I thought you all might be able to answer a question for me. I'm starting my first marine aquarium (its an 80 gal bow front). I'm planning mostly on LR, fish and soft corals. I'm wondering if there is a cheap way to accomplish auto top off?
You will probably need to use some sort of pump and float switch, unless you don't mind having something over your tank you could use one of those drip systems. Those are very cheap. I think the simplest and least expensive top of system I seen was a jug filled with water turned upside down and suspended on some eggcrate at water level, then when the water level in the sump fell it would let air up into the jug wich would let some water out. HTH
With a tank that size, I'd recommend having it drilled for an overflow box, and put a sump in the stand below. That way you'll have a place to put a heater, skimmer, and it will be a lot easier to set up an automatic top off
Thanks for the suggestions, I was digging around a little last night and I found some references to reconditioned medical pumps any advantages or pitfalls with those.
As for drilling the tank, I've already got it full of water and the live rock is on the way, I suppose I guess I still could go that route but I'll have to give that some thought.
I think I would like to not have anything above the tank, and I've seen some DIY auto top off setups using float switches and power heads but they involve mucking with cutting and splicing wires, which I'm not too concerned about, until you talk about using it around saltwater, yikes. I'm not that confident I'll do it right!
Atomic (or anyone for that matter), Could you point me to anyplace you saw stuff for DIY float switches? I've looked some but been pretty much unsuccessfull when it came to finding a good reliable non-mechanical (electrical) setup.
Those reconditioned pumps for your situation wouldn't be a bad option. However, for larger tanks those dosing pumps can't pump enough gallons per day to be effective. But on a 80g I would think it can handle it fine.
One more reason for a sump, When all of you water is in the main tank, with lights on, it heats up your water and water has no chance to cool down. Tank temperatures could become an issue. With an overflow and sump the water movement and air contacts away from the lights helps to cool it down some.
I have an ultralife float switch that I bought back in January. I haven't the time nor the money to install it. I payed $60.00 for it and i am willing to sell it for $20. I only used it to test it, and I still have the original box also. PM me if interested.