Aquarium: RO/DI and Water Supply system
While progress is being made with the actual Aquarium installation, I have also been working on the design and needed parts for the ATO (Auto Top Off) and water supply system. My RO/DI and ATO system will be housed in the basement, just below my Aquarium, one floor above. I will be using a 55 gallon food grade barrel to store ATO water after it has been filtered.
Now that my office has been painted, I am preparing the aquarium for installation. I suspect that this coming weekend, I will be able to lift the Aquarium onto the stand and begin setting up the plumbing system and sump. The rear of the Aquarium is being painted with Gloss Black Enamel (see photo at bottom of post). The paint will help maintain a cleaner look, in that when you look at the aquarium, you wont see the wall, and any cords behind the aquarium. The masked off portion is the overflow cavity. I figured it might be good to keep that visible, in case something gets stuck down there... It won't be visible from the front anyhow.
The crude drawing above shows my plans. Water level switches will be used to trigger relays which will automate the system.
The RO/DI Flush:
It is important to flush the RO/DI system for a few minutes every time water begins to flow through it. The flushing gets rid of impurities which may have settled in the filter. This system, uses a 3 minute delay timer, which switches a relay to allow for the RO/DI system to be flushed for 3 minutes before water is directed towards refilling the ATO tank. This ensures that the water entering the ATO tank is pure with no contaminants.
The Delay circuit is a circuit I came up with to allow some water to be added after the water level switch has sensed that the water level is where it should be. This circuit keeps the relays activated for an adjustable amount of time after the water has reached the set level. The purpose of this is to slightly overfill the ATO tank, or the Sump with a little bit more water, so that the relays aren't being activated every time a wave hits the level switch, or every hour or so as water evaporates. So in effect, this helps minimize the use of the ATO and RO/DI system and in turn, reduce the water waste by the RO/DI flush.
The ATO Pump will begin pumping water up to the Sump, which is located under the Aquarium. The water will be pumped through a 1/2 inch vinyl hose, which will then be reduced to a 1/4 inch vinyl tube. This will reduce the head pressure of having to pump water up the 9 or so feet it needs to pump, but also cause a smaller flow rate, which I believe will help the new water mix in better with the existing water in the sump.
The ATO Tank will have a heater installed, and a small wave maker jet, to help circulate the water, so it isn't stagnant. The tank (or barrel) itself, will be sitting on top of some solid foam insulation to help insulate it from the colder cement floor of the basement.