• Advertisement
RTAW Advertiser

Auto water change

The forum to discuss the various types of equipment that is utilised to maintain a marine aquarium e.g. pumps, lights, tanks, protein skimmers etc. Also, it is for discussions on how you can do-it-yourself.

Moderators: Moderators, Mod: Equipment and DIY Discussion

Auto water change

Postby PranK » Tue 04 Sep, 2018 11:34 am

Hi All,

I thought I'd share my extremely simple auto water change solution.

My tank is somewhere are 800l. Can't be totally sure as I have a lot of rock. I wanted to aim for 1% per day which is 8L but that seemed a bit much. I also have NSW delievered to an IBC every few months.

What I did was to buy a slave for my Jebao dosing pump. But you could just buy the main dosing pump if you wanted for around $100 on eBay.

I then cut equal lengths of airline hose and created one intake (dirty water from the sump) and one outlet (clean water).

I put the intake for the clean water in a full (of NSW) 20L bucket so I can monitor dosing levels.

I put the outlet for the dirty water in a 20L bucket also so I can monitor what is being drained.

Two dosing heads were programmed to do 15 200ml changes during the day (total 3L each). At exactly the same time to take the auto top up out of the equation.

Its been running for 3 days beautifully so far. I'm going to continue monitoring the buckets and manually filling the clean water bucket. I'm pretty hands on with my tank so I don't mind doing this, but if you trust your dosing pump 100% then you could draw fresh water from a bigger salt water reservoir.

The amounts being dosed look extremely close, if not exact. I'm worred that there's more head req'd when pumping up the clean water so there might be a slight discrepancy but not enough to require more than weekly refractometer checks.

My reasoning for this new system is that I didn't want my levels to fluctuate when changing water. This automated method won't change my levels any discernible amount and (the biggie) it keeps my water temp stable without needing to heat the IBC. My old changes were affecting the temp a lot.

I'll keep updating with what I notice. Please hit me with q's or concerns. I'd like to get feedback on this method.

Thanks,

Christian
My 6' Journal

My 5x28x24 in-wall experience


My tank uses 4.3 tonnes of carbon every year (1275 KW/h per 115 days). I have offset its carbon emissions, you should consider doing the same. (This was my 4 footer too!)
PranK
RTAW Veteran Reefer
 
Posts: 1433
Images: 0
Joined: Tue 22 Aug, 2006 3:46 pm
Location: Sydney, Elanora Heights

Re: Auto water change

Postby colg » Tue 04 Sep, 2018 12:56 pm

Hi Christian,

I have been doing auto water changes for a while due to all the benefits you mention. A couple of points for consideration:
- Make sure your new water paramaters are the same as desired levels in your tank i.e. raise ALK, Calc and Mag.
- Keep a sharp eye on salinity
- Make the dirty water line draw from the return section of your sump and have the end submerged only a little below the surface. This will be a sort of fail safe incase the clean water pump fails.

You might find the Jebao dosing heads aren't up to the challange of such large amounts of usage. 8L doesn't sound like a lot but these units are designed to run much lower duty cycles. I will be interested to hear how they last in the medium term. At $40? each they are pretty cheap but if they start failing it would be worthwhile looking into a heavier duty pump, with cast alloy housings for example.

(I bit the bullet and went with litermeter pumps. currently changing 25L a day)
colg
Veteran Reefer
MASRQ Member
RTAW Moderator
MASA Volunteer
 
Posts: 620
Images: 90
Joined: Sat 04 Aug, 2012 5:12 pm
Location: Mackay

Re: Auto water change

Postby PranK » Tue 04 Sep, 2018 2:55 pm

Hi Col,

I'm only doing 200ml per hour (over 15 hours - mainly when I'm home). The Jebao has no probs with this.
I'm using the same doser to dose Alk and Ca and it hasn't missed a beat in years. Because of this dosing, I'm not overly concerned about the parameters of the NSW as my dosing *should* keep it all in balance.
I haven't mounted the lines yet, they are a bit backyard (the pickup is zip tied to a piece of dead acro! :D). I will do as you said, I think I'll mount them to the ATO sensor and keep it just below that.

Yeah the slave pumps were $45 delivered and the original doser was $130ish if I remember correctly.

What did you litermeters set you back? If this works, I'll definitely upgrade the pumps. I didn't want to go all-out and then find that it wasn't working as expected.
My 6' Journal

My 5x28x24 in-wall experience


My tank uses 4.3 tonnes of carbon every year (1275 KW/h per 115 days). I have offset its carbon emissions, you should consider doing the same. (This was my 4 footer too!)
PranK
RTAW Veteran Reefer
 
Posts: 1433
Images: 0
Joined: Tue 22 Aug, 2006 3:46 pm
Location: Sydney, Elanora Heights

Re: Auto water change

Postby colg » Tue 04 Sep, 2018 3:20 pm

For a litre meter system you would be looking at around $600 (can by a few Jebao's for that..)
from memory the LM3 unit which has the control unit and one pump, is around $380.
and then its around $180-$200 for additional pumps.

The good thing, apart from build quality, is that they can be calibrated to ensure exact amounts are pumped.
colg
Veteran Reefer
MASRQ Member
RTAW Moderator
MASA Volunteer
 
Posts: 620
Images: 90
Joined: Sat 04 Aug, 2012 5:12 pm
Location: Mackay

Re: Auto water change

Postby PranK » Thu 06 Sep, 2018 8:29 pm

So, it's been running for 5 days. The colour of water in the out but is much more brown than the fresh water. I want expecting such a stark difference.

Salinity is identical to what it was when I started. I'll keep an eye on it but it's reassuring.

15l replaced so far.
My 6' Journal

My 5x28x24 in-wall experience


My tank uses 4.3 tonnes of carbon every year (1275 KW/h per 115 days). I have offset its carbon emissions, you should consider doing the same. (This was my 4 footer too!)
PranK
RTAW Veteran Reefer
 
Posts: 1433
Images: 0
Joined: Tue 22 Aug, 2006 3:46 pm
Location: Sydney, Elanora Heights

Re: Auto water change

Postby colg » Thu 06 Sep, 2018 8:51 pm

:poke:
Maybe with the time saved from water changes you could update your journal? Haha!
colg
Veteran Reefer
MASRQ Member
RTAW Moderator
MASA Volunteer
 
Posts: 620
Images: 90
Joined: Sat 04 Aug, 2012 5:12 pm
Location: Mackay

Re: Auto water change

Postby PranK » Fri 07 Sep, 2018 11:15 am

colg wrote::poke:
Maybe with the time saved from water changes you could update your journal? Haha!


Haha! Good idea!
My 6' Journal

My 5x28x24 in-wall experience


My tank uses 4.3 tonnes of carbon every year (1275 KW/h per 115 days). I have offset its carbon emissions, you should consider doing the same. (This was my 4 footer too!)
PranK
RTAW Veteran Reefer
 
Posts: 1433
Images: 0
Joined: Tue 22 Aug, 2006 3:46 pm
Location: Sydney, Elanora Heights

Re: Auto water change

Postby PranK » Sat 08 Sep, 2018 8:04 pm

Check the colour of drain water versus fresh.Image

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
My 6' Journal

My 5x28x24 in-wall experience


My tank uses 4.3 tonnes of carbon every year (1275 KW/h per 115 days). I have offset its carbon emissions, you should consider doing the same. (This was my 4 footer too!)
PranK
RTAW Veteran Reefer
 
Posts: 1433
Images: 0
Joined: Tue 22 Aug, 2006 3:46 pm
Location: Sydney, Elanora Heights

Re: Auto water change

Postby PranK » Sat 08 Sep, 2018 8:05 pm

Note that the crud in the drain water bucket was already there. Ignore that.

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
My 6' Journal

My 5x28x24 in-wall experience


My tank uses 4.3 tonnes of carbon every year (1275 KW/h per 115 days). I have offset its carbon emissions, you should consider doing the same. (This was my 4 footer too!)
PranK
RTAW Veteran Reefer
 
Posts: 1433
Images: 0
Joined: Tue 22 Aug, 2006 3:46 pm
Location: Sydney, Elanora Heights

Re: Auto water change

Postby sparker » Mon 10 Sep, 2018 3:01 pm

Great stuff!

The dosing pump solution will work a treat if you keep the heads clean and the runs as short as possible. Keep up the nice work :)
sparker
RTAW Veteran Reefer
 
Posts: 1251
Images: 1
Joined: Thu 02 May, 2013 4:56 pm
Location: Victoria

Re: Auto water change

Postby PranK » Mon 10 Sep, 2018 3:04 pm

sparker wrote:Great stuff!

The dosing pump solution will work a treat if you keep the heads clean and the runs as short as possible. Keep up the nice work :)


Yeah thanks, I was going to set up a weekly or fortnightly cleaning routine for the heads. I think also, rather than 15 x 200ml I might just set it to 24 x 100ml. Its 600ml less per day but less load on the pumps.
My 6' Journal

My 5x28x24 in-wall experience


My tank uses 4.3 tonnes of carbon every year (1275 KW/h per 115 days). I have offset its carbon emissions, you should consider doing the same. (This was my 4 footer too!)
PranK
RTAW Veteran Reefer
 
Posts: 1433
Images: 0
Joined: Tue 22 Aug, 2006 3:46 pm
Location: Sydney, Elanora Heights

Re: Auto water change

Postby Macca_75 » Tue 11 Sep, 2018 12:28 pm

AWC's rock big time - 2nd best addition for maintenance after my ATO

+1 for the Litermeter solution. It's basically what you have, but the pumps are bullet proof. Rock solid units and will outlast any of the smaller dosing pumps.

I draw NSW from 2 x IBC's connected and stored under the garage (so a head height of around 4m and lineal run of 7m) and drain into a drain that connects to storm water. I also have the third Litermeter pump emptying the skimmer cup (set to 2L / day) into the same drain. To give you an idea, I draw through 6mm JG tubing and the calibration is around 200L/h for that using the Litermeter pump.

You set the Litermeter to *how much* you want each pump to do per day. Using the flow rate you calibrated it breaks this into (I think??) 150 operations a day. So 13L/day / 150 = 86ml per operation - doesn't set the ATO off at all. Then 86ml back in 3 mins later (Pump A - drain), 3 mins later Pump B (new NSW), 3 mins later Pump C (skimmer empty), then the cycle starts again.

Much like you have setup, just more hands off.

Head height is not an issue as you calibrate each pumps flow rate independently.
Macca_75
Old Sea Dog Reefer
 
Posts: 2745
Images: 1
Joined: Mon 22 Mar, 2004 2:40 pm
Location: SE subrubs, Melbourne, Victoria, AU

Re: Auto water change

Postby PranK » Tue 11 Sep, 2018 2:18 pm

Damn Macca that sounds awesome!
I love the emptying of the skimmer cup, thats brilliant!

I think I might upgrade then soon as I'd much prefer more bulletproof pumps manage such a critical part of my tank maintenance. Sounds like the Litermeter pumps are pretty strong too pulling up 4M.

I haven't tested any of my nutrients since starting this, but I love the look of Randy's graphs here; http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-10/rhf/index.php
My 6' Journal

My 5x28x24 in-wall experience


My tank uses 4.3 tonnes of carbon every year (1275 KW/h per 115 days). I have offset its carbon emissions, you should consider doing the same. (This was my 4 footer too!)
PranK
RTAW Veteran Reefer
 
Posts: 1433
Images: 0
Joined: Tue 22 Aug, 2006 3:46 pm
Location: Sydney, Elanora Heights

Re: Auto water change

Postby Macca_75 » Tue 11 Sep, 2018 2:39 pm

PranK wrote:Damn Macca that sounds awesome!
I love the emptying of the skimmer cup, thats brilliant!

I think I might upgrade then soon as I'd much prefer more bulletproof pumps manage such a critical part of my tank maintenance. Sounds like the Litermeter pumps are pretty strong too pulling up 4M.

I haven't tested any of my nutrients since starting this, but I love the look of Randy's graphs here; http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-10/rhf/index.php


When you get the Litermeter dosing pumps - nothing else compares. They won't have the "per drop" accuracy I can get out of my GHL Dosing, but they are industrial quality. Will run forever and you can buy the tube replacement kits (as they are considered a consumable).
Macca_75
Old Sea Dog Reefer
 
Posts: 2745
Images: 1
Joined: Mon 22 Mar, 2004 2:40 pm
Location: SE subrubs, Melbourne, Victoria, AU

Re: Auto water change

Postby PranK » Tue 11 Sep, 2018 3:00 pm

Great! Where did you get yours from? I think they're about $400 for the basic one?
My 6' Journal

My 5x28x24 in-wall experience


My tank uses 4.3 tonnes of carbon every year (1275 KW/h per 115 days). I have offset its carbon emissions, you should consider doing the same. (This was my 4 footer too!)
PranK
RTAW Veteran Reefer
 
Posts: 1433
Images: 0
Joined: Tue 22 Aug, 2006 3:46 pm
Location: Sydney, Elanora Heights

Re: Auto water change

Postby Macca_75 » Tue 11 Sep, 2018 3:28 pm

PranK wrote:Great! Where did you get yours from? I think they're about $400 for the basic one?

ebay in the states - but I have had it for years.

You'll want one of these to remove the water (Pump A)
https://spectrapure.com/DOSING-TOP-OFF/ ... ystem-230V

and 1 of these to put good water back in (pump B)
https://spectrapure.com/DOSING-TOP-OFF/ ... ump-Module

If you also want to empty the skimmer cup, just get 2 of the https://spectrapure.com/DOSING-TOP-OFF/ ... ump-Module and run the second as Pump C
Macca_75
Old Sea Dog Reefer
 
Posts: 2745
Images: 1
Joined: Mon 22 Mar, 2004 2:40 pm
Location: SE subrubs, Melbourne, Victoria, AU



  • Advertisement

Return to Equipment and DIY Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Societies
MASAOG MASQ MARQ MASS MASOV MASWA

Copyleft 2010 Marine Aquarium Societies of Australia Inc. (www.masa.asn.au)
Reefing the Australian Way is proudly brought to you by MASA Inc.