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Thread: Guidance on researching Overflow to Sump plumbing

  1. #1
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    Redherring's Avatar
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    Guidance on researching Overflow to Sump plumbing

    I am wondering if I should set up a sump for my larger SW build, but I find myself overwhelmed with different opinions and builds. Could anyone point me in the right direction for a good discussion on doing an overflow (my tank is not drilled) to sump plumbing so that there is very little chance of flooding?



  2. #2
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    Staceym's Avatar
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    There is so much online about this topic!

    From my own personal experience, a sump is the way to go! More water volume, hides the equipment and a spot to set up your refugium and/or food cultures!

    For me I used an overflow box....my biggest regret! While they do work well and the risk of flooding is pretty slim, they are noisy and take up a lot of room on the back of the tank. If I could go back I would drill the tank (at the top...bottom scares me :)) I overcame the noise with a durso pipe, but that can be tricky depending on the size of the box.

    Another option for overflow without drilling is this:

    I have never tried this, but know someone who did and they found it worked well.

    Perhaps the easiest thing to do will be finding someone local. Someone who has a successful set up that you can see and that they can walk you through step by step. Also you can get them to show you what would happen if the power goes out, maybe that will help to get rid of that nasty thought of flooding :)
    ..` A woman needs a man like a fish needs a net. ..`

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    Thank you Staceym! Yes, there is sooo much information, I felt completely daunted... which is unusual for me and research.

    I really would like to have a sump. I am pretty sure my plan is a 40g breeder display and a 40g breeder sump with a refugium. Since I have the tanks to spare, it would be a shame not to do it. I am aiming for being able to get my favourite SW fish, Bluestripe Pipefish, some day, and a refugium sump would go a long way in providing a stable pod population. The plumbing just really makes me nervous.

    I like the look of the PVC setup you posted. Going to see if I can track down the PVC and fittings... I know my local Home Depot does not have them Click here to enlarge.



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    I used 2 of those PVC setups on my 240 for a few years ,and they worked very well !

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    Tiana,

    My tank is not drilled.

    Drilling is scary.

    I bought an eshopps overflow, it does the job. You can get better ones (lifereef) but they are a special order deal. I do plan to upgrade though as they are the best.

    Honestly - I am a woman and I am not at all "handy" so I did what I could, and it works. The overflow just hangs on the back of the tank (hang on filter style) and water is drawn up through a U tube. I don't recommend any of the "continuous siphon" types at all. Avoid anything that requires an aqualifter (or other cheap piece of machinery) to function. I turn my tank off daily for feeding and knock on wood I have not lost siphon.

    I attached two flexible hoses (which weren't as flexible as I thought and needed to be heated with a hair dryer to be bendy) and my husband drilled two holes in my stand for the hoses to go through. That's it... They lead to the sump. I have them attached inside the stand with screws and metal tie things (don't ask me what it's called, It just looked like it would do the job) so they don't go anywhere. They're about one inch into the water.

    Then, I have my mag drive 9 pump that pumps water back up in. It's just a cheapish return hooked onto the tank, connected with clear vinyl hose.

    I used braided hose (some said it was overkill, there is no such thing as overkill to me)

    Click here to enlarge


    The main thing is to match your pump to your overflow. Don't buy a 1200gph overflow and a 900 gph pump (like I did). You lose pump power in head loss, so choose the type of pump you want, then get an overflow to match it. I had to take one of the u tubes out of my overflow as my pump can't pump enough water fast enough to keep both full. It's fine though, because typically you don't want water flying through your sump. If you have a refugium and skimmer in there, you just want a continuous flow.

    I do have a small powerhead in my sump though so dirt doesn't collect in corners (evil things lurk in sumps if left to their own devices).

    I can take some pictures later if you like.

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    Carrie, pictures would be amazing! Thanks for all the info guys, I appreciate it so much!



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    Crowndroyal's Avatar
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    Overflows being loud is all in the design people have been using overflows for years now with a new design (mod) that makes them virtually quite. If I can find the DIY overflow that I used a few years back I will post it but personally I prefer a sump, there are just so many more benefits to a sump, like an isolated spot for aggressive fish or an expecting mother etc etc, you also have the option of using an overflow with it if ya really wanted to.

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    Just to update, my setup is all done now (can be seen in my 40g breeder thread). This was a while back. I have CPR overflows going to my 70g sump/fuge with a float switch to turn off the pumps should something clog/break. The tank runs pretty much silently (slight trickle from the overflows, slight fizz sound from the skimmer).



  9. #9
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    jart's Avatar
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    Bean animal type set up might well be the safest, but that would require drilling holes at the top of the tank. It incorporates a bit of redundancy to ensure that there is no flooding. I have heard that these are quiet, too. For a tutorial on drilling, there is a site by the name of glass holes.com (it is one word but I find if I type it as one word, it will get edited for somewhat obvious reasons).

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