Let's talk ATOs

solitude127

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#1
Lets 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 Ive 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)

Lets talk a little about each
Tunze 3155
Probably the most popular and recommended that Ive 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 its been around a while Im 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
Im going to group these 2 together because they have very similar features as Ive 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
Im 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 itll 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
Im 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 ATOs 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.
 
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#2
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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#3
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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#4
I went with the Apex ATK when they had their sale and so far Im happy with it. The PMUP is a bit loud but mine is set to turn on once every hour so its not too bad.


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djrice69

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#6
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.
 
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#7
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
 

Dave57

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#8
3155 is the best option, had the nano version and was disappointed, you cant go wrong with tunze. Ive had mine for two years and its been running smooth with little to no maintenance
 
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#9
I love the tunze atos. Rock solid. It would be nice to have a more silent pump though. Its really loud.
[MENTION=3725]solitude127[/MENTION] is the XP aqua pump silent?
 

reefes pieces

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#10
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!

I love the tunze atos. Rock solid. It would be nice to have a more silent pump though. Its really loud.
[MENTION=3725]solitude127[/MENTION] is the XP aqua pump silent?
 

reefes pieces

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#11
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
 
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#12
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.
 

reefes pieces

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#13
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.

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.
 
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#14
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.
 

johnwin84

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#15
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

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solitude127

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#16
[MENTION=3628]BeanMachine[/MENTION]. yes, the XP Aqua pump is pretty silent. I hear the water going in more than I hear the pump.

Although Tunze is a rock solid ATO solution, I was there was some sort of integration with apex or other controllers.
 

pciscott

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#17
Tunze 3155 is my favorite and if you keep the module out from under the tank it will last much longer. I have found that corrosion on the power is what fails first on these although I have lost a few of the Tunze pumps over time. I now use the Tunze 3155 with a relay that Tunze offers to power up a different pump. I use avast marine peristaltic pump on my 90 with the Tunze. On my larger system I use a Genesis Renew Auto Water change with Storm Top off, the Tunze is a back up on this system.
 

ivan

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#18
I used tunze and ELOS
I like ELOS better for this reason
when the reservor runs empty all you have to do it's fill it out and forget about it,if you need to add little more water for any reason just press the button on the controller and that's it

Now tunze if the reservor runs dry it has a build sensor that will stop the pump to run dry even if you add water it will not work till you reset the controller

Both ar good but I forgot to reset the controller few times after it refill the reservor with water and few hrs after I see lots of bubbles on my tank

But that's just me I forgot everything
 
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#19
Use a DIY ATO on one of the tanks. Looks pretty ugly but it gets the job done and hasn't failed in the last 6+ years
The newer tank I use a Tunze 3155. Only hiccup I had so far was, it was still pumping in water after it shut off. Luckily the alarm went off and I was able to catch it. Just gotta raise the output end higher to prevent it.
 
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#20
I stick with the tried and true....tunze ato, heater only with a controller that has a temp probe, lowbudgets mouth (nh) and atb skimmers. Why have your awesome well established reef play the role of guinea pig. ; )
 
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