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Apex as ATO

Discussion in 'Apex' started by Rmcaum, May 27, 2016.

  1. Rmcaum

    Rmcaum Director Staff Member

    My JBJ ATO may have kicked the bucket last night. I currently have the JBJ run through an Apex to control for pH because I run kalkwasser in the reservoir. I have an aqualifter pump on it. It is set to off on the Apex (the whole JBJ unit) and only turns on for a minute or two at a time throughout the night. This limits the amount of kalk dispensed at one time and spreads it out over about seven doses through the night, then shuts off during lights on to minimize pH spikes and elevation. Blah, blah, bleh...

    I have a break out box. I only have the JBJ working off of one float switch right now. I have an extra float switch. Is there any reason that I cannot run a one float ato switch from the same outlet the JBJ is plugged into? When I stop to think about it, the only true function the JBJ is doing for me is telling me when the float is low to turn on the pump. The Apex and BOB can do this. I kind of liked the redundancy, but now I can't see advantage of having a separate ATO on this thing. Do any of you use the Apex as your primary ATO? How do you have it set up? Any problem controlling one switch based on open/close, pH high, max run time prevention and only on for two minutes at a time? Dennis, Jason, Bueller...
  2. den75

    den75 Director Staff Member

    I don't use my apex for my ATO, but it can be done with the float switch. Only thing is I don't think you can set a max run time to turn the outlet off if the float switch fails. Probably safer to have a second switch a little higher to turn it off in case the primary one fails.
  3. Rmcaum

    Rmcaum Director Staff Member

    I am at five floats already on the 6 switch BOB. I am sure that there is some virtual outlet way to limit the run time to two minutes or so. Even easier, if switch X closed then on from 1:00 to 1:02. That is kind of what I do now with the jbj. But obviously the float is independent of the outlet. I just turn the outlet on for two minutes at a time and it runs depending on if the jbj float is open or closed.
  4. Rmcaum

    Rmcaum Director Staff Member

    By the way, thanks Dennis. What do you use as your ATO. I have a tunze on my other tank and live it. The jbj seems to work fine, but I am glad I have the apex or it would basically fill once a day and dump about 3/4 of a gallon at a time.
  5. den75

    den75 Director Staff Member

    I use the Genesis Reef Systems ATO/Auto Water Change combo unit. Pricey, but it's been flawless and has multiple points of redundancy. I believe Bryan uses the same thing.
  6. den75

    den75 Director Staff Member

    Found a way to limit the run time on the ATO with a virtual outlet. Here is a sample code


    Fallback OFF
    If Outlet ATOshutoff = ON Then OFF
    If Sump1 OPEN Then ON
    Defer 001:00 Then ON
    Min Time 020:00 Then OFF
    If Sump1 CLOSED Then OFF
    If Sump2 CLOSED Then OFF

    ATOshutoff(This is the virtual outlet)

    Fallback Off
    if outlet ATO = ON
    Defer 01:00

    The Defer in the virtual outlet will keep the ATOShutoff Off for one minute after the ATO comes on. After the one minute the virtual outlet will turn on and the code in the ATO outlet(If ATOshutoff = ON Then OFF) will turn the ATO outlet Off.

    The Defer in the ATO outlet prevents water movement from falsely tripping the float. The Min Time prevents the ATO from running but once every 20 minutes.

    This is part of the reason I spent the extra money on the standalone ATO/Auto Water Change system. It's all doable with the Apex and float switches, but trying to build in all of the fail safes so you don't flood something can be challenging. It's easier today since you can now use their DOS system, but still that's more money on another module.
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
  7. Rmcaum

    Rmcaum Director Staff Member

    Yeah, I am not quite there yet. I got the jbj fixed for now, which means I won't do anything until I have another problem. I do believe that the apex would work just as well as it does though. At least this opened my eyes to the fact that redundancy for redundancies sake isn't always the answer. I might try to figure out the programming so to see if the apex can handle it if/when the ATO fails.

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