DIY autowater changer

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Hello folks,

In a bid to encourage me to water change more often Im going to attempt to build an auto water changer setup.
I've done a little research and keep coming back to the reefloat system. However, there seems to be come confusion (myself included) on how it works.
As i understand its a dilution system, but I dont really want that. I want to be able to replicate how I change water today, i.e dirty water out, clean water in, without mixing the 2.
I have absolutely no doubt that the dilution systems work great, they're just not for me.

Therefore......

Im gonna build a setup that has 2 10litre jerry cans (I only have a 94l tank so 10% water change) with a 12V DC pump attached to each. One jerry can for clean saltwater, one to discard the dirty. The inlet for the dirty pump will pull directly from the tank, with the outlet draining into the dirty can. Simultaneously the inlet from the clean pump will pull from the clean tank and the outlet will feed back to the tank.

A couple of flow valves will control the flowrate.

Something like the diagram attached.

Ill build the jerrycans into a nice wheeled unit so the pumps can be fixed in place and pipework neatly routed and hung up when no in use. I can then wheel it out to mix my saltwater and get it out of the way when not in use.  I was planning on running both pumps from a single socket using an hourly timer, so they'll run for a set amount of time that is less than the time it takes to drain the clean can (dont want the pumps running dry!) I can control this from the flow valves too so its a nice gradual water change and so the flowrates of both pumps fill/drain at the same rate.

Parts are coming in at around £50 (without the unit, but I have loads of nice plywood I can make this out of).

What do you guys reckon?


 

ajm83

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Reply #1

Cool idea but if you draining and filling simultaneously, is that not going to have the same result as the reefloat? i.e. you will take out some of the clean water

BarriCA

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Reply #2

Good point, i think there could be some loss there?

Having said that I was planning on taking the dirty water away from the bottom of the tank near the sandbed and filling up the clean as a slow stream into the top. Given that its only 10% that would leave a lot of water in the middle of the tank and i dont think they'd be much mixing, particularly if I turn my powerheads off.

failing that, I could just switch the pumps on independently, drain the dirty 1st then switch on the clean? Pretty much automating a traditional water change.

Im gonna give it a go and see?

ajm83

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Reply #3

failing that, I could just switch the pumps on independently, drain the dirty 1st then switch on the clean? Pretty much automating a traditional water change.

Im gonna give it a go and see?

Yes that's what I was going to suggest.  Don't forget to switch off your ATO though  ;)

Can I suggest you drain from the top of the tank? That way if your timer goes wrong, the pump will run dry but you will not drain the entire tank onto the floor...

edit: thinking about it, you would need to drain from the top anyway else it will carry on syphoning even after the timer goes off - so make the drain slightly less than the exact height that will fill the empty tank and no more!

Last Edit: Oct 30, 2018 11:48:31 am by ajm83

BarriCA

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Reply #4

I knew there was a reason to ask advice - great tips mate, thanks!

Mike

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Reply #5

There's no need to pump the water down into the dirty can, it'll siphon. If you do pump it, it'll still siphon even when the pump shuts off.

Your tank's water should be turbulent, and so I struggle to see how removing the old water and adding the new water is any different than reefloat's system. The dilution is just happening in a different place. The same proportions are involved.
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Marty

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Reply #6

Can't beat the old fashioned take put water and replace with fresh.

My water changes use to be on average 200L a time and it was no big issue seems a lot of work for a 25L waterchange.

I use to mix 200L of new water simply drop out 200L and then pump 200L of fresh in that way it's a true 200L waterchange.

Effort = results being lazy in reef keeping is asking for trouble


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HK_Fuey

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Reply #7

You looked at one of these?

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