Will this overflow work? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Will this overflow work?

I am thinking to make a sump for my 50 gallon acrylic. I want the water intake to near bottom of the tank (where debris collects) I also want some surface skimming (not much to avoid CO2 loss) so here is my design for water intake, I will use 3/4" or 1" PVC, return pump will be around 300-400 gph, I am also making a under gravel jet system, similarly to the under substrate water return manifold on this site, I will use the sump return pump to drive the UGJ, on my first try I let the filter to drive it. Due to lack of pressure, it failed miserably as an UGJ so it is working as an USWRM currently I also made the mistake of using white PVC those white jets and pipes kinda ruined the whole aquascape for my tank
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 12:15 PM
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It could work, use at least 1 inch PVC to get adequate flow to the sump. If you use a UGJ return on the pump don't forget to either have a check valve, or a hole drilled near the top of the return of sufficient size that during a power outage you don't empty the tank into the sump. Have the overflow end in the sump underwater to further reduce CO2 out gassing.

You might discover this on your own but if you take a PVC cap and drill a small hole in it (1/8 inch works) and put it on the top of the open T to the sump you create a muffler that reduces the sound of falling water. When we had the sump demo for our club I took the mufflers off the three pipes I have on my 56 and the sound was loud enough you couldn't hear anyone talk. Put the mufflers back on and .... silence.

Don't glue the pipe together until after you've tested the flow. You might find that you have to lower the upper cross section to get enough draw through the pipe. Extend the open T about 2 inches above the top of the tank if you have a canopy to hide it, if it's open top how far you go up is up to you, but, it will want to spill some water from there every now and again and the extension helps fend that off.

Don't forget, fill the tank, let it drain to the sump with the pump off, then fill the sump, and you are at maximum capacity. Put a ball valve on the return from the pump and use that to control the upper level of water in the aquarium.

Funny story, my 75 is set up with a sump. I came home from a week away and I thought the tank looks a little full, and while I'm standing there some water started to run out of the tank. So I pull the plug on the pump and the overflow stops. I mop up half a cup of water, start the pump up again, check the overflows, can't find a problem, and everything is running fine since. I think the tank was mad no one was looking at it for a week, it just had to make a statement.

Sean

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That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 11:03 PM
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The overflow needs to be buoyant, to adjust for evaporation. Say the water evaporates below the overflow, then you will just suck in air and loose the siphon.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2005, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips Scmurphy, Iunknown I think syphon will rusume once water level rises, air won't trap inside. guess I'll have to try it out, I really don't want to go for 1" PVC, it's huge and very obtrusive. If I go with 3/4" there is a risk the flow may not be fast enough. I modified the pipes a bit
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2005, 06:26 AM
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I was thinking about making an overflow, but I was thinking that the water splashing down the tube down to the sump would cause massive amounts of CO2 loss. So I decided against that.



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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2005, 01:24 PM
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If I could give my opinion...I may just make a fool of myself but willing to do so for the sake of possibly learning something. I hope you don't consider this as a hijack to your posting.

What do you think of this...use the first design with a couple modifications. The ball valve above the T inside the tank will allow the balance ability the second design seems to lack. The second design as was pointed out seems to lack adjustment for evaporation and I also think the top drain will create a sucking or glurping effect because water will always seek the path of least resistance. Without a way to balance the flow between the upper and lower drains the pressure (and in effect flow from) on the bottom drain will never be greater than the surface which was what you were looking for. If you place the valve back into the system the effect would be that opening the valve will allow you to vary the amount of water being drawn from the top.

Ming I think made a good point but it might not be enough to warrant not using the design if your really set on doing so. I recently saw this design by PJAN https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...highlight=PJAN
I bring this up because I think adding in his design of having a ball valve on the overflow side just before the sump would allow you to decrease the height the water cascades down the overflow causing degassing of Co2. I would then add a second bulk head just higher than the one used for normal overflow. This second overflow would act as a saftey drain just as his does in the case that a drain is cloged or your balance of valves gets out of wack. I would still setup initally just as SCmurphy suggested and would have the ball valve on the pump control the water level in the tank.

I just read this post and it reads pretty darn rough I don't have the time to make gramatical corrections etc...Sorry but hope it brings something that might help.

Jarrell

Edit to add...You will need to use a pressure rated pump if your going to have a ball valve on the return side of the system...IMO
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2005, 03:23 PM
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Evaporation lowers the level of water in the sump, not the aquarium. The upper level of water in the aquarium is set by the pump, the lower level by the 'overflow', in this case the overflow is really a drain, it is not a siphon design.

You could always use clear PVC, the fittings are not cheap but they are less obtrusive.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2005, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCMurphy
Evaporation lowers the level of water in the sump, not the aquarium. The upper level of water in the aquarium is set by the pump, the lower level by the 'overflow', in this case the overflow is really a drain, it is not a siphon design.

You could always use clear PVC, the fittings are not cheap but they are less obtrusive.

True enough evaportation does lower the water level in the sump not the aquarium...wasn't thinking straight
question would then be would you see the first type of drain being better than the second as the flow from the bottom can be regulated from the valve? Or have I once again over looked something? Maybe some type of sliped overflow could be made to take the place of the valve...if you were to cut exact slots on both you could rotate to change the flow rate from the top.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2005, 06:10 PM
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The two are essentially the same as neither one requires a siphon. Surface skimming is a waste of time to me so I would eliminate that part of the design if it were me. Build the return flow to move the surface a little and you get the same effect without the design shortcomings. The valve in the aquarium to restrict the skimming flow would be obtrusive.

The first drawing is obviously for a drilled tank, it's a modification of the constant level siphon I use for 'pre-drilled" tanks.

The second drawing is confusing in that the pipe over the word 'bulkhead' should be lower in the tank if it is going to work at all.

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 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2005, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the helpful discussions, this is my first sump, I may have to practice on a small tank before working on the 50 gallon, it's full of fish and plants and would be a disaster if the sump didn't work out on the first try.

I modified the first design before there are too many 90 elbows and would lose some flow rate. The second design is simpler, I figure I just need to cut the overflow pvc pipe very shallow to avoid too much surface skimming, I think the horizontal pipe will be partially filled, am I right here?

Surface skimming is important to me, for some reason I am having oily film building up on the surface, I change water ever week and only feed once per day. I am using a fluval skimmer now, it works great but I hate to put another piece of equipment in the tank.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2005, 05:10 AM
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I have used overflows and Undergravel jets in the past. I have some suggestions. Use the BIGGEST overflow downpipe you can tolerate. It can get stopped up with snails, fish, filter parts, whatever, bigger means less of a chance of 'carpet washing.'

Also, because of the lift, and lots of turns and bends, you will loose a lot of head pressure from your return pump, get a monster. I use a $25 Lowes pond pump, about 350 gpm, on my 7g salt, and its not terribly impressive.

Another thing I have found, use small pipes to get velocity vs. volume. I use 1/2" CPVC pipe. It's off-white or cream colored, and smaller than regular pure white PVC. The smaller overall diameter is easier to hide under gravel.

I am in the process of a new 75g tank. I have a Mag7 to run the UG jets, but I am not going to use a sump, yet. Two HOB power filters that need a job will take care of that duty for now. The Mag 7 at near zero lifting head pressure, even with the losses through the bends should do pretty good.

Good luck,

Cham
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-15-2005, 04:32 AM
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Hey,

I was just having a look over the diagram's and IMO it's better to opt to keep things simple and use a regular overflow. I question the overall effectiveness of trying to use a combination of intakes. I suspect it'll be difficult to achieve the equillibrium you want. Factors such as grove depth, pipe and pump size, etc. all play a part. To shallow the grove depth (or to weak a pump) and the surface skimmer won't be used at all. Too powerful a pump and the bottom intake will have marginal gains, if any. The overflow (surface skimmer) will become the main intake. I guess the only way to figure it out is through trial and error.

If you really feel that you need additional circulation to remove dead spots you could always add undergravel jets.

-----

As a rough estimate for head loss, I believe each 90 degrees elbow (return) adds a foot of head.

hth, good luck.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-15-2005, 04:25 PM
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I recently built a sump and overflow for 15 gallon tank. Yes a 15 galllon , it is a bit of an overkill but It was a training exercise for my 70.
Anyhow The first drawing would work just fine.
I like a combo of surface skimmimg and bottom suction.
Anyhow I have pretty good co2 retention even with diy co2 . On the down pipe muffler cap I installed a piece of airline tubing which further reduces the noise. Also where the water enter the sump try to have it at a slight angle and use flexible pipe to further reduce noise and keep the exit below water level also.
I love my sump it works great. All my future tanks will be sumped.
I like the overflow in the 1st pic as it cannot lose siphon ever. You may want to
sand down the intake pvc pipe etc and paint with black krylon fusion paint. It is an epoxy paint that bonds itself chemically to plastic. It is aqaurium safe after sufficent curing.
Here is a directory with some pics of my setup.
Regards Botia
Here is my sump setup


My 15gallon tank sump pics.

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