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Old 02-02-2004, 12:55 PM   #1
-Rich87T
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Undrilled tanks...


In an undrilled tank you obviously have to go over the top with the water get it to the sump. My 75g. tank has two separate intakes (skimmers?) at each end that always seem to be fighting each other, and leveling/balancing them is nearly impossible.

Does anyone have any pics or info on what's available to get water from the tank to the sump? what works great and what's not so hot... Commercial or DIY, I am gifted with acrylic. I plan to build a test system in my garage between two spare tanks (one acting asa 'sump') to perfect the piece before installing on the display/sump.

I searched throughout the forum and haven't found anything useful on this topic. I'm looking for pics and proven designs more so than ideas and theories, but all will be welcomed.
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Old 02-02-2004, 01:01 PM   #2
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Old 02-02-2004, 02:42 PM   #3
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Not sure if these help...but this is the DIY overflow I built out of 1/4" acrylic. I do around 350-400 gph through this unit, although I have no idea what the upper limit might be.

The first pic is the top view of my overflow. It consists of a 6"x4"x6" inside chamber and a 10"x4"x9" outside chamber (no real logic behind the dimensions, just fit the space I had).

The PVC on the right is a Durso style standpipe. I highly recommend this for quieting your drain...

http://www.rl180reef.com/pages/standpipe/standpipe.htm

The overflow siphon (next pic) would be placed to the left of the standpipe and would connect the insode and outside chamber. That is a Hagen check valve in the top of the sophon tube. It allows you to draw the air out of the tube (establishing a siphon).

The third pic is a side view of the overflow (note: that is an old siphon tube shown, poor design). As I had not yet heard of Savco at the time I built this unit, the drain is a threaded male and female PVC adapter siliconed in place. Below that is a PVC union and then a ball valve. I highly recommend Savco's bulkheads. There are perfect for this application and their customer service is excellent.

http://www.savko.com/partlist.asp?pgid=2

AEB
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Old 02-02-2004, 02:45 PM   #4
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siphon tube...
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Old 02-02-2004, 02:48 PM   #5
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side view...
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Old 02-03-2004, 07:24 AM   #6
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(quote) Undrilled tanks...
In an undrilled tank you obviously have to go over the top with the water get it to the sump. My 75g. tank has two separate intakes (skimmers?) at each end that always seem to be fighting each other, and leveling/balancing them is nearly impossible.(unquote)
Can you post a picture of your set up. I am having a hard time understanding the nature of the balancing issue you are having
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Old 02-04-2004, 09:05 AM   #7
-Rich87T
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My camera isn't available . I'll take a pic tonight if possible.

Picture an outer chamber with a 1/2" open standpipe. The inner chamber and overflow are one large acrylic assembly. You tilt this assembly to set the hieght.

One problem of many is that when mine runs dry on one side, it starts sucking and gurgling. Normally I loose vacuum at this point, but it has a self priming system with normal air line attached to the highest point with vaccuum drawn from an intank pump attached to a back-hanging skimmer. The skimmer used to have ozone blown into it post pump to generate foam.

One of two things happen, either the overflow gurgles endlessly, and the skimmer shoots microbubbles into the system or air stalls(drawn from the airspace in the overflow), or the overflow tilts from the sudden release of water and the height is thrown off.

To further complicate balancing the flow, the plumbing has 3/4" flex pvc that flows straight from each skimmer to a "T". One skimmer enters the short leg of the "T", one flows straight through. The shutoff valve is located at the sump, after the two 3/4" lines are combined into one 3/4" pipe.

I was interested in and will probably build the Durso, which I had previously seen. I always suspected that the straight 1/2" -> 3/4" that I currently have was a major cause of noise. I just wasn't sure how big the inner and outer chambers should be.

Here's a quick and dirty diagram. On the left is a profile sketch. The blue is the stationary acrylic, the black is the tilting acrylic inside the stationary. The sketch on the right is the plumbing.
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Old 02-04-2004, 12:27 PM   #8
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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah...This clears things up a lot

When you say the "tank has two separate intakes (skimmers?)" you mean two Hang-On-Back (HOB) surface skimmers

I would recommend building one surface skimmer that can handle your entire water turnover volume (or will one of your existing overflows handle it). This will greatly simplify your system, and should resolve all of your problems. The pics that I posted shows a surface skimmer that is about 6" long, but you could easily extend the design to any length you needed if you were worried about coverage.

I plan to post a detailed description of my overflow on the DIY forum this weekend. It definitely has been a work in progress (in fact it is the second one I have built because I was not happy with the first one). I will try to include as many things as I can as far as "things not to do" and "things I would do differently if I built another one."

One thing that I would recommend, do not incorprate the "tilting" idea into your new plans, this seems to be complicating things. When I built mine, I drilled the intake holes (in the inside chamber) conservatively low so I could raise the entire system to the desired level. I have it raised about 0.5" with narrow acrylic scraps. Another bonus to this design is it makes it very unlikely that any snails (or others) will get inside the inside chamber because the sides of the chamber extend almost 2" above the water surface.

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Old 02-04-2004, 03:12 PM   #9
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Heh, what a pain. I planned to cut and glue acrylic all day today at work. I used to be quite good and thought this an excellent opportunity to practice, get payed and collect scraps for more practice on my skimmer at home. I set the glass bottle of solvent on a table and it plops to the concrete.

Guess skimmer construction begins tomorrow instead...

Thanks for the advice. I'll try to design a single skimmer. I used the term intake because when searching for skimmer, I all I got was protein skimmers. Do you have any recommendation on pipe size? I am currently flowing @ ~500g from the sump. Tank has supplementary powerheads for additional fllow.
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:57 PM   #10
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Well, I ran 1.25" PVC from my overflow "bulkhead" to my sump. I think 1.25" would easilly handle 500 gph. You may be able to search around on Durso's website (see first post) to find out more specific info on the standpipe/drain configuration.

Something to consider on the drain issue, Durso recommends that you downsize one PVC size from your standpipe to your drain. For instance, I built my Durso standpipe out of 1.5" PVC, therefore I made my drain (from the overflow "bulkhead to sump) 1.25" PVC. Apparantly this helps in the sound dampening capabilities of the standpipe. So, for example, I would recommend buying a 1.5" slip/slip bulkhead and put a 1.5"/1.25" PVC slip reducer on the drain side. That way you have 1.5" attachment on the standpipe side and 1.25" attachment on the drain side.

Sorry to hear about the bad day of construction, better luck tomorrow

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Old 02-04-2004, 04:07 PM   #11
-Rich87T
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Heh, you're recommending 1-1.5" and I currently have 3/4"...
I knew that skimmer looked restrictive when I first saw it.

On the bright side, my GF is buying me two more bottles of solvent and a foam can cooler to keep them in. Looks like construction is back underway!!!

Pics soon!
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Old 02-09-2004, 08:52 AM   #12
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Just a quick update, the new skimmer is half built and looks GREAT. Store bought even.

It is likely however to stay that way for a few weeks as have just supported the floor and I am now building a stand for a new 180 or 210gal drilled tank (we haven't made the final decision, but 210 is likely). Woohoo! Thanks for the comments, advice and other. I will likely setup the 75g later with the new skimmer, so it will get finished. Just won't be finished immediately.
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