Will this work versus an overflow? - The Planted Tank Forum
 3Likes
  • 1 Post By Oughtsix
  • 1 Post By simplechamp
  • 1 Post By simplechamp
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-25-2020, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 48
Question Will this work versus an overflow?

Hi all,


We put in a little pond this summer to get our turtle outdoors and in a bigger home for the summer months. He was just getting too cramped in his aquarium. Now I'm getting a setup ready for when he has to come inside for the winter. Rather than do a large aquarium I bought a 150G livestock tub, and I'm trying to figure out the filter setup.


I will be doing a sump filter using an old aquarium or storage container. The tub already has a bulkhead in the side of the tank towards the bottom. My initial plan was to use an elbow off the bulkhead inside the tub and have a standpipe overflow. But after getting the tub I found out the bulkhead isn't really setup well to do this. The connection on the outside of the tub is threaded standard NPT so I can plumb to the sump. But there is no easy way to connect anything to the inside.


So what I'm wondering is, if the tub and sump filter will both be on the floor, do I need an overflow? Or can I just leave it as is? Please forgive the crude drawing, but hopefully it demonstrates what I am thinking. The water level would be set by the height of the vertical piping section going to the sump. In my mind it seems like this would work, but am I missing anything? I know I will lose the surface skimming action of having an overflow, but I don't think it's too big of a deal? My alternatives would be get a different bulkhead to fit the existing hole in the tub, one that will support a standpipe overflow. Or cutting a hole in the tub closer to the top where I want the water level to be and putting a bulkhead there (and just leave the existing bulkhead capped).


Thanks in advance for any input and help.


simplechamp is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2020, 02:21 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Medina, Ohio
Posts: 1,601
Have you considered using an overhead filter (OHF) instead? It would be much easier to do and take up less room in the house.

Just put the 'sump' on top of the livestock tub, supported by a 2x4 frame and put the pump in the bottom of the tub and pump up to the OHF and allow it to drain back into the tub.

Dee
__________________
Eheim Pimpette #270
Eheim Pro II 2028; Classics Series -2215, 2217, 2260, 2262; Pro 2229 Wet/Dry
deeda is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2020, 03:00 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
en7jos's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Singapore
Posts: 321
Looks fine to me. Only potential issues I can see are:
- if bulkhead in main tank leaks you have a very wet floor and burnt out pump
- if pipe to sump tank gets clogged pump will run dry and burn out

If the return to the main tank will be splashing down into the water as shown in your sketch, then no need for skimming action of an overflow anyway is there? The splashing will break up any surface film.

Potential alterantive option / inspiration from here:


This sort of setup with filters on top of main tank and pump in main tank might be safer in a few regards (e.g. less chance of leaks and pump can't run dry) and might take up less room.

Just a thought....
James


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
en7jos is offline  
 
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2020, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 48
Thank you both for the input. I had not considered an OHF, but I'll keep that in mind. I'm not super crazy about having the filter sit over the tub with pump in tub (mostly aesthetically), but I do see the advantages.

The tub is going in my basement and space isn't a concern. Water leaking, yeah definitely don't want that, but with the tub in my basement close to a floor drain it wouldn't be catastrophic. The tub came with the bulkhead already installed, so whether I use it or cap it off will really need to make sure it's sealed and doesn't leak.

If the basic design I drew up will work I think I'm going to go that route. And if it ends up being very problematic I'll circle back to the OHF.
simplechamp is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2020, 02:51 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Bandit1200's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 863
Your basic design should work with a couple of checks in place:


1. Make sure your drain line is large enough for the output of the pump you are using. If you don't want to do the calculations for the pipe size/flow rated, I'd look at either an adjustable pump or an inline valve to control the flow.


2. If there is a concern about the drain line clogging, you may want to consider a control on the pump such as a float valve control or something along those lines.
Bandit1200 is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2020, 05:07 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Redmond, OR
Posts: 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by simplechamp View Post
Hi all,


We put in a little pond this summer to get our turtle outdoors and in a bigger home for the summer months. He was just getting too cramped in his aquarium. Now I'm getting a setup ready for when he has to come inside for the winter. Rather than do a large aquarium I bought a 150G livestock tub, and I'm trying to figure out the filter setup.


I will be doing a sump filter using an old aquarium or storage container. The tub already has a bulkhead in the side of the tank towards the bottom. My initial plan was to use an elbow off the bulkhead inside the tub and have a standpipe overflow. But after getting the tub I found out the bulkhead isn't really setup well to do this. The connection on the outside of the tub is threaded standard NPT so I can plumb to the sump. But there is no easy way to connect anything to the inside.


So what I'm wondering is, if the tub and sump filter will both be on the floor, do I need an overflow? Or can I just leave it as is? Please forgive the crude drawing, but hopefully it demonstrates what I am thinking. The water level would be set by the height of the vertical piping section going to the sump. In my mind it seems like this would work, but am I missing anything? I know I will lose the surface skimming action of having an overflow, but I don't think it's too big of a deal? My alternatives would be get a different bulkhead to fit the existing hole in the tub, one that will support a standpipe overflow. Or cutting a hole in the tub closer to the top where I want the water level to be and putting a bulkhead there (and just leave the existing bulkhead capped).


Thanks in advance for any input and help.


This will not work as you are hoping. The water height in the tank/tub will be determined by the height of where the water leaves the pipe... NOT THE MAX HEIGHT OF THE PIPE ITSELF! You can easily compensate for this by raising the height of where the water exits the pipe or by drilling a siphon hole in the exhaust pipe at the water level you want in the main tank/tub.

Otherwise it should work fine.
Blue Ridge Reef likes this.

Last edited by Oughtsix; 08-26-2020 at 05:09 PM. Reason: sp
Oughtsix is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-31-2020, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 48
Thank you for the additional input.

I will have a ball valve on the pump output to throttle flow a little if needed. The tub is 150G but since it's for a turtle the water level will stay lower, probably 100-120G. The pump is 700GPH max but with head I figure closer to 500GPH. The drain line is 1.5" PVC. I think that should support the flow ok?

The float switch is a good idea, I will definitely try to work that in.

Regarding where the water level will be. I know the pipe would be filled up in the first horizontal and vertical sections, but figured it would not be completely filled in the last small sections as it discharges. In my mind was thinking more of an open pipe waterfall into the sump. But I can see what you are saying, if the pipe does remain full the entire run that will affect the level. Guess it will depend on where the flow rate ends up? It's good to know I can easily adjust and compensate if that's the case.

What size container would you recommend for the sump based on the system parameters (let's say 150G volume and 700GPH flow to be safe)?
Oughtsix likes this.
simplechamp is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2020, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 48
Hey all. Wanted to post an update on my testing and progress so far.


I'll start by saying I have a much greater appreciation now for the suggestions to go with an over-the-tank type filter LOL! Getting this same-level sump working has been a challenge to say the least. I kind of got into one of those hard headed "I've come this far and I'm going to figure this out" modes. Time will tell if that is the right choice. In any case I've been enjoying tinkering with everything and have been learning a lot.


Phase 1, 10g sump - 700gph fixed speed pump - discharge into sump not submerged (head pressure flow only, no siphoning). This was mostly just proof of concept and leak testing. I knew the 10gal was way too small but it's all I had on hand. As expected the sump emptied super quickly, and would only get a trickle back into the sump. I figured it would equalize a little faster, but I guess it makes sense. The level in the display tank was only rising maybe 1/2" so there just wasn't enough head pressure to push the water. Confirmed I needed a bigger sump. No leaks from bulkhead or plumbing so that was good.


Phase 2, 30g sump - 700gph fixed speed pump - discharge into sump not submerged (head pressure flow only, no siphoning). Went to LFS looking for a 20-40g aquarium to use, walked out with a rather expensive 30g ready to go 3-chamber sump. I was planning on DIYing the sump myself, but it was exactly what I needed and saved me the time. It's getting cooler at night so need to get the turtle inside sooner than later. So this setup was same as the first just bigger sump. As I hoped it was able to build better head pressure and get a better flow coming back into the sump. But with the return pump going full output it would still empty out the sump. Started playing with the ball valve to throttle back return pump flow. Was able to get the sump to a steady state, but only with the ball valve like 20% open. The pump didn't seem too happy about it, and it wouldn't be turning over enough water (I'm guessing it was only 100-200gph at steady state).


Phase 3, 30g sump - 800gph adjustable DC pump - discharge into sump submerged (siphon flow). Decided to ditch the fixed output pump for an adjustable. Wow what a difference, so much quieter and don't have to tax it by throttling the ball valve. It also will shut itself off if it runs dry, so don't have to worry about coming up with a solution for that. Should have gone with that from the start. Also realized that to get enough flow going to turn over the water sufficiently (going for 500-600gph) I can't just have head pressure flow. I'll need to submerge the discharge pipe into the sump and get a siphon going. This is what Oughtsix was talking about, changing the level at which the display tank and sump levels would try to equalize, effectively increasing head pressure. I extended the discharge piping so it was submerged just below the first chamber baffle and drilled a hole in the short horizontal pipe that I could cover/uncover with my thumb to make or break siphon. As the sump level went down it was able to get a siphon going, so that was good. However, once the siphon got going the flow was too much. Even with the return pump at 100% output it couldn't keep up and the sump would over fill.


Phase 4, same as Phase 3 but raised the sump. I built a little stand to raise the sump as high as the existing plumbing would allow, which was about 3.5". The PVC pipe rests on rim of sump now instead of elevated above. I also shortened the submerged discharge piping the same amount. The idea here was to get the natural levels of the display tank and sump closer together. My thought was there could still be siphon going but with levels closer together it wouldn't be as strong. And it worked! With this setup the siphon was much gentler but still giving sufficient flow. I could take the pump through it's full range of flow (30-100%), and no overfilling. That said, if the return pump shut off and siphon kept going it would still be able to overflow. So still needed a solution for that.


Phase 5, automated siphon break. The hole I covered with my thumb to make/break the siphon has now been replaced with a motor operated valve controlled by a float switch and relay. I initially wanted to use a solenoid valve as they open/close much faster. But most of the (reasonably priced) ones I found were not rated to have the coil energized for significant lengths of time. The MOV doesn't have this issue, and the approx. 3sec open/close time still worked fine for my purposes. When water level is normal and pump is running the valve is closed and allows siphon. If the water level goes high the valve opens and breaks siphon. The valve also goes open on loss of power. Keep in mind this is an "emergency" system to prevent overflow if something goes wrong, not cycling on and off during normal operation. If anyone is interested I can post more details on parts used, wiring diagram, etc.


Jeez, that got long! Thanks for sticking around if you made it this far LOL. Got too late tonight but I'll post some pics tomorrow.
deeda likes this.
simplechamp is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome