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Starting my first Drilled/plumbed tank


Chino

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Starting my first drilled tank. It's a 20tall with a 10gallon sump. There is plumbing included but Im not sure if its the proper plumbing. I noticed that some setups I see have valves in the return and siphon plumbing. Is this necessary? I just want to know what type of plumbing ill need in case my power goes out to prevent overflowing.

 

Also, the person that I am buying it from is throwing in a rio 1100 pump for free and said it works fine but is old and to not unplug it. Will this pump be enough and work fine? I just need a pump that does the job, isnt loud, doesnt consume so much energy and doesnt product so much heat. Any recommendations? Mag, drives? Maxis? How many gph?

 

Here is a pic of it current setup of the 10g sump at the former owner's house. Only pic he sent me. Im getting the setup tonight.

 

img2471k.jpg

 

Thanks in advanced.

 

 

 

oops. Maybe this shouldve been posted in the Equipment Forum. Mods if you can please move it if necessary. Thank you.

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That's a nice clean photo of the sump! I never seem to keep mine that clean.

 

The overflow prevents overflowing. Ironic, I know. :]

 

If the sump wasn't well designed, then it may not be large enough to handle the drain water when the power goes out. That's just a volume issue. Incidentally, this could be why the previous owner has told you not to unplug the pump. An overflowing sump might be the result.

 

Either way, I think I'd want a reliable pump. Bad things can happen when return pumps go out and no one is home.

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I noticed that some setups I see have valves in the return and siphon plumbing. Is this necessary?
Some people dial back their pumps with a valve, I would rather just get an appropriate pump (a valve will cause the pump to work harder).

 

In a non-siphon drain, you don't want a valve (restricting the drain can cause a flood). For a siphon drain (Herbie), you do need a valve and another, emergency drain.

 

I just want to know what type of plumbing ill need in case my power goes out to prevent overflowing.
If the return nozzle is high enough, and the sump has enough room, there won't be a problem. There is only a couple of gallons in the sump for back flow; however, if the return nozzle is high enough, it could be enough.

 

Also, the person that I am buying it from is throwing in a rio 1100 pump for free and said it works fine but is old and to not unplug it. Will this pump be enough and work fine? I just need a pump that does the job, isnt loud, doesnt consume so much energy and doesnt product so much heat. Any recommendations? Mag, drives? Maxis? How many gph?
That pump should put out about 180gph at 4 feet of head pressure. This should be fine for an overflow rated for 300gph (which is fairly common). Do you know what the overflow is rated for?

 

I'd run the pump in vinegar for awhile, then take it apart, clean it out, and repeat. Sounds like it sometimes has problems restarting. You could pick up a comparable new pump between $30 and $80. I'd say you need between 150gph and 200gph at about 4 feet of head pressure.

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uglybuckling

1. If the end of your return line (from sump to tank) is underwater, please cut or drill a small hole in it just below the water line. The purpose here is to break the siphon formed when your return pump's power fails (like in a power outage).

 

2. A valve on the overflow line (from tank to sump) is dangerous but helps control noise. If you set your valve to accommodate exactly the flow in the pipe and no more, the overflow will be silent. It will also flood if anything (like a snail) gets stuck in it. Many people use this setup with an extra unused overflow set to a slightly higher level than the first one. The idea is that if anything clogs up the first line, the second line will be able to handle it.

 

3. Valves in the return line (from sump to tank) are NOT harmful to the pump (as you will read some places) and help dial in appropriate levels of flow. Many folks love them. I don't use one, I just buy pumps until I find one with flow that suits me*...but they certainly aren't a bad thing.

 

4. If you get bubbles in your sump from your overflow line, I have been plagued by them since I started keeping tanks (since I always run my sumps super full (because they are for macroalgae, dammit!) and consequently have to worry about salt creep)--and I have a few solutions involving overturned bowls, T-fittings, etc. Most people with reasonably-set-up sumps don't have this issue because (as shown in your picture there) they run their sumps half to three-quarters full. But anyway.

 

5. Unions are your friends. They save you from having to cut a bunch of PVC in-situ, and from having to wait for PVC glue to dry after cutting some part out of your system, before turning your pumps back on. Depending on how sensitive your corals are, a loss of flow through the sump for 24 hours can be VERY detrimental and in some cases even lethal.

 

 

* - then use the fact that I already bought the other, less-suitable pumps to justify setting up more aquariums.

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Congrats on the new build! I have a similar setup, with an ADA 22 gallon display (same as 20H but 2" taller), a 20H sump, and a Rio 1100. I've used Rio's for years and haven't had any problems. The 1100 is the perfect size for your setup, however it sounds like it might have some reliability issues. I would start by unplugging it and seeing if your sump can hold all the overflow from above, then plugging/unplugging a few times to see what happens. You might be able to just clean it as described above by others, or might be able to get away with new internals. If it continues to show any problems starting up, it would be $30 well spent to replace it. Not something you want to have fail on your system.

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Some people dial back their pumps with a valve, I would rather just get an appropriate pump (a valve will cause the pump to work harder).

 

It's a rare day I'm given the opportunity to correct you. :)

 

When restricting the outflow of magnetic drives, not only does the pump work LESS and produce less heat, but it even uses less electricity.

 

I got this on good authority from AZDesertRat and some experiments I've tried since absolutely confirm it. It appears to be true of all magnetic motors, including fans. Interesting eh?

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Good to know. I remember reading the opposite somewhere. I can't say that I completely understand the principle, but it appears that you are right. While you might be able to find a lower watt pump for a particular application, restricting a higher watt pump seems to make it run more efficiently than it would run unrestricted. I'm glad you pointed this out; pretty cool.

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Thank you all for the detailed replies as I am still trying to get a general understanding of how a drilled tank works. Im still learning some of the terminology as well as I am completely new to plumbing and particular types of pumps so please bare with me. The owner actually was not able to meet with me today because of issues with his significant other's view on the hobby. Poor guy. I will have to pick it up on Wednesday and until then will I be able to ask more detail questions regarding the plumbing that is already included.

 

That's a nice clean photo of the sump! I never seem to keep mine that clean.

 

The overflow prevents overflowing. Ironic, I know. :]

 

If the sump wasn't well designed, then it may not be large enough to handle the drain water when the power goes out. That's just a volume issue. Incidentally, this could be why the previous owner has told you not to unplug the pump. An overflowing sump might be the result.

 

Either way, I think I'd want a reliable pump. Bad things can happen when return pumps go out and no one is home.

 

Thank you. Actually you should thank the guy im buying it from. He's only had it setup for 2 months so maybe that's why its still so clean. Ok, I actually understand that the overflow prevents overflowing. Embarrassing that I had to stop and think about that for a bit.

 

I couldnt tell you if the sump is well designed or not. The only info I have is that picture I posted. Again, I wont know until I get the setup wednesday. If you are refering to the way the baffles were built, the picture shows that he keeps it 3/4 full so sump overflow probably wont be in issue. What kind of pump would you recommend because the rio 1100 he's giving me is old which makes me nervous.

 

 

Some people dial back their pumps with a valve, I would rather just get an appropriate pump (a valve will cause the pump to work harder).

 

In a non-siphon drain, you don't want a valve (restricting the drain can cause a flood). For a siphon drain (Herbie), you do need a valve and another, emergency drain.

 

If the return nozzle is high enough, and the sump has enough room, there won't be a problem. There is only a couple of gallons in the sump for back flow; however, if the return nozzle is high enough, it could be enough.

 

That pump should put out about 180gph at 4 feet of head pressure. This should be fine for an overflow rated for 300gph (which is fairly common). Do you know what the overflow is rated for?

 

I'd run the pump in vinegar for awhile, then take it apart, clean it out, and repeat. Sounds like it sometimes has problems restarting. You could pick up a comparable new pump between $30 and $80. I'd say you need between 150gph and 200gph at about 4 feet of head pressure.

 

Thanks for such a detail response on my question. I believe I understand what you are saying regarding having valves siphon vs non-siphon drain. As far as the emergency drain, does this require to have two drilled holes w/ bulkheads or do I just need to branch of the pvc with a "t" connector and use a valve. I think I just confused myself there. Not even sure if I made sense. According to this pic it seems like the return nozzle, if that's even what youre referring to as "return nozzle" is pretty low into the display and seems that it would be completely submerged:

5La5Ge5H43E43Gb3N5c8qe3bef22e933514e1.jpg

 

This is the overflow that he used for this tank. It's rated 1-200gph if I read it correctly.

Super sleak Glass holes overflow - super nano con dientes (seen here: http://www.glass-holes.com/Super-Nano-c ... teskit.htm )

Actual picture:

5L65I35Ma3E53Gd3Kdc8q1a18d7d2586a147d.jpg

 

As for rinsing the old pump in vinegar, it seems like Im better off buying a new pump. Thinking about the rio 1400 since that's the pump that was originally used by the previous previous owner. I just need a pump that will produce enough flow to were I dont have to use more than one extra powerhead in the tank. Im shooting for the cleanest look.

 

 

1. If the end of your return line (from sump to tank) is underwater, please cut or drill a small hole in it just below the water line. The purpose here is to break the siphon formed when your return pump's power fails (like in a power outage).

 

2. A valve on the overflow line (from tank to sump) is dangerous but helps control noise. If you set your valve to accommodate exactly the flow in the pipe and no more, the overflow will be silent. It will also flood if anything (like a snail) gets stuck in it. Many people use this setup with an extra unused overflow set to a slightly higher level than the first one. The idea is that if anything clogs up the first line, the second line will be able to handle it.

 

3. Valves in the return line (from sump to tank) are NOT harmful to the pump (as you will read some places) and help dial in appropriate levels of flow. Many folks love them. I don't use one, I just buy pumps until I find one with flow that suits me*...but they certainly aren't a bad thing.

 

4. If you get bubbles in your sump from your overflow line, I have been plagued by them since I started keeping tanks (since I always run my sumps super full (because they are for macroalgae, dammit!) and consequently have to worry about salt creep)--and I have a few solutions involving overturned bowls, T-fittings, etc. Most people with reasonably-set-up sumps don't have this issue because (as shown in your picture there) they run their sumps half to three-quarters full. But anyway.

 

5. Unions are your friends. They save you from having to cut a bunch of PVC in-situ, and from having to wait for PVC glue to dry after cutting some part out of your system, before turning your pumps back on. Depending on how sensitive your corals are, a loss of flow through the sump for 24 hours can be VERY detrimental and in some cases even lethal.

 

 

* - then use the fact that I already bought the other, less-suitable pumps to justify setting up more aquariums.

 

Thanks for the super detailed response as well! It seems like the end of my return line will be completey submerged according to the picture I provide for Seabass above so maybe I WILL have to drill a hole. I will have to see once I run it with water.

 

I think I understand the concept of having two overflows but I doubt that's an option for me. I will just have to be extra careful with snails or whatever that could get stuck. I definitely want to restrict the noise as much as possible since this will be setup in my bedroom but knowing that something could get stuck by having a valve in the overflow line makes me nervous. Hopefully the current setup is quiet enough already. Regarding installing a valve in the return line seems more appropriate but will probably not be necessary with the right pump.

 

Thanks for the advice on having the sump at half to 3/4 full. It helped me get a better understanding of volume.

 

I will have to do some research on Unions because I have no clue what they are.

 

 

Congrats on the new build! I have a similar setup, with an ADA 22 gallon display (same as 20H but 2" taller), a 20H sump, and a Rio 1100. I've used Rio's for years and haven't had any problems. The 1100 is the perfect size for your setup, however it sounds like it might have some reliability issues. I would start by unplugging it and seeing if your sump can hold all the overflow from above, then plugging/unplugging a few times to see what happens. You might be able to just clean it as described above by others, or might be able to get away with new internals. If it continues to show any problems starting up, it would be $30 well spent to replace it. Not something you want to have fail on your system.

 

Thanks and I appreciate your reply. As I stated above, I will probably go with a brand new pump since this one has reliability issues as you pointed out. Still deciding on which pump to get. There are so many out there. Just looking for one that produces enough flow, less heat, uses less eletricity, and is known to last of course. Will the rio 1400 be too much flow?

 

It's a rare day I'm given the opportunity to correct you. :)

 

When restricting the outflow of magnetic drives, not only does the pump work LESS and produce less heat, but it even uses less electricity.

 

I got this on good authority from AZDesertRat and some experiments I've tried since absolutely confirm it. It appears to be true of all magnetic motors, including fans. Interesting eh?

 

Can you or anyone elaborate more on what a magnetic drive is? Does this apply to a rio? Will a valve help a rio produce less heat and use less electricity?

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Here are the full specs and pics of the tank Im getting: Im not sure of the LEDs but I kinda like the DIY fixture he made. There's also a video from the 1st owner running it with fresh water. Info below was on his ad.

 

 

Drilled 20g high tank

Super sleak Glass holes overflow - super nano con dientes (seen here: http://www.glass-holes.com/Super-Nano-con-...ndienteskit.htm )

10g sump with 3 sections and glass baffles

Overflow and return plumbing

Rio 1400 return pump (new and flawlessly matched to overflow)

Black wooden stand

Blue/Black background

GU10 LED hood - These LEDs have been proven to grow anything from softies up to SPS and clams. Hood contains 11 3w (5 blue 6 cool white) led bulbs (see following link for more info on lights: http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=267432 )

Puts off an amazing shimmer!!

 

Video seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE5rWipm718

 

5G45Z65Ff3L63lb3Hbc8qaf7b901069b3128d.jpg

 

5Lf5Ke5He3E73I63N3c8qcb991161fea218ff.jpg

 

5La5Ge5H43E43Gb3N5c8qe3bef22e933514e1.jpg

 

5N15I85Mc3M73Le3p6c8q80a8b21c190e123b.jpg

 

5L65I35Ma3E53Gd3Kdc8q1a18d7d2586a147d.jpg

 

5Ee5Ke5S43Kf3F33Hfc8q3fb601bc72081adc.jpg

 

5Ib5N85H33n83Ib3J1c8qd4103bf24e651178.jpg

 

5Ib5Ee5Hb3L93N83Hbc8q11308e24390119f4.jpg

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delorean1981
1. If the end of your return line (from sump to tank) is underwater, please cut or drill a small hole in it just below the water line. The purpose here is to break the siphon formed when your return pump's power fails (like in a power outage).

 

Can you describe this a little more? Or even attach a picture? I'm having a hard time visualing what you mean here. Thanks in advance

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Can you describe this a little more? Or even attach a picture? I'm having a hard time visualing what you mean here. Thanks in advance
Let's start with the fact that a return will become a siphon as soon as the return pump stops pumping (for maintenance, power outage, or feeding). This means that it will drain the display tank until the siphon's suction breaks (by introducing air into it).

 

So if the return nozzle was at the bottom of the tank, the siphon would empty the display into the small sump (causing an overflow). Some returns (like the OP's) come down from above the water's surface; so you can place it lower than the surface if you drill a hole in the line a little below the water's surface (to break the siphon as soon as the water level reaches this level). In the case of this particular setup, it's up pretty high, so I'm not sure that drilling a hole would be needed.

 

If the return nozzle is attached to a bulkhead, the water level of the display will drain to the level of the nozzle.

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I believe I understand what you are saying regarding having valves siphon vs non-siphon drain. As far as the emergency drain, does this require to have two drilled holes w/ bulkheads or do I just need to branch of the pvc with a "t" connector and use a valve.
It requires a separate drain (not just a tee). Since you won't be adding another drain, you should NOT have a valve on the drain line.

 

This is the overflow that he used for this tank. It's rated 1-200gph if I read it correctly.
It's actually rated for 300gph, but they recommend keeping the flow below 200gph. Keeping the flow low, will help keep it quiet.

 

An airline hose usually goes in the hole on top the elbow of the drain (to help introduce air into the drainpipe).

 

As for rinsing the old pump in vinegar, it seems like Im better off buying a new pump. Thinking about the rio 1400 since that's the pump that was originally used by the previous previous owner.
Keep the old pump tp mix saltwater.

 

I just need a pump that will produce enough flow to were I dont have to use more than one extra powerhead in the tank. Im shooting for the cleanest look.
I think we all have that same thought, but your overflow isn't suitable to provide enough flow on its own. You'll have to supplement flow with a powerhead in the display, or even an HOB power filter on the display tank. Remember that more flow through the drain could make it louder.

 

I think I understand the concept of having two overflows but I doubt that's an option for me. I will just have to be extra careful with snails or whatever that could get stuck. I definitely want to restrict the noise as much as possible since this will be setup in my bedroom but knowing that something could get stuck by having a valve in the overflow line makes me nervous. Hopefully the current setup is quiet enough already.
It's just not an option to add a valve to a single drain. That would be a flood just waiting to happen. However, less flow can make it quieter.

 

I will have to do some research on Unions because I have no clue what they are.
A union is just a fitting (that seals with an o-ring) which unscrews to easily take apart the plumbing for maintenance.

 

Will the rio 1400 be too much flow?
It sounded like the 1100 would be a good fit. Again, you should be providing addional flow in your display with a powerhead or power filter. Having two sources of flow is a good safety precaution and helps provide more random water flow patterns.

 

Can you or anyone elaborate more on what a magnetic drive is? Does this apply to a rio? Will a valve help a rio produce less heat and use less electricity?
I believe that most internal powerheads are magnetic drive pumps. When searching for a pump, check how many watts it uses. You usually won't get a chart on power draw at different pressures, so you'll just have to go based on the pump's specs. However, a number of pumps will have flow ratings at different head pressures.
  • Rio 1100: 22W, 382gph @ 0' pressure / 180gph @ 4' pressure
  • Rio 1400: 27W, 420gph @ 0' pressure / 243gph @ 4' pressure

Adding a valve to either should make it use less energy than running it without a valve. However, it will also pump less water. I couldn't tell you if a Rio 1400 restricted to the same flow as an 1100 would use more or less energy than an unrestricted 1100; however, the advantage of a 1400 with a valve would be that you could dial in the flow the way that you want.

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Thank you seabass for all your .02 cents. It's great information and I've learned so much.

 

I just got the setup today and cleaned it. I think I will just purchase another rio 1100 and use the old one like you said to mix salt. I decided not to install any valves and see how things run but thank for you helping me understand the basics of a plumbed tank.

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Finally got the setup and im running a leak test right now. 3 hours with no problems. Just have a few questions before I add saltwater, sand, and LR.

 

1. On the overflow Im hearing so much noise. Not the gurgling sound of the overflow box but the pvc plumbing. It's the sound equivalent to pouring water. Is this normal or is there a way to reduce the draining sound? Is there too much draining or too much returning? Less return from the rio 1100/buy smaller pump? Or smaller overflow box? Valve on the overflow or return?

 

2. There is a small hole, 1/4" i think, that was drilled on the pvc right above the waterline on the sump that is making a gurgling sound. Is this necessary. If not, should I sealed it with silicone?

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2. There is a small hole, 1/4" i think, that was drilled on the pvc right above the waterline on the sump that is making a gurgling sound. Is this necessary. If not, should I sealed it with silicone?

Do you mean that the hole is at the top of the pvc drain pipe? That's there for airline tubing. The noise is being caused by air being draw down into the pipe as the water falls. There's a sweet spot that if you thread some airline tubing down the hole, the noise will mostly go away.

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Less flow might help with the noise. A valve on the return line might do it. Remember, don't put a valve on the drainpipe.

 

Actually, whenever I cover up 80% of the return nozzle it does not reduce the noise whatsoever :(

 

 

 

Do you mean that the hole is at the top of the pvc drain pipe? That's there for airline tubing. The noise is being caused by air being draw down into the pipe as the water falls. There's a sweet spot that if you thread some airline tubing down the hole, the noise will mostly go away.

 

Actually I meant another hole right above the waterline of the sump not the one at the top of the pvc drain pipe. There is already an airline tube coming out of that hole seen in this pic.

5Ib5Ee5Hb3L93N83Hbc8q11308e24390119f4.jpg

 

It's where the black plastic piece is hanging out in this pic is. The previous owner insert the black plastic in there so he could insert another airline tubing going all the way up the back of the tank. For what I have no idea.

v6lmxk.jpg

 

This is how he had it set up. See where the green airline tubing is? That's what he had connected to the black plastic piece which was plugged to the small hole right above the waterline.

 

img2471k.jpg

 

 

I tried restricting the siphon by stuffing some sponge in the the pvc in the sump area just to see what happends and I noticed the noise was reduced tremendously but after 20 seconds or so the overflow box starts making even louder noises because it's wasnt getting enough water. How is that even possible? I would think plugging up with the spong would me the overflow box "overflow". Im so confused what to do here. I think I may be having too much siphon.

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Sorry, black on black, I didn't see it there. :)

 

Yeah, sounds like you made a full siphon, which is nice and silent, but requires perfectly tuned flow and restriction. Typically it'll surge, going from silent to waterfall and back to silent in a regular cycle.

 

Probably not a silver bullet, but I know some people have had success replacing their perfectly vertical pvc drain pipe with a section of flexible pvc that they give a gentle curve down to the sump. Might be worth considering.

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Sorry, black on black, I didn't see it there. :)

 

Yeah, sounds like you made a full siphon, which is nice and silent, but requires perfectly tuned flow and restriction. Typically it'll surge, going from silent to waterfall and back to silent in a regular cycle.

 

Probably not a silver bullet, but I know some people have had success replacing their perfectly vertical pvc drain pipe with a section of flexible pvc that they give a gentle curve down to the sump. Might be worth considering.

 

Ive been doing a ton of research for the past couple of hours and heard about the flexible pvc idea. Im not sure how this will help. Im trying to just use the original plumbing but it looks like I might have to change it up. Just trying to find other alternatives before replumbing everything.

 

I've also heard that the pvc should only be submerged in the sump approx. 1" preferbly ending in a 45 degree pvc. I forgot to mention mine is very far into the sump. About 5-6" straight down with no 45 degree pvc and dumping tons of bubbles into the drain section of the sump causing splash. Does anyone think this may be causing the noise of the water cascading down the drain pipe so loudly? I was thinking about just cutting it to 1" below the waterline to see what happens.

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Sump depth probably isn't the issue. I'm kind of surprised the airline tubing isn't doing more to solve the problem.

 

FWIW, restricting the drain is okay so long as you have an emergency overflow drain farther up the line. Imagine putting a T just under the elbow. In this way you can place a gate-valve on the drain and finely tune the restriction until the water line moves far enough up that it doesn't make too much noise. Then if it clogs, the waterline rises until it just goes down the alternate pipe. Which in turn creates an audible indication of the clog.

 

Just another idea to consider. The only sure solution is to reduce the flow.

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Have you tried adjusting the vent tube? Move it up and down to see how it affects the noise. Could the vent tube be clogged?

 

I was thinking about just cutting it to 1" below the waterline to see what happens.
You could. :unsure:

 

IDK what the lower hole in the drainpipe is for. You might cut the pipe where the hole is and install a fitting to extend it back down (like a coupling fitting). However, I wouldn't glue it until you are satisfied with what you have achieved.

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Sump depth probably isn't the issue. I'm kind of surprised the airline tubing isn't doing more to solve the problem.

 

FWIW, restricting the drain is okay so long as you have an emergency overflow drain farther up the line. Imagine putting a T just under the elbow. In this way you can place a gate-valve on the drain and finely tune the restriction until the water line moves far enough up that it doesn't make too much noise. Then if it clogs, the waterline rises until it just goes down the alternate pipe. Which in turn creates an audible indication of the clog.

 

Just another idea to consider. The only sure solution is to reduce the flow.

 

I tried cutting the pvc to 1" below the water line. No luck but now I hear the gurgling of bubbles. Larger bubbles. Im not so much of a DIY person to make a dual drain. Might have to pay someone to do that for me. Although, I did restrict the drain with a sponge and it got quiet but the overflow box started gurgling like crazy. I give up!

 

Have you tried adjusting the vent tube? Move it up and down to see how it affects the noise. Could the vent tube be clogged?

 

You could. :unsure:

 

IDK what the lower hole in the drainpipe is for. You might cut the pipe where the hole is and install a fitting to extend it back down (like a coupling fitting). However, I wouldn't glue it until you are satisfied with what you have achieved.

 

I tried adjusting the vent tube. No luck at all. Went to home depot yesterday and was completely confused on what size pvcs I needed. I gave up after 15 minutes. Im thinking about using vinyl tubing for the drain. I believe its just the sound of the water rushing through pvc but not sure. So stressful lol. I came close to just selling the whole setup and going back to an AIO tank :(

 

Could it be that the drain is a pvc going straight down so far that's making the noise? Do you think it would help if I made a drain that zig zaged down to the sump?

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Wow, I totally orphaned a bunch of posts on this thread. Sorry about that! Thanks seabass and whys for the amazing job y'all did of explaining my apocryphal nonsense and providing the OP with great answers. If anybody is still confused as to why a hole is needed in the return line, lemme know.

 

Meanwhile, I have to say that y'all are now out of my depth. I had an overflow in my old 20 long that made more noise than I was willing to live with. I chased that noise for months, wound up with exactly what Whys is describing with the bouncing back and forth between full siphon and not full siphon. I was STILL unhappy with it, and finally wound up with a setup involving two drain pipes (Herbie). I still cannot explain why the single-pipe system was so noisy in that tank.

 

Now I have my new 75 gallon and it came "reef ready." Figuring I'd have to futz with it for a long time and probably use both of the drilled holes as drains, I decided to give the single drain it came with a shot, before going ahead and setting up another Herbie. This time, one drain was whisper quiet. No idea how. So I set it up their way, one hole for overflow and one for return, and have not asked questions. The only thing I see that's different between the two setups is that this new one has a couple of PVC elbows at the top (so the overflow, instead of being a pipe that opens toward the ceiling, is instead a pipe that WOULD open toward the ceiling, but then has a U on the end of it, and winds up opening pointing at the floor). It's got a piece of airline sticking out the top of it like the one in your picture of the top elbow.

 

 

I agree that one overflow pipe + valve = you will eventually cause a flood. Don't do that. =)

 

 

With regard to having a long stretch of PVC pipe, my current one (silent) has a four foot drop, whereas my old one (really loud) had at most a four inch straight drop. So for me, twists and turns in the PVC pipe does not correlate with quieter. Your mileage may vary.

 

Also here are several search terms for you if you want to do more reading in this department. These terms are bringing back memories of trying to silence my own overflow, and man, I don't like flashbacks...so I'm gonna stop here: Durso, Beananimal, Stockman, Herbie.

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I tried cutting the pvc to 1" below the water line. No luck but now I hear the gurgling of bubbles. Larger bubbles. Im not so much of a DIY person to make a dual drain. Might have to pay someone to do that for me. Although, I did restrict the drain with a sponge and it got quiet but the overflow box started gurgling like crazy. I give up!

 

 

 

I tried adjusting the vent tube. No luck at all. Went to home depot yesterday and was completely confused on what size pvcs I needed. I gave up after 15 minutes. Im thinking about using vinyl tubing for the drain. I believe its just the sound of the water rushing through pvc but not sure. So stressful lol. I came close to just selling the whole setup and going back to an AIO tank :(

 

Could it be that the drain is a pvc going straight down so far that's making the noise? Do you think it would help if I made a drain that zig zaged down to the sump?

A few things. First you have 1" PVC. Now I read kinda fast but if I understand you correctly, at first you had more of a water falling sound then a gurgling sound. Right? After you shortened up the PVC in the sump you now have more of a gurgling sound and or both, correct? A few things I would change. First, this will require you to replace the bulk head fitting. But on the back side where you currently have a 90 fitting, I would have used a tee fitting instead. This will allow all the air you need to get into the line. That should stop the gurgling or slurping sound. Then for down in the sump you can try adding a 45 degree or a 90 fitting on the end. Then you can play around with the flow from the sump to help quiet it down a bit. one last thing you can try, put a sponge inside the over flow box, if you hear like a water fall sound, but be carfule with this for when the sponge gets dirty it may plug the drain line.

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Wow, I totally orphaned a bunch of posts on this thread. Sorry about that! Thanks seabass and whys for the amazing job y'all did of explaining my apocryphal nonsense and providing the OP with great answers. If anybody is still confused as to why a hole is needed in the return line, lemme know.

 

Meanwhile, I have to say that y'all are now out of my depth. I had an overflow in my old 20 long that made more noise than I was willing to live with. I chased that noise for months, wound up with exactly what Whys is describing with the bouncing back and forth between full siphon and not full siphon. I was STILL unhappy with it, and finally wound up with a setup involving two drain pipes (Herbie). I still cannot explain why the single-pipe system was so noisy in that tank.

 

Now I have my new 75 gallon and it came "reef ready." Figuring I'd have to futz with it for a long time and probably use both of the drilled holes as drains, I decided to give the single drain it came with a shot, before going ahead and setting up another Herbie. This time, one drain was whisper quiet. No idea how. So I set it up their way, one hole for overflow and one for return, and have not asked questions. The only thing I see that's different between the two setups is that this new one has a couple of PVC elbows at the top (so the overflow, instead of being a pipe that opens toward the ceiling, is instead a pipe that WOULD open toward the ceiling, but then has a U on the end of it, and winds up opening pointing at the floor). It's got a piece of airline sticking out the top of it like the one in your picture of the top elbow.

 

 

I agree that one overflow pipe + valve = you will eventually cause a flood. Don't do that. =)

 

 

With regard to having a long stretch of PVC pipe, my current one (silent) has a four foot drop, whereas my old one (really loud) had at most a four inch straight drop. So for me, twists and turns in the PVC pipe does not correlate with quieter. Your mileage may vary.

 

Also here are several search terms for you if you want to do more reading in this department. These terms are bringing back memories of trying to silence my own overflow, and man, I don't like flashbacks...so I'm gonna stop here: Durso, Beananimal, Stockman, Herbie.

 

Thanks again for the reply. Your experience with those two tanks left me wondering if I should even do anything to the drain. The 4' drop vs the 4" drop. I recently order a rio 1400 to see what would happen if the flow is stronger into the overflow box. I noticed that when the waterline in the overflow is about .5" higher the sound goes away. The overflow is rated 300gph and with the current rio 1100 it's getting approx 230gph with head pressure. WIth the 1400 I will be getting 290gph with head pressure. I want to try this out before I take the next step which is to install an external durso at the bulkhead. Also, I might just run the tank for a while to see if the sound will go away after the pipes slime up. I definitely will not install a valve on the drain. Too risky.

 

A few things. First you have 1" PVC. Now I read kinda fast but if I understand you correctly, at first you had more of a water falling sound then a gurgling sound. Right? After you shortened up the PVC in the sump you now have more of a gurgling sound and or both, correct? A few things I would change. First, this will require you to replace the bulk head fitting. But on the back side where you currently have a 90 fitting, I would have used a tee fitting instead. This will allow all the air you need to get into the line. That should stop the gurgling or slurping sound. Then for down in the sump you can try adding a 45 degree or a 90 fitting on the end. Then you can play around with the flow from the sump to help quiet it down a bit. one last thing you can try, put a sponge inside the over flow box, if you hear like a water fall sound, but be carfule with this for when the sponge gets dirty it may plug the drain line.

 

Thanks for your reply as well. That's correct. From the bulkhead is a 90 degree elbow with a hole and tubing for air. Then straight down about 2 feet into a union. Then about another foot with two 45 degree elbows seen in the pics. The only thing I've done with the plumbing is shortened up the PVC in the sump which only added a bubbling sound in the sump area not the gurgling sound in the overflow box. The overflow box is fine. It did not solve the "water falling" sound.

 

As I mentioned above, if installing the new rio 1400 does not work, I will downgrade back to the rio 1100 and install the tee from the bulkhead but add a cap and drill a hole. Much like a durso but external. That's the most popular answer I've been getting. Thanks for your advice.

 

I tried the sponge in the overflow box with no luck. No difference. Im hoping it's just more flow needed and or waiting for the pipes to slime up.

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Just brain storming, but one thing you said that you are hearing is the water falling with in the PVC pipe. Well looking at the picture, if you did a 180 with the sump, loosen the bulkhead and rotate is a bit, and extend the bottom piece, you may eliminate falling water sound all together. Basically the PVC would be more like a slide effect vs a straight drop. So now the water from the tank will enter on the left side vs the right side, but like I said you would have to flip the sump. Just a thought..........

 

Bluprntguy,

 

Yes I know that the hole with tubing does allow air in, but some times depending on flow rate that's not enough air.

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