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Gray Whale
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Plastic Mesh Tube instead of Durso standpipe

Hello EveryBody!

I wanted to post this because I haven't seen ANYONE do this...

I originally started a thread in the general discussion about rock rubble in my internal overflow...

For my Internal Overflow drain tube, instead of the Durso standpipe for overflow drain, I have used a Plastic Mesh Tube capped off at the end, for maximum drainage and prevention of clogging. You can see what I'm talking about @ industrialnetting.com ... filter cores and tubes... (can't post a link yet, sorry)

With the Durso pipes, you are essentially surface skimming the overflow box... So only detritus and organics light enough to come back up to the surface of the overflow will flow into your sump...

With the Plastic Mesh tube, I receive drainage from all areas of the overflow, without the risk of having any "rogue snails" or other such critters clogging my drain. In fact, nothing larger than 3/16" will have the opportunity to clog my ball valves or reach the sump.

Also, with this idea, since I have 12" of drain area, Imo, considerably better than the top of a 1 1/2" pipe, I have filled the bottom three inches of my overflow with rock rubble. Since the bulkhead prevents the last two inches of water from draining anyway, it would presumably have a chance to collect some waste... I say some, because the chances of collecting any are slim. I figure the rock rubble will allow pods and other such critters to live in that little area and feast on whatever may get trapped in the box.

What are your opinions on this?

And why haven't other people done this?
 

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Gray Whale
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657 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes. Any overflow box is a surface skimmer. (How else would it catch the overflow?) I have a 90g Reef Ready tank with overflow box in back right corner. I will try and get a picture up once my girlfriend goes to work. lol


"G~
__________________
Think Tanker
Friends Don't Let Friends Use Refugiums!"

I see that we have a difference of opinion already! haha

The overflow box drains into my 10g sump ran with Aquac ev180, 15g refugium with 6"SB, 5g return, currently waiting on new Mag18 for return. Had Mag12 at first... not enough flow.

Hopefully get that picture up soon!...
 

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Gray Whale
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657 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That would make sense. No real need to have an overflow in an overflow. I find it interesting that majority of pictures I see of internal overflows, they've all got the durso pipe inside the overflow to control the height and noise.
 

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Gray Whale
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657 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Picture of Mesh Drain tube

Yeah, so this camera stuff isn't difficult at all...

Put sand in yest. and just leveled it out a few minutes ago, that's why cloudy water.

No water in overflow box now, but will maintain water level by ball valves below tank.

Since bulkhead cause dead spot at bottom, filled with rock rubble so pods and such will stay there and keep it clean. Do you think this is more of a nitrate trap?, or could be a tiny piece of beneficial livestock?
 

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What are your opinions on this?

And why haven't other people done this?
Since you asked. The reason you haven't seen this before is because there are multiple problems with what you have done.

First off, without emergency drains (like the Herbie) you have an overflow disaster waiting to happen. You should not put a valve on a drain without having an unobstructed backup drain. As buildup slowly occurs around the drain screen and within the drain pipes, flow lessens over time. Sooner or later, the drain will overflow.

Second, the liverock at the bottom will trap detritus over time and it will be difficult to clean out.

Third is if a small fish jumps into an overflow. With a typical drainpipe, you can just pull the drain and retrieve it from the sump. If you pull the screen you installed to retrieve a fish (or even just clean it) all that rubble is going down the drain pipe.
 

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Fourth, without a way to raise the water level in the overflow box, you will end up with a lot of noise from the waterfall effect. Most people use a standpipe at least partly to raise the water level in the overflow box and keep the racket down.
 

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Gray Whale
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If there is any problem of algea overgrowth in a completely dark section of drain, I think there would be a noticeable difference before anything drastic happened, and with this considerable notice, that's nothing a bristle brush can't handle.

The overflow box water level is controlled by ball valve... which has no worry about getting clogged by anything bigger than the size of the holes in the mesh tube... Granting that unless the ball valves are constricting the flow by more than, I would guess, 90%!? There is no obstruction except for that filter sock waiting for it before it silently fills my sump.

Also, there is no worry for power outage or pump failure, because when the tank is shut down, the water level when everything is done leveling out, does not exceed the side walls. My system allows for up to 5gal of evaporation before the return pump would run dry. Letting you all know, I would not allow the water level to shift that much due to salinity issues.

Unfortunately I have not purchased an ATO yet.
My girlfriend tends the money trees... She let's me have some if I put up a good enough argument. lol >no pun intended for those of you thinking like that :D;)
 

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You would not believe the growth that occurs within the overflow and plumbing. Sponges, tube worms and many other organisms grow in these areas. That mesh will need to be cleaned constantly.

When I mentioned overflowing, I was not talking about the sump. As the drainflow decreases due to growth, the return pump flow remains the same. This results in the tank overflowing out the top and it's going to make a mess.

I will say it again, what you have devised is a recipe for disaster.
 

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Gray Whale
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah i guess it is, if I left it unattended for about a month or two... maybe seven...
The pvc cap at the top of the tube is removable, so access with a bristle brush is very easy.

I think my biggest issue will be finding a long enough bristle brush so I don't have to get wet! lol
I'll have to wire one up somehow...
 

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CONSTANTLY LEARNING
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I don't really understand the reasoning for it, but anything tried out and tested is worth doing, either to advance the hobby or just to advance your own knowledge base if it doesn't work out.
When I post about my DIY pvc overflows, I get constant reminders that they are disasters waiting to happen.
However, in the years I've been using them I've not had a problem with them, and I have 3 of them on the go.
They have no more chance of a disaster than the standard HOB overflows with U tubes. As long as air doesn't get in the tube, the flow remains constant.
I've never had an overflow like yours as I just use ABS tubing and fittings with elbows in the tank fitted through the drilled glass and out and down to the sumps.
With the flow I have, I can't imagine particles settling to any great amount in your overflow box so that they wouldn't get sucked down a standard overflow in short time.
In any case, the theory would also apply to the particles in the tank that settle and don't get over the overflow wall so they still remain in the tank.
To my way of thinking, the little that may get left in the overflow should be insignificant when compared to the amount that doesn't even get to the overflow.
Was this build up of particulate matter a problem that led to your design?
I too would be concerned about the valve situation based on what I've seen happen with internal build up of growth in black pipes and ball valves that I don't see until I dismantle a system.
My 6' skimmers have 1" PVC ball valves that have crustal growth, reducing the flow so that I have to scrape it out periodically.
Also, I KNOW that MY pumps in the sump vary as intakes get accumulations that slow up flow, which may affect your valve setting. And, while it doesn't happen often, when some of that intake blockage suddenly breaks free, the flow is immediately increased which may again pose a problem for you.
 

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Gray Whale
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Right on man. I guess the main thing I'm trying to prevent, is what I've read about critters getting into the overflow pipes and causing issues. It's harder to clog a square foot of drain than to clog a 1 1/4" opening of pvc pipe

I've never had an issue with detritus buildup in the bottom of the overflow box, but I figure why keep a bare bottom in that?! I am hoping that in putting the rock rubble there, I can utilize that little space.
It's like, "what does your overflow box do?"
"well it collects the overflow of water from the main tank and lets it drain into my sump..."
"oh yeah, mine does that too! but i also have some rock rubble in there and you wouldn't believe the amount of pods living there!"

Haha I don't know..., It sounds like a good idea.

I don't think this idea would apply to HOB overflows. The OFB(overflow box) I think is too small, and could not apply the same functionality of the rock rubble because it would be acting as a filter instead of a harbor for pods and such. The water flowing through the OFB, never flows through the rock. The rock is simply there to utilize a small spot that could harbor pods.
It is not my intention to grow pods in the OFB, I will be harvesting them in my Live Sump. It is merely a spot that if they get caught up in it, I believe they would be happy there.

As for everything else, with proper maintainance of all your pipes, and when nothing is running, the water level is never too much for sump to handle.
 
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