Carlson Surge Setup....

fishnfst

New member
Ok I got lots of info here.. This is what I came up with... Big thanks to Mr. Ugly, VaporMD and AcGreen for answering my questions.. Thanks to Sparkss for the pump and my new display tank..

Main Display Tank is an unknown 55g glass tank with 2-1" bulkhead drains.. Sump is an old truvu 36"x24"x16"tall.. The return pump I first tested is a mag 3. The reservoir for the surge is an 18H with a single 2" bulkhead for the surge and a secondary 1" overflow drain.. I piped an extra vent like the one from the aquarium in Hawaii..

Here are some pics from the leak test and initial shakedown of the setup... The volume of water is about 9-10g.. The rush of water is quite impressive.. I have to play around with the pump size a little.. It takes about 3 minutes to fill right now.. I'd like to cut down the fill time in half.. It takes just over a minute for the tank to drain back down.. The surge takes the tank up to about .75" from the lip of the wood trim.. About 1" from overflowing.. I should have tried it with the strainers in place.. I'm sure they are going to slow down the drains quite a bit..

Should I reduce the size of the drain before it hits the tank? Maybe to 1.5" or 1".. It should increase the velocity of the surge action while extending its duration...

Any other suggestions would be much appreciated... So far I'm pretty happy with how it works..

Enough bull here are the pics :) You didn't think I was going to test it in my house did you:)

Carlsonsurge001.jpg


Carlsonsurge003.jpg
 

fishnfst

New member
The only drawback is I'm going to have to keep the tops of all coral lower than the lowest water level.. Unfortunately this tank is only 17" high... I'm going to have to smash up some of my rock :(
 

juaninsac

In Memoriam
Since it looks like you're DIY handy, build an overflow box inside the tank to raise your water level, with a Hartford loop outside the tank to adjust water level inside the box. You could make a box with a large screen that runs the length of the tank and encloses both bulkheads.

hartford_overflow_108.jpg
 

fishnfst

New member
The only thing I'm worried about if I box it in is the tank overflowing.. The surge setup fills it from the bottom of the bulkhead fittings to about 3/4ths of an inch to the lip... If the tank held more water filled, then the 9g of surge water will overflow it.. If I was going to run a plain sump and return setup I was going to do a calfo style full length overflow.. I want to try the surge setup though.. 100 % of my return water is going to pass through the surge reservoir...
 

juaninsac

In Memoriam
If you make the box span the width of the tank the bulkheads will still be the bottleneck in the drain. You may just need to get bigger bulkheads. :) What size pipe is the drain on the surge? What size are the bulkhead drains on the tank?
 

juaninsac

In Memoriam
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9841838#post9841838 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by fishnfst
Two 1" drains is roughly equivalent to 50% of the capacity of a single 2" right...

Around that, yeah. I've had several surge setups and I've used 1" for the drain each time, and a 1" bulkhead for the overflow drain to the sump. In each case the drains handled it easily. Maybe a half inch variation in water level at best. Maybe try throwing a 1.5" reducer on the surge to match your drain capacity a bit better?
 

fishnfst

New member
I might try that just to be on the safe side.. If either or the drains were to get blocked I'm not sure what would happen.. I might have to try blocking one with the next shakedown.. Do I want minimal water variation? I've only seen a couple of these and both seem to have large water variations between full and em pty.. Probably 2" plus..

I tried a smaller pipe as well, started with 1" and then went to 2".. The 1" didn't seem to give very much water movement.. I was going for larger volume with less velocity.. Is that flawed thinking to want more volume? The 1" had plenty of velocity but minimal volume, compared to the 2" that is...
 

juaninsac

In Memoriam
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9851296#post9851296 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by fishnfst
I might try that just to be on the safe side.. If either or the drains were to get blocked I'm not sure what would happen.. I might have to try blocking one with the next shakedown.. Do I want minimal water variation? I've only seen a couple of these and both seem to have large water variations between full and em pty.. Probably 2" plus..

I tried a smaller pipe as well, started with 1" and then went to 2".. The 1" didn't seem to give very much water movement.. I was going for larger volume with less velocity.. Is that flawed thinking to want more volume? The 1" had plenty of velocity but minimal volume, compared to the 2" that is...

Minimal volume? I'm confused what you mean by that. The volume of the surge is the volume of your reservoir, unless I'm misunderstanding you. The velocity of current you're seeking all depends on what kind of corals you plan on keeping.
 

fishnfst

New member
I'm trying to setup a mixed tank.. Lps and some sps.. With the 1" pipe the water level fluctuates much less because the bh drains can keep up with the single 1" siphon from the resevoir.. With the 2" drain I get a full 3" up and then down.. With the 1" from the reservoir the water only comes up a little less than an inch.. I understand that the volume of water is the same just at a slower speed..

So if I was keeping a more sps dominated tank then the higher velocity ie. larger pipe would be more desirable.. If I was only keeping lps and softies then slower flow would be more desirable?
 
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