How to Accurately Dose Chemicals in a Nano Aquarium

I have used Seachem’s products in our Fluval Spec V since we built it up.  I love their Prime water conditioner and Flourish Excel for plant growth.  The one challenge to using their very concentrated formulas in a small nano aquarium is accurately dosing in small quantities.  Their suggestion to use the threads on the cap to estimate 1 ml for each thread I find highly inaccurate.  This leads to wasted product and possibly over dosing. I first thought that a syringe would be the best way to meter out small quantities in ml. However, even that had problems as I don’t have a source for getting multiple syringes. I finally found a great method to measure small quantities – just count drops.  There is some variability in this as the number of drops per ml depends on the viscosity of the fluid.  However, it is fairly accurate to go with a ratio of 20 drops equal to 1 ml. The challenge then became to find a cheap way to dose out drops.

Disposable Pipettes:

I don’t know where I got tipped off to pipettes, but they are a great solution to dosing small quantities.  I found these disposable 3ml pipettes on Amazon:

You get around 100 of them for about $8 or so.  I guess you could use them once and throw it away, but that’s not how I use them.  I use the same one over and over for a given fluid.  For instance, I have one in the drawer next to the Seachem Prime dechlorinator.  I have another in my organizing box with the Excel.  I use them for months and replace them once in a blue moon when I think about it.

3ml Disposable Pipete

How to dose with a Pipette:

It’s simple.  There are graduated lines on the side that indicate ml and that would be good for larger doses.

3ml Pipete for Dosing Chemicals in a Nano Aquarium

For my usage, I dose in drops, knowing that 20 drops equals around 1 ml.  Every morning, I have to dose 10 drops of Excel into our aquarium.  I draw fluid up into the pipette, put 10 drops into the aquarium, and then squeeze the remainder back into the bottle.

Use a disposable pipette to dose drops of Seachem Prime

A few brisk squeezes over the sink to clean the pipette out and it’s ready for tomorrow.

There is some variability in the exact number of drops that are in a ml, but I think it is more than accurate enough for most dosing in an aquarium.  For sure, it is more accurate than just trying to guesstimate measure using the cap of the Seachem product.

7 thoughts on “How to Accurately Dose Chemicals in a Nano Aquarium

  1. This is a far less sus looking version of what I do. I use 1ml syringes to dose my tanks lol. I buy a box of 100 1ml syringes for my guinea pigs (for hand feeding emergency food). I find them much easier to clean than pipettes and they’re also sturdier than pipettes. The only drawback with syringes is that it looks a bit sus having them sitting around the house when people come over lol.

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