The Quick Tunze ATO Install
Installing one of the new Tunze Osmolator Universal 3155 ATOs with the magnet mount is a painless and quick process. The Tunze ATO has been a reigning king of the high-end auto top offs for some time and it recently was refined with a couple magnet mounts thrown in, a return brace and a much, much smaller transformer plug than the original.
The New Tunze Osmolator Universal 3155 Auto Top Off
I have been using an original Tunze Osmolator Universal 3155 ATO for a few years now on a different tank and it has been trouble free. The infrared sensor requires virtually no more maintenance than an occasional wipe. The pump has never burned out even when running dry. The controller is really nice to see what is going on in a glance.
And the biggest selling point for me beyond the reliability is the accuracy of this Tunze ATO - as far as I can tell, the water never fluctuates more than 1/8 of an inch keeping your salinity and your skimmer extremely stable.
After a week of watching this unit work, I quickly rationalized the $200 price tag. Few things on your aquarium are more critical than your auto top off unit and this one puts your mind at ease. And the new version makes it even better with the easy mounts.
I bought the new Tunze from 3reef Sponsor Aqua Cave for $213 with free shipping and it was here in just a few days.
Now back to the the pics...
The infrared water level sensor and the emergency shut-off float sensor
You get two magnets mounts now - 1 will hold both sensors or you can use both to mount sensors separately
The Bracket for the water return line is really for rimless tanks but can be used vertically on a USA tank.
The new transformer plug is a lot smaller than original but still has a bigger foot print than standard plugs so you may need to use a extension on a power strip
Mounted and ready to go - that was easy... there is even a water level line on mount to make it really easy.
Pump in reservoir bucket. Note holes in side for lines.
The Bracket is on, but I will rig a bit to make stronger on the rim.
I love the Tunze controller - from just knowing that the unit is on, to knowing what your water level is at in a glance.
Installation Steps & Tips:
1) Find place a place in stand or near bucket for your controller.
2) Rinse water level sensor with soapy hot water to remove dust. Initially you may encounter some quirks with this otherwise until the sensor is 'broken in.'
3) Drill a couple 1/4 inch holes near the top side of your freshwater reservoir bucket. This will allow you to use a lid on it to keep dust out by running the power and water lines through the holes instead of coming out the top. Do not put the lid on too tightly so you get some ventilation. I just place it there really.
4) Mount above the water in the sump and then carefully slide the magnets down into the water. Note the water level line on mount for placement. Sensor tip should just be breaking the water.
5) Plug it in and test high-level alarm by pulling the float sensor up.
You are done! :)
Now you can enjoy years of water stability with minimal maintenance. I am sure you will become a fan of this ATO. It is unobtrusive and so reliable.
NOTE - when doing water changes, you probably will need to unplug the ATO. I simply remove the power line from the controller to do this easily then put it back in when I am done.
NOTE2 - When refilling bucket, test pump to insure there are not air bubbles trapped in it that will prevent it from working. I just shake the pump a bit to remove them and it starts up.
That looks pretty sweet!
That looks like a great ATO. Does it even siphon water out of the holding bucket?
I love mine. I will have to see if I can get the magnets separately. the way I have mine now is not the best... but ya, reliable and 1/8" stability.
No I have the output higher than the bucket at the top of the sump on this tank. Good question though. With the pump at the bottom of the bucket, I think you would have to have the return line output on or below the floor to start a siphon so most times you should be fine I'd think.
I want to note my only quibbles with this thing -
1) The pump.
- It is a bit louder than it should be, it makes a 'whirring' noise.
- It does not like to stand up, needs a wider base.
- It is prone to not priming due to air when refilling bucket with water. It would be nice if they eliminated this issue. A shake resolves it, but I have forgotten in the past.
That said, you can't kill it. I've run my dry for several hours before. Which brings me to my last quibble....
2) No alarm if pump run dry (out of water). It will continue to test the pump periodically to see if there is a water. It would be nice it there was a water indicator and pump shut off of some sort.
To me, these are relatively minor issues that I am writing off as quirks that do not eclipse the near fail-proof, low maintenance and accurate infrared water level sensor.
Worth mentioning though to detail all.
I think this is my next purchase.
Interesting to note that my Bubble Magus NAC6 skimmer is really working now even with just rock now that this ATO is on.
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