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BigT75
08/31/2017, 10:29 AM
Hey guys I am tired of worrying if there's enough water in my tank / sump so time to figure out how to do a ATO now I don't have the expensive or experience of a apex or Neptune systems control I have a 5g tank that can sit by my sump question is this. What do I buy to have a ATO without a controller ? So I'm asking for a shopping list please

Thanks again for your help


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RobZilla04
08/31/2017, 11:44 AM
Hydor ATO with a Tom Aqua Lifter pump. <---- on my wish list.

mcgyvr
08/31/2017, 01:25 PM
Budget?
Willingness to do a little minor electrical work?
http://www.aquahub.com/store/diygaquarium.html
Very simple DIY kits here..
http://www.aquahub.com/store/autotopoffcomp.html

Other more "not DIY" friendly kits here..
https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/auto-top-off/auto-top-off-systems.html

But you posted in the DIY section..

BigT75
08/31/2017, 01:36 PM
Budget?
Willingness to do a little minor electrical work?
http://www.aquahub.com/store/diygaquarium.html
Very simple DIY kits here..
http://www.aquahub.com/store/autotopoffcomp.html

Other more "not DIY" friendly kits here..
https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/auto-top-off/auto-top-off-systems.html

But you posted in the DIY section..



So I get this correct I order say the deluxe kit and the maxi 600 pump and should be good ?


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Lsufan
08/31/2017, 06:59 PM
BRS sells the aquahub kit like mcgyver linked but u would still need to buy a pump. I use a cheap aqualifter on my 40 breeder but I wouldn't want to use it on anything bigger because it pumps slowly.

I would try to get one that has some kind of safety shutoff. Even the cheaper jbj ato has a internal timer that u can adjust to shut itself off in case the float gets stuck on.

My budget at the time of purchase would really be the determining factor. I like the ones like the tunze simulator that has a sensor instead of a float switch. It also has a high level float switch to turn it off if something happens to the sensor

perkint
09/01/2017, 06:29 AM
Very simple to DIY - an arduino nano, a logic level MOSFET, a level sensor or three, a pump, some wire and a power supply. Maybe an LED if you want a flashing light for when something is wrong (eg RO res is empty). Can set it all up to run from the one 12V PSU (assuming you buy a 12V pump) or use an AC pump (would need a relay instead of MOSFET). You can DIY one even using IR level sensors with time limiter for about 20 odd (not including cost of a pump).

But, as said - depends on how much DIY you want to do. Probably the most difficult thing is mounting the level sensor (and that isn't that difficult)!

Tim

JTL
09/01/2017, 08:48 AM
This is what I use and an Aqualifter pump.
http://www.autotopoff.com/Double/index.html

ca1ore
09/01/2017, 09:13 AM
This is what I use and an Aqualifter pump.
http://www.autotopoff.com/Double/index.html

Thumbs up on autotopoff.com. I have a bunch of their ATO float assemblies and they have performed well. Add a small, cheap powerhead and you are good to go.

Legot
09/01/2017, 02:09 PM
I'm going to suggest something a bit different and maybe a bit old fashioned and say a mechanical float valve, like this one (that I use on my tank).

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B012DU0ZAO/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_C7AQzbZN2ERR2

If you're not running kalk there shouldn't be build up of any kind, but it was a little crusty with kalk going through it. The nice thing is that it's very unlikely that it will fail in the ON position (if it fails, RODI water is pretty good about not having deposits). It is also 100% silent, which is why I chose it, and it is effectively continuous (rather than turning on and off every few minutes/hours).

ericarenee
09/01/2017, 02:59 PM
^^^^ is what i do ... My Ato tank is 25 gallons and is gravity feed, Never had valve to fail .

mcgyvr
09/01/2017, 05:16 PM
I will say that I've been using a mechanical float in a different situation for a long time and never had an issue with it ever failing..
As long as you plan for failure then it should be just fine..
Just make sure you can take the full container of water and that the amount won't cause problematic salinity levels and a mechanical is surely a cheap solution..

SFish
09/01/2017, 05:53 PM
tunze

der_wille_zur_macht
09/02/2017, 06:05 AM
I use mechanical valves on containers where there is no chance of obstruction (ie to refill an RO storage tank). In sumps, I like redundancy, since a snail could block a float valve.

In the end, you need two basic things:

1) A way to sense the water level and activate your system when it is too low

2) A way to move the water from the topoff container to the sump once it has been activated.

A mechanical float valve is attractive because it's so darned simple. It combines both functions into one device. Most (all?) other systems use one or more electronic float switches that activate a pump or solenoid to refill the sump. The drawback is more complexity, but the benefit is it's easier to add redundancy.

My typical setup is to use a pair of float switches - one for "normal" on/off operation, and a second set about an inch above it as a backup. I wire them to operate a pump to refill the water. Usually I am dosing kalk in my topoff, so I typically use a peristaltic pump (since they last longer when pumping harsh chemicals, and they pump very slowly which means there's less of a spike when the kalk is added since it's spread out). I usually get the switches from autotopoff.com. They have ready to go kits or individual components, and they sell pumps - though I wouldn't use their pumps with kalk.

In addition to thinking about redundancy, you need to think about some other basic conventions, too. If you'e using a pump, the end of the hose in your sump needs to be above the water level - it cannot be submerged, or else you will start a siphon every time it turns on and either drain your sump into your topoff container, or drain your topoff container into your sump. Also, the end of the hose needs to be above the water level in the ATO container, too - otherwise once again, you'll just start a siphon and drain the whole container every time it activates. Just look for all the "why won't my ATO shut off?" topics on here - usually it's not that the ATO isn't shutting off, the problem is the person has a setup that creates a siphon. Really the best option is to have the ATO container at or below the same level as the sump, and keep the hose as high in the sump as possible.

SFish
09/02/2017, 08:18 AM
If you have the space and want to use a gravity feed ATO Eshopps has one for $35 comes with everything you need.

http://m.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=20412&cmpid=03cseYY&ref=6194&subref=AA&cmpid=PLA_G_6194&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIm6zA-MqG1gIVxbbACh0CBwY1EAQYASABEgJbfvD_BwE

ericarenee
09/02/2017, 08:57 AM
^^^ the float valve i use.. But i slightly drilled out the hole to get a better flow and less chance of it clogging up. I run Kalk in my top off tank. that top off tank looks quite small . I loose 5-8 gallons a day .. guess it depends on size of your tank..


Serious note.. your ato tank no matter what method you use Should not hold enough water / kalk water that can crash your system.. Mine is a 25 gallon tank . and it can depending on humidity and temps can make 3-5 days .

I have a dual stage float valve on my RO/DI that i can turn on to auto fill the ato tank. but only use it when im home because i worry about the auto shut off on my ro/di unit not working ..

der_wille_zur_macht
09/02/2017, 11:57 AM
I have a dual stage float valve on my RO/DI that i can turn on to auto fill the ato tank. but only use it when im home because i worry about the auto shut off on my ro/di unit not working ..

Another good point. I always get real nervous when I see people running an RO/DI direct to an auto topoff. That's connecting an endless supply of water to your system with not much in the way of failsafes. I have a storage tank I use to hold RO/DI, it is supplied through a float valve, but there's a manual valve on the supply line to the RO/DI and I leave it shut off unless I'm home and the container has run empty.

My current tank is small so I'm using 5g buckets as topoff containers. The advantage is that they're cheap and easy to use. I keep two of them around. One that's connected to the system, and a second on standby. When the connected bucket runs dry, I switch the supply line over to the other bucket, and refill the empty bucket. This way, I don't have to wait around for the kalk to settle, because the freshly-mixed bucket gets to sit for a week or so until it's needed.

BigT75
09/02/2017, 01:08 PM
I want to thank everyone here got many ideas from this post I'll be implementing one of them to my 20G reef for my bigger tank I struck a great deal on a Tunze ATO


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EvenFurther
09/02/2017, 05:23 PM
Spectrapure has a great ATO. Its a complete package with dual pressure sensors, (better than mechanical float). Also has a adjustable peristaltic pump that won't siphon.

SFish
09/03/2017, 12:03 PM
^^^ the float valve i use.. But i slightly drilled out the hole to get a better flow and less chance of it clogging up. I run Kalk in my top off tank. that top off tank looks quite small . I loose 5-8 gallons a day .. guess it depends on size of your tank..


Serious note.. your ato tank no matter what method you use Should not hold enough water / kalk water that can crash your system.. Mine is a 25 gallon tank . and it can depending on humidity and temps can make 3-5 days .

I have a dual stage float valve on my RO/DI that i can turn on to auto fill the ato tank. but only use it when im home because i worry about the auto shut off on my ro/di unit not working ..

They have two different size tanks if I remember right. I think I looked at the wrong price. I think it's $60 for the small one which is 2.5 gallons.

ericarenee
09/03/2017, 12:20 PM
They have two different size tanks if I remember right. I think I looked at the wrong price. I think it's $60 for the small one which is 2.5 gallons.

to me that is a bit expensive knowing a good float valve is about 12.OO

I actually have and use that same float valve i got on ebay . i think i paid 18.00 for it quite a while back.. holder and float only...

As far as tanks . that one does look nice if you have to put it out in the open somewhere.. Mine is in the basement so does not matter what is looks like.. Its actually a old water Softener tank that i put a 1/2 inch bulk head in the side of about 4 inches up.then reduced it to 1/4 push fitting ,Having the 1/2 line inside the tank helps keep it from stopping up is my reasoning . This allows the Kalk power to settle in the bottom to help prevent line from clogging..

dartier
09/05/2017, 01:39 PM
I second the Autotopoff unit with a double float switch (just incase). I use one of those with a 6 RPM Masterflex to pull water from a 50 gallon bucket that has an Avast barrel tender on it. Works like a charm.

I am always amazed at how sensitive the autotopoff unit is. When I pull a cup of water out of the tank to dissolve some food in, the pump starts running a minute or two later.

Dennis

skiguy411
09/05/2017, 03:58 PM
I'll be going with the smart ato micro. Uses a optical eye sensor along with a timer to ensure no overfilling

https://www.amazon.com/Smart-ATO-Micro-Automatic-AutoAqua/dp/B0195D3LC6

Salahunreal
09/05/2017, 04:05 PM
I'll be going with the smart ato micro. Uses a optical eye sensor along with a timer to ensure no overfilling

https://www.amazon.com/Smart-ATO-Micro-Automatic-AutoAqua/dp/B0195D3LC6Just make sure that you keep the sensor cleaned periodically as it might fail due to dirt. How about Neptune ATK...has two optical sensors and one float valve. Price is like 70 dollars extra?

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BigT75
09/05/2017, 09:11 PM
So what am I doing wrong ??? I have a 2.5g holding tank it's above the sump off to the side the tunze ato adds water then shuts off and keeps flowing is it cause the holding tank is up ? Or ?


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SFish
09/05/2017, 09:20 PM
Your starting a siphon. You have to pump the water up and don't put the hose in the water. You could lower the holding tank so the water is being pumped up to the sump or you could use a pipe that is higher then the holding tank and pump water into that.

BigT75
09/05/2017, 09:20 PM
I'll post a pic


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BigT75
09/05/2017, 09:22 PM
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170906/a1eb5030406008c0a48dbc8a2bf003fb.jpg

Arrow shows water fill line please excuse the mess haha just trying to figure this out


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BigT75
09/05/2017, 09:30 PM
Wow ok moron move let's forget I asked this question haha yep total noob thanks Sfish for helping me I feel like a noob now


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SFish
09/06/2017, 01:41 AM
You could also put the tanks at the same height.

ericarenee
09/06/2017, 09:11 AM
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170906/a1eb5030406008c0a48dbc8a2bf003fb.jpg

Arrow shows water fill line please excuse the mess haha just trying to figure this out


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it looks like this will siphon down into the sump.. i think using a ATO like this you should have the ato tank at the same height as the Sump tank... or at least have a mechanical float on the end of the ato line in the sump...

SFish
09/06/2017, 12:23 PM
A pipe like this would work. Not sure I would trust a float valve to stay in sync with the ATO and not shut off against the pump.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=378833&d=1504056444

aaronpentz
09/14/2017, 09:47 PM
Putting the tanks at the same level will still start a siphon. Best to make sure max fill point of the ato container is below the top sump level. Also make sure there's an air gap between the ato fill tube and the surface of the water in the sump. You could just move the fill tube to the overflow or the tank.

Just remember. Air gap and above.

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SFish
09/15/2017, 05:15 AM
I don't see how two tanks at the same height could siphon. There's no gravity to make it work. Then again a water bridge works.

aaronpentz
09/15/2017, 05:30 AM
I don't see how two tanks at the same height could siphon. There's no gravity to make it work. Then again a water bridge works.
It's not about the height of the tanks being at the same level

It's all about the water heights in the tanks themselves.

The ATO will siphon to the sump until the water level in the ATO is at or below the output of the ATO fill tube.
As such the sump could siphon back to the ATO tank if the water level is higher "without an Air gap".

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BigT75
09/15/2017, 08:45 AM
I just got 2 say yes my ATO was above the sump and No the tubing was not submerged in the sump so unless I dig a whole in my foundation to lower the ATO res looks like I just can't use the ATO


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aaronpentz
09/15/2017, 10:13 AM
I just got 2 say yes my ATO was above the sump and No the tubing was not submerged in the sump so unless I dig a whole in my foundation to lower the ATO res looks like I just can't use the ATO


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You absolutely can use the ATO. Just move the output tube to be above the top of the max waterline in the ATO container. Put it just above the tank or overflow with an Air gap. And you won't have any opportunity to create a siphon.

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SFish
09/15/2017, 11:50 AM
you absolutely can use the ato. Just move the output tube to be above the top of the max waterline in the ato container. Put it just above the tank or overflow with an air gap. And you won't have any opportunity to create a siphon.

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+1 or put the tanks at the same height. Without even moving the tank you could pump the water up a bit into a PVC pipe and let it free fall down like the picture in the link I posted above.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=378833&d=1504056444

SFish
09/15/2017, 11:52 AM
It's not about the height of the tanks being at the same level

It's all about the water heights in the tanks themselves.

The ATO will siphon to the sump until the water level in the ATO is at or below the output of the ATO fill tube.
As such the sump could siphon back to the ATO tank if the water level is higher "without an Air gap".

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That's why you don't put the hose in the water (air gap) so it doesn't matter if the tanks are the same height.

aaronpentz
09/15/2017, 02:19 PM
That's why you don't put the hose in the water (air gap) so it doesn't matter if the tanks are the same height.
It does matter where the output of the hose is, if it's below the waterline it will siphon. If it's above it can back siphon without an Air gap

In his setup the output was below the waterline of the ATO tank. With an airgap And it siphoned. His ATO tank could be below the sump say two inches but as long as the water level in the ATO tank was higher then the output of the ATO fill tube and the sump level it will still siphon.



You are correct that it doesn't matter if the tanks are the same height. Only matters if the output of the ATO fill line is above the water level in the ATO tank. And don't forget the air gap.

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SFish
09/15/2017, 02:32 PM
You are correct that it doesn't matter if the tanks are the same height. Only matters if the output of the ATO fill line is above the water level in the ATO tank. And don't forget the air gap.

That was my point to being with

aaronpentz
09/15/2017, 02:57 PM
I attached a picture

If the ATO is setup to the red ATO pump and fill tube it WONT siphon
But if it's setup to the purple ATO pump and fill tube it WILL siphon to the yellow line in the ATO container only. Then the system reaches equilibrium. Once the water gets lower then the yellow line it will behave normally.

It's all about where the output of the fill line is in relation to the storage tank water level and has absolutely nothing to do with the height or placement of the storage tanks themself https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170915/a4184217ea26577f984531a10d856d76.jpg

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SFish
09/15/2017, 05:01 PM
That's the point I was making to set it up like the red one. Of course the other one will siphon.