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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I just bought a PF-1000 overflow so I can connect my 29gal to my 20gal. I didn't want to try and drill this tank but I'll make sure my future tanks are drilled and ready before I set them up so I won't have to worry about overflows again.

Anyways I got the PF-1000 today opened up the box and boom no instructions. I looked online, maybe my google skills have failed me but I can not find anything. So I set it up how its pictured on the box and in most youtube videos but from what I can tell the only thing that holds the hoses into the bulkheads on the bottom is friction? If so I'm definitely not trusting that and I'll have to find a way to make the connection more secure.

The bulkheads are 1" so that means I should be using hose with 1" outer diameter right?
O if anyone is wondering why I bought the PF-1000 which is rated for 800-1000 gph even though I'm only hooking up a 29gal to a 20 is because it has 2 drains. Its the smallest one I found with 2 drains and I can set 1 drain up to be an emergency drain in case one gets clogged or something. Something like a Herbie overflow.

The standpipes that came with the overflow also have a small piece of clear pvc glued in them. I'm guessing the clear piece should be pointing up? Its the image I added below. I also can see where the big pieces of foam go thanks to the picture but should I leave it on my Emergency drain? Wouldn't I want the emergency drain to be clear and unblocked?

I'm headed to the store to get the PVC pipe for my herbie retrofit, a single union valve, true union ball valve, or a spears gate valve for my drain pipe.

Last question for now, I have about 5' of Braided Vinyl tubing (1" OD 3/4" ID) can I use this or should I go straight PVC on the returns and drains?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I picked up a 1" PVC ball valve, I forgot that I was told a ball valve is a PITA to adjust properly but I'll give it a shot. If its difficult I'll just grab a gate valve since I'm still in the dry fitting stages.
I also picked up some 1" rigid PVC. Probably not enough so I'll be grabbing some more. Now I have to figure out what I'm going to cut it with...
I'm going to use the vinyl braided hose for my return line since it fits my pump perfectly.

Next time I'm by a hardware store I'll pick up some light diffuser (egg crate) for the sump, maybe get some glass or plexi cut for the sump, a strainer for the overflow, and some silicone.

Speaking of silicone is that what I should use to glue my PVC connections together or is there something different that i should be using that is aquarium safe?
Should I glue the PVC into the bulkhead or is friction really enough force?

That's it for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just did the dry fit. It took me a while since I was waiting until I found a strainer, couldn't find one that fit at Home Depot so I'll try Lowes and/or my LFS soon. They were also out of egg crate but luckily I had some laying around that I forgot about.

After the dry fit I realized I needed a couple of 45 degree angles. Some sandpaper to clean up my edges (I used a hacksaw to cut the PVC).
I picked up some "Christy's Red Hot Blue Glue" for the PVC, I read any PVC cement should work as long as I let it fully cure (24 hrs).

So next I'll grab some sandpaper to clean up my cuts, do one more dry fit, then glue and wait 24 hrs. I guess after that I'll get to work on making the whole system nice and quiet.
 

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You probably figured it out already, but the PF-1000 uses standard 1" bulkheads, which mate to pipe with 1.38" outer diameter. You can use 1" spa-flex on the return to have a little bit of give - it is the same diameter as rigid PVC but is flexible (sort of, no where near as flexible as vinyl hose). Also, the bulkheads on the PF-1000 (and most bulkheads in general) are made of ABS, not PVC, so PVC glue will not make a good seal with them - you can get ABS to PVC transition glue at most hardware stores, the stuff I have is green.

You will want to find a gate valve on the siphon side if you are planning on setting it up as a Herbie (highly recommended), the gate valve I have is something like 8 full rotations from wide open to closed and the difference between too much flow and not enough flow on the siphon is less than 1/2 rotation - it would be impossible to get it adjusted right with a ball valve. Speaking from experience: I run a modified PF-1000 as a Herbie overflow for my 90P.

-Justin
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Justin.

I'll have to grab some of the ABS to PVC transition glue. The reason I haven't picked up a gate valve to replace my ball valve is because I haven't found one yet that fit my piping. I also haven't tried a different hardware store yet but I will today since I need to grab:

Sandpaper
2 unions
ABS to PVC union glue
2 strainers
I'll look into some Spa-flex hose, I test fitted with the vinyl stuff yesterday and it worked, if the Spa-flex hose is a little stiffer I'll get that.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head, hopefully I'm not forgetting anything.
Thanks again Justin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you! I wasn't able to find one either and I checked 4 hardware stores over the last few days, haven't found any strainers either so I'll order that online too. Instead I picked up some unions so I would be able to easily change out that section when I finally found one.

I still haven't glued my pvc together because I'm still working on my sump. Hopefully I'll finish the sump tonight and I'll be able to glue my pvc.
@jrygel when you used that valve did you glue it or just slip the pvc in? I read that we would have to occasionally clean the valve out would that still be possible if I glued it in place?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, that's currently my plan, glad to see it will work out. How often do you clean the valve?

I'm so excited, I'll finish it soon I just need to finish my sump 1st. Then I feel like my filtration will be up to par.
 

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I glued it in. There is enough pressure in that section of pipe that I'm not confident that a press fit would hold it. In my case, it's also running horizontally in a space above a storage cabinet, so it can't leak at all . . . I have a tee going down to the sump with a ball valve right after it in-line with the section of pipe the gate valve is in, so I can clear the pipe, open up the ball valve, and run a brush through if I need to. I've only had it up for about 6 months and have never cleaned the overflow piping though. I've only even cleaned the media in the sump a couple times . . .


-Justin
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Cool. I am definitely going to glue it, its been a crazy week so I haven't touched anything since my last post.
I glued everything together but those connections so I guess I'll slather some glue on there and (hopefully) finish the sump tonight so I can fire everything up in a couple of days. I still haven't found strainers in person so I'll order those online.

I'm pretty sure I can finish the sump tonight if I do I'll report back.

UPDATE: I just finished my final dry fit for the overflow. Everything was going nice and smooth so I let it run for a while and I just sat there and watched it.
# 1 I forgot to drill my syphon stop hole in my return line so I'll do that.
# 2 I think my pump may be a little to weak, on max power it was finally able to keep the overflow box (the part in the tank) full of water. I did have an extra 18 inches in the return line that I'll be cutting off now that I figured out how I want to plumb everything so hopefully I'll have a little more wiggle room.
# 3 I'm guessing I should keep my sponge filters going for a few weeks while my sump catches up but could I put them in the sump?

Now that all that is done I feel safe glueing my final pieces together. Hopefully I can put it all together on wednesday after all the glue has cured.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Thanks for the answers. Sorry it took so long to reply. The sump is not finished but good enough to run for now.

I drilled my syphon hole (and a backup one).
I took off the extra 18 inches off the hose and moved the pump up 6 inches.
I also moved the sponges to the sump, except for the one hooked up to the air pump since the fish seem to like the bubbles.
So far I'm loving the sump (the overflow takes up a little room but it's worth it). The sump is basically silent besides the hum of the pump and a small trickle of water coming from the emergency overflow.
Tonight will be the first night I lane it running all night.
I'll try and update tomorrow about how it's going.

Update.

Everything ran perfectly but I realized I didn't get the flow right. If I pull out my main drain pipe the water level stays at the same level so I think I'm throttling the line to much work my valve. If i pull my emergency overflow the water pours out like it's supposed too. I had to go to work so I didn't mess with it too much.

I think I'll try my stronger pump so I can increase my return rate and be able to open up the valve more. My stronger pump isn't a dc pump though, so I might have to add a valve to throttle it back depending on how powerful it is.

I also might try my hand at a dorso just for comparison in sound.

Update #2
Hooked up a stronger return pump, it claims to push about 400 gallons at 3 feet and my head height isn't a full 3 feet. The flow is much better in the tank now and it's nice and quiet.
I also looked into a dorso and it's not going to happen anytime soon, I got everything down to a trickle with the herbie.

Update #3
Alright now that everything ran again for another night I can say my only issue is air bubbles accumulating in the U tubes. I have 2 U tubes and they slowly accumulate air bubbles (it seems like 1 accumulates air bubbles more). I pulled a u tube to simulate 1 of them losing syphon and the force was strong enough to force all the bubbles through the remaining U tube.
From what I read its from a lack of force from the return pump but if I crank it up anymore I think the flow will be too much for my tank. My current U tubes are 1 1/4" I read online that some people solved the problem by switching to a 1" U tube (smaller tube = more force so bubbles are less likely to get trapped in it). I might try that if I can't find a different solution.
Thanks again everyone.
 

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Congrats on dialing in the herbie. You are right in your thinking of switching to smaller U tubes. It will increase the pressure and blow bubbles through. I prefer a single U tube design myself. I have a spare sensor that will cut flow to the return pump if the water level in the display tank rises too much. It will keep your main tank from overflowing if the drains clog/fail. Just message me if you are interested. Anyway, keep up the updates! Glad to see more sumps around.
 

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Update #3
Alright now that everything ran again for another night I can say my only issue is air bubbles accumulating in the U tubes. I have 2 U tubes and they slowly accumulate air bubbles (it seems like 1 accumulates air bubbles more). I pulled a u tube to simulate 1 of them losing syphon and the force was strong enough to force all the bubbles through the remaining U tube.
From what I read its from a lack of force from the return pump but if I crank it up anymore I think the flow will be too much for my tank. My current U tubes are 1 1/4" I read online that some people solved the problem by switching to a 1" U tube (smaller tube = more force so bubbles are less likely to get trapped in it). I might try that if I can't find a different solution.
If you tune the system so that the level in the overflow box is near the same level as the tank, you shouldn't get many bubbles in the U-tubes, The bubbles come from the water free-falling as it enters the overflow box. I am running the stock u-tubes have had zero bubbles in either tube once I got it started - going on a few months since I touched the overflow system other than cleaning the intake sponge. Not sure how your system runs, but I have about 1" that the water level could rise to get sown the emergency drain before I would have a flood, I also have a float switch that turns the return pump off if the water in the main tank gets within 1/4" of the top, so I feel okay about running the level inside the overflow box fairly high.


-Justin
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Congrats on dialing in the herbie. You are right in your thinking of switching to smaller U tubes. It will increase the pressure and blow bubbles through. I prefer a single U tube design myself. I have a spare sensor that will cut flow to the return pump if the water level in the display tank rises too much. It will keep your main tank from overflowing if the drains clog/fail. Just message me if you are interested. Anyway, keep up the updates! Glad to see more sumps around.
Thanks! I thought having 2 U tubes would decrease my chances of having a flood from a syphon break but it seems like it might cause one instead. If I pull out one of the U tubes the force is enough to keep bubbles from building up in the remaining one, but if I have them both in there the bubbles start to build up. I'm going to go by my LFS and see if they have any extra U tubes (hopefully smaller so I can test out some things) regardless I'll grab one if they have them just to have a backup.

If you tune the system so that the level in the overflow box is near the same level as the tank, you shouldn't get many bubbles in the U-tubes, The bubbles come from the water free-falling as it enters the overflow box. I am running the stock u-tubes have had zero bubbles in either tube once I got it started - going on a few months since I touched the overflow system other than cleaning the intake sponge. Not sure how your system runs, but I have about 1" that the water level could rise to get sown the emergency drain before I would have a flood, I also have a float switch that turns the return pump off if the water in the main tank gets within 1/4" of the top, so I feel okay about running the level inside the overflow box fairly high.

-Justin
I'll give that a shot too. Should I lower the box in my aquarium or try and change the water level in the overflow box with my valves?

I'll also look into some float valves, I've never used one before or wired one up but I'll start doing a little research.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I do like putting foam where the water cascades into the overflow. It's a good prefilter
Good idea!. I added one last night and it not only makes a good prefilter but it stopped about 95% of the bubble build up. I think I'll go buy a coarser black sponge for it (i only had some tetra filter pads, the kind with activated carbon in it).

There are still a few bubbles that make it into the U-tubes. I also closed my drain just a little more so the water level would rise up in the overflow box, it only raised about 1" but I think it helped.
 

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Thanks! I thought having 2 U tubes would decrease my chances of having a flood from a syphon break but it seems like it might cause one instead. If I pull out one of the U tubes the force is enough to keep bubbles from building up in the remaining one, but if I have them both in there the bubbles start to build up. I'm going to go by my LFS and see if they have any extra U tubes (hopefully smaller so I can test out some things) regardless I'll grab one if they have them just to have a backup.



I'll give that a shot too. Should I lower the box in my aquarium or try and change the water level in the overflow box with my valves?

I'll also look into some float valves, I've never used one before or wired one up but I'll start doing a little research.


I did it by raising the emergency pipe to maybe 1/2" below my desired water level, and then adjusting the gate valve on the siphon side so that I have a trickle (S.O.P. for a Herbie system)


I've never been able to find extra u-tubes at any of my LFS's, but Amazon has them.


My float switch is hooked up through my apex system. What I used is just a simple dry contact switch - you would have to use some sort of relay to switch a pump on and off with it, I'm not exactly sure how to do that.


-Justin
 
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