Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Nashville/Cookeville, TN
I just picked up a couple of low current float switches (really 1 will do) and wired them into a DC operated livewell air pump from Wal-Mart, wired a constant DC power source to the pump.. Finally ran the air output of the pump into a sealed 1 gallon milk jug full of my topoff water. Just like a diy CO2 tank the air pressure causes the liquid to be pumped into the tank. Very simple really. So water level drops, float switch makes contact, airpump turns on, air pressure increases, and water is pushed out and into the tank.
Once you figure out how long a gallon lasts, you can dose the proper amount of liquid ferts into the topoff water. So if you usually use 5mL of ferts a week in your tank and it takes two gallons a week to topoff... dose 2.5mL into your topoff container when you refill it twice a week. This way you have no spikes in fertilizers so you're much less likely to overdose.
Obviously this is not nearly as exact as a real controller, but you can really get results by using it!
If anyone wants to learn more than let me know and I can link you to an old thread of my nano reef where I took pictures of this setup and it explained it a little more.
I used to dose all of my calcium, magnesium etc into my reef this way.
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