Auto top off question

gibson981

New member
I want to set up an auto top off. If possible, I would like to us a plastic 5 gallon jug for the supply water. Needless to say, I would have to unhook everything when the jug gets close to empty so I can refill it. I also want to use this set up to dose calcium, strontium, iodine, and Kent Super Buffer dKH.

The lower the cost, the better. However, I would be more concerned with how well it works.

How do I accomplish such a set up and what parts do I need?
 

flfirefighter13

New member
If your running a sump go to a hardware store and find a all plastic float valve and mount it in the sump, run RO tubeing to a 5 gal bucket thats above the sumps water level and get quick connect mount that has a valve. Anywhere that sells ro stuff should have the fittings
 

drummereef

Team RC
I use autotopoff.com for ato. I have the double float switch. I basically have a 5 gallon bucket that I cut a hole in the top so I can refill easily. I just used a lid from an easy pour 5 gallon pail. Bought it from the paint store for 3 bucks. I don't dose from it, but dare it say it - there's a vidcast on talkingreef where Rob details his top-off system. He doses kalk from a very similar system.
 

2639

New member
I've always wondered if you can use ReefBuilder in topoff water to maintain alk. I know kalk will keep that up but it also raises calcium.
 

drummereef

Team RC
I've heard you can, but trying to calculate the balance between the builder and a calcium additive, like reef calcium, is difficult. Most people either dose kalk or just use plain RO/DI for the top-off.
 

2639

New member
Agreed..That would be a headache.
Gibson, if you need more visuals on that setup of mine, i'll be happy to take pics :D I'm reading some interesting threads on TalkingReef right now about ATO. Great link Drummer :D
 

gibson981

New member
2639, I would very much like to see more pics if you have some. Thank you very much.

Drummer, can you post a link to that info?

Also, one more question for anyone who knows. Here's a scenario. I set up an auto top off with eiter a float switch or float valve. My overflow loses siphon for some odd reason. No more water drains from the tank to the sump, but the auto top off keeps putting water in the return section. The return pump keeps sending that water up to the tank. Eventually, because the overflow lost siphon, the tank overflows onto the floor. How do I prevent that scenario?
 

cesau

New member
I ended up using 2 float switches from mcmaster carr (mcmaster.com - do a search for "float switch" -- go to page 491) and the prementioned mini 404 sump.

The reason I used two is to put one in the sump area (when the water gets too low, the circuit closes) and one in the water resevoir (when the water gets too low, the circuit opens) - Then I put the 2 switches in series to ensure 2 things are true before attempting to refill. 1) The sump area is low on water. 2) The resevoir has water in it, so as not to burn out the pump.

In your case, I would suggest getting a 2nd 5 gallon bucket to refill with - if you wanted to be more elegant than that, you could attach some connectors to the wiring needed so you can unclip and refill.
 

gibson981

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8102422#post8102422 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by cesau
I ended up using 2 float switches from mcmaster carr (mcmaster.com - do a search for "float switch" -- go to page 491) and the prementioned mini 404 sump.

The reason I used two is to put one in the sump area (when the water gets too low, the circuit closes) and one in the water resevoir (when the water gets too low, the circuit opens) - Then I put the 2 switches in series to ensure 2 things are true before attempting to refill. 1) The sump area is low on water. 2) The resevoir has water in it, so as not to burn out the pump.

In your case, I would suggest getting a 2nd 5 gallon bucket to refill with - if you wanted to be more elegant than that, you could attach some connectors to the wiring needed so you can unclip and refill.

Very good idea. I will likely use it. I understand using a second foat switch to not run the resevoir pump dry. However, the water level in my display has to remain very close to the top in order to not show the water line from under the canopy. Therefore, there is not a lot of room in the display to handle all of the water out of the return section of the sump plus most of the water out of a resevoir. So, if I lose siphon (for some odd reason), then no water is draining from the display. The return section of the sump keeps emptying into the display until it has drained the resevoir to the point where the float switch turns off the resevoir pump, and there is no more water to send up to the display. I'm afraid that somewhere in there, all of that water will be too much and will overflow from my display onto my floor. This is because of how high I have to keep the water level in the display to keep the water line hidden in the canopy instead of visible to the room. I am very far from being an expert and I may be missing something here. Please let me know if I am missing something.
 
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