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Old 05-05-2005, 02:17 AM   #1
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my first fuge: overflow gph vs. return pump gph

Am setting up my first fuge, and looking into overflows & return pumps. Here is what I can't wrap my brain around: which should be rated at a higher max GPH?

It seems to me that if the overflow is higher, it will siphon the water level down and break the siphon. If the return pump is higher, the tank will overflow.

I'm looking to setup a small fuge for my 30 gal -- sort of a "practice" for the larger system I intend to setup in about a year after I move. So I guess I'm looking to move 300 to 450 gph? Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-05-2005, 12:04 PM   #2
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You need to be sure the overflow has a slightly higher capacity than the return pump. You can also install a ball valve in the return line to restrict the flow from the pump to get the desired return rate.

The overflow will only remove from the tank what the return pump can feed it. As long as you don't exeed that, you'll be fine. Ensure that all pipes in the water have siphon break holes drilled in them just below the water line and look for a "U" type overflow.

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Old 05-05-2005, 12:32 PM   #3
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I was thinking something like this... Is this the correct type? In truth this is pretty much the only commercially available one I can find...

What does "continuous siphon" refer to? Thanks again.
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Old 05-05-2005, 04:46 PM   #4
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That is a CPR overflow which utilizes a "C" type tube and requires a pump to push water through the overflow keeping optimum performance. Personally I wouldn't recommend them, too much chance for spills.

I would look at these instead... http://www.lifereef.com/siphon.html

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Old 05-05-2005, 05:59 PM   #5
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This is the one that I have on my 30g QT: Click here for eBay Auction

It seems to work OK but I'd say it is more like a 400gph rather than 600.

With my fuge I just cut holes in the sides of my fuge box and put bulkhead fittings in it. I installed 2 so that I had a backup in case the first go clogged (forget who I stole that idea from, but thanks) and then have it higher than my sump in my stand. No need for an overflow and it works great. Are you planning to overflow out of your main? Do you have a sump already?
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Old 05-05-2005, 07:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
That is a CPR overflow which utilizes a "C" type tube and requires a pump to push water through the overflow keeping optimum performance. Personally I wouldn't recommend them, too much chance for spills.
Would you be able to elaborate on the differences? I've tried to read a bit -- done some searches on this site -- but I can't wrap my brain around the differences in the two models (C vs. U), or even really how they both work (it seems to me that all you need is a tube at a certain height to drain water to the fuge below, like the holes in your bathroom sink that drain water if the level gets too high; I guess the trick is getting it up and over the tank edge).

I guess I really don't even understand what I'm looking at in these photos.

Thanks.
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Old 05-05-2005, 07:15 PM   #7
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A C has a big box shaped gap in the acrylic. They flow a lot, but because they have so much surface area (internally) they are prone to losing siphon. This is why the "aqualifter" pumps are used to suck out the air.

U ones just use regular piping bent into a U shape. smaller holes means generally less flow. but the smaller a siphon is, the easier it is to prime.

you have to use an overflow of some sort if your tank isn't drilled. sometimes called a "weir" ... you should read up on them before you decide. regardless, I'd get one which is rated at least 30% higher (and preferably 100% or more) than your return pump. Snails like to crawl in them and if they block 50% of the flow (say there is some tasty algea on one of the two U pipes) your tank will overflow in a hurry.
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Old 05-05-2005, 07:23 PM   #8
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Also, any available on a continuous basis from a retail site (unlike lifereef.com, which appears to take orders and then build individual units)?

Thanks.
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Old 05-05-2005, 08:07 PM   #9
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http://www.championlighting.com/home.php?cat=416

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Old 05-05-2005, 08:15 PM   #10
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So just to summarize:

I should buy a "U" type over a "C" type because, in the event of a power failure, the "C" type siphon will break, and upon return of power the return pump will overflow the main tank. This is not a problem with the "U" type.

Is that right?
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