Auto top off

reev

New member
I did mine following the Melev's writeup http://www.melevsreef.com/plumbing/auto_topoff.html and I improved it a bit (hopefully ;) ) with 2 changes:
- instead of running 110V through the float switch I used a 5V power source and a relay to control the pump's outlet, so only 5V goes through the float switch. The power source is from an old cellphone charger and the relay i bought it cheap from ebay.
- I use 2 float switches: both are placed in the sump, one is for min level and one is for max level. Both are in "close" position by default and "open" when the water pushes the floating cylinder up. The one for max level sits outside of the water, 1-2" above the normal water level. That is the safety switch in case the other one fails. The valve for min level sits at the water level and this is the main switch that closes and opens as the water level goes down and up. They are both connected in serial and act as a double switch for the 5V power going to the relay.

I bought the float switches and the relay from ebay. I bought the outlet box, outlets and a cable outlet plug from home depot.
 

Bamm Bamm

Saltwater Guru
I just bought one from www.ato.com the dual switch one it was cheap and worked flawlessly for eight years till I just sold it..

the one from melevs is pretty sweet but I didnt feel like building anything=)
 

Malster1

New member
I use the JBJ auto top off on my tanks. I used a DIY kit before that had a 9v battery running that shorted out and caused a fire. Never again. LOL. Very reliable system and can be found on sale sometimes for $75-$80. Normally $99.
 

ALEX007

New member
I have one I made and don't use any more 10 bucks. Is a single float with a magnetic mount works great all you need to do is add a pump
 

JrocReef

New member
Thanks for all the responses. I still don't have one yet but would look in to your recommendations. Thanks!
 

kes_reef

Premium Member
Yeah, I like the JBJ as well. I've been using it to top off kalkwasser.
Try to keep it away (at least 2") from the glass so snails won't get on it and cause problems.
 

Bamm Bamm

Saltwater Guru
you can also use pvc shrouds around the float valves so the snails cant get in there..that's what i do..
 

JrocReef

New member
Thanks Bamm Bamm and Kes. My tank is 30g and my sump is about 10g. I think I might try making melev's ato. I just need to buy a float switch.
 

Bamm Bamm

Saltwater Guru
I just ordered one off ebay(a standard float switch) for like $2 shipped.. I just need batteries to build my little ATO now. I prefer a dual float switch setup but this should work fine for the 10g..
 
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