I warned you that I was going to do it... and I did it.
In my live stream on Saturday, I announced to the world that I was going to hook up an ATO to my christmas tree. Why? Because I'm crazy. No seriously, once I tried to water the tree on the first day I knew that was going to be such a pain. The tree hasn't even had ornaments hung upon it yet, and I had to stick my head into the branches and using a flashlight see how much water I needed to add. No way I was going to do that for the next five to six weeks.
I took the Smart ATO Micro kit off my 60 frag system first. I wanted to use that kit because it has a sensor that works in total darkness inside the compartment it measures, and uses a small magnet externally to keep it affixed. At the same time, this allows me to try out the Icecap ATO kit (Video clip on Facebook) that I got recently, so that is now installed on that setup, to keep up with evaporation. But let's get back to the topic at hand, my 8' tree.
Using a handy 5g bucket, I installed the small feed pump, some silicone tubing and a siphon break fitting inline. (Video clip #2) The tubing is snaked into the tree, and held in place with a small plastic retention clip. It was a little bit tricky getting the magnet and my hand under that plastic reservoir with the tree already in place (so next year I'll do that before the tree is inserted. Next, three gallons of water went into the bucket, and I plugged in the Smart ATO Micro... which added just the right amount of water to replace what the tree had absorbed over the past day. (Video Clip #3)
If you didn't watch the live videos, I linked them above. These were shared on www.facebook.com/melevsreef where I tend to share all sorts of interesting things each day.
It's much easier to pour more water into the bucket. I'll drap something over it to hide it from view so it won't take away from the festive look, but for now my tree has an ATO and I'm very pleased. When I get back from Fiji, I'll decorate the tree. I love the smell of forest in my livingroom.
Did you spot the tiny blue light? That's the optical sensor for the ATO.