Really good ATO (autotopoff unit)

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
I had one that worked flawlessly for years and looked as if it were composed of baling wire and spare hose. It finally died, and I have since been through 3 brands none of which worked reliably. The current absolute failure is Tunze, which I cannot even get to respond.

Does anybody have a decent dirt-simple float-switch topoff they can recommend?
 

vsiege

New member
I have had this unit running since June 2020 without an issue. I like that it has 3 optical sensors. I recommend shutting off the buzzer unless you want it to audibly let ya knownwhen it detects low and starts its top off. Shut it off and never looked back. So you don't get back siphon (in the manual as well), put a pin hole through silicone tubing above reservoir tank. I bought it when it was 90 something but it's been reduced down to 72. Good deal. The DC pump looks comically small but does the job just fine. Good luck and let me know if ya have any setup issues. Take care



FZONE Triple Sensors Aquarium Auto TOP Off Water Refiller System Smart ATO Auto Filling Tank with Intelligent SPT Algorithm https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083JG8HWT/ref=cm_sw_r_apanp_J9bFqJsvqIxZQ
 

Vinny Kreyling

Premium Member
Sk8r --
I would get in touch with Roger on the Tunze forum here.
He is a great guy to work with & will not steer you wrong.
 

reeftivo

Skim junkie
tunze for 8 years until the optical sensor got too scarred up from cleanings. new one should last me for at least another 8
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
thank you all for the responses. You've given me some good avenues to try.
 

origreefer

New member
I had an ELOS for 10 yrs and it was perfect. When it finally died, I went thru 2 Tunzes, JBJ, Smart ATO, and one other before settling on an Apex. I don't like it at all, very temperamental. I much prefer the old style float switch ATOs.
 

Member No. 1

Ver. 2.1.1
Premium Member
Gold standard would be a Litermeter set up. Expensive up front, but I've got one running for over 15 years without issue.
 

herostar

Active member
I've used an autotopoff.com setup for about 6 years with no issues. They have lots of options ranging from single sensors for nano tanks to large setup systems with multiple redundancies.
 

Crowed

Member
I have Tunze optical sensor for more than 10 years, few times a year i soak it in vinegar and it looks like new
 

EuroDriver

New member
I have tried a number of off-the-shelf ATO units, and I've had my issues with all of them. The most reliable that I have been running for several years now is a Tom aqua lifter pump. It's been absolutely solid.

I have it plugged into my Apex with high and low float switches, a regular, 'ol 5 gallon water jug in my cabinet with a piece of rigid airline tube to the bottom, airline hose to the aqua lifter, more airline hose from the aqua lifter into the sump. Absolutely reliable, small footprint and hassle-free.

If you don't use a controller, you can use a solenoid or hard-wire the float switch to the aqua lifter's electrical cord.
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
FINALLY got the ATO brand ATO to work. I think.
Understand, I have been operating with chemo-brain fog for a bit, but one of the things that threw me, and could well throw a novice...
...Would you think that if there is a mode A sensor hookup (1 sensor) and a mode B (2 sensors)---they would ship with the unit set to A, as, well, first in the alphabet. And the simplest rig? [I have a 3' deep reservoir and a pump-save arrangement to detect low water is just not needed.]
Chemo-brain, as I said. I assumed. I was also foggy enough not to remember that the pump will NEVER respond to the sensor if not plugged into the unit rather than the wall---a day-1 rookie mistake, but, well, dim. I am all better now.
And the thing MAY be running.
 

cody6766

Super Best Friends!
Premium Member
I've used an autotopoff.com setup for about 6 years with no issues.
Me too, plus a few years. I bought one of their 2 float setups used back in 2008 and another sometime in 2010'ish. I'm not sure which one is on my tank now, but I know that both of them still work like new. The simplicity of dual mechanical float switches and a relay box is hard to beat. My maintenance schedule is swish them around in the sump for a few seconds when a float sticks. This happens about every 2-3 years, but sometimes as often as 6 months...terribly inconvenient, haha.

FINALLY got the ATO brand ATO to work. I think.
Good to hear!
 
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