The Vida dosing computer from ARKA really caught our attention when it was first revealed about a year ago. Since that time we’ve seen the units displayed at trade shows around the world but ARKA didn’t seem ready for a full launch. Now after a year of feedback from their customers, and some time spent incubating in the Research & Development department, a very refined version of the Vida dosing computer is ready for full deployment on marine aquariums.
What the ARKA Vida-GT is offering is the same very rich feature set that it touted back in October of last year but now the machine is smaller, and much more user friendly in terms of its user interface for accessing the entire suite of tricks this dosing computer can perform. For starters the Vida is a four-channel dosing pump system with a built in controller to schedule the dosing times, quantity and frequency.
The first real big feature that sets the Vida-GT apart is the incorporation of magnetic stirrers right on the body of the unit, inside a tray that sits right behind the dosing pump heads. This dedicated space means you won’t be placing any dosing bottles larger than about 500ml to 1000ml at a time, but it’s a small concession to make for having thoroughly mixed bacterial additives, carbon dosing, or liquid foods.
The other really standout feature of the ARKA Vida-GT is its ability to “back-siphon” the fluid from the lines – what this means is that once a fluid is sucked up and dosed through the line, the dosing pump will reverse flow to clear out the line and empty it of the fluid contained within.
This feature is novel among aquarium dosers and especially useful for dosing bacterial supplements, non-refrigerated foods, and especially concentrated formulas of calcium and buffer. With an operating temperature specifically stated to be down to 32ºF/OºC, if you’re gung-ho about liquid food that needs to be chilled, you could just place this entire dosing pump in a small refrigerator with liquid food and dose away.
Clearing the lines ensures that bacteria do not grow in the tubing, carbon additives do not cake up, and calcium & buffer solutions have no chance to build up or precipitate inside. Other notable details about the Vida GT from ARKA is that it is expandable to 8 channel dosing system for full-on balling method, German, French and English languages are built-in to the menus which has been worked on and refined to allow for easy access to all of the dosing options that are built into the dosing computer.
The real kicker about the ARKA Vida-GT dosing computer is how little its retail price is estimated to be for such a feature-rich dosing pump system. $399 is the expected street price of the Vida-GT when a U.S. master distributor is found for the only dosing pump unit to have built-in magnetic stirrers. If you’re big on dosing bacterial supplements, or liquid foods, the ARKA Vida is really the only dosing pump worth considering. [ARKA]