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Old 01-19-2004, 04:56 PM   #11
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If there are no bubbles in the sump, then it has to be occuring in the plumbing, or in the tank.
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Old 01-19-2004, 05:00 PM   #12
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Is there any restriction on the pump before the outlet? This can cause cavitation and that could be the source of your micro bubbles.

My next step would be to eliminate the tank as the source of the bubbles. Turn your return pump off and allow the tank to sit and run with just the powerheads and other equipment you have in the tank, after a few minutes there should be a noticable decrease in the amount of bubles or none at all. If this is not the case, the micro bubbles are being caused in the tank. If there are little or no bubbles...then it is in the return pump and/or plumbing.
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Old 01-19-2004, 05:34 PM   #13
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I turned the return pump off and the tank seemed to clear up a pretty good bit. Didn't see any bubbles in the water, just the usual particles of junk. I think I might have picked up on what the problem is, though...

There is a hole in the output of the return pump that prevents it from becoming a siphon when the pump is turned off. This hole was just barely under the water and I think that it was potentially sucking in air from time to time. I've raised the overflow cup to bring the water level up some. There's a bunch of junk floating around at the moment cuz I stirred up the sand a bit on accident. After it settles we'll see if I found the solution.
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Old 01-19-2004, 07:47 PM   #14
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Alas, it was not the problem. They're still floating around in the tank.

I'm beginning to wonder if this is actually abnormal. These bubbles aren't everywhere. If I had to venture a guess, I'd say there were 1-3 microbubbles per cubic inch in the tank... most of them are so insanely small that the only way I can tell they're microbubbles is because they are light on all sides (no shadow on the bottom).

Anyway, any more thoughts?
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Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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Old 01-20-2004, 12:14 AM   #15
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i'm not sure what this micro bubble is , but it sounds like your sand bed/live rock is thriving. i have had micro to large bubbles coming out from my 5in sand bed for months. it started in the refugium and made it's way to the main tank. i still have some particals floating in the water. my queen conch started to get rid of the bubbles on the sand bed right away. you could try to blow off your rock with a power head.
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Old 01-20-2004, 10:02 AM   #16
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Just out of curiosity, how long has this tank/sump combo been running? I had particles and microbubbles really bad even with a great baffle system in the sump. After about 2.5 - 3 weeks of running without interferance the components and plumbing slimed over and its all clear.

Good Luck
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Old 01-20-2004, 12:32 PM   #17
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The tank has been going for about 10 months now. The sump has been going for about six months.

If I have time tonight, I'm going to replace the 1" tube going from the return pump to the tank. It's got a lot of junk in it, and it sounds like it may have a hole. We'll see.
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Old 01-20-2004, 06:07 PM   #18
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crap, i'm so pissed at my bubbles. i'm so stumped. i have checked everything. there are absolutly no bubbles going in the pump, i looked with a bright light and nothing. i use pvc for my return line so it seems like it would be a long shot that there would be a hole in it anywhere seeing as how the cement seals the joints so well. the only thing i can think of for my tank is where the water is actually coming out of the return pvc. from time to time i see the beginnings of a vortex right above the pvc output into the main tank. i have never actually seen air being drawn down but it seems to be pulling the water down from teh surface about a half an inch or maybe more. i just dont know if it would ever be strong enough to suck air from the surface or not because i have never seen it. the only other thing i have in my tank is the overflow box and since that is sucking water out of the tank there is no way it could be releasing micro bubbles. i'm so annoyed. also, i have been wondering too about the holes in my pvc to break the siphon if the pump shuts off. i dont know if that could draw air or not.
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Old 01-26-2004, 09:04 PM   #19
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I've gotten a new piece of information on this issue...

I was looking in the sump yet again yesterday with a higher powered light and saw what I hadn't seen before - microbubbles coming through the sponge in the sump. My sump is divided into two sections, as most are - biomedia chamber and the return area. There is a large sponge between the biomedia chamber and return area. This sponge is not stopping the microbubbles.

I also have a new mag 7 which came with a prefilter on it. This prefilter is catching a few microbubbles which are building up to make larger bubbles, further proof that the microbubbles are in the sump.

My question now is what to do about it? I had a piece of a 200 micron aqua sock wrapped around the sponge before and it did nothing to solve the problem. I'm considering slowly taking the biomedia out of the sump and just turning the stupid thing into a fuge or something like that. Anything to get rid of these annoying bubbles!
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Old 02-07-2004, 09:16 PM   #20
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Did you ever find a resolution to this? I just re-worked my plumbing (same pump, new flex tubing, new refugium and sump) and one of the overflows is now throwing microbubbles into the display.

The sump looks relatively calm, and I have a sponge on the end of the return going into the sump to diffuse the bubbles.

What else to try? Filter floss in the sump?
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