Product: Jebao Auto Dosing Pump DP-4
Price: $69.99 (Prime)
Cheapest place to buy: Amazon.com
My Rating: 8 out of 10
There comes a time when your tank is quite packed and you will have to start dosing. KH, Ca, Mg are the most common elements to dose and for me after 8 months, I kind of got sick of doing this manually every single day, so I looked into an alternative by looking for an auto dosing pump. As there is a wide variety of auto dosing pumps available, and it was my first pump, I thought I might start out with the “cheaper” Jebao auto dosing pump DP-4.
Cheap build quality?
The first thing that will come to your attention when checking out the Jebao auto dosing pump DP-4 is the low price compared to similar products. I’m mostly pro “spend a little extra, get extra quality”, but does this low price mean it cannot compete with it’s more expensive brothers? Let’s take a closer look!
When I received the Jebao auto dosing pump DP-4 and unboxed it, I was quite surprised about the build quality. It is not the most robust product, but for a price of ¼ of most dosing pumps, the buttons, LCD screen and overall build quality are fulfilling above expectations.
First test run
The Jebao auto dosing pump DP-4 has 4 heads that can be extended to 8 with an extra slave unit. I am using only 3 heads as I only dose KH, Ca and Mg with the pump. When I did a first test run in manual mode it was clear that one of the heads wasn’t spinning as it should so I took off the white cap, placed the tubes in the good position, put the cap back on and this seemed to have solved the issue. Of course this is not how you expect to get a product right from the box (my overall score would be 1 solid point higher otherwise), but as it wasn’t really “broken” and it was an easy fix, it didn’t bother me all that much.
Another thing to note is that the unit does not come with dosing tubes, so you will have to purchase this seperately.
Here’s a link.
Calibration, operation and programming
Before you put it to use, it is important to set the right time for the Jebao auto dosing pump DP-4 as you will program it later to dump a selected dosage into the tank. The clear LCD screen and built in controller unit (that only consists of 1 enter button, 4 directional buttons and an escape button) make this process very straightforward.
Calibration is another straightforward process, but I did miss a graduated cylinder to make sure it was calibrated 100% correct. As with the dosing tubes, although a cheap extra, if you don’t have it at home, you’re kind of stuck, so it would have been nice to have this included.
You can program each separate pump head by setting the time, day intervals (every day, every second day, up to 30 days) and (up to 30) times a day. It should only take a minute. For ease of use I only dose each element once a day with 2 hours in between each of them so they do not get mixed up.
If you notice your parameters are not on point 100% (after a water change for example), it’s very easy to manually dose the needed amount with each seperate dosing head in manual mode. Another good thing to know is that the unit is very consistent and will keep the settings in its memory even when power is lost.
I’ve been using the Jebao auto dosing pump DP-4 for about 1,5 years now and it hasn’t failed on me in any way. It has proven to be very consistent and I don’t see any reason why I should spend 3 times the amount for a more expensive dosing pump. The only downside I can see so far is that it can be quite noisy, but as it only runs a few seconds a day and you can choose the time of dosing, this isn’t really a problem for me. In any case, from my personal experience, I would advise this dosing pump for any beginning reefer who doesn’t like to spend too much starting out in this hobby.
note: For any dosing pump you use, check your tubing every few months as it is possible they can get clogged by crystallization of, for example, KH.
If you are interested in buying the Jebao Auto Dosing Pump DP-4, follow this link or click the button. Happy reefing!