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Thread: Let's talk ATOs

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    Moderator solitude127's Avatar
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    Default Let's talk ATOs

    Let’s talk ATOs.
    In my eyes, if you have a Reef Tank, an ATO is a must. Some people have gotten away with filling it manually but knowing myself, I probably would always forget and have salinity swings. I know there are a ton of ATOs systems out there and there a few that are really popular like Tunze for example. Here are a few that I’ve used.

    - Avast Marine (currently using in DT)
    - Tunze (full version)
    -Tunze Nano
    - JBJ (currently using in my Red Sea 170)
    - Reef Fanatic
    - XP Aqua Duetto (currently using in my QT)
    - Gravity Fill with float valve (currently using in conjunction with my JBJ on my RS 170)

    Let’s talk a little about each
    Tunze 3155
    Probably the most popular and recommended that I’ve seen. It has an electronic eye to control the water level as well as a mechanical float switch as a backup just in case the water level rises too high. Not going to talk too much about this because it’s been around a while I’m sure a ton of people are using them
    Pump: DC pump provided by Tuzne
    Pros: Tried and trued. Optical sensor. Backup Float Switch. Pump fits in a 5g jug
    Cons: Cannot be integrated with a controller besides on/off


    Tunze Nano 3152
    This is the little brother of the 3155. This ATO is more of basic ATO with only a mechanical float switch to trigger the pump. It does have a nice feature of a float guard to keep critters out of the area where the float switch is. Until recently, I was using this on my QT tank and come to find out, it has a nice little protection feature against overflows. If you tank is over a certain amount of gallons, you can adjust the ATO (via jumpers within unit) to fill a little longer.
    Pump: DC pump provided by Tuzne
    Pros: Price is relatively inexpensive. Uses the same pump as its big brother. Programming to shut off if pump is running to long. Pump fits in a 5g jug
    Cons: Has a mechanical float switch to trigger pump


    JBJ and ReefFanatic
    I’m going to group these 2 together because they have very similar features as I’ve used both. Both use mechanical float switches and both have programming switches to determine what each float switch does.
    Pump: an open outlet on the controller is provided to use a pump of your choice.
    Pros: Dual floats included to do multiple things
    Cons: no pump





    XP Aqua
    I’m currently using this one on my QT and really like it so far. There are dual electronic water level sensor. The “brain” of the unit is compact just like the sensors. This unit also come with a DC pump. What I like about the pump is that it’ll fit in the neck of a 5g jugs most of us use.
    Pump: DC pump provided by XP Aqua
    Pros: Compact unit. Pump fits in a 5g jug. Programming if pump runs too long
    Cons: New to the market



    Avast Marine ATO
    I’m currently using this on my DT and really like this one. There are many options to run this pump, there is a stand alone controller and can be attached to some sort of controller (APEX, ReefAngel, etc). What I really like about this pump is that the mechanism to fill the tank is a pressure switch. Unlike the previous ATO’s mention, there nothing to clog up mechanical float switch nor an electronic eye to keep clean.
    Pump: an open outlet on the controller is provided to use a pump of your choice or can be hooked up to your controller to activate an outlet.
    Pros: Can be integrated with controller. Pressure switch to activate pump. Backup float switch
    Cons: No pump





    What do you guys use?
    Also, please feel free to add to the list.
    60*30*20, 8x54 ATI Powermodule, ReefBrite XHO, ATB Elegance 200, Ecotech Vortechs, Apex Controls, WM Ecobak powered. 30G nano, MP10, Apex Jr, Ecotech Radion XR15

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    I built my own with a float switch, a 12volt dc relay an extension cord, and a 7 dollar pump, about 4 feet of hose tubing, 10 dollars of pvc and a lowe's bucket.

    It cost me about $40 altogether, but has worked like a charm.

    I HATE topping off, but this made the job so much easier, and I learned very much about switches and relays while making it, and as such, will start building my own reef controller soon, as well.

    The lowe's bucket is its ugliest component, and I was really gunning for any of the ATOs raffled at RAP, but i might build one of those myself soon, as well.

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    I have since added a 3155 Osmolator to my tank, and appreciate the fact that I don't have to monitor and top off every day; simply keep an eye on the ATO container and top that off every couple days. Only issue I ran into is keeping the pump upright. It seems to always tip over inside the container. Anyone have a resolution to that?

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    I went with the Apex ATK when they had their sale and so far I’m happy with it. The PMUP is a bit loud but mine is set to turn on once every hour so it’s not too bad.


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    Premium Member reefes pieces's Avatar
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    Nice write up Mike!
    Professional coral killer

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    Premium Member djrice69's Avatar
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    I'm still running my Tunze 3155 and it is the best investment ever. I still have to monitor salinity but not as often. I had the original first model since 2003-2005 that quit on me couple months back and they sent me a new one even when the warranty was over with an updated pc board. I still love Tunze products as they seem so much more reliable and last forever.
    Life is boring

    112 GAl LeeMar Starphire 48x30x18, AA 50 gal custom sump, Vertex 180i, Tunze 6025, Jebao PP-8,RW-15, Waveline 6000 DC and backup reefoctopus varios6, Tunze Osmolator, BRS Doser, Kessil 360WE, Sb Reef Lights 16" and sbars for supplements, Apex Controller

    OG SocaliReefer

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    i've heard of cases where the tunze nano float switch can get stuck and overflow a tank. good to know it has an auto shut off feature

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    3155 is the best option, had the nano version and was disappointed, you can’t go wrong with tunze. I’ve had mine for two years and it’s been running smooth with little to no maintenance

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    #Getatanklowbudget BeanMachine's Avatar
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    I love the tunze atos. Rock solid. It would be nice to have a more silent pump though. Its really loud.
    @solitude127 is the XP aqua pump silent?
    Reef-A-Palooza CA - October 6th & 7th, 2018

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    Premium Member reefes pieces's Avatar
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    Tunze ATO pumps are usually quiet but you can't let them run dry. Once they do they get loud like that. Stay on top of your ATO top offs sonny!

    Quote Originally Posted by BeanMachine View Post
    I love the tunze atos. Rock solid. It would be nice to have a more silent pump though. Its really loud.
    @solitude127 is the XP aqua pump silent?
    Professional coral killer

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    Premium Member reefes pieces's Avatar
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    Anyone running directly from RODI to ATO? I know of some who have before but that always scared me about the unlimited amount of flooding that could happen from a failure
    Professional coral killer

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    #Getatanklowbudget BeanMachine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reefes pieces View Post
    Tunze ATO pumps are usually quiet but you can't let them run dry. Once they do they get loud like that. Stay on top of your ATO top offs sonny!
    They make noise out of the box though pal! I've had this one so long I don't remember what it sounded like new haha

    If I buy a new pump and its still noisy its your fault. Reefer's always have to blame someone or something other than themselves.
    Reef-A-Palooza CA - October 6th & 7th, 2018

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    Premium Member reefes pieces's Avatar
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    Haha yeah replace it. It won't be dead silent but I think you'll be surprised how little noise it makes when submerged. Those pumps should be replaced yearly.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeanMachine View Post
    They make noise out of the box though pal! I've had this one so long I don't remember what it sounded like new haha

    If I buy a new pump and its still noisy its your fault. Reefer's always have to blame someone or something other than themselves.
    Professional coral killer

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    #Getatanklowbudget BeanMachine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reefes pieces View Post
    Haha yeah replace it. It won't be dead silent but I think you'll be surprised how little noise it makes when submerged. Those pumps should be replaced yearly.
    Nah it's still chugging along! I need to get my moneys worth. I'll get a new pump when I upgrade my rubbermade ato container.
    Reef-A-Palooza CA - October 6th & 7th, 2018

    SCMAS Member ~ www.officialscmas.org ~ #HobbitLivesMatter

    300 Gallon 72x36x27 AGE- 60" 8 Lamp ATI LED PM- AA PVC Hybrid Sump- Dual Synergy Shadow Boxes w Bean Animal- AquaMaxx CO5- Ecotech Vectra M1 x2- MP60wQD x1- MP40wQD x2- Apex- Wrasse Lover

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    Premium Member johnwin84's Avatar
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    I'm using an ice cap . It was cheap , has a magnet and it works . my tunze was one of the original one without a magnet and It lasted over 5 year

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
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    RIP Bruce Webster.........You will be missed my friend!!!

 

 
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