Titus Posted December 5, 2013 Share Posted December 5, 2013 I received my AutoAqua Smart ATO 3 days ago. I have posted my review on a few sites, but just realized it really belongs here, as it is a very attractive option for Nano tanks. First things first, I opened it up to take a look at it (Quarter added for size reference). It took me about 30 seconds to test assemble it without ever looking at the included instruction book (once again, Quarter added for size reference). About 60 seconds after that, I had it the pump dropped in to a 5 gallon water jug, the fill line clamped to the edge of the tank, sensor in place, and plugged it all in. I was quickly greeted by flashing lights and load continues beeps. After about 10 minutes of messing with it and reading the directions, I realized the sensor needs to go through clear glass and the back of my JBJ RL30 has black vinyl applied to it. DOH! I cut a section of the vinyl away and it started working perfectly. What I like: Super simple to set up. Would have gone from box to running in under 2 minutes if I hadn't have forgotten about cutting out the vinyl on the back of the tank. Pump size- The little pump fits easily in the neck of a water jug. No wires running into the tank. Everything needed is included. Smart technology- The micorprocessor stores info for "pump on period" for the last 3 fills and time since last fill. It uses this info to trigger alarms and shutoffs if it thinks it has been pumping for too long (because of a failed sensor, failed pump, or empty reservoir), or it has been too long since it last triggered (because of failed sensor). What I don't like: During initialization, the sensor needs to be above the water line. This means that when the power goes out and back on, it will fail to initialize on restart and will beep until evaporation drops the water level low enough for the initialization to complete. Not a big deal, but it means I will be woken by its error beeping if the power pops off and back on in the middle of the night. Water pump rate- it pumps water a little faster than my Tunze ATO, and a lot faster than the aqua-lifter I have used on another tank. I don't know for sure but think that the high pump rate would be a little too much on a small Pico tank where this system otherwise has the opportunity to really shine. I would set it up on my Fluval Spec V to test, but I don't think the sensor will work on the frosted class. Final Thought- So far I love it... I will try and come back with follow-up opinions after it has been in use for a while. Link to comment
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