AWC (sort of) Hack — Thoughts Please

mike550

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Okay Newbie Q here. I have a 120G reefer and can’t set up a legit AWC because of location. So my process is usually drain 20G from DT and then refill. But I’m looking for a less disruptive way to do AWC. Would appreciate your thoughts on the following

I have a Tunze ATO on my system so thinking I could do a minor hack.
  1. I take the ATO pump that’s sitting in my top off container and put in a container that contains fresh saltwater.
  2. Using a small pump I take out tank water from the “filter” side of the sump.
  3. Water level in the sump drops (does it?) and ATO triggers. ATO now puts in fresh saltwater.
Will this work?

Would it be better if I used a python or small pump and pulled out DT water instead?
 
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Larry L

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There's no reason that won't work, the thing I'd worry about is that a lot of pumps used for ATO aren't necessarily meant to pump much water at once or run for long periods of time, so there might be a change it would burn out early. Maybe ask over in the Tunze sponsor forum.
 
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mike550

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That’s sounds overly complicated. Where do you make/keep your fresh SW.
@Dine I make RODI and SW in my basement and then carry up to main level in 5G containers. Can’t plumb directly or nearby because the area below the main level is fully finished. So looking for something that eliminate some of the steps but pretty resigned to carrying water either way. It’s good exercise for me :)
 
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mike550

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There's no reason that won't work, the thing I'd worry about is that a lot of pumps used for ATO aren't necessarily meant to pump much water at once or run for long periods of time, so there might be a change it would burn out early. Maybe ask over in the Tunze sponsor forum.
Thanks @Larry L I didn’t think about pump issues. I’ll post to Tunze as well. Thanks,
 

Dine

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How far away is the mixing station if you ran a hose? I use a python to siphon out x amount then have a hose directly from my station that I pump water back in. Whole process takes 10 min. No buckets.
 
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mike550

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How far away is the mixing station if you ran a hose? I use a python to siphon out x amount then have a hose directly from my station that I pump water back in. Whole process takes 10 min. No buckets.
It’s fair so say that vertical rise is around 16 feet, and horizontal run could vary (if I put my SW Brute on wheels) to 40-60 feet.

How do you turn your pump on / off?
 

Ross B Reef'n

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In general, and I wish I would have done this myself, plumb your saltwater supply to the DT, and your freshwater supply to any part of your sump.

I currently have the saltwater plumbed to the "filter" side of the sump. I then have to repeatedly turn the return pumps on and off until water starts flowing to the sump from the DT. This could have been avoided if I plumed the salt supply directly to the DT.

The return side of your sump will lower as water evaporates. This makes it a great place to put a float switch for topping off.
 

Ross B Reef'n

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It’s fair so say that vertical rise is around 16 feet, and horizontal run could vary (if I put my SW Brute on wheels) to 40-60 feet.

How do you turn your pump on / off?
If you don't have an apex like me, this is how we do it:



Generic wiring diagram for float switch, timer, rocker on/off and rocker on/off timer override:

20191016_164441.jpg


The unlabeled box toward the middle top, connected to the relay, is a 12v power adaptor.
 
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mike550

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Okay. You're starting to convince me that running a long hose may not be as bad as I thought. If I have 16' vertical and say 40' horizontal, would a pump with 20+ feet of head pressure would be okay? I'm okay with 1-2 GPM flow rate back into the aquarium.

Most pumps with that type of head look to be AC pumps. Can you control flow by using a ball valve?
 

Ross B Reef'n

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Okay. You're starting to convince me that running a long hose may not be as bad as I thought. If I have 16' vertical and say 40' horizontal, would a pump with 20+ feet of head pressure would be okay? I'm okay with 1-2 GPM flow rate back into the aquarium.

Most pumps with that type of head look to be AC pumps. Can you control flow by using a ball valve?
I think it would work. Gravity will work to your advantage too. Also keep in mind that head height is from the top of the water source your pumping from.

I'm not 100% sure on the ball valve when considering the pumps. i'd be more concerned with back pressure on the pumps for longevity. Theoretically, yes.
 

homer1475

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I have a ball valve on the end of the hose I use to fill with. I turn the valve off, then using the remote, turn the pump off.

And yes, and AC pump will push that head height. Panworld are fairly popular, and can push decent head heights at a fairly decent price point. It's what I had before I won a bigger pump.
 
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Reef-junky

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Okay. You're starting to convince me that running a long hose may not be as bad as I thought. If I have 16' vertical and say 40' horizontal, would a pump with 20+ feet of head pressure would be okay? I'm okay with 1-2 GPM flow rate back into the aquarium.

Most pumps with that type of head look to be AC pumps. Can you control flow by using a ball valve?
I would not put back pressure on the pump like that. I would go with an external pump like iwaki.
 
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mike550

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@homer1475 @Reef-junky thanks for the recommendations. Looking at Iwaki and Panworld those are impressive pumps that might work for me. Thanks.

I’m not familiar with how you control an external AC pump. How do you regulate flow?
 

Reef-junky

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@homer1475 @Reef-junky thanks for the recommendations. Looking at Iwaki and Panworld those are impressive pumps that might work for me. Thanks.

I’m not familiar with how you control an external AC pump. How do you regulate flow?
You would have to bleed off the speed with a Tee.

B1BAFECC-FF45-471F-8ED6-B181496E6F77.jpeg
 

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