Putting a sump on a non drilled tank

Sgt Jonny Cat

New member
Hello everyone, I want to add a sump refugium to my system but I'm very nervous about the overflow box losing siphon and flooding my living room. Can anyone let me in on what they have done to insure against any catestrophies? What over flow boxes are most likely not to flood, what safety measures people have taken etc....

Thank you everyone...I've learned alot here and have actually been able to answer questions now...LOL
 

EllieSuz

Premium Member
I have used a LifeReef overflow box for years and it has never been a problem. It starts right up after the return pump is turned on or after a power outage. Go to LifeReef.com and have a look at them. Jeff at LifeReef has a spotless reputation. All items he sells are handmade and the quality is beyond reproach. There is one other brand that is well thought of, but I can't remember the name. Stick with LifeReef. You won't be sorry.
 

reepher315

Humble Student
I built my overflow and have tested it through power outages. Never had any issues with overflow. When the power goes out the only thing I find is the siphon slows down slightly. I think the standard DIY overflow is pretty well known. Check this one out. Kindof makes overflowing less of a problem.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Vh2VzKZjx8
 

Donkeykong

New member
You can have a float sensor connected that will be below your normal operating level. So if the siphon is broken and the sump begins to empty it will kill the return pump before you flood your main tank. But this will require some type of controller, I run an Apex.
 

ska d

New member
I see just as many problems with drilled tanks. Not that even happens that often but if your planning is done carefully then you shouldnt have a problem. Redundancy is the key. Whether its a float switch and controller or some kind of alarm system. I myself use an external overflow on one of my tanks, but I have dual u tubes and have the flow such that if one tube fails the other can handle the flow. I also have an apex with a float on the box and leak detection sensors on the floor. Without all these safety nets I'd certainly be worried about floods but with enough redundancy I don't even think about it anymore. But that's not to say something still couldn't happen. Gotta always be on your toes in this hobby.
 

scott3569

New member
OK for S&G's I am going to chime in..I made the unthinkable overflow out of pvc as Jonny already knows...I have not had a problem with it since I started to actually use it..I have an air line in one of the top pieces that is connected to the out flow of a small pump so that it will not break the syphon(unless of course the pump fails) then there is of course the posibilty..

However,Donkeykong has peeked my interest, because a back up would be nice, if that pump should ever fail...

So it got me thinking, wouldn't a JBJ ATO sensor work for this, it has a setting to where you can just use one sensor, plug the return pump into that, float the sensor where ever it needs to be??
 

0coool

New member
I ran a CPR overflow for several years before learning my lesson:headwally:

I would never ever run an overflow unless the tank was drilled. After cleaning up 10 gallons of saltwater on carpet and several smaller spills in the 3 years i had it running it went in the trash.

Oh and don't get me started on those dam aqualifter pumps. Probably went through 6 of those things. They are always breaking down. If you have floors that you don't mind getting wet preferably with a drain go for it otherwise its trouble.
 

kmbyrnes

New member
Drilled or overflow box, you always have the risk of a flood. The overflow just adds one more failure point - siphon loss.
I bought all my gear used from CL. 110 non-drilled tank, sump etc etc
Included a CPR overflow and an Aqualifter. I did some reading and decided anything that needed an outside pump to maintain a siphon was a bad design.
Bought an EShopps PF1000 with dual U-tubes and dual 1" drains instead. A single drain at full siphon handles everything with just a trickle down the second tube.
Dead silent and the second line could handle 100% of the flow in the event of a clog.
Now that it's dialed in, it restarts perfectly after shutting down for feedings and water changes.
So far no floods after 6 months - fingers crossed, but mop bucket ready.
That said, all my future tanks will be drilled to remove that extra failure point.
 

scott3569

New member
Drilled or overflow box, you always have the risk of a flood. The overflow just adds one more failure point - siphon loss.
I bought all my gear used from CL. 110 non-drilled tank, sump etc etc
Included a CPR overflow and an Aqualifter. I did some reading and decided anything that needed an outside pump to maintain a siphon was a bad design.
Bought an EShopps PF1000 with dual U-tubes and dual 1" drains instead. A single drain at full siphon handles everything with just a trickle down the second tube.
Dead silent and the second line could handle 100% of the flow in the event of a clog.
Now that it's dialed in, it restarts perfectly after shutting down for feedings and water changes.
So far no floods after 6 months - fingers crossed, but mop bucket ready.
That said, all my future tanks will be drilled to remove that extra failure point.

I totally agree, my set up does have that extra failure point, I also totally agree that any type of siphon has a chance of failure..IF I had known better before I bought my tank..I also probably would have bought a pre-drilled tank or drilled one myself..

MY set up is not perfect, but it does work...I May look into one of those eshopps 1000
 

Mrramsey

NEO Reefer
Drilled or overflow box, you always have the risk of a flood. The overflow just adds one more failure point - siphon loss.


A well thought out sump would not overflow the DT. My system has enough volume to start my beananimal overflow. But if for some reason the bia overflow is 100% clogged there is not enough water in the return chamber of the sump to flood the DT.
 

scott3569

New member
A well thought out sump would not overflow the DT. My system has enough volume to start my beananimal overflow. But if for some reason the bia overflow is 100% clogged there is not enough water in the return chamber of the sump to flood the DT.

that is true also. in my sump my return is the last chamber which of course has the least amount of water, I think I have just right to where if the water does get low in the sump it will not over flow the tank..This has happen a couple of times already..while trying to get dialed in..a 1/4 to much on the ball valve and it drained the return section of the sump to where I could hear the pump struggling...
 

kmbyrnes

New member
A well thought out sump would not overflow the DT. My system has enough volume to start my beananimal overflow. But if for some reason the bia overflow is 100% clogged there is not enough water in the return chamber of the sump to flood the DT.

Good point.
I considered that in the beginning, and I tested it ( outside ).
My worst case scenario is 2 gallons on the floor, hence the mop analogy.
I suppose I could make my return chamber volume smaller by adding rubble or something. Have to give that some more thought.
I am also thinking of another switch to shut off my return pump if the water level gets too low in the return chamber to protect the pump and prevent DT overflow.

I am still very new at this, and for now there are higher priority items to get right. These 40 hour work weeks to pay for my tank don't leave much extra time.
 

Mrramsey

NEO Reefer
Good point.

I considered that in the beginning, and I tested it ( outside ).

My worst case scenario is 2 gallons on the floor, hence the mop analogy.

I suppose I could make my return chamber volume smaller by adding rubble or something. Have to give that some more thought.

I am also thinking of another switch to shut off my return pump if the water level gets too low in the return chamber to protect the pump and prevent DT overflow.



I am still very new at this, and for now there are higher priority items to get right. These 40 hour work weeks to pay for my tank don't leave much extra time.


Yep that will be my next failsafe. Another float switch in the return to shut off the pump for a low water level.
 

EllieSuz

Premium Member
The only additional fail-safe item to accompany the LifeReef overflow box is a small 1/4" hole drilled in the return nozzle to break a syphon before much water is removed. I routinely check that hole for any kind of obstruction. Honestly, these overflow boxes just don't lose their syphon...not once in all the years I've used it.
 

scott3569

New member
Hey jonny check out my video on your other thread if you haven't already..that said, good luck to you, can't wait to see your prgress
 

Sgt Jonny Cat

New member
Hey jonny check out my video on your other thread if you haven't already..that said, good luck to you, can't wait to see your prgress

Just saw the video Scott...Looks great. Helps a lot. I'm going to go Lifereef and build my sump. If I come home with another aquarium and switch them out I'll probably have to live in it when my wife gets done with me. Some women just don't understand the addiction...LOL
 
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