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Drill a small hole in the very top of the tube. Then attach a nipple fitting for your airline.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I personally don't like attaching pumps to the overflows. As long as your overflow is properly sized to your pump (not waaaay too big) there will be fast enough flow through the u-tube that bubbles will not accumulate in it. I just don't trust the nipple to not come undone. If you get a leak where the nipple is attached you are done... expect water on the floor.


If you are overly paranoid, I would just put the return pump on a float switch that turns it off if the water level in the tank gets too high.

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how do you make a float valve turn the pump off and how would you mount it in a 10g aga without cutting a hole in the glass?

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Not a float valve, but rather a float switch. Like this...




You just need to hook it up to a relay to operate your pump. Usually people have them setup in their sump so if the water level drops below a certain point it turns on a top off pump. However since you are putting it in your tank (and are using a sump) you would have it turn your return pump OFF instead. This is because if the water level rises too high in your display tank it means your siphon has broken and it will soon overflow your tank. If you aren't a DIY kind of person you can get them premade here:




Which looks like this:




As you can see this one comes with a nice bracket mount and has a snail guard over it.


Just remember these are made to turn ON a pump, so you would have to turn the bobber on the float valve around, which is not difficult to do at all. To do that you just remove the little white plastic clip at the bottom (1st picture) turn the bobber around and replace plastic clip. As you can see no drilling is required.


The guy who owns autotopoff.com is very nice and helpful, I'm sure if you told him what you wanted to do he would help you out and possibly send you one specifically for your application.



I personally think this is overkill. As I mentioned before, if your siphon overflow isn't way too big for your pump, there will be fast enough flow through it that bubbles will not accumulate. I have had a siphon overflow box on my planted tank running for years and it has never had any bubbles accumulate in the top of the U-tube. It is an 800gph overflow with a mag7 on it.

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ok so you dont think i need the float switch if my pump is right.


I have a 20h with a 10g sump the overflow is a 1 1/4'' U- tube with a 1'' bulkhead. The pump rises three or four feet to reach the tank from the floor and its a mag drive 5.


Will this be ok???


Also if I want to make a nice auto top off that connects to the aqualifter pump what do you think I should use and how would I mount it on a glass tank??

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