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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I've searched and searched some more but haven't found the answer to this question.I understand the overall concept of the herbie drain and I've watched several videos but no one shows both overflows in their videos. Are there two drains, one emergency drain and one return? All the videos show an emergency drain and the submerged drain on the same side, this leads me to believe the other side is only a return and that the other bulkhead would be capped/plugged. On the other hand I've seen the warning "never tee off a herbie drain" which then leads me to believe that there are three drains total, drain and emergency on one side and drain and return on the other. If that is the case do both drains have a gate valve on them? I know you don't put a valve on the emergency drain. If both drains have a gate valve do they both need to be tweaked to start the siphon on the emergency or is one wide open and the the drain paired with the emergency gets tweaked?

Thanks for any help! I know this is a repeat topic but I've searched the forums for days trying to find this answer.

Cheers
Mike
 

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There are two drains from what I understand, one full siphon drain and other that's open to air. The reason they say not to tee off is because you can't create a full siphon then. Having the drains together or on different sides of the tank should make no difference assuming the water level is not different.

It might help to look at a beananimal:
BeanAnimal's Bar and Grill - Silent and Fail-Safe Overflow System

Herbie is the same thing minus the emergency drain.
 

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A good way to think of it is you have 2 drains, one under full siphon and one that has a very small trickle. This drain that had the trickle also serves as the emergency drain. You would then have a return line usually somewhere else. A bean animal takes this trickle drain and separates it from the emergency drain and typically elevates the emergency drain that way it is virtually impossible for it to clog.

As far as I remember there should be a difference in height between the siphon drain and the other drain to help the siphon start
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Herbie is the same thing minus the emergency drain.
Thanks for the reply. Do you mean a second emergency drain? Herbie method does use an emergency drain it just has a slight trickle down it.

Here's a crude drawing of what I'm referring to. Do both sides need the drain? If so do both sides need to be adjusted with a gate valve?

Thanks
Rooster

Bump:
A good way to think of it is you have 2 drains, one under full siphon and one that has a very small trickle. This drain that had the trickle also serves as the emergency drain. You would then have a return line usually somewhere else. A bean animal takes this trickle drain and separates it from the emergency drain and typically elevates the emergency drain that way it is virtually impossible for it to clog.

As far as I remember there should be a difference in height between the siphon drain and the other drain to help the siphon start
Didn't see this post before I sent my reply. Got it thanks. I suppose it would make sense to have them on opposite sides otherwise water will flow through the weir and have nowhere to go.
 

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Thanks for the reply. Do you mean a second emergency drain? Herbie method does use an emergency drain it just has a slight trickle down it.
A Herbie doesn't really have an emergency drain in the same way a bean does. The gate value is required on the siphon line because you need to have just a little water trickling down the non-siphon drain to keep the whole system quiet.

Odds are the siphon drain can handle more flow than the return pump can put out, so if you don't throttle things a bit you'll have a bunch of noise as the siphon starts and stop and starts and stops.

If either plugs the other should convert to a siphon, in theory, but one line may not be able to handle all the flow. In that way there isn't really an emergency backup (hence why I went beananimal).

Didn't see this post before I sent my reply. Got it thanks. I suppose it would make sense to have them on opposite sides otherwise water will flow through the weir and have nowhere to go.
Yep, that would make sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Unfortunately I don't have the room behind the tank to use bean animal style, also my tank is already set up for dual overflows, would be silly of me to take them out. If the emergency drain may have a problem keeping up with two drains it sounds like maybe I should just have one drain then, no? Unless you know of a way to use the bean animal on dual overflows. Biggest problem for me is that the tank is right next to our TV, can't be very loud.


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Unfortunately I don't have the room behind the tank to use bean animal style, also my tank is already set up for dual overflows, would be silly of me to take them out. If the emergency drain may have a problem keeping up with two drains it sounds like maybe I should just have one drain then, no? Unless you know of a way to use the bean animal on dual overflows.
Does your sketch show internal drains feeding down and out the bottom of the tank, or is the tank drilled in the back?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Internal drains. It's a Marineland 125. The tank itself is flush against the wall, which also happens to be a brick wall on the outside.


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A herbie has two bulkheads/pipes, not two overflows. If you want to use the herbie system with two separate overflows there are several options, but you will generally end up just doing the same thing twice. This requires two holes per overflow (four bulkheads total).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That has two holes in each overflow?
Yes, sorry I should've been more clear. The tank has two corner overflows each with two 1" holes, four 1" holes total. I've been combing the insanely long herbie thread on Reef central and I think I've found my answer. It looks like you have to tee the two drains together and put the gate after the tee. Then the emergency drain has a straight shot into the sump. I'm very comfortable with plumbing and carpentry just want to make sure I have my head wrapped around this before I dig in, suppose I should just dig in and get started.

Cheers
Mike

Here's a link to the diagram
http://i.pgu.me/pKOx_LnW_original.png

Bump:
@Cornishrooster

Why not this for your setup
Thanks Bobby. Only reason I wanted to go Herbie is that it's supposed to be very quiet. While I've kept freshwater tanks for a long time this is my first time working with a reef ready tank and sump. Is there a name for that method so I can do some research on it? Looks like a cross between a durso and a bean animal, no? Thanks again. Appreciate all the responses yall.

Cheers
Mike
 

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@ Cornishrooster

You are correct that the drawing is just a modified durso, I believe, and is just showing 2 overflows instead of the usual single overflow. You can replace the elbows with silencers or strainers and there you go. You would have full rated flow in each overflow instead of only one. Two valves should allow control in each overflow to match the drop. I don't think having a joint return is a good idea in any instance.

Full Disclosure: I have not installed a Herbie drain so I cannot comment on the noise compared to the Durso, but all of them require fine tuning based on the pump flow and can still makes noise in the sump even without the gurgle from above. Do you have a cabinet or just an open stand?
 

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WILL NOT WORK the way you intend. You will have a heck of a time balancing the return line to get no noise.

If you want you can do a bean animal like this

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=615217&thumb=1

In this case the overflow box on the left will have lower water than the tank, and the box on the right will be full all the time. I would add some screening if you have small fish you want to keep out otherwise the overflow weir should be sufficient. Set the emergency drain ABOVE that level and it will only come into use if your other 2 drains both become clogged. It doesn't have to be much, 1/4 inch or so above the level your tank would run at. Also putting 180 degree elbows (2 90's so the opening points downward) will help keep noise down as well. So will keeping the siphon drain a couple inches below the trickle drain input. It becomes far less likely to suck air in and makes the siphon start a bit more quickly.

If you don't have the both a trickle and siphon drain in each overflow box you will get noise. Hence why there is only 1 set your going to effectively only use 1 overflow. The emergency drain you don't want to quiet since you want to be aware when it's running.

I'm not sure why they still make tanks with overflows designed with 1 return and 1 drain on each side, as I'm sure you've noticed they're noisy

You could also do a herbie on each side (drain and trickle) using the drilled holes and hang the return line over the side of the tank
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@ Cornishrooster

You are correct that the drawing is just a modified durso, I believe, and is just showing 2 overflows instead of the usual single overflow. You can replace the elbows with silencers or strainers and there you go. You would have full rated flow in each overflow instead of only one. Two valves should allow control in each overflow to match the drop. I don't think having a joint return is a good idea in any instance.

Full Disclosure: I have not installed a Herbie drain so I cannot comment on the noise compared to the Durso, but all of them require fine tuning based on the pump flow and can still makes noise in the sump even without the gurgle from above. Do you have a cabinet or just an open stand?
It's a cabinet, just finished building it a week ago. I'm planning to put a silicone mat under the pump itself, maybe some type of sound deadening material on the inner door panels. Started a tank journal with some pics of it if you know how to find it with my name, I don't know how to yet.

Thanks again
Mike

Bump: Thanks for the info TheaterMusic87, appreciate it. Thinking I will do the herbie on both sides and put a line up through the wall/ over the top for the return., really want to make sure that it's as quiet as can be.

Cheers
Mike
 

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If you don't have the both a trickle and siphon drain in each overflow box you will get noise. Hence why there is only 1 set your going to effectively only use 1 overflow. The emergency drain you don't want to quiet since you want to be aware when it's running.

I'm not sure why they still make tanks with overflows designed with 1 return and 1 drain on each side, as I'm sure you've noticed they're noisy

You could also do a herbie on each side (drain and trickle) using the drilled holes and hang the return line over the side of the tank
Why not add a 2nd valve and dial down the return side drain so that water level stays above the siphon enough to stay quiet. This additional flow gets him above the rate if he used just one side. Agree on the 5th line as a return, but that does take the "slick" out of his setup and introduces other issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Have you seen a Bean Animal? I would never do another larger aquarium without one.
I have seen the bean animal but I can't use that setup on my tank in it's current location, also this is the only spot where I can fit this tank. Unless you know of a way to use the bean animal on a dual overflow tank two holes in each overflow then I'm stuck with two options, durso or herbie.

Bump:
Why not add a 2nd valve and dial down the return side drain so that water level stays above the siphon enough to stay quiet. This additional flow gets him above the rate if he used just one side. Agree on the 5th line as a return, but that does take the "slick" out of his setup and introduces other issues.
Really don't want to go through the trouble of adding a return line up the back. Think I'm going to mess around with the herbie setup the way you suggested it. I already have three gate valves on hand. Going to try and find some more research supporting my design tonight. Thanks
 
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