by Richard Back
Aqua Medic USA, US branch of German brand recently released their newest upgrade in their Auto Top Off unit named Refill System Pro. I have gotten my hands on one of these bad boys and will give you my thoughts on the unit and share some insights from the creator(s) with you guys.
Outside box comes in usual Aqua Medic blue and Black box that we all come to know and expect. Difference is that the illustrations, fonts, small details on it looks more modern then let's say a product they released 2-3 years ago. Their graphics team is doing a great job making this user friendly from the get go. (Look at the picture in the middle for reference)
Hearty amount of accessories from small ATO unit right? From just looking at it, only thing that changed was the box that holds the wires in place and some of the additional acrylic brackets (nice touch) to hold the unit in place.
I also found out that this Pro unit is direct replacement of their previous model. Price range is SAME at $129.99.
With that said, I spoke to Orlando Salazar, CEO of Aqua Medic USA and asked directly about this unit.
What is new in this unit? How is it different from your previous model
With this unit, "It's (was) all about protecting the connections and the box. Water proof/resistant Connections are waterproof and hidden, and specifically labeled. "(Check the picture above)
"box is coated with the same water resistant coating the Reef Doser Evo 4 is. Box is more slim and modern."
I see that brain unit got a very nice sleek cosmetic upgrade. What do you mean by water resistant coating?
"It's a siliconized rubber coating like they use in the auto industry."
(Looks like they first tried it on Reef Doser Evo 4 unit and from it's huge success, they applied this safety feature to this unit. )
Your other unit isn't very old. In fact, it's less than two years old. It's not often seen in this industry to quickly release upgraded model (specially an ATO unit) what is the reason behind it?
"Customers! (laughing) We really wanted to modernize it and make it match our line and make it water resistant/proof for our customers." Nothing wrong with the older model, actually it's our steady seller and it works extremely well. "We just wanted to give our customers the latest and greatest from us. We are constantly looking at new ways to make our line function better, look more sleek and desirable."
I like this unit's sleek design revision. It's versatility in applying in installation to our aquariums and it's contingency plans by having old school style float switch as well as optical sensor to accurately detect accurate water level without worrying about flooding the floor. (It still has the audible alarm to notify you if the water level is below where it's supposed to be.) I like how pump included is super power efficient DC pump that goes from 0.5w to 5w. (gotta save where you can right?)
What I feel that they should have had was enclosed magnets instead of suction cups on this type of premium unit but with proper, thought out installation, you can easily overcome that issue and install the unit without it. If you are in market for a ATO unit, be sure to look into this unit before making your final decision. Aqua Medic USA's all in one approach and careful design may be something that you may be interested in.
You can find these units in reputable local fish stores or reputable on line vendors like Marine Depot or Bulk Reef Supply.
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