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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a freshwater 75 gallon tank and converted it into saltwater tank. The original tank had holes drilled in the bottom to fit bulkheads. I decided to make my own acryclic overflow tank. (challenging let me say the least). But i got thick acryclic and cut the castle looking grooves up top for the water to overflow. Then i bent the acrylic at a 90 degree so it could fit in the corner of my tank with the bulkehead at the bottom. I then used water safe epoxy to glue it into place. It seemed sturdy enough for the water pressure, but then i added some silicon to keep any excess water form leaking in through unwanted areas. I did this in the tank and the box part. I then filled it up with bioballs. The water would then overlfow into the box and run down through the bulkhead through a tube and into my sump (15 Gallon) but it would first go through, floss filter, then carbon filter, then a phosphate filter. I thought this thing was going to be nearly indestructable. I was wrong.
Today i was doing a water change for the first time. and turned off my pump. The tank wouldnt overflow the sump because the water level was below the overflow mark. The sump water level should have stayed where it was. Wrong, it slowly rised, and i heard splashing. My sump was full of water. and overflowing onto my floor. :(
This then means the indestructable acryclic overflow box i made has a leak where i glued it somewhere. If the power was to go out the sump would overflow and could possible wipeout my whole tank and my room!!
Even if the pump was to go out it could wipeout everything.

So what im asking is,
How can i fix this issue?
How long do pumps usually last? (Mine is two years old right now)
HOW CAN I FIX THIS? I am desperate and need to fix it soon. If i cant fix the issue, then i will cash in all my chips and call it a loss. I will have to end up selling what i can and getting the majority of my money back. I hope i can keep my hobby going. Please help,
thanks.
 

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You need to install a standpipe in the bulkhead that comes up within an inch or two of the top of the overflow box so it can only drain down that far.

I know you are using the inside of the box as a form or filtration but honestly the bioballs and media may be doing you more harm than good since they trap detritus.
 

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Yes ,Something is missing, Even if you didnt have your guard up. your stand pipe would drain water down to your sump.As long as its just below tank level a few inches.
 

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What I am reading is there is no standpipe in the overflow. Agee on all the bioballs, etc in there, I would get that out.
The problem seems to stem from a leak somewhere in the joint between the overflow wier and the tank wall, otherwise when the water level drops below the grate no more water will flow into the sump.
 

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Yep, but a standpipe eliminates any problems from a leaking overflow wall. The tank wouldn't need to be drained and overflow box resealed.
 

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Yep, but a standpipe eliminates any problems from a leaking overflow wall. The tank wouldn't need to be drained and overflow box resealed.
Good point, it acts as a secondary back up, however with the wier leaking it is gonna be hard to get the standpipe in place with out a mess unless the tank is drained to point the leak stops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok so the standpipe, I might beable to do that. If the walls of the overflow box are leaking wont it keep on leaking until it gets to the top of the standpipe? Then just overflow from there, causing it to over flow anyway in my sump?

But, i think i found the problem, i dont know for sure, but this could be it.

My return is pointed down into the water, not straight down but down enough to create flow in the tank. If the pump was to kick off, the weight of the water in the return would rush down to the sump causing a vacuum or a siphon to suck up more water from the main tank. Correct??
in my first thread the overflwo box leaking was my first guess. But i think it could be because of the return acting as a siphon when the pump is turned off.

Is that possible???
If so , then all i would have to do is move the return to where it is more close to the surface?? Its on the joints wehre you can bend them, i dont know what that is called. ha
 

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Toyotaholic
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My bet would be a syphon through the return line. A way to prevent this is to install a check valve in the return line and drill a hole in your return line just below your desired water height in the display while the tank is running to work as a syphon break.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sweet thanks nate, that helps a lot.
I will take out he bioballs.
But now, how am i going to put one of thos in, when the tank is already full??? I do have some marine epoxy if that will work. Or i could lower the water so it wont overflow, dry it the best i can, apply the normal primer and pvc cement, and wait a couple hours.

What does the dorso do? does this just make it so it doesnt sound like someone is peeing in a toilet?? ha
 

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Your return should be just slightly below the surface so when the power is off it will only siphon a smal, easily calculated amount before it breaks suctionand creates an air gap.

As long as the standpipe is slightly lower than the top of the overflow box, it will still work correctly and again wil be exposed to atmosphere with only a slight drop in tank level. You should always maintain enough freeboard or spare room in the sump to contain that extra amount which should not be much. In my case with a 100G display, I siphon a maximum of 3.8 gallons in a power outage which is easily contained in my 30G sump which I keep down about 8 gallons anyway for best skimmer performance.
 

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Ok so the standpipe, I might beable to do that. If the walls of the overflow box are leaking wont it keep on leaking until it gets to the top of the standpipe? Then just overflow from there, causing it to over flow anyway in my sump?

But, i think i found the problem, i dont know for sure, but this could be it.

My return is pointed down into the water, not straight down but down enough to create flow in the tank. If the pump was to kick off, the weight of the water in the return would rush down to the sump causing a vacuum or a siphon to suck up more water from the main tank. Correct??
in my first thread the overflwo box leaking was my first guess. But i think it could be because of the return acting as a siphon when the pump is turned off.

Is that possible???
If so , then all i would have to do is move the return to where it is more close to the surface?? Its on the joints wehre you can bend them, i dont know what that is called. ha
Sounds like your return is a loc- Line system, you can move it to the surface or drill a pair of holes just below the normal water line -

http://www.modularhose.com/Loc-Line.htm
 

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Tarpon
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I agree with everything said....and if you want to make it easy on yourself.....have a wet dry vac ready and running in the overflow box to keep anything from reaching your floor. The durso stand pipe could be eyed and measured to fit before anything else happens. The whole process may take 4-5 minutes if you plan it out right. Have someone help you and have them screw the nut on the bottom of the pipe. Make sure you have the gasket ready on your end and it should work out fairly smoothly. Unless you already have a bulkhead in the bottom......and then you could just slide a piece of pvc in the bulkhead (the correct size of course) and make the durso that way. Then you wouldnt even have to turn off the pump.
 
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