Spectrapure is a long-established equipment company in the marine aquarium world with its LiterMeter and reverse osmosis water purifying filters being a mainstay of the aquarium hobby for over a decade. The company’s latest offering to the marine aquarium hobby is the second version of the Ultra Precise Level Controller, an auto top off device known as the UPLC II, that has some upside, however has one significant design flaw we feel the company needs to address sooner than later — suction cups to secure the level sensors.
The UPLC II comes with the combination dosing pump and controller unit, a pressure sensitive switch and a float switch. SpectraPure UPLC II has two float switches the company chose to “mount” to the aquarium with small suction cups, and one of the float switches, the vertically oriented pressure sensor is even fastened to its suction cups with zip ties. While the zip ties will probably hold onto the suction cups forever, yet one thing we all know from our years in the hobby that suction cups themselves will not hold onto the sump walls forever.
Despite having one of the most polished, all inclusive pump and controller units of the ATO kits available to the marine aquarium world, at $230 the UPLC II is the most expensive auto top off kit from any company. Tunze, Avast Marine, Innovative Marine, Hydor, Auto Aqua and many more all come in under $200 and they have one thing in common, they all use magnet mounts for reliably securing the water level sensor to the walls of sumps and aquariums.
With the LiterMeter’s well-established reputation as a device that lasts-and-lasts, and can be repaired and rebuilt when the time comes for maintenance, we have no doubt that the UPLC’s controller and pumping set up can be trusted. Water pressure and water level switches also are tried and true sensors for determining water levels in all kinds of containers.
We are befuddled to how Spectrapure didn’t include magnetic mounts to its sensor choosing to rather use suction. This is an unnecessarily weak link into an otherwise really robust automatic top off solution. We will be hacking our sensor mounts with magnetic mounts in our application, eliminating the potential for these suction cups to inevitably fail, and will hope SpectraPure does the same in the near future.