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#1
godfathernikki

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I'm getting ready to start buying the parts for a 20 long mixed reef build, but I still have some questions about the overflow.

I am going to drill and do the 3 drain style to keep it quiet. One for full siphon, one for a durso, and one for a backup. Target flow is going to be around 200gph through the overflow, maybe a little less.

The problem is that I have no idea what style of overflow box to use, its placement, and a size that will be silent - things I obviously need to decide before I start making holes.

The easiest looks like the corner style. It just uses a single piece of acrylic that is attached at a 45angle in the corner, the full height of the tank. I have also seen the 'box' style, both in a full tank height version, and shorter versions that are only a few inches deep.

The second question is for the box type... should it go in the corner, or center?

And finally... does anyone know where I could possibly find something like this premanufactured? There are a few of them on ebay and such, but going for $70 which is a crazy amount for a sheet of acrylic. I already pmed thecowkid about a custom one but haven't heard back on his pricing and availability yet.

thanks in advance!

EDIT: Decided to switch from a 20l to a 29gallon. Going to go with a corner full height box.

Edited by godfathernikki, 16 April 2012 - 07:56 AM.


#2
Pickle010

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As far as style I think it boils down to personal prefernce... you are talking about a lot of holes in the tank and are going to need something big to cover them all.

Have you checked out glass-holes?

http://www.glass-hol...low-Kits_c3.htm

#3
godfathernikki

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As far as style I think it boils down to personal prefernce... you are talking about a lot of holes in the tank and are going to need something big to cover them all.

Have you checked out glass-holes?

http://www.glass-hol...low-Kits_c3.htm



Yes I did check them out, but not quite what I was looking for. Most of the boxes are far too small for 3 drains, except for the $99 dollar one(about 12 inches long), which is waaay too much $$ for what you get imo. I also don't need any of the extras they come with,or the back piece of the box(im planning on attaching with silicone) so I'd feel like I was just wasting money.

#4
godfathernikki

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Yes I did check them out, but not quite what I was looking for. Most of the boxes are far too small for 3 drains, except for the $99 dollar one(about 12 inches long), which is waaay too much $$ for what you get imo. I also don't need any of the extras they come with,or the back piece of the box(im planning on attaching with silicone) so I'd feel like I was just wasting money.


Is there by chance anyone else here on the forums who could make something like this? Still waiting to hear back from thecowkid.

#5
devmasa

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TBH, a 3 drain overflow on a 20 Long is going to be a bit of an overkill and has added costs.
I have a simple single durso style overflow and it is very quiet.
I think the key is to choose a correct GPH return pump.

#6
godfathernikki

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TBH, a 3 drain overflow on a 20 Long is going to be a bit of an overkill and has added costs.
I have a simple single durso style overflow and it is very quiet.
I think the key is to choose a correct GPH return pump.


It would have to be 2 minimum, I could possibly loose the durso. The emergency backup is a must have.
This is what I am trying to achieve, post is near the bottom: http://www.thereefta...d-119449-2.html

Except I dont have the tools (or skill for that matter) to make a box like that

#7
godfathernikki

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Well I just found out the guy I pmed about making an overflow box hasnt been on for a year(doh!) So I guess that's not going to happen.

I did switch from 20long to a 29 gallon though, but I still need an overflow solution if there are any ideas still floating around out there.

#8
nibor

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For that type of overflow, you typically need enough space in the box for the elbows on each drain. With only 12 inches front to back depth to work with, maybe you're better off building an overflow at one end? You could do this with two pieces of glass siliconed in place.

Another choice would be to build an internal weir and an external overflow box. That way you can reduce the front/back space used up in the display. You could build the weir the full length of the tank using two pieces of glass. You can use dark smoked glass, or paint the inside with some reef safe paint reef to hide the plumbing.

The last choice is to make an external overflow and cut the weir into the back of the tank. This is the best choice for maximising space in the display. See the link.

External bean overflow.

Edited by nibor, 15 April 2012 - 06:50 AM.


#9
godfathernikki

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For that type of overflow, you typically need enough space in the box for the elbows on each drain. With only 12 inches front to back depth to work with, maybe you're better off building an overflow at one end? You could do this with two pieces of glass siliconed in place.

Another choice would be to build an internal weir and an external overflow box. That way you can reduce the front/back space used up in the display. You could build the weir the full length of the tank using two pieces of glass. You can use dark smoked glass, or paint the inside with some reef safe paint reef to hide the plumbing.

The last choice is to make an external overflow and cut the weir into the back of the tank. This is the best choice for maximising space in the display. See the link.

External bean overflow.



Good point on the depth issue, that makes a box across the top back not such a great idea anymore, since it will probably be covering about 3-4 inches at least. The tank in that link is awesome! I don't trust my acrylic skills nearly enough though to believe I could actually build it water tight.

Probably going to do a corner box/traingle in tank.

With that in mind, I did come up with an idea that might help save space. Instead of putting the 3 bulkheads in a row, I was thinking of putting the durso and emergency next to eachother, and the siphon a few inches below. so the holes would form an upside down triangle. I figured that since the siphon drain needs to be fully submerged anyway, this wouldnt be a problem.
Thoughts?

#10
mohawk

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You can make one yourself., Its easier then you think., Just go to lowes or homedepot.., and pick up a piece of acrylic., You can cut it with a skill saw or table saw., Just tape the edges to prevent scratching.,. I used a torch to lightly heat mine and bend it over the edge of my bench., worked fine.,. Just dont get it too hot or it will bubble.,,. Practice on a scrap piece first and all will be fine.,, I cut teeth into it with a 1/4 grinding wheel., bingo bango., silicone., your done., Literally took me 30 minutes., and cost what., $17 for a piece of acrylic?

Posted Image


I went with a modified herbie system., 2, 1" drains., the lower completely submerged and a full siphon., the top just as an emergency but also skims the surface of the box.,. I use a ball valve (I know) to control my main drain and it works perfectly.,

Posted Image

One note on the overflow., You may want to think about making it big enough to get your hand down in there if you ever need to without having to tear it apart

Edited by mohawk, 15 April 2012 - 09:42 PM.


#11
godfathernikki

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You can make one yourself., Its easier then you think., Just go to lowes or homedepot.., and pick up a piece of acrylic., You can cut it with a skill saw or table saw., Just tape the edges to prevent scratching.,. I used a torch to lightly heat mine and bend it over the edge of my bench., worked fine.,. Just dont get it too hot or it will bubble.,,. Practice on a scrap piece first and all will be fine.,, I cut teeth into it with a 1/4 grinding wheel., bingo bango., silicone., your done., Literally took me 30 minutes., and cost what., $17 for a piece of acrylic?

Posted Image


I went with a modified herbie system., 2, 1" drains., the lower completely submerged and a full siphon., the top just as an emergency but also skims the surface of the box.,. I use a ball valve (I know) to control my main drain and it works perfectly.,

Posted Image

One note on the overflow., You may want to think about making it big enough to get your hand down in there if you ever need to without having to tear it apart



Thanks mohawk, the way you stacked your drains vertically is exactly what I was thinking of doing. Its cool too see one working. Only difference is that I would have a thrid drain for a dedicated emergency drain (duros&emergency top, siphone bottom).

Im going to try the bending method for the box, I think it will make that corner look much cleaner.

Are the teeth neccessary? Is there any reason I would want them over say something like a mesh that covers the top?

Also- When laying out where to drill, how much space should I keep between the holes? Glass looks like its about 1/4" maybe a hair thicker if that matters.


EDIT: What's wrong with using a ball valve? That was my plan too....

Edited by godfathernikki, 16 April 2012 - 06:58 AM.


#12
mohawk

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The distance between the holes in the glass would be determined by the flanges on your bulkheads., usually 2-2.5" should be plenty of room., but lay it all out before you drill anything.,., Cant put the glass back together you know.,. lol

If your using 1" bulkheads I think 2 drains would be more than enough for a 20L., I use 2 on my 40 and at full siphon a 1" hole pulls a lot of water., Faster than my 750GPH pump can keep up with if its open all the way.,

The ball valve works fine for me., Although conventional wisdom will tell you, you should use a gate valve because you have way more control as the ball valve require very minute adjustments to get it right., But have fun finding a plastic gate valve without having to order it....

The teeth are just an attempt at keeping things out of there., Although you can tell from the required strainer on the lower drain that it doesnt all ways work., I had a couple fish and snails ride the elevator to my sump before I put it on there., lol.,. Ive seen plenty of overflows without teeth that Im sure work just fine., I would avoid any kind of mesh as itll just clog up with crap and now you have a higher wall on your overflow.,

One other thing I did that helped was to cut a scrap piece of acrylic to use as a lid for the box., a dab of silicone in the corner of the glass and she sits right on top nice an sturdy., If you do it right., All I can hear is a low frequency hum from my return pump and skimmer., almost zero water noise., Be sure to drain below the standing water level in your sump..

#13
godfathernikki

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The distance between the holes in the glass would be determined by the flanges on your bulkheads., usually 2-2.5" should be plenty of room., but lay it all out before you drill anything.,., Cant put the glass back together you know.,. lol

If your using 1" bulkheads I think 2 drains would be more than enough for a 20L., I use 2 on my 40 and at full siphon a 1" hole pulls a lot of water., Faster than my 750GPH pump can keep up with if its open all the way.,

The ball valve works fine for me., Although conventional wisdom will tell you, you should use a gate valve because you have way more control as the ball valve require very minute adjustments to get it right., But have fun finding a plastic gate valve without having to order it....

The teeth are just an attempt at keeping things out of there., Although you can tell from the required strainer on the lower drain that it doesnt all ways work., I had a couple fish and snails ride the elevator to my sump before I put it on there., lol.,. Ive seen plenty of overflows without teeth that Im sure work just fine., I would avoid any kind of mesh as itll just clog up with crap and now you have a higher wall on your overflow.,

One other thing I did that helped was to cut a scrap piece of acrylic to use as a lid for the box., a dab of silicone in the corner of the glass and she sits right on top nice an sturdy., If you do it right., All I can hear is a low frequency hum from my return pump and skimmer., almost zero water noise., Be sure to drain below the standing water level in your sump..


Going with a 29 gal now, probably should have updated the main post sry :) The 20l just looked way to short with a wood canopy on it

I think I'm still going to keep the 3rd drain. It's not a flow issue, it's a failsafe thing. The idea is to tune the siphon slightly slower than the return pump, so just the tiniest trickle possible goes into the durso. If that durso happened to clog for any reason, it would lead to an overflow in the main tank, hence the emergency drain.

Sump is only 10 gal- all i could fit in the stand. It's a work in progress, the plan is to get the main tank plummed, fill it, then open the siphon and let it drain into the sump(which hasnt be baffle-ized yet). This way I know exactly how much spare room I will need when I finish the sump design.

The lfs is going to help me drill, they have all the bulkheads, returns etc there, so I guess I'll just get a general layout then finallize it at the shop.

Thanks again for your help

#14
mohawk

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Anytime.,., Good luck with your build., Be sure to take picture so you can.,., pass it on to the next brother.... (If anyone here gets the clamper reference ill be amazed., lol) ., ;)

Edited by mohawk, 16 April 2012 - 09:32 AM.


#15
Maddevil1

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FYI. I just put a glass-holes Super Nano Con Dientes on my 20L and its pretty darn quiet. In case you wanted to drill only 1 hole.

#16
godfathernikki

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So after going to the lfs and seeing the actual size of the bulkheads, piping, etc - as well as a durso in action - I decided to go with a durso and an emergency, skipping the third drain.

Since it will be viewed from 3 sides, I decided the center would look best for the box. I also drilled the bottom instead of back, it saved a little space that would have normally been used for pvc elbows.

The actual act of drilling was pretty easy but took FOOOREVER, about 30 min per hole. The lfs set me up with the drill and bit, running water, and even got the first one started to show me what to do. Fairly painless other than a tired arm from holding the drill.

I've got pics but holding off until I have time to put them into a new build thread. If anyone is following, I'll let ya know when I get it started.

#17
YankeePete

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godfathernikki,

If you still need any help with your overflow parts I can help. I have a full blown CNC plastics fab shop that I can make anything you could think of in.

#18
mohawk

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lol.,., Dull bit., I pop holes in glass in just a few minutes a piece., But the end result is what matters., Glad its working out for you., Its so much fun when you actually get to start putting your plan into action after preparing for so long.

#19
CH2iS

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your overflow you want is called a beananimal overflow and has been done. check out the link. lots of great information on his site. the 2 drain silent overflow is called the herbie system and i did it on my new setup recently here: 20L setup. both great overflows and virtually silent. going to subscribe and see yours come along :). good luck!

#20
godfathernikki

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godfathernikki,

If you still need any help with your overflow parts I can help. I have a full blown CNC plastics fab shop that I can make anything you could think of in.


I will definitely be in touch with you. I still need to measure some things up - it's going to be a busy day today at work but I have tomorrow off, so I'll probably get around to it then.
It was starting to look like I was going to have to do this myself, but I would much rather it be done by someone with experience, and the proper tools lol.


lol.,., Dull bit., I pop holes in glass in just a few minutes a piece., But the end result is what matters., Glad its working out for you., Its so much fun when you actually get to start putting your plan into action after preparing for so long.

Your most likely right, but imo the $5 they charged me was worth the personal instruction and not having to buy a bit and await shipping :)


your overflow you want is called a beananimal overflow and has been done. check out the link. lots of great information on his site. the 2 drain silent overflow is called the herbie system and i did it on my new setup recently here: 20L setup. both great overflows and virtually silent. going to subscribe and see yours come along :). good luck!


Yep beananimal was pretty much what I was originally trying to do. Ended up just going with a durso for the main, and an emergency backup standpipe incase something cloggs the durso. I saw one setup at the lfs like this and it was pretty much silent, so I went that route to save on some space. Good info on that site, though, thanks.

#21
godfathernikki

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For those of you following along, I finally got a build thread started. Not much in it yet due to running out of time, but I definitely will have more to come
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=300588