Auto Water Change System / ATO Tweaks

Discussion in 'Equipment: Setup and Discussion' started by RSnodgrass, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    I working on an auto water change system. My track record of doing water changes about every 1-3yrs and dosing haphazardly every 3-6mo for no particular reason is coming to a close. I simply have too many hard corals and I'd like to keep them growing.

    If you hate dosing and water changes do a softy dominate tank. There is almost no effort by comparison/cost.

    First goal is to fit a tighter space, this is in my office storage room and I want to avoid excessive plumbing and need containers that fit my existing shelving. I also need my office storage room... for you know... storage, so it needs to be "small".

    Step one, I installed a 20" DI canister so I can avoid looking at my RO/DI for prolonged periods. I may repurpose the 10 in canister and make it another carbon filter since it's a mystery to me to tell how that thing is even used up.

    Step two, containers. I got a 30gal for frash water and a 50gal for salt from northern tool.
    RomoTech Horizontal Square Polyethylene
    Screenshot_20181201-064514.png

    Step three is to swap my barrel tender over to my new container.

    Step four, pull my hair out deciding which pumps to use for transferring to and from my tank with about 40' of tubing. Currently looking at the basic liter meter dosing pumps.
    LM3-MPM-600x600.png
    For stiring water and transfering between water tanks if I stack vs ground level I can avoid extra plumping and/or a pump since stirring water would be the only concern.

    This does introduces a smallish chance of failure due to siphoning 30gal of fresh water (upper tank) into my system. My sump is built to hold all that water volume so an overflow situation would be less of a concern. At 35 ppt and an operating volume of ~250gal, a 30gal addition would dilute my tank to 31.25 ((250x35)/280=31.5)and lower my salinity to ~31.5 which is acceptable and not catastrophic. However, I'll need to up my programming game to keep my barrel tender from turning on my RO/DI. Cypho sent me the coding on that which I'll post at that point.

    So I'll be adding a high level float to my sump and break out box to send an alarm, stop RO production, pump out excess water, etc. If a high level is detected.

    More to come...
     
  2. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    Going to be using a different brand of salinity probe from Atlas here. It does not have the normal temperature compensation (two wires instead of four) which matches the stock unit that came with my controller. As long as a temp is consistent it shouldn't matter. I'll be curious to see how big of a swing the temp can cause if changed, if it's noticeable I may need to adjust programming to prevent equipment from miss reacting when a heater fails.
    Screenshot_20181201-142836.png

    The plug on my controller does not match the new probe and the controller possibly has a proprietary configuration so I cut it apart and ordered adapters from Amazon here. Most salinity probs appear to use a similar din based plug but with multiple configurations and potentially varying wire placements I didn't want to chance it and went with what Cypho was using.
    Controler:
    Screenshot_20181201-143421.png
    New Probe:
    Screenshot_20181201-142945.png

    Atlas gives instructions on how to properly solder and de-flux which are critical or it will interfere with the readings. Polarity doesn't matter and the probe is rated for 10yrs use in salt. It also appears easier to see if it's dirty and subsequently clean.

    This is the initial cut of the coax off the original probe.
    Screenshot_20181110-071806~2.png
    IMG_20181201_144128.jpg
     
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  3. Flounder

    Flounder BRS Reef Squad!
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  4. DarkSky

    DarkSky Administrator
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    Hope this turns out to be more accurate for you compared to the built in Apex version.
     
  5. VikingsCrazy

    VikingsCrazy TCMAS Event Committee
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    Oh my geeze! Screw all of that!
     
  6. marty9876

    marty9876 Something funny
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    I had good luck with the dual head peristaltic pump, Stenner was the one most recommended and I used. So simple and realitvely fool proof. Little noisy, I think your tank is in a commercial space just run it at night for an hour of what not.

    Commercial grade, bullet proof things. What goes in is what comes out.
     
  7. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    I'm trying to locate a 1/4" push connect solenoid that has one input and two outputs. When powered it closes the passive outlet and opens the active.

    Any suggestions?
     
  8. DarkSky

    DarkSky Administrator
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    Get two solenoids, one normally open, one normally closed. Power both when you want the switch to happen?
     
  9. warnerto

    warnerto Senior Member
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    I ended up copying marty.. stenner is the way to go.. dual peristaltic, one head tank to drain, the other mixing tank to the display tank.. Can change 1000ml in 5 min each day.. works perfectly..
     
  10. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    That's my fall back, with a single solenoid there is better protection to ensure my top off is always working.

    I was able to get a clarificatione, ideally a 3 way 2 position 24v solenoid for use with 1/4" NPT.

    Whats happening is my ato goes through my kalc reactor and I shut it off when my pH peaks. Subsequently now that winter has come its not adding enough water. I want it to bipass the reactor when the pH peaks.
     
  11. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    I picked this 3/2 solenoid up off ebay, it was the only plastic one I could find for under $100 and it was $10. Will be here in 1-3mo depending on shipping lanes.

    Will wire directly to the Apex 24v plug. Suppose to default to one outlet when powered and the other when not.
    Screenshot_20181208-103708.png
     
  12. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    Probe update... initial success, I'll post a follow-up this week with some added details.
    I did not let the probe sit in the water at first before removing, drying, and putting in solution floating in the tank so my readings initially were off by 5. Recalibrated and presto.

    Notable... see how flat my salinity readings are? The probe is currently in a bubble stream and still no issues!
    Screenshot_20181209-171806.png
    Screenshot_20181209-180551.png
    IMG_20181209_184110_1~2.jpg
     
    #12 RSnodgrass, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  13. DarkSky

    DarkSky Administrator
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    Very cool! I might have to replicate what you did here for my own salinity probe.
     
  14. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    Give me a couple of days to make sure it's consistent. I've got a whole bag of connectors also if you need some.
     
  15. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    I'm trouble shooting a few things at the moment, since I went with a 1.0x probe instead of a 10x it is far more sensitive to calibration errors and stray voltage.

    To combat stray voltage a person can implement galvanic isolation circuitry but that is not an option with the system to the best of my knowledge. Alternatively I can put the probe further away from the electricity and add grounding probes which I had removed incidentally.

    I'm not a genius, but when comparing the on-off cycle of my heater to the salinity probe there seems to be a pattern
    Screenshot_20181213-173314.png

    This and a possible calibration error have resulted in the creeping of my salinity readings.

    A 10x probe could likely lessen these affects but I'd be dealing with a probe that's has little holes for bubbles to get caught in so I'm avoiding that.
     
  16. crayonbreaker

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    Would guess electrical interference from the heater. Have you tried a grounding probe and replace or try another heater?
     
  17. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    That's for sure a contributing factor. I got a new heater a couple weeks ago and hadn't replaced it yet.
     
  18. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    The probe has been stable since removing it from the electrical interference by the heater.

    As cypho was mentioning to me, the magnets in the pumps are capable of generating ambient electricity as well so I'm going to mount my probe in the overflow beings I have no electricity in the main display.

    From my time with the DNR I know travels easiest across the surface of the water so that's where I mounted my grounding probe in the sump.
     
  19. FragCellar

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    I may have missed it but what is your plan with the solenoid valve. Pre RO? If not you may want to look into diaphragm solenoid valve for after that RO or Saltwater side. Standard plastic solenoid valves still have metal stem inside of them that is exposed to the liquid.

    Something like this:

    https://wicvalve.com/Normally-Open-Plastic-Electric-Water-Solenoid-Valve-1-2-Inch-2POG-1-2-D.htm


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    That's good to know... I'm adjusting a number of things from my auto water change along with the ATO and salinity probe.
    - On the ATO, it runs through the kalk reactor however the ato currently shuts off when the pH gets too high. Unfortunately this is resulting in the tank running low on water after a few days so I'm wanting to have a solenoid bypass the reactor when the pH is above a certain point. Ideally I wanted to do this with a single 3/2 solenoid but they are really hard to come by.

    Knowing it's RO water would you be concerned?
     

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