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Old 01-17-2005, 03:21 PM   #1
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Benefits of an overflow

Hey guys,

I'm about to get my 75g saltwater set up, and I was curious about overflows. At my LFS, I was shown some tanks which had a piece of glass near the back, that created a compartment area in the back of the tank. (This ran the entire length and height of the tank). This is where piping was set up to become the overflow area of the tank. The expert wasn't working that day at the LFS, and the girl helping me didn't know the benefits of setting up the overflow this way, as opposed to using a pipe inside the tank.
This is my first big setup, so correct me if I have things wrong (or don't use the right terminology!). Does the overflow in the back (sealed off and hidden) of the tank have any benefit other than not having to put an intake pipe inside the main viewing area of your tank?
If there's no other benefit, I think I'd rather have this pipe inside the main tank, so I have more tank space to use for fish and the rest of my tank inhabitants.

Thanks for the help,

matt
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Old 01-17-2005, 03:22 PM   #2
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I believe those are acrylic tanks when they have the overflow's premade into them
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Old 01-17-2005, 03:41 PM   #3
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Sounds more asthetic than functional. Putting that 'false back' on the tank will hide your plumbing and all for the overflow so the viewer just sees the tank and maybe some portals for the return plumbing.
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Old 01-17-2005, 03:46 PM   #4
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i believe the tank would be acrylic, which is good and i wish i had, also hte overflow inside the tank built in like that would be better i believe, i dont think its as proned to breaking any siphon which can be a problem with a hang on overflow, also its more direct to your sump which can speed up water movement through the tank a lil bit, and it also means you wont have tubes and such going behind the tank it would be dirtectly underneath, if i had the choice i would have gotten an acrylic tank with the built in overflow it just seems easier to set up plus i think it looks nicer since you can hide it easier with rocks and you wont have the bulky overflow box and tubing off the back of the tank.i guess its personal preferance, but i think it definitley has advantages
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Old 01-17-2005, 03:48 PM   #5
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I put up a black background to hide all the stuff on the back of my SW's tanks....my wife HATES cords and tubes showing
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Old 01-17-2005, 04:34 PM   #6
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One benefit is that you are skimming a thinner collum of water. The DOC's tend to rise to the surface of the water and form a film. I'm not sure of the best way to explain this, but if you have an overflow box in a corner and the dimensions are 6"x4" the area of the overflow that the water flows over is 10"s 6"+ 4"= 10" Lets say that at your particular flow rate the water flowing into the box is .25" thick. If you were to use an overflow that runs across the entire back of the tank say 48" then at the same flow rate the thickness of the water will be .05". Having the overflow running across the entire back of the tank is just more efficient at removing the DOC's from the main tank and depositing them into your sump making your skimmer more efficient.
If the explanation is poor, please forgive me
I can try explaining further if it is needed.
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Old 01-17-2005, 05:50 PM   #7
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i think i understand what you were saying, thanks!
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Old 01-18-2005, 03:38 AM   #8
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The other BIG benefit is being able to put all the equipment in the sump instead of in the display part of the tank. You can hide stuff like heaters and a skimmer in the sump. I wish I would have bought a tank with an overflow cause now I have this huge ugly pump that came with my skimmer(remora pro), a heater and 3 power heads that I have to look at. I am even toying with the idea of tearing it down.. having it drilled and running a sump down to my garage which is right below the room my tank is in.

Go with the RR tank... my 2 cents. Also make sure your stand has big doors on the front. My stupid stand has one dinky little door on the front so working with a sump under the tank would be a bear.
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Old 01-18-2005, 03:45 AM   #9
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Ok, just re-read your original post. My response doesn't really apply. Sorry. But I think its a good idea to segregate the overflow from the rest of the tank as to prevent any of the inhabitants from getting into and clogging it up.

-Maximo
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