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Cheap Overflow


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I built one last year from the original design;




Same design. I hacked mine to pieces, making so many mistakes. I tried to make it quite with Durso and Stockman style overflows. The biggest mistake was that I tried to make it dual overflow. Some advice;


1) If you are going to dremel the "teeth" then go to the hardware store and get the 1/4 inch "Router" bit for the dremel, it eats through acrylic and makes NICE cuts. The other dremel bits will melt and crack the acrylic. The bit is like 10 bucks


2) The Lee Boxes are the weirdest thing. ALL LFS use them in the store but almost nobody sells them except at ridiculous prices. Search the web for "Lee specimen convalescent boxes" I ended up buying mine from these guys;


Get a spare one for general use, they are great for transporting corals and fish.


3) Use black electrical tape to wrap your U-tube, that will prevent algae growth, but on the downside, it makes it hard to see if you get a bubble in it. To avoid that, cut a piece of aluminum that fits over the whole overflow and place it on top of the overflow to block light in a removable manner.


4) I had two disasters with it, caused by the u-tube collecting a bubble and then losing siphon. The best way to prevent that is to flow water FAST through the U-tube.


5) Paint the outer box black or something, by the time I decommisioned mine (I have a 58g reef ready tank now) the outer box was filled with coralline, algae, feather dusters, worms, etc.... which all slow down flow and make it dangerous for your floor!



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I've got a durso in mine, and it gurgles a bit, but it doesn't bother me. There's so much other ambient noise in that room anway. I check mine every other day or so for air bubbles, and have had a couple. I used the airline tubing jammed up in there to suck it out, then I found a better way, for me at least. My durso isn't glued together, so when I get a bubble, I pop the top off of the durso and the flow increased to the point where the bubble gets sucked out. I've got the flow into the fuge split off from my return to the main tank, so I probably don't have enough flow anyway.

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  • 1 month later...

We installed one of these on each of our 90g tanks and they work great! We had our first power outage a couple of days ago and everything started back up without a hitch. Oh joy!!! Thanks so much to the person who thought this up. I highly recommend it to the diy'er.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Should flow between 200 and 300 gph safely.


We used to build these all the time in the 90's.


I ran two on a 74 gallon custom I built and it worked great. I put a piece of airline attached to a check valve at the peak of the u-tube then attached it to the venturi input of a power head. That way, if the power went out, the siphon started automatically.




dido, othis being really great advice!!!! if a company were to make utube with a bung for airline tubing they would make tons of money off of me... does anyone know of a place that does this already?.... i'm wondering if you slid the airline tubing in the utbe from the end if it wold work just as well?

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