My Tunze Osmaolator Automated Water Change

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by Powerman, May 13, 2010.

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  1. Powerman

    Powerman Giant Squid

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    So first of all... I didn't come up with this. Credit goes to scolley from RC. It is super easy though.

    So... I wanted a automated daily water change. I read an article by Randy Farley about the subject. The myth goes that big water changes are better than multiple samll ones. While that is technically true, the degree is very small. On my 100g system, I want to change out 30% monthly...30g. Crunching the numbers of 1 gallon a day comes out to be the effectiveness of doing a monthly water change of 26g. I cna live by that.

    Second.... doing automated water changes is a little tricky. You don't want to activate a ATO if you have one. Using two different pumps requires them to be matched. Dual head peristaltic pumps and dual diaphram pumps are often used but are pretty pricey. So I wanted to use a second Tunze Osmolator to do saltwater change...just turn off one and turn on the other.... but while researching I found the solution and it is brilliant.

    I already had a Osmolater and a controller. All you need is a second osmolator pump... $25.... and a relay... $20. I all ready had a spare osmolator pump and controller so this was a no brainer.

    So... all you need is to use a DPDT relay. You turn the relay on and it switches control of the Osmolator unit to the salt water pump. You then use a pump to get rid of some water, and the salt water osmolator pump makes up the difference.

    Here it is laid out.

    [​IMG]

    Two pumps, a relay box and a Osmolator.

    Here is the relay wired up. All you need is a project box from radio shack, a 120v DPDT relay, and some connectors.



    [​IMG]

    The whole thing cost me $18!!!



    [​IMG]

    Here it is all set up.

    [​IMG]

    So my Controller turns on the relay and now the Tunze ATO uses the salt water pump for top off. I turn on my waste water pump for 80 secondes to pump one gallon into the waste jug in back. After the Tunze tops off with salt water, I turn the relay off and go back to topping off with RO/DI water. Brilliant. I can even power the relay when doing drip aclimation or using water to dip new corals and top off with salt water.

    The waste jug has to be done in such a way to prevent siphons. And I'm not worried about overfilling jugs cause it is only a gallon a day and I have a 7 gallon jug, so I can just change out jugs as needed or just turn it off if I'm out of water. So far I love it.

    The whole thing cost me $18 for the relay box. An extra Tunze pump is $25. Extra hose is $10, but I had enough hose from the first Osmolator to have enough. You have to get extra hose from Tunze cause it is special size. You also need a small pump to get rid of water, but I had a MJ 900 laying around so that was covered. And you need a controller, but my Apex covered that.

    If you are on the fence about a Osmolator... which is an awesome ATO.... with a few exra parts, you can also automate your water changes. Just keep in mind though that the Osmolator will only run for 10 minutes and then shut down if it does not make level (emplty water jug) so you can't change out so much at one time to go over that. But even at that... one daily change would still be 70-80g a month so that is still a big tank.
     
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  3. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Very nice, elegant solution, congrats
     
  4. mikejrice

    mikejrice 3reef Affiliate

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    That's awesome! I have to admit though, I was hoping for even more automation. Is there any way you could set it up so the waste pump and the top offs would switch automatically? What about putting the FW ATO on a timer that runs all but ten minutes of the day and putting the waste and SW ATO on a timer that would run the other ten minutes of the day. I'm sure there are tons of other variables I'm not seeing from here, but that would be sweet if you could make it work!
     
  5. Powerman

    Powerman Giant Squid

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    Right now Mike... I'm a little nervous... he he. I am taking water out.... but this is fully automated.

    I don't see a need to do it continuosly through out the day. This still accomplishes doing my water change for me.

    Now with my controller, just using simple timer statement I can do this automatically at a time in the day.... I could even time multiple events. The controller does all the work switching everything on and off.

    Now what I am trying to figure out is how I can run it off one dummy timer so instead of doing this mannually when I want... I can just turn on one timer and it still does it automatically. I think I know how to do it, I just need to play with it.

    Again though, witha controller... the possibilities are endless. With the Apex even more so... very powerful programing.

    but any controller can do this....

    17:00 relay on
    17:00 waste pump on for 80 sec.
    17:10 relay off.

    I can time that out all day long as much as I want.
     
  6. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Subscribed. I don't even have 2 seconds to read this now but I am fascinated. I will return.
     
  7. ingtar_shinowa

    ingtar_shinowa Giant Squid

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  9. Powerman

    Powerman Giant Squid

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    Been playing with my controller, I have a one button WC using my feed timer. Also set it to do a WC at 7:00 pm every day.

    I really like the idea of all this... even though I might dial back to less than a gallon a day. I should do some sort of water change, but I do not belive in doing them just because. If all my water parameters are in great shape, there is no need for big WCs. Except of course for some "unknown" addition of some sort of trace element I MIGHT be in need of. Who knows.



    ***I keep meaning to post this***


    http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-10/rhf/index.php

    Randy's water change article in Reef Keeping Magazine.
     
  10. blackraven1425

    blackraven1425 Giant Squid

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    The only thing I would be concerned about when using a controller is the possibility of a pump failing. Especially the outgoing pump.
     
  11. Powerman

    Powerman Giant Squid

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    Safety is important.

    The waste pump failing would be no big deal... all that would happen is that my WCs would not happen. The beauty of using a ATO setup is that it will only replace what was taken out.

    The Tunze Osmolator has a safety feature that if the make up pump runs for 10 minutes and fails to make level it will turn off. So if the salt water jug was emplty the pump would not continue to run and burn up.

    Next, I do not have a float switch on the waste water jug to stop the process if it overflowed. Now that would be a good thing, but I know it is up to me to check on it everyday and emplty when needed. I could use a float switch.... but if the actual pump relay on the power strip failed on then a float won't stop it either. The relays do fail off though.

    So I have 7 gallon jugs. I'm changing 1 gallon a day. I can see the waterlevel in the jug and see that the water change took place for the preceeding day. Dumping a jug, and changing a full top off jug is no big deal. Also, if I'm out of water, all I have to do is unplug the waste pump and no WC.

    Now if anyone want to incorporate this into their ATO, or have more room for bigger resivoirs with automated filling.... then other safety float switches should be incorporated. Plus, there are plenty of other folks doing auto water changes and they can just route their waste to drain so they do not need to worry about a waste water jug. I do not have access to a drain where my tank is so that is why I do it this way.
     
  12. BTowned

    BTowned Peppermint Shrimp

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    Nice DIY with the Osmolator, they are great top off units for sure.