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Old 11/14/2013, 03:01 PM   #1
DRThompson
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automatic water change

Thought I would document this and encourage questions/comments/suggestions.

I'm working on setting up an automated water change at 1% per day (for me about 2 gallons)

Ref: I'm referencing "Water Changes in Reef Aquaria" by Randy Holmes-Farley see link here http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-10/rhf/

Since my display tank is not on an exterior wall I've laid 3 lines of 1/4" tubing from my garage to my display tank thru the attic (each run is about 35 feet)
Two of these lines go up to the top of my canopy (one carries ATO and the other carries the fresh saltwater).
The 3rd line goes to my sump and will be the suction line for old DT water.
The continuous water change will be implemented using a double-head Stenner pump (100DM4 model). It has an adjustable output of up to 35gal/day/head. I'll be running this thru my apex and figured I would stagger it 6 times a day for 14 min/run.


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Current Tank Info: 180gal mixed reef, asm g4xx, LED lights, apex, 65gal sump, 2x mp40's, methanol denitrator
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Old 11/14/2013, 03:04 PM   #2
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Here are some pics
This is the double head Stenner pump..

Top head is freshwater from barrel to the top of the canopy

bottom head is old water pulled from tank and then sent to a drain pipe in my attic




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Current Tank Info: 180gal mixed reef, asm g4xx, LED lights, apex, 65gal sump, 2x mp40's, methanol denitrator
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Old 11/14/2013, 03:05 PM   #3
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Nice looking forward too your changes ....same way I set up my Litermeter III with the exception for the moment of the ato which will soon be incorporated and also ran from the same device.....


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Old 11/14/2013, 03:09 PM   #4
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Water comes in at the top of my canopy to a 1/2" pvc pipe. Then gravity feeds from the top of the pipe to the top of my display tank. This prevents me from dumping the entire contents of the raised barrel in my garage into my tank if the pump fails.





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Current Tank Info: 180gal mixed reef, asm g4xx, LED lights, apex, 65gal sump, 2x mp40's, methanol denitrator
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Old 11/14/2013, 03:09 PM   #5
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Very nice. Hope it woks out long term.


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Current Tank Info: 200G mixed reef with 60G sump, T-5, and LEDís , MSX200 skimmer, blah blah blah.
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Old 11/14/2013, 03:14 PM   #6
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Question- Water evaporation is usually ~1% as well. Thats being addressed also right?


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Current Tank Info: 200G mixed reef with 60G sump, T-5, and LEDís , MSX200 skimmer, blah blah blah.
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Old 11/14/2013, 04:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquamanE View Post
Question- Water evaporation is usually ~1% as well. Thats being addressed also right?
ATO runs on the avast pressure switch and on a different pump. Right now i'm still running it with an aqua lifter from a container behind the display. Eventually, I'll put in a pump to move the water from the garage.

Just to be clear, the ATO is completely seperate and has nothing to do with this setup.


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Current Tank Info: 180gal mixed reef, asm g4xx, LED lights, apex, 65gal sump, 2x mp40's, methanol denitrator
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Old 11/14/2013, 04:58 PM   #8
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Excellent setup.

ide recomend fail switch methods for instances where either feedin or feedout of WC system would fail causing either too much or too little feed. Im sure Apex could handle this task. And im sure youve already thought of this Just a heads up


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Current Tank Info: 200G mixed reef with 60G sump, T-5, and LEDís , MSX200 skimmer, blah blah blah.
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Old 11/14/2013, 10:18 PM   #9
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Great setup. Does each head of the pump pull precisely the same amount of water? Theoretically they should but in practice do they?


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Old 11/15/2013, 02:34 PM   #10
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this looks awesome Dave, i'm doing the same thing as you but with a Cole Parmer Masterflex pump with 2 heads


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Old 11/15/2013, 03:58 PM   #11
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Nice pumps guys.

Curious though: Why use these $$ pumps? Cant a LiterMeter do the same thing? Dont they also have the ability to add extra heads?

Considering something like this myself so curious.


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Current Tank Info: 200G mixed reef with 60G sump, T-5, and LEDís , MSX200 skimmer, blah blah blah.
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Old 11/15/2013, 04:31 PM   #12
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Found the brand new stenner pump on a close out sale for $200 deliv incl. the liter meter would be more than that and would not be as consistent. The liter meter has to be calibrated periodically, the stenner and masterflex do not. The stenner pumps are much more robust, these are industrial pumps used to add chemicals to irrigation systems and pools. The masterflex pumps are similar but are used in labs and hospitals.

Today the stenner pump ran for 15 min every 4 hours and changed out 2 gal. Easiest water change I've ever made.

I'll keep watching the salinity to make sure it is as consistent as it looks, but so far I'm very happy with it


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Current Tank Info: 180gal mixed reef, asm g4xx, LED lights, apex, 65gal sump, 2x mp40's, methanol denitrator
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Old 11/15/2013, 06:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRThompson View Post
Found the brand new stenner pump on a close out sale for $200 deliv incl. the liter meter would be more than that and would not be as consistent. The liter meter has to be calibrated periodically, the stenner and masterflex do not. The stenner pumps are much more robust, these are industrial pumps used to add chemicals to irrigation systems and pools. The masterflex pumps are similar but are used in labs and hospitals.

Today the stenner pump ran for 15 min every 4 hours and changed out 2 gal. Easiest water change I've ever made.

I'll keep watching the salinity to make sure it is as consistent as it looks, but so far I'm very happy with it
PLEASE tell me where I can get one for $200. Even if im not ready ill get it!!!


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Eddie Soler
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Current Tank Info: 200G mixed reef with 60G sump, T-5, and LEDís , MSX200 skimmer, blah blah blah.
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Old 11/15/2013, 07:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRThompson View Post
Found the brand new stenner pump on a close out sale for $200 deliv incl. the liter meter would be more than that and would not be as consistent. The liter meter has to be calibrated periodically, the stenner and masterflex do not. The stenner pumps are much more robust, these are industrial pumps used to add chemicals to irrigation systems and pools. The masterflex pumps are similar but are used in labs and hospitals.

Today the stenner pump ran for 15 min every 4 hours and changed out 2 gal. Easiest water change I've ever made.

I'll keep watching the salinity to make sure it is as consistent as it looks, but so far I'm very happy with it
Dave I was wondering about that also why you chose this route ......just wondering while yes this pump is $200, when you add another $100 that is needed to pay for an ato top off unit its not that far off in price actually very comparable in price.... I picked up the Litermeter III with the added top off remote pump in the used forum for $250 and it came with a 5 year warranty ....


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Old 11/16/2013, 01:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lighthouze08 View Post
this looks awesome Dave, i'm doing the same thing as you but with a Cole Parmer Masterflex pump with 2 heads
got any pics? Would like to see the setup when you have it up and running.


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Old 11/16/2013, 02:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquamanE View Post
PLEASE tell me where I can get one for $200. Even if im not ready ill get it!!!
bought mine from uswatersystems dot com. They had a closeout sale on a double head pump. Even though I bought it thru uswatersystems it was drop-shipped from the Stenner factory (in Jacksonville, fl) directly to my house. I'm assuming they have a deal with Stenner to help clear out overstocked items from time to time. Just checked, the listing is gone and they are now running "pre-thanksgiving" specials. The same pump "100dm4" is now $379! Guess I got a good deal


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Current Tank Info: 180gal mixed reef, asm g4xx, LED lights, apex, 65gal sump, 2x mp40's, methanol denitrator

Last edited by DRThompson; 11/16/2013 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 11/16/2013, 05:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrx66699 View Post
Dave I was wondering about that also why you chose this route ......just wondering while yes this pump is $200, when you add another $100 that is needed to pay for an ato top off unit its not that far off in price actually very comparable in price.... I picked up the Litermeter III with the added top off remote pump in the used forum for $250 and it came with a 5 year warranty ....

I checked out the liter meter, masterflex pumps and Stenner pumps for this project. Here's My thoughts on them

LiterMeter PRO's:
easiest to setup
designed for auto water changes
Best peristaltic pump in the industry (aquarium)
excellent customer service - read comments, blogs, recommendations from friends, Reef Central forum messages
Quietest of the 3 choices
LiterMeter Cons:
-more expensive new, though readily avail used at lower prices
-not apex compatible
-require periodic calibration for accuracy
-not designed for continuous use

Masterflex/Cole parmer PRO's
Would work with my apex
Would get the job done
Lab grade peristaltic pump! Top quality
Rated for continuous duty
My number 1 choice, money aside
no calibration needed, very accurate, consistant dosing
Masterflex/Cole Parmer Cons:
-The pumps that are available in the used market are OLD! Hard to find one that isnt at least 10 years old
-NO parts avail to repair the pump other than tubing and replacement heads
-Expensive! These pumps sell for thousands new, even the used ones can get to the $500 range for a double head variable speed
-Even the replacement tubing is expensive!
-noisy pumps

Stenner Pump PRO's:
Would work with my apex
Price
Rated for Continuous duty
Industrial pump, very robust, used for irrigation, pools and other water treatment applications
No calibration - Accurate, consistent dosing
Made in USA - ALL parts are completely replaceable!
Stenner Pump Cons:
-LOUD, probably the loudest of the 3 pumps
-bulky, heavy pump. would be hard to mount/use in tight space
-Hard to find a used pump

The Stenner pumps work best for my application. Apex compatibility was paramount, I'm an apex junky All three pumps would get the job done and do what I wanted though.

Special thanks to Marvin for putting this project in my head


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Current Tank Info: 180gal mixed reef, asm g4xx, LED lights, apex, 65gal sump, 2x mp40's, methanol denitrator

Last edited by DRThompson; 11/16/2013 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 11/16/2013, 05:47 PM   #18
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Dr- thanks for clarifying your choice, but how is it Apex compatible? Apex allows each plug on or off, thats it.


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Current Tank Info: 200G mixed reef with 60G sump, T-5, and LEDís , MSX200 skimmer, blah blah blah.
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Old 11/16/2013, 05:50 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by AquamanE View Post
Dr- thanks for clarifying your choice, but how is it Apex compatible? Apex allows each plug on or off, thats it.
Pretty much.....was really only a minus for the liter meter.....I dont like having multiple controllers for things. I'm just an apex junky


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Current Tank Info: 180gal mixed reef, asm g4xx, LED lights, apex, 65gal sump, 2x mp40's, methanol denitrator
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Old 11/16/2013, 06:03 PM   #20
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lol nice Dave .....I like the writeup its very well looked at....


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Old 11/16/2013, 07:14 PM   #21
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Interesting. I'm thinking of doing something similar. Tagging along.


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Old 11/16/2013, 07:22 PM   #22
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Just ordered a Stenner. Not concerned about the noise since it will be in a separate sump room. What did it for me us that it takes out exactly the same amount of water it puts back in. No calibration necessary. Simple, and effective. And cheaper than the Renew system which was my other choice. I don't like the liter meter because of the necessity to calibrate the two separate pumps to be sure you are pulling out as much as you put in.


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Old 11/16/2013, 07:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acesq View Post
Just ordered a Stenner. Not concerned about the noise since it will be in a separate sump room. What did it for me us that it takes out exactly the same amount of water it puts back in. No calibration necessary. Simple, and effective. And cheaper than the Renew system which was my other choice. I don't like the liter meter because of the necessity to calibrate the two separate pumps to be sure you are pulling out as much as you put in.
Please post a link to your build, would be interested to follow it.


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Current Tank Info: 180gal mixed reef, asm g4xx, LED lights, apex, 65gal sump, 2x mp40's, methanol denitrator
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Old 11/17/2013, 08:42 AM   #24
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Dr, now you and Matt have drawn me in. Im going to start planning this myself also.

Ide like to know more about pump options. My Apex sits in a closet behind my tank, many of you have seen it. I already have the plumbing to discard the water outside. So the pump will need to draw clean water from my garage, maybe 30 feet away, the waste will go from sump a few feet away and out my outdoor plumbing.

Pump options please.


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Eddie Soler
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Current Tank Info: 200G mixed reef with 60G sump, T-5, and LEDís , MSX200 skimmer, blah blah blah.
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Old 11/17/2013, 11:53 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Interesting. I'm thinking of doing something similar. Tagging along.
Your welcome to stop by and take a look, just pm me if interested


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