Auto Water Change solutions?

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TheStrangler

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Hi all, so I'm still low teching it, carrying and dumping 5 gallon buckets of salt water for water changes. I'm good with sticking with that method, but I'm looking to upgrade a smidgeon to take the exact volume guesswork out of it. I found the Autoaqua AWC which seems perfect, but it seems to be discontinued. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for something that may work similarly.

I operate with three 5 gallon buckets. One with RODI water for auto top off, one for mixing and bringing salt water to my tank (up three flights of steps) and then one for draining salt water which goes down a drain. I get ~4 gallons of fresh RODI in clean bucket A, bring it up stairs, throw a heater and powerhead in it to mix. Now this is the point where I turn off my pumps, siphon water out of the tank and into dirty water bucket B which later goes down the drain. Refill the tank with clean salt water from bucket A. But if I don't nail the water level just perfectly, my ATO goes off and causes a headache. Turning the ATO off results in a 10 second screech and fill just for good measure to mess with the salinity.

In short, I'm looking for something similar to the now discontinued Autoaqua AWC that will do the pumping and make sure the volume in is equal to the volume out, so I don't have the ATO running for no reason. I don't have space for anything hard plumbed or greater volume than the three bucket method, so I'm trying to make it just a tad easier.

Thanks!
 
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garbled

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One thought for pure DIY, is on amazon you can find 12v dual-head dosing pumps. They run about 40-80 ml a minute, are absurdly cheap, and basically have 2 heads on one motor shaft, so you more or less will get the same flow through both, without having to time 2 dosers. I've been playing with one for a pico, and it works pretty good. It's not going to be crazy accurate, like, you can't easily do 500ml. But you can run it for X minutes and be reasonably sure you put in as much as you took out.

Also, if you have an Apex, they sell them in 24v, so you could hook directly to a 24v port.
 
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TheStrangler

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Thanks for the replies. I do have an Apex, but am trying to avoid the dos since I hear its loud. I'll go DIY if I can't find one cohesive commercial product available, but I'd like to minimize the potential for mistakes as much as possible.
 

reeferKen

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The spectrapure litermeter .....it might pump from your down stairs delivery height.
Draw Height: from maximum 25 feet (7.7 meters) below
• Delivery Height: to maximum 60 feet (18.5meters) above
 
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TheStrangler

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The spectrapure litermeter .....it might pump from your down stairs delivery height.
Draw Height: from maximum 25 feet (7.7 meters) below
• Delivery Height: to maximum 60 feet (18.5meters) above
It wouldn't really help, I don't have anything down below but a sink to fill from, no water storage. I'm just simply looking for something I can drop into two buckets and pump equally in and out without issue from an ATO.
 
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TheStrangler

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That looks perfect, I'll keep an eye out. Exactly what I was looking for, thanks. There are rumors of the autoaqua AWC V2 being in the works as a reason for the original being discontinued. In a worst case scenario I could wait for that as well.
 

neilp2006

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One thought for pure DIY, is on amazon you can find 12v dual-head dosing pumps. They run about 40-80 ml a minute, are absurdly cheap, and basically have 2 heads on one motor shaft, so you more or less will get the same flow through both, without having to time 2 dosers. I've been playing with one for a pico, and it works pretty good. It's not going to be crazy accurate, like, you can't easily do 500ml. But you can run it for X minutes and be reasonably sure you put in as much as you took out.

Also, if you have an Apex, they sell them in 24v, so you could hook directly to a 24v port.
How’s this been working out for you?

many comment on the consistency/ accuracy of the two channels? Any failures?

I’ve been thinking about a diy AWC on my new build and $25 for a dual head peristaltic is a no brainer to test out

thanks
 

mdb_talon

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How’s this been working out for you?

many comment on the consistency/ accuracy of the two channels? Any failures?

I’ve been thinking about a diy AWC on my new build and $25 for a dual head peristaltic is a no brainer to test out

thanks

I would not use the cheap low volume pumps on a system as large as yours. The motors on these are usually rated in single thousands of hours for the cheap ones and with low flow you would need to be running much of the day.

I have used many of these(not for aquarium use yet but a hydroponic system i have). You can get a continuous duty rated pump that is low volume and should last but it will be exponentially more expensive than $25 from what I have found.

However i have had very good luck with some very cheap pumps from china that are rated for much higher flow rates(500ml plus). With the higher flow rates you can run intermittently for short periods at a time and significantly increase the longevity.
 
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neilp2006

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I would not use the cheap low volume pumps on a system as large as yours. The motors on these are usually rated in single thousands of hours for the cheap ones and with low flow you would need to be running much of the day.

I have used many of these(not for aquarium use yet but a hydroponic system i have). You can get a continuous duty rated pump that is low volume and should last but it will be exponentially more expensive than $25 from what I have found.

However i have had very good luck with some very cheap pumps from china that are rated for much higher flow rates(500ml plus). With the higher flow rates you can run intermittently for short periods at a time and significantly increase the longevity.
Absolutely. I’d probably burn them
Out in a week running 24/7 on the 220g system. Lack of clarity while posting at 1 am

on my last build (I moved two months ago and broke down my fishroom) I had worked out how to DIY an apex controlled Genesis Renew clone AWC using the ‘float switch volume metering into a container then dumping it to sump/ waste’ concept. I even went as far as testing out how to convert a varspd port on the classic head to an EB4 via an optically isolated relay, so I wouldn’t even need to buy another eb8 for the AWC. It was pricing out at around $110, or I could decouple it from the apex and go completely standalone for $150. Then I had a second kid and the idea got forgotten.

anyway- since I’m rebuilding the fishroom in my new place, I’m going to get that implemented.
 

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