Discussion in 'I made this!' started by Powerman, May 13, 2010.
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My brain is fried. But I do get it. But majorly fired.
LOL... You and me both Bruh
Imma have to go to Reef counseling.
OK... so don't worry. I needed it explained to me too. A relay just switches a contact... well there are all kinds but the one we are using that is all it does. You need a Double Pole, Double Throw relay rated for 120vac... it will have a amp rating too, but just one that can handle what ever you are hooking up. The relay itself is just like a solenoid and switched the contacts when it it energized and deenergized. Radio Shack has any kind you need. They also have the little box to make it neat.
120v is input into the relay... the relay has two different out puts. One of the outputs will go to your solenoids, one will go to your salt pump..... but, I'm actually making this harder than it has to be.
Honestly, without the Tunze, and with an Apex, you do not even need the relay.... you can just use all time based statements to start stop each piece of equipment on que. I used the relay because I was using the Tunze to swap between two different osmolator pumps (low voltage DC pumps). It's not as fancy, but just simple time statement on and off will do what you want.
00:00 ATO off
00:01 Waste pump on
00:02:10 waste pump off
00:03 salt pump on
if float 1 = on then salt pump off
(for safety) 00:05 salt pump off
00:00 ATO on
Just that simple. Two MJ 600 pumps. $30
Now one thing about a ATO is to have it top off constantly so there is no daily swing in salinity. I understand you want to be ultra safe with your RO hooked up to your tank and at least you do not have to do the task by hand.
While it is not how I would do it, it actually helps you in this case.... if your water change happens when you are just before a top off... then when it does top off with salt water you will have put in more salt water than you took out. That never became a problem with me, but on paper it is possible... so for you... you just have to top off right before you do a water change...give it 5 minutes to mix, but bottom line is that you will be exactly where the top off with salt will stop and you will be very accurate.
If you wanted to continue to do it this way, you could at least top with fresh two or three times a day for a little more stability, and still WC after one of them, or all of them.
The auto WC was just made by a guy that had a tunze and a controller.. I copied him and understood my system well. Of course trying to convert kept me focused on the relay but you do not need one. You do HAVE to use your float switch though to turn of the salt addition.
That is the whole point of this... how do you get a daily water change to put back EXACTLY what you took out. The Genesis system is WAY OVERPRICED for what it does. it isn't even that good of a system... well maybe it is.. but certainly not for the money, and certainly not with the other additions. The only way to do this was with very expensive peristaltic pumps or a double head diaphragm pump ($300-$400) Peristaltic pumps in our hobby are very small volume and would need to run all the time darn near... other metering pumps would need to be lab grade and they would have to be EXACTLY matched.... too much money, too hard to get right.
Using a ATO you already have solves both problems... you will top off back to a set level. (float switch) and you will put back exactly what you took out with a stupid little maxi jet.
That's really cool Grim. Glad things are going well. Your break out box looks good too.
So have you thought more about it John?
I followed your model to a t. I forgot I never posted pics.
Very nice Grim. I suppose there are a few ways to skin a cat. If you started with an Apex, then it is robust enough to do anything. Get a break out box and a few float switches and you could automate anything.
However, the Tunze Osmolator is such a good ATO... put the two together and this automated water change is a no brainier. I don't think I could argue you had to run out and get both... but when you have both, it is just too easy not to do this. One of the best DIY projects I did hands down.... well that and turning my closet into a gear room.
I'm with you on this.
Despite the confusion behind it, I generally understand what you are getting at, Powerman. And I think it's a great idea. I would much prefer automated daily WC over weekly or monthly manual changes...anything to make maintenance easier and the hobby more enjoyable.
I will come back to this thread when i have some more time to read it all.
It's really very simple. You just use your ato like normal, then make double use of the float switches to refill the sump after a pump removes some water for an amount of time. This just guarantees that you keep the water level in the sump constant even with pump degradation over time. (since you can't time two pumps and expect them to match)
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