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Top Off Container Question

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  • Top Off Container Question

    Hey, so I am redoing my fish room in the basement. Those of you who have seen it know how tight it is. I was able to free up some space due to Columbia Gas moving my meter outside.

    I think I've seen some of you guys have a large plastic barrel that you use for top off water. Where do you guys pick one of those up? I assume they are sealed, to prevent any airborne algae to get into it, right? I've had some funk grow in my water change trashcan before if I let it sit for too long.

    Also, right now I'm using a 35 gallon Brute trashcan for water changes, and I'd like to get something 50 gallons so I can just dump in a bag of salt without measuring. Any suggestions there?



  • #2
    Free shipping and seems to be a good deal. With that said, I've been using a 35gallon rubbermaid without any issue (has a lid on it, no heater, no pump). That's been good for over 2 years now, but I have moved it/dried it out twice in that time period.
    Edit: looks like free shipping may not apply, but there are stores nearby.

    I've seen some people selling the blue or white storage tanks (I believe you can buy them from one of the breweries or soda places around here for pretty cheap, but haven't done it myself)
    Last edited by Aanonymous; 09-16-2016, 04:46 PM. Reason: Correction on shipping
    -Aanonymous- (John)


    • #3
      I purchased the heavy duty Brutes from Wasserstroms off 71 near the Crew Stadium. They are leach free and have lids. I have a 50 gallon one for water changes and a 20 gallon for ATO. The nice thing about the smaller container is that if my float valve gets stuck in an open position, it will only empty about 16 gallons. An additional fail-safe to prevent from turning my system into a brackish display with dead coral decorations.


      • #4


        • #5

          Thanks. I went ahead and picked up a 55 gallon yesterday. I decided I'm tired of measuring salt, and I want to streamline this stuff.

          I'm curious: the solenoid: that obviously shuts off the supply to the two containers when the "B" solenoids are triggered. The "A" solenoids tell the solenoid to let more water into the RO/DI, when the water drops below the "A."

          First, what kind of device is the solenoid? Does that go to your Apex, or is it a stand alone thing that I can pick up at Savko?

          Second, I assume Valve 2 is normally closed, unless you know you are making water.

          Thanks to both of you guys. I'm hoping with the new setup and the new room in my fish utility room, that I will have room for a decent sized frag tank.


          • #6
            Ignore the A and B solenoids. I originally had them in my setup for redundancy but I removed them years ago and only use a single float switch in each container. The diagram isn't quite accurate anymore.

            The "plug to outlet" is how I manually control the system. I plug it in to turn it on, then unplug after either container is full. I'm not a fan of having the RO unit able to fill my top off at all times. If the float gets stuck, water will continually fill the container and flow into the tank.

            Correct, valve 2 is usually closed unless I'm making water for a water change.

            The solenoid is a stand alone electrical device that I bought from McMaster & Carr. I've haven't bought them in years so I'm not sure if they still carry them.


            • #7
              Solenoids valves are here:

              I also bought float valves from them.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Hollback View Post
                I'm not a fan of having the RO unit able to fill my top off at all times. If the float gets stuck, water will continually fill the container and flow into the tank.
                I've got the Hydor ATO unit now, with the Aqualifter that tops off my tank. The topoff container is small, and I don't trust the float ball shutoff (mechanical, not electric) in the topoff container enough to leave the RO/DI on all the time, only because it got twisted years ago (naturally when I was out of town for work), and it didn't shut off the flow to the topoff container, so the topoff container flooded my fish room.

                Anyway, so I'm not worried about the Aqualifter running continuiously, and making the tank brackish as you mentioned, as the Hydor system does have extra redundancy (only runs for 10mn at a time, and only when the Hydor sensor is triggered, shuts off when it gets too high, etc.)

                I guess if I could have some sort of additional redundancy on the /topoff/ container, I'd be OK leaving the RO/DI on all (or most of) the time, or is there some other reason not to do this (wastes water/somehow wears down the RO/DI components, etc.)?