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Drop-Off Tank Build – Episode 8: Wavemaker Installation + Which ATO Should We Use?

 

In our last episode we pitted four powerheads against each other to see which pump all of you think will be the best fit for our tank.  The reliable Tunze 6055 pumps won the vote so stick around to learn a bit more about these awesome powerheads from Tunze, check out a couple new additions to our aquarium and then cast your vote for a new ATO system.

Tunze has long been manufacturing some of the best powerheads available for saltwater aquariums.  With high quality components and smart technology, these pumps have been a favorite among experienced reefers because they last a long time under heavy use and produce some excellent flow patterns.

We are going to utilize two of the Tunze 6055 Turbelle pumps on our tank.  Each of these pumps can move up 1450 GPH and only measure 2.75” wide.  The strong magnet mount will secure the powerhead to glass walls up to ½” thick.  The microprocessor controlled motor is very intelligent and will adapt to provide the best flow possible with the lowest energy consumption.  It also has a fail-safe feature that will automatically shut down the pump in the event of a blockage helping to save your fish and the pump from damage.

The included Turbelle Controller offers a feed mode, pulse mode and an auto tune feature to easily dial in wave motion inside your tank.  You can also manually adjust the total speed, pulse frequency and the pulse power using the three dials right on the controller.

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I mounted one pump on each side of the overflow box on the back wall to keep the powerheads discreetly hidden from plain view.  After tuning the pumps, I set them to run at about 50% total power and tuned a nice wave motion using the auto tune feature on the controller. Simply select the auto adjust, the pump will cycle through various pulse frequencies until the desired motion is achieved then hit the select button again and the pump will save the frequency.

We added a few more fish to the aquarium over this last couple of weeks and this time we got a few gorgeous captive bred fish from our friends over at Sea and Reef Aquaculture.

Sea and Reef Aquaculture is a US based company that provides 100% captive bred marine ornamental fish to the aquarium hobby.  Since 2003, Sea and Reef has helped to reduce the impact from fishing pressure on natural reefs by providing all of us with beautiful captive bred fish for our aquariums. They currently breed offer over 45 different species of clownfish, 7 species of Dottybacks and the staple Pajama Cardinalfish.

If you are interested in getting your hands on some of these beautiful captive-bred fish from Sea and Reef. You can visit your local fish store to request sea and reef fish or visit seaandreef.com to inquire directly about a retailer in your area.

We opted for two different pairs of designer clownfish for the tank. The pair of Spotcinctus Clownfish are a selectively bred color variant of the Red Sea Clownfish.  A beautiful bonded pair of DaVinci Ocellaris Clownfish along with a gorgeous Splendid Dottyback.

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I know many of you might think aggression would play a role in the tank but this is the beauty of captive bred fish.  They are typically far less aggressive compared to will caught fish.  In addition, captive bred fish have a slew of other benefits including a longer life span in aquariums because they are hardier, typically disease and parasite free and accustomed to life inside a tank.  They will accept just about any type of prepared aquarium diet you offer and always associate people with food; this means they will happily beg for food at the glass or tanks surface in the presence of people instead of hiding away inside your aquascape.

Now that we have all this livestock in the tank, it is time to start working on keeping the water chemistry stable.  So let’s choose an ATO system for our aquarium to help relieve the tedious task of topping off the tank with freshwater manually.

So which ATO system should we use?  The Aqua Medic Refill System PRO, the Tunze Osmolator Universal 3155, the Ice Cap Auto Top Off, or the Neptune System ATK.

I am eager to see what you guys choose here because we have two new and very exciting ATO systems up for vote; both the Ice Cap and Neptune System ATK are new to the market and are manufactured by some very reputable companies. The Aqua Medic and Tunze are both very reliable, get excellent reviews from our customers and are used by hobbyists all over the world.  I am confident any one of these will do a great job on our aquarium.

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So help us out and let us know which ATO system you would like to see on the tank by clicking on the pole card in the upper right corner of this video.  Then check back in the next episode to see the results and watch us install the ATO system.

 

 

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