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Old 05-27-2005, 11:12 AM   #11
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I think I'm screwed on a hang-on unit since this is an acrylic tank. It has a mostly closed top except for two decent sized rectangular openings cut in the top near the front. The canopy sits across the entire top as well.

It's nice in the sense that I get very little evaporation out of the top (the lights cover even this opening I described). Most of my evap, I suspect, comes from the right half of my wet/dry sump.

I just keep shootin'em' down, don't I? It's not intentional... just all part of the brainstorming process in a system riddled with challeneges.

Thanks!
- Aaron
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Old 05-27-2005, 11:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
I just keep shootin'em' down, don't I? It's not intentional... just all part of the brainstorming process in a system riddled with challeneges.
Wouldn't be fun any other way.
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Old 05-27-2005, 11:50 AM   #13
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As I continue to think about this....

Imagine the pumps stopped. When I turn off the pump to do some maintenance now, my return flow to the tank obviously stops. I wait 30 seconds or so as the level in the tank drops below the outflow box "teeth" and the level of the overflow box drops below the top of the standpipe. This is the amount of extra headroom I have to allow in my sump and the reason I can't, obviously, top off the sump in a running state (I'd overflow it when the return flow to the tank stops).

When I turn the pump back on, the water level in my sump drops down a few inches to the normal running state as the inflow/outflow rate of the tank returns to its currently configured equilibrium.

In the running state, if I look into the overflow box (or through the front of the tank to the teeth in the overflow box), the water level for the spillover is very low. In other words, only the lowest centimeter or so of the inch or more high "teeth" are covered with spillover water. This, I assume, is based partly on the rate at which water is being returned TO the tank from the sump.

I already described earlier the fact that the standpipe going through the bulkhead in the bottom of the tank is definitely smaller than the actual bulkhead opening.

Does this indicate that I could, in fact, up my rate a good bit if I went to the full diameter of the outflow pipe and increased the pump size? What i'm saying is that the tank has what looks like a decent headroom on the draining rate if more of the height of those "teeth" are being used to drain a larger volume of the tank water at a faster rate. Again, it still depends on the maximum amount that can be drained through the hole in the bottom of the overflow box.

Am I making sense?

And again, how would one compute this maximum? It seems it's the max amount of water that gravity can drop through a tube the diameter of the overflow's bulkhead in the bottom.

I'm sure I'm just painfully describing the obvious here - but this is the first time I've had cause to reall think through the physics of this process.

Might this be the "standard" 600 GPH or so cited in an earlier post?

Thanks!
- Aaron
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Imperator, D. Saddle Butterfly, 2 Percula Clowns, Cleaner Shrimp and an army of Hermits that never sleep
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Old 05-27-2005, 02:28 PM   #14
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A guy over on RC recently modified his mega flows. He drilled extra gap into the teeth so that more water would flow from his tank into the stand pipe. He has a dual return system and is pushing over 3000g an hour through it right now.

I'm saying where there's a will there's a way!

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...hreadid=577452
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Old 05-27-2005, 03:02 PM   #15
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Thanks, Phyl - that made for some rather interesting reading. I've got more questions and thoughts in my head now, though, dangit.

- Aaron
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Old 05-27-2005, 03:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron
I've got more questions and thoughts in my head now, though, dangit.
Better to think of these thoughts and question now than later, me thinks! All part and parcel to a well thought out plan.
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Old 05-27-2005, 03:26 PM   #17
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Oh, I agree... I was just being droll about more questions coming up with every answer I find.

I'm not complaining - it's kind of a fun adventure and I definitely want to cover all the bases (which explains this thread and all the time I spent on 3D models). So I'm definitely not griping about your post, that's for sure... it brought up interesting other ways to consider my predicament.

Thanks!
- Aaron
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Old 05-27-2005, 03:34 PM   #18
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I decided to send an email to the designer of my tank. He's been really helpful in the past and wrote back to me again rather quickly.

He said that my assumption that the bottleneck is the bulkhead in the bottom of the overflow was correct. It's 1.5" from what I can tell (and I think he agreed on that measurement).

He also said he recalls an Iwaki 40 at 4' of head being the biggest thing he's run on this configuration with success. I need to look that up again and see what those numbers are going to be and work from there.

In a nutshell, I might well be screwed on substantially increasing my GPH unless there are some more tricks. I suppose one could increase the size of the bulkhead and (ultimately) the teeth if that became the next bottleneck... but I don't think I'm wanting to take a drill to any part of this tank.

I've got more research to do to confirm all of this and, of course, I'm still eager for more input as others consider the dilemma.

All of this poking around has gotten me to wondering if I'm getting maximum flow out of what I already have and whether the drain could be less noisy than it is now. I'm planning a Durson standpipe ultimately... but even before that, I'm not certain things are flowing optimally. I might take some photos in a bit and post them to see if others see any misconfiguration in the current setup.

Thanks!
- Aaron
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Imperator, D. Saddle Butterfly, 2 Percula Clowns, Cleaner Shrimp and an army of Hermits that never sleep
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Old 05-27-2005, 04:06 PM   #19
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I opened up the teeth on my overflow but not to that extent. I did remove a couple of the teeth all together like he did though.

Do you already have the pump? Just get a smaller pump. I would think 1000 gph would be feasible. You can always throttle the pump back or build a PVC manifold and dump some water back into the sump. Still a lot of flow IMO.
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Old 05-27-2005, 04:25 PM   #20
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I checked and his reference to an Iwaki 40 on this configuration with 4 feet of head is in the neighborhood of 720 GPH. If I apply my parameters to this (assuming they are accurate), achieving that range puts me around an Iwaki 70 model. I had previously been looking at an Iwaki 100.

The cost difference isn't so great that it might still be worth just getting the Iwaki 100 and throttling it back some. I suspect that would still give me some headroom to allow for errors in my calculations or other unforseen stuff (assuming I'm computing it to be too ideal and not the other way around).

Would it make sense to scale back toward the model 70 or just stick with the 100 throttled? You do the throttling with a valve on the outflow, correct?

Also - what degree of life in the reef world will I be able to support with this config? I'm FOWLR right now. I suspect I'd need to at least add some powerheads to create more turbulence since I don't have a -tremendous- amount from the current (or future) outflow.

This irks me, though, because I'd rather not have to add potential mechanical noise to the system when I'm working to push all that into the basement.

There are always compromises in this hobby... I'm not sure I'll be able to pull off all my reef dreams with this config. Not that I'm unhappy with the FOWLR system, but I really envy all the reef systems I see with the gorgeous corrals and other more delicate creatures.

- Aaron
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90lbs (45 liverocks.com & ~45 donated 14+ year old Fiji)
Imperator, D. Saddle Butterfly, 2 Percula Clowns, Cleaner Shrimp and an army of Hermits that never sleep
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