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  1. #1
    Senior Member upthecreekwithoutapaddle's Avatar
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    gravity auto top off

    thinking of setting up a gravity feed ATO with a float. not sure how it all works. anyone have pics or plans or written expaination of how to DIY
    thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member ThisGeekyChick's Avatar
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    Maybe this thread will help upthecreek
    Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated!

  3. #3
    Senior Member upthecreekwithoutapaddle's Avatar
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    Hmmm...none of the links from that thread seem to work?

  4. #4
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    will this be feeding your sump?? or tank?

    if you're going to use a gravity feed system ( realistically any ATO ) you need to make the water storage container small enough to not overflow your sump / tank or drastically change your SG. i made one ( electric not gravity ) years ago and came home one day after all 40G of new RODI had been pumped into my sump, not a pretty sight :b8:. it's so easy for a snail or coralline or salt creep to block the float and cause a problem. for me it took two years but i'm still to nervous to try another ATO and i never figured out why it failed.

    for a gravity feed all you need to do is install the storage container higher than the sump, then install a float valve ( Kent makes a descent one ) in the sump. then connect the two with fittings and pipe. this can also be a good way to dose Kalk but it may foul the float system too.

    HTH and just ask if i didn't explain it well enough.
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
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    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


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  5. #5
    Senior Member upthecreekwithoutapaddle's Avatar
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    well...ya scared me enough to make me look at the ATO made by tunze. it has a shut-off for when or if it fails.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by a4twenty View Post
    for a gravity feed all you need to do is install the storage container higher than the sump, then install a float valve (Kent makes a descent one ) in the sump. then connect the two with fittings and pipe. this can also be a good way to dose Kalk but it may foul the float system too.
    Spend the extra money on the kent float valve over the coralife one. I bought the coralife one and it's not too great, the plastic float is flimsy and not attached well to the bracket, and the part where the line connects to to unit is really terrible...
    I've been doing my auto top off this way with my water container higher than my sump without an issue. I once used kalk, but it would cause problems with the float clogging and whatnot. I now dose kalk separately by dripping it from a 5 gallon container. All is well for me.
    120g AGA~145 lbs Haitian LR~DA Reef Keeper 2 Controller~Dual 14k 250 DE MH's~Dual Overflows~Dual 250w Jager Heaters~Dual 96W Actinics~30g Sump/Refugium~Mag 12 Return~140 lbs Reefgrade Caribsea Aragonite~BubbleKing 180 Skimmer~Phosban Reactor~GEO Kalk Reactor~Powerheads:MP40w/Seio 820/modified Powersweep 270 with Hydor rotating deflector~Digital lighting timer for moon/fuge lighting~7 stage RODI filtration~Quarantine: modified 12.5g Marineland Eclipse

  7. #7
    Senior Member carrhd's Avatar
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    Have you seen those phenominally annoying commercials for "Aqua Globes" on late night TV? They're a bulb with a stem that you fill with water then jam into your potted plants. When the soil dries out it lets in air, water flows out, then air can't get in so it stops. That's the essence of a gravity feed top off system.

    In its simplest form, you fill a torpedo with water then flip it into your sump. When the water level drops below the bottom of the torpedo air bubbles in releasing enough water to seal the mouth of the bottle again. It looks like this:



    http://www.dna.ca/aquarium/gravity-top-off.jpg

    I've been using a Tunze for months. It's an awesome, relatively inexpensive tool. You have to clean the optical sensor once every month or two or it gets scaled up and can't read the water level anymore. Just put it on your calendar for regular sump maintenance.

    Hank.
    220G mixed reef main, 30 G (3 x 10) brood/grow-out, 25 G secondary, 6 G frag with shared sump

    Return Pump: Iwaki MD55RLT
    Water Movement: Tunze Turbelle Stream 6060, 4 x MaxiJet 1200
    Lighting: 60" Outer Orbit dual 250 W 10k HQI and quad 48" T5HO Actinic
    Skimmer: Precision Marine Bullet-2 with Iwaki MD55RLT, WC610 waste collector, and gate valve

    Experience: Fresh since 1976 - Marine since 1987

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hank.carr

  8. #8
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by upthecreekwithoutapaddle View Post
    well...ya scared me enough to make me look at the ATO made by tunze. it has a shut-off for when or if it fails.


    i didn't want to scare you off, just warn you off the potential danger with any ATO. i'm still doing top up by hand, though i'm sure i'll trust again. let us know what you go with and feel free to ask some more questions, for piece of mind.
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


    My Gallery

  9. #9
    Senior Member upthecreekwithoutapaddle's Avatar
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    i have decided to go with the tunze osmolator. it has the second float that turns the unit off if the water gets too high. a bit pricy but i go away a lot and need something reliable

  10. #10
    Senior Member upthecreekwithoutapaddle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carrhd View Post
    Have you seen those phenominally annoying commercials for "Aqua Globes" on late night TV? They're a bulb with a stem that you fill with water then jam into your potted plants. When the soil dries out it lets in air, water flows out, then air can't get in so it stops. That's the essence of a gravity feed top off system.

    In its simplest form, you fill a torpedo with water then flip it into your sump. When the water level drops below the bottom of the torpedo air bubbles in releasing enough water to seal the mouth of the bottle again. It looks like this:



    http://www.dna.ca/aquarium/gravity-top-off.jpg

    I've been using a Tunze for months. It's an awesome, relatively inexpensive tool. You have to clean the optical sensor once every month or two or it gets scaled up and can't read the water level anymore. Just put it on your calendar for regular sump maintenance.

    Hank.
    so you use this method hank?

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