in case of a power failure.

Each pump head comes with high-quality pump tubing with a lifespan of 10,000 hours. The backlit LCD display and push-button controls are easy to read, making programming quick and easy.

The entire T-01 unit is waterproof. Also included are three 1.5-liter dosing reservoirs. These clear acrylic containers can be used to hold liquid trace elements, two-part calcium supplements, RO water and more. The doser has automatic time-sharing between channels so different liquids will not be added to the aquarium at the same time, preventing unwanted chemical interaction.

Also included in the kit is a mounting bracket and dosing tube holder. By adding BM-T02 units, the number of channels can be expanded to 11. The pumps are quiet but not completely silent.

Features

  • Doses 1 milliliter up to 1,999 milliliters.
  • Runs through up to 24 cycles per day.
  • Includes three large reservoirs.
  • Automatic dosing intervals.

5. Kamoer X4 Wi-Fi Doser Dosing Pump

The Kamoer X4 bridges the gap between a stand along dosing pump and the multi-component automation systems.

Like other dosing pumps, the X4 comes with four peristaltic pump heads.

The housing is sleek, with the look of a medical device. There are a few features that set this unit apart from some of the others.

The Kamoer X4 can dose as little as 0.1 milliliter. This is helpful with nano aquariums that don’t require high-volume additions of trace elements and other additives. The precise dose rate also makes it easier to fine tune exactly how much liquid is added to your tank, no matter what size you have. The pump can be programmed using the buttons on the housing.

If you have Wi-Fi, Kamoer has an app that will allow you to program and control the X4 wirelessly.

The unit also comes with a temperature probe to monitor the water temperature. If the temperature drifts out of range, an alarm will sound.

Features

  • 3 operation modes (Manual, Auto or Custom mode)
  • Dosing can be limited to specific days of the week.
  • Adjustable dosing volume from 0.1 - 9,999.9 ml
  • Delay setting between channels prevents chemical interference.
  • Battery backup of settings.
  • 1-year warranty.

6. Neptune Systems DOS 2-Channel Dosing and Metering System

As discussed in a previous review, some aquarium automation systems use a dedicated controller that controls outboard gear like lights, water pumps and dosing pumps.

Neptune Systems’ Apex controller is required to run the DOS pump.

The DOS two-channel dosing pump is an expansion module that connects to the Apex hub. Programming and power come from the main Apex control unit. Each pump head can be programmed to run on its own schedule and dosing regimen.

With two synchronized pumps, it is possible to perform automatic water changes. As one pump removes old aquarium water, the second pump adds new water.

The DOS system is popular for adding two-part calcium supplements for reef aquariums. Although the DOS pump comes with extra-large 3.3 mm pump tubing, it can micro-dose down to 0.1 milliliter. You’ll be able to pump faster if needed or fine-tune the rate for vodka and other dose-sensitive additives.

Features

  • Built with high-quality materials.
  • Can suction-lift liquid up to 24 feet.
  • Easy programming with Apex Fusion software and apps.
  • Can be monitored and controlled remotely through cloud computing.
  • Automatically slows motor speed when dosing small quantities.

Dosing Pump Recommendations

The idea behind dosing pumps is to reduce work, worry and provide a stable aquatic environment by consistently adding essential substances to the aquarium. Ease of use and reliability are the marks of a good dosing system.

While we liked the intentions behind the Kamoer X4, it fell behind the other pumps. The Wi-Fi function was only usable if you were at home. The X4 can’t be accessed through the cloud or an internet connection. The wireless connection was unreliable and suffered from frequent drop-outs. No instructions were included and the app was not very intuitive.

On the other end of the spectrum is the Neptune Systems DOS pump. If you have the Apex system or want to invest in a premium aquarium automation system, the DOS pump is an easy add-on. You’ll have full wireless control anywhere in the world.

The Jebao DP-4 is an economical stand-alone dosing pump suitable for any aquarium. The initial programming of the Jebao DP-4 is a little tedious but the unit has a reliable track record.

The Bubble Magus gives you three pumps and includes three large reservoirs. This makes the Bubble Magus ready to run with nothing else to buy.

Ultimately, you’ll have to determine which features are important for your aquarium set-up.

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