What size of ATO container?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Klems, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. Klems

    Klems Supporting Member

    Wanted to get some input on the size / gallon of ATO container I should look for for my new rimless 50g cube with LED lighting. Would a 2-3 gallon container be OK for a few days of evaporation? Was thinking of picking up a skinny trash container from the container store to do the job...
  2. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    See what others say, but if there is no top I think that reservoir could be too small for a 3-day weekend. Depends a lot on room humidity, water surface area and if you use a fan in summer, but on 2 smaller tanks I have, I would not trust less than a gallon a day topoff. My room's climate control tries to keep humidity too low so it causes extra evap, though.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  3. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Depends on the temp and surface agitation, etc. My 140g rimless display and sump needs about 10g per week.

    5g is a pretty common ATO reservoir size. Trial it with a 5g bucket with a lid. Having to refill every couple days is a kinda a pain, so I think at least 5g.

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  4. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    I would go for a 5G container; if you can fit a regular 5G jug, that would be simple to swap. You can also look at a tall plexi container in the 5G volume.
    For the stock 5G jug, I had a Minijet 600/606 that by removing the front plastic, it went inside the opening just fine.
  5. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    As big as you can fit?
  6. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    As a reference, with a red sea reefer 250 (54G DT, 11G sump) I go through about a gallon a day. Water temp is 78 degrees and house is pretty warm (70-71). I have a 5 gallon ATO that I fill up every 4-5 days.

    I'd agree with @Coral reefer though, the bigger the better. Less to worry about especially if you ever go on a week or two week vacation.
  7. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    The only drawback to a super large ATO is the minuscule risk of your ATO system malfunctioning and dumping the whole shebang into the system. Small ATO means less hyposalinity and less risk of overflow. 10g won't overflow my sump even if it all goes in at once. If you go on vacation, can always put a larger container next to your tank for ATO.

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  8. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Make sure you have two switches for your ATO pump. One to turn on if it's low and one to shut off if it fills too much.
  9. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    47G here and I fill up the 4G ATO reservoir about once a week.
  10. yellojello

    yellojello Supporting Member

    Like others said, depends on different factors. Evaporation from heaters during winter and fans during summer. Go the biggest that you can go with that fits in your stand, or can build matching enclosure next to it. If you are gone longer, just have separate container you only use for extended periods.

    Usually RODI can be plumbed directly to ATO. Can put it on timer, or have it connected to controller where you can access remotely to turn on. Before, I just had colleague turn on and off for me once a week. I think I can go 2-3 weeks with a 40g brute.

    Had an oopsie not because ATO failed, but skimmer cup overflowed and leaked water out of the sump while ATO keep putting water in. (There was carpet cleaners at office when I was gone and chemicals made skimmer nuts). Added float switch to skimmer cup.

    Other limitations are refilling dosing containers, emptying skimmer cup, auto fish feeder.

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  11. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    I use a 10g tank on my 180. When I went on vacation for three weeks, I used a 44g brute, which was still about half full when I came back.
    Your conditions will vary.

    I highly recommend just starting with 5g water bottle and just see how long it takes to be emptied, then go from there.

  12. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    My ATO reservoir is 58 gallons. Luckily when I set it up I didn't have anything living in the tank because it overfilled my sump. So there is something to having a smaller unit.
  13. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    Gravity is unforgiving eh?

    I'm going with 5g + 10g in 140g system.
  14. yellojello

    yellojello Supporting Member

    My 40g brute is gravity fed, but using the Level-Loc ATO, which is float valve and float switch combo, but I think is discontinued. Mine is 7 years going strong. I'm sure you can DIY.

    It's nice not relying on a pump, however, I've never tried any other ATO device, and seems like most of the brand names are pretty reliable anyway.
  15. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    I'm just trying to hold out for the new Neptune FMM ATO that's supposed to be coming out shortly.
  16. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    It was supposed to come out around thanksgiving last year. I got tired of waiting...

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  17. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    My Spectrapure "ultimate Top Off" was very expensive but worth every single penny. In the past I used a medical dosing pump (used t o feed people) but it had an alarm on it that would wail when the reservoir was empty, then you'd have to speed-feed it until water got to the drip area. It used light to sense water dripping thorugh a little plastic vial.

    It was impossible to get replacement preistaltic tubing for. And I had to set the ml/hour or whatever to evaporation rate. I tried the BRS dosing pump too but it was too slow, so I finally got the Spectrapure thing and it's awesome. It feeds my Kalk mixer which forces water into the tank.

  18. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    Finally took a measurement of how much water I lost through evaporation and skimming. Left the office on Friday evening with the reservoir filled and came back on Tuesday morning with approximately 6.5" missing from the top. This equated to approximately 1.65 gallons over 3.5 days.
  19. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    That also differs due to temperature

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  20. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    And humidity but I'd bet that the temp stays pretty consistent in the office building.

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