Pacific Sun Kore 5th Doser - Dosing Station Review

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23 Jun 2016 11:32 - 01 Jul 2016 08:58 #1 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Hi guys

Just thinking I should start my review of the Kore 5th Doser. I had it for over a month and I thought I should give you my input so far.

So the doser arrived well packaged, it took over 3 weeks though and it came with the lights, which were damaged during transit (only a scratch on the side but still, anyway that's another story).

I ordered the full kit which comes with:

Kore 5th is the most advanced doser for aquarium industry. It is a completely wireless, 5 channel doser with integrated ATO (auto top off) and temp sensor(working with two level switches/optical sensors). Our control software allows users to not only connect to the doser wirelessly via bluetooth, but also set precise dosing schedules for any number of supplements or elements. Kore 5th gives users the ultimate control of dosing almost anything your reef may need!
Now, ULTIMATE PACK include ALL fantastic additional modules/sensors what made this doser is outstanding product!

Kore 5th ULTIMATE PACK include:
- 5 channel dosing station
- 1 optical level sensor
- digital temperature sensor
- DC pump(adjustable speed) for ATO refill
- acrylic tubing holder
- precise and fast flow silicone tubings
- 10m connection silicone tube
- 2ml and 50ml cylinders for precise/fast calibration
- 1ml and 5ml syringes


Extra parts included in ULTIMATE PACK:
- Pharmed BPT long life(ca. 1000h lifetime) tubings(5pcs)
- DropDose dispenser (allow for single drop doses)
- complete acrylic doser holder(top and bottom bottle holder)
- DC AWC pumps set ( for automatic water changes by two additional DC pumps).


The Kore 5th features:
- Five quiet and accuracy dosing pumps with adjustable flow
- Three modes: Fast flow, moderate flow, and precise flow allow for single dose 0.01ml (0.1ml accuracy using Pharmed BPT tubing)
- Single dose from 0.01ml to 6000ml - up to 144 doses/day
- Wirelessly controlled
- Different tubing for fast flow (up to 150ml/min) and precise dosing (20ml/min precision flow rate)
- Ability to assign labels for each pump (for example: calcium, alk, trace elements, vodka, etc.)
- Alarm for low-level dosing fluid (and indicator of remaining fluid)
- Alarm to instruct user to replace peristaltic tubing
- Precision pump calibration program (for 10ml and 50ml samples)
- Built-in ATO (automatic top-off) system with 300l/h, 2m head DC pump (adjustable speed) INCLUDED. The remote ATO/pump connects to the rear panel of the dosing unit.
- Two water level float sensors (with an additional optic sensor for the upcoming Pro unit)
- Alarm for refill malfunction
- Temperature sensor (0.1 degree accuracy) with audible alarm for high and low temperature (customizable)
- Blue back-lit LCD display (can be turned off/on)
- Battery back-up - Clock and the user settings are saved if power is interrupted.
- Single AC/DC power adapter
- Uses high quality PharMed®/Viton/Silicone tubing in each pump head with different ID diameter
- Long motor life(Made in Japan)
- Quiet "non-gearbox" operation
- Spare parts are readily available.

As you can see it is quite impressive and although not cheap, it is not expensive compared to similar products out there.

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The acrylic support is pretty good and fits very nicely in the tank

I placed the doser right on top of the sump, inside the cabinet, it fits nicely and I have a clear view of the display

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So the installation was easy, very straight forward. That is the hardware or physical part, the software is however a different story, but we will talk about that later.

The Doser has 5 dosing pucks plus a built in ATO which makes it perfect for those who need plenty of dosing power!

.....


Ok so I was trying to move into the part where I was going to explain how to set it up with screen shots etc but I am afraid I can't. I am having problems (once again) accessing it. This seems to be a common issue or at least for me, 8 out of 10 times I try to access the Doser I can't. Normally a reset does the trick bu tI am afraid it is not working this time. So I guess this is it for now. I might, however, use this to explain how the doser connects to your PC/Laptop.

The doser uses Bluetooth technology instead of wireless/ethernet so connecting to it seems to be quite tricky. It is a shame it doesnt come with an ethernet socket as this would be great as it would mean I could remotely connect to it from anywhere in the world, however, since it is bluetooth I have to physically be there to make any changes. Another option could be a USB port but it doesnt come with one either.

I have had a few issues with the doser in the past, it seems to lose connectivity every few weeks specially if not used. So if you configure something and dont access it for a while, it will be likely you will need to reset it next time you connect.

I am not saying BT is bad, I am saying that in my experience, it seems to be quite unreliable and finicky. However, the software itself (which I can't access atm) is much more robust than the one for the Pacific Sun Hypherion LED T5 Hybrids I got which I will review them separately maybe sometime today/this week.

Another thing is that, if you have an apex controller or similar, a doser like this might not be your best option as you might want to have full control over the doser, but if you have something like this you will only be able to switch if off and on, full control would have made this doser an amazing option for everyone!

But for those who dont or need a controller such as an Apex/GHL this doser could be a good option... that is if I can ever connect again lol

Anyway, as soon as I gain connectivity to the doser I will continue the post.
Last edit: 01 Jul 2016 08:58 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez).

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23 Jun 2016 11:39 #2 by robert (robert carter)
Sounds very complicated , must be made for theyounger generation and not for us old fellows . Anyway it sounds good so best of luck with it

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23 Jun 2016 12:05 - 23 Jun 2016 12:06 #3 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Hey robert

Well dont speak too soon, Doser is unresponsive at the minute, Pacific Sun's support is great but that doesnt change the fact that this is, for me, a normal occurrence, is like if the software feels buggy!

Anyway I am going to use the Apex as an ATO for the time being until I get this sorted, I really need something reliable and so far this hasnt been :(

I will move to the lights now
Last edit: 23 Jun 2016 12:06 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez).

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25 Jun 2016 08:35 #4 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Ok so I am back in control. It seems that there are too many wireless devices in my apartment (or the complex) and this is not helping, hence why I prefer an ethernet connection or a normal wireless link, there is no limit to the number of devices you can have in a network when using them. Anyway, lets go!

After we connect to the doser for the first time we get a simple screen where we can see basic information about the doser such as how much have we dosed today, temperature and if any alarms have gone off etc.

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The second tab gets you into the dose settings, here is where you can set the dosing for each one of the pumps, we have a total of 5 pumps.

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The menu is pretty simple, you can select the amount of fluid you want to dose, how many times per day and when do you want it to happen.

You can specify doses from 1 dose per day up to 24 doses, it also has 2 extra dosing profiles called C5, C11, C5 will dose 5 times during the night, C11 will dose 11 times during the day.

The set up is simple and pretty straight forward,

Now we move into the "advanced Dosing" tab. This tab is simple enough, you can specifcy which days of the week you want to dose as well as if you want to activate the stirrer (sold separately), you can also set a dosing delay on the pump and set the pump labels (like calcium, magnesium etc).

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25 Jun 2016 08:46 #5 by robert (robert carter)
Looks like a very impressive bit of kit , best of luck with it

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25 Jun 2016 08:57 #6 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Continuing

The next tab brings you to the Manual Control/Calibration menus.

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As the name says it is used to calibrate the pumps. The calibration method is quite straight forward. You can also manually activate a pump and manually dose a specific amount of fluid if needed.

You can also specify your stirred model and set the low level alarm for your containers (in percentage).

The next tab will show the amount of liquid available in your containers, it is a pretty handy tab tbh. It will display, total amount of fluid, fluid left, and days left based on your dosing.

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Next we have the AWC (automatic water changes) tab

This doser will allow you to perform automatic water changes. I havent tried this up yet and I dont think I will but it is a good feature to have for those who find this fit to their purposes.

When you use AWC you will lose pumps 4 and 5 as they will be used to perform the water changes.

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The set up seems simple enough. You can set up how much water you want to change per week, and once set up all you have to do is make sure you have plenty of "clean" water in the container. The changes occur on hourly basis so there is no risk of running out of water all of the sudden.

I think I could only use this if I go on holidays for a long period of time (like 3 weeks or so) but even then I dont see this necessary as my plan is not to do water changes at all.

Last tab is the system tab, this tab is mostly used to perform back ups and firmware upgrades.

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In conclusion I find the doser a great piece of kit. The software works fine although again I am not a fan of them using Bluetooth to connect to the doser. I find the software a bit "delicate", every month or so I have to reset the doser which is a bit of an inconvenience.

I think this doser will suit someone that doesnt have an aquarium controller and just wants one device to manage everything. I mean, you get 5 dosing pumps and ATO in the same unit and for that price I think it is a clear winner.

If you have an aquarium controller you might want to use a different pump so you can control them separately and deactivate/activate them via your controller.

I am planning on still use the Apex to do the ATO and leave the doser purely as a doser for the time being. I will probably move away to individual dosing pumps and use the apex to control them all.

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25 Jun 2016 15:16 - 25 Jun 2016 15:17 #7 by robert (robert carter)
So does this make the beds , do the hoovering , do the washing up ,and cook dinner , if so am getting one :crazy:
Last edit: 25 Jun 2016 15:17 by robert (robert carter). Reason: Spelling

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25 Jun 2016 15:30 #8 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
I think thats coming on v3 ;)

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25 Jun 2016 18:58 #9 by Lakes1985 (David Ward)
:laugh: :laugh:

robert wrote: So does this make the beds , do the hoovering , do the washing up ,and cook dinner , if so am getting one :crazy:

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01 Jul 2016 08:39 #10 by carlowchris (chris)
I have the same problems with mine.using Bluetooth....I've found if I restart the laptop every time I want to connect it usually works but I have had to reboot the dosed a few times as well to get access ...a bit annoying.. :hammer: :hammer:

..a simple Ethernet port would be so much better.

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01 Jul 2016 08:54 #11 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Totally agree man.

I am tired of doing resets to get connectivity back on line. Like you said, ethernet or even wifi would have been a much better option in my opinion. BT is just to flimsy IMO.

Another option could be wifi and USB for instance. If you need to upgrade it you can use the usb port and use wifi for everything else.

The doser is only being used as an ATO at the moment, for some reason after the reset it dosed over 1l of calcium suplement into the tank, at the moment it cannot be trusted. This product is definitively losing points for me at the moment, but I am willing to give it more time.

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08 Jul 2016 11:18 #12 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Hey guys

Just a quick update. The doser is still acting funny. I have been having issues with the doser where is dosing ridiculous amount of liquid despite having it set to dose a much loser dose.

For instance, I have it set up to dose 70 ml of calcium but when I do a dosing check to see how much is dosing is showing 650 ml.

Now, the guys in tech support recon is a calibration problem but if thats the case (I already calibrated it) why is it showing the correct amount on the total dose amount? if it was a calibration problem it surely would be showing 70 ml and not 650ish.

Anyway, last night, after having switched all the pumps off (i switched them off 5 days ago) the doser started making noises again and noticed that there was a lot of activity (weird because I am only using it as a ATO). Anyway, when I checked this morning I noticed all my pumps were on again and that it had started dosing once again...

This is very very bad IMO thank god I only have a bit of calcium connected to it.

I am gonna ask them to take it back and move onto another doser, probably the APEX one which seems to be more reliable.

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08 Jul 2016 12:45 #13 by robert (robert carter)
that's not great ,modern tech, manual dose with a measuring dose ha ha

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08 Jul 2016 12:49 #14 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Yeah

I am sure is something easily fix. IMO is something to do with the software doubt is a hardware problem but we will see.

Doser are handy specially if you are planning on going on holidays. But you want to make sure it is accurate enough and you trust them to leave them unattended for a while!

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08 Jul 2016 12:55 #15 by robert (robert carter)
I only have an auto feeder and rush into the front room at feeding times to make sure it works correctly ,so really don't need it . I worry about this one piece of automation so yours must be giving you a real headache

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18 Jul 2016 22:46 #16 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Ok one more update.

So again the Doser has become un-contactable now from all my computers. Same thing as before, you click on connect and the app freezes and that's pretty much it.

The reason why I needed to connect to it is because my ATO is no longer working, either the pump is dead or the Doser is not activating it, either way it doesnt work.

And since I just had surgery I can't really do anything about it as the doser is not very accessible at the minute. I should have set up my Apex as the ATO before I went on holidays.

This thing is absolute rubbish...

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18 Jul 2016 22:55 #17 by robert (robert carter)
I dont know where your based i am in d24 is their anything that i can do to help , ie access your piece of equippment for you . Have no idea about the tech stuff but willing to help doing anything manual . Hopefully you will be back to normal soon . I wonder are any of us fishkeepers normal but that a topic for another day . Robert

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18 Jul 2016 23:12 #18 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Thanks Robert.

I will try to set up my Apex tomorrow as an ATO otherwis eI might use my old ATO system, that would do the trick until I am fully recovered.

I do appreciate it though. Two days should not be much of an issue, worse case scenario I can overfill the sump with like 10 liters of water, I have another 20 liters of margin before the sump runs dry which should be more than enough for 2 days.

Again, thank you for your offer you are very kind.

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19 Jul 2016 13:39 #19 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
Is that 20 liters you loose every 2 days or 30 liters every 2 days?
Are you growing mushrooms yet in your front room?

Hope u back on your feet soon. Enjoy the sun while you have a few days off.

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19 Jul 2016 14:13 #20 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Lol

no but around 5-8 liters per day with this heat...

My house can get up to 30-32 degrees during summer, but that's with me in it and with windows and balcony doors and fans blasting away. It can easily reach 38-40 degrees during the day if these were off or closed!!!

Therefore I got a chiller, however, it wont arrive for another 2 days so until then I am a bit in panic mode.

The aquarium reached 28 degrees yesterday (tday is on 27), this temperature changes are causing some of my SPS to bleach a bit... they might not make it. It could also stress the fish. I should have got the chiller much earlier :(

Anyway its all under control, I had to reset the doser again and now it is back on track (ATO). So it should be ok for the rest of the week until I am better and I can set up the ATO via the Apex.

I like having the ATO as this will mean my salinity will remain stable as well :S

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19 Jul 2016 23:45 #21 by Sukahn (Shane Doorley)
Im losing about 5 liters a day in my 5ft tank as well.

Point a fan at the front glass of the tank and it will cool down the glass enough for it to maintain water temp in the tank. Well as long as you use a fairly large fan :) Its what i dont last year with my two other tanks and it made sure the temps didnt rise and fall too much.

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20 Jul 2016 07:30 #22 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Yeah thankfully today is cooler so temperatures should not be a problem as temperatures inside the apartment should not go over 30 degrees today. The fan is on and will remain on until I am back just in case.

But otherwise I would be worried to leave the tank like these even for 2 days.

This damn apartments are covered in glass windows and they create some sort of green house effect inside, gets pretty hot!

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04 Jan 2017 01:21 #23 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Hey guys

Just a quick update, after a few issues with the doser I decided to send it back for repair (one day it just wouldnt boot up and I was not able to reflash the firmware). So after about 1 week (which tbh is quite impressive response time considering the are in Poland) I got it back with my with a note saying that one of the processors and another electrical component (micro component) were faulty and had to be replaced, so after all there was something wrong with the doser which is good to know since it means I wasnt doing anything wrong on my side.

I Will play with it in a while although since I have an apex the doser doesnt really suit my needs so I see it leaving me sooner than later!

Chat later!

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04 Jan 2017 13:48 #24 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)
Very interesting review. I have read a lot of good things about these dosing units but also seen a few people complaining about connectivity. Hopefully its all sorted for you now that it has been repaired. Let us know how you get on with it as i have been thinking about getting something like it.

Stephen.

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11 Jan 2017 11:55 #25 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Thanks Stephen

I agree, connectivity is definetively the weakest point by far. I havent tested it again yet, I was gonna sell it as it came but I think it is only fair for me to test it before I do that.

I am a bit in a dilemma at the moment, thinking of getting rid of my big tank since I am planning on building a house and other things, main thing driving me back is the fish, I know I am gonna find it hard to find a proper home for them, and that I can't live with that!

If the doser (and all pacific sun devices tbh) had an rj45 ethernet or/and wireless ethernet it would make this equipment much more solid, even wireless and USB would do, never understood why they havent though.BT is soooo flimsy IMO.

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