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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am in the process of planning a rescape of my paludarium. When I do I would like to put in a sump. This will be my first rodeo as far as plumbing and using a sump and would like to know if I am the right track.

The paludarium's main tank will be 6 inches of water, this will give me just under 20 gallons in the main tank. I will have a ten gallon as the sump that will be about half filled giving me around 5 gallons in the sump and around 25 gallons total.

The height of the front pane of the tank is 18" and the back portion is 30". To achieve a 6" water line I will drill a hole in the back for a bulkhead. My plan is to have a long strainer tube turned on its side to act as an over flow. Then have a 90 to the bulkhead then another 90 to the sump for this I will have a durso standpipe. I have a 1/2" inflow so I will be using a 1" out flow. Here is a sketch of what I'm thinking:



I also checked out the overflows at gl[censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored]s.com they have overflows that would work for this size tank so I might just use that instead of my design.

Also since we are not dealing with a lot of water I would like to keep the flow to as little as possible however the water will have to travel up probably 5 feet or more. I am figuring I should probably go with something that has a higher head (around 7 feet?). I would figure I should go with a more powerful pump that is adjustable and just dial it back to as low a flow as I can get to reach that height.

Any reasons this will not work? Does it seem like I'm on the right track?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That looks fine, but I would consider using an aqualifter pump to keep the line free of air.
Thanks for the reply. I could be wrong but since this is a gravity fed system there would be no siphon also the fact I am making a durso standpipe modification this would no allow for a siphon.
 

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A durso usually has a completely submerged L section inside the overflow. I'm not sure combining the overflow and L into one assembly is going to work to give you the silent Durso action you're looking for. I believe the water level inside the bulkhead should be about half full, with no air entering from the tank side (that's what keeps it quiet).

As far as the pump, yes you're going to need something with a good amount of of head rating. Two things:

1.) DC pumps are usually more efficient and better for dialing down electrically. I don't know what options are out there for smaller systems.
2.) I would suggest Teeing off the return line, with the new line returning back to you sump. Put a valve on that line. You can reduce the amount of water pumped to the tank by opening the valve (returning to the sump) more, without putting excess strain on your pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A durso usually has a completely submerged L section inside the overflow. I'm not sure combining the overflow and L into one assembly is going to work to give you the silent Durso action you're looking for. I believe the water level inside the bulkhead should be about half full, with no air entering from the tank side (that's what keeps it quiet).

As far as the pump, yes you're going to need something with a good amount of of head rating. Two things:

1.) DC pumps are usually more efficient and better for dialing down electrically. I don't know what options are out there for smaller systems.
2.) I would suggest Teeing off the return line, with the new line returning back to you sump. Put a valve on that line. You can reduce the amount of water pumped to the tank by opening the valve (returning to the sump) more, without putting excess strain on your pump.
I see so the way I have it set up the air will get sucked in through the tank side making the durso obsolete. I want to get some surface skimming action and that is why I wanted to do it this way. I am wondering if with such a low flow will I have that much noise to begin with. I could always do it this way and modify the overflow if noise is a problem by submerging the overflow. I also got the suggestion of putting a valve on the end of the outflow so the pipe only has water in it but that to me seems like asking for trouble.

I think I am going with a danner mag 3 pump and am going to have 2 return lines, one going to the main pool and one powering the waterfall. I am thinking I will put a valve on at least the return going to the pool possibly both to control the flow going to the waterfall. Would this be the same as your suggestion of running a line back to the sump?
 

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I see so the way I have it set up the air will get sucked in through the tank side making the durso obsolete. I want to get some surface skimming action and that is why I wanted to do it this way. I am wondering if with such a low flow will I have that much noise to begin with. I could always do it this way and modify the overflow if noise is a problem by submerging the overflow. I also got the suggestion of putting a valve on the end of the outflow so the pipe only has water in it but that to me seems like asking for trouble.

I think I am going with a danner mag 3 pump and am going to have 2 return lines, one going to the main pool and one powering the waterfall. I am thinking I will put a valve on at least the return going to the pool possibly both to control the flow going to the waterfall. Would this be the same as your suggestion of running a line back to the sump?
Its entirely possible that I ( or we) am overthinking this on a small system. There may not be enough water moving that noise is a problem. I think it might be possible to achieve what you're looking for by placing a downward U section between your overflow and the bulkhead. The U would fill with water completely, forcing the air to come in from the durso instead of the overflow.

Tuning a valve on the outflow is only a good idea if you have a secondary / emergency outflow. The beananimal overflow system works on this concept. First pipe is entirely water (by tuning the valve on it), second is just the slightest trickle, third is emergency.

The idea of having a line that returns to the sump is that you are controlling how much water goes to the tank without impacting back pressure on your pump. Therefore, splitting some to the waterfall does not achieve that, as its still entering the tank.

I highly recommend valves on each in/out as its very nice to be able to shut off or change the flow to each particular section. Once again, may be overkill for your particular application. The valve on the line coming into the sump is for when you want to isolate water in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Its entirely possible that I ( or we) am overthinking this on a small system. There may not be enough water moving that noise is a problem. I think it might be possible to achieve what you're looking for by placing a downward U section between your overflow and the bulkhead. The U would fill with water completely, forcing the air to come in from the durso instead of the overflow.
So if I used a U would that work if the system was gravity fed and did not have a siphon?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm sorry, I don't understand the question.
Basically since there would be no siphon effect since gravity is what is moving the water would there be enough force for the water to travel up the U piece? Then again if you are eliminating the air in the overflow I guess that would create a siphon. Hopefully this makes sense but I am still trying to learn all this plumbing stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ha I know what you mean, plumbing for this project has me second guessing myself all over the place. I might just go with an overflow box since I can buy a kit that is pretty much plug and play, but where's the fun in that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok reviving this thread with another question. Say I go through with this but then down the road want to raise the water level. Could I use the outflow hole to feed a canister filter? If it did and the canister filter failed I am guessing that would cause a flooded floor.
 

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Ok reviving this thread with another question. Say I go through with this but then down the road want to raise the water level. Could I use the outflow hole to feed a canister filter? If it did and the canister filter failed I am guessing that would cause a flooded floor.
Not sure exactly what "this" is given that you were asking about various things in the thread. But if the general question is can you go from a bulkhead to a canister, then yes. I have that on a formerly marine tank that I'm now using for freshwater. You'll need to come up with the various ABS/PVC parts and you'll have to Frankenstein things together to do whatever it is that you want to do but certainly possible. Or you can just plug the hole in various ways and use the normal canister fittings. The canister is sealed so it can "fail" in various ways without flooding (i.e., you can turn off power no problem, etc.). If the seal or a hose fails, then you could have water. That would be the case with a canister even without the bulkhead or with a sump too depending on how it fails. But catastrophic failure would be rare. More likely is slower leak from a bad seal/leaking fitting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So I guess the main issue would be that if I raise the water level it would be way above bulkhead for the outflow. If I rigged the bulkhead up to a canister and it somehow failed, the fact the bulk head would be lets say 10" below the waterline that 10" of water would end up on the floor due to gravity.

I would imagine that using a canister filter in a more traditional way (not using a bulk head and having the outflow tube coming over the top of the aquarium) if a failure occurred it would break the siphon effect and could not suck the water into the canister to leak out.

Does that make sense?
 

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So I guess the main issue would be that if I raise the water level it would be way above bulkhead for the outflow. If I rigged the bulkhead up to a canister and it somehow failed, the fact the bulk head would be lets say 10" below the waterline that 10" of water would end up on the floor due to gravity.

I would imagine that using a canister filter in a more traditional way (not using a bulk head and having the outflow tube coming over the top of the aquarium) if a failure occurred it would break the siphon effect and could not suck the water into the canister to leak out.

Does that make sense?
The typical "hook" for a canister won't break the siphon. Think about it... You can loop some hose over the edge of the tank and you'll pull siphon just fine as long as the canister is below the intake.

I think what I'd worry more about is potential leaking from the bulkhead/plumbing. Most are done more near the waterline so not as much water to lose (assuming same volume anyway).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
No I get the concept of a siphon but if there is a leak in the siphon I would imagine the filter would not function. Like if there is a hook (never heard that term till now) and you disconnected the hose you would leak the water that was currently in the hose and that's it. But in my case you would lose all the water in the tank above the bulkhead.

I guess what I am asking is would this be too risky. I realize it probably would never happen but what if it did.
 
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