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Unread 02/19/2010, 07:46 PM   #1
therover8511
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Automatic Top off with Fail Safe?

I decided to stay away from the automatic top off. One problem the area in my sump set up for my return can only hold about a days worth of evaporation before going dry which equals bad ju-ju... Yeah did i mention this is my first reef tank as well and I am just starting. I just fear when I have to go on vacation . Any way. I decided to measure the amount of water I evaporate in a day. Which happens to be right on a gallon a day. I measured the actual output of my pump that I use for water changes, which happens to be 2 gallons per minute. The system would not work the way I wanted it to. I brought it up to my friend Waldomas, who introduced me to reefcentral BTW. He suggested that I run my pump, every other day, or so, into a holding tank for a top off.

Essentially an automatic top off that you only ever have 1-2 gallons of water in your holding tank, or varied depending on the season and system. My holding tank can be filled from my 32 gallon Brute trash can that i keep full of R/O water and every other day for 1 minute the pump kicks on to fill just enough water for 2 days worth of evaporation. Obviously you still need to check on the system.

Separately the two systems are flawed but I think together they can reduce aggravation.

Please let me know what you think, if it is dumb, or I am missing something obvious please let me know.


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Unread 02/19/2010, 08:53 PM   #2
Indymann99
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I manually fill a ATO reservoir every 3 days. When I go on vacation this means my tank can go 3-4 days. If longer I have someone refill the reservoir when feeding.

This system means that if I have a ATO float failure it can only dump in approx 3 gal and that wont significantly affect the SG OR overflow the sump.... WILL NOT OVERFLOW THE SUMP...




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Unread 02/19/2010, 09:09 PM   #3
therover8511
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Yeah I was going to do a set up similar, except set up a pump, and timer to do the auto fill on the holding tank every day or 2, to do every day I have to set up a manifold to control the flow, that is a project for another time.


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Unread 02/20/2010, 12:24 AM   #4
waldomas
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I think there is still a danger of an overflow, just not in the sump!
Now, if evaporation slows, the timed pump will still "refill" the top off reservoir that is connected to the sump directly. Now the top-off reservoir can overflow!

Perhaps this is where a "split" feed line will come in handy.
I would be afraid that if the reservoir connected to the float valve is filled via a pump, it may be too much pressure for the valve? I dunno, but if the feed to said reservoir is split so it could return back to the original, overflow could be avoided?
I think gravity would come into play here as well.
Hmmm....gotta give this some more thought!

I believe we're onto something here!


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Unread 02/20/2010, 12:28 AM   #5
waldomas
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How about the original reservoir (the one w/ the timed pump) located below (lower than) the top-off reservoir (the one connected to float valve) so you can "overflow" top-off back into original?

You can use a valve on a split (teed) feed line to control flow-rate .



Last edited by waldomas; 02/20/2010 at 12:36 AM.
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Unread 02/20/2010, 09:29 PM   #6
brackishdude
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Unread 02/22/2010, 06:44 PM   #7
RRaider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therover8511 View Post
I decided to stay away from the automatic top off. One problem the area in my sump set up for my return can only hold about a days worth of evaporation before going dry which equals bad ju-ju... Yeah did i mention this is my first reef tank as well and I am just starting. I just fear when I have to go on vacation . Any way. I decided to measure the amount of water I evaporate in a day. Which happens to be right on a gallon a day. I measured the actual output of my pump that I use for water changes, which happens to be 2 gallons per minute. The system would not work the way I wanted it to. I brought it up to my friend Waldomas, who introduced me to reefcentral BTW. He suggested that I run my pump, every other day, or so, into a holding tank for a top off.

Essentially an automatic top off that you only ever have 1-2 gallons of water in your holding tank, or varied depending on the season and system. My holding tank can be filled from my 32 gallon Brute trash can that i keep full of R/O water and every other day for 1 minute the pump kicks on to fill just enough water for 2 days worth of evaporation. Obviously you still need to check on the system.

Separately the two systems are flawed but I think together they can reduce aggravation.

Please let me know what you think, if it is dumb, or I am missing something obvious please let me know.
Why not just get one of the cheap but dependable auto top off systems? I use the one from autotopoff.com and it works great. My return area is a little bigger than yours but I don't see why it wouldn't work, in fact I think it would keep things even more stable since evaporated water would be replaced more frequently. My system uses a Tom's Aqua Lifter which pumps water pretty slowly and can be had for less than $15.


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