Auto Top Off System with a Pulse Return Pump

Ecotech Marine

Joseph3

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Hello!

I will be going away on vacation in around two weeks for 10 days and I'm considering getting an auto top off system to control the salinity while I'm gone. But there's a catch! My return pump is set to pulse mode and the sump water level changes. Will an auto top system work in my sump? Would it keep the water level during the surge (when the water level is the lowest) at the sensor height?

Three other options I'm considering:
1. Slowly lower the salinity to 1.021 and hope it doesn't rise past 1.030 while I'm gone. Not great
2. Pay someone to add water every other day. Kind of expensive and I don't even get a new piece of equipment.
3. I could get an auto top off and set the pump to constant mode while I'm gone, but I really don't want to mess with the flow in my tank.

Obligatory Tank Info:
15 gal tank with DIY Frankenstein 7 gal bucket sump.
LED lighting
Boyu DG-2516 Skimmer
AQQA 800GPH Controlable Pump
Aqueon Preset heater

Temp: 78
Salinity: 1.026
Ph: 8.0-8.1(API)
Alkalinity: 8-ish (Salifert)
Calcium: 390-ish (Salifert)
Nitrite/Nitrate/Ammonia: Undetectable (test strip)
Phos: Based on algae growth, probably a little too high

Clownfish
Soft Corals
Hermit Crabs
Snail

Thanks,
Joseph
 

dbowman5

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what would happen if you reprogrammed the return pump to steady flow for the 10 days? otherwise set it to add water when it is surging. but not to the normal volume level, to the normal surge level.
lol just read your options. since my first suggestion is out try my second
 
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Dragonsreef

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A good top off would still work fine. I would set it so that its in the middle of the highest and lowest that you want the water to go. If you set it at the lowest point it may not fill it enough between pulses. You can always adjust it and dial it in from there if its over filling or not filling enough.
 
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Gtinnel

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I may be wrong but wouldn't the set level for the ATO just become the new low for your pulse. Assuming the ATO doesn't set some kind of error when the water gets too high when the pump turns off then I think it would work.

However, my best advice would be to leave your return on solid and and buy an ATO and a cheap powerhead.
 
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