120 Gallon Problems- Please Help!!!!

msmith56

New member
Hi,

I just made the mistake (for me anyway...) of purchasing a 120 gallon reef ready aquarium. I have never used the overflow boxes before and it was a challenge hooking all of this up. At first I made a huge mistake by hooking the 1 inch pvc pipe plumbing up to the return wrong using the wrong pvc product (I used primer instead of cement. :( ) I fired up the pump and lots of little drips quickly became apparent. I had to remove all on the plumping and start over. This time I used the right adhesive for the pvc and was for the most part successful at it. I then put water in the sump, primed the pump and tried again. The pump seems to be pumping more water out through the returns than the overflows are returning back to the sump. The pump is an Iwaki connected to 1 inch pvc plumbing. The overflows are connected via 1 inch plastic tubing through a T that then goes to the sump through a 1 inch bulkhead. I suspect this is part of my problem. I tried to make my own sump using a 30 gallon long aquarium and so far here are the problems I have experienced.

1) The pump seems to draw more water out of the tank than the overflows can provide back to the sump to maintain the water level in the sump. It will quickly remove all the water from the sump and start to draw air because of the water level. The level of water in the tank itself gets too close to the rim for my comfort and I have to shut the thing down to prevent it from over flowing the side of the tank :eek1:

2) I have connected both overflows to a T via 1 inch plastic tubing similar to the tubing used to run a air stone and I am running this directly into a bulkhead in the top of my sump. - If I run two lines through the same one inch tubing to two seperate bulkheads in the top of the sump will this eliminate my problem of the pump overpowering the overflow? I suspect that the water at the T is causing me this issue but I am not sure.

3) In my attempt to create my own sump using a 30 gallon aquarium I was told to use super glue and pvc pipe cut in half to make shelves to hold the eggcrate and filterfloss. I have not been very successful at making this work. The pieces do not seem to hold very well to the glass in the 30 gallon tank. Is there something else I should be using that would be much better or should I just buy a ready made sump and move on?

4) I seem to have a small leak near the pump at a joint where the pipe comes together. How can I fix this leak without tearing everything apart again? Is there something out there that will hold (plasic weld if there is such a thing?) I really do not want to tear this whole thing apart again.

I purchased this setup used and I currently have the live rock about 100 or more pounds in a rubber trash can with a heater and a powerhead. It has been in the can since Saturday. I don't want it to die off so I think I am doing the right thing in that regard. If I am not please tell me!!

Any help anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated. I think maybe I have bitten off more than I can chew..lol
 

jmait769

-CSHFLW
1. The pump seems to draw more water out of the tank than the overflows can provide back to the sump to maintain the water level in the sump. It will quickly remove all the water from the sump and start to draw air because of the water level. The level of water in the tank itself gets too close to the rim for my comfort and I have to shut the thing down to prevent it from over flowing the side of the tank

I suspect the flow rate of the pump is greater than the return. You need to mach these up. Install a T above the pump in the return line. Divert a little water back into the sump until the flow matches the return and you can still run the pump wide open. Some people just install a ball valve above the pump to throttle the pump flow rate down. Here is a picture of mine. You can see the T above the pump and the larger ball valve at the top of the picture on the return line.

Sump03.jpg


2. I have connected both overflows to a T via 1 inch plastic tubing similar to the tubing used to run a air stone and I am running this directly into a bulkhead in the top of my sump. - If I run two lines through the same one inch tubing to two seperate bulkheads in the top of the sump will this eliminate my problem of the pump overpowering the overflow? I suspect that the water at the T is causing me this issue but I am not sure.

I would try the ball valve on the pump first. If anything separating the tubing from the T will increase your flow into the sump

3. In my attempt to create my own sump using a 30 gallon aquarium I was told to use super glue and pvc pipe cut in half to make shelves to hold the eggcrate and filterfloss. I have not been very successful at making this work. The pieces do not seem to hold very well to the glass in the 30 gallon tank. Is there something else I should be using that would be much better or should I just buy a ready made sump and move on?

I would use a filter sock at the overflow tubes. This is an example reef_doug posted.

sump.jpg


4. I seem to have a small leak near the pump at a joint where the pipe comes together. How can I fix this leak without tearing everything apart again? Is there something out there that will hold (plasic weld if there is such a thing?) I really do not want to tear this whole thing apart again.

In order to install the ball valve you will have to tear into the plumbing one more time. Might as well repair it correctly as it will bite you later on down the road if you don’t do it right from the beginning.

Look at Melev's <a href="http://www.melevsreef.com/allmysumps.html" target="_blank">”How a sump works”</a> for more info also!

HTH

Jay
 

Village Idiot

New member
Just do as jmait769 states and throttle back your pump with either a T or a ball valve and you'll be fine. Better to have too much flow and have to throttle back than not enough flow.
 

Nano Chris

Active member
1) A ball valve on the return pump can limit how much the pump puts back into the main tank thus allowing the sump to fill and overflows to do their job. Also its better not to have fast flow threw the sump so your skimmer can work effectivly.

2) I would run both seperate lines to allow the water to get to the sump faster if you don't use the ball valves i suggested in #1.

3) You would be better off with going to a glass dealer and have some pains cut for you to make baffels for the sump.

4 You can fix that i would just put some more cement and let it dry 48 hrs.

Any more questions? :D
 

jmait769

-CSHFLW
Also I noticed no one gave you the official welcome so here it is!

<img src="/images/welcome.gif" width="500" height="62"><br><b><i><big><big>To Reef Central</b></i></big></big> <br />

I just made the mistake (for me anyway...) of purchasing a 120 gallon reef ready aquarium.

I don’t think you made a mistake. I wish I had started off with a tank that size! Just take your time. You will hear this over and over again here on RC.

Jay
 

msmith56

New member
Thank You!

Thank You!

Thank's to everyone who has helped me so far. I did have the foresight to place a 1 inch compression fitting so that I could remove the pvc pipe from the sump if need be. So I will put a T in the pvc pipe that is running into the sump and then a valve there to reduce the amount of water that the pump is pumping. I will make the drain lines independant of one another as suggested. Thanks again for the help, this has been an interesting experience for me to say the least.
 
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Village Idiot

New member
Just to let you know, at first I put the T back into the sump to reduce the pumps output. My Eheim 1262 STILL was pumping to much water back into the tank (methinks the pump is too big), and I was forced to put another ball valve right after the pump to further reduce it. It's been a royal PITA, but all is well now.
 

Randall_James

Premium Member
[welcome]

Just what are you using for a pump in the sump? (you should be aiming for something around 5X turnover (600Gph) Most overflows will handle this each.

You will still have to deal with tank circulation at 20X to 50X with powerheads or closed loop system.

Can you post pictures of your setup? (they can shed light on issues pretty quickly)
 

Rustylugnuts

Powdered Toast Man
Yes please post pics! I'm going to start my foray into amateur plumbing on a smaller scale when the semester ends and Im trying to gather info.
 
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