TANK REDUNDANCY: Protein Skimmer Delay Timer

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smoleral

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What’s up people. So I just wanted to do a spotlight/review of a product I just received from @Bulk Reef Supply . It’s the protein skimmer delay timer made by Reef Octopus. I feel like this thing is totally unknown by most of the reefing community and the fact is that it adds a HUGE amount of redundancy to your tank. Even more interestingly, I cannot find any other company that has produced a device even somewhat similar, excluding apex and other computer systems. I’ve searched all over the internet and as far as I can find this is the only delay timer that exists for this function.

The product is basically a single outlet box (well constructed) that you plug your protein skimmer into. Any time that power is cut from the skimmer/outlet and then restored, the outlet will automatically wait 5 full minutes before delivering power back to the skimmer. The idea is that this will prevent your skimmer from overflowing when your tank’s power is restored, which is a common problem as your sump fills up with water and takes time for the return pump to bring the sump level back down.

Normally when we are doing tank maintenance, this is something that we control ourselves by waiting a few minutes of the return pump working before turning the skimmer back on. But if the power to your home ever turns off and back on again while you’re not there, you could be looking at a potential tank disaster without this simple device. Only a few minutes of an overflowing skimmer is enough to drain some tanks, ruin your floors, and cause ATO’s to start pumping massive amounts of freshwater into your tank. This is especially the case the external skimmers. This device also can help prevent certain devices from running dry.

Moving onto the topic of price, well it’s not the cheapest but it’s also not very expensive. With it being the only one of its kind on the market (that I can find), I’m surprised they didn’t make it even more expensive than it is. For around fifty bucks you can save your marriage as well as thousands of dollars in floor damage.

Recently I’ve become obsessed with tank redundancy. I feel like showcasing your multiple back-up plans for equipment and power failure has become a fun hobby on its own. This delay timer needs more recognition!

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CMMorgan

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I was determined to get one of those one frustrating weekend. Of course, they were out of stock or not carried every place I looked. Thanks for the review. I have not looked in a while. Maybe I'll put that back on the list.
 

mdb_talon

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I think most people who care this much about redundancy/control already have a controller where this function can be provided.

Not everyone who is not ready to spend a grand or two on a full function controller does not care about control of something like this. Helpful post from the OP
 
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Poochaku

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Not everyone who is not ready to spend a grand or two on a full function controller does not care about control of something like this. Helpful post from the OP
I'm not saying it's a bad post or bad product. I'm just responding to the OP being surprised that...

1. It's not super popular product within the reefing community
2. There are no other competing products from other companies
 

jphilip813

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I think it is a good product to have; it may not be popular as before, because Most reef owners have some sort of Controller (like you mentioned in your well written write-up). I did experience the same thing you mentioned, but along came Apex for me in 2018 and by adding several codes to include a float valve sensor on my protein skimmer cup, that problem and redundancy is solved for me. Great write-up for those who do not have the Aquarium Controller with that feature.
 
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smoleral

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I'm not saying it's a bad post or bad product. I'm just responding to the OP being surprised that...

1. It's not super popular product within the reefing community
2. There are no other competing products from other companies
I understood your post and I don’t disagree... controllers are a lot more effective means of redundancy and they are probably the reason why devices such as these are not so popular. But as you probably guessed, I’m in the category of people who have not yet went the Apex route. The funny thing is that if you add up all of the equipment I’ve purchased to help monitor/control my 90 gal tank, by now I probably could’ve purchased the best tank controller on the market haha! I’m in a weird place with my tank where I’ve spent enough money on independent controllers (temperature, ATO, WiFi controlled power strips, auto dosing, etc.) that buying a AIO controller would make everything I already have obsolete. So as much as I would love a controller I feel like I’m already pretty deep in the “equipment hole”. Maybe on a future tank I will finally cough up the money for an Apex.
 

Seascapes

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I was told by Dr. Tim that my aquarium is too clean causing undesirable algae. Also my nitrates kept going to zero even though I'm feeding like crazy. He recommended I turn the skimmer off at night. Has anyone done this?
 

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