View Full Version : The STORM™ Specialized Top Off and Replenishment Module

06/15/2010, 07:43 PM
As promised, here are some of the details of the Genesis STORM™ Specialized Top Off & Replenishment Module. If you still have any questions, please feel free to contact us here through the forum or via our contact page at www.GenesisReefSystems.com.

The Genesis STORM™ is no ordinary automatic top off module. The STORM™ is loaded with redundancy (by now, you've probably noticed we are all about redundancy at Genesis Reef Systems!), and it boasts several features that no other top off system out there can.


The STORM™ is available in two versions: the STORM™ Basic and the STORM™ Pro. We'll get the differences between the two later, but in broad strokes the STORM™ consists of a Control Module, two or more Level Sensors, two or more of our unique and versatile Level Sensor Mount Assemblies with Shrouds, and optionally a ROCv™ Replenishment Module to automatically control your reverse osmosis filter's production of top off water.


The Control Module is very straightforward. It has four buttons, a two-character display, several LED indicators, two AC power receptacles, and connection points for various level sensors and the RENEW™ Automatic Water Change System communication cable. The user interface was designed to be as intuitive as possible. The button on the left controls the auxiliary power outlet, for such items as the ROCv™, an extra pump or powerhead, or perhaps a small heater or other peripheral device. The button can be simply depressed momentarily to toggle the device on or off, or it can be held for three seconds to enter ROCv™ mode. ROCv™ mode allows the STORM™ to monitor level sensors placed in your top off bin and automatically refill your top off bin whenever the supply gets low. No more checking your sump level only to find it's low because you forgot to refill the top off bin! The middle button controls your top off functions and pump. It can be used to start top off functions, pause top off functions, or it can be pressed and held to manually turn the top off pump on. The two buttons on the right adjust the duration that the top off pump stays on when performing a top off function, or they can be pressed simultaneously to enter the Min-to-Max setup mode (more about that later).

Operation of the STORM™ is straightforward as well, but here's where the STORM™ really sets itself apart from other ordinary top off modules. The STORM™ constantly monitors your sump or aquarium's water level and add fresh water to replace water lost through evaporation as necessary - nothing earth-shattering here! However, here are some of the things you can do with the STORM™ that you can't do with other top off modules:
1. Adjust the duration of top off cycles in 1-second increments
2. Control a peripheral device like a small pump, powerhead, heater, etc.
3. Automatically replenish your top off supply
4. Easily set minimum and maximum water levels, using only one sensor
5. Manually turn on your top off pump with the simple press of a button
6. Automatically detect an automatic water change system and suspend operation when water is intentionally removed for water changes
7. Place your Level Sensors exactly where you want them with infinite height adjustability, even in a deep bin, using our unique Level Sensor Hangers
8. Protect your Level Sensors from erroneous triggering due to water turbulence or critters

The list goes on, but as you can see the STORM™ is in a league of its own with respect to what it can do. It's also the most robust automatic top off module available, due to numerous layers of redundancy and the highest quality components, such as our Level Sensors.

The STORM™ Basic comes with two of these high quality Level Sensors for the sump and the top off bin. The Level Sensor in the sump triggers a top off cycle, and the Level Sensor in the top off bin prevents your pump from running dry. The STORM™ also monitors its own operation for added redundancy. If the STORM™ performs a top off cycle twice in a row and doesn't detect that the sump level has increased, it will cease top off functions and alert you that there is a problem somewhere - either your pump has seized, the tubing has fallen out of your sump, or your top off bin's water level is too low. Even more redundancy is added with the STORM™ Pro.

The STORM™ Pro includes everything that the Basic model includes, but it also adds a ROCv™ Replenishment Module, two ROCv™ Level Sensors, two more Level Sensor Shrouds, and two Failsafe Level Sensors. The Failsafe Level Sensors are placed above the sump and top off bin Level Sensors and monitor for water levels that are too high. Any time they detect that water is at that level, the STORM™ will suspend top off operation or turn the ROCv™ off to stop reverse osmosis water production, depending which water level is too high.

So what is this ROCv™ that keeps getting mentioned? The ROCv™ allows water to flow to or from a reverse osmosis filter that feeds your top off bin. It must be used with a STORM™ since it borrows the STORM's "brain." The ROCv™ automatically turns on when the STORM™ detects that the water level in the top off bin is getting low, and when the bin is full it is turns off. Redundancy is key here as well: your reverse osmosis filter is hooked up to an endless supply of water! The first layer of redundancy is the ROCv™ itself. If a power outage occurs, the ROCv™ automatically stops the flow of water through your RO filter. Second, the ROCv™ Max Level Sensor lets the STORM™ know when to turn the ROCv™ off. Third, the recommended float valve will stop the flow of water into your top off bin if it should get too high, and finally, the Failsafe Level Sensor on your top off bin will signal the STORM™ to turn off the ROCv™ should the other Level Sensor and float valve fail. There's virtually no way you're going to have a flood with the STORM™ Specialized Top Off & Replenishment Module!

Min to Max Setup Mode. The STORM's top off duration can be manually adjusted to turn the top off pump on for anywhere between 5 and 99 seconds. In this manner you can decide whether to add a little water - just enough to raise the water level in your small sump or aquarium a tiny bit - or quite a bit of water for a sump with a larger volume and surface area. Adjusting the duration to add just the right amount of water can be a little hit-or-miss when done manually the first time, so we added the Min-to-Max Setup Mode to take the guesswork out. Simply enter the Min-to-Max Setup Mode, go off to tend to your other business for a while, come back, and manually top off to the desired maximum level. The STORM™ will automatically store the duration needed to achieve this level and will then use that duration on subsequent top off cycles, thereby adding approximately the same amount of water each time. This is particularly useful on large sumps such as those in retail stores or wholesale facilities.

One final thing to cover - the STORM's interaction with the RENEW™ Automatic Water Change System. The STORM™ is the only top off system that can work with an automatic water change system such as the Genesis RENEW™. The STORM™ communicates with the RENEW™ and recognizes when the RENEW™ is removing water from the sump or aquarium for a water change. When water has been removed by the RENEW™, the STORM™ will not attempt to replace the water with fresh water. You can imagine what would happen with an ordinary top off system: it would treat the water removed as though it had evaporated, and add the same amount of fresh water, lowering salinity. Then, as replacement saltwater was introduced into the aquarium, the water level would rise. After a few repeat cycles like this, you're headed for a flood! Well, no need to worry with the STORM™ and RENEW™ combination - they work together seamlessly to provide you with unsurpassed automated water handling.

I've tried to cover as much as I could, but please feel free to ask questions for more details. I look forward to hearing from you!


09/27/2010, 05:26 PM
Ill be able to do a full review with pictures once mine comes in this week

10/15/2010, 06:27 PM
Wondering if I can get some advice with this. I have a storm and genesis system that I love. However I recently ran into a small snag when using it in conjuction with some Neptune programming. I have a custom program for feeding that turns off the main pump and skimmer. When this happens my sump literally fills to the very top. The problem is that the top sensor for the storm senses this and puts the unit into pause. Roughly an hour later all pumps turn back on and the water level returns to normal but the storm stays in a paused state. Is there any way for that not to happen aside from disabling the top sensor which I don't want to do? Thanks!


10/15/2010, 08:25 PM

Thanks for the nice comment. I'm happy you're pleased with the systems!

Perhaps something like this would allow you to accomplish what you want:


Essentially, using 1/2" PVC pipe, a tee, and an elbow, you can adjust your shroud so that the sensor trips just as the water level approaches the rim of your sump. I can send a higher resolution sketch if needed.

Hope this helps! If not, just let me know and I'll ponder it some more.


10/17/2010, 09:50 PM
I’m using the Storm and ROCv and love it. Especially the ROCv :thumbsup: which has made running out of RO/DI water a thing of the past.

What I did was, and if you have an extra outlet, add the Genesis to the Apex. When the feed cycle begins I have it turn the Genesis and the return pump off. Then after the feed cycle ends I have the Genesis turn on 2 minutes after the return pump starts. This gives the sump time to stabilize and bring the water level below the fail safe float switch. I would rather have the fail safe float well below the rim to prevent ATO overflow.

Downside – monitoring returns as normal for the Storm and you do not have to reset it. However, if you are using the ROCv its monitoring must be reset. But for me this is better than having to reset the ATO’s monitoring.



10/19/2010, 06:44 PM
Sorry for the delay and thanks for the replies. In the end I just ended up leaving the skimmer on. This gives me that 1/4 inch or so of breathing room I needed. The ony problem for me with the first approach was there was literally no difference between safe and full to the max. The second approach sounds interesting but mine doesn't seem to work that way. When my storm loses then regains power it comes back on in a paused state. Was that changed in newer revisions to the firmware?

10/19/2010, 07:14 PM

Yes, that was changed in a recent update. It was initially that way for setup purposes so that a user didn't accidentally pump a bit of water onto the floor when they were setting up the first time (since it would immediately turn the pump on if the sensors weren't in the water). However, we believe it is more important to have the STORM™ recover after a power outage, so the STORM™ now begins monitoring immediately after powering on.

There's only been one firmware update since release, which added this functionality. I'll pm you with the details to get your STORM™ updated.


10/27/2010, 12:18 PM
I should get mine today. I wish you can offer magnetic mounts for the float switches as well as optical float switches as an option. It just makes it hard sometimes to look for a place to hang the mounts especially if your sump has top/euro bracing.

10/28/2010, 05:57 PM

I used this, works great, hard to find but Aquacave sells it..... Hope this helps

Tunze Osmolator magnet holder (3155.600) going for $32.55

10/28/2010, 06:09 PM
Yup, that would work great, and the Storm float might fit as well. A bit expensive for two magnets though.

The TLF nano magnet cleaner might work as well. I can just mount the storm float holders -- about $10.

10/28/2010, 06:16 PM
It fits, I'm using one, yeah they cost too much but I like it.....

10/28/2010, 06:56 PM
Will two floats fit on the tunze?

10/28/2010, 08:10 PM
No, well...maybe, it's designed to fit one, and a sensor.

10/29/2010, 11:58 AM
Im thinking about this:http://www.kjmagnetics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=BX084PC-BLK

It has about 16 lbs of pull strength between 2 of them. Since they are coated in plastic, it should be reef safe. I'm thinking of sticking one on the PVC probe holder of the Storm, or maybe directly to the shroud using weldon. 4 magnets is about $13.

10/29/2010, 12:05 PM
Please let us know how it works out, love the idea

10/29/2010, 05:03 PM
I've ordered the magnets. I'll update if it works.


10/29/2010, 05:24 PM
Hi Reggie,

Thanks for posting! I hope the magnets work for you!

Be careful not to let them "smack" together - they easily break and the surface finish could be damaged, allowing a starting point for corrosion.

I'm sorry I haven't been able to respond to your original post about the euro bracing. I'm going to sketch up an alternate mounting scheme for euro bracing just for reference and post it as soon as possible.

Talk to you later,

10/29/2010, 06:28 PM
Here's a way to mount your level sensors on a sump with Euro bracing using just a few lengths of 1/2" PVC pipe and some fittings. It's pretty inexpensive, and it can be used to make your installation nice and neat, using the mount itself to transfer water or conceal the sensor wires.

We also have black PVC and fittings available to match the shrouds and give it a professional look.


10/31/2010, 01:07 PM
Sent my Storm into Kevin last Saturday and had it back in less than a week after he upgraded the software. I can honestly say I've identified the worst part about this product... not having it. I forgot to add water twice, had to rush home from work once because I was worried about the pump sucking air. I can't believe I ever used to not have one of these things. Kevin is a pleasure to deal with and always willing to help. Can't say enough about this product, customer service, company. I hope more people give this product a shot because it's top notch. Oh and I no longer have to worry about power outages. Sweet!

10/31/2010, 02:13 PM
So how do I know which firmware I have and is there a way I can upgrade it myself?

Thanks for the info.

11/01/2010, 06:52 AM
So how do I know which firmware I have and is there a way I can upgrade it myself?

Hello Reggie,

We only have the two firmware versions. I can tell you what the product was shipped with if you can provide the serial number on the back of the control module. However, it's actually very easy to determine whether you have the new firmware or the old firmware by following these steps:
1. With your STORM™ running and the "MONITORING" indicator solidly illuminated, turn the unit off.
2. Wait about three seconds and turn the unit back on
3. Observe the "MONITORING" indicator again. If it is flashing, you have the original firmware; if it is solidly illuminated, it is the newer firmware.

There is another way to determine the firmware version if your STORM™ isn't yet installed (meaning you won't get the solidly illuminated "MONITORING" indicator):
1. Turn your STORM™ on.
2. Press and hold the two round buttons (AUX and OPERATION) for at least six seconds.
3. If the display shows "S1" or "S2," and the INCREASE and DECREASE buttons cycle between S1 and S2, you have the new firmware. If not, then it is the old firmware.

We will be adding a key sequence to display the firmware version if we release a third version.

The unit must be returned to us to upgrade the firmware. We usually are able to turn the unit around and ship out the same day we receive.

Please PM me if you would like to set an upgrade up. We'll get you taken care of!


11/01/2010, 07:48 AM
Same day service!!! When is the last time you received same day service on anything? I can barely get my dry cleaning done same day and I pick it up and drop it off! Kevin you are the tip of the sword...

11/01/2010, 08:01 AM
Thanks, Reefkeeps!!!

11/02/2010, 08:16 PM
There is another way to determine the firmware version if your STORM™ isn't yet installed (meaning you won't get the solidly illuminated "MONITORING" indicator):
1. Turn your STORM™ on.
2. Press and hold the two round buttons (AUX and OPERATION) for at least six seconds.
3. If the display shows "S1" or "S2," and the INCREASE and DECREASE buttons cycle between S1 and S2, you have the new firmware. If not, then it is the old firmware.

Yay! It looks like I have the new firmware. :)

11/03/2010, 08:08 AM
Great to hear!

01/12/2011, 02:52 PM
sounds like a solid product cant wait to be done with water changes and gravity fed ATO!!

06/03/2011, 01:49 PM
Hi could anyone do a full video review in youtube of the STORM. I am about to get a ATO system but I haven't decided wich one so far. Id love to see this awesome box in action. :)

I should get mine today. I wish you can offer magnetic mounts for the float switches as well as optical float switches as an option. It just makes it hard sometimes to look for a place to hang the mounts especially if your sump has top/euro bracing.

As per optical switches I found this video, It would be great someday ATO systems can offer this type of sensor at affortable prices. This guy can detect water level from outside of the glass. However I was wondering if cloudy water, bubbles or even lighting could make the sensor to fail.



11/20/2011, 02:01 PM
Can the storm supply water to two different tanks? I have my nsw mixing area in my basement and my tank is on the 1st fl. I have an ato tank next to the tank but I hate having to carry a 6gallon water jug up and down stairs.

11/21/2011, 08:28 AM
Can the storm supply water to two different tanks? I have my nsw mixing area in my basement and my tank is on the 1st fl. I have an ato tank next to the tank but I hate having to carry a 6gallon water jug up and down stairs.

Hi jcmelski,

The STORM™ isn't explicitly designed to top off two different tanks, but it can be done, and actually is done all the time. Do you have an RO filter? If so, it should be fairly easy to use the auxiliary functions on the STORM™ to automatically fill your top off bin upstairs and to fill your mixing bin with the use of a simple ball valve.

Since an RO filter is driven by pressure, even if the filter is located in your basement it will deliver water to your top off bin upstairs. If you use the STORM™ Pro and ROCv™ to control the production of water through your RO filter, it will automatically refill this top off bin whenever it gets low. By inserting a tee into the output line and using a couple ball valves (one to allow water to flow to your mixing bin, and the other to slightly restrict flow to your top off bin), you can divert water to the mixing bin when required. Installing a float valve at the top of the mixing bin will then shut the water off to the mixing bin when it is full. It will then fill your top off bin until it is full and then the ROCv™ will stop production of water through your filter. After your mixing bin is full you would just close the ball valve to the mixing bin before mixing your salt. So it's not 100% automatic, but for the occasional filling of the mixing bin it is really not much of a hassle.

Have you considered placing your top off bin in your basement near your mixing bin? You could then just run a tube up to your sump from the top off bin, making sure the end of the tubing is secured above the water line in your sump to prevent a back siphon from forming. The sensors on the STORM™ would be placed in the sump and the wires would run back to the basement alongside the tubing to the STORM™ control module. Just a thought!

Please feel free to send me a PM or an email via our contact page if you have any other questions.


11/21/2011, 09:27 PM
Now if you can get the Roc v to split the topping off of fresh water and also fill another freshwater tank o be later mixed as saltwater and pair that with a salinity monitor. Then were good!