Planctontech’s New Planctondose: In depth Review
How it works
Buying the New Planctondose in store or online you get the single machine without the colture of rotifers needed to make it works. In Italy, however, the colony starter is sold with the machine but sent home directly from the manufacturer, as the starter colony can live for only a few days outside of its environment. So it is quite normal to buy the New Planctondose and behold delivered at home after a few days the colony to start the colture. Outside Italy you have to find the rotifers by your own.
The starter colony is nothing more than water at the right salinity for the aquarium, which is 35 per thousand, with live rotifers newly hatched, mixed with phytoplankton, from which the characteristic green color, which will serve as the source for the same rotifers when adults.
The reactor has to be connected to aerator, which serves to bring the air, and thus oxygen to the colture, and the dosing pump that, in a second time will bring the aquarium water inside the reactor, and then allow reactor overflow in the aquarium. This, at least, up to the definition of the new administration protocol that instead it advises not to draw any water from the aquarium but from a second container, and which will be detailed later in the article.
Each pipe connected to reactor is equipped with a non-return valve and the pipe that connects the aerator is equipped with a flow regulator in order to let pass about an air bubble every second. Increasing the number of bubbles could lead to the breakup of the exoskeleton of rotifers, then I suggest you to follow provided instructions.
When fully operational, the dosing pump will push a few milliliters of water in the reactor per hour, depending on the settings of the dosing pump, the water will drip from the reactor, and thus will increase the internal level that will flow into the sump, or in aquarium, depending by the choice of placement of the New Planctondose.
According to consumption of your marine aquarium will be necessary to integrate phytoplankton inside the reactor every one, two or three days.
Installation of New Planctondose is extremely simple, and the supplied manual helps us to understand how best to do.
The main cylinder of the reactor could be placed on a aquarium glass, or sump glass, thanks to the grooves present and is then properly secured thanks to the two plastic screws.
In the bottom we have to connect the aerator. In the picture we can see the connections through john guest connectors and the fine adjustment valve. In this way, the plastic pipes supplied can be put on and remove easily and effortlessly. To avoid problems it is advisable that the aerator should be mounted in a higher position respect to the reactor, so that there is never an outflow of water from the cylinder to the aerator, although there is a non-return valve.
Next to the air pipe must be mounted the the tube of water recirculation. In the first days of use, until the content in the reactor will not have reached the characteristic amber color, the dosing pump can be installed but not put into operation to avoid to dilute the colture. In practice, we put the plastic pipe that carries the water from the aquarium to the pump, and from here to the reactor, and we connect it in order to release the drops of water, taken from the aquarium (or sump), right to the top of the reactor column. Once the content is turned to the classic amber color you can begin to dose 5ml per hour, up to approximately 10 ml per hour after several days of use, as we shall see later. Also here is absolutely recommended to mount the dosing pump higher than the reactor itself. You also need to pay attention to the prevalence, I had to first load all pipes with pump down, then I proceeded to connect it to the reactor once the circuit was full of water.
At this point the installation is complete and the reactor ready to operate, just fill it with the solution provided, composed by rotifers and phytoplankton, and wait for the rotifers, Brachionus plicatilis, reproduce and feed themselves by phytoplankton, making the solution turn from green coloration to amber.
To help them, and to increase the density of the colture, the phytoplankton can be dosed up to 50ml per day, so as to leave more food available to rotifers.
To understand the density of the colture, after turning off any lights in the sump, you can use a torch that points inside the reactor so that we can put on the other side and see the contents.