ATO Help

Striket85

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
16
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Tampa
Hey guys, so I've done a bit of research. 29g tank is cycling. I can be as patient as I need so I have time. I don't have room, nor do I want to go buy another tank for it, but I'm wondering about an ATO. I'm renting the house I'm in so I don't have a source of RO water. I've been looking at these smaller "counter top" units that I can connect when needed (I don't have a sink in the garage -_-). Without getting into too much detail, what all is involved in an ATO? Can I just use a 5 gal bucket under the tank? Do I need rocks or lights in it? How complicated and expensive is it? Does it need to hook up to the canister filter I have? I searched the forums and couldn't find any specific answers to my question. Thanks!
TANK.jpg
 
Fritz
OP
S

Striket85

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
16
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Tampa
Yes you can use a 5 gallon bucket. It should last you a bit. I currently use 5 gallon buckets for my 241gl tank. I have to swap them out everyday though. Attached photos of what use.

4B15F4D1-B292-43D3-B338-15AD5DDB1391.jpeg ADA0A6CA-A95C-486D-B6E8-B8719B1B3630.jpeg
Awesome! What’s a rough guesstimate on cost for something that’s as hands off as it gets but also something that I’d be able to monitor via my phone?
 
Corals.com
OP
S

Striket85

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
16
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Tampa
Yes I monitor this via apex using atk kit from Neptune and optical sensors. The tunze you purchased is an excellent choice however. I don’t know if it’s controllable by phone though.
Yeah, I love the Neptune kit but my gf would leave me so there's that. I really don't need to control or monitor it from my phone, I just love tech. I work from home and the tank is in my office soooo...
 

melonheadorion

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
300
Reaction score
210
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
green bay
on a side note about the RO water. the BRS RODI setups, you get an adapter with the kit that allows you to remove the screen from a normal sink so that you can connect the RO system and still be able to use the sink. so, even though you are renting, it may be something you can still look into since it doesnt require you to do any alterations, other than taking the screen off of the sink spout, and screwing in the adapter. i am apartment living, and did this to the bathroom sink
 
OP
S

Striket85

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
16
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Tampa
on a side note about the RO water. the BRS RODI setups, you get an adapter with the kit that allows you to remove the screen from a normal sink so that you can connect the RO system and still be able to use the sink. so, even though you are renting, it may be something you can still look into since it doesnt require you to do any alterations, other than taking the screen off of the sink spout, and screwing in the adapter. i am apartment living, and did this to the bathroom sink

This is what I ordered. It shows being able to hook up to a sink faucet. I may do that or I may install an adapted at the washing machine and hook it up more permanently there that won't take up precious counter space anywhere else.
 
OP
S

Striket85

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
16
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Tampa
This is the setup for the brs version that I use, and is how I have it sitting at the moment. looks like the one you got, has the same adapter, so will work fine, and doesnt ruin anything
20211130_143852.jpg
As much as that wouldn't bother me, my gf would go ballistic. I also have 3 younger kids here that would break that in less than a week.
 
Lazy's Coral House

melonheadorion

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
300
Reaction score
210
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
green bay
As much as that wouldn't bother me, my gf would go ballistic. I also have 3 younger kids here that would break that in less than a week.
the great thing is that all of the plastic lines can be easily removed. literally 2 seconds. i leave it there just because i dont want to hook or unhook any of it, and dont want to cut the tubes until im settled in a house
 

RocketEngineer

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
487
Reaction score
504
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Ok, let’s hit the pause button for a moment. You’re talking about two different things that are not the same thing.

An ATO is an automatic top off. That is a way of adding fresh water into the tank to compensate for evaporation. This device uses some type of water level sensor to either turn on a pump or open a valve. There are many types that run the range from a DIY kit using float switches and a relay in a project box, up to optical sensors and a micro-controller. No matter the type, the goal is to keep the salinity in the tank stable.

A reverse osmosis system is a set of filters used to remove contaminates from tap water. Most of them used to make water for reef tanks include a de-ionizing media after the reverse osmosis membrane, hence RODI. They need a source of water and a drain. Some setups can be easily removed for storage, depending on setup.

SO, those two get you clean water, and adding clean water automatically to the tank. What I don’t recommend is combining them. If something fails, you have unlimited water entering your tank. That’s a recipe for a disaster. Instead, I recommend a covered container, 5G bucket works fine, and refill the bucket as needed. That may mean setting up the RODI unit once a week but that’s the safer option.

Hope that helps.
 
OP
S

Striket85

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
16
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Tampa
Ok, let’s hit the pause button for a moment. You’re talking about two different things that are not the same thing.

An ATO is an automatic top off. That is a way of adding fresh water into the tank to compensate for evaporation. This device uses some type of water level sensor to either turn on a pump or open a valve. There are many types that run the range from a DIY kit using float switches and a relay in a project box, up to optical sensors and a micro-controller. No matter the type, the goal is to keep the salinity in the tank stable.

A reverse osmosis system is a set of filters used to remove contaminates from tap water. Most of them used to make water for reef tanks include a de-ionizing media after the reverse osmosis membrane, hence RODI. They need a source of water and a drain. Some setups can be easily removed for storage, depending on setup.

SO, those two get you clean water, and adding clean water automatically to the tank. What I don’t recommend is combining them. If something fails, you have unlimited water entering your tank. That’s a recipe for a disaster. Instead, I recommend a covered container, 5G bucket works fine, and refill the bucket as needed. That may mean setting up the RODI unit once a week but that’s the safer option.

Hope that helps.
Oh I wasn't planning on having them tied together at any point. The RODI unit eliminates me having to make visits to the LFS for water, and ATO eliminates me having to lift a bucket to fill the tank. I also don't have the means to have them combined, even if I wanted to =P
 

RocketEngineer

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
487
Reaction score
504
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Yeah, lifting water is annoying. My current build started from the point of “no more lifting buckets”. My last tank was a pain to do water changes on which is one reason it failed. Another option for the RODI connections is near a washing machine but that’s not an option for everyone.

Good luck.
 
OP
S

Striket85

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
16
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Tampa
Yeah, lifting water is annoying. My current build started from the point of “no more lifting buckets”. My last tank was a pain to do water changes on which is one reason it failed. Another option for the RODI connections is near a washing machine but that’s not an option for everyone.

Good luck.
That's what I'm planning on doing. Will attach it to the water line there. Yeah I used to have a 125g and I hated the maintenance. That was also in an apartment so I couldn't set anything up permanently. Once I buy another house I'll look into a larger tank.
 
Reef Chasers Aquaculture
Go to www.aqua-ops.com for high end corals!
Top