OK. Here are a few pictures. To start the show a tank shot from tonight - before the water change started...
Here is the timer box. Each tank has its drain digital timer on top and its fill timer below. I wanted easy access in case I ever want to drain and fill manually - without bending down low under the tank (in the dark).
The timer turns on a hobby pump and opens a 3/8 inch Asco brand solenoid valve (rhe lower valve in the box).This starts the drain cycle. This box is for my 65 gallon. The upper smaller solenoid by Autotopoff.com is the 1/4" fill cycle solenoid connected to the tap. Someday, when I build a decent stand for the 65 gallon I'll incorporate all of these components inside the stand. But that might be a long while.... Note the black 3/8" drain line out of the larger brass colored solenoid and the 1/4" black fill line in/out of the little "autotopoff" brand solenoid.
Here is the Coralife Tee out of the canister filter. It goes to the intake of the Eheim hobby pump to start the drain...
The drain lines run through the wall. Next under a "routed out" wood threshold I fashioned on the cheap. This is a utility room. (I haven't painted it yet). The fill lines also run under here. Fills connect to the utility sink's taps with parts from ROWatersystems.com. They are under a section called RO accessories. In a subsection called: Feed Water Fittings. ro accessories
Sergio told us about them and uses the same ones.
After the "threshold", the drain lines run under a box holding up a hot water heater. Then behind washer/dryers and into the drain via "drain saddles" in this picture. They are in the same ROWater accessory subsection called: "Drain Clamps" - ro accessories
. Those are some expensive check valves before the drain saddles.John Guest Check Valves List
. Each tank has its own drain and fill lines and corresponding pump and solenoids/float switches etc.
I have check valves going into the drain to protect the tank from any drain contamination. I've also included check valves from the tap to protect our house's water from getting any E coli etc. from the tank - (hopefully). Yes, fish tanks have E coli in them. I found this out from a marine biologist friend who had his FW tank checked out.
Here are a couple of drain pictures... I drain approximately 12% of the tank five nights a week. (I think its 12%??).
Behind the spray bar is the fill cycle's float switch...Here is a link to it: AutoTopoff.com
It is on a start time after the drain is completely finished. It takes 24 minutes to drain 2.5 inches of the tank five nights a week. And maybe an hour or so to fill back up... The float switch and relay is made by autotopoff and is really easy to set up. No wiring!
Also, the float switch powers off one minute after fill cycle is complete as an overfill fail safe
. BTW, these float switches are encased in a snail proof PVC enclosure made out of 1.25" PVC caps. They have holes drilled in to let the water flow in/out...
It connects to a relay which first opens - then later closes the autotopoff.com "fill" solenoid connected to the tap water line. In the first picture you can see the relay (black box) sitting on top of the CO2 monitor. But it actually sits behind the Milwaukee CO2 monitor (second picture) in a funky little box I built... It only has 18" long leads to the float switch so it needs to be nearby.
My tap water pressure is so high that I have a ball valve turned almost all the way off. This is to slow down the flow so the heaters can keep up with the cold tap water.
Note on the right the fill line is 3/8 black polyethylene coming into the ball valve, then I have it reduced to 1/4 black poly.(There is a 3/8 poly drain line underneath too). The little Autotopoff solenoid is 1/4 inch and that is plenty of water pressure. So to recap, the fill starts as 3/8" black polyethylene from the utility sink's water line and reduces to 1/4 inch black poly a few feet before the tank. The reason one should use "BLACK" colored poly is to prevent algae building up.(We can thank Scolley for that insight!!)
Note the step down from 3/8 inch to 1/4" is a standard John Guest reducing stem (grey colored fitting) from ROwatersystems. This is a great place to get fittings for the polyethylene which came from USPlastics.com. USplastic.com also sells them. But the ROwatersystems website is easier to navigate.John Guest Fittings and tubing
Originally I was going to plumb the fill back into the canister filter, but I like being able to see the water and know everything is as its suppose to be... And in hindsight, I should have plumbed the whole fill line as 1/4 inch poly. 70 psi is plenty of water pressure through a little hose.This is the fill line out of the small autotopoff solenoid. See its filling, automatically. I LOVE it.
Here is an ugly picture of the solenoids inside my 90 gallon stand. The Eheim 1250 hobby pump is underneath them. I've not had any leaks yet, thank goodness!
Notice an abundance of silicon all over my $75 Asco 3/8" solenoid which starts the drain. Don't want to get ZAPPED!
And a final picture of the 90 gallon tank (with my faux hood off) and filling up. The light fixture is normally only ~ 5" above the water, but I moved it up for a better picture. The fill takes around an hour and is splashy noisy. I like it.
And a special thanks to Sergio, Scolley, and Steve5520 for help during the design phase. I couldn't of done it without their expertise.