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Old 10-04-2013, 11:06 PM   #1
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Hello,

Just sharing my sump build story.

I managed to fit a 4" sock filter, a coralife 65g skimmer and a return pump all in a small Orbis recycling bin.

I had the lid cut at about 18" so it would fit the left cabinet confined space under my cheap 36" stand for my 50g. The space is 12"x13"x24".

For the return i hanged a small 2g basket on the right side.

It's been running for the last few hours without any issues.

I tested the power outage and the blocked overflow scenarios. Overflow is DIY PVC and return is 1/2 pipe with hydor rotating head with siphon break hole.

Here are some pics:

Next project up: hob refugium
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:27 PM   #2
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Everything still works fine but I now experience the pain of daily top off or the return pump starts blowing air...

So I have started to think about ATO. I am looking at either a commercial ATO or a aqualifter with a timer.

The problem is I don't fully trust timer as I had a few experience were the clock went nuts and my lights stayed on way longer.

Also I see a problem with the float switch from other systems as a blocked overflow would trigger the ATO because of empty return section and likely flood the DT. (Actually I can handle a blocked overflow but not with an additional 7 days freshwater reservoir )

So I am a bit at lost on how to implement a failsafe ATO with a sump .

How to do this ? Any advice welcomed.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:01 PM   #3
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That is a really cool DIY sump. I wouldn't have thought of putting it together like that. What I use on my sump is a JBJ ATO with an aqualifter. Works wonders.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:48 PM   #4
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Thanks!

I was reading JBJ manual.

http://www.jbjlighting.com/pdfs/ATO_Manual.pdf

I don't get how the standard modes and configurations prevent flooding the DT in case of blocked overflow?

Could someone use the mode A instead of mode B with both sensors in the sump return instead of one in the sump and one in the reservoir?

But this is not a suggested use in the manual.

Still a bit confused.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:26 AM   #5
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Ok I found some info online where people use the JBJ ATO in alternative configs.

But at the end of the day I figured the simplest "failsafe" method is setting up a drip line directly in the DT with the aqualifter.

I use the pump close to max lift height with a Gardenia drip irrigation outpout I normally use for drip acclimating new fish.

I set up the drip rate to about 2ml/min. Should be about right. I'll adjust as I go. See pics.

I figure this is fairly safe and gives me a lot of time to react in case evaporation conditions change. Also safe in case of pump failure since most of the evap occurs in DT. Safe in case of blocked overflow as well.

If I have to leave for a week or 2 l could lower the water line and revert to HOB skimming and add a power head to match sump circulation to be on the absolute safe side.

I still like to hear how other solved this ATO sump puzzle.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:58 PM   #6
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I run that exact setup, jus through my sump. I do between half to a gallon of water, depending on temp or if the furnace is running. I don't leave for that long, only 3 day max. Then I set 2 gallons out and went on my merry way. If is leave for longer than that, I'll have someone come to care for the tank. I only feed twice a week, so they'd need a feeding in there rather than me doing so before I leave.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:48 PM   #7
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Great. The level in the return section has remained steady since this morning. Seems to work ok.

I have learned that the JBJ ATO has a timer function built in as extra safety. The pump can only run 3:45 min. After that the controller has to be manually reset.

So I might invest in a JBJ eventually if I find fiddling with drop rates too cumbersome. But so far so good and I like the simplicity and price
of the drip setup.

Now that I have a sump and ATO I would like to start calcium dosing and buffering. I was planning to add a weekly dose in my top off reservoir. Do I need some steering from an air pump or convection from a heater in the reservoir to keep dosing constant throughout the week? Or is it ok to just add and shake a bit?

Thanks for your input.
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:48 PM   #8
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Ok I have been reading on calcium dosing and my previous post top off dosing plan was pretty lame.

Anyway my calcium level is good at 460 so no need to start dosing short term. But my alkanity seems a bit low at 6. Should I be concerned? I might start to dose Kent buffer dkH I have laying around to raise dkH a bit. Is this a good idea?

I also read about calcium carbonate without reactor that seems to be way simpler than kalk for a top off water solution and should be enough for my thank with only a leather coral and hopefully one day a lot of coralline.

Anybody using this now?

Ref: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2003/2/chemistry
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