View Full Version : ATO Malfunction

06/15/2010, 05:26 AM
When I got up this morning I heard my aqualifter running very loudly. I checked my sump and it had obviously been running for a few hours. Luckily I caught it fairly early and it had only added about 2-3 gallons. I checked my water and its at about 1.0235. Theres a bit of "snow" in the tank but my nem and stonies are not showing much of a reaction. I'm not too concerned about my alk and cal levels because I run them lower just incase of this sort of thing so I haven't checked them yet.

What I was wondering was how I should fix it. Should I siphon out the excess water (flood insurance) and let it evaporate to the right level? Then I'd add some new water to get it to the level I want it in the sump?

Also: I'm suspecting it was a float valve issue, should I soak it in vinegar and clean it before I put it back online?

Thanks for your help. Much appreciated

06/15/2010, 05:43 AM
Do you add an alk supplement to your rodi water in your top-off or just rodi water?

06/15/2010, 05:49 AM
I add kalk. 2 tbs per gallon.

06/15/2010, 05:50 AM
Read Randy's article before taking any further steps, "What is that Precipitate in My Reef Aquarium?":


From Randy's Article:

"The following important points should help in dealing with a limewater overdose:

1. Don't panic! These overdoses do not usually cause a tank to crash.

2. The primary concern is pH. If the pH is 8.6 or lower, you need not do anything. If the pH is above 8.6, then reducing the pH is the priority. Direct addition of vinegar or soda water is a good way to accomplish this goal. Either one mL of distilled white vinegar, or six mL of soda water, per gallon of tank water will give an initial pH drop of about 0.3 pH units. Add either to a high flow area that is away from organisms (e.g., a sump).

3. Do not bother to measure calcium or alkalinity while the tank is cloudy. The solid calcium carbonate particles will dissolve in an alkalinity test, and all of the carbonate in them will be counted as if it were in solution and part of "alkalinity." The same may happen to some extent with calcium tests. Wait until the water clears, and at that point, alkalinity is more likely to be low than high. Calcium will likely be mostly unchanged.

4. The particles themselves will typically settle out and disappear from view over a period of 1-4 days. They do not appear to cause long term detrimental effects to tank organisms.

5. Water changes are not necessarily beneficial or needed in response to a limewater overdose."

06/15/2010, 05:54 AM
Thanks. My salinity isn't too far off so I guess I'll let it evap. Better to have the slow change anyways.

Thanks again

06/15/2010, 05:57 AM
FWIW, I would use a dosing pump on a timer to help prevent overdose of kalk in the future. You can clean your float valve with vinegar to help remove any calcium carbonate build-up.

If your salinity is low, I would remove the excess tank water to the normal level and then replace the kalk water with salt mix to bring your salinity back to normal. You don't want to put your live stock through another shock by increasing the salinity too fast.

06/15/2010, 05:59 AM
Do you think evaporation would be too fast? It'll take me about 2 days to get it where it should be with evaporation.

06/15/2010, 05:59 AM
Another thing is that kalk water is saturated at 2 teaspoons per gallon, so adding more will not increase the potentcy, unless you are adding vinegar to it. ;)

06/15/2010, 06:01 AM
Replacing your evaporation water with salt mix will not increase your salinity too fast and is the preferred method to raise your salinity safely.

06/15/2010, 06:02 AM
That was a typo. Fixed it after I caught it.

06/15/2010, 06:06 AM
I just saw that. :)

The main concern now is that your pH is not above 8.6.

06/15/2010, 06:08 AM
Replacing your evaporation water with salt mix will not increase your salinity too fast and is the preferred method to raise your salinity safely.

Perfect..it's also the easier method. I'll just have a bucket ready to go when my evap hits the right level. I had read all of randy's articles on kalk before I started using it but that was about a year ago so I'm a little rusty.

Thanks. I will say the biggest piece of advice on there is "don't panic" I looked at my corals, they looked fine, so I came upstairs, fired up the computer and started a thread without exclamation points on the end of the title.

06/15/2010, 06:14 AM
I'm glad to hear your tank occupants are doing fine. :)

If the snow doesn't clear quickly enough for you, you can run a filter bag to help remove the precipitate.

06/15/2010, 06:18 AM
Thanks, man. Much appreciated

06/15/2010, 06:21 AM
YOur welcome. :)

It's off to work I go. IF you have additional questions, others will help you out. ;)