If you need to dose tiny amounts of a particular solution, element or other fluid (like vodka dosing or Zeovit systems), the DŌS is the perfect solution due to its precision controlled stepper motor. This ability to control pump movement in such a refined manner means that you can dose all the way down to 0.1ml at a time!
How is it built?
When it comes to dosing, it all starts with the peristaltic pump
First, lets talk about the pump hardware. Be aware that not all dosing pumps are built alike. Well, lets clarify that. Almost all OTHER dosing pumps are alike – but most ALL OTHERS are very different from the DŌS.
Nearly all dosing systems on the market today use a standard, DC brush-driven motor. Why? Because it is economical. This is the same motor you might find in your child’s toy car. We thought that was just not adequate for an aquarium where you might have thousands of dollars invested. So, we spent over a year searching and testing pumps and motors and decided on using a pumps with industrial grade stepper motors in the DŌS – the same type of motors used in high end robotics, 3D printing, and medical equipment. So, why does it matter?
Stepper Motors Make all the Difference
With the stepper motor pumps on the DŌS, you have precise control each time you dose. And, you are guaranteed it will stay calibrated pretty much forever. On the other hand, with the standard DC motor pump found in most dosing systems, it cannot dose small quantities with ongoing accuracy and consistency. They also require ongoing calibration to account for the wear of the motor and the mechanisms. When pumps fall out of calibration, they dose either too much or too little – never a good thing considering an overdose to a tank will often be its demise.
Variable Pump Speeds
One of the great features of the stepper motors on the DŌS pumps is that they can be driven at various speeds depending on the purpose for which they are being used. For instance, dosing of vodka may require the slowest possible rotation while a water change use requires a much higher pump speed. The best part is that Apex Fusion wizards automatically select the proper speed based on the use and because of the stepper motor, accuracy is not compromised even at the higher speeds.
Gearing and Drive Mechanism
The DŌS uses a direct drive mechanism that will not slip, it will not strip, it will not grind to a halt. On the other hand, many other peristaltic dosing pumps used for aquariums have gears that can (and do) strip. Or, worse yet, some pumps work by using the friction of rubber rollers on the smooth metal motor shaft to make the pump spin. Foreign matter like salt creep, additives, etc. often get into the drive mechanisms of these pumps and make them fail or pump unknown amounts.
The stepper-motor in the DŌS has a MTBF (mean time before failure) of 5000 hours. Other systems with brush-driven DC motor pumps have lifespans measured of just a few hundred hours of use. This means the pumps on the DŌS may have up to as much as 12x the lifespan of others.
Secure, Large Diameter Tubing Connections
Leak proof fittings are very important, not just because of the possibility of leaking fluid, but also because the leaking of air into a line would cause the pump not to meter the correct amounts. The pumps on the DŌS have sure-fit compression fittings that are virtually leak-proof. Contrast this to other dosing systems on the market that still use dual-barbed fittings that commonly split the tubing and cause leakage of fluids or air.
Larger size tubing means that your pump does not have to work nearly as hard – or stay on for longer cycles. The most popular dosing pumps on the market use tube fittings with the tiny diameter of 1.67mm. The DŌS uses much larger tubing and fittings. In fact, at 3.33mm in diameter, the pump on the DŌS can handle 4x the flow of the most common pump style on the market (pictured). This means that your pump (and motor) will run 1/4 the time to pump the same amount of fluid. Less run time means less wear on the pump mechanism, tubing and motor and extends your dosing pump’s life. Larger diameter fittings also eliminate clogging – a common issue when dosing various elements like Calcium, Alkalinity, or Kalkwasser on smaller tubing pumps.
Though nearly all interaction with the DŌS will be done through the graphical user interface on Apex Fusion, there still is a need simplified user interface on the DŌS itself. This is accomplished using a multicolor indicator for each pump to show its status as well a button to be used for priming the pump or for use during a calibration process.