Oct 20, 2019

My New Kamoer F4 Pro WiFi Dosing Pump

What have I been up to? Trying to automate as many functions on the Unicorn Reef Bowl as possible. Kamoer F4 Pro to the rescue.

Things have not been going as well for the bowl as I wish they were. Many corals have finally been recovering since the crash last year when I was stuck in the hospital for 3 weeks. Having a new baby makes it difficult to keep up with maintenance and dosing, however, and the poor bowl has been neglected. I am happy to report that most of the original corals from the 2 gallon reef jar that were moved into this bowl are still alive and doing better. I am still mourning the loss of my favorite M. setosa, but the others are healing and growing.


Calcium and Alkalinity Dosing

Something I have changed about my reef bowl routine since my last post -  I am now dosing Tropic Marin's All-For-Reef (Carbo-calcium with added trace elements). I used to be able to do near-total water changes frequently to replenish calcium and trace elements, but that wasn't working for me any longer, and I needed to start dosing, especially after the Superman Cyphastrea frag my sister gave me spread like wildfire and started sucking up so much Ca and Alk, stunting my other corals.

Tropic Marin's All-For-Reef and Carbo-calcium are awesome because they are one-part Ca and Alk dosing supplements (like Kalkwasser, but without the bad side effects or limitations).

So what am I using my Kamoer F4 Pro for? 

Kamoer F4 Pro overkill on a nano? No way. I see most folks using dosing pumps to, well, dose various supplements, elements, and foods. Since I only needed one dosing head for my All-For-Reef which takes care of my calcium, alkalinity, and trace elements, I had 3 dosing heads left over.

Feeding the Bowl

I've been using Benepets Benereef, which was reviewed by my friend Marcin on Reefs.com. I was definitely chronically underfeeding this tank for years, and my Zoas were the first to show signs of malnutrition. They've been enjoying better health since I've been using this food. I don't have to worry about overfeeding and jacking up my nitrates and phosphates with Benereef, so it's ideal for a nano/pico like this.

I also got a sample of EasySPS to try with my new doser, so I decided to use pump #2 for feeding. The best part is that it comes with a hanger and fittings for a dosing pump, so it was very easy to connect to my dosing pump.


Automatic water changes with a dosing pump

I had two dosing heads left, and I had a final problem to solve - water changes. The tubing holder that comes with the Kamoer F4 pro has tube connections on both sides, so I was able to attach some clear airline tubing that I can hide inside the bowl to draw water out of the bowl from closer to the bottom of the tank. I programmed the doser to remove 1,000ml (the max amount) of water from the bowl at 2pm each Thursday. (This take a little while at a speed of 45ml per minute). The water goes into a 5 gallon bucket next to the tank that I empty later. Then the last head replenishes the water from another 5 gallon bucket next to the tank full of saltwater that has a heater and powerhead constantly running to keep it fresh and oxygenated.

Dosing pumps aren't really meant for water changes, and running them constantly like that can wear them out faster. I'm considering tweaking the schedule a bit to save some wear and tear on my pump heads. Maybe tinier, daily water changes would be better. I would definitely not recommend using these for automatic water changes on larger tanks. Pico tanks only! If you're looking for something that can handle automatic water changes on a larger tank, check out the Smart AWC.

I love my Kamoer F4 Pro so far. It's aesthetically pleasing, so I didn't mind hanging it right above the bowl. I love the colored dosing heads, and I decided to use different colors of silicone airline tubing than the colored tubing that was provided with the doser. I wanted more "girly" colors that matched my bowl and the artwork hanging above the bowl better. I'll keep you all updated on the Unicorn Reef Bowl, as always.