What's the lowest budget option for an AWC?

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I'm looking to figure out the lowest budget way to setup an AWC. I have an Apex, but do not currently own a DOS (and I'm really hoping that's not the cheapest option). What do you guys recommend as THE MOST budget friendly way to do this?
 
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Jose Esteves

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I am going to think outside of my realm here for a bit.

But if you have the BOB, then you can have 2 mj1200 one to push old water out, and one to bring new water in. Set a float switch to the break out box, and program it that when float switch is open delay for 5 minutes, then turn on the mj1200 to bring the fresh water in. And program the one that's taking water out to run every hour or so for x amount of time to remove the desired amount of water out.

I would say it's less than $100, if you already own a BOB.
 

ihavecrabs

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I'm looking to figure out the lowest budget way to setup an AWC. I have an Apex, but do not currently own a DOS (and I'm really hoping that's not the cheapest option). What do you guys recommend as THE MOST budget friendly way to do this?
I originally set up my AWC with two BRS dosing pumps and made sure to calibrate them often (and check salinity often). This worked well for me for a few years, but there are inherent risks. Be honest with yourself.. if you have a "set and forget" mentality, this is not a stable option long-term.
 
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Silent

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Seems pretty easy in theory.
Have controller turn off ATO
Have pump pump out to a container say 5 gallon bucket till float trips in container
Then have pump from new saltwater pump to fill up sump till float trips.
Use whatever pumps you have on hand and only allow each pump to be on for a certain amount of time and at certain times to do the WC.
 

skimjim

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Gravity feed float valve hooked to a 15g drum.... so if ALL 15g floods my system it only means my SG goes to 1.021

Have to fill the 15g once a week....and if it fails OR the skimmer goes nuts.... only 15g gets put into my total water volume.

I've been doing it this way for 10yrs

20200211_115316.jpg

20200211_115518.jpg
 

AZMSGT

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I would NOT be looking at the cheapest option. I would be looking for the most accurate and reliable.

Reason I say this, I have a GHL set up at the moment. My water changes are some of the least accurate I can imagine. They are based on a level sensors input. My problem is if I have main pump fluctuations the area the sensor is in can rise or lower.

I think the best method would be to have a system that removes X amount and adds back the same X amount. The sensor version I’m running isn’t the best IMHO.
 

chefjpaul

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I would NOT be looking at the cheapest option. I would be looking for the most accurate and reliable.

Reason I say this, I have a GHL set up at the moment. My water changes are some of the least accurate I can imagine. They are based on a level sensors input. My problem is if I have main pump fluctuations the area the sensor is in can rise or lower.

I think the best method would be to have a system that removes X amount and adds back the same X amount. The sensor version I’m running isn’t the best IMHO.
You know that you can do this with the maxi?

Dont use the sensor, or just utilize as an alarm. Depending on the amount, as they haven't upped the volume yet.
 
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Daniel@R2R

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On a budget then the smart aqua system is hard to beat. It comes with everything you need right outta the box - sensors, pumps, remote display. Plus it works as an ATO as well. I'm loving mine so far.
Which one is this? I don't know that I've seen it.
 

thaistalyn

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Which one is this? I don't know that I've seen it.

You can see it in action:

 
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Daniel@R2R

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You can see it in action:

That's pretty dope! The price point is good too! Do you just program it to change out a certain amount each day at a specific time? I'm thinking I'd probably just program my ATK to turn off for an hour during the time frame for the water change.
 

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That's pretty dope! The price point is good too! Do you just program it to change out a certain amount each day at a specific time? I'm thinking I'd probably just program my ATK to turn off for an hour during the time frame for the water change.
You can set it to do a wc at certain intervals *every 12 hours, every 6 hours, every 24 hours etc* or you can just set it up to do a water change by pressing a button. You determine how much water you want it to change by the distance between the 2 water level sensors.

I have this system and just have it do ~1.7 gallons when I press the button. I haven't had any issues with it but it is comforting that it only changes water when I'm there actively watching it, just in case there would be any problems.

I normally do it after I feed or some time when I will be around the tank for a few minutes. I had originally thought I'd do the manually pressing a button water change for about 2 weeks and then set it up to auto change but I am just going to stick to the button press option.
 
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Spanky05

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Ugh. Now I want this too.
It's especially cost effective if you don't have a controller or ATO already installed.

I was a bit skeptical at first because I couldn't find many reviews on it but it has worked like a charm so far.
I've probably been using it for about 3 months as a AWC system and 6 months as ATO only.
 
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Daniel@R2R

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It's especially cost effective if you don't have a controller or ATO already installed.

I was a bit skeptical at first because I couldn't find many reviews on it but it has worked like a charm so far.
I've probably been using it for about 3 months as a AWC system and 6 months as ATO only.
I've got a controller, but I may still go this route. I figure for $200, I can't do much better when buying equipment separate to DIY one, and this way, I'd be getting CS to back it as a single product (probably easier than buying 4 different components and hooking something up?).
 

Spanky05

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I've got a controller, but I may still go this route. I figure for $200, I can't do much better when buying equipment separate to DIY one, and this way, I'd be getting CS to back it as a single product (probably easier than buying 4 different components and hooking something up?).
Yeah it really is a great deal.

You will have to set your apex to turn off the ATO while you do your AWC.
The smart auto aqua will turn off it's ATO component while it does it's thing.
 

Cell

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Was on the verge of investing in a Tunze 3155 but I might have to strongly consider the Auto Aqua instead.
 
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