So I'm planning on using a bluefish mini WiFi controller with the mean well ldd-h drivers for my 180 build. The highest amperage driver they have is a 1500mA one. And I'd need more like 4500mA for the Royal blue channel alone. So my main question is, can you run more than one ldd-h driver off of one pwm channel signal so I can get a total of 4500mA, the outputs of the drivers won't be connected in anyway. I tried to draw a basic of what I want to do.
Decided to build my own calcium reactor after doing alot of research on them and ended up with this.I was looking a for a good cost effective build and I really liked the look and simplicity of Geo's reef reactors, but for the size I needed, the price was a bit high, especially since they only came with a.c. pumps. So this one will be able to handle systems up to 300 gallons plus another hundred if a secondary reaction chamber is added onto it. My total cost for everything, including tools and solvent cements was $127.89. (Seems like a pretty good price for a D.C. Calc. Reactor)
Has anybody on here ever grown there own phytoplankton before? I just built a phytoplankton growing station and I've got everything all ready except I'm not sure what to use as fertilizer, I keep seeing something named f/2 which is a specific for marine algae fertilizer. I also see people using miracle grow, not something I would do personally as I don't know the exact ingredients, but some reefers on forums say it's bad because of heavy metals, mainly copper. While doing research I found two separate formulas for the f/2 fertilizer that everyone says to use and both contain copper sulfate?!? That to me seems like that last thing I'd want to put in my tank.... with that being said, anyone know of something different to use as the fertilizer? I was almost thinking of trying a mix of potassium nitrate and some other stuff that would be already used to dose tanks with. I'll attach the formula for the fertilizer that everyone seems to be suggesting to use.
Why A Peristaltic Pump?
This is covered in great detail on the internet. In summary:
○ More reliable consistent flow
Read more about the official MasterFlex Calcium Reactor thread here. They are spendy, 200-400 dollars. And they are awesome.
(hint, if you can spare the reef $$, stop reading this and go get one!)
For me personally? I needed to babysit some SPS. I knew that my CR flow would dip and sometimes clog. Rather than risk someone else's coral I decided to step up the game a little.
Check out my flow before and after:
Why A DIY Peristaltic Pump?
The primary reason is simply to save money.
By saving money, you might be able to have a spare on hand.
For me, I try to have 2 of anything critical because reef stores are not open 24/7 and Amazon cannot ship fast enough to save your coral if things go wrong.
Building One - Parts
Pump and Motor - $30
The pump and motor itself. Search ebay for 'large peristaltic' and you will find this one:
Pumps come and go. It is nice to have one with:
§ At least two rollers (anti siphon)
§ Stainless steel bearings (not a plastic, noisy pump)
This setup requires a brushed DC 12v motor so that it can be PWM controlled. A better setup would be a stepper motor based motor and controller. Future?
Motor Speed Controller - $11
You want a PWM speed controller. This controls the speed so the flow can be dialed in.
Note: There are tons of cool options here. Web controlled, LED speed display etc. I did find though that certain PWMs cause the motor to overheat so you may need to experiment if deviating from this one.
Power Supply - $6.50
12volt 2 amp power supply with a wiring adapter.
Here is one on amazon:
It is better to find one that is UL Listed. Once you are past the power supply though, everything is low voltage.
The wiring adapter is key (the green thing in the pic). It makes taking power from the adapter simple, just turning a couple of screws.
Wire - Free to $16
If you have any kind of wire laying around that is 16 gauge or bigger, feel free to repurpose it.
Some wiring connectors such as 2 spade connectors can be soldered onto the back of the motor or possibly crimp
Building One - Assembly
The wiring is very basic and covered with the PWM controller documentation.
Basically the power goes from the power adapter, to the PWM controller, to the motor.
Everything is labelled, it is super easy.
The hardest part is attaching the wires to the motor. You can use a variety of methods, but a crimp on spade connector can work.
Be sure to use the right gauge wire. I used 16 gauge because I had some from other projects. It's nice to use 2 different colors, pick one such as red for positive, black for ground and be consistent.
There are allot of options. Mine is stuffed into a double gang electrical box ($2).
I just drilled some holes and routed wires.
Here is the inside
For more details etc check out this thread:
The results are detailed in another thread:
Tubing wears out and fails, you need to place the pump in a location such that if this happens, water will drain into the tank instead of onto the floor! Ideally monitor the flow with the APEX flow monitoring kit 1/4" adapter. That way when the tubing goes you can quickly replace it. Sound! This is a pretty quiet pump, but it is not as quiet as an MJ sitting underwater in the sump. So keep that in mind... Super Important: Don't turn down the pump so low that it does not run smoothly. That will overheat the motor as it is basically starting up from stopped several times per second. The pump should run smooth with no visible lurching...
Man, it would be nice.
Especially now that APEX showed me how wildly the flow varies off of my MJ1200 feed pump.
Flow is in liters per hour. That means I have been ranging from 56 mls/min to 98 mls / minute. I do have to think it would be much more consistent with the peristaltic...
Going to be looking for some cheap options as my reef budget will not allow for a good one at this point (400 dollars...)!