Plank Setup and Installation

Installation Overview Video

Joey from TheCoralReefTalk made this great easy to follow setup video

NEW version 3.5 with Sicce Nano pump assembly video

Plank Mounting

Using the spacer and rimless adapter

Spacer for thick tank rims

The flat bar with two holes is used to create a bit more distance between the top and bottom halves of the Plank mount when used on tanks with thick plastic rims or Eurobracing.  This allows the mounting platform's edge to grab under the lip of the plastic frame or Eurobrace.  Every Plank comes with one of these; you can stack them if the trim or Eurobrace is extra thick.

Rimless spacer adapter

Rimless tank adapter

The angled bar is used to “fill in” the gap in the lower half of the mount which is typically used to grab the plastic rim of many aquariums.  When used on a (t)rimless tank, this flat surface to clamp against creates a more secure hold for the mount.

Integrating the Plank with Screen Tops

The best way to use a screen top with the Plank is to create a "cutout" area, typically in a corner, for the mounting platform.  This allows you to easily lift or remove the screen top without needing to move the Plank.  Nearly every screen top style available (Red Sea, BRS, etc) has a kit that includes two extra right angle corners and a short length of the frame material. Here is an example of using a corner kit (this one is from BRS) to create a custom Plank integrated screen top:

Screen top customization
We also have worked with Clearview Lids; they should have everything needed to accommodate a Plank with any of their lid designs. 

Feeding Calculation

How Much to Feed?

The Plank feeds Reef Jerky very precisely and very slowly so you can literally "dose" plankton into your reef. When making the switch from Frozen to Freeze Dried the most asked question we get is how much Reef Jerky to use and how long to run the Plank. 

The first thing to know is that the food hopper is designed to hold approximately 200ml of Reef Jerky or similar freeze dried food.  By weight, this is about 1oz (28g) of Reef Jerky.  This means Reef Jerky's density is approximately .14g/ml.  These weights don't apply to pellets and other types of food, as they have different densities.

The Plank will dispense 0.07g of Reef Jerky in 30 seconds, or 0.14g/min.  That means 1 ml (or 1cc) of Reef Jerky per minute.  In terms of frozen cube equivalent, this means about 3 minutes of Plank runtime will dispense roughly 1 "cube" (by volume, not weight) of Reef Jerky.  As explained in the video below, this can be broken up into multiple, smaller feedings per day.

As a real world example, Justin's personal tank contains 19 fish, including three big tangs and one rather old and fat genicanthus angelfish.  The Plank on this tank is currently set to feed 7 times per day for 2 minutes at a time (every 2 hours between 8am and 8pm).  This equates to 14 minutes of total runtime, or approximately 4.5 cubes per day.  This lasts almost exactly two weeks between refills.  At 1cc/min, the Plank can hold about 200 runtime minutes worth of Reef Jerky.  You can base a recurring refill reminder on your calendar on this.  What's handy is that we offer an auto-ship option for Reef Jerky, so you can use the above figures to calculate how often you will need to refill your Plank, and have fresh food automatically delivered as needed.


Timers and Programming

GHL Profilux 4 programming

This thread is a great reference and we are subscribed to it and happy to answer any questions there as well. 

You are going to set up two timers, one cyclical (a) and one normal (b) Then create a programmable logic (c) that that uses Timer a AND Timer b.  Finally, on your Plank outlet, select the function as Programmable Logic c and save.

More Profilux 4 setup tips from helpful Plank user hhaase

Neptune Apex programming for seconds-level resolution

Use the OSC command to create a recurring on/off cycle.  If the total number of minutes:seconds is divisible by 1440 (the number of minutes in a day), the cycle will automatically repeat at midnight, and the feeder will activate at the same times each day.  For example:

Fallback OFF

OSC 000:00/00:30/119:30 Then ON

If Time 20:01 to 07:59 Then OFF

This code causes the feeder outlet to activate for 30 seconds every 120 minutes (30 seconds on, 119:30 off) between the hours of 8am and 8pm.  You will get (7) 30 second feeding periods at 8am, 10am, … 8pm.

This could be modified to:

OSC 000:00/00:20/119:40 Then ON

For a 20 second feed time.  The key is that the minutes:seconds adds up to a round number (120 min in this case) that evenly divides into 1440.

NearPow Timer:


Wi-Fi outlet:


Troubleshooting and maintenance

Troubleshooting, repair, and maintenance

Food coming out too fast

If you find that some freeze dried food is being pushed out of the mixing chamber too quickly, it may be because the water flow/swirl speed is too aggressive.  Try turning the grey valve counter-clockwise to reduce the flow through the pump, as seen in this picture:

Sicce nano flow adjustment

Another consideration is that the bottom of the mixing pump chamber/tube is meant to be approximately four inches (10cm) below the water level.  If it is less than this, the output nozzle might be too close to the surface and cause the water to spin too quickly inside.  For minor adjustments, you can push the tube down a little bit below flush with the surface of the mounting platform.  If you need it to be considerably lower, please contact us for a longer mixing tube.

Sometimes the opposite problem occurs when the water level is too high relative to the mounting platform, and water splashes up above the tube and onto the platform.  This can happen when the water level is very close to, or touching, the bottom of the mounting platform.  In addition to turning the flow nozzle to minimum as described above, a simple solution to try is to push the tube up higher than the top of the mounting platform, as much as a half-inch above flush with the platform.  If the tube is pushed up so high as to contact the overhanging keg, be sure that water does not splash up and wet the end of the auger.  If your tank's water level is so high that this does not solve the problem, please contact us for additional special mounting options.

A note on extra-long mixing tubes

Many users have opted for over-sump installations (or up in a canopy), necessitating a longer mixing chamber tube.  While this generally works fine, we advise that the max length be kept to about fourteen inches (35cm).  These longer tubes have an increased risk of allowing fine freeze-dried food particles to stick to the insides as they fall to the water below, particularly if they have any condensation inside.  This can cause a buildup over time if not periodically cleaned, and make a mess.  Be sure to check extra long mixing tubes for food buildup as a regular maintenance item!

Replacing the auger