DIY ATO

Discussion in 'DIY' started by cameronkclements, May 27, 2017.

  1. cameronkclements

    cameronkclements Active Member

    I am building a DIY auto top off for my 90 gallon system this weekend. I will post pics and let you know how it goes. If it works like I believe it will I will be building one for my IM 30 gallon cube also. I'm trying to get prepared for vacation season coming up. :)
     
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  2. huntindoc

    huntindoc RRMAS BOD Membership Director Staff Member

    Anxious to see your design!
     
  3. LJC6780

    LJC6780 RRMAS Supporter

    I'm curious too! I've only ever used the little optical magnet ATO that is on my cube and the tunze that came with this tank. Wouldn't even know how to begin!
     
  4. cameronkclements

    cameronkclements Active Member

    Inspired by YouTube. Got the parts in today from Amazon.
     
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  5. LJC6780

    LJC6780 RRMAS Supporter

    Will you be using it with apex? I bought some float switches to wire into a diy breakout box to hook to my apex. I was just going to try to put one in the skimmer to turn it off should it get full rather than flowing it back into the sump and maybe something like a high level alarm or something.. really not sure what all I can use them for.
     
  6. cameronkclements

    cameronkclements Active Member

    No apex. It will be a couple of relays, 12 volt power supply, pump, and three float switches. One for top off, another one just in case the first one fails. One more in the reservoir for if it gets too low so it won't run the pump dry.
     
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  7. LJC6780

    LJC6780 RRMAS Supporter

    Yeah, I want to add one to my top off container too because the Tunze won't shut off if there's no water, it'll just keep on running. And as far as I know there's no way to program it with the apex to shut off after a certain time because it's just on an on/off outlet and not actually controlling it.
     
  8. BrandonW

    BrandonW RRMAS Supporter

    Any updates on this project? I am extremely interested how it turns out. I have drawn up a design for my own DIY stand-alone ATO using two optical sensors in the tank and a float sensor in the reservoir to keep the pump from running dry. Seems like it is very similar to what you are doing, except using the optical sensor instead.
     
  9. LJC6780

    LJC6780 RRMAS Supporter

    I am too. I have a tunze auto one but whenever it turns on it automatically fills. Every time. So sometimes it ends up being too high and then beeps until it goes down to normal. Very annoying. It also doesn't sense when the reservoir is empty and will just keep running trying to fill. I almost feel like a diy one would be better. I could at least set fail safes to turn off after a certain amount of time and hopefully it wouldn't automatically fill when it turns on. I've forgotten to turn it back on several times because of these issues.
     
  10. BrandonW

    BrandonW RRMAS Supporter

    I am pretty good about topping it off each night, but I am concerned about when I go on vacation and have the house-sitter looking after things. I just want to automate as much as possible for them.
     
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  11. LJC6780

    LJC6780 RRMAS Supporter

    How much do you usually replace a night? Do you check your salinity before and after? I'm just curious how much it fluctuates by topping off once a day. I'll hear mine topping off randomly throughout the day. Usually when I'm sitting in my chair which is right next to the cabinet.
     

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