I hate ATOs, please tell me which ones you like and why -

BRS

ZombieEngineer

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In my opinion, the best float switch is the Omega engineering LV-1201 made of 316 stainless and norylplastic.

You can run 15 amps though it to power any pump, and it has a big float giving tight control on the water level.

I used two of them for 20 years without issue. One triggered the ato, and the second was lower down to stop return pumps in emergency or higher up to stop the ato (I moved it at least once since it was not triggered often in either setting).


That doesn't leach anything in the tank? I thought 316 stainless was just corrosion resistant not corrosion proof. I thought titanium was one of the only truly reef safe options for metal in a tank.

If that doesn't leach anything that is really good to know there is another option besides titanium and plastic.
 
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92Miata

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There are thousands upon thousands of experiences like mine with the Tunze ATO. There isn't another item in the industry that has been more universally reliable and solid.
And there are thousands of similar experiences with people complaining about the Tunze ATO being incorrigibly loud.


Again, your experience is not universal.
 
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RichReef

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I use an Eshopps 5 gallon ATO container with a float valve in the sump.

I top off the container. It gravity feeds the float.

Anything electronic is asking for trouble.

My highest risk is having 5 gallons of water enter the system and that's something I can work with. Minimal damage if any at all.

Ask me how I know .......
 

rtparty

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And there are thousands of similar experiences with people complaining about the Tunze ATO being incorrigibly loud.


Again, your experience is not universal.

I've never said a thing about noise. You said they are the most unreliable pump on the market. I countered that because you have zero stats to back that up.

Are they louder than other pumps? Yes, they are. I raised mine an inch off the bottom of my ATO reservoir and put a silicone mat under it. I can barely hear it now. Slight buzz when it runs and my tanks run super quiet. I don't even like the sound of water in the overflow. So I found a way to make the pump quieter. Sound has nothing to do with reliability though.
 

ZombieEngineer

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Anything electronic is asking for trouble.

My highest risk is having 5 gallons of water enter the system and that's something I can work with. Minimal damage if any at all.
Not true. My electronic system carries even less risk. The worst thing that can happen in mine is 750ml of extra RODI making it into my sump or losing ATO for no more than 24 hours.

A poorly designed electronic system that has no failsafes beyond the float switch (like maximum run time, redundant sensors, mechanical float valve backup, etc) is a huge reason for tank crashes and I agree with you 100% that a basic gravity system is better than those. But one properly designed is more reliable and less maintenance.
 
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BanjoBandito

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I've never said a thing about noise. You said they are the most unreliable pump on the market. I countered that because you have zero stats to back that up.

Are they louder than other pumps? Yes, they are. I raised mine an inch off the bottom of my ATO reservoir and put a silicone mat under it. I can barely hear it now. Slight buzz when it runs and my tanks run super quiet. I don't even like the sound of water in the overflow. So I found a way to make the pump quieter. Sound has nothing to do with reliability though.

My tunze osmolater thingie has always been reliable but I hated that every time I shut it off to do WCs it would "prime the pump" and add RODI water. I guess that's not a big deal on a bigger system, but on a nano it was frustrating. Not to mention the "water level indicator" was always sus. I had issues with the optical eye at times too....seemed like it didn't wanna "wake up" on occasion. Which seems to always be the case, these optical eye ones (any brand) seem to have moments of blindness. So I'm pretty sure I'm going to setup a float valve setup, it's just the same old dilemma - space and resources.
 

SPS2020

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And there are thousands of similar experiences with people complaining about the Tunze ATO being incorrigibly loud.


Again, your experience is not universal.

I think the Neptune PMUP v2 might take the honors here. LOL Both loud and unreliable. :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing: Three pumps in six months. I learned my lesson...slowly. I nicknamed it the PARC v2...CRAP spelled backwards.
 
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Cell

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Tunze 3155 is the gold standard. A bit pricy and yes, the pump is loud, but I'll take those drawbacks over chance of failure and water on the floor or dead livestock any day.
 

Zzyzx

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I've never said a thing about noise. You said they are the most unreliable pump on the market. I countered that because you have zero stats to back that up.

Are they louder than other pumps? Yes, they are. I raised mine an inch off the bottom of my ATO reservoir and put a silicone mat under it. I can barely hear it now. Slight buzz when it runs and my tanks run super quiet. I don't even like the sound of water in the overflow. So I found a way to make the pump quieter. Sound has nothing to do with reliability though.
Exactly…..plus if you really despise the pump it can be replaced with a different one. They even sell a connector for that very thing, if it’s straight up rodi I’ve gone years with the cheap tunze pump without issue. Well, noise I guess but I suspended mine off the bottom and it doesn’t bother me. Once you have a Neptune DOS everything seems silent! Now, Kalk in the top off is a different story. I would get a solid year out of the tunze pump when I ran Kalk. I switched to a pmup and got about two years with regular cleanings.
 

All_talk

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I will start by saying I think ATOs in general are the most problematic equipment on a reef tank. All my other equipment combined has had less issues than my ATO. That's not to say my ATO has been a significant problem, everything else has just been really reliable.

I ran the Tunze for many years, it worked well, but I did have to replace the pump once and the optical eye needed regular attention to keep it reliable. Finally the control started doing funny things so I switched to a float based system thru my Apex, mostly to get alerts, like others here I programed Virtual Outlets to warn if it ran too long or not often enough. And added a second higher float for safety. I have found that the float switches require far less maintenance that the Tunze sensor did. I just recently had to change the pump on my Apex based system (Maxjet) after about 5 years, which is about the same as the Tunze pump.

I do like the control the Apex system gives me, I run a two pump system. I dose kalk with my ATO through a reactor, if my PH gets too high it switches to the second pump that bypasses the kalk.

Currently I am planning an upgrade to a peristaltic pump setup (DOS) so I can dose kalk on a schedule and separate it from the ATO function. The second DOS pump will be setup as the ATO with all the redundant floats and safety programing I have now.

Gary
 

GuppyHJD

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Gravity seems to be the simplest option. Last time I checked it still works. Back it up with a float valve if you don't trust it.
I use gravity to two float switches in my sump BUT recently had both float switches get stuck
 
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youcallmenny1

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I use a 1/4" tube on a pump and timer right out of my RODI container to the Red Sea float valve in my sump. I did away with the stock "ATO reservoir" long ago. Waste of space. It's worth noting that this quarter inch line pumps water about 100' and up a story in my house. Works great!
 

GuppyHJD

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I agree with the OP. Have had several commercial ATO's, had failures with all of them... So, I built my own.

RODI line coming into my sump room passes through an electric ball valve. Closes on power loss.
From there, splits to three use areas: Sump ATO, Kalk Reservoir Autofill, Mixing station Autofill.
At each of these use areas, there's a simple mechanical float valve.
Normally, that's it. Water comes in as needed, float valve shuts it off when it's full.
Just above the float valve, in all three use areas, is a float switch. High and dry. If that switch is tripped, it
closes the electric ball valve, shutting down water coming into the system. It also alarms me, via the Apex, by email, and audible alarm.

Oh, throw in a cheap battery powered water alarm under the sump, just for an extra layer of security...

Simple, clean, reasonably inexpensive, and dead reliable. Been in place for what, 4 years now? Flawless.
Anything special about your float valves? I have three in my system and they seem to stick often even if I clean them frequently.
 
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