How to Choose an Aquarium Dosing Pump

Using an aquarium dosing pump can significantly improve the quality of your reef aquarium and reduce the time you spend caring for it. Countless reefers rely on them to deliver essential elements to corals that need them to thrive. Investing in a high-quality dosing pump is one of the best ways to automate your aquarium. Explore this article to learn how to choose an aquarium dosing pump.

What Dosing Pumps Do

Dosing pumps provide measured amounts of liquid additives to aquariums at a particular time of day or interval. As corals and other livestock deplete certain nutrient levels within the water, those elements must be replenished manually or using a dosing pump. By automatically delivering the components needed, a dosing pump keeps the water chemistry consistent and improves the health of the reef environment.

Do I Need a Dosing Pump?

There are a few considerations when deciding whether your aquarium requires a dosing pump. The first item to consider is whether your aquarium is small enough to replenish essential elements by performing consistent water changes. Generally, aquariums 20 gallons or less do not require a dosing pump. The next consideration is to assess how quickly your aquarium depletes element levels. The best way to accomplish this is with consistent water testing. However, if your system is light on livestock, it is unlikely that your tank is depleting the essential nutrients quickly enough to warrant investing in a dosing pump. However, a dosing pump is valuable for those with a larger tank or more livestock. 

Types of Dosing Pumps

While nearly all dosing pumps use peristaltic pumps, some differences may make one pump better for your needs than another. 

  • Number of Pump Heads: Most dosing pumps have one to four different pump heads. Each head represents an additional element that can be dosed into the aquarium. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how many elements you need to consistently replenish to buy the right pump with the correct number of heads.
  • Control Interface: Some dosing pumps can be manually programmed using the controller built into the face of the pump, while others require programming through a separate smartphone application or web-based program.
  • Light Duty vs. Heavy Duty: Some pumps are intended for lower volume dosages, which alings with most dosing programs. Other pump heads can perform daily water changes.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Dosing Pump

Budget: As is the case when purchasing aquarium equipment, the budget will undoubtedly play a factor in deciding what dosing pump is best for your needs. Most aquarium hobbyists can expect to pay between $50 and $400+ depending on the amount of pump heads and controllability.

Element Coverage: The most important consideration when purchasing a dosing pump is understanding what you need to be dosing. Many dosing systems comprise just two parts, but hobbyists often prefer a couple of additional pump heads to accommodate more trace element dosing.

Future Expansion: While you may only think you need to be dosing two unique additives with two dosing pump heads, adding additional corals or other factors may result in the desire to dose additional elements into the aquarium in the future.

Simplicity 4-Head Dosing Pump

The Simplicity 4-Head Dosing Pump is an excellent option for those looking to dive into automated aquarium dosing without breaking the bank. The Simplicity doser doesn’t compromise on the number of pump heads, which allows users to dose any standard two-part system while still having the ability to cover two additional trace elements. Each Simplicity Dosing Pump can be mounted to the wall or placed on a shelf and operates seamlessly with Simplicity’s Dosing Containers and other accessories.

Want to learn more about the Simplicity Dosing Pump? Head to our product page.

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