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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are overflows/sumps just temperamental? The water level in my sump is either too high, too low, same for the main display tank, and to raise the water level in my tank a little I raised the drainage grate on the overflow and next thing I know my carpet is flooded...

No one else seems to have these problems like I do. I am using a mame overflow and a Vectra m1 return pump. Did I miss something fundamental about sump/overflow operation? This seems like it's infinitely more difficult than everyone else seems to experience.

What am I doing wrong? If I add water to replace evaporation, it's like the entire system goes out of balance and I end up with wet carpet or a sump that's too full and a tank that's water level is still too low, or SOMETHING.

Very frustrating. I see why you guys stick to canisters.
 

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Your pump n overflow have to match up.
All I gotta say, it's too technical for me.
From what your saying, def. sounds like pump is too weak. If u r sump was draining, too powerful pump and not big enough overflow. Is overflow clogged by plants or anything?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No clogs, and it's 2K per hour pump on the highest setting... It was fine for the first week then started "acting up" again. My pump is like four times stronger than the reccomended pumps for it so I don't know wtf I'm doing wrong.

I I spent $350 on the stupid m1 just so I woudn't have to deal with this and yet here I am. Sometimes the water drains too fast, sometimes too slow, and I'm going insane.
 

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I see why you guys stick to canisters.
It's no better with canisters trust me. Just ask how many people have flooded the floor trying to disconnect and clean their canisters or swallowed aquarium water whilst trying to prime one.

Both methods take time to master and use with minimum hassle, but sumps are the ultimate filters.
 

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Really people have those problem with canisters? Sounds insane. I started my first tank with canister being 11 years old and never ever such a problem occurred. So yeah, that's why I stick to canister, that, and smaller loss of CO2.
About your sump: I would recommend having the overflow in the tank higher, so even if everything over it flows to sump, sump won't get too much water.
 

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I've got a couple of questions for you...

How big a tank are we talking about?

How critical is it that the overflow be more or less invisible?

I will admit that I have never used a mame overflow, but looking at it, I think it's a real kluge of plumbing that is going to be tricky to get working and keep working. It seems to have a whole lot of places where something like a large snail or plant leaf could block the flow causing problems.

I use a Lifereef overflow on my SW reef. It's a somewhat conventional design. You can see them here (offsite link) - prefilter box, siphon box, overflow box, siphon overflow, Eurobrace, Euro-brace, Euro-tank This type of overflow isn't going to be as hidden as the mame overflow, but you shouldn't have any issues with it.

Eshops makes a similar overflow but I don't think it's as good.


It's possible to have a pump over run an overflow. In other words, the pump drains the sump faster than the overflow can provide water to the sump. This is yet another area that can cause floods.

Systems using a sump can evaporate a lot of water. You may find it necessary to add an auto top off system. Tunze makes a nice one, but others are good also.

Overflows need to stay clean to work their best. Even a thin coating of algae can reduce the amount of water flowing through an overflow. That's not going to cause a flood, but you can see a difference.
 

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I have no idea what your setup looks like. You've got to shut off your return pump, drain your aquarium down to your sump. Once the sump is full, pull your drain out of the aquarium water. That aquarium water line will be the line where your drain needs to stop draining. Adjust your drain pipe up to that level, so that it would stop draining at that line.
 

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Sounds to me like you have to big of a pump. Especially if it is 4x what is recommended. It sounds like your overflow is alternating between no siphon and full siphon, which would account for rising falling water levels, is there a loud gurgling/ sucking noise every now and then, reduce the pump flow for a while and see if it helps stabilize

If memory serves you want to pump no more water than about 75% of the capacity of the overflow and no less than 40% , to much and the drain can't keep up well, to little and it doesn't flush micro bubbles and you can develop a air pocket that breaks the siphon

Pictures/video would also be helpful
 

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:smile2:
Looks like a mini version, I wanna try that! I use a box or a drilled tank but...

You get that thing working and you wont regret it my tanks are never more stable or as clean as when running on a sump/trickle filter. Good advice above dont give up.
 

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I would Rather have to full of a sump Than water all over the floor if the water is flooding out of the top of the tank on to the floor than your pump is putting more water in the tank that the overflow can handle. Maybe you can add another overflow and have double skimmin capacity and keep your pump.
 

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Your pump is too strong. You're overworking the overflow. You are also using the least efficient overflow design. My best suggestion is to get an auto top of sensor and hook it to your return pump. Set it up so the pump turns off when the water level in the display tank rises too much. You also need to dial back the return pump. Your overflow should be rated at TWICE what your return pump is running at. That is how most of us size the overflow. The overflow will never flood your sump, if your sump is appropriately sized, but your return pump can easily flood the tank.

I had zero issues with my sump setup flooding. The only issue I had was getting enough flow through the tank. I highly suggest drilling your tank if you wish to keep a sump. It is the safest method of utilizing a sump, no exceptions. A single pipe overflow like you have is the noisiest, most temperamental, most prone to failure, sump option available.

The overflow, when functioning properly, will set the water level in the tank and it will not fluctuate.
 

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You have 2000 gallon pump with overflow that takes up to 300 gallon and hour. You got way more pump then you need. I really think you either need to down size your pump or increase your overflow to be able to handle pump that size. I have seen this before and water on the floor is just one of the problems that can happen with this problem. Your pump could run dry so fast with that volume with out enough return water. I also take it you have a vale on your return or you would be over flowing the tank all the time.
 

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i installed 2 m-1's on my tank a couple weeks ago. love them.
however, in replacing my old pumps i did need to fiddle with the overflow valves. what became clear, very quickly:laugh2:, was that i needed to reduce each pump to a 'level 5' (or have 5 lights lit up). this major adjustment on the volume side allowed me to then tweak the valves to my desired flow.

at feeding time, i reduce the pumps to 'level 1'. then return to '5' after the food has been cleared up. no further adjustment has ever been needed.

great pump...just tweak it from the pump/volume side rather than your overflow side. i agree with other posters that you may just have too much volume going thru your system.

fwiw, i've also noticed that sumps generally require minor adjustments to flow before you can see the result. i'll typically turn a valve by a 1/4 inch, then wait 15-20 minutes to see what happens to the overall flow before making the next adjustment. my .02
 

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Ok, we need to know what is the culprit to the flooding. Is it:

1. The return pump overflowing because the Mame overflow rate is not sufficient, or

2. The electricity went out, and the sump was over filled, or

3. Electricity went out, and you lost siphon, or

4. Other
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh wow thanks for the replies, guys! I will take some pictures. It's a 90-P (48 gallon) tank with a 45-P sump. I just got a more conventional high-walled sump (A reef octopus 80) and better tubing to install today.

I DO hear a gurgling noise sometimes, like a burp. I don't really want to get a different overflow, I just want this one to work. The minimal design was very important to me. I actually have a canister filter in addition to the sump, but I wanted a sump to run a reactor in, keep my probes and twinstar hidden, etc.

It's an adjustable pump but no where in the literature included does it say "level seven = X GHP, level eight = X gph etc etc"

Electricity didn't go out, and the vectra is attached to a battery backup in case that ever happens. I didn't lose the siphon FWIW, and if the power ever goes it the mame is supposed to automatically recover it's siphon.

Trailsnail, what do you mean by too much volume going through my system? Also I do not have any valves, should I attach a double-tap connector to the pump?

Today is going to be dedicated to drying up the carpet and getting my sump stabilized.

Mame makes one of these, would I need two or just one? https://saltwater-conversion.com/collections/mame/products/mame-design-float-switch

PS: Wouldn't the water drain from the tank at the same speed regardless of what pump I use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have no idea what your setup looks like. You've got to shut off your return pump, drain your aquarium down to your sump. Once the sump is full, pull your drain out of the aquarium water. That aquarium water line will be the line where your drain needs to stop draining. Adjust your drain pipe up to that level, so that it would stop draining at that line.
I'm sorry, I just don't understand what you are saying? Could you rephrase it maybe? I am kind of dense sometimes lol.
 

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And no water won't drain from the tank regardless of what pump you use. A 1" pipe can handle about 1000 gph at full syphon. And be very noisy at that. If your moving more water than your drain can handle it will never balance out.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I'm sorry, I just don't understand what you are saying? Could you rephrase it maybe? I am kind of dense sometimes lol.
What I meant was, if the problem is flooding due to electricity going out, try this:

Think of your Mame overflow as a simple aquarium vacuum hose. Turn off your return pump. Once you've filled your sump, pull out the hose, or else it'll flood the house. That sets your water level in your aquarium. Your Mame overflow should now be set at that water level only. Any deeper, and it'll suck out water to the floor.

Also, no matter how over powered your return pump is, if you attach a valve, it'll limit the amount of water returning into the aquarium.

I didn't read your other post until now LOL. So you probably need to adjust your pump or attach a valve to the return hose. Either that, or your output needs to drain more water than your return hose can put in. That Mame Automatic Top Off should work. You only need one.

PS: Wouldn't the water drain from the tank at the same speed regardless of what pump I use?
Smaller hoses will drain slower than larger hoses. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhqPbV4SyBw
 
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