Diy pvc overflow retrofit? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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Diy pvc overflow retrofit?

I'm thinking of adding a sump to my canister filtered tank.
Here are my reasons
1) Constant water level ))

2) Additional water movement in the tank

3) Heater in sump (less equipment in tank)

4) additional filtration (last because I don't really need it)

5) put my uv on the sump line to let my canister run faster

I plan on using either a 10 gallon tank or a rubbermaid type bin. I calculated me evaporation loss at 4.5 gallon/week btw so a 10 gallon should work.
I also plan on a well sealed lid on the sump and the water inflow pie would be right on the bottom of the sump so no splashing and minimal co2 loss.

The spray bar is a new idea (Ithink) I plan on drilling a long 1/2 hole into a piece of mopani wood and then drilling out let holes into that 1/2 hole. So it would be a wood spray bar and basicly invisible. It would be fed via under gravel 1/2 inner diameter pipe .

Whacha Think Guys/Gals
Botia
Here is a pic of a diy pvc overlflow from the net

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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 01:42 PM
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I use this style overflow on my sump set ups.
  1. Use as Tall a tank for the sump as you can reasonably fit under the stand.
  2. Use a ball valve on the pump's outflow to balance the system, the pump will think it has more head to fight.
  3. Use 1 inch PVC minimum, fit all the pieces together and check the flow rate BEFORE you glue any of it up. I've found I need to use at least 2 overflows like this to get enough water to the sump to have a reasonable flow rate.
  4. I made strainers from clear PVC for in the tank, drilled about 200 small holes in them to reduce the suction on any one hole.
  5. Have the overflow pipe go all the way into the sump and underwater, it reduces CO2 loss.
  6. Put a section of pipe that rises ABOVE the rim of the tank in the open section of the T and put a cap on it with a 1/8 inch hole drilled in it, this kills the noise of the overflow and allows you to make a quick siphon by covering the hole (assuming that you did 5) which ensures that any bubbles that may have gathered in the pipe are pulled out.
  7. The horizontal pipe to the T determines the level that the tank will drop to if the pump shuts off, you need this to be far enough below the water level in the tank that you get a good flow, but not so low that you pull more water than your sump can handle if the power goes off. Be conservative on this to start and lower it when you get the hang of it.
  8. When you get the flow and tank level balanced, turn off the pump, wait for the flow of water to stop, check the sump. I fill the sump up to about an inch below the top at this point, margin of error. DON"T fill the sump up while the pump is running, you will have too much water in the system.

The return you describe will need a check valve on it to keep it from siphoning out your tank if the power goes off.

Sean

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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 08:29 PM
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Hey guys.
Is there any particular dimension on the up-down portion before the tee of this overflow?


Ron
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 08:47 PM
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In order to break the siphon, I'd think you would want at least 4"-6" from the opening to the bottom of the U-section.

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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 01:51 AM
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albinooscar
That's a lot of PVC in the tank! I'm avoiding surface skimming to keep more CO2 in the system, and the level control section is outside of the tank. I do like the check valve system that he put on the upper elbows, I hadn't thought of that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by albinooscar
Hey guys.
Is there any particular dimension on the up-down portion before the tee of this overflow?

Ron
The difference in the two external uprights is around 2 inches, but this can change based on the size of your sump and aquarium. You need it low enough that you get enough draw, but not so low that you overfill your sump.
I like I said before, be conservative and trim down, dry fit, and test run.

Sean

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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GulfCoastAquarian
In order to break the siphon, I'd think you would want at least 4"-6" from the opening to the bottom of the U-section.
Actually, this is designed to stop flow but not break the siphon. When the water level in the tank drops below the upper vertical to the half open T the flow stops but the siphon in the rest of the pipe is maintained. So, after a power outage the overflow is back in business without interention or mess.

It's nice to turn off the pump, change the water in the sump 100% and then start the pump back up. I get a 25% water change that way.

Sean

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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCMurphy
Actually, this is designed to stop flow but not break the siphon. When the water level in the tank drops below the upper vertical to the half open T the flow stops but the siphon in the rest of the pipe is maintained. So, after a power outage the overflow is back in business without interention or mess.

It's nice to turn off the pump, change the water in the sump 100% and then start the pump back up. I get a 25% water change that way.
Well, right, it will start right back up, but what I was saying is that air will enter the upper horizontal spar and stop the flow of water. When the pump starts up again, the water level in the tank rises and starts to fill that horizontal spar, and re-forms the siphon. So in this effect, the siphon is broken, but automatically restored.
Haha, this is impossible to describe.

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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GulfCoastAquarian
Well, right, it will start right back up, but what I was saying is that air will enter the upper horizontal spar and stop the flow of water. When the pump starts up again, the water level in the tank rises and starts to fill that horizontal spar, and re-forms the siphon. So in this effect, the siphon is broken, but automatically restored.
Haha, this is impossible to describe.
Sam, it's always fun to mince semantics with a nice guy. I figure we know what each other is saying, we are just trying to clear up the language.

So, just for clarity, I would have to say that if the siphon breaks then the unit won't work when power is restored. The unit preserves the siphon, the water filled pipe over the edge of the tank. I heard someone call it a 'constant level siphon' but I don't know who to give that credit to. Lower the tank level and the flow stops, the siphon stays, and the world is good.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 04:43 PM
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A picture is worth a thousand words. But am I understanding it correctly?
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Last edited by GulfCoastAquarian; 01-28-2005 at 05:52 PM. Reason: Update image per Sean's corrections below.
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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GulfCoastAquarian
A picture is worth a thousand words. But am I understanding it correctly?
No, but you are REALLY close.

When the flow stops, the long pipe to the sump is empty.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 05:53 PM
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Ah right, I guess there would have to be an insane amount of surface tension to retain the water in the column. I corrected the image.
This sure is a clever device. I'm actually trying to figure out a way I could use it. Just to give it a try, haha.

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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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clever

Sure wish I'd thought of it..
I found the design at the american killifish associations
website.
I going to do it for sure on my 15 tall first then I'll give the "70" a go.
Constant water level is just to awesome a thing to pass up.
The other cool thing is I'm going to feed the output into my ugf to make it a sump driven rugf! Not to mention all the increased water volume , so many plus's to this...

Ps You don't need a check flow valve on the pump apparently they occasionally fail so the better idea is to drill a 1/16 hole at the water line level on the return pipe inside the tank. That way siphon is broken the second the pump stops and maybe only a little extra water re enters the sump.
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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 09:42 PM
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Im also thinking of putting this design overflow on my new 30gal tank. What im going to do instead of having the ugly PVC intake inside the tank, is attach some thick, clear hosing to the elbow that goes over the tank edge. That way the intake tube is less noticeable. Clear acrylic would be better, but the tubing can be attached to the wall by suction cups if need be. I would also do the same for the hose going into the sump, bit more flexibility never hurts.
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOTIA
Sure wish I'd thought of it..
I found the design at the american killifish associations
website.
Botia:

We have a killi nut in our area who is using a derivative of the above. I would like to place it in context if I may. He is keeping/breeding northos in 25 2.5 gal open top AGA's. Each one has a heater/drip emitter/overflow for the express reason of doing water changes. Killies release chemicals that stunt growth so it is necessary to do frequent water changes. For this reason the system is not recalculating in that water only passes through once (from fresh bucket to used bucket. These water changes are also infrequent. I think he is doing ~30 gal a week. He is working on building an automated system. So in this context any overflow for a killi tank must be cheap (you need many) and quick to remove as tanks are changed out all the time. Noise/flow rate is not a problem.

As grungefreek suggested, he is using clear aquarium tubing to make the bend. So the PVC part is a 'T' with the tube in the up side, the return on the T side, and a cap on the down side. If there are fry in the tank he places an air stone over the tube. To remove a tank he pulls the tube and stops the drip emitter. Very clever for so many tanks. For your tanks you might want to be a little more conventional. It will work for the 15 but for the 70 you might want to look at an add on box. They are not so expensive (for one) and are built to handle constant/more flow with less noise. Take a look at this tread for example:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=12568

Moved to Tucson.
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