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Old 12-03-2012, 11:57 PM   #1
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Plumbing: float switches?

Soon I'm going to be away from home for an extended period due to military deployment. I'm not sure how long, but at least six months and maybe closer to a year. My wife will feed the fish for me during that time, but with two small kids I'm not sure I can count on regular water changes. I'd like to leave at a minimum an automatic top-off system to prevent the pump from cavitating. There should be enough plants to take up nitrate for this period, and the tank is lightly stocked enough to make this reasonable.

The tank is a 75 gallon with 55 gallon sump, unheated.

What I want to do is set up a trash can full of dechlorinated water, with a pump in it, that will turn on when the water level in the sump reaches a certain point, and then turn off before it overflows. All the commercially available float switches I can find are designed for sump pumps to start the pump on a high water level and turn it off at the low level. It seems like it might work to just install the thing upside down, but I haven't been able to look at one out of the box to be sure it would work as I expect. Does anyone have any experience with these, or maybe could suggest a product I've missed? Here's one I'm looking at: http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3706348
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:04 AM   #2
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After having been contemplating which ATO I wanted to go with for a saltwater mixing and transfer station with RO/DI water storage and top off for my display tank sump that is located on the other side of the wall several feet away, I decided on this one:
http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/tunze-...o-top-off.html
It has great reviews and comes with two different style floats/sensors to prevent flooding. You may find it serves your needs to.
Also you could install an RO unit and run that to the sump with the ATO and wouldn't need the dechlorinator and wouldn't need to have water stored for long periods. Just an idea. Good luck.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:31 AM   #3
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That looks ideal, but it's not remotely a reasonable price. For a heated saltwater tank where I needed it to run almost daily it could make sense, but for my application it may only need to run every 3 months.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:09 AM   #4
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Also try autotopoff.com. I just ordered a float from them. Very reasonable prices and you can mix & match what you need.
http://autotopoff.com/products/
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