Er….where is the return section in the sump?

greetl01

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Now hear me out….I know this sounds like a dumb question but I can’t figure out if “return” means returning to aquarium or returning to sump….I know. I’m an idiot but I need to place this ATO & I’ve been googling for a while to avoid this embarrassment. This is my last resort. Ive had it in the last chamber that returns water to the tank but for some reason last night that water fluctuated. A LOT. Bc the fresh water brought my level up, I took some out but the water in my tank staye high an the water in my sump staye low. Now be put the sensor in the first chamber, where the water enters the sump, but I’m afraid to turn my ATO on now. Please help
 
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Jekyl

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Now hear me out….I know this sounds like a dumb question but I can’t figure out if “return” means returning to aquarium or returning to sump….I know. I’m an idiot but I need to place this ATO & I’ve been googling for a while to avoid this embarrassment. This is my last resort. Ive had it in the last chamber that returns water to the tank but for some reason last night that water fluctuated. A LOT. Bc the fresh water brought my level up, I took some out but the water in my tank staye high an the water in my sump staye low. Now be put the sensor in the first chamber, where the water enters the sump, but I’m afraid to turn my ATO on now. Please help
Return is to the tank.
 

New&no clue

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Your return is the last chamber in the sump, where your pump moves water back up to the tank. Is this a new tank? For me, it can take some time for a sump to get into a grove, especially if you have a new skimmer or reactors pulling water out. If it is a newer sump, I would give it a week or so to get adjusted before starting an ATO.
 

Jekyl

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I had it there initially. What could cause my water level drop so quickly????
Not enough from the overflow or the pump has too much power. Can put in a valve on the return side to adjust if your pump can't be.
 
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greetl01

greetl01

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Could be one of multiple issues.
Care to post a photo?

The most common issues for ATO and disappearing water is back siphoning.
A74856E1-E536-4FB3-BF63-467EFD91FFE5.jpeg
It’s a waterbox20 AIO. I’ve never had a sump before. I’m winging it over here
 

ying yang

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We have ato in return section as generally less turbulant water so ato not turning on and off when waves/splashing.

If you mean water in your sump dropped low,did you happen to turn the return pump on then sump level dropped ? As this is normal as all extra water in dt and overflow and pipework etc.
This why we always leave enough space in sunp to accommadate all this extra water incase power cut or return pump fails,can just have return pump running then simply turn off to see where water in sump rises
 
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greetl01

greetl01

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We have ato in return section as generally less turbulant water so ato not turning on and off when waves/splashing.

If you mean water in your sump dropped low,did you happen to turn the return pump on then sump level dropped ? As this is normal as all extra water in dt and overflow and pipework etc.
This why we always leave enough space in sunp to accommadate all this extra water incase power cut or return pump fails,can just have return pump running then simply turn off to see where water in sump rises
No. A read light was blinking on my sensor so I thought my reservoir was empty but it wasn’t. Then I looked in the return chamber & the water was about an inch below the sensor! I hadn’t changed a thing that day.
 
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greetl01

greetl01

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Im confused so have you a sump or you have a back chamber from a all in one ?
All in one. I thought that was still considered a sump. Doesn’t it operate the same? I’m so confused….I don’t know what level to add my water to bc when I turn on the pump it goes down. Sometimes the water in the AIO doesn’t fill to the same level even If I add the same amount of water. I’m over it. I want my tidal filter back
 

CMMorgan

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Im confused so have you a sump or you have a back chamber from a all in one ?
Definitely looks like an all in one. When I had my JBJ Cube, it took some getting used to. The pumps would keep the level in the DT high and the evaporation would be reflected in the overflow area in the back. (sump) Because it is a small area, it could easily drop an inch while the DT stayed constant in a day.
You should set your levels while the pump is running and the water level is where you want it to be.
 

Saltyreef

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They have an all in one.

So it sounds like you may be back siphoning due to the height of hose output.
Its siphoning the water back into your AIO.

Is the ATO hose output in the water?
If so raise it to above the water line (max water line)
 

dedragon

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All in one. I thought that was still considered a sump. Doesn’t it operate the same? I’m so confused….I don’t know what level to add my water to bc when I turn on the pump it goes down. Sometimes the water in the AIO doesn’t fill to the same level even If I add the same amount of water. I’m over it. I want my tidal filter back
Nope, it does work on the same principle though, gravity fed water through intake and pump to push it out. Not a sump though, sometime too much media or too large of a return pump can do that as well
 

Saltyreef

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All in one. I thought that was still considered a sump. Doesn’t it operate the same? I’m so confused….I don’t know what level to add my water to bc when I turn on the pump it goes down. Sometimes the water in the AIO doesn’t fill to the same level even If I add the same amount of water. I’m over it. I want my tidal filter back
Common newb mistake.
Turn your pump on. Place any media baskets in.
Let the water level drop. Then fill the last chamber (where the pump sits and where the water level drops) up until its almost all the way full with fresh salt water.

Thats the max water line and where you want your water level to always be and topped off to.
 
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greetl01

greetl01

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They have an all in one.

So it sounds like you may be back siphoning due to the height of hose output.
Its siphoning the water back into your AIO.

Is the ATO hose output in the water?
If so raise it to above the water line (max water line)
No i had that issue when I first set up the ATO so I know better now lollll it’s definitely above thebwater
 
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greetl01

greetl01

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Thank
Common newb mistake.
Turn your pump on. Place any media baskets in.
Let the water level drop. Then fill the last chamber (where the pump sits and where the water level drops) up until its almost all the way full with fresh salt water.

Thats the max water line and where you want your water level to always be and topped off to.
thank you!
 

Saltyreef

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No i had that issue when I first set up the ATO so I know better now lollll it’s definitely above thebwater
Ok if thats the case, you need to ensure your tank is full.
If you turn on your return pump and the water level drops in back more than an inch or so, that means you need more water.
 

Tonycass12

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That section should always have the lowest water level and is where your return pump and auto top off should be. That chamber will show the change in water level from evaporation. Looks like you have your heater 8n that chamber? If thats the case move it to another spot or it will be running hot half way out of the water and possibly cause a failure.
 
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