Big tank evaporation!!!Auto Top Off systems

Discussion in 'Fish Tanks' started by roberttroy81, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. roberttroy81

    roberttroy81 Ocean Fanatic

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    New Jersey
    My 150 is losing water like crazy.About every 2 days i got to add a gal of water to keep up with the sump,Heck maybe even more then then a gal.I was wondering how many people have this same problem?What are you guys and girls doing about it.I want to hear all your suggestions and systems that you have to determine what to do myself.

    This is what i thought of right off the bat.10-15 gal jug-tank,under my stand next to the sump.Simple powerhead pump,clear viynil tubing,A timer,maybe a heater.

    Just set the pump on the timer every day for as long as it takes 1-2min probaly.With the tubing going into my sump.

    Or just going all out,and running pvc from my 30 gal holding tank up threw my floor and into my sump or tank.I also heard thats a good way of dosing your tank?

    Everyone tell me your system and ill take it from there.:D
     
    roberttroy81, Jan 26, 2008
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. roberttroy81

    kimoy CERTIFIED BUM

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    huntley, Il
    1-2 gal a evap every couple days is nothing on a 150. My tank is evaporating more than a gal a day. I use auto top off. a float switch on your sump that will turn on a pump that is on your holding tank. or some people do a drip method using kalkwasser.
     
    kimoy, Jan 26, 2008
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. roberttroy81

    LionFish Resident Photoshopper

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,670
    Likes Received:
    155
    Location:
    Louisville, Kentucky
    I have been adding water like CRAZY like 10 Gallons a week,
     
    LionFish, Jan 26, 2008
    #3
  4. roberttroy81

    reeffreak

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    11,316
    Likes Received:
    2,078
    Location:
    Clarksville,Tn
    I lose 2-2.5 gallons a day on my 210.No way am I going to do fill evaporation everyday with that kind of lost.IMO,an ATO system is a must on tanks our size especially if its ran with no tops.This is my Reef Fanatic ATO from Premium Aquatics,it works brilliantly.The tubing from the little pump goes to my 10g holding tank.It was the best $100 spent-controller,tubing and pump.

    [​IMG]
     
    reeffreak, Jan 26, 2008
    #4
  5. roberttroy81

    d.french

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,001
    Likes Received:
    181
    Location:
    Granite city, IL.
    i need to look into something also i'm using kent 5 gallon aquadose right now but need a better solution once i save more money
     
    d.french, Jan 26, 2008
    #5
  6. roberttroy81

    Bifferwine I am a girl

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Messages:
    46,915
    Likes Received:
    5,888
    Location:
    Lynnwood, WA and missing Tucson, AZ
    I lose around 6 gallons a day on my 240. It's hot and dry here! I have a home made auto top off (ATO) system that I built using a simple toilet float. It was super easy, check out my build thread for pics.
     
    Bifferwine, Jan 26, 2008
    #6
  7. roberttroy81

    fishbait I found Nemo

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,817
    Likes Received:
    196
    Location:
    southeast oklahoma
    a much larger sump will help too. it will allow more room for evaporation without the pump going dry. just wait until summer! it'll be evaporation galore!
     
    fishbait, Jan 26, 2008
    #7
  8. roberttroy81

    Piggy

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,517
    Likes Received:
    484
    Location:
    Elkridge, MD
    I was wondering if you enclosed part of the back if it would cut down on evaporation? My tank is between two rooms.
     
    Piggy, Jan 27, 2008
    #8
  9. roberttroy81

    fatman

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,777
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska USA (The Last Frontier)
    I promote evaporation with fans, so as to dose more Kalkwasser. I would try for 3 gallons a day with a 150 gallon tank, all year round. But that is with tanks that mainly house stoney corals. In most the tanks I maintain I have installed Niveaumat pumps for Auto top off, as well as on my own tank. Recently I installed a LitreMeter which has a much better float setup. I have had problems in the past with floats getting stuck, especially due to snails. LitreMeter uses an infrared level detector rather than a float, with a float as a secondary shut off device. They also can be calibrated so they are great for dosing pumps. Luckily the dosing/top off pumps are peristaltic pumps moving small amounts of fluid and there has never been any real damage. However, the Spectra Pure LitreMeter costs half again more than the Aqua Medic Niveumat. Neither are cheap.
     
    fatman, Jan 27, 2008
    #9
  10. roberttroy81

    putter

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    B.C. Canada
    I am using the JBJ ATO system, same thing, couple of floats connected to sensors, water drops, turns on pump, water raised shuts pump off...it is plumbed into my main water storage contianer. Only thing I have to do now is set some thing up to prevent the return pump from over flowing the DT tank in the event that the drain air locks.
     
    putter, Jan 27, 2008
    #10
  11. roberttroy81

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    26,996
    Likes Received:
    3,868
    Location:
    Ringgold,Ga
    I lose about a gallon a day no matter what time of year it is.
    So I bought a Tunze ATO.Simple and easy to use.
     
    yote, Jan 27, 2008
    #11
  12. roberttroy81

    fatman

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,777
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska USA (The Last Frontier)
    I know of no device that is currently being sold for turning off a pump to prevent overfilling a tank when a siphon overflow stops working, but I would think a float that activates a switch or even a shutoff valve could easily be set up. We do have an Electrical Engineer that is a member of this site. Perhaps you could open a thread asking specifically for help with that problem. I really am surprised it is not a standard item considering the number of siphon overflows in use. :shock:
     
    fatman, Jan 28, 2008
    #12
  13. roberttroy81

    chaosfinity Got Kalk?

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO USA
    I lose about a gallon a day in my 20 gallons lol. For a siphon overflow safety if it were mine i would set up 2 floats as a safety on a relay one on the top of the DT just up high enough to not be floating and one in the outerbox of the overflow just enough to be floating with a valve adjusted to keep the water at a good level so if the siphon is lost the water drains into the sump and drops that float and also if the tank water rises it shuts off. The problem with that tho is waves in the DT hitting the DT float maybe a system to only drop the relay if both change.
     
    chaosfinity, Jan 28, 2008
    #13
  14. roberttroy81

    putter

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    B.C. Canada
    The solution I have come up with is simply to raise the inlet of the return pump to a level that will ensure it starts sucking air before it over flows the main tank. It really should not be a problem if every thing works the way it is suppose to, but I have had the gurgle buster stand pipe air lock a couple of times and just want the added insurance, or zero possibility of flood damage due to the DT being over filled. I already have the ATO set to shut itself off if the water level drops to a certain point so the sump will not continue to fill with fresh water. All I need to do now is plumb the return pump to that magical point.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2008
    putter, Jan 28, 2008
    #14
  15. roberttroy81

    fatman

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,777
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska USA (The Last Frontier)
    But how do you protect your pump from running dry, over heating and burning out? Expensive. Why not just develop a float switch (maybe a relay switch so you can use low voltage on the float controlling the relay that shuts off the pumps household current) that shuts the pump off when the sump gets to low to save the pump and prevent overflow both. That will allow the use of all common over the counter parts.
     
    fatman, Jan 28, 2008
    #15
  16. roberttroy81

    d.french

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,001
    Likes Received:
    181
    Location:
    Granite city, IL.
    just ordered mine an hour ago, i'm putting a ten gallon tank under my display next to sump with both sensors there are about three different ways to setup for water levels, click on link and than click on other views and more information to see different ways to setup. You can setup up so water level wont get to low.

    Aquarium Maintenance & Plumbing: Auto Top Off Controller
     
    d.french, Jan 29, 2008
    #16
  17. roberttroy81

    d.french

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,001
    Likes Received:
    181
    Location:
    Granite city, IL.
    can't beat that price, i already have a maxi jet 600 and tubing plus another tank for holding water.
     
    d.french, Jan 29, 2008
    #17
  18. roberttroy81

    fatman

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,777
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska USA (The Last Frontier)
    The automatic top off pump I use is a peristaltic pump and is able to pump Kalkwasser or any other chemical with impunity. Peristaltic pumps by themselves cost around $85 plus. They are used in the chemical trade, laboratories and other places where your moving caustic chemicals at a very low flow (less than 1 gallon per hour). The JBJ ATO still uses floats which means it has the same problem as mine, susceptibility to hermit crabs and snails. A maxi-jet would work fine for pumping water, although it will suffer premature aging from cycling on and off constantly without a soft start mechanism, plus it will clog up pretty quickly if used with Kalkwasser. I like what I have but I will by a SpectraPure LiterMeter to replace it when it wears out or when I have the extra money. The LiterMeters sensors are more fail proof and it can be calibrated. The ATO at that site also must have a pump which has an exit above the water line or the system will back flow. This would be difficult with a typical power head as a pump as you would need to float the pump on your reservoirs water or in some way keep the inlet in the water and yet keep the outlet out of the water. Basically the ATO is a control unit, with floats, for use with a peristaltic pump.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2008
    fatman, Jan 30, 2008
    #18
  19. roberttroy81

    putter

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    B.C. Canada
    Fatman, with the setup I have there is no way, other than building and installing a seperate float switch as you mention. I am shooting for a fail safe that will save the flooring etc. the 70 bucks for a burnt out pump would be cheap in comparison, yes a switch would be even cheaper but for now I will just get it set so it will not overfill the DT, I may invest in another system to keep the water in the DT from reaching dangerous levels down the road if it looks like this is going to be a real problem, with luck I manage to get the stand pipe regulated with no air locks...then no worries on the other issues.
     
    putter, Jan 31, 2008
    #19
  20. roberttroy81

    fatman

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,777
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska USA (The Last Frontier)
    Let me see if I understand this. Your worried about pumping to much water into your display tank if your siphon stops working and thereby overflowing on to your floor. This will be prevented by your pump only being able to pump down to a certain level in your sump. That part I follow, but the float that controls feeding ATO water into your tank is set so if the water level drops water will be pumped into the sump I assume to keep the water topped off. If that float and pump or gravity system is working how will the water level drop enough for another float to shut off the flow? I am confused as to what you are doing in regard to maintaining your water levels as to your system shutting off ATO water when the level drops to low. It still seems wise to me to just put a float in the back compartment of the siphon overflow that shuts power off to pump when the water level in that compartment drops due to a lost siphon.
     
    fatman, Jan 31, 2008
    #20
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.