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Old 04-05-2013, 04:56 PM   #31
dasob85
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Originally Posted by Sluggo View Post
pH drops during the main tank's "night" cycle, when the lights are off. Having the sump lit during those hours prevents that. You can use something as simple as a clamp light with a spiral CFL.
It is an interesting idea. I could see myself trying that with floaters if I ever put co2 on this tank.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:03 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by dasob85 View Post
It is an interesting idea. I could see myself trying that with floaters if I ever put co2 on this tank.
you definitely would want plants or something involved in the reverse light cycle that are absorbing the CO2 that would normally lower the pH in the evening. The idea is to minimize fluctuations that occur when the lights are off.
The three baffles with a mechanical sponge polisher is a great idea. Sound like you're on the right track. Experiment with the positive results and tweak what's not working with your design. As far as flow and return 3/4" bulkhead into the sump should be more than adequate just match it to the right sized return pump and take head pressure into account when looking at manufacturer flow rates.
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:40 PM   #33
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I was in the same boat last fall; 40b with an internal box feeding through the glass to an external box housing the standpipes. I used 1" pipes for everything and here's what I learned.

1" for the full siphon is way overkill for a 40besq flowrates. Since the valve is mostly closed, any debris or a snail will cause the system to need attention. I would try a 1/2" siphon.

If you don't have an auto top off, the level of water in the sump will change due to evaporation. That level change is the "pump head" and affects the flowrate considerably. I don't think the 1" mixed flow pipe I have really offers enough wiggle room to stay silent with the changing flowrate. The next one of these I do will have a larger mixed flow pipe, or maybe two mixed flow pipes.

1" is easily enough for the emergency pipe on a 40b. 3/4" would probably be ok too.

You will need some sort of pre filter on your inlet weir unless you want fish to end up in your sump. I ended up using some very porous/open fluval filter foam stuffed in my internal box. (Keep in mind that with a nearly closed siphon valve, the fish wont make it to the sump... )

Another mistake I made was to make my internal weir too large. The larger it is, the thinner the flow over it which means less chance of pulling suspended debris out of the water column. 6-7" is probably plenty for a 40b.

hope this helped.
Mike
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:31 PM   #34
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If the siphon drain is pointed downward, wouldn't that increase the risk of getting air in the upside down U part? Could I have the siphon intake pointed 90 degrees to the side?
bump for this question.

I think I've about finalized my plan: I'll drill 2 1in holes for the drains but use a 3/4in pvc for the siphon drain. http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/sumps-...rflow-box.html This overflow box is big enough right? I'm afraid the smaller 700gph model is too small width-wise for 2 drains

I'll also drill a 3/4in hole for the return and use all soft tubing to eliminate head loss from sharp turns.

This sounds good?
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:45 PM   #35
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you definitely would want plants or something involved in the reverse light cycle that are absorbing the CO2 that would normally lower the pH in the evening. The idea is to minimize fluctuations that occur when the lights are off.
I guess I haven't done enough research on this, but wouldn't I want co2 to build up overnight if I'm not running extra co2 during the day? I also thought the harm to fish from ph changes due to co2 was shown not to have any real effect from tom barr. (this i'm not too sure about as all the articles I've read seem to have jumbled together in one big complicated mess lol)

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Originally Posted by starquestMM View Post
I was in the same boat last fall; 40b with an internal box feeding through the glass to an external box housing the standpipes. I used 1" pipes for everything and here's what I learned.

1" for the full siphon is way overkill for a 40besq flowrates. Since the valve is mostly closed, any debris or a snail will cause the system to need attention. I would try a 1/2" siphon.

If you don't have an auto top off, the level of water in the sump will change due to evaporation. That level change is the "pump head" and affects the flowrate considerably. I don't think the 1" mixed flow pipe I have really offers enough wiggle room to stay silent with the changing flowrate. The next one of these I do will have a larger mixed flow pipe, or maybe two mixed flow pipes.

1" is easily enough for the emergency pipe on a 40b. 3/4" would probably be ok too.

You will need some sort of pre filter on your inlet weir unless you want fish to end up in your sump. I ended up using some very porous/open fluval filter foam stuffed in my internal box. (Keep in mind that with a nearly closed siphon valve, the fish wont make it to the sump... )

Another mistake I made was to make my internal weir too large. The larger it is, the thinner the flow over it which means less chance of pulling suspended debris out of the water column. 6-7" is probably plenty for a 40b.

hope this helped.
Mike
Thanks Mike! I always love hearing personal experiences, especially from someone with the same sized tank and setup! I am a little confused by when you say the 1" mixed flow pipe is okay but the next sentence you say the 1" emergency pipe will be fine. I thought the emergency pipe is the mixed flow pipe in the herbie method.

I do suppose I could easily make the siphon drain 1.5" and use the 3/4" drill bit from the return hole to drill the siphon drain. What do you think?
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:34 AM   #36
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sorry, I used the three pipe bean type setup. 1 pipe for full siphon, 1 pipe for mixed flow, and 1 pipe for emergencies.

The 1" mixed flow works for me, but its not always silent. I have to tweak the siphon valve a couple of times a week to keep it quiet.

I generally think using the same size pipe for all three is not the way to go.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:51 PM   #37
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Another way to solve that problem would be to add an ATO to the system to keep the water level in the sump consistent (or just manually top off on a regular basis). The ATO could be as simple as a 5g bucket, a short length of hose, and a mechanical float valve. Fill the bucket once a week, and it keeps the sump level consistent.

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If the siphon drain is pointed downward, wouldn't that increase the risk of getting air in the upside down U part? Could I have the siphon intake pointed 90 degrees to the side?
Just to make sure we're on the same page, I stole this image from a thread on reefcentral:



This is how you'd arrange the plumbing for a Herbie through the back or side, then you'd put the overflow box around it. The smaller pipe pointed down is the main siphon, the larger pipe is the emergency. The siphon needs to be pointed down to reduce the chance that it can suck air from the surface. If you don't do this, it needs to be WAY WAY below the water level to maintain a full siphon (like, 6 - 8" plus) A sideways or upwards pointing pipe naturally needs to be submerged further to keep the siphon due to the differences in flow dynamics around the opening - the downwards-facing pipe essentially spreads the lowered pressure created by the siphon around a larger area.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:52 PM   #38
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Also, before ordering that box, I would suggest doing some mockups, maybe with cardboard or something. You want to be sure you can reach in the box, remove the plumbing, do stuff like that. If you pick a box that's JUUUUST big enough, it probably won't work.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:20 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by All your base View Post
This is how you'd arrange the plumbing for a Herbie through the back or side, then you'd put the overflow box around it. The smaller pipe pointed down is the main siphon, the larger pipe is the emergency. The siphon needs to be pointed down to reduce the chance that it can suck air from the surface. If you don't do this, it needs to be WAY WAY below the water level to maintain a full siphon (like, 6 - 8" plus) A sideways or upwards pointing pipe naturally needs to be submerged further to keep the siphon due to the differences in flow dynamics around the opening - the downwards-facing pipe essentially spreads the lowered pressure created by the siphon around a larger area.
Yup, that pic is the way I imagined it. My question still stands though. lets say I turn off the pump for maintenance or there was a power outage, wouldn't the upside down siphon tube lose the siphon and stop draining water when the power comes back?

I did an estimated mockup and feel like the 6in long overflow box would be really tight as you are not supposed to drill 2 holes too close to each other. (I think I read you are not supposed to drill 2 holes right next to each other and its best to leave one diameter's width between them?)
BRS has the entire diameter including the nut of a 1" abs bulkhead as 2.67" and 3/4" bulkhead as 2.04". lets say I used these 2 sizes for return.. that puts me at around 5" width total already which means I shouldn't get the internal overflow box that is 6" as I'm sure that is measured from the outside of the box and not the internal dimensions. I'd have to size up to the next size which is 12" wide and is rated for 1800gph lol ugh. If I had to do a 12" wide overflow box, I may as well just use the bean animal method + perhaps block up some of the teeth of the overflow box.

For the actual bulkhead itself, I assume the slip x thread combination is the one I want? It says the slip is on the flange/head side. Does that mean inside the aquarium?

And thought I should mention that I really appreciate all the patience and advice! Thanks!
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:52 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by dasob85 View Post
Yup, that pic is the way I imagined it. My question still stands though. lets say I turn off the pump for maintenance or there was a power outage, wouldn't the upside down siphon tube lose the siphon and stop draining water when the power comes back?
Yes, but since the ENTIRE upside-down U is below the highest water level in the tank, when you turn power back on, it'll flood and restart the siphon all on it's own.

Quote:
I did an estimated mockup and feel like the 6in long overflow box would be really tight as you are not supposed to drill 2 holes too close to each other. (I think I read you are not supposed to drill 2 holes right next to each other and its best to leave one diameter's width between them?)
BRS has the entire diameter including the nut of a 1" abs bulkhead as 2.67" and 3/4" bulkhead as 2.04". lets say I used these 2 sizes for return.. that puts me at around 5" width total already which means I shouldn't get the internal overflow box that is 6" as I'm sure that is measured from the outside of the box and not the internal dimensions. I'd have to size up to the next size which is 12" wide and is rated for 1800gph lol ugh. If I had to do a 12" wide overflow box, I may as well just use the bean animal method + perhaps block up some of the teeth of the overflow box.
Or get a box from somewhere else or make your own. Maybe BRS or glass holes will make you a custom box. Either way I would not block teeth, IMHO you actually want the longest weir you can manage, not the shortest - a longer weir means less agitation, which is desirable in a planted tank fed with CO2, and better surface skimming, which I would argue is a better way to get contaminants out of the tank than potentially getting more via a thicker layer of water.

In fact, personally, I would look for a box with a smooth weir as opposed to one with teeth, again to reduce agitation and help retain CO2. The teeth are going to be too widely spaced for smaller FW fish anyways, so you're going to need to put some sort of netting or other fish-guard across the overflow even with the teeth. Personally, I prefer a smooth overflow with netting to a teethed overflow.

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For the actual bulkhead itself, I assume the slip x thread combination is the one I want? It says the slip is on the flange/head side. Does that mean inside the aquarium?
You can install a bulkhead with the flange inside OR outside the aquarium. As long as the gasket is on the flanged side, it will operate properly. It doesn't matter if that's inside or outside.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:58 PM   #41
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Yes, but since the ENTIRE upside-down U is below the highest water level in the tank, when you turn power back on, it'll flood and restart the siphon all on it's own.
Last question and I'll leave this alone and accept it as something I'll never understand but can use lol. Does the outflow pipe from the siphon pipe at the level of the sump stay under water or above the water?
edit: I was re-reading the thread at reefcentral and will just accept this as something I cannot understand lol, but just to make sure, the answer to my question is under water correct?

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Originally Posted by All your base View Post
Or get a box from somewhere else or make your own. Maybe BRS or glass holes will make you a custom box. Either way I would not block teeth, IMHO you actually want the longest weir you can manage, not the shortest - a longer weir means less agitation, which is desirable in a planted tank fed with CO2, and better surface skimming, which I would argue is a better way to get contaminants out of the tank than potentially getting more via a thicker layer of water.

In fact, personally, I would look for a box with a smooth weir as opposed to one with teeth, again to reduce agitation and help retain CO2. The teeth are going to be too widely spaced for smaller FW fish anyways, so you're going to need to put some sort of netting or other fish-guard across the overflow even with the teeth. Personally, I prefer a smooth overflow with netting to a teethed overflow.
Well, I have no problem getting the 12" long one actually. the boxes from brs are black and I always have black backgrounds on my tanks. Everything just seems like overkill though which is just the way I like it lol

some more questions come to mind.

How does the locline returns work? Can I just attach them to the bulkhead or do they have a special connector? edit: male npt adaptor? shape-wise, do you have a preference for either the flat headed return or the round one?

Do the ABS bulkheads fit with the regular schedule 40 pvc pipes?

Does a mag drive 9.5 seem reasonable? The 7 seems a little bit too perfect with 400gph at 5' head in case I ever want to put on co2. The 9.5 is listed around 720 gph at 5' head and I'll put a gate valve on it.

I'll pop by Home Depot sometime to piece together some pvcs and then order the stuff:
12" box
2x 3/4" bulkheads (siphon and return) and
1x 1" bulkheads (emergency)

Last edited by dasob85; 04-09-2013 at 01:45 PM.. Reason: added pump, changed mind about beananimal and going back to herbie
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:54 PM   #42
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Last question and I'll leave this alone and accept it as something I'll never understand but can use lol. Does the outflow pipe from the siphon pipe at the level of the sump stay under water or above the water? I want it below the water level to cut out splashing noises.
It doesn't matter, the siphon will start either way. It'll start faster if the bottom of the drain plumbing is ABOVE water level, but it'll be noisier that way. Personally, I like to have it terminate JUST below water level. Very low backpressure so you won't have starting problems, and it's submerged so it'll be quieter.

I think I've grasped your confusion - are you used to talking about losing/starting siphons in a hang-on overflow that has a U-tube siphon over the side of the aquarium? That's a very different animal than this setup. With that configuration, you are correct, you never want the siphon tube to have air in it. If that sort of siphon gets air in it, it won't restart on it's own, because there's no "motivation" for the water to start flowing UP above the water level in the aquarium to fill the siphon tube and restart the siphon. With this Herbie configuration, it doesn't matter, because the entire run of plumbing is BELOW the water level in the aquarium. So when you restart, it completely floods the siphon, and it starts sucking away.

Quote:
How does the locline returns work? Can I just attach them to the bulkhead or do they have a special connector?
Most locline kits will come with a threaded adapter (male or female) that will mate to standard pipe threads, so just determine the size and orientation and you'll know if it will work without another fitting.

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Do the ABS bulkheads fit with the regular schedule 40 pvc pipes?
Yes, more or less. The ABS bulkheads common in this hobby are made dimensionally compatible with standard PVC. The one hitch is that if you get a bulkhead with a slip fitting, you will want to make sure you get a cement that's rated for PVC and ABS, as most common PVC cement isn't technically rated to bod with ABS (it'll work but it won't be a great bond).

You probably know this, but when you turn the return pump off, the water in the tank will start to siphon back down the return plumbing through the return pump. Essentially, the tank will empty down to the point that the opening on the return plumbing starts sucking air. Because of this, you will want to keep the opening of that locline high up in the water column, or have some provision for a siphon break.

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Does a mag drive 9.5 seem reasonable? The 7 seems a little bit too perfect with 400gph at 5' head in case I ever want to put on co2. The 9.5 is listed around 720 gph at 5' head
Personal preference. It's probably better to have a larger pump than you think you need. No matter what, you should put a valve between the pump and the return so you can dial in the flow.

Quote:
edit: apparently, for bean animal, I'd have to get the 18" long box lol hmmm decisions decisions. that extra safety pipe would let me sleep better at night
I know some will vehemently disagree with me, but the Beananimal configuration always struck me as excessively way over the top. I've run lots of tanks with "just" a Herbie and have never had even a shadow of a hint of concern. But to each his own!
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:52 AM   #43
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It doesn't matter, the siphon will start either way. It'll start faster if the bottom of the drain plumbing is ABOVE water level, but it'll be noisier that way. Personally, I like to have it terminate JUST below water level. Very low backpressure so you won't have starting problems, and it's submerged so it'll be quieter.

I think I've grasped your confusion - are you used to talking about losing/starting siphons in a hang-on overflow that has a U-tube siphon over the side of the aquarium? That's a very different animal than this setup. With that configuration, you are correct, you never want the siphon tube to have air in it. If that sort of siphon gets air in it, it won't restart on it's own, because there's no "motivation" for the water to start flowing UP above the water level in the aquarium to fill the siphon tube and restart the siphon. With this Herbie configuration, it doesn't matter, because the entire run of plumbing is BELOW the water level in the aquarium. So when you restart, it completely floods the siphon, and it starts sucking away.
yea, that is pretty much what i was thinking of. I now trust that the pressure really would blow all the air out of the bottom of the pipe that is under water in the sump. I guess a few hours worth of reading reefer forums gave me a little more confidence lol.

Went to home depot today to try to find glass for making baffles, ugh, didn't want to cut them myself so I'll try to go to lowe's next week. took a look at pvc's. Do you use the regular 90 degree elbows or the street elbows that have a more gradual curve? The length and width are the same. I could only find street in 1.5" size. I have a local benjamin bros I can try tomorrow on my way home to find street elbows in 1" and 3/4"

I think I edited my last comment right around the time you posted. The beananimal really is overkill lol. Yesterday I just assumed I should try it since I'll be applying that concept when I get a biiiig tank again but this morning the logistics of making all those pvc connections just hit me and I went back to herbie. Even a 1" pipe should be able to run at least 500gph. I'll probably just make the emergency pipe a 1.5" to sleep better at night.

For all the pvc tubing outside the tank, is it supposed to go straight down or can I use some gradual 45 degree lines to get it flush and attached to my stand? I want to use soft pvc tubing after its stabilized to the stand to reach the sump. I'll probably put a glass cover over my sump and drill 2 more bulkheads with a bit of hard pvc.

I think I'll also do as many threaded unions to make adjustments and modifications in the future easier. What do you think?
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:19 PM   #44
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The speed/ease at which the siphon will start will be affected by many things - diameter of the pipe, flow rate, head (height), backpressure caused by the exit in the sump being submerged, etc. It's somewhat complicated but the nice thing is you can just change/adjust things until it works, you don't really have to figure it all out ahead of time.

I wouldn't bother looking for specific elbows. Just get whatever you have available that will fit. "Smooth" elbows might mean less restriction but since you're purposefully building much larger than required and then valving back, starting out with half a percent more restriction isn't going to be an issue.

Plumbing from the bulkhead down - smoother/more direct is better, mostly from an ease-of-starting perspective for the siphon. You usually won't have issues unless it's a really silly layout. 45's are fine to change where the plumbing goes. What you don't want are sections that are horizontal or sloped "upwards" as that makes it less likely that the air will evacuate quick enough for the siphon to start well.

Threaded unions are great, especially around things you KNOW you will need to fiddle with (i.e. a return pump if it's connected directly to rigid plumbing).
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:00 PM   #45
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yea, definitely will be fiddling for a long time lol! anyway, this really helped thanks! I'll start ordering drill bits and bulkheads soon.

on an unrelated note, I think my shrimp would prefer if if I moved the co2 to another tank so if I wanted to use a needlewheel pump to diffuse co2 in my sump (not part of the return line to main tank), how many gph should I be shooting for? my current atomizer mists like crazy at a low bubble count and i'm sure will be unsuitable for the 40g.
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