Is it possible to create an overflow with only a few inches difference in water level - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Is it possible to create an overflow with only a few inches difference in water level

Is it possible to create an overflow from one aquarium to another when there's only a few inches difference in water level?

FastForward to 1:55, can the white pvc on the outside of the yellow line (indicating the aquarium), be inside another aquarium? Can the waterline there be just a few inches below the flow's input?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DFk4bnIxEg

Last edited by mef1975; 10-07-2015 at 12:45 AM. Reason: .
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 12:55 AM
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I think the answer to your question is that the water in the tanks will end up at the same level. If you add water to one it will flow into the second tank until they are level again. As long as the syphon doesn’t get interrupted it will remain that way. This is essentially how people plumb tanks for automatic water changes. When you add water it flows through the system when you stop the water levels itself.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 01:45 AM
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I would say yes you can. If youre looking for the tanks to maintain different levels, youll need an overflow like you linked to, otherwise a simple u tube will suffice... also you can modify that style slightly so the tanks are further apart, water levels are different, etc.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 02:03 AM
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That style of overflow is also called a self-starting siphon.
As a siphon it works when the sump is below the tank. I do not know if it would work if the tanks are next to each other, just a small difference in elevation.
I have a couple of these working on some tanks. They are finicky, and do not work great. I do not trust them, and check them daily. They may go a week between needing attention, or they have overflowed the tank (siphon running slower than the pump) even when the inlet is clear, and should be no problems. I am really close to drilling the tanks, and getting rid of this style of overflow.

If all you want is a water bridge, then put the tanks at the same level, and just use a U shaped pipe and a fountain pump to move the water from one tank to another. Much safer. Long legs on the U reach to about the mid point of the tank, so even during a nearly 50% water change they are not exposed. I have used a few of these, and did not have any failure of the siphon effect.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theatermusic87 View Post
I would say yes you can. If youre looking for the tanks to maintain different levels, youll need an overflow like you linked to, otherwise a simple u tube will suffice... also you can modify that style slightly so the tanks are further apart, water levels are different, etc.


A simple U tube? Would that work after a power outage?

What about like this, or that??? Would these work???

http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/p...psx0syvcdh.jpg

http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/p...ps2sj44rnj.jpg

Obviously, there would be a pump in the lower aquarium returning water to the taller one.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 02:13 AM
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That is what I am concerned about.
I do not know that the more complex self starting siphon would restart under those conditions. I do not think there is a great enough difference in elevation for it to do that. If the lower tank were under the higher one (to the side is OK, just so it is significantly lower) it will usually restart.

The U tube holds water even during a power outage, and when the power comes back on, the pump restarts, and as soon as the water is moved from one tank to the other, it returns via the U tube. No complex siphon effect like the other system.
But the tanks need to be on the same level.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Diana View Post
That is what I am concerned about.
I do not know that the more complex self starting siphon would restart under those conditions. I do not think there is a great enough difference in elevation for it to do that. If the lower tank were under the higher one (to the side is OK, just so it is significantly lower) it will usually restart.

The U tube holds water even during a power outage, and when the power comes back on, the pump restarts, and as soon as the water is moved from one tank to the other, it returns via the U tube. No complex siphon effect like the other system.
But the tanks need to be on the same level.
So, if I brought the water level on the taller tank down to the same level as the lower tank, I could use a U tube, and it would keep water flowing from the taller tank to the shorter one cause I have a pump in the shorter one that outputs to the taller one, and it would still work after a power outage??????????????????? lol
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 03:14 PM
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Water will stay in any tube that does not let air in and two tanks that have each end of the tube will self-level when the power is off. So if there is no source of air to get into the tube, power can fail and the system will restart when power is restored.
The hazard comes in when you need to figure out how much space in each tank to receive any water that does come in when the two level out as well as space needed when the pump is running. Also it is prudent to watch the system for air collecting in the tube. Water often has tiny bubbles in it, even when we can't see it and these bubbles can collect in the tube. If not aware, this bubble can get large enough to fail the siphon.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 09:21 PM
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Might be able to provide a better answer if you explained your end goal. What is it you're really trying to accomplish here?

Rich's Fishes
Curator of an ever growing fishroom that currently houses 30 different tanks. Most full of at least water....some even have fish!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lksdrinker View Post
Might be able to provide a better answer if you explained your end goal. What is it you're really trying to accomplish here?
This, also either of toys pictures should work, though my personal preference would be for the first one, just because more of it is in the tank in case of a leak.


Also a utube is also technically a syphon as well, it just doesn't have an overflow to set input water level

Also also, the further the water falls the better siphons work, the more water you have flowing through a give size pipe will clear most of the bubbles while it runs, to a point. Siphons under most uses are noisy

If you really really want a good discussion on overflows, look up a bean animal overflow


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