Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by DBR_Reef, Nov 6, 2017.

Automatic Frozen/refrigerated food dispenser

I wanted a way to automate feeding of diverse and healthy foods to both corals and fish. Dried coral food and pellet food in an automatic fish...
  1. DBR_Reef

    DBR_Reef Well-Known Member Article Contributor

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    I thought I had shared a preliminary preservation list with you when you posted that thread, but I guess not. Sorry

    I agree, the stir plate does break up the food more than I would like. I actually really like your cone idea. I somehow missed that last time I read that thread. I think I would try moving the airline to a tee below the cone and turn it on only befor the feeding. Basically back flushing and mixing at the same time with air. Might be a simple alternative to a stir plate that avoids the back flushing from the tank, which you seem to have had success with but makes me nervous
     

  2. Rick Mathew

    Rick Mathew Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018

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    No problem...you were quite busy with your travels .....I have a float switch in the food container that will shut off the dosing pump just in case it goes crazy...worse case situation is a tube disconnect and the way I have placed the feeder outlet it would only drain 3-4 Gal from the tank...a mess to clean up but not a catastrophic ....I like your idea of the T connection I think I will give this a try...I currently back flush using the DOS for 20 seconds before the feed cycle starts...Also you are correct that the tubing diameter make a big difference in what you can feed...I am currently limited to smaller foods or it plugs up the system...

    Rick
     
  3. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Well-Known Member

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    Very very interesting! Nice job
     
  4. J Rog

    J Rog Well-Known Member

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    Awesome! I’m going to have to try this. I’m going on a 7 day cruise next Nov and was worried about this being I have 2 Saddle back Anthias and they don’t go for flake or pellets. But they seem to love LRS reef frenzy..
     
  5. Bob E

    Bob E Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018

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    Great job with the video’s and written directions. The best way to present your build, Thanks
     
  6. bbhs23

    bbhs23 New Member

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    I love this idea! I just have a couple of questions about how you get the food into the display tank. So you said that you have the line that brings the food from the fridge empty into the sump by the returns intake? Does the impeller on the return break up the food at all as it sends it up the return line into the display?

    If you do it this way, are you not able to use a manifold to feed reactors? I would think that the food would make its way through the manifold and into the reactors.

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to spell all of this out!
     
  7. DBR_Reef

    DBR_Reef Well-Known Member Article Contributor

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    The impeller on the return pump doesn't do much to the food, but some food does accumulate in the reactors, although it is a very small amount. My carbon and GFO are inline off of my reactor, and when I change out the carbon there is a very small amount (<1 tsp) of food that is captured in the carbon (which I keep first) side. I doubt my UV cares much if food passes though it. It has never been a big enough concern to warrant me putting in any effort in to remedy the problem.

    I designed mine this way because my frag tank is fed off of my manifold, and I wanted food going to it. Ideally one would have a line of off your manifold that goes by the fridge and then feeds back into the last slot in the manifold (a loop). But this might require a small pump place inline to circulate water through the line or putting a restriction in the main line. I'm sure there are better solutions as well, but with a basement sump I am a little more limited.

    As a note, I thought I could calculate how much food gets trapped by the reactor. So I estimated I get 400gph out of my return at my tank, and ~50GPH go to my reactors, I should be getting nearly a cup of food into my reactors, which is clearly not the case. I must be missing something or not thinking about it correctly.
     
  8. Rick Mathew

    Rick Mathew Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018

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    Question about your additives...is the weight % based on the weight of the food or the weight of the water you mixed it in...based on my calculations from your video I believe it to be the water but just wast to clarify...


    Thanks

    Rick
     
  9. DBR_Reef

    DBR_Reef Well-Known Member Article Contributor

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    Technically, it is the weight of the total solution, as you need to hit ph targets for the entire solution, but I just do it to the amount of water, as the values are already high, so a little lower wont hurt anything.
     
  10. DBR_Reef

    DBR_Reef Well-Known Member Article Contributor

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    You should really try the larger peristaltic pump, provided you have 2 spare 120v outlets (or 2 24v accessory outlets) to spare. The ability to dose large mysis shrimp and other foods is great. You're going to need that dos for the new trident anyway :)
     
  11. Rick Mathew

    Rick Mathew Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018

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    Thanks...appreciate it

    Rick
     
  12. Rick Mathew

    Rick Mathew Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018

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    I can actually does Hikari mysis and krill with the DOS..no problem but the larger brands cause a problem...not sure I will go to the Trident system...I am having good luck with the Red Sea System...will wait and see how the BRS team makes out...I do use the Trident testing services to monitor and adjust my tank parameters as necessary...we shall see:)
     
  13. ihavecrabs

    ihavecrabs Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I'd love to see a short video of the food entering the tank via the return to see how much this system feeds (understanding it is adjustable with the amount of time you run the peristaltic pump.

    Again, great job.
     
  14. DBR_Reef

    DBR_Reef Well-Known Member Article Contributor

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    I'm on vacation, but I'll throw that up as soon as I get back
     
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  15. Squid

    Squid Well-Known Member

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  16. DBR_Reef

    DBR_Reef Well-Known Member Article Contributor

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  17. mazoli

    mazoli Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Great job! For how long have you been using this feeder? Sorry, you might have mentioned it, but then I missed.
     
  18. ReefFrenzy

    ReefFrenzy Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    While I applaud the author of the article for the tremendous amount of research, innovation, fabrication and documentation that went into this auto-feeder for the record I must state that LRS foods should ONLY be fed within 4-6 hours after thawing. Lipids and amino acids begin to break down shortly after thawing so we NEVER recommend thawing more food than can be fed at one or two feedings. If you thaw LRS and keep it in your fridge for 5+ days you are feeding severely degraded food to your fish. There is a reason public aquariums and aquaculture facilities prepare food on a daily basis verses preparing it on Monday and feeding exhibits all week.

    The author of the article found a way to make DIY food and add preservatives to fend off oxidation and spoilage and I applaud him. We too use ascorbic acid in our foods and have since 2012. However, I must clarify that to thaw LRS in a fridge and feed over a 3-7 period is highly ill advised by me the manufacturer. I can go over the timeline of our ingredients sourced from the ocean, to delivery to us, then processing, to shipment to the end user to explain why this is a bad practice if needed. The bottom line is every day you leave thawed LRS, mysis or anything else in the fridge the amino acids and lipids are breaking down and degrading by the hour.

    If you want to feed frozen food there simply is no better way than thawing an appropriate amount a few minutes before feeding and dumping it in the tank. While designing an auto feeder is a great idea in theory, it will result in less nutrition for the fish than if you thawed premium food 5-10 minutes before feeding. I am not trying to be a "Debbie downer" on your article by any means. I have been approached by several companies who wanted to make LRS feeding devices, both slow thawing melting LRS sticks and liquid pump feeders and I have declined due to the reasons above. I just tell it like it is when it comes to nutrition and the health of our fishy friends.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017 at 7:50 PM
  19. DBR_Reef

    DBR_Reef Well-Known Member Article Contributor

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    Over a year. About a year with the current recipe
     
  20. DBR_Reef

    DBR_Reef Well-Known Member Article Contributor

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    I one hundred percent agree with everything you stated and I thank you for your knowledge, perspective, and participation on these forums. I think you have a great product that you take care to deliver in a quality manner. It was not my intention to imply that this food had the same nutritional value as fresh or freshly thawed food, but that it is more nutritious and palatable to fish than dry pellets, which I am intending this to be an alternative too. I know that I have been able to keep fish and coral I have been unable to keep with dry food alone, and that was the goal. Leaving my tank for weeks or months at a time means that consistent freshly frozen food was impossible.
     
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