thread: Let's talk ATOs
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Old 10/11/2018, 09:12 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Torrance, CA
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Let's talk ATOs

Letís talk ATOs.
In my eyes, if you have a Reef Tank, an ATO is a must. Some people have gotten away with filling it manually but knowing myself, I probably would always forget and have salinity swings. I know there are a ton of ATOs systems out there and there a few that are really popular like Tunze for example. Here are a few that Iíve used.

- Avast Marine (currently using in DT)
- Tunze (full version)
-Tunze Nano
- JBJ (currently using in my Red Sea 170)
- Reef Fanatic
- XP Aqua Duetto (currently using in my QT)
- Gravity Fill with float valve (currently using in conjunction with my JBJ on my RS 170)

Letís talk a little about each
Tunze 3155
Probably the most popular and recommended that Iíve seen. It has an electronic eye to control the water level as well as a mechanical float switch as a backup just in case the water level rises too high. Not going to talk too much about this because itís been around a while Iím sure a ton of people are using them
Pump: DC pump provided by Tuzne
Pros: Tried and trued. Optical sensor. Backup Float Switch. Pump fits in a 5g jug
Cons: Cannot be integrated with a controller besides on/off

Tunze Nano 3152
This is the little brother of the 3155. This ATO is more of basic ATO with only a mechanical float switch to trigger the pump. It does have a nice feature of a float guard to keep critters out of the area where the float switch is. Until recently, I was using this on my QT tank and come to find out, it has a nice little protection feature against overflows. If you tank is over a certain amount of gallons, you can adjust the ATO (via jumpers within unit) to fill a little longer.
Pump: DC pump provided by Tuzne
Pros: Price is relatively inexpensive. Uses the same pump as its big brother. Programming to shut off if pump is running to long. Pump fits in a 5g jug
Cons: Has a mechanical float switch to trigger pump

JBJ and ReefFanatic
Iím going to group these 2 together because they have very similar features as Iíve used both. Both use mechanical float switches and both have programming switches to determine what each float switch does.
Pump: an open outlet on the controller is provided to use a pump of your choice.
Pros: Dual floats included to do multiple things
Cons: no pump

XP Aqua
Iím currently using this one on my QT and really like it so far. There are dual electronic water level sensor. The ďbrainĒ of the unit is compact just like the sensors. This unit also come with a DC pump. What I like about the pump is that itíll fit in the neck of a 5g jugs most of us use.
Pump: DC pump provided by XP Aqua
Pros: Compact unit. Pump fits in a 5g jug. Programming if pump runs too long
Cons: New to the market

Avast Marine ATO
Iím currently using this on my DT and really like this one. There are many options to run this pump, there is a stand alone controller and can be attached to some sort of controller (APEX, ReefAngel, etc). What I really like about this pump is that the mechanism to fill the tank is a pressure switch. Unlike the previous ATOís mention, there nothing to clog up mechanical float switch nor an electronic eye to keep clean.
Pump: an open outlet on the controller is provided to use a pump of your choice or can be hooked up to your controller to activate an outlet.
Pros: Can be integrated with controller. Pressure switch to activate pump. Backup float switch
Cons: No pump

What do you guys use?
Also, please feel free to add to the list.

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Socalireefs Featured Reef Oct 2011

Current Tank Info: 60*30*20, 8x54 ATI Powermodule, ReefBrite XHO, ATB Elegance 200, Aquamaxx CTech CaRx, Ecotech Vortechs, Apex Controls, WM Ecobak powered. RedSea Reefer 170, MP10, Apex Jr, Ecotech Radion XR15, Aquamaxx WS-1
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