Write-Up Wednesday: Automation Trust Factor

Write Up Wednesday: The automation trust factor

You trust your tank’s seals to not leak. You trust your tank’s stand to hold the weight of the tank. When you automate anything on your saltwater tank, you are trusting the equipment to do some task for you.

These tasks can be as simple as turning on/off a light or pump, or as complex as turning off several pieces of equipment and notifying you if a leak is detected.

Simple or complex, low-tech or high-tech, in any instance, you have to decide how much trust you are willing to place in your tank’s automation. I call this the “automation trust factor”.

If you have a high automation trust factor, then your tank’s automation will be complex and highly centralized. Just because you have a high automation trust factor that doesn’t mean that your automation has to be high-tech. There are plenty of low-tech tank automation methods such as drip lines, float valves, etc that you can use if you fear technology yet still have a high automation trust factor.

A low automation trust factor can also be high or low-tech. If you don’t trust equipment to do jobs for you, you’ll look for fail-safe equipment as well as put multiple back-up systems in place as you’re confident the primary system will fail. For example, I never plumb a RODI system directly into a float valve that is located in a sump. These float valves will fail and when they do, the RODI system will run until the sump overflows and your saltwater tank becomes a freshwater tank. Even though a float valve is a low-tech piece of equipment and I still don’t trust it.

Whenever I design a tank’s automation system, I stay on the low to medium automation trust factor spectrum as I’m doing a balancing act. My clients want systems that are as automated as possible (high automation trust factor) and I’m constantly looking for ways to make the automation fail-safe, easy to understand all while not becoming overly complex (low automation trust factor). The simple solution is not always the most trustworthy and the complex solution is not always the answer. It’s a balancing act and in the Chemistry and Tank Automation Program I show you how much risk you should be taking.

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Comments for this article (8)

  • Don says:

    Did your site get hacked?

    “non prescription generic cialis web link kamagra online kaufen schweiz levitra pills online link ”

    That’s at the top of the article above the byline.

  • Don…nope. Everything checks out on my end. I’d have your computer checked for malware and spyware.

  • Joe says:

    The only automation i have is two power strips with timers for my lights, and the tunze osmolator.

    I cant put trust into anyone or anything else to kerp my tank alive.

    In my opinion the more automation you put, the less it is YOUR tank! Its like having a kid and the nanny raises it lol

  • James says:

    See Murphy’s Law……

  • Shawn says:

    Mark I took your last tank automation class and it was great. I didn’t automate everything that you talked about because there are some things I just enjoy doing myself. But as you know I am very busy and the class taught me ways to free up some time and the tank now is more stable and thriving. I find that I’m not always taking care of emergencies every time I work on the tank because of my busy schedule.
    For anyone that is wondering if this program is worth it I will give it 2 thumbs up ???? and I would give it 3 if I had an extra.
    Thanks for all you do Mark!

  • WT Mullis says:

    I think Don’s ‘hacked’ comment was spot-on. Here’s how the article ends for me:

    It’s a balancing act and in the Chemistry and Tank Automation Program I show you how much risk you should be taking. generic neurontin 300 mg lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide generic generic cialis uk suppliers zovirax generic name

  • Travis says:

    I don’t see the website problems the others are posting about. Viewed page on Chrome for iOS on iPhone 6.

    Off topic… Mark, looking into getting in the hobby and was wondering about tank sizing for a 2nd floor apartment. Can you help direct me?


  • Coy says:

    Hey Mark, if you look at the HTML source you’ll see the stuff they’re talking about. WordPress sites are a target for stuff like this. Let me know if you need any help or advice to get rid of it. Usually it’s caused by a SQL injection attack on wordpress sites. The text is being hidden with javascript and/or css probably.

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