Microbubbles help! How Do I

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by Crazed, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Crazed

    CrazedNew MemberMember

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    Microbubbles; help!

    Wow, it seems like I'm posting a new question every day; I apologize. :p Today I just filled up my sump and got it running. However, now there are microbubbles everywhere! I have two sets of bubble traps, and most of the bubbles in the first sump chamber are trapped, but there still are some ending up in the pump's chamber. The tank was pretty clear until these microbubbles showed up when I turned the sump on. It's definitely coming somewhere along the line from the return pump; you can see the bubbles spraying out from the nozzles in the pictures that I post.

    How can I fix this? Is it coming from the sump itself, or could there be air or something leaking into the return line to the tank? I just started it this morning; is this something that will fix itself, or what?

    The outlet of the sump return pump is 3/4'', and is a Supreme Classic 700gph. The inlet from the tank is bigger; I think it's 1 1/2'' and it goes down to 1 1/4'' or 1'' when it hits the PVC tubing in the sump area. The water level above the pump is adequate (in my judgment); I think it's at least 4 inches. There seems to be fine microbubbles (or something that looks like them) going through most of the sump chambers, but the pump chamber has the least amount; however, there are a lot of bubbles sticking to the pump's filter. When I shift the pump, I'll see some bubbles shooting up through the clear tubing back to the tank, but during usual use the tube is completely clear, although sometimes there will be a random, tiny burst of bubbling in the tubing.

    I've attached some pictures below, as well as a diagram of the sump. Any help would be *greatly* appreciated.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 30, 2009
  2. agsansoo

    agsansooWell Known MemberMember

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    Hello Crazed,
    9 out 10 times micro bubbles come from your skimmer. This time it looks from the photo, to be coming from overflow drain line. The easiest fix is to replace the pvc tubing with a filter sock. This will eliminate excess bubbles entering the skimmer section of your sump.
     
  3. agsansoo

    agsansooWell Known MemberMember

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    Oh, by the way. Great looking tank.
     
  4. au01st

    au01stWell Known MemberMember

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    I have roughly the same setup with the larger model skimmer. How is the box that the water dumps back into setup? I got a foam piece like the large foam brick and put that in the bottom and it helped a lot with micro bubbles.

    That's a lot of bubbles coming out of the return pipes. If you can't see that many bubbles going in at the pump, it's possible there's a leak somewhere.

    Oh, and why not throw the heater in the overflow compartment or sump so you don't see it?
     
  5. cerianthus

    cerianthusWell Known MemberMember

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    It seems the design of sump is creating/trapping microbubbles on top of possible micros from skimmer. Check this crude dwg and see if it can assit.
    It looks like you have done very good/neat job with sump. I am sure you can make my contraption if and when applicable.
    Hope this helped a bit.
     
  6. cerianthus

    cerianthusWell Known MemberMember

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    Microbubbles

    Forgot to upload the dwg. This sort of things comes with age, LOL!
    Here it it is.
     

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  7. OP
    OP
    Crazed

    CrazedNew MemberMember

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    Thank you! :) I actually did some more testing while I was waiting, and I found they are indeed coming from the skimmer. I shut the skimmer off, and the bubbles stop and the tank becomes pristine.

    There's a piece of white foam and a piece of black foam in the box. The bubbles come out no matter how I have it or the pipe arranged.

    I have a heater in both the sump and the display tank right now because I wasn't running the sump for a period of time. There's one in the sump now (you may not be able to see it), and I plan to move the other one into the overflow/sump sometime soon. I actually don't have either running right now, since the pumps are actually making the water hot enough on their own. :p

    Thank you, and thanks for your suggestions! When I was troubleshooting, I found that practically all the bubbles from the drain were being trapped. They're all coming from the skimmer. Your sump design looks *great*, but I don't think I need to change the drainage chamber around. I'll keep the drip plate in mind if I need some better filtering, though! :)


    Some people from another forum told me to let the skimmer break in more. Someone who had the same model said it took over a week for his excess microbubbles to clear up, then he didn't need filter socks or anything. I also added a smaller baffle to the right of the baffles on the return pump, but that didn't help, so I guess I have to let the skimmer fix itself, and if that doesn't work, I'll have to get some filter socks. Does that sound good to everyone?

    Thanks again for responding, helping, and complimenting the tank, everyone! :) I hope everything works out.

    Also, another quick question; how much temperature variation per day is okay? I'm trying to make things stable, between adjusting the air conditioner and all other kinds of things, but sometimes the tank hit 80F and right now it's at 77F. It's being heated, right now, just from the skimmer pump and the return pump. I don't think it'll be fluctuating that much when it's running, but how much fluctuation is too much?
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2009
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