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Coral Vue Hydros

Dumb DIY ?


Marine1

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1) What is the major difference between something like the JBJ ATO ($80 w/o pump and tubing) and a DIY ATO using an extension cord, splicing a float valve, and using a water pump & tubing for a fraction of the cost ($25 - $40)?

 

2) Does the JBJ system have a fail safe or something; or is it just aesthetically pleasing with the lights and alarms?

 

3) Is there an advantage in using a volt DPDT relay with a volt socket system apposed to just splicing into the extension cord?

 

I now have an open tank and I am realizing how much H2O I have to replenish so I'm thinking of an ATO system on a low budget. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

 

DIY:

http://autotopoff.com/products/

http://www.aquahub.com/store/autotopoffcomp.html

 

JBJ:

http://www.aquahub.com/store/atoreadytouse.html

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I did this one: http://www.aquahub.com/store/product26.html

 

The reason that you don't just run the power cord into the float switch is that the float switch needs to run on a 12V current while the pups runs on 120V AC. You'll fry it without the relay.

 

I've had this one for 2+ years though witout a single problem. Not bad for $40. Sure it's not as pretty as a pre made product. But who cares.

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Thanks mmelnick, that's the kind of answer I was looking for. I think I will order that one as well. Did you use the AquaLifter pump or a different pump?

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auto topoff

This is another option for you. Similarly priced. Tom's aqualifter seems to be the standard pump with the ATO's.

 

Is that one plug and play w/ a pump and tubing or do you need additional supplies like the volt relay? I like the looks of the float valve on this one better.

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Is that one plug and play w/ a pump and tubing or do you need additional supplies like the volt relay? I like the looks of the float valve on this one better.

 

you need the pumps and tubing for the auto-topoff.com one. I had it until it fried, then I spliced an extension cord and it works perfectly well...

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Thanks mmelnick, that's the kind of answer I was looking for. I think I will order that one as well. Did you use the AquaLifter pump or a different pump?

 

I just have an old powerhead laying inthe bottom of the bucket.

 

I really don;t thin it amtters what you use for a pump. It's only running for like 2 minutes a day total. And that's for a few seconds here and there.

 

Even if it's a slow crappy pump it will work just fine. My suggestion for what pump to use for your ATO... Just get a pump.

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I just have an old powerhead laying inthe bottom of the bucket.

 

I really don;t thin it amtters what you use for a pump. It's only running for like 2 minutes a day total. And that's for a few seconds here and there.

 

Even if it's a slow crappy pump it will work just fine. My suggestion for what pump to use for your ATO... Just get a pump.

 

 

I wouldnt go with any old powerhead for an ato. The aqualifter pumps at like 2-3gph max, so the chance of flooding is not as high. also, powerheads have problems turning on, running for a few minutes, then shutting off.

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I got a used JBJ ATO setup off this site for pretty cheap, with an aqualifter. I really like that setup b/c it does the topoff slowly. If I start doing a w/c and forget to unplug it for 20 seconds? only a few oz of water enter the system instead of a huge blast of fresh water a powerhead would give. It also works nicely with the adjustable time-out (3-15 min i think) on the JBJ. Although my aqualifter struggles with more than 30" of head, but works great with less

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AZDesertRat

Do not confuse float valves and float switches, they are two entirely different things. One makes and breaks an electrical circuit based on level and the other starts and stops water flow hydraulically based on level.

 

Many other options can be found here starting at about $55 for the Power Liquid Level Controller a system that uses an air switch so no electrical power is near the tank. All you see in the tank is the small clear tube so it fits well in nano systems.

http://www.spectrapure.com/liquid_level_controllers.htm

 

Add a small powerhead, aqualifter or any pump and a reservoir and you are in business.

 

Note they have lots of options. I don't know why they don't promote their level systems more, they are very competitive and quality stuff. I use the Ultra Precise ATO UPLC-II myself and love it. It uses the same peristaltic pump as their famous Liter Meter III.

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AZDesertRat

I wish! :D I would quit work, I am stuck in an office with 100+ Engineers and I am a water/wastewater system operatons and maintenance guy so its like oil and water! \

They design it, a low bid contractor builds it and my small staff and I fix it so it works the way it should. Actually it can be challenging so I enjoy it, all but the engineers anyway.....

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I put together a couple of easy "kits" for this sort of thing to make it easier. Includes a printed circuit board and a parts list.

 

$30 Cadillac

$15 Barebones

 

Ah yeah, thanks, but you lost me at "I put together....." LOL. No clue what those diagrams are. I don't know much about electrical circuit boards.

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neanderthalman
Ah yeah, thanks, but you lost me at "I put together....." LOL. No clue what those diagrams are. I don't know much about electrical circuit boards.

 

palm....gravitating....to....face.......

 

That's why they're pre-fabricated boards. The link provided will let you purchase a board from batchPCB. All you do is mount the components and you've got an ATO controller ready-to-go. You don't need to know how it works in detail if you don't want to - that was the whole point. Add in the floatswitches, pump, and a box of your own preference.

 

The opposite, making it from scratch without the printed circuit board, will obviously require you to know more about circuit boards, since you'll be designing one from the ground up.

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palm....gravitating....to....face.......

 

That's why they're pre-fabricated boards. The link provided will let you purchase a board from batchPCB. All you do is mount the components and you've got an ATO controller ready-to-go. You don't need to know how it works in detail if you don't want to - that was the whole point. Add in the floatswitches, pump, and a box of your own preference.

 

The opposite, making it from scratch without the printed circuit board, will obviously require you to know more about circuit boards, since you'll be designing one from the ground up.

 

LOL; gotcha! I didn't click on any of your links :o

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neanderthalman
LOL; gotcha! I didn't click on any of your links :o

 

 

:lol:

 

 

Perhaps I ought to edit in a brief note explaining the board/diagram.....

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