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reef n00b
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I don't have the $ for a RO unit yet, but I like the idea of rigging up an auto topoff device. I was thinking of getting a 10 gallon container and purchasing an Ultralife float switch and a pump of some sorts. Does anyone have any suggestions or opinions if I am on the right track. Or can help me get an auto topoff together for under $75. thanks :)
 

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There have been a couple of threads recently in our forum that cover all the options quite thoroughly. Do a search to find them.......

The important thing is that you put lots of thought into it and make sure you have redundancy in place. Best to mix top off types when thinking of redundancy......

Relying solely on a Float switches can be fatal. They can fail in the ON position potentially draining the contents of your top off container.

I believe these were covered well in previous post so no need to rewrite them here.....
 

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I would not rely on one of those electronic float switches.. Like David mentioned they can (and probably will at some point) stick on causing a flood. I would look into a gravity fed one with a kent float valve. That could be rigged up for much less then $75.


Also, do you have a sump?
 

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reef n00b
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jeremiah said:
I would not rely on one of those electronic float switches.. Like David mentioned they can (and probably will at some point) stick on causing a flood. I would look into a gravity fed one with a kent float valve. That could be rigged up for much less then $75.


Also, do you have a sump?
I would be using a 5 gallon or a 10 gallon container for topoff water which would not be enough to overflow my sump. Also I do have a 29 gallon sump with enough room to have an extra 10 gallons go in without overflowing. How exactly does a gravity fed top off work, and also how does a kent float valve work? I'm still learning, so bare with me.
 

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How large is your tank?

The reason I as is just because the sump can hold 5 or 10 gallons? What would it do to you SG if you dumped in that much fresh water. A kent float valve is a mechanical float valve designed for aquarium use. They are around $20. Then you could find a way to put your top off water container above your sump. So it gravity feeds into the sump. Much much more reliable then an electronic float switch.

 

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I agree with jeremiah, this is the system I use, a 5 gallon pail, some tubing and a kent float valve, total cost $25, and with around 130 gallons total, it will not make a big impact on SG at least for me.
Jeremiah said:
How large is your tank?

The reason I as is just because the sump can hold 5 or 10 gallons? What would it do to you SG if you dumped in that much fresh water. A kent float valve is a mechanical float valve designed for aquarium use. They are around $20. Then you could find a way to put your top off water container above your sump. So it gravity feeds into the sump. Much much more reliable then an electronic float switch.

 

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Mikehenrytts said:
I agree with jeremiah, this is the system I use, a 5 gallon pail, some tubing and a kent float valve, total cost $25, and with around 130 gallons total, it will not make a big impact on SG at least for me.

Won't have any effect on SG, what I was trying to point out was if his float switch failed and pumped all 5 or 10 gallons of fresh water into his tank, even if it didn't flood it might still effect the SG enough to be a problem, depending on the size of the tank...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's a 75 gallon tank with around 20 gallons in the sump, so total 95 gallons. Would using a float valve require me to drill a hole in the sump and add a bulkhead. I'm assuming the float goes down, therefore opening the valve and once the water level makes the float go up the valve shuts, right?
 

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You can do it without drilling. You just need to find a way to keep it at the same level. Better yet, if you have acrylic baffles in your sump you could drill a hole in one of those and mount it. But there are many many ways to rig it up for cheap, just have to use your imagination... There are several people that use this setup in the club too, maybe you could go and see one of thier setups to get an idea of how it works to help you out.

(BTW, I think that with 95 gallons total that if 5 - 10 gallons of fresh water was pumped in do to a stuck switch, it probably wouldn't be enough to kill stuff but surely will change your SG a bit...)
 

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i think we are saying the same thing two different ways.


Jeremiah said:
Won't have any effect on SG, what I was trying to point out was if his float switch failed and pumped all 5 or 10 gallons of fresh water into his tank, even if it didn't flood it might still effect the SG enough to be a problem, depending on the size of the tank...
 

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reef n00b
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So how exactly would I hook all of this up.

Is this right:

Mount a container above the sump
Drill a hole in the container and attach a line going to the float valve
Mount float valve somehow in sump
and away we go.

I understand the basic concept, just not all of the fine details. What is all needed to make this work?
 

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that was a little tough for me to find, I would ask (yes I know it is not manually). the one I bought has 1/4" NPT on one side and 1/8" barb on the other. the tubing is .170 ID and 1/4 OD. this slips right into a 1/4" compression to 1/4" threaded fitting that fits onto the float valve. make sure you ask for nylon or plastic fittings. Most places will have brass but that is no good. PS most HD's don't have good pricing on these, but they will prob have what you need.
 

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It's a john guest *sp connnector. You can order them online at any of the reef places, or you might want to ask around the club. I know I scored mine from a club member.
 

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This is exactly what I am in the process of doing now, with one addition: I am adding a kalk reactor from Greg between the container and the float valve.



S14_Silvia said:
So how exactly would I hook all of this up.

Is this right:

Mount a container above the sump
Drill a hole in the container and attach a line going to the float valve
Mount float valve somehow in sump
and away we go.

I understand the basic concept, just not all of the fine details. What is all needed to make this work?
 
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