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ATO advice

Hey guys!
I'm so glad for Christmas break but seems like all I've been doing is buying stuff for my tank. ::) So anyways i want to set up an ATO but i'm trying to figure out what set up to buy, I've seen a few nice ones in my price range but i can't decide which one. I was hoping you guys could help me choose one. Since i'm not running a sump, i'm not sure if they're all about the same as far as water level stability goes but i would like one to be keep my water level pretty stable. I was also wondering what are the pros/cons of float switches and pressure systems?
Heres a few i've been looking at:
http://www.championlighting.com/product.php?productid=17525&cat=388&page=1
http://www.marinedepot.com/SpectraP..._In_Units-SpectraPure-SP5113-FIDPETPU-vi.html
http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merc...ode=JBJ-ATO&Category_Code=tongs&Store_Code=PA
http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=1022
Thanks!

~Nick
 
All of those options are pretty much the same. We stock the one from Champion and also have used it in the store with much success. The one from JBJ is just a little fancier. I'd opt for the simpler one myself. Since you don't have a sump, the sensor will have to be in your tank. I'm asumming that it will be lower than the tank o you'll want to put in a check valve so that water doesn't creep back down the airline tubing connected to the sensor. In the 12 years or so that this has been on the market, the 1 or 2 that I have seen fail was because water got into that tubing. It's a good value and works well.
 
Cool that was actually the one i was most interested in and hoping to get feedback on. I watched the video on their website and it seemed very simple and almost fail proof. Do you know how much the water fluctuates with them? On the video it seemed to take an inch or two before the pump would kick in...
 
for on-demand wiring stuff, i used these:
http://autotopoff.com/products/

for gravity feed, i used this one: (best and simple IF you can use it)
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://joejaworski.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/kent_float.gif&imgrefurl=http://joejaworski.wordpress.com/2007/09/30/the-25-auto-topoff-solution/&usg=__KhZNRI9xwoYOshoJ4aaWQZg2hPs=&h=600&w=720&sz=42&hl=en&start=5&um=1&tbnid=KDOSZzUSgO4OqM:&tbnh=117&tbnw=140&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dkent%2Bauto%2Btop%2Boff%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:eek:fficial%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1
kent_float.gif
 
I though about that one from ATO.com but i though it would be a little big. I'm leaning towards the Tsunami but it sounds like it takes at least an inch of water before it kicks the pump on.. I think which ever ato i go with I'll pump it with an aqualifer, plus on a timer.
 
Hmm my uncle gave me an idea i though i would ask, Like I've stated before i don't have a sump and i understand it's hard to keep a stable water level with an ato in the tank. So he said why not stick it in your surface skimmer. Will that work? That's pretty much the only reason i want a stable water level because it only takes 1/2" for my surface skimmer to start freaking out and pull bubbles into the skimmer. I really don't see a reason why this won't work but i just though i would ask in case there is something bigger i'm missing.
 
oops, sorry, missed your note on NOT have a sump.
yes, it is possible to fit it in your surface skimmer (just make sure no snail or anything to claw in side and end up with a flood.)

you may try to use this one: auto-top-off from Tunze, they are small.
tunze-Osmolator-Universal-.jpg
 
malulu said:
oops, sorry, missed your note on NOT have a sump.
yes, it is possible to fit it in your surface skimmer (just make sure no snail or anything to claw in side and end up with a flood.)

you may try to use this one: auto-top-off from Tunze, they are small.
tunze-Osmolator-Universal-.jpg


I believe the Tunze has replaced that float valve with an optical sensor and also provides magnetic mounts in the new version. Little pricey though.
 

magic

Officer Emeritus
Officer Emeritus
SirFragalot said:
malulu said:
oops, sorry, missed your note on NOT have a sump.
yes, it is possible to fit it in your surface skimmer (just make sure no snail or anything to claw in side and end up with a flood.)

you may try to use this one: auto-top-off from Tunze, they are small.
tunze-Osmolator-Universal-.jpg
I believe the Tunze has replaced that float valve with an optical sensor and also provides magnetic mounts in the new version. Little pricey though.

The Tunze has both optical and float sensors.

Bob
 
malulu said:
oops, sorry, missed your note on NOT have a sump.
yes, it is possible to fit it in your surface skimmer (just make sure no snail or anything to claw in side and end up with a flood.)
Hmm thats probably the best way for me to keep the most accurate water level huh? I haven't had any snails get inside it but i could probably make ether a mesh thing on the bottom of the sensor or around the whole top of the box. Do you think flow might be a problem though? I can post a picture of mine but it's basically a surface skimming box and a pvc pipe inside it with about a 1/4" gap on the bottom for the water to be sucked into i'm just wondering if that might be a problem?
Thanks i looked at that ato but thats out of my price range...
 
+1 on the tunze. The optical sensor is the way to go. No worrying about a stuck float. Mine is on year 3 and no problems
 
Thanks if i had the money i would but I'd hate to spend so much if i can get close results with this one.
Edit, Hmm i wonder if anyone's DIY'd a optical sensor? Although they seem kinda pricey.
 
Alright i stuck a tube of airline in the surface skimmer and the water level adjusted just right. Even slid down and back up into the pvc pipe and it stayed at the water level. So i am going to give this a go. I just wonder since this doesn't have a fail safe could i run some kind of back up float switch to this or how could i do that? I am thinking maybe something like melves diy ato and then plug this unit into the outlet on that?
Btw anyone bought from Champion lighting? I've read mix feed back on them...
 
saltwater4life said:
... like melves diy ato and then plug this unit into the outlet on that? ...
yes

one simply way is to hookup your "pulling water device" on a digital timer, may be on 3 or 4 times per-day.

you can test to see how long it take to fill/level, assuming taking 4 mins, you then add 25% time to it (as 5 mins) It may required only 30 secs or so to fill it, if that is the case, then you use a small valve (see below) to tune it down to make it stress to 3 mins per filling...etc.
J_728937.jpg
 

magic

Officer Emeritus
Officer Emeritus
Nickjr000 said:
+1 on the tunze. The optical sensor is the way to go. No worrying about a stuck float. Mine is on year 3 and no problems
You just have to keep the sensor free of salt buildup.

Bob
 
Thanks guys, Malulu; sounds good. now i gotta choose a pump. I am thinking an aqua lifter? i read that the head loss is 30" on each side so I'm thinking i should be fine since it's only got to pump it a little over 30" what do you think? If that works can i use a check valve made for air pumps to keep the pump from needing to prime each time and also keep it from syphoning? I guess some zip ties should hold the tube in the tank.
Thanks again!
~Nick
 
i think the aqua lifter should be good.

...use a check valve made for air pumps to keep the pump from needing to prime each time and also keep it from siphoning...
oh, i did not thought of that, yes - good point, you should test it out to be sure.

good luck.
 
Cool, I finally found some mods for it just incase it doesn't work in my surface skimmer i read that you can switch the sensor tube that goes into the water with a 1" PVC pipe and have it kick in within 1/4" but hopefully i don't need to mod it. Thanks for the help! Hopefully this works like a charm :D

~Nick
 
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