The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - 50G with 30G sump - month 10 update
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:26 PM   #51
crazymittens
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It's alive!!!

Okay, but first the painful steps to get there...

Assembling piping and sump:




Mistake #1
The tank was not level! This, of course, meant that the weir was only functional along 2/3 of the overflow.




Returns plumbed...creatively:
Due to the physical constraints of my test area, I didn't have enough height to properly install the plumbing, so had to be a little creative in how it all fit together.



Really creative...
Big Al's doesn't stock 3/4" bulkheads...good ole duct tape to the rescue. Handy indeed.



Filling the tank:


Problem:
The drains were not working correctly, I guessed, because the level got almost to the point of overflowing the emergency drain.





Note the 2/3 weir.




So I (thanks to my wife's suggestion) limited the flow from one of the pumps.



A step in the right direction, for the wrong reasons.




Solutions:
First, I 'submerged' the drains, just by adding a coupling that extended the piping to just below the water level. You will note I also have my coarse filter in place. Such a cost...ouch.



Second, I made the 'adjusted' drain completely air-tight (supposed to be in the design anyway). Yes, that is a latex glove zip-tied to the top of the drain.



New water level:


Full weir:
Forgot to mention...I levelled the tank during all this (well, the stand), so now a nice full weir is present!




Summary of what I learned:
  • The full-siphon drain pipe must be completely air-tight - 100%, not 99%
  • The tank must be level for the weir to function properly
  • Duct tape functions as a ghetto bulkhead
  • A functioning coast-to-coast w. BeanAnimal is totally worth the effort.

A note on adjusting the full-siphon drain...not sure why people are suggesting gate valves over ball valves, works great as designed. Anyway, if I crack it open one more 'tick', the entire overflow drains in seconds - at this point it's stable and only a dribble is going down the secondary drain.

I tested by unplugging the pumps - overflow drained in seconds, then just the trickle from the duct tape bulkhead coming in. Plugged them back in, and things had stabilized (full siphon) within 30 seconds.

Super excited....we're almost there! More info on next steps to come.
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