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Old 08-01-2007, 01:35 AM   #1
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Dealing with micro bubbles

I've got a 180G - dual built-in overflows, to a 30G sump (small, I know). The overflows drain into 2 sock filters, into a section where an Aqua EV-180 feeds from and returns to (it's outside of the sump).

I have standard bubble trap baffles - 1" apart, and I've added foam screens to the bulkhead strainers that go to 2 pcx-40 return pumps, but I'm getting a good deal of micro-bubbles from the return. Not a huge amount, but just enough to cloud the water a bit.

I have enough water flow from the returns and two 650GPH Koralia pumps that the tiny bubbles can't just float to the surface and pop.

Any suggests for dealing with microbubbles returning from a sump? Do I need a finer foam mesh over my bulkhead strainers? I don't want to restrict the flow to the pumps in any way.

Maybe two more bubble trap bulkheads? A bigger sump might be the answer, since I'm pushing around 1200GPH flow through it, but I'd like to find a solution without going that route.
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
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Old 08-01-2007, 05:33 PM   #2
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If I follow you, you have 2 PCX-40's (almost 2400 ghp) flowing thru a 30g sump? If that's the case, I think you need to throttle back on those pumps. The microbubbles don't have a chance to dissapate because they are moving too fast thru the sump.
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Old 08-01-2007, 05:41 PM   #3
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If you have any baffles installed you can use a foam sponge/block to trap any bubbles before they hit your returns; otherwise, you can install adjustable baffles to help slow the flow and limit microbubbles.
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Old 08-02-2007, 12:37 AM   #4
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39 gallons. Sorry. Not that that's a huge difference.

But understand that these are pumping up about 14" to the floor above the sump. So overall flow is much less than if the sump was under the tank (I don't think the overflows could keep up with that).
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
Filstar XP3
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoot
I have standard bubble trap baffles - 1" apart,
How are they arranged? FWIW I had to add an "under" baffle right before my return pump to prevent water from spilling into the return chamber. I also rounded the top edge of the baffle in front of it to get smoother flow going over. I feel for you, microbubbles can be very annoying.
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I've got a 180G - dual built-in overflows, to a 30G sump (small, I know)...A bigger sump might be the answer, since I'm pushing around 1200GPH flow through it
I think you may be right. I have about 600 gph going through a 20gal w/ no restriction on my return pump, and I have to throttle it back to about 500 gph or I get microbubbles in the main. HTH
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Old 08-03-2007, 01:23 AM   #6
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Interesting. I wonder if a baffle allowing water to flow under it (if that's what you mean) would help... it wouldn't affect the amount of water, but it would add another place bubbles would have to drop to get past.

Rounding the edges of the baffles is a great idea too.

Most of mine seem to be coming from my skimmer.

I'm running a Mag 9.5 on an EV-180 - the "recommended" (by Aqua) pump to overdrive the unit. I wonder if I need to drain the skimmer output into some sort of bubble box... (without restricting output of course). Maybe letting it drop down onto a piece of foam...
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
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Old 08-03-2007, 02:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT79
FWIW I had to add an "under" baffle right before my return pump to prevent water from spilling into the return chamber.
This is the way mine is also. Seems to create less bubbles from pouring over the top.
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Old 08-03-2007, 02:34 PM   #8
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Great ideas, thanks all. I'll try adding a 4th baffle with an under flow.
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
Filstar XP3
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:05 AM   #9
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I've eliminated most of the bubbles by using only one return pump. Seems like a lot of what I was seeing too wasn't microbubbles at all, but tiny particles. Been running a vortex filter, and that seems to be helping quite a bit. I had to seal the intake lines on the vortex with silicone, because the pump kept slowly getting air in it. Once I did that, it's been running continuously for 2 days now, and the water is looking pretty good.
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
Filstar XP3
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:19 AM   #10
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I too have tiny particles that look like bubbles. I run a cannister filter and a skimmer. Also have a 40g sump for a 120g tank. How can I get rid of them.

Also, Scoot, not to change the subject but is your skimmer producing lots of skimmate or was it hard dialing it in?
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