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Old 03-16-2016, 10:20 PM   #1
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Are auto dosers worth the risk?

I am heavy interested in automating the ferts added to my planted tanks but have run across horror stories of dosers malfunctioning.

I consider every fish that I have as an individual pet and the idea of putting them in danger is uncomfortable. With that said, I really want to keep tight consistency with a jungle-style tank I plan to set up. Unfortunately, I am not always dependable with upkeeping the ferts, especially when my schedule is changed up. I'm already seeing that my recent inconsistencies are hurting my plants and I..REALLY. do not want a bunch of dying plants in a tank specifically showcasing wild growth of plants.

So are auto dosers worth the risk? Are there brands known to break down or ones that are regarded as dependable? Perhaps there are suggestions in making dosing easier/more consistent?

(-Ferts I currently dose: Seachem's Excel, and aquavirtro's Activate, Synthesis, Propel, and Carbonate.
-Substrate: Eco Complete
-Currently no CO2, but looking into it
-Also looking for lights, leaning towards LEDs

Tank is a 20 gal tall, going to home my first attempt at a betta sorority

Edit: wanting this to be a biotope-ish tank, going for plants within the bettas natural habitat or general SE Asian region. So, some of the plants might be high maintenance and I want to be prepared for that)

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Old 03-16-2016, 10:32 PM   #2
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If you get easy to grow, low maintenance plants, then they should be fine without an auto doser. I keep guppy grass and Bacopa caroliniana in a shallow tank and it grows fine under a heavy layer of duck week and other floaters. And this is under a single T-8 bulb.
Not saying you should not get one, but you really don't need it. Put the extra cash into a quality heater or into the lighting.

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Old 03-16-2016, 11:08 PM   #3
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I suppose I should have mentioned that I am trying for plants native to the bettas natural habitat, or at least the general SE Asian region!

I absolutely agree that low maintenance plants don't really require the consistency, or much ferts at all. I do have a tank with lower maintenance plants (rotala, charlie, ludwigia, anubias, bacopa, and some unidentified plant. Ludwigia is the only one that seems to be effected in any way when I get lax).

I'm trying to step it up for this next tank though💪going all out!

But thank you! I should definitely look into a better heater. Right now it has a simple, preset heater.

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