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sphelps
07-26-2012, 04:14 AM
To those using profilux be aware of the following two issues you may or may not be already know of.


Float sensor expires after 2 years weather in use or not. Apparently float sensors should be replaced after two years or they can and are know to fail in the on position. While this is not documented it's treated as something customers already should know. Keep in mind even if the sensor remains unopened in original packaging it can still expire in the same time period.

If an error/alarm is triggered which in turn disables a socket like say the ATO water supply it will automatically reset if the power is temporarily cut. The alarm is not stored in memory. So for example if your float becomes stuck or somehow fails in the on position your maximum on time may not save your tank. This I found very disturbing but after consulting profilux support it seems they are aware of it and fail to see an issue as apparently it's never caused an issue before (pretty sure NASA said something similar about o-rings before :wink:). It may just be me but I kind of think it's a significant flaw that people should at least be aware of.


Anyways while it would be rare for these two issues to act together during a vacation when for whatever reason power was cut several times within a day it can happen.

From this
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a174/sphelps/100G%20Tank%20Build%202011/coral_11.jpg

To this
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a174/sphelps/100G%20Tank%20Build%202011/crash.jpg

Really not looking to point blame what so ever, obviously there are some things I could have implemented or done differently to avoid this but just never saw the need to do so given these two things were not something I was aware of nor are they documented. My intentions here are only to make others ware if these issues. My initial attempt at making profilux aware of the issue didn't go overly well as I attempted to find reasoning for the automatic reset and assurance something would be done to fix it, rather I think they concluded I screwed up by replacing a worn (but working) sensor with what I believed to be new seeing how I purchased it a couple years back but never used it.

Also please, I'm not looking for advice. I know you all have it and would love to chime in but not now, maybe later. Thanks for looking!

Aquattro
07-26-2012, 04:32 AM
****ty..my worst nightmare...

The Grizz
07-26-2012, 04:34 AM
:surprise: OMG!!

Coralgurl
07-26-2012, 04:42 AM
Oh man, my heart breaks for you. No words......

reefermadness
07-26-2012, 04:51 AM
Computers......I dont trust um.

waynemah
07-26-2012, 04:56 AM
... :eek:

Thanks for the heads up.

lockrookie
07-26-2012, 05:19 AM
keep your head high man .. sorry for your losses

Casey8
07-26-2012, 05:31 AM
A real heart breaker to see all the beautiful corals are turning out like that.
Very sorry sphelps.

MarkoD
07-26-2012, 05:46 AM
So much for "Germans make good stuff"

tinman
07-26-2012, 06:18 AM
Read your thread over on the support site all I can say is wow total destruction hard to believe modern tech would let this happen. I leave my tank alone for many days at a time , and i worry all the time the rolling black outs wacked my apex, lucky i was around to catch it and my ato i s a stand alone , it use to be run by the apex but always made me nervous I was thinking on getting one of these maybe I should keep the apex goin for a little longer sorry for your loss hopefully you can some how find a way to rebuild .

TimT
07-26-2012, 07:11 AM
Thanks for the info and so sorry for your loss.

That is my worst nightmare.

Cheers,
Tim

Snappy
07-26-2012, 07:31 AM
Sorry for your losses Steve.

Skimmer King
07-26-2012, 02:25 PM
well Steve i can mail you some frgs of what i have if you want I don't have much not like you have.

Ross
07-26-2012, 03:36 PM
Sorry to hear of the crash.

How much top up water do you figure ended up in the system?
What was the final salinity?

sphelps
07-26-2012, 03:41 PM
I'm thinking around 80-100 gallons, salinity was around 1.015 I think, not sure exactly as a friend of mine noticed the issue before I returned and increased the salinity to more acceptable levels, unfortunately it wasn't soon enough.

Seriak
07-26-2012, 04:57 PM
I feel your pain. Everytime I go on vacation, I cringe at what I might come back to. Sorry for the loss.

Snaz
07-26-2012, 05:44 PM
The float sensor packaging includes a warning about expiration? Does any INCLUDED documentation mention the first sensor expiration? If not, then the manufacturer has no leg to stand on here.

Sorry for your losses.

sphelps
07-26-2012, 06:12 PM
The float sensor packaging includes a warning about expiration? Does any INCLUDED documentation mention the first sensor expiration? If not, then the manufacturer has no leg to stand on here.

Sorry for your losses.

No it does not although profilux support claims they have mentioned something regarding replacement of sensors somewhere on RC and they seem to feel that's adequate. I had the original sensor working for close to 5 years without issue and only recently replaced it as it was looking pretty worn. The new sensor failed within months and apparently according to profilux is a result from it expiring while it remained in original packaging for close to 2 years. This to me would suggest cheap components or poor quality control which goes against Profilux claims of high quality products. However as far as I'm concerned the main issue is the automatic reset, sensors can fail or get stuck so you can't rely on them, the back up alarm should deactivate the ATO and it should stay inactive until manually reset. This is how it's documented so I would have assumed the automatic reset was something Profilux was not aware of and perhaps just a firmware issue, however support staff seemed fully aware of it but don't agree there is an issue. Rather after some insulting "very obvious" conclusions (which they have now removed all trace of) they pointed blame toward user error and bragged about unparalleled support while offering warranty replacement of an obviously cheap sensor. Would have been nice if they recognized these two issues as something more serious and at least made some kind of attempt to let other users know.

sphelps
07-26-2012, 07:28 PM
For those interested in a semi-solution to help prevent this failure you can set your ATO to not always be active and use a timer to control when it can activate. This is easily done within level sensor settings. Set the timer to activate once a day for just slightly longer than it would need to for worst case evaporation. This essentially replaces the max on time so you set that to 0 to deactivate or still use it how you see fit. For example you could set max on time to your evaporation limit of say 5min while setting the timer to activate for 5-1/2 min. This way you still get an alarm and deactivation if you want it. Otherwise you you can deactivate the max on time and set timer to activate for 5min. The advantage here if you do have a float failure and you're away from home top off water will still be added daily at a rate just slightly over the needed amount but will likely take several days before an issue would surface. While if the alarm feature is used your top off remains deactivated until reset which could also cause issues depending how long it goes unnoticed and how long your tank can run without top off supply.

With either approach the tank will be protected against the fluke occurrence of constant power outages during float failure.

Of course you can also limit the amount of fresh water supply available which most people do but for those people who use a large supply to hold the tank over for an extended or infinite period of time this feature should prove useful.

Bblinks
07-26-2012, 07:52 PM
Sorry for your loses. If in anyway I can help you out with restarting please do not hesitate to ask. I have a good selection of sps corals that I can frag you a piece of each and as long as you pay for shipping I am willing to ship free of charge.

There is a reason why a lot of us including dealers that do not like to deal with certain supplier/s. When you are purchasing something they seem to be your best friend and once something goes wrong all of sudden you become a free loader. It's never the product but the end user's fault!

Anyways let me know.

sphelps
07-26-2012, 08:00 PM
Thanks to everyone for the generous offers, I've received lots of messages and replies that I'm truly grateful for. At this time I just want to focus on cleaning up the mess and restoring water chemistry which will probably take some time. After that I want to focus on fixing and identifying addition issues while adding more monitoring features that will serve useful during future vacations and travels. Then I will consider a path forward regarding livestock but this will probably be far in the future as I have many other pressing matters to deal with and I've already invested far too much money and time into this tank this year already.

Myka
07-26-2012, 08:26 PM
Ugh, that second pic is hard to look at Steve. :( Thanks for the heads up on the controller issue.

No it does not although profilux support claims they have mentioned something regarding replacement of sensors somewhere on RC and they seem to feel that's adequate.

That is inadequate. I don't go on RC, and I know hundreds of reefers who don't use forums at all. If there is a "known expiry" the item should be contained in a bag with an expiration sticker (or sticker on box).

However as far as I'm concerned the main issue is the automatic reset, sensors can fail or get stuck so you can't rely on them, the back up alarm should deactivate the ATO and it should stay inactive until manually reset.

I consider this to be a major flaw, and definitely a huge overlook. Do you know if other controllers have the same flaw? If other controllers also have this flaw maybe that is why Profilux feels it is a non-issue.

sphelps
07-26-2012, 08:40 PM
I'm not familiar with other controllers so I can't comment

tinman
07-26-2012, 09:12 PM
i have ordered many float switches through neptune's recomended supplier and not once have they mentioned an expire date, only to examine the float portion for leaks and that most floats fail open, so set them up for closed operation if possible. sooo...........

STANKYfish
07-26-2012, 09:33 PM
Well, well, well!!!! After reading this about the ATO, i now understand why my top up problem was happening!!! :sad::sad::sad: (could not find MAD)
My significant other, Shane, has taken a job out of town and left me in charge of our 210g reef and 4 other smaller saltie tanks. I know enough to hopefully keep all up and running. The first day he is gone the sump fills level right to the very rim, almost overflowing. I think maybe a fish has jumped into the overflow and plugged the water flow. i dunno. Another member comes over to have a look, he thinks maybe the ato, but i say Oh no that is programmed by the Profilux. He suggests that i manually fill the water as needed. Anyway water slowly goes down, i keep an eye on things, talk with Shane, he says it has run flawlessly for 1yr and wonders maybe the water level in the ato bucket was higher then he normally has and that is what is causing this. I continue to keep an eye on the level that he has marked, just above the senor, ato seems to be doing its job and if not i add manually. Then yesterday am i take a look everything is fine, i come down to go outside and water is flowing out all over the floor!!!!! The brute bucket is completely empty. I pull the plugs connecting the ato and start cleanup. Even empting most out of sump. Salt level is down a bit,will raise that, but fish and corals ok. Luckly i was home. He will not be too happy knowing that it was the Profilux malfuctioning that was the problem.
I can not believe that Profilux was aware of this and did nothing, they should be found liable for the destruction in your (any) tank. These units are not cheap, price wise anyway, and people put their trust in the name.
So sorry to see the devastion in your tank that was caused by this product.

sphelps
07-26-2012, 11:24 PM
Stanky, you might be looking at a bit of a different issue than I'm discussing here. I think you may experiencing a more typical issue of the float becoming temporarily stuck and your max on time is set too high.

First check your float switch:

Using the 5 button section on your profilux controller do the following:
Press the left direction arrow button
Scroll through the options with the up or down arrow buttons until you see "level"
Press the center or enter button
Again scroll through the options until you see "diagnostic"
Press the center or enter button

Now you will see a number "1" and a number "2" each with either a "-" or "X" next to them. Your float should be corresponding to # 1 with "-" meaning on and "X" meaning off. Moving the float up and down should switch between these. If moving the float shows no response then you likely have a completely failed float.


Next check your max on time

Repeat step above until you enter the level menu again but instead of diagnostic scroll and enter "sensor settings"
It'll ask what sensor to either, using up and down arrow buttons pick the number that was previously responding which should be 1
Next select "auto top off"
Next it will ask "auto top off always" answer yes for now
Next it will ask "reaction time", 10 seconds is probably a good number for now
Next it will ask "Max on time" this is the key, what does it say now? Given you're using a pump and bucket type ATO 1 min is probably all you need if that. You can determine this number better in the next step
Next it will ask "Aut. error reset", select no
Next it will ask "Input reverse", select no
Next it will ask "Save now", select yes


Now the tricky part.

You need to determine an appropriate max on time for the top off. Something that's long enough to top the tank off but not long enough to cause issues. Plug the top off pump into a powered socket and time how long it takes to pump water from the bottom of the float to the top of the float/ Should be a good bench mark for a max on time.
Once an appropriate time is established repeat the previous step and update the max on time.

muck
07-26-2012, 11:28 PM
Sorry to see this thread... and sorry for your losses Steve. :sad:

Thanks for bringing this to the attention of us all. I agree with Mindy as well, posting a statement about replacing sensors on RC only is not acceptable. I haven't been on RC for ages myself, and never would have known.

Good tip about putting the ATO on a timed setting as well.


Ryan

Casey8
07-27-2012, 12:25 AM
I think this thread should be a sticky thread, because it will help someone to prevent this kind of disaster for using this controller, or planning to get one in the future. Like me, I was looking to buy a used one for myself, but now I have changed my mind about it after reading this. Thanks sphelps.

Slick Fork
07-27-2012, 12:29 AM
That after pic is devastating to see. So sorry to read about this. I don't have a lot of stuff but you're welcome to anything you need when the time comes.

This might be a dumb question, but how does a float sensor expire in a sealed from the factory bag? I understand perfectly how salt water gums up ones in use. But I'm just not understanding how a piece of plastic and metal goes bad just sitting there.

I have all sorts of computerized equipment that sits around for years, and years, and years and it doesn't expire. How does GHL/Profilux run a manufacturing business if you can't inventory your product. I doubt they are making float valves "on-demand". What if someone buys a float valve that sat in their warehouse for 3 years...

sphelps
07-27-2012, 01:03 AM
It didn't make a whole lot of sense to me either, I'm not entire sure how they can keep track of dealer inventory to prevent the sale of old sensors. Even if inventory of such products is extremely low unless everything is properly rotated there is no way one could insure such things.

GHL provide a 1 year warranty for float sensors as they do degenerate even when not used, the magnets can lose effectiveness and the actuators stick especially when not used.

STANKYfish
07-27-2012, 03:19 AM
[quote=sphelps;733669]Stanky, you might be looking at a bit of a different issue than I'm discussing here. I think you may experiencing a more typical issue of the float becoming temporarily stuck and your max on time is set too high.

Oopps, you are right, just talked to Shane shortly after writing and he informed me that it is not the same issue :redface: Thank you so much for taking the time to give me instructions to fix my problem. I will now leave your thread :redface::smile:

Snaz
07-27-2012, 03:45 AM
It didn't make a whole lot of sense to me either, I'm not entire sure how they can keep track of dealer inventory to prevent the sale of old sensors. Even if inventory of such products is extremely low unless everything is properly rotated there is no way one could insure such things.

The only way a magnet can lose it's force is by physical shock or interference by another magnetic field as far as I know. Certainly time does not cause a magnet to decay.

This response and that they said the warning regarding this issue is "somewhere on the RC forums" leads me to conclude I will never use this or any product by this company. Disgusting.

StirCrazy
07-27-2012, 04:11 AM
that sucks, kinda like when Brad was watching my tanks while I was away and the night be for I left I started the RO to top off my frag tank and forgot about it... Brad came over the next day to a river running out the garage...


soooo... my real question is... and I am glad now I never bought the proflux, but if they don't put an expiry date on the sensor, how do you know how old it is when you buy it? I have been to a couple stores that have them on the shelves... so what if they have had it for 18 months already be for you get it...

as for posting on RC.. thats a bunch of ^$#%$# I haven't been there in over two years and don't plan on going back there ever again. no point in putting up with a slow over crowed board that 85% of the posts are flames...

Steve

christyf5
07-27-2012, 04:46 AM
Aw man, that is heartbreaking to see :neutral: I'm glad to hear you aren't giving up though.

Thanks for posting the info on the float sensor. Mine was about 4 years old before I even started using it. Its an Aquatronica though, no idea if that means anything, they're probably all made in the same factory.

Zoaelite
07-27-2012, 04:49 AM
This response and that they said the warning regarding this issue is "somewhere on the RC forums" leads me to conclude I will never use this or any product by this company. Disgusting.

Couldn't agree more, I've been staring at that after photo and I'm starting to get sick. Steve I'm so sorry for your loss man, you had one of the nicest LPS collections out there :sad:, once your set I have a few zoa frags if your looking to get into the territory.

I will personally never purchase a Proflux after reading this, with that kind of customer service I'm surprised the brand is large as it is. I would hope a certain rep. on here could flex his muscles and get some compensation on your end, *cough*.

Matthias Gross
07-27-2012, 07:47 AM
Hello,

I am the owner of GHL/ProfiLux and the main developer of the firmware, I've been working on the firmware now for about 14 years. I think I now every bit and byte of the firmware.

A few ProfiLux users pointed me to this thread, or better to this Anti-ProfiLux campaign.

Usually we don't comment every post about our products, but this case needs some clarification. The only aim of this thread is to damage the reputation of our products. We understand that someone gets angry and disappointed when he had losses and that he needs someone he can blame for it and we really feel sorry for what has happened.

BUT: I have to state clearly that GHL (or the ProfiLux-products) is not responsible for this problems!

To have dozens of power-cuts in a few days is not a normal operating condition - most electric devices would have problems with this! Had the electricity supplier also been blamed for the problems which happened? Is it wise to leave a tank without any personal supervision? Every technology can fail, failures can be caused by powercuts, surges, water in the device (which happens very often!) or just bad settings or a snake sitting in the floater.

This happened:
- the setting for the max. on-time for the ATO was not adequate for this system - 20 minutes are way too much!
- the tank has been too long without someone looking after it (when I am out of town I have always someone who is looking daily after everything in the house, I am sure most people do the same)

If power-cuts are "normal" in this area a UPS is a must-have.

Talking about the firmware
Yes, the error is reset after a power-cycle. Most users wanted exactly this behaviour for many reasonable reasons. No, I don't make here now a list of this reasons or start another discussion about this function. If interested in this topic than visit our forum http://forum.aquariumcomputer.com/forum.php
The time-out function has been working in this way for 14 years now - never ever anyone had a problem with it, and we are talking about some thousand ProfiLux users.

What will GHL learn from this?
1. we added more warnings and security hints in our manuals, like "don't leave your tank alone too long" and we mentioned it clearer in bold letters that error states are reset after a power-cut
2. I consider to make this behaviour - reset error after powercycle - adjustable



Again, we are very sorry hearing that this happened to one of our customers. But we have to refuse the responsibility for this.
However, if we can help you with some discounts or products for free then send me an email, I will see what we can do.

PS:
The warranty period starts with selling the product to the end customer and not when the customer decides to use a product. How will a manufacturer know when the customer really started to use a product? I think this common and normal for every product you can buy and nothing special for GHL products. Or does Samsung replace you a TV-set after 4 years when you state that you didn't use it the first 3 years? I don't think so.

Matthias Gross
07-27-2012, 08:00 AM
I think we have to correct this also

Float sensor expires after 2 years weather in use or not. While this is not documented it's treated as something customers already should know. Keep in mind even if the sensor remains unopened in original packaging it can still expire in the same time period.

complete nonsense - why should float sensors expire? My float-sensors had been working now for 6 years without a problem.

Apparently float sensors should be replaced after two years or they can and are know to fail in the on position.
Who tells these stories? Not true at all!

And we never said that you could read these things in RC.

All we have to say about sensor in general is here:
http://www.aquariumcomputer.com/System__E_/Products/Probes_and_accessories/probes_and_accessories.html

There is not one word about expiring level sensors!

gregzz4
07-27-2012, 08:21 AM
Very nice to see you here Matthias

... The only aim of this thread is to damage the reputation of our products ...
In defence of the OP, they were, in no way, trying to damage the reputation of ProfiLux
It was made very clear from the start that the OP was only wanting to warn other users of the product that a catastrophic failure could occur

If you read the end of the first post, you will find this ...
Really not looking to point blame what so ever, obviously there are some things I could have implemented or done differently to avoid this but just never saw the need to do so given these two things were not something I was aware of nor are they documented. My intentions here are only to make others ware if these issues. My initial attempt at making profilux aware of the issue didn't go overly well as I attempted to find reasoning for the automatic reset and assurance something would be done to fix it, rather I think they concluded I screwed up by replacing a worn (but working) sensor with what I believed to be new seeing how I purchased it a couple years back but never used it.

Also please, I'm not looking for advice. I know you all have it and would love to chime in but not now, maybe later. Thanks for looking!

I see nothing there that is damaging to ProfiLux
On the contrary, all I see is the OP taking full responsibility for the issue

I will leave the rest of the comments to the OP, but, again, it is really nice to have you here and hopefully your comments about the float sensors will clear up some issues

Matthias Gross
07-27-2012, 08:30 AM
yes, maybe you are right about the aim of this thread

if this is the case then I apologize and take it back

I don't want to attack the OP in any way, and again I am very sorry for what has happened
but I have to defence the company and the products

you can see the result - regardless what the original aim was: the reaction of some shows that they got now the impression the ProfiLux is the worst thing in the world....

the debate about "expiring floater sensors" is also not OK, there are statements which are just not true

lockrookie
07-27-2012, 08:31 AM
i dont think the OP intended for this thread to be a boycott of your products just a warning to ppl of what can happen with your product.. it is up to the veiwers of teh thread to makeup thier own decisions can computers fail yes.. from what i read the OP did hve ppl checking the tank daily and it was caught tried to save it but too late... and im sorry but ppl work are you saying that im a bad reefer because i leave my tank unattended 8 hours a day with no supervision. maybe i should quit my job..thats why we have a controller to babysit for us. it could happen to me with my apex or RKL... facts i know from this thread is this his controller screwed up.. due to a power flux or whatever and his tank is buggered. should it have screwed up... maybe as the owner i would want to replace the system and get his system in for testing to see why it did what it did rather than say not my fault.. to ensure future or existing customers never have this issue again.. but thats just my opinion... rather than trynng to make th OP look like a fool.. listen to the end users work with them and work towards a safer controller for teh long run

but thats just me rant over

lockrookie
07-27-2012, 08:33 AM
greg beat me to it.. was typing slow and i see the apology

Matthias Gross
07-27-2012, 08:38 AM
I agree - and we don't want to make look anyone as a fool

but you understand that I have to mention my view

we always listen to what our customers say and we try to improve the firmware permanently - that's why we have already firmware 5.14 ... (in average a monthly update)

yes, we also learned our lesson, see my first post what we want to do in order to avoid this kind of desaster in the future

lockrookie
07-27-2012, 08:49 AM
in the end it is your company and you must to what best for your company and i saw what you wish to do for the OP. but the person he spoke to on thephone or email may have had no thoughts of such a thing. sometimes as owners (i have to do this in my business alot) is take a loss for the better good. go the extra mile.. fromm that you will get a better repore than you already have with your product

you seem like a decent guy by the apollogy. and i understand you are defending your brand/reputation. just think of how you yourself would feel.. frustrated..upset.. to the point of giving up.. just a small gesture towards rebuilding ...not saying replace his whole tank..would make your company a hero...im sure the OP will apprecaite the apology and i will leave it at that and let you two deal with ech other and work this out

cheers
jeff

gregzz4
07-27-2012, 09:03 AM
As Jeff stated, hopefully you will help the OP some ... :smile:
After all, he has been quite polite and lost a tank full of wonderful critters

Matthias Gross
07-27-2012, 09:18 AM
yes, we will help him, I just need a message (maybe he needs a Mitras or something else)

but the person he spoke to on thephone or email may have had no thoughts of such a thing

you must know that nobody from our company was in direct touch with him

I assume the communication was with a retailer or a distributor

lockrookie
07-27-2012, 09:35 AM
you must know that nobody from our company was in direct touch with him



I assume the communication was with a retailer or a distributor

I'm glad you will help him he is a great guy and a great asset to the reefing community. Hopefully you can find out who miss informed him and set the dealer/distributor straight as well. All this could have been avoided or at least some of it.

Skimmate happens its how the mess is cleaned up that counts. And from me you have impressed me not too many product owners will come out and take the time for explanation.. Nevermind care.. I'm sure other posters will change their thoughts after reading this. If the op takes a mitras... Could be win win for both if he does a review at the same time.. Just saying... :)

gregzz4
07-27-2012, 10:10 AM
This is good news
Now, you and the OP can work something out and hopefully Steve will feel better when the smoke clears

I'd hate to see him leave the hobby, although this was a pretty bad crash

Good on you Matthias for stepping up and offering to help him out :smile:

Aqua-Digital
07-27-2012, 01:44 PM
It seems something has got badly out of hand from our support forum, the original thread can be found here

http://profiluxsupport.com/showthread.php?211-Automatic-Alarm-Reset

It is important to clarify few points that have come to light in this since talking with GHL this morning that they were not aware of.

We sent the photo of the faulty sensor to GHL since the post here (GHL was not aware of the original support case on our forum) and we were informed this sensor was last manufactured 4 years ago.

Our advice on the thread remains, float sensors are mechanical, they do wear out and our advice is to replace them after two years, furthermore as a company GHL have no way of determining the quality of the product that has been stored for long periods, some reasons for this are that the actuator can weaken or stick if stored for long periods in the on position, in regards to magnet degeneration, yes this is highly unlikely, but “could” happen, the purpose of mentioning this is to highlight that stored items of this nature can be effected by external forces and it can not be assumed after two years it will work the same way as it did when new whether used or not, this is why warranties start from date of purchase, not date of use.

We have offered the OP a new sensor even though it was out of warranty (by approx 3 years), this was refused sadly (please read the thread), however our offer remains.

I am sorry to see this thread had to come to light when not all facts were presented.

Naturally we hate to see such upset and I hope it is now clear both GHL and ourselves have offered and done all we can to advise and assist even by offering replacement of out of warranty items.

I think Matthias ha kindly covered all other areas such as multiple power outages etc.

Again - we are very sorry to here about the losses and will of course help the OP out in replacing the sensor as a gesture of kindness irrelevant of its age.

Aqua-Digital
07-27-2012, 03:05 PM
My intentions here are only to make others ware if these issues. My initial attempt at making profilux aware of the issue didn't go overly well as I attempted to find reasoning for the automatic reset and assurance something would be done to fix it, rather I think they concluded I screwed up by replacing a worn (but working) sensor with what I believed to be new seeing how I purchased it a couple years back but never used it.

I felt it important to clarify this, I apologise for the repeat post but by the time I saw this I could not edit further.

When the thread came to light we also did post on the support thread that feedback would be provided to GHL in regards to an option for power outage non auto alarm reset.

In regards to vunerability, although this is not assurance to you, this is the first ever reported case we or GHL have had in 11 years, as typically as system does not need such a long top off period, but as I first stated I have already passed your feedback onto GHL and you are welcome to do the same on the German support forum.

Again we are really sorry to hear about such losses and as a gesture we will do all we can to make the OP feel very much assured and looked after as always :)

BigAl07
07-27-2012, 03:49 PM
I’m sorry to see this happen to you and your tank. It really is sad regardless of the cause and hopefully we can learn from this and go forward as a reefing community and be better for it.


I have to say I was impressed with the input, concern, and support from both Aqua Digital and GHL on this matter. This shows the level of care and support they are willing to give to even an individual customer. On the flip side I think it could have been avoided with a few changes to the set-up.
I’ve been an avid ProfiLux user for many years now and as such (like so many of us) we go on and on about remote access and monitoring via the controller itself. I’ve taken some long vacations and even with my controller working as it should I make sure all my email notifications and alert are working as planned before I leave the house. I go through my own personal “Equipment Checklist” trying to test each “system” before I leave for a trip. Also the house I just moved out of had a terrible problems with the electric company (power outage almost daily sometimes 5-6 times a day… we stopped setting out digital clocks while we lived there) and as such after the first couple of days living there I put my ProfiLux onto a UPS. Not to carry it through a long power outage but to help level out the incoming power blips and keep the system from going through multiple power cuts a day. This was probably the best $75 I ever spent on my system. It was “Life Support” for my tank’s Life Support. The 4 year old sensor didn’t help matters which I see they are willing to replace that and whatever else the OP And GHL work out. The “Auto Reset” issue is being looked at and I’m glad to see they are keeping an open mind about potentially making changes to their firmware to help avoid this in the future.



Even with all the fail-safes in the world there is no substitute for “Human Intervention” which is why remote access is so important. Being able to get a snapshot of your system status is extremely important regardless of which controller you’re running. ProfiLux has allowed for multiple options for remote access/control for the very reason that the posted situation would not arise.



I’m sorry this happened to you and I plan to watch your tank thread(s) to hopefully see your system bounce back and be better than ever before. Hopefully it’s a learning experience for all of us and can teach us a few lessons: a) regardless of the # or type of fail-safe systems involved we must all make sure everything is in top order before leaving b) make sure we can have total remote access of all vital criteria (alerts etc) before leaving c) the importance of electronic devices being “isolated” from repeated on/off cycles due to power fluctuations d) when I get home tonight I’m going to take some time to go through my ProfiLux and make sure my max ATO run-time is minimal to keep this from happening.

I look forward to seeing your system recover from this and flourish like I’m sure it will in time. I live a LONG way from you but if there is anything I can do to help I’d be willing to give it a shot. I’ve had crashes before and it was the reefing community that kept me going when I wanted to just quit it and forget it! If there is anything I can do please don’t hesitate to drop me a PM and I’ll reply right back.

BigAl

sphelps
07-27-2012, 04:35 PM
This is not an anti-profilux campaign, from the start here my goal was very clear to make others Profilux users, many of which I consider friends, aware of what I believe to be an issue. However I have no control how others choose to use this information. I have provided only fact or exactly what I was told by support staff to which I can only assume to be fact.

To come here and instantly state my intentions being only to damage Profilux clearly illustrates Profilux owner failed to even read the first post of this thread. It's also insulting to a customer who has been with Profilux virtually from the start and at times aiding in many sales, setup and support. Be aware I also received comments from support staff that I found insulting however these have since been removed and even my posts on the support forum were edited which may have made my comments look overly full of frustration while the only real frustration came from first being insulted and the issue being shrugged off as user error. In addition I can conclude all Profilux staff has failed to even fully understand the issue as despite my numerous attempts of stating reasoning for my max on time it's continuously blamed as an issue. Top off water is added slowly, 10min has prematurely set off alarms in the past on summer days, 20min is a perfectly reasonable number given how my system operates. Increasing flow rate and decreasing on time will do absolutely nothing in regards to this issue. While support staff claims to attempting to propose solutions, in my eyes their goal seemed more related to pointing blame which is not a solution. If you're looking for an example of an actual solution I posted one in this thread.

In regards to a float sensor, again I've said numerous times, I don't care. I found it alarming that such things can expire which is I pointed it out as one of the issues people should be aware of. The fact the owner of the company calls this complete nonsense and then reverts back stating otherwise after discovering what support staff has stated is rather amusing. Also be aware support staff strongly felt the use of stored sensor was a clear issue and the key to whole failure, not something they just had to say because in extremely rare cases it could happen. Also note according to GHL sensor is 4 years old while I purchased it approximately 2 years ago. I have no intention of getting retailers involved but just be aware obviously inventory of such devices are not controlled despite what support staff suggests. At the very least adding a date of manufacture that the rest of the world can understand might not be a bad idea.

In regards to the real issue I'm glad revisions are being made which is what I wanted. It's obvious without such a thread nothing would have been done. Again I have no intentions of destroying Profilux reputation or boycotting nor do I have interest in compensation or warranty replacement.

My initial attempts on the profilux support forum were to first find out out if what I believe to be an issue is related to perhaps just a firmware bug or perhaps just something only relating to my device alone. If this was not the case I thought pointing out some issues would be in the best interest of everyone and my hopes were profilux staff would take this more seriously and at least notify both the public and the owner of the company. As I suspected they did neither hence why I left that site and came here. I also wanted a reason to why something as critical as an error alarm can be so easily reset, obviously there is a reason for this as the the developer has now stated yet I still wait for it. If the reason is sound stating it would justify it's existence perhaps turning what I consider a flaw into a feature I just wasn't aware of.

As a professional engineer I have obligations towards public interest in all aspects of my life, not doing my best to make the public aware of this goes against not only these ethical obligations but also my personal beliefs.

Aqua-Digital
07-27-2012, 04:48 PM
I am so sorry to read your reply and I am sure just like myself you want a conclusion, my only reason for reply is to highlight a very important point that seems to be the most frustrating for you.

You mention we did nothing to highlight your concern to GHL. This is not correct as we point out above. We listened to you and we immediately informed GHL. I am happy to forward you our email to GHL.

From there GHL has posted on here and reported to us they will look into an option being implemented.

As I suspected they did neither hence why I left that site and came here.

From our forum as a reply

To date we have never had a single issue with this (please check all forums for any related cases for reasurance) but I will of course and as always pass on your concerns.

In regards to vunerability, although this is not assurance to you, this is the first ever reported case we or GHL have had in 11 years, as typically as system does not need such a long top off period, but as I first stated I have already passed your feedback onto GHL and you are welcome to do the same on the German support forum.


I or GHL do not wish to see your frustration go on and on, we have offered to you help, stated your requested feature update will be looked into. I hope you see our support and efforts as genuine as they are.

Seriak
07-27-2012, 04:49 PM
After reading through both posts I have to agree with the OP. He mentioned numerous times that sensors fail and that is a part of life and has no problem with the fact that his sensor failed (Other than the expiry issue or non issue depending on who you are talking to) The real problem is why the alarm gets reset after a power failure. Maybe we should do a poll, but IMO I would want the alarm to remain in memory after a power on/off cycle instead of having it reset. All alarms should have to be reset manually. Now if the majority of other users want it to reset after a power outage, then it should clearly state in the manual that a power failure will reset the alarm. A toggle switch would even be better, so we could choose.

Aqua-Digital
07-27-2012, 04:54 PM
100% correct and as above copied parts of the thread these comments were passed onto GHL and most certainly not overlooked.

GHL have also posted here they will look into this.

This is my last post on the subject to save it all getting out of hand. Our support remains personal and direct with the OP from here on.

Skimmer King
07-27-2012, 05:10 PM
yes, we will help him, I just need a message (maybe he needs a Mitras or something else)



you must know that nobody from our company was in direct touch with him

I assume the communication was with a retailer or a distributor

Amazing support thank you for your input and I would take a Mitras too. for my RSM 250:mrgreen:

sphelps
07-27-2012, 05:29 PM
I also have no interest GHL support issues further at this point. Regardless what happened I would like to keep focus the two issues I originally outlined.

1 - Float sensor:
Can we confirm what is required here as I'm still unclear resulting from many different opinions being stated.
Is it the recommendation of Profilux to replace these sensors every two years or not?
Is shelf life an actual issue? I originally assumed I had a clearly defective part which happens no doubt but it's very rare. It was previously suggested even a non defective part can or will degrade if not used immediately from factory.

2 - Auto Reset:
I would still like an answer regarding the reasoning for this especially now as it's been stated there is one due to user request. I see no reason why this can't be posted here but if you insist on posted only on the profilux support site then do so under the thread I previously posted already asking this exact question but be aware I will post response here regardless.
IMO this feature of auto reset would be very specialized, I still cannot see a single reason for it hence my curiosity. It would definitely make more sense to me to have such a feature as option through user programming however the default should not to have such feature active.

In regards to some solutions mentioned numerous times I'd like to make a few comments:

Email alerts: I don't feel this would overly useful in such a circumstance. First my vacation took place in remote location in another country. I had extremely limited access to internet and constantly attempting to check emails through the day would have ruined the vacation completely. I may have been able to use data roaming on my cell but keeping that active the entire time would have cost more than the resulting damages. Also I have a profilux II not III which I understand has better abilities with web interfaces. From my understanding, with my version a computer would have to connected continuously with the software running. First of all I've had communication errors from regular short interval programming so in no way would I consider this reliable and any power outage would cause the PC to shut down. You would need a dedicated PC with UPS at the very least.

Remote monitoring: Not a solution either, even if I could perform such monitoring if I can checked at some point during the day it would have easily been after a power outage in the brief time before an alarm was re-triggered giving the appearance of things operating normally. In addition even if I can see the ATO alarm has been set I have no way of knowing how severe the issue is. Remember I have no clue about automatic resets at this time. The only way this would be useful is with conductivity monitoring which I actually do have but to assume all profilux users have this rather expensive upgrade is not fare and again having to check on your system so frequently would be considered a nuisance at the very least.

Max on time: Again it's based on flow rate, increasing flow rate and decreasing max on time would produce the same results. The max on time must be long enough to effectively top of the tank in worst case evaporation circumstances. As such repeatedly adding this max amount of top off water within a short time period will cause issues on most systems regardless.

Aqua-Digital
07-27-2012, 05:38 PM
Hi

Please email us and we will happily reply to all your questions and concerns.

sales@aqua-digital.com

If you wish to continue your thread on by publishing our reply I am happy for you to do so.

Slick Fork
07-27-2012, 06:54 PM
I'm also very curious regarding the sensor and the official word on replacing it. Replacing one that's been subject to a salt water environment for a few years seems pretty reasonable. Having one degrade (maybe decompose is a better word) does not seem reasonable. I have a telephone in my office that is 20 years old, has moved from one end of the country to the other, and was made in China. Works like brand new. If a cheap chinese produced telephone can last through 20 years of abuse, I can't see the reason a simple float switch that's touted as being made of super high quality german parts should degrade in a plastic bag.

If degradation is the case, then GHL absolutely needs to put an easily readable date stamp on the retail packaging so that as a customer when I am buying one I know that it came out of the factory on X date and I can reasonably expect Y amount of time.

FWIW my float sensor sat in the bag in my basement for 3 years before I got around to installing it. Has worked fine now for two years in operation.

It's also very curious that they are moving this out of the public light and insisting on clarifying these things via email only. Given the attention this thread has received, I would've guessed keeping everything out in the public so there's no confusion to be a much better move for PR reasons as well. Refusing to definitively answer some pretty general questions in this thread just doesn't look good.

sphelps
07-27-2012, 07:44 PM
So everyone following is aware I have taken the advice of Profilux staff to conduct further discussion regarding these issues through email. This will allow them to respond more effectively and directly to the actual questions rather than trying to run damage support from comments made from other members. Once I have gotten all the answers to these questions and feel the responses are adequate in explanation I will post results.

Until then I suggest you simply be aware of the issues I've outlined and consider the solution I previously posted.

apexifd
07-27-2012, 11:19 PM
Now.. I have a question.

How about the Profilux optical switch??? Is there any sort of issue I should know about with the optical sensors??

intarsiabox
07-28-2012, 05:27 AM
this is why warranties start from date of purchase, not date of use.

We have offered the OP a new sensor even though it was out of warranty (by approx 3 years), this was refused sadly (please read the thread), however our offer remains.


The sensor was only purchased 2 years ago but you're saying the warranty was up over 3 years ago before the item was even purchased. So which is it, warranty starts from mfg date or purchase date? I sure some readers would like to be reassured that they are not buying brand new products with the warranty already expired before the sale has gone through.

Aqua-Digital
07-28-2012, 11:49 AM
ONLY to clarify warranites - GHL warranty document is available to you by email sales@aqua-digital.com or visit our forum

As said above by us and the OP we are not posting any further on this thread. We are available by email for any further concerns anyone may have. We have an open disclosure policy with such things so the requester is more than capable and in their rights of posting their gained reply in the public domain for complete transparacy but, we are not going into open debate on public or non official support forums, this is not how proper support is provided by any company.

We appreciate any concern or support case and will be answered 7 days a week, by email at sales@aqua-digital.com or on one of the support fourms.

Matthias Gross
07-28-2012, 04:03 PM
This is the official statement from me (GHL):
- The floater or optical sensor don't expire when lying on the shelf! Correct storage assumed.
- pH- or redox electrodes do have an expiry date (no suprise I guess)

and no, there is not a common issue with the opto-levels

Was this clear enough?

I hope all the confusion has been cleared up now.

This is my last comment to this topic here, all further discussions will be between spshelps and us directly.

sphelps
07-28-2012, 04:14 PM
I'll add this which is the response I got from Michael Hall

We (Aqua Digital) personally recommend that float sensors are changed every two years when in use due to the harsh nature they are working in. However sensors unused need to be carefully checked for any degradation prior to use,(cable gone hard, actuator stuck in on position, cat chewed the cable) for these reasons the manufacturer can not assure reliability, If they could then warranties would start from time of use not time of purchase. So we advise caution when using such stored parts and would go as far as saying do not store critical parts for later use. One obvious reason would be if it turned out to be faulty your warranty would have expired.

Slick Fork
07-28-2012, 07:58 PM
Thank you Matthias and Michael for clearing that up. I don't think any reasonable person would expect a warranty to start from date of use rather than date of purchase (or if a cat ate the cable!). Your recommendation on not storing parts long term for the simple reason of ensuring warranty coverage in case of a rare faulty part is also quite good.

Thank you as well Sphelps for posting the followup and keeping the focus in this thread on real issues/concerns and not letting it degenerate into a flame fest. This thread has been very informative and caused me to double check everything on my profilux ATO!

DiverDude
07-28-2012, 08:27 PM
This has been an interesting read. However, I can't help but notice that there is an important concept being ignored and that is that the Profilux device is a life support system; albeit for fish and invertebrates and not humans, it is still largely responsible for the well being of these creatures.

As a life support system, there is a requirement that it accept failures of sensors and respond in a known, predictable manner. There is a limit to what can be done in firmware, but sphelps' tips on max timer settings (or similar) should be in the manual.

The manufacturer should be aware that the product can't do everything in every conceivable situation -but often, how the unit is programmed can mitigate catastrophic situations.

Perhaps the most important 'lesson' to be learned is not to rely entirely on ANY system. As Mathias is no doubt aware, no system is perfect and as users we should always plan based on the premise that it WILL fail (and hope that it doesn't). With that in mind, it makes sense that the USER regularly inspect and replace mission-critical components that wear and are known to be prone to failure (given the environment). Even the highest quality products can fail unexpectedly; simply paying more for an item does not guarantee it will last longer than a lesser item.

Considering how sphelps went to great pains to present an informative and level description of a product shortcoming (with detailed insight on how to work around it to boot !) might cause a serious problem for others with this equipment, I am disappointed that some members took this to mean that the Profilux product is 'no good' -and even more disappointed how the commercial interests have responded. Leveler heads should have prevailed.

Myka
07-28-2012, 11:16 PM
In all of this I see two flaws...

1) Tank was left unattended for too long (if you value your tank someone should check it daily).

2) Alarms should have to be manually reset (that's really basic engineering).



In the end though, it's all about redundancy. Redundancy is the only insurance we have. No way on Earth would I have my system set up in a way that would allow that much freshwater (or dosing fluids) to be pumped into the display. I think sometimes we rely on computers and gadgets too much, and put too much faith in them.

My system is designed so that if my freshwater bin gets pumped dry for some reason the sump can even hold all the volume so I wouldn't even have a wet floor. The top off bin needs to be refilled every second or third day, and that's fine by me because it's a safe way to do it. I cringe when people have their top off system hooked up to unlimited supplies of water. It's an accident waiting to happen. My dosing canisters are small; I have large premixed containers that I use to refill the dosing canisters once a week. My dosing pumps have dosed a whole weeks' worth of fluid in about 8 hours which ran the dosing canister dry. This was not enough to cause significant reactions. The redundancy I have implemented means I have to "do stuff" with the tank more often, but I have a lot of time, money, and energy in that glass box so it is worth it to me. When I go on holidays an aquarium maintenance company checks my tanks 1-2 times per day. It's not cheap, but neither are the corals in the tank! :p

Myka
07-28-2012, 11:32 PM
I don't mean to sound insensitive at all, I feel really awful for what sphelps has gone through with this horrible disaster. I thank sphelps for sharing his story, and I hope we can all take something from his experience.

sphelps
07-29-2012, 12:05 AM
Myka, I agree with your statements but be aware I did have someone enter my house twice daily although their experience with aquariums is nil and their prime objective was not related to the tank. I also had someone with experience on call and checking on the tank every few days. While I would have loved to have someone with great experience in aquariums checking my tank more frequently my remote location makes this rather difficult. Also note this failure occurred very quickly within 12 hours if you can believe it. By the time the issue was noticed the damage was done.

In regards to top off water supply yes perhaps a smaller amount of available supply would be better but I have issues with this as well. If I leave for an extended period of time then IMO it's better to have enough top off water available for the entire time otherwise I have to rely on others fulling a container with RO water which in the past is something that has gone very badly for myself personally and others I know as well. So for extended trips the amount of evaporation water available IMO will need to exceed that of the amount that cannot cause damage. Using the small bucket approach to me is not redundancy as it basically adds the need for another top off system which in fact increases your chances of failures rather than decreases it. While obviously there are many way to do this I stand by my method but agree more redundancy is needed but more related to what I mentioned earlier and perhaps additional floats or something else along these lines.

Lastly I draw attention to my last request in the first post of this thread.

jorjef
07-29-2012, 12:07 AM
What I have taken from this is I'm keeping my "five gallon lift to the tank and pour in top up system" for a long long time. Call it old school, cheap, inept regarding technology but it's flawless. After reading this post and others regarding automated system mishaps be it dosing or top up has pushed me further away from ever exploring them. They're just not for me.

burgerchow
07-29-2012, 12:26 AM
What I have taken from this is I'm keeping my "five gallon lift to the tank and pour in top up system" for a long long time. Call it old school, cheap, inept regarding technology but it's flawless. After reading this post and others regarding automated system mishaps be it dosing or top up has pushed me further away from ever exploring them. They're just not for me.


+1. old school is best

Myka
07-29-2012, 12:53 AM
Jorjef, automation is tha bomb, but it's definitely not a fail-safe.

Lastly I draw attention to my last request in the first post of this thread.

I wasn't offering advice (I know you don't like advice). I was just offering some ideas to those reading this thread. :)

I can't see how failing to refill a top off container could come to a situation as bad as the one you were dealt with though. The Tunze Osmolator quits pumping when it runs out of water, and the replacement pump is $30. If my sump runs out of water my Poseidon return pump will also quit operating. If the Poseidon happens to burn out I have a spare pump on hand with the appropriate plumbing fittings ready to go. The system is quite fine to run without the sump for a few days (the biggest consequence being no dosing), although the aquarium maintenance company would surely notice long before that. The company tested the tank for the "big three" weekly and reported to me if they were out of range for appropriate instructions on rectifying the problem.

There are always those things we just don't think about though, and those are the things that kick our butt and crash our tank. In your case, you didn't think about the repeated power outages. Who would? I've certainly never experienced such a thing.

sphelps
07-29-2012, 12:56 AM
The problem relates to filling the container once empty especially if relying on others or equipment in your absence, doing so manually from an RO increases chance of flooding and doing so automatically requires additional ATO which doesn't add redundancy but rather another point of possible failure.

Myka
07-29-2012, 01:03 AM
The problem relates to filling the container once empty especially if relying on others or equipment in your absence, doing so manually from an RO increases chance of flooding and doing so automatically requires additional ATO which doesn't add redundancy but rather another point of possible failure.

When I worked out of province (for 18 months) I kept two 65 gallon barrels full of RO/DI water. These barrels held enough for one month of top offs and waterchanges for my 90. I was always home at least once a month to refill the barrels so the barrels never ran dry and the RO/DI system never ran unless I was home. The maintenance company would use a 2 gallon bucket to manually add water to the 5 gallon top off vessel. He wanted me to automate it or use a bigger top off vessel, and I said "absolutely not". He also wanted to add a float valve to the RO/DI barrels so the RO/DI would turn on automatically, but I ixnayed that idea too. He was paid to do it a certain way, and he understood when I explained. My biggest fear was clam spawning, and I eventually sold the clams because of that fear.

When I was a carpenter, my old boss used to always say, "You gotta be smarter than the tool." ****ed me off at the time, but now I laugh. Yep, that is so true. In this case, we have to be smarter than our gadgets.

Anyway, I'm sure you're tired of this thread by now...I would be. Feel free to hit me up for frags when/if you come to that point in the future.

StirCrazy
07-30-2012, 12:00 AM
In all of this I see two flaws...

1) Tank was left unattended for too long (if you value your tank someone should check it daily).



I have to disagree with you in this situation, if you read it this all happened in less than a day, so having some one check the tank even once a day may or may not have helped. he did have some one checking every day or two.

I had 100 gal of top off water on my system, but I was old school with a float valve that was cleaned regulary. a large top off is a benifit, especialy when you go away.

if some one wanted me to check in on there tank for them while there away thats what I expect. check in and maybe feed fish, not do maintenance and such. I can tell you, unless you have a special tank sitter your paying for or a very very good friend, you start asking people to spend 3 hours at your place making water ect and your going to be looking for some one else the next time.

Steve

Skimmer King
07-30-2012, 12:27 AM
I think that this thread has gone far unless we get everyones opinion. That will only cause hardships and headeache's. I am so sorry Steve that your tank ended in a tragic loss. To the sponsors that gave thier opinions. Yes they gave what they knew from issues in the past. YOU can't bash a guy for giving his experience and opinions. Facts are facts. But if a sensor expires after so many years and it's electronics. Then that is a flaw wires and plastics should not have a shelf life.
But to voice a debate will just get nasty. Everyone will have a say regardless on what happens.

My thoughts Steve left for vacation and had someone check his tank.
He also had his tank monitored by a controller.
Luck have it the power went off and caused it to do what ever it did causing a catastrophic event to happen with in a day or so.

Heck I was gone over to afghanistan for 7 months and my wife watched my tank and nothing happened. I have my float switch hooked up to my top off that was in my sump. But Steve's tank did and life goes on he was just letting everyone know that what hapened. Of course the owner and mike the canadian sponssor of aqua digital wos give their explanations which was said. In my honest opinion this thread should be closed to minimize any further hard feelings.

DiverDude
08-02-2012, 08:50 PM
Not to take sides, but on a conceptual level, I'm with Myka on this. A smaller reservoir is less of a potential point of failure than a large one.

Why ?

We use technology to simply the complex tasks; the simple ones can be left to the dumb humans. The instructions to the warm body checking your house daily is "Take this jug of water and use it to keep that reservoir full". If they can't handle that then perhaps they shouldn't have a key :wink:

Consider the 2 possiblities with respect to the ATO and its reservoir:

1) Small Reservoir

a) Float failure and ATO pumps entire contents into tank. If properly sized, this should not create an overflow situation and is unlikely to decrease salinity to a dangerous level. The caretaker should raise the alarm on a suddenly empty ATO reservoir after a single day.

b) Float Failure of a different nature and water is never added to the tank. Well this should show itself in diminishing sump levels and the caretaker should raise the alarm that they DIDN'T have to put any water in the reservoir.

2) Large Reservoir

a) Float failure and ATO pumps entire contents into tank. Well...big mess; major salinity drop...tank crash

b) Same as above

It's worth noting that a float switch in your sump can be used to warn of situation 'b' (for both reservoir sizes).

All that being said, if your reservoir is REALLY small and needs to be filled daily then you have to ask why you'd spend money on an ATO in the first place. :mrgreen:

Somewhere in there is a reasonable compromise and I'm guess it's in and around the 3-4 days worth mark.

Myka
08-02-2012, 09:55 PM
I can tell you, unless you have a special tank sitter your paying for or a very very good friend, you start asking people to spend 3 hours at your place making water ect and your going to be looking for some one else the next time.

Steve

A professional aquarium maintenance company will spend as much time with your tanks each day as you're willing to pay for. ;)

As I said above, I always had all the water made up for the tank sitter, he just had to put it in the proper places when it was needed. He did mix up saltwater himself for waterchanges using the RO/DI that I had stored for him. If I had the space at the time I would have had all the saltwater pre-mixed for him too.

I have been using this same aquarium maintenance company for a few years now, and he is very reliable. When I was away in June this year he came to my house twice a day for a week because of certain situation that called for this.

In the end, a person does what s/he feels comfortable with and hopefully that combined with some luck is enough to keep our reefs alive while we are gone.

sphelps
08-03-2012, 04:40 PM
To each there own but I have no interest in a so called auto top off that still requires manual top off. If my tank used 5 gallons a day and I leave for 2 weeks I need 14 5 gallon jugs. To me that's just ridiculous and that's just two weeks, possibly planning a 6-8 week trip next year, what do I do then? If we can't fully automate something as simple as replenishing evaporated water then we should probably start rubbing sticks together to heat our homes and riding horses to work. I also helped a nice guy out last year in Calgary who paid a ton of money to only suffer a complete crash at the hands of a so called "professional" aquarium maintenance company so it's not always as simple as that.

In any case the point here was just to raise awareness of a said "feature" relating to Profilux which isn't documented but I think people need to be aware of. If people want to discuss my ATO in general I invite you to do so in build thread where I'll happily entertain any thoughts you have. I actually posted a new ATO schematic asking for feedback, I want all failure modes identified so please go nuts.

Enigma
08-05-2012, 12:21 AM
Holy crap! When did this happen? When was I last there? Wasn't the tank fine?

Let me know if you would like any of the frags that you've given me back. I will happily give them back to you so you can start to populate your tank again.