Sump Overflow/return

knamei

Member
Hey guys so I've added a 10 gallon sump to my 29 gallon FOWLR system. I'm having a hard time matching the overflow rate with the return pump. I feel like every time I look at the return water level, it slowly gets lower and lower. I thought about evaporation but it gets so low that I don't think that that's the only cause for this. For the overflow box, I have the Eshopps PF- nano which is rated for 200gph (with 3/4in hard pvc) I believe and my return pump is rated for 320gph max (with 3/4in tubing). On the overflow side, I've added a valve so I can turn off the flow if needed. I've read that that should not be necessary but if I don't, the overflow makes so much noise and no water ever stays in the box itself before going down the pipe. And even with the pump at the max, I see the water level continue to rise. Granted I didn't leave it that way for long. Should I keep everything at the max/open all the way and just see what happens? Do I need a stronger return pump? Any advice would be great!!
 

Justus

Member
If it’s getting lower and lower that means the pump is pushing more water into the tank than your overflow can handle. You will have to add water for Evap every 4ish days with the smaller sump like that. Especially without glass tops on the tank. I was also in the school of thought that the overflow only goes one speed, not true. It goes as slow or fast as the pump until it reaches a point where it cannot flow as much as the pump is returning ie too strong on the pump side. I used to have a non adjustable pump (dc) with the flow valve but recently switch to currant which is ac. Way quieter and has an adjustable knob for flow.
 

MWR

Member
knamei said:
Hey guys so I've added a 10 gallon sump to my 29 gallon FOWLR system. I'm having a hard time matching the overflow rate with the return pump. I feel like every time I look at the return water level, it slowly gets lower and lower. I thought about evaporation but it gets so low that I don't think that that's the only cause for this. For the overflow box, I have the Eshopps PF- nano which is rated for 200gph (with 3/4in hard pvc) I believe and my return pump is rated for 320gph max (with 3/4in tubing). On the overflow side, I've added a valve so I can turn off the flow if needed. I've read that that should not be necessary but if I don't, the overflow makes so much noise and no water ever stays in the box itself before going down the pipe. And even with the pump at the max, I see the water level continue to rise. Granted I didn't leave it that way for long. Should I keep everything at the max/open all the way and just see what happens? Do I need a stronger return pump? Any advice would be great!!
Is your main tank and sump both wide open at the top? The system water has to be in the main tank or the sump, it has no where else to go unless there are leaks. If there are no leaks, it has to be evaporating. I would not recommend using a valve on the overflow side - close it to much and you will overflow the main tank. I built Durso Standpipes for my reef ready 240 gl overflow boxes to take my water noise level from very loud to very quiet - do not know if you can apply the same principal to your Eshopps overflow box.
 
  • Thread Starter

knamei

Member
My tanks both have lids on them to help with evaporation but of course some holes for wires and tubing. The pump is adjustable, should I try tweaking it until there’s a little higher water level in the return? Also I can look into the standpipes and see if I can make them work. If that’s the case for the valve, should I just leave it completely open and work around that with adjusting the pump? In theory it should be about equal if not return more water but when the valve is open, the water level just continues to rise in the sump. When I saw that happen I was too worried about it overflowing so I didn’t leave it for more than a minute or so. Should I leave it for a few minutes and see if it evens out?
 

Justus

Member
Yes the level will go up or down for a bit depending on how much water is in system. Open valve all the way and turn pump very low. Adjust more flow every minute until satisfied with speed
 
  • Thread Starter

knamei

Member
Justus said:
Yes the level will go up or down for a bit depending on how much water is in system. Open valve all the way and turn pump very low. Adjust more flow every minute until satisfied with speed
Ok! I will try that this weekend. Thank you
 

TexasGuppy

Member
You want to make sure when the pump is off, the overflow stops flowing and the sump isn't overflowing. It means you have too much water in the tank. Do your refills with sump off until sump is a desired level, then turn it on.
 

bigdreams

Member
You should consider "upgrading" your Eshopps overflow to their 1100 model, which has dual drain pipes. That way you can run a proper Herbie overflow, allowing you to silence the drain and use the other drain line as an emergency drain. Your existing setup is a flood waiting to happen. The Eshopps 1100 comes with two "u turn" pipes, which are an inch ID I believe. You don't need to run both, in fact you can use your existing (I assume) smaller diameter u-pipe to match your existing flow. A Spears gate valve on the drain line to precisely throttle the
drain and silence the overflow is worth it . Good luck.
 
  • Thread Starter

knamei

Member
So I have managed to match the overflow and return. Lots of noise coming from the pipe itself I think and not the overflow box itself. Maybe some noise from there though. Would having the dual drain really make the pipes themselves quiet? I can hear the water rushing down the pipes and now my tank is near the tv so its annoying to hear. If I switch to the dual drain, will I have another problem with the return flow matching again?
 

TexasGuppy

Member
I've read people put some sort of netting or an air hose line down the pipe to reduce the gurgle and splashing noise. I tried a little, but it would shift or something and make noise again.. wife made me dump the diy and go canister for quiet operation. It's in our family room ...
 

bigdreams

Member
If u do a proper Herbie return (two drain lines), then yes it will be perfectly silent. In my opinion, too silent!

Herbie Overflow Plumbing Guide for Quiet Reef Aquariums - gmacreef
 
  • Thread Starter

knamei

Member
bigdreams said:
If u do a proper Herbie return (two drain lines), then yes it will be perfectly silent. In my opinion, too silent!

Herbie Overflow Plumbing Guide for Quiet Reef Aquariums - gmacreef
I purchased the dual eshopp overflow and the gate valve you mentioned! Even if I can't get it completely silent at the beginning, I at least know my home is protected from flooding until I tweak it . A couple questions for the pipes, 90 degree elbows cause more noise? Should I avoid them if possible? Also, the emergency drain should be a separate pipe altogether or can I connect them somewhere?
 

bigdreams

Member
I highly suggest using paper and pencil and make a diagram of your setup and post it here before building it out. That way we can help before you permanently glue things together.

You want to avoid turns in your return line. You need full gravity siphon (no air pockets at all) to make it work properly and make it silent. That way you can achieve "full flow". I used vinyl tubing to avoid plumbing PVC bends and elbows. My sump is directly below the tank so it was easy. I got a new bulkhead with built in Barb connector from jehmco.com . That made it super easy. Used 1" black tubing from Dr foster smith site.
 

bigdreams

Member
Here is what I got:

Bulkhead Fittings

Bulkhead: BF1SB - 1” Bulkhead fitting with integrated straight 1” hose barb
slip inlet x barb outlet

1" inner diameter black vinyl tubing

I forgot which size gate valve I got, but I had make sure I could add a slip x Barb adapter into it .

You should get an intake screen if you don't have one already. Near bottom of the jehmco bulkhead page: 1” Slip Intake Screen
 
  • Thread Starter

knamei

Member
bigdreams said:
Here is what I got:

Bulkhead Fittings

Bulkhead: BF1SB - 1” Bulkhead fitting with integrated straight 1” hose barb
slip inlet x barb outlet

1" inner diameter black vinyl tubing

I forgot which size gate valve I got, but I had make sure I could add a slip x Barb adapter into it .

You should get an intake screen if you don't have one already. Near bottom of the jehmco bulkhead page: 1” Slip Intake Screen
So you replaced the bulkhead in order to fit tubing instead of PVC? I don't mind the look of PVC but if it makes it quieter then I'm all for it. The gate valve I purchased said slip PVC but I can see if tubing would still work.
 

bigdreams

Member
Its up to you whether to use tubing or PVC. Ideally the drain line flows straight down into the sump. Minimize 90 degree turns. They sell "angled turns" look more like 120 degrees. Tubing seemed much easier to work with to me so I went with that. I had to find slip x barbed fittings to adapt the Spears gate valve to the tubing though.
 

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