Introducing our RENEW™ Automatic Water Change System

Discussion in 'Genesis Reef Systems' started by GenesisReefSys, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. GenesisReefSys

    GenesisReefSys 3reef Sponsor

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    Hello All,

    I wanted to take a little time to introduce the RENEW™ Automatic Water Change System and its operation. If you have any questions about the system, please feel free to contact us here through the forum or through our contact page.

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    The RENEW™ Automatic Water Change System consists of three major components: the Control Module and two Metering Reservoirs. Additionally, two small pumps are placed in the aquarium sump and the mixing bin to supply water to the Metering Reservoirs. Let’s first take a look at the Control Module.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The Control Module is the nerve center of the RENEW™. This is where the user tells the system how many gallons of water to exchange and how long to take to perform the change. The Control Module also provides information to the user, such as the number of gallons that have already been changed, the states of various water levels, and what stage of an exchange the RENEW™ is performing. The Control Module also alerts the user to any problems that the RENEW™ may have encountered during the water change sequence, such as a low water level in the mixing bin or sump.

    As you can see in the pictures above, there are four buttons, a power switch, a numeric display, and several LED indicators on the face of the Control Module. Our goal was to make the user interface as intuitive as possible. The button on the left allows the user to set whether to perform the water change over the course of a day, a week, or as quickly as possible. The two buttons on the right simply adjust the number of gallons that the user would like to change. The center yellow button is the “GO!” button. It also is used to pause, cancel, or resume a water change. It’s actually the only button used for a water change. When initially depressed, it will start the water change. A second momentary press of the button will pause it, and a third momentary press will resume the water change. Pressing and holding the yellow button for three seconds will cancel the water change sequence, and pressing and holding for five seconds will cancel a sequence and order the system to empty the contents of the Metering Reservoirs. As you can see, it is straightforward and intuitive to interact with the RENEW™: simply set the number of gallons to change, set the duration, and press the yellow button. The RENEW™ then goes to work.

    Taking a look at the bottom surface of the Control Module there are two AC outlets for the pumps. Also present, although hidden from view, are five receptacles for cables from the Metering Reservoirs, Level Sensors (optional or included with the Advanced and Pro models), and a communication cable that connects to the STORM™ Specialized Top Off and Replenishment Module if present. The STORM™ is outside the scope of this thread, but briefly, it is an automatic top off device that was designed to interact with the RENEW™ - it can discern whether water is being intentionally removed by the RENEW™ for a water change or whether it has evaporated. It will not attempt to top off with fresh water if the RENEW™ has removed the water from your sump.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The Metering Reservoirs are mounted to a solid surface above your sump and mixing bin. They receive the water from these sources and ensure that exact amounts are exchanged. Within the Metering Reservoirs, level sensors allow the Control Module to monitor the RENEW’s™ operation. There are two level sensors in each of the Pro model’s Metering Reservoirs, and one in each of the Basic and Advanced models’ reservoirs.

    As mentioned above, there are three models of the RENEW™ Automatic Water Change System: the Basic, Advanced, and Pro. The Basic model comes with the Control Module, Metering Reservoirs, two flow control valves, and all necessary mounting hardware. Simply add two pumps and tubing and you can start enjoying the benefits of automatic water changes right away. The Advanced model adds two Level Sensors to protect your pumps and other equipment from running dry, plus two of our unique Level Sensor Mounting Assemblies that adjust to tank lips from ½” to 2-1/4” wide and provide infinite sensor height adjustability within the tank or bin. Finally, the RENEW™ Pro includes additional Level Sensors within the Metering Reservoirs, increasing redundancy and expanding the Control Module’s capabilities. These additional sensors allow the Control Module to speed up the water change cycles and to make sure that the system is behaving exactly as intended.

    There are many, many reasons for doing water frequent water changes. But why might you want the RENEW™ Automatic Water Change System? Here are just a few reasons:

    1. Numerous small water changes eliminate large temperature, salinity, and pH fluctuations, among other parameter swings. Large “all-at-once” water changes can severely stress the inhabitants of your aquarium with parameter swings and the influx of raw trace elements and minerals!
    2. Organic waste doesn’t have time to be metabolized in the aquarium, so less organic material goes through the nitrogen cycle and ends up as nitrate or other organic compounds in the aquarium.
    3. Trace elements and minerals are added as they are depleted, so there is a more uniform concentration of the elements over time.
    4. It isn’t necessary to turn off any of your other equipment – skimmers, reactors, filters, pumps, sterilizers – they all stay on, all the time.
    5. Your corals and other critters aren’t exposed to air and possibly intense lighting, both of which can quickly damage the fragile tissues of many corals. Additionally, the toxins they exude to protect themselves are not produced.

    Those are some of the benefits to your aquarium, now how about some of the benefits to you?

    6. No more lifting heavy buckets. Your back will thank you.
    7. No more dripping or spilling water all over the floor. Your spouse will thank you.
    8. More time to do other important things! Whether it’s time spent enjoying your aquarium, cleaning skimmers, or time spent with your family – you’ll have more
    time to do it.
    9. You can enjoy the peace of mind that the RENEW’s™ redundancy provides.
    10. Hey, it’s easy to do a water change now, so it’s more likely to get done! You’ll enjoy the benefits of a healthier, more stable aquarium.


    Please visit our website Genesis Reef Systems to learn more about the RENEW™ and options, including money-saving bundles. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us here through the forum or through our contact page.

    We look forward to hearing from you!
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
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  3. phoenixhieghts

    phoenixhieghts Panda Puffer

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    Its about time someone invented one of these.
  4. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    I love the controller and the whole concept. Very cool.

    I am trying to get my mind around how you get around this type of setup affecting skimmers and the like. If the sump level goes down, doesn't that affect the skimmer? Does this pull water from the tank or the sump? How does the pro version work with the ATO so that there is not any SG flux?

    Very interesting all the same.
  5. missionsix

    missionsix Super Moderator Staff Member

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  6. mikev15101

    mikev15101 Purple Spiny Lobster

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    I think it stated the pump goes into the sump, so it would draw the water from there. Also I do not think there would be an issue with water level, I would think it would take water out just as fast as it would replace it.
  7. GenesisReefSys

    GenesisReefSys 3reef Sponsor

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    Thanks for the posts, everyone!

    Great question, Matt. The RENEW™ can be installed to draw water from your aquarium itself or from the sump. Most people who have a sump install it to draw water from their sump. You are correct - the water level in the sump does drop in volume by 1 gallon, and then it is refilled. The whole cycle takes just a couple minutes from the time the water removal stage begins and when it is completely filled back up. The water level in your sump should never go above your standard running level.

    If you have a partitioned sump, the export pump could be placed in a chamber after the skimmer so the water level in the skimmer chamber isn't affected. A common chamber would be the return pump chamber, provided there is at least one gallon of water volume above the pumps so they don't run dry when it is removed.

    All versions of the RENEW™ (Basic, Advanced, and Pro) work with the STORM™ Automatic Top Off System so there isn't any fluctuation in specific gravity. Whenever the RENEW™ removes water from the sump or aquarium, it sends a signal to the STORM™ to let it know that the water was intentionally removed for a water change. The STORM™ then suspends top offs until the new water has been dispensed into the sump, bringing the sump level back up to where it was originally. The STORM™ then resumes its normal monitoring and tops off whenever necessary. Since the 1 gallon change cycle takes only a couple minutes, there is no noticeable evaporation in during the time the STORM™ suspends its top off functions. The STORM™ does top off between 1 gallon exchange cycles, so if you choose to perform the changes over the course of a day or a week, your water level and SG will still be maintained.

    I hope this answers your questions, but if you still have questions please don't hesitate to ask!
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  9. ClamsOnDemand

    ClamsOnDemand 3reef Sponsor

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    I invented this over 3 years ago lol. And I didnt put into production because we are working on a system better than this concept right now.....Still makes me mad someone got a version of my first concept out before me.....darn it.
  10. ClamsOnDemand

    ClamsOnDemand 3reef Sponsor

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    There are some concept flaws with this kind of water changer...I know from my first protoypes. Not very space efficient and also not to accurate. You have to keep ontop of your testing and I dont see that they point out auto syphoning issues and many other issues that may limit the use of this for many peoples aquariums.
  11. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Maybe they have addressed those? Good questions though. Don't be hating. ;) I am sure yours will be great.


    That is pretty darn cool. Still hurts my head a bit, but it sounds like you have it figured out.

    Do you sell bigger containers/Reservoirs for people with large tanks? Do you need to use those reservoirs?

    matt
  12. GenesisReefSys

    GenesisReefSys 3reef Sponsor

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    Hello Matt,

    Glad I was able to clarify it a bit for you. To answer your additional questions, we don't make larger Metering Reservoirs. The beauty of this system is that it can be used on just about any size aquarium. You simply adjust the number of gallons you would like to exchange, have your premixed replacement water ready, and press the start button. You can exchange up to 99 gallons with the single press of the button - over the period of a couple hours, a day, or a week. In contrast, you could perform just a 2 gallon water change over the course of a week if you wanted. This system is pretty much a one-size-fits-all solution, from nano tanks to display tanks holding several thousand gallons.

    The Metering Reservoirs are indeed necessary, and in fact they're the ingredient that addresses both of Clam's concerns. The Metering Reservoirs are what makes this system so incredibly accurate as they "meter" out exactly one gallon per exchange cycle - of the water entering the aquarium as well as the water being removed from the aquarium. They also prevent any siphons from forming because they serve as air gap devices. Plus, since the RENEW™ systems monitor their own operation, if one of the Metering Reservoirs failed to fill completely it would interrupt its own operation and alert the user that there was a problem - and tell the user where to look for the problem through the indicators on the Control Module.

    Thanks again for your questions - they help everyone understand a little better!
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  13. Russter

    Russter Flamingo Tongue

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  15. ClamsOnDemand

    ClamsOnDemand 3reef Sponsor

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    Lol not hating just bummed.


  16. ClamsOnDemand

    ClamsOnDemand 3reef Sponsor

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    Ok so here is the main proulbem with your system and this is what I was talking about...not hating just like I said these are the issues with this design.

    "Mounting Considerations

    Each Reservoir measures approximately (10" tall) x (8" wide) x (8" deep) front-to-back, and must be mounted higher than the aquarium/sump (waste reservoir) and the highest level of the replacement water (replacement reservoir). Each will weigh approximately 10 pounds when full, so they need to be securely mounted to a strong vertical wall.
    The Reservoirs rarely need to be accessed once installed, so they can be tucked up into an out of the way location
    The Control Module measures approximately (5" tall) x (7" wide) x (3" deep) front-to-back, and should be located in a dry location with adequate accessibility. The Control Module should never be mounted above an open body of water. "

    you have to mount it above the water line of the sump which means...most people dont have the room under their stand to accomidate this, you have to mount it to a wall or create some kind of holder for the tanks because as you can see they are cylindrical and the bottom of them dosnt allow them to sit flat on any surface not to mention that is where the water is dispenced and filled up at. If you place them lower than the water line then you get a siphoning effect that will flood your wastewater tank and suck much of the water from the sump out(more than you wanted to) maybe even flood the waste disposal area. So basicly to set these up in the correct place then you would proubly in most cases due to vanity issues and setup requirements have to create some other type of cabinet or drill holes in the wall to an seperate room to hide these tanks. Plus you will also have your clean source water and disposal tank(unless you happen to have a drain nearby that you can run it to. Now the two tanks that will be there for metering the water are not your water source or your wastewater container. So in order to operate this device(if you dont have a near by drain you can plumb it too you will have to have two more tanks. One with the new clean water in it that can be say a 5 gallon jug, and one to capture the waste water that can also be a 5 gallon jug. So you have 4 tanks in total....thats allot of space to fill. So I think by reading it you can set the amount of water that is to be changed which is great! Because that keeps from say overflowing the waste water tank if you forget to check on your water changer. But however they require you to purchase your own pumps to operate the device. Pumps can (even with the metering device) allow for a little bit of a discrepancy in volume of water displaced. Youll have to moniter your salinity. If the sensors lag a little bit or or short you can have a pump run longer than the other which might not trip the controller right away and if ever and can leave one tank with a little more or less water than the other tank. Not to mention you will have six runs of tubes and 3 sets of wires running around everywhere. These are just some of the things I know because I had to deal with them too. Not saying dont buy this because its a good idea. But keep all these factors in mind. With all those points, still like to give the company kudos for comming up with the idea. I was pretty proud of myself when I came up with the idea. lol.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  17. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    I know the feeling. I have had a lot of ideas that I thought I'd win the lotto with only to go the Internet for 2 seconds and find a 'buy now' button for it. heh ::) :cry: Your point about space is a good one. Something to keep in mind.




    That is impressive. I like all the alerts. I didn't realize those reservoirs did more than just hold water. Very interesting. How big are they? Do you have any pics of this all setup on somebody's aquarium you could share with us?
  18. GenesisReefSys

    GenesisReefSys 3reef Sponsor

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    Good morning everyone, and thank you for your interest in our RENEW™ System. I appreciate all of the questions!

    The metering reservoirs are about 10"x8"x8" - enough to hold a gallon of water plus some room for the electrical compartment, valve, and sensors. They're engineered such that they actually prevent back-siphoning and are designed to ensure exact metering - the RENEW™ removes exactly the same volume of water from the aquarium as it introduces back into the aquarium... to within hundredths, or at the very most, a couple tenths of an ounce.

    I do want to clear up some possible confusion about the operation of the system:
    -The pumps don't have any metering function in the RENEW™ system; they will not affect the metering accuracy. They simply transport water to the Metering Reservoirs, where the metering is performed.
    -The RENEW™ itself cannot affect the salinity of the aquarium - only the salinity of the premixed replacement water can affect the aquarium's salinity.

    We sell our systems with pumps or without pumps to allow our customers to use the pumps of their choice; our design is compatible with just about any pump out there that will deliver at least 1 GPM to the Metering Reservoir. We believe that adds to the appeal of this system - inexpensive, readily available pumps can be used, removed for maintenance when necessary, and replaced without much work or expense.

    Couple these features with all of the redundancy built into our RENEW™ systems and I think most would agree that the benefits of frequent automatic water changes make the straightforward installation worth the effort.

    I'll dig up some pics and get them posted soon.

    Thanks again - we're very happy to have become a part of the 3reef community.

    Kevin
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  19. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Those reservoirs do not sound that big. Cool!

    More pics! :)
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  21. GenesisReefSys

    GenesisReefSys 3reef Sponsor

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    Absolutely! Just getting those lined up and should be posting them early this evening.
  22. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    I see one of these things in my future... i am sooo anxious to move... we've been house hunting for over a year now - too many requirements, we may just build. But when we do get settled back down, this is the sort of thing I want to include on my next build...
  23. GenesisReefSys

    GenesisReefSys 3reef Sponsor

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    Great to hear, Peredhil!

    Good luck finding your new home, whether you end up buying or building. It's a lot of fun being able to consider how your new home will satisfy your reef tank's needs!

    Be sure to check our site for specials whenever you're all settled in.

    We look forward to hearing from you!
    Kevin
  24. GenesisReefSys

    GenesisReefSys 3reef Sponsor

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    Installation Pics

    Here we go. This is on a smaller reef system, and the owner decided to place her equipment in a small room under the stairs adjacent to her aquarium. She used to wheel out a couple bins to her aquarium, remove the water from her tank with a siphon into one bin (she says it's the one in the background, and it's just taking up space now since she doesn't use it anymore), and then use a pitcher, or occasionally a pump, to add the new water back into her tank. She says she's so thankful she doesn't have to do that anymore.


    I've added captions with descriptions to help provide detail.

    Here's the room where the RENEW™ Pro and STORM™ Pro are located. The mixing bin is in the foreground, and the top off bin is the black bin behind it. The Metering Reservoirs are mounted to the studs, and the Control Modules are obviously mounted to a landing on the stairs. The Metering Reservoir closest to the camera is the waste reservoir, and its output goes to a drain that is not in the frame. The other Metering Reservoir is for the replacement water. By the way, the Control Modules look really small there - it's an optical illusion I guess due to distance from the camera.
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    Control Modules and ROCv™
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    Mixing bin, showing the Level Sensor Hanger Assembly
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    Top off bin and pump for the STORM™. The ROCv™ automatically refills the top off bin (you can see the Sensor Hanger and Shrouds), but she does use a float valve as a back up - something we recommend for any connection to a continuous water supply. In this manner, she has three layers of redundancy - the ROCv™ Max sensor, the failsafe sensor, and the float valve. She'll never have a flood! Which actually brings up a good point: the ROCv™ itself adds redundancy, since in the event of a power outage it automatically shuts off the reverse osmosis filter's supply to the top off bin and mixing bin (there's also a float valve in the mixing bin so she can automatically refill it without fear of it overflowing)
    [​IMG]


    Metering Reservoirs and the hole through the wall to her aquarium
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    The tubes going into her sump. I asked about the mesh bag and she said she put some pieces of foam in it to keep the water from stirring up debris from some live rock there. The foam would also prevent any potential splashing noise, but I don't know if that was a consideration for her or not.
    [​IMG]