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Hydor vs Tunze ATO


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#1
dragonxflare

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I am looking at getting a ATO system, and cant decide between two units.

 

Tunze osmolator

 

http://www.marinedep...IDPETPU-vi.html

 

or

 

Hydor smart level control

 

http://www.marinedep...IDPETPU-vi.html

 

anyone have experience with either?



#2
dragonxflare

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bump



#3
Polyp Addict

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I had an osomolator and loved it. Tunze makes a great product, even though they are pricey, you know what you're getting from them

#4
soulsurfer

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I have the hydor hooked up for a week now and im digging it so far , seems to be working really well.The magnet is strong and I have it hook to the toms aqualifter. only mod I grinded one of the prongs on the aqualifter because the hydor female plug doesn't take standard plugs ,  where one prong has the bigger tip.



#5
guitarvp

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I've been running the osmolator for about 6 months now and I love it. I do wish the sensor puck had a smaller footprint in my 10g sump, but even so thats my only kind-complaint. The optical sensor has been working flawlessly for me so far. I do want to try that new AutoAqua SmartATO at some point. That thing is super small.



#6
AZDesertRat

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Let me throw the Spectrapure UPLC-II in the mix. I have been using one for over 5 years now with zero issues and feel it is a superior product.

http://spectrapure.c...evel-Controller

 

It comes with the same peristaltic pump used in their bulletproof LiterMeter, has many levels of safety like a digital sensor and flow adjustment in from 10% to 100% in 10% steps and is programmed with the push of a button.


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#7
oldSWseamomma

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I LOVE my Tunze ATO - great product and so reliable.  My salinity is spot on perfect all the time now and I never hear it running - haven't had any problems with it at all.


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#8
doppelganger

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I also have the tunze universal edition.  It's still one of my best investments in this hobby.  The only thing I've had to do is replace the pump once and clean the sensor every so often.  Other than that, it's worked flawlessly.  The Hydor is fairly new so that may factor in.  The tunze universal is definitely tried, tested and true.  

 

I'm not sure if all the other comments are for the nano osmolator or the universal.  I've heard the nano isn't as good.  It pretty much only uses a float switch so... there's no real backup if it fails.  The hydor doesn't have a moving float switch so that's good.  Whether it actually works well is another story.  I can't vouch for it though.

 

What size tank are you running it on?  If space and money isn't as much as a factor, I seriously suggest you look into investing into either the tunze osmolator universal or spectrapure like az always suggests. He's suggested it SO many times over the years that it HAS to be good! :P  They're both definitely on the high end quality and price range for ato's.


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#9
Mstefa1

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I use the Tunze 3155 which is over a $200 item on BOTH of my tanks and absolutely love it.  I know it is above your price tag but you may want to consider it if it's the only ATO you plan on buying.


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#10
jservedio

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Let me throw the Spectrapure UPLC-II in the mix. I have been using one for over 5 years now with zero issues and feel it is a superior product.

http://spectrapure.c...evel-Controller

 

It comes with the same peristaltic pump used in their bulletproof LiterMeter, has many levels of safety like a digital sensor and flow adjustment in from 10% to 100% in 10% steps and is programmed with the push of a button.

 

I like the Pressure Tube systems - they are certainly superior to any float switch system. The Spectrapure Unit is awesome and definitely worth the money and you never have to worry about it failing - ever. Those pressure tubes don't have any "moving parts" (except for the membrane inside the box) and don't wear out like a float switch will. I use the Avast Marine ATO which is also a pressure tube system (but much cheaper - it doesn't come with a pump and uses a float valve instead of switch as a backup) and have been using it for 1.5 years now without ever having a problem.

 

The Pressure Tube systems only have ONE drawback - and that is they aren't the most sensitive units out there - the water level will have to change a bit before they come on/shut off. However, if the unit is in your sump return chamber, it doesn't make any difference at all. If it is going on your DT itself without a sump, it may not be the best solution.



#11
AZDesertRat

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I will disagree with the sensitivity. I can adjust my UPLC as low as 1/10" or as high as 4" with the touch of a button and it is very accurate, tracking the settings precisely. It may be the Avast?


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#12
jservedio

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I will disagree with the sensitivity. I can adjust my UPLC as low as 1/10" or as high as 4" with the touch of a button and it is very accurate, tracking the settings precisely. It may be the Avast?

 

Maybe? The Avast has a sensitivity of around 1/2" at best between when it turns the pump on and when it turns the pump off. I have a friend with the Spectrapure and he said his unit wasn't any more accurate (maybe he just had a bad unit?). I know the sensitivity I get with the Avast is around the same as everyone else gets with it.

 

1/10th of an inch is insane though if it reliable switches at that level. If that is the case, I might be upgrading when I build my new sump!

 

I thought it was just the pressure tube design because of the way they work. The air pressure builds up and pushes on a membrane that controls a switch. Maybe the membrane in the Spectapure is much more sensitive or the distance it has to move is much smaller? It's also possible you got super lucky with your unit! I would love to hear what other people are reporting.



#13
ifarmer

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go for the Tunze Osmolator.  Very precise and easy operation.

 

I got my (new) from Petstore.com for one hundred sixty something after the 15% coupon (pm me for the coupon code).



#14
zooman72

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I also have the tunze universal edition.  It's still one of my best investments in this hobby.  The only thing I've had to do is replace the pump once and clean the sensor every so often.  Other than that, it's worked flawlessly.  The Hydor is fairly new so that may factor in.  The tunze universal is definitely tried, tested and true.  

 

I'm not sure if all the other comments are for the nano osmolator or the universal.  I've heard the nano isn't as good.  It pretty much only uses a float switch so... there's no real backup if it fails.  The hydor doesn't have a moving float switch so that's good.  Whether it actually works well is another story.  I can't vouch for it though.

 

What size tank are you running it on?  If space and money isn't as much as a factor, I seriously suggest you look into investing into either the tunze osmolator universal or spectrapure like az always suggests. He's suggested it SO many times over the years that it HAS to be good! :P  They're both definitely on the high end quality and price range for ato's.

 

The Tunze Osmolator Nano does indeed have a back-up system in place - it is programmed to only pump for a period of time (don't have the specs in front of me) before it stops, and I have actually seen it highly rated on several vendor sites, so I don't know where you "heard" it isn't as good, and being as it may be quite a bit less $$$ and is smaller, it may be actually preferable for certain aquarists... :happy:

 

Just like any other part of technology, float valves may need to be checked and serviced - they are not the worst thing out there people, especially if used in the sump... :scarry:  omgomgomg



#15
Mstefa1

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The Tunze Osmolator Nano does indeed have a back-up system in place - it is programmed to only pump for a period of time (don't have the specs in front of me) before it stops, and I have actually seen it highly rated on several vendor sites, so I don't know where you "heard" it isn't as good, and being as it may be quite a bit less $$$ and is smaller, it may be actually preferable for certain aquarists... :happy:

 

Just like any other part of technology, float valves may need to be checked and serviced - they are not the worst thing out there people, especially if used in the sump... :scarry:  omgomgomg

 

Tunze stands behind their nano product but the specs are different.  The nano relies on a single float switch and uses a timer as a backup.  The power level of the pump which controls the flow rate is preset.  The full size osmolator uses an optical switch as the primary and a float switch as a high level backup.  Additionally, it also has the timer as a 3rd failsafe and you have the ability to adjust the power of the included pump to control the rate of flow.

 

I'm sure there are other great products out there but I haven't tried them...  In fact, I never will because I am extremely happy with my Tunze osmolators they are on both of my tanks now and will be on every tank in the future.


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#16
psidriven

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tunze 3155 is more expensive but tried and true, hydor is cheaper and new technology.  so depends on if you like trying new tech or just want something that works.

 

since the hydor uses temp difference, what happens when the air temp and water temp is the same?



#17
AZDesertRat

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Nope, 1/10" to 4" user adjustable is standard and really works.

 

http://spectrapure.c...II-PF-REV-A.pdf

 

Your friend may have their other ATO that is not adjustable like the UPLC is and has a range of about 1 inch.

http://spectrapure.c...o-Top-Off-Sytem

 

http://spectrapure.c.../LLC-MANUAL.pdf


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#18
jservedio

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Nope, 1/10" to 4" user adjustable is standard and really works.

 

http://spectrapure.c...II-PF-REV-A.pdf

 

Your friend may have their other ATO that is not adjustable like the UPLC is and has a range of about 1 inch.

http://spectrapure.c...o-Top-Off-Sytem

 

http://spectrapure.c.../LLC-MANUAL.pdf

 

Looks like I found what I'll be upgrading to in the near future! The Avast will work perfect for a skimmer shutoff for a skimmate locker. He has the higher end one for sure, but I think it is just because the chamber it is in has too much flow for it to read 1/10th of an inch accurately and the "waves" are bigger than that so he has to set it higher.



#19
kalireefer

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Just picked up the Hydor Smart Level ATO for my 10 gal rimless.  Hooked up in a flash, like the the small footprint of the sensor as well.  Lets ya guys know after some test time how it performs...



#20
appak

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Just picked up the Hydor Smart Level ATO for my 10 gal rimless.  Hooked up in a flash, like the the small footprint of the sensor as well.  Lets ya guys know after some test time how it performs...

 

looking forward to this. have been reading up on the various ATO and controller products out there, and this one has caught my eye. especially since it would be going in a DT, so size does matter.

 

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#21
Arkayology

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I love my Tunze osmolator. I will never use anything else.


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#22
kalireefer

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So far the Hydor ATO has performed well, just as I had hoped.  Other than the fact that I skimped out on the pump I have so my ATO res. placement isn't ideal due to inadequate head pressure but should soon be easily fixed.



#23
kalireefer

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just put a tom aqualifter on the smart level and its working great. Just had to grind the plug, like previously mentioned in this thread