Setting up an auto top off (or ATO) is one of the first pieces of automation added by most reefers. While it is possible to manually add fresh water to replace evaporation daily, most hobbyists find that is both tedious and, often, messy. Not only that but on a small tank, such as the Reef Casa Studio 12, missing one or two days will cause the salinity to fluctuate and this is detrimental to the health of all the tank inhabitants, especially corals and invertebrates. An ATO is a simple and inexpensive way to check this one task off the daily “to do” list.
One of the key components of an ATO system is a reservoir of some sort to hold the fresh water to be used to replace water lost due to evaporation. While any food grade plastic container will work, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is important to find the right size ATO reservoir for the tank. While it might be tempting to just get as large a bucket as you can find and hide it in the cabinet, this can be risky. On the off chance that the ATO pump malfunctions and runs continuously, adding water from a full 5 gallon bucket into a 10 or 12 gallon tank will quickly cause it to overflow, potentially leading to disaster. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that the ATO reservoir is not much larger than 20-25% of the tank water volume. This way, if a malfunction does occur the tank is not likely to overflow and the salinity swing will be manageable.
At Reef Casa we have designed the perfect auto top off reservoir for the Reef Casa Studio 12 tank. The Reef Casa Backpack ATO Reservoir is an industry first “backpack style” ATO reservoir that is designed to fit neatly behind the aquarium. It holds 2 gallons of fresh water, which is the perfect size for the Studio 12 reef tank. Like all Reef Casa products, the Backpack ATO Reservoir is designed to be aesthetically pleasing and to not distract from the clean lines of the tank. Say goodbye to unsightly buckets on the floor or running tubing from under the cabinet and say hello to Reef Casa’s one a kind Backpack ATO Reservoir.