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Old 12-31-2013, 10:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
May I ask why a 3ft lift? Seems kinda extreme to have almost the length of a mid size tank distance to move water. If you can close the gap I'd hit up an aqua lifter. 15 bucks a pop is the best.

Agreed, if you can eliminate the head height aqua lifter is best option. They can safely run dry.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:39 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by kdpuffer View Post
Agreed, if you can eliminate the head height aqua lifter is best option. They can safely run dry.
The JBJ ATO run in mode A uses one of the floats as a safety in the top off reservoir to keep the transfer pump from funning dry. In mode B, the higher float as I understand the instructions is actually the "off" switch. The unit will still turn on the pump even if the lower float valve is floating. (Both float valves have to be up to turn the unit off.)

The dual float ATO controller from autotopoff.com uses the higher float valve as a fail safe to turn off the unit, even if the lower valve is stuck in a lower position. (If either float valve is up, it turns the pump off.)

The JBJ's fail safe is an electronic timer which will only let the pump run for 3 to 7 minutes at a time before resetting itself. I used a JBJ with an Aqualifter on my 75, and because of the timer and the evaporation rate, it couldn't keep up. I ended up switching to a MJ600 and haven't had any problems, but could have once IF my ATO reservoir was significantly larger when the sump float valve got stuck due to calcium deposits. (The reservoir I use is only 3.5 gallons.). The JBJ fail safe can protect the transfer pump, but doesn't do much to protect from dumping too much freshwater back into the tank should a float valve get stuck. The autotopoff.com design is safer for the tank.

IIRC, the Tunze Osmolater uses a mechanical float switch and an electric eye as a fail safe to prevent an overfill. I believe it also includes the transfer pump. Since the electric eye can't get stuck like a float valve can, it's considered to be pretty reliable as well.

Hydor just came out with an ATO controller that is very compact and uses the difference in temperature between finger-like probes to turn the pump on and off you might consider as well. I guess it's a different technology than what else is out there, and may have some bugs we don't know about yet though.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:19 PM   #13
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I think I am confused about this whole auto top off thing...........
The tank is an IM nuvo 38, with standard stand. It stands about 4 feet tall. My plan is to put the reserve water in a bucket on the shelf in the stand, which will sit about 3 feet below the top of the tank. This is an AIO tank, so there is no sump.
I don't really have anywhere else to put the reserve other than the stand, unless I set something next to the tank and set it on that, which defeats the whole purpose of the clean look, and the reason I chose this particular tank.
I think maybe I am not quite understaning how an ATO works. I get that when the water evaporates, the float sensor triggers the pump to turn on and push water into the tank. With a Maxijet, I assume you use the venturi valve to "pull" the water into the maxijet in the same manner?
Can someone clarify how these things work? Im feeling pretty silly now, and maybe an ATO isnt built to do what I am wanting with this style of an all in one tank...........????
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:14 PM   #14
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If you use a maxi jet you will want to have it in the reservoir to "push the water up. With the reservoir below the tank an aqua lifter pump won't work as the reservoir has to be level or above the tank or sump that it is adding water to due to it not being able to handle head height. So your limited to an actual pump which maxijet it the best unit for the job and it's cheap. Something else to note, do not submerge the discharge end of the top off line in the water as this will allow a syphon to take place. It will top off the tank then proceed to drain the tank into the reservoir to the point that either the discharge is out of the water or the float engages the pump again. If this is the case then your ATO will never stop cycling. What I did (I have a sump so appearance is irrelevant) is take some egg crate/light diffuser and cut it to size and mounted my floats and discharge to that with tie wraps. I also put a short chunk of PVC pipe on that the discharge drops into to eliminate splashing meanwhile keeping the end of the hose above the water level so I don't have to worry about a syphon. I currently have a maxijet pump on the ATO but due to my having a sump and my reservoir being at the same height I will be getting an aqua lifter likely this week. Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAquarium Advice1388693474.215598.jpg
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Size:	209.5 KB
ID:	214770 Here is a photo of how I have my floats and discharge setup. I have the unit from autotopoff.com and the lower float is what turns the pump on and off while the top float is the safety backup that will cut of the pump if the level gets to high. The only issue I run into is my pump running dry if I don't keep the reservoir topped up. Once I have the aqua lifter it won't be an issue as they are designed to either pump air or water so running dry won't damage it. Hope this helps some if not ask more questions and we will do our best to help you out.
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:23 PM   #15
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Was just looking at the aqualifter pump and it can apparently handle 30" of head height so maybe it is an option. If you can do it I would go this route as the aqualifter can be safely run dry if you forget to top off your reservoir. Also it pumps smaller volume so swings in salinity will be reduced as it tops off.
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:00 PM   #16
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Does anyone know how far below the top of the tank the Tunze and the new AutoAqua Smart ATO can be mounted? I don't want to have to have 2+ inches of "deadspace" at the top of the tank because the sensor mounts are too large (my tank has a rim).
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