Anyone tried the HydroFill ATO sensor system?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by anathema, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

  2. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Not directly, but there are two reported issues with conductive sensors like that.
    1) They add minor stray current, which can mess up readings on normal conductivity, ph, etc monitors.
    2) As they get coated with the usually aquarium crud, that nice wet salty gook conducts.
    So even when water drops, you still get enough current through to fool the switch.

    A good fail-safe on the RA is to program a maximum-on-time for your ATO. So regardless of what the float
    switch says, only pump in water for X minutes per day. Not sure that is available on the normal GUI though.
     
  3. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    My RA has a time-out for the ATO. I'm looking for even more redundancy.
     
  4. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Multiple float switches?

    The levels of my redundancy
    1) Controller only turns on channel that powers ATO for a few minutes a day (I think I have it set to two times), just as Mark suggests above
    2) The ATO is an aqualifter, so it's not moving vast quantities of water
    3) Double float switches connected to the relay so that if the first one fails, there's a second that can trip and shut it all down
    4) Limited reservoir of fresh water, this is said a bit tongue in cheek. I'm sure if I added 10-15g of fresh water to the system it might drop the salinity a bit, however the sump would also overflow, so what would come out would be a more diluted version.

    As to this system, I think it's a fairly new toy, so I wouldn't rush out and get one quite yet.
     
  5. Eight

    Eight Guest

    I also employ the multiple float switches and 'limited topoff rate' strategy with my tank. Here's what I do:

    1) I use a Spectrapure Litermeter to only dose a little more than I would need to add in kalkwasser per day.
    2) Litermeter has an air pressure based float switch integrated into the pump
    3) Secondary float switch connected to Aquacontroller in the sump
    4) PH sensor with logic in Aquacontroller to turn off topoff in the event that PH spikes

    Never had a kalk related overdose since I've been using the system for the past several years.

    Jason
     
  6. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Have you considered the reef angel "water level expansion?"
    Based on air pressure from a pipe.

    Note that I use an "eTape" water level sensor strip for analog water height measurement, but
    it has not really been reliable enough to use for control.
     
  7. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    Thanks for the input, I'm mulling over my options as to which is the best solution.
     
  8. mediumrare

    mediumrare Guest

    Does anyone know if the actual sensors alone can be found somewhere on the market?
     
  9. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    The "sensor" is basically 3 thermometers, if they're in water or in air you'll get different temp readings. The unit itself does all the work of a relay hooked to a pump, etc. If you really wanted to go DIY on this, you could just buy 3 temp probes, and probably could do a bit of magic with a controller and some creative programming.
     
  10. mediumrare

    mediumrare Guest

    You're referring to Hydor's ATO.
    Innovative Marine's HydroFill ATO uses graphite electrical sensors
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  11. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Oh doh! Sorry about that.

    Ok replace temperature probes with conductivity probes and my statement works just the same :D
     
  12. mediumrare

    mediumrare Guest

    ooo good idea..
    I know most probes (PH, ORP..etc) can't be let to dry out. Is this the case for the conductivity probe? Even then, that's the most expensive option, considering Avastmarine has a pressure switch that's 60 bucks.
     

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