The Reef Tank banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
2,301 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok So I am going to build my own ATO system, got a few options in mind. I dont want to store a tank under my tank, beside my sump. Just hate that, I can put one in my fish tank closet but i have limited room because i am now confined to the closet my wife said. So here is my IDEA.

Getting this DIY ATO KIT from Bulf Reef Supply. But adding another upper float in case the main shutoff float gets stuck ( Snail, crab, elf, leprechaun, w.e)

and instead of using a pump, using this Solenoid Vave in line directly from the RO/DI, its Normally closed, so with no power it automatically shuts off. But just for redundancy in safety, using 2 of them, in the line from the RO/DI. Also a leak detector beneith the sump that will automatickly cut off the supply from Ro/Di as well.

Any ideas or concerts in my plans will be helpful.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,658 Posts
I highly recommend using a ATO storage container and not hooking directly to your RO/DI no matter how robust or redundant you think your system is. Things can and do go wrong (Murphy's Law) and if you have an unlimited supply of RO/DI you will flood your tank with fresh water killing everything.

With an ATO storage vessel you can limit that amount of RO/DI for an added level of safety and peace of mind.

Another issue you are going to encounter and is a major one is a float switch has a very limited amount of travel between off and on so your RO/DI will be constantly cycling on and off leading to major TDS creep issues. Using two float switches to operate it, not as a safety back up, helps this situation since you can set one a few inches lower than the other so the bottom one triggers it on and the top one triggers it off and yiou get longer, more cleansing RO runs so the membrane stays flushed via the waste ratio. In that case you would add a third float switch as the high-high emergency backup.

I use dual float switches and a low voltage solenoid to fill my ATO reservoir from the RO/DI then use a peristaltic pump controlled by a digital sensor with a 0" to 4" adjustable range for my sump level with an additional float switch as my high-high backup in an emergency which has never been needed.

You don't want your RO/DI kicking on and off frequently, it will foul the membrane much sooner and cut your DI life drastically costing you much more than if you had installed a better ATO design, pre made or DIY. I felt the money I invested in my ATO setup going on 6 years ago was money well spent and it has served me well.
 

· Captain Obvious
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
i've always been told that your ATO container should only contain the amount of water that can handle a complete flood/emptying if it does fail....

A good rule of thumb is 5% of your total water volume. so in my case i have a 15gal container feeding a total volume of 280gal (180gal tank + 100gal sump)

ATO's purpose is to keep the tank's salinity stable NOT so you can be lazy in not doing topoffs :agree:
 

· 125 Gallon Tank
Joined
·
1,943 Posts
am planing on doing ATO system later on too and am thinking of something like this to hold the water but just a little bit smaller, like half of this one it doesnt take alot of place and easy to fill it up every 2nd day
 

Attachments

· 125 Gallon Tank
Joined
·
1,943 Posts
srry i just saw a link to this in ur sig and it hasnt been too long since the last update so said i would share :p
 

· Salt Viking
Joined
·
3,610 Posts
Here, maybe you can check out my mechanical ATO.

http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f76/mechanical-auto-top-off-210307.html

It uses a peristaltic pump to pull water from the reservoir and pump it up to a regular float valve on the tank. If the valve is open the water goes into the tank and if its closed the water loops back around and back down to the reservoir. Aqualifters are junk.. But I bet a peristaltic could easily pump water up several stories of a building. The only real limiting factor is the pressure the tubing in the peristaltic could handle.

In the setup I have you could modify it. Set the peristaltic next to your RO/DI storage container. Have it pull water directly from there and pump it all the way up to your tank via a 1/4" line. Then have it go into a regular float valve on the tank. And have a return line coming back. I haven't had any issue with my setup. Its self cleaning and completely worry free. The float will never get stuck since it self cleans every time the RO/DI water is push through it. And even in the off chance the valve does get stuck open my pump only runs every half hour for a minute or two. So in a day if stuck open it might put a few gallons in the tank. Not an overflow situation or even an emergency.

All it takes is one pump and one valve. It sounds crazy in the days of redundant electrical circuits and multiple backups.. But it works.. Its just so simple its perfect.
 

· Salt Viking
Joined
·
3,610 Posts
Thats for the idea. Also I like that industrial grade pump where did u get it? Brassaxe
Its "Johnson Diversey P-410M Peristaltic Pump" Something surplus from a medical place or hospital. Peristaltic pumps are used to pump fluids that are delicate or very viscous. Blood, crude oil, molasses, etc.. I got mine new for $99. But they are hard to find cheap, if you go to Ebay and look for "Beta Technologies P410M-0" or "Johnson P410M Peristaltic" Unfortunately they can run you up to $300 if there aren't any good deals. You can get pretty much any stand alone peristaltic pump. Most of the time they are between $50-$100. Mine is dual roller with 3/16" inner diameter tubing. On peristaltic pumps they move fluid by compressing tubing inside a circular housing. As the rollers force the tubing against the inner wall it forces the fluid out the other side like a tube of toothpaste. The more rollers the smoother it can pump fluid without pulsing. The smaller the tubing diameter the greater the pressure.

With a 3/16" inner diameter tubing mine can pump up to 31 psi which equates to about 70 feet of head. I only need about 3 feet of head, so it's plenty powerfull.

Here is information for peristaltic pumps. >Peristaltic Pump Tubing Formulations, Flow and Pressure Rates<
 

· Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
I highly recommend using a ATO storage container and not hooking directly to your RO/DI no matter how robust or redundant you think your system is. Things can and do go wrong (Murphy's Law) and if you have an unlimited supply of RO/DI you will flood your tank with fresh water killing everything.

With an ATO storage vessel you can limit that amount of RO/DI for an added level of safety and peace of mind.

Another issue you are going to encounter and is a major one is a float switch has a very limited amount of travel between off and on so your RO/DI will be constantly cycling on and off leading to major TDS creep issues. Using two float switches to operate it, not as a safety back up, helps this situation since you can set one a few inches lower than the other so the bottom one triggers it on and the top one triggers it off and yiou get longer, more cleansing RO runs so the membrane stays flushed via the waste ratio. In that case you would add a third float switch as the high-high emergency backup.

I use dual float switches and a low voltage solenoid to fill my ATO reservoir from the RO/DI then use a peristaltic pump controlled by a digital sensor with a 0" to 4" adjustable range for my sump level with an additional float switch as my high-high backup in an emergency which has never been needed.

You don't want your RO/DI kicking on and off frequently, it will foul the membrane much sooner and cut your DI life drastically costing you much more than if you had installed a better ATO design, pre made or DIY. I felt the money I invested in my ATO setup going on 6 years ago was money well spent and it has served me well.
What are you using to control the RO with?

I wan to do something similar.

Right now I have a 5G bucket that my Tunze Osmolator pulls from. The problem is I still have to go kick the RO on manually to fill the bucket (it's part of my daily routine, start RO, get coffee, check it in 30-40 min depending on how empty it is)

I want to switch over to a 10-15G square HDPE tank with a sensor in the bottom to kick the RO on, then have another switch in the top of the container to turn it off. The Tunze will handle the needs of the tank.

Can a Reefkeeper be programmed for such duties?
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top