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Old 06-23-2016, 11:00 AM   #1
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Sump plumbing/flow rate..

New to Saltwater Aquariums and had some questions about a sump. A little about my set up first I have a 90 gallon corner tank with around 100 pounds of Live Rock and I wanna say 50 pounds of live sand in it. Its been up for a month now and seems to be doing great besides the brown algae war BTW dosing vodka seems to be working for that.

My question about the sump I have a 20 gallon emerald trigger system sump directly under the tank. I just drilled a hole in the back of the tank toward the top of my water level for the water to run to the sump. A 1 inch bit was the largest I could find so it is 3/4 PVC to and from the sump . My problem is that the water is not draining into the sump anywhere near fast enough even with the water level about a cm above the hole I drilled ,its just barely more than a trickle. Can I get some suggestions on how I might be able to speed this flow up? I was also considering adding mud and mangroves to the refugium portion of the sump any advice on that would be appricated as well
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Old 06-23-2016, 12:15 PM   #2
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How many gallons per hour is the overflow?
So the concern is that your return pump doesn't match the overflow? Install a gate valve after the return pump so you can restrict the flow after the pump so that it can match the overflow precisely.


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Old 06-23-2016, 12:40 PM   #3
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That's the problem I did and the water coming in is so slow that the valve I have installed after the pump is almost completely closed and the pump its self is on the lowest setting.
I had assumed that gravity itself would take care of the IN flow rate without any siphon I have ordered a bit to make a hole big enough to run 1 inch pvc hopefully this will help. When im home ill get some pictures of the plumbing and post them
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Old 06-23-2016, 08:46 PM   #4
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The hole and PVC isn't going to increase your flow rate. Your flow is being limited by the overflow itself at this time. Only an overflow with a higher rated gph will increase your flow.


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Old 06-24-2016, 08:56 AM   #5
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So what you're getting at is I should have an overflow box? All I have atm is a hole drilled on the back wall with pvc stuck in it
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:13 AM   #6
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It may be possible to increase the flow to the sump by increasing the number of drilled holes. I'm not sure how many 1" holes (and associated bulkhead fittings) would be needed to achieve the desired flow rate. The downside is the amount of plumbing (though the multiple 1" pipes could possibly be joined into a larger PVC pipe).


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Old 06-24-2016, 12:53 PM   #7
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Additional PVC can help depending on the method being utilized, but there needs to be an overflow box.
Before doing any additional purchases or drilling, I'd suggest doing some research on this topic before any mistakes are made that could compromise the tank.


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Old 06-27-2016, 10:48 PM   #8
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what is happening is you are getting a vapor lock and it's causing it to restrict the flow.
Increasing the hole size to at least 1" is also advisable.
You don't need an overflow box, bot it makes life sooooooo much easier and avoids some potential problems.
My system is drilled through the back and I have a T connector so they is a free air passage;




If I plug the open end the drain is decreased by half easily. The open end needs to be above the water level (of course) and I capped mine, drilled a hole in the cap and glued in a air line valve so I can control the amount of air being drawn through. Don't ask me to explain all the physics involved, but I know it works.
I don't recall the name/type of overflow/drain style it is fashioned after, but it works.
I have a bulkhead going through the tank into the overflow box.
My drain plumbing is 1" and the return side is 3/4" using a DC pump so I can easily control the flow rate without using valves.

hope that helps, but as Sniper said, research more before doing any further modifications.
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:20 PM   #9
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Thanks to all the help its working great!
I did some research on overflows like you suggested and ordered a box went ahead and drilled for a 1" outlet and just ran the pump return into the 3/4 hole I already had drilled. Idk exactly how much gph but the pump is wide open and holding steady. Feel a lot safer running this set up that just siphoning it over the top of the tank that was getting sketchy
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