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Re: [APD] Top-off systems

On Fri, 2004-03-12 at 00:11, revance at indiana_edu wrote:
> >From your description I assume you are using a trickle filter right? If so, 

If you are using a sump you have the perfect opportunity for continuous
water changes (which naturally automatically top-up). Sure continuous
water changes will waste a little dechlorinator and water etcetera
compared to non-continuous water changes but the fish will experience
more stable conditions and you will not need to heat your water change

Just put an overflow into your sump (I guess this is easier for those
who are just about to buy a tank for use as a sump) which drains to the
garden or drain. Use a 44 gallon foodsafe drum (second hand) to store
your water (or in my case 4 of them) outside. Then either gravity feed
with a ball valve to control the flow or use a small pump on a 24-hour
timer running say 15 minutes every 2 hours or whatever is appropriate
given your pump/tank etcetera. In my case this naturally does a 40%
weekly water change automatically for me (just need to refill drums
using a timer and add dechlorinator) and the water changes and top-ups
are done automatically. With enough drums you would not have to touch
the system for weeks.
If your water authority uses chlorine (not chloramines) you can set up
an automated system where the water is aged in the drums for a few days
as it passes through (with airstones to assist). I had just such a
system set up just as... they switched to chloramines!

For me the total cost was (converted to USD) $15 for the hole in the
side of the sump, $15 for a foodsafe drum and a few dollars for tubing
and fittings. not much more than for a decent float valve or switch. 

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