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Old 01-12-2005, 09:05 PM   #41
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That would cycle the pump too much, thus reducing the life of the pump.
There's a couple of ways to look at this. You could put a timer on it so that two conditions need to be satisfied for the pump to activate. The timer has to say it is OK, and the float has to say it is needed. This would reduce the on/off cycles of the pump considerably.

OR...you can use a disposable power head that is worth maybe $15. Compared to lots of ongoing aquarium expenses $15 every year or so isn't much. You could burn out 3 or so before you reached the cost of a timer.

Also reduce the flow from the PH as much as possible. I use irrigation drippers on the end of the tubing. That way, the pump has to run for a long time to cause the float switch to signal to stop.
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Old 01-13-2005, 12:04 AM   #42
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I don't have anything special on mine. Pump comes on for about 3 seconds each time the float tells it too. I have a second flot to kill the pump if the first float fails. My pump has been running about a year and I also mix kalk in my top off water.
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Old 01-13-2005, 12:48 AM   #43
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Good idea
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Old 01-13-2005, 03:01 AM   #44
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Brad has a really great idea with the dripper, it should eliminate the constant on/off. I have been working on my own sump and top off system.

Has anyone used a Toilet float valve and simply gravity fed water? Make no mistake, I am not trying to be cheap, but it seems that so much stuff built for the aquarium market is disposable " $15.00 PH" It seems $60 for the float valve is a lot! How long is it going to last? A float valve from HD is $20. it is meant to run multiple times per day. It is not so sensitive. By gravity feeding, you eliminate the powerhead, as well as more electricity needed.

Coincidentally, I have been looking at adding Baffles to a twenty gallon long tank (in which I am creating the sump) to make a small refuge. After investigating the price of glass, I ended up buying the same container at target, and plan place it directly in the tank. I may cut teeth in it like an overflow and fill with the output of my "wonderful" SeaClone 100.
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Old 01-16-2005, 10:43 PM   #45
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Just finished my auto top off system.

I went the opposite route, using gravity to feed the system. I purchased a Kent Float Valve, a 5 gallon bucket, and a 1/4" push to connect fitting (push in x MPT). Drilled a 1/2" hole near the bottom of the bucket, put some epoxy on the fitting, placed in hole. Allowed to dry for 4 hours.

The hardest part about the entire installation was drilling the 5/8" hole through my acrylic Amiracle wet/dry/sump. If you ever want to drill acrylic remember... VERY slow and easy. It took me about 15 minutes to complete the hole. I would only drill for about 3-5 seconds and then pause for 30 seconds.

I ran 20' of 1/4" rigid air line tubing though the wall to my laundry room (lucky for me it's right behind my tank) where the 5 gallon bucket sits on the shelf above the washer/dryer.

Working perfectly! I'm so excited I don't have to manually top-off I don't know what to do with myself. It was becoming a every day chore! Total cost for my auto top-off setup was only $35 - All parts with the exception of the Kent Float Valve came from Lowes.

I also setup/installed my fuge. I copied JamesR's setup (Thanks James!!). I only went with one 3/4" bulkhead in mine though. I drilled a 1 1/2" hole for the bulkhead. I took a slightly different approach for pumping water into the fuge. I'm using a MaxiJet 400 (110 GPH) but instead of drilling a hole though the containers top I drilled a 3/4" hole just above the water line. Got a 90 degree 1/2" elbow fitting (barb x MPT). Got out the epoxy again and sealed it in.

I still need to cut the lid for the container and seal in a piece of plexi-glass for the light fixure. I'm going to order the same one, a Coralife Mini Aqualight.

All in all both of these project went very well, and were pretty easy. I'm very satisfied with the results of both project and really suggest to everyone the use of an auto top-off. There are several options available and it sure makes life easier, not to mention keeps your salinity at a more constant level.
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Old 01-16-2005, 10:46 PM   #46
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Aspec -

Sounds like a nice setup on the auto top off. Very cool!

Jim
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Old 01-16-2005, 10:51 PM   #47
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Jim, Thanks! You inspired me to get off my rear-end and get this done. I'd been "thinking" about it for quite awhile just never made it happen.

And you're fuge design/setup was exaclty what I'd been looking for. Thanks for taking the time to share the setup information with all of us.
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Old 01-17-2005, 12:03 PM   #48
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I got mine done too, and it's documented HERE
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Old 01-17-2005, 12:25 PM   #49
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Wow! That's impressive. Thanks for all of the pics and explainations. I was curious how your setup was going to work...........looks like it will work great!

FWIW, i think your sump is one of the best i've seen. It holds a ton of water and was inexpensive.

Kudos to you,
Jim
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Old 01-17-2005, 12:51 PM   #50
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Thank you very much!

The only downside to a sump like mine is space, but if you have it, it works very well.

I'm in the planning stages of building a wall around the setup, or removable partition. The young one will soon be crawling.
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