AUTO TOP OFFS
Auto Top Off
ATO: WHAT THEY ARE AND THE BENEFITS OF AN ATO
An auto top off device or ATO helps maintain accurate and stable water levels in your aquarium by replacing water or topping off the water level as it evaporates. This is very important. All saltwater aquariums lose some degree of water each day. Left unattended this results in higher levels of sea salts and specific gravity since the salt does not evaporate hence there is more salt in relation to the amount of water left in the tank. This can stress fish and other inhabitants in the tank resulting in sickness and often times death (known as an osmotic shock), which can become very expensive as quality marine species can cost in the hundreds of dollars.
Auto Top Off Systems
First it has a sensor that senses the water level. These sensors are sometimes optical, mechanical or a combination of the two. Tubing is used to transport replacement water from a holding tank into the aquarium by means of an electric pump. Needless to say, this makes the maintenance of the tank much easier. No more spills of water back and forth to the tank.ATO’s can be equipped with multiple float sensors that activate immediately when your water level drops. These advanced units automatically refill your holding tank until it reaches your desired pre-set point. Better sensors are designed carefully with external guards to prevent marine life from obstructing the measurement devices.
ATO’s also come in professional grade equipment which actually automatically maintain holding tank levels sparing the owner the hard work of transporting water to that tank. Needless to say, spills are a thing of the past as is unsightly partially filled tanks. Some ATO’s have multiple settings allowing the owner to determine how best to control the replacement of water. Advanced administrative panels with LEDs and audible alerts are also incorporated.A variety of attachment devices can be used including advanced leveling brackets that assure the constant and accurate placement of the device.
Finally, fail-safe monitors shut the machine down if the holding tank runs out of water thus preventing the ATO pump from “dry run” damage.