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Sump set up questions

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forsaken541

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OK I want to set up a sum on my 90 gallon glass and am very nervous about using an overflow because of the potential for a flood. I was wondering this
Why can't you just use a pump to bring water into the sump and forget about the overflow. Then when you loose power you loose power to both in and out pumps and with both the intake and outflow lines just below the surface you wouldn't have to worry about sifoning too much out of the tank. What do you all think?
Erik:confused:
 

cookiemn

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I would worry about either pump going out and the other still pumping. You would have to worry about the in pump pumping water when the out pump goes out and the other way around. I just bought a new tank with a built in overflow to make sure that I dramatically lessen the risk. I went trhu the same thing and fianlly decided to bite thw bullet and get a rr tank. You will also have to make sure that you have some set up so that neither line coming from the tank does not siphon back into the sump in case the power goes out.

Good luck, I've been there. :)

Erwin
 

forsaken541

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Spokane, WA
OK what about this.
Instead of using a pump in the Sump I use my Penguin 440 and put a 3/4" bulkhead or even dual 3/4"'s (one on either side) and use that for the line into the sump. The penguin does not continue to siphon when the power goes out. And with a return line set close to the surface with a couple of 1/8th" holes it would also loose siphon. Also the penguin would begin to pump again when power returned. What do you think about that?
Erik
 

Tosh_Auer

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Why all the worry? All you need to do is allow for power outages when making the sump. I just made a sump for my 90gal and simply left about 10gals in the sump empty in usual working, but when the power goes out the water in the Display Tank drains into the sump. This works by simpy estimating how much water is going to be above your drain line. Worst case scenario about 2inches. Then find out how much water your display tank holds in 2inches of water. Then simply allow this much extra room when building your sump. here are some pics of my sump i just finished construction on for my 90gal. Hope that makes sense to you. Oh and what dimesions is your 90gal?

Tosh
 

Tosh_Auer

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Woops thought i was in another thread about sumps. Um the penguin filter. I have no idea what one is. send me a link and explain it a bit better if you can. sorry bout the post before i edited it. my bad.

Tosh
 
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cookiemn

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Erik,
that's a unique approach. I like the idea. :) I took a look at my 400 and realized a scenario that you will have to deal with. Imagine that the power goes out. The penguin drains into the sump and the raises the sump level a relarively small level. No siphon issues. Now the power goes on. The sump return pump starts sending water back into the tank. Since the penguin has nearly been drained of water when the power went off, it may not have enough water to create a siphon to start pumping water out. I tried it with my penguin 440 this evening. I turned it on, drained approximately 50% of the water in the penguin and started that puppy up. The impeller could not start a siphon. It only started to siphon when I added more water int he chambers.
Before I bought a new tank, I looked at the Americle brand HOB overflows. They looked like they had the best design. I have heard too many bad reviews on the CPR overflows. But it seems like no matter which brand you use there will always be the possibility of losing the siphon. One idea that I thought was pretty cool was to have a float valve in the overflow. When the water level rose in the overflow box, which will happen when the siphon is lost, it disengages the return pump.

Erwin
 

forsaken541

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OK granted ther does need to be a level of water in the penguin but all you would have to do is install a stand pipe that allowed for enough water to be in the canister to start a siphon which my penguin manual says is half full. This should counter the restart problem.
Erik
 

cookiemn

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Good point. But don't you think that you still have the problem with this design as your first one? You are relying on a motor to send the water to the sump. I am not trying to be an arse about this, I am just playing devil's advocate. I guess it's the consultant in me showing agaon. :)
 

forsaken541

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OK i do see your point on that. (and I do appreciate the devils advocate). Heres the solution --- Put a float switch onto the return pump that would stop it if the penguin descided to crap out, which I think is unlikely but eventually would happen. How about that!! Thanks
Erik
:cool:
 

Katchupoy

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The problem here is that you need to have the power of penguin more than the power of the return pump... If the power of the return pump is more than the penguin, you have the risk of running it dry... I know this because i tried this approach and I just ruined one good aquaclear 500.

Instead saving money because I dont want to buy an overflow. I ended up ruining a good filter and buying for an overflow. The only problem I see with overflow is the u-tube becoming clog after several months of use.... You just need to clean it every 3 or 4 months. Or have another overflow for redundancy.

What are you so afraid of the "overflow" idea. Can you point out what kind of scenario you have in mind. Maybe we can explain it further.
 
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cookiemn

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Cesar,
I think I know what he is going thru because I ran into the same thing. I wanted a bullet proof overflow system. The problem is that this doesn't exist. There are failure points in any system you get. Erik, I think you should weigh your benefits/risks for each solution. I spoke to several reliable people (people on this board) on this matter. What I came to the conclusion was that the simpler the better and you can only try to mitigate your risks by having things such as check valves, a big enough sump or fuge, and other things depending on your system. I have always believed that simple systems fail less. Having an HOB overflow seems to be the best idea. I would ise two U tubes to mitigate your risks as well as getting something like an Americle overflow that is better than most other overflows (in mu opiniion) that I looked at. To reduce your risks even more, go to a place that will drill your tank. I bet there are people here who would know where to go. I am getting a new 90 gallon tank made and I have decided to use a 40+ gallon sump to make sure that I can handle any overflow. A lot of people told me that this is overkill, but I will sleep better at night knowing I could handle 1/3 of the volume of my tank in case my returns turn into siphons.

Man, I have to get a life if I am answering questions at 1:43 in the morning.
 

cookiemn

Chicago bound!!!
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Messages
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LOL, I see you asked the same question on reefcentral and they agreed with us about the issues with the penguin. I saw get an overflow and let gravity, which never fail, to work for you. :)
 

forsaken541

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Apr 9, 2004
Messages
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Location
Spokane, WA
Thanks guys,
I really am not so much afraid of an overflow but was tring to "design the bullet proof system" But I think I do agree after getting so many peoples input that
1. Overflows can be reliable
2. Just routine maintenance will make sure of this
3. the size of the sup I was planning on is too small
4. That this is one of the most helpfull message boards ever!
Thans for putting up with all the "crazy" Ideas,
Erik:D
 
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