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Old 12-26-2007, 12:12 AM   #1
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Recommendations requested

I've been posting alot lately, but likely because I've been procrastinating and have had these ideas running around in my brain for months.

I may actually get my dream 40 gallon breeder very soon. My plan is to turn my present 29 gallon into a sump. What do you recommend for a HOB Overflow, and what would the recommended return pump be for the given Overflow. What is the best one way valve to get for the return line in case the pump fails due to unforseen circumstances? I've no interest in welding my own HOB Overflow box, so any retail brand is fine. I can shop around or look for a used one.

PS. As a side note, does anyone know a 'bigpuffer' who frequents the Boston Reefer Forum? I need his contact info if you do.

TIA
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Old 12-26-2007, 02:47 PM   #2
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Check out the CPR overflow boxes or similar.

The return pump needs to be sized to the overflow so you don't over run the overflow capacity. Don't forget to take head height drop off into consideration on the pump.

A one-way valve is not necessary in a properly designed overflow. The syphon will break when the water level falls breaking the syphon.

I often pull the plug on my main pump (water changes, feedings, cleaning and other maintenance) and my sump handles the overflow till the syphon breaks with room to spare.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:07 PM   #3
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how much water would you fill in the sump to make sure there's no flood in case anything goes awry? Up to 2/3 of the sump? And I guess the return tubing level should not be any lower than an inch below water level. Am I getting this right?
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:06 PM   #4
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A sump has different sections. The first section in my sump is normally about half full and the last (return) section is about one-third full. I can adjust how much water drains into it by adjusting the height of the returns in the tank. So yes, you are getting this.

Check out
Sumps Explained and Melev's Reef - Sumps & Fuge's
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:57 PM   #5
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There is going to be a working level for your sump/return area. My suggestion is to have your tank full to the overflow point. Fill your sump (not all the way full) and turn on your return pump. have some water on standby to fill the sump as the water level drops. I use a 10g tank for my return and it is just over half full. As your return pump puts water into the tank and drains keep the pump covered. When you start having water flow out of the tank and back into the sump stop filling the sump. Let the pump run a bit and see where the level is. Add water to your sump until you have the pump completely submereged. When you get to that point shut off the return pump and allow the water to flow back into the sump out of the return line and what is in the overflow line. This is a good way of testing your power failure water level. If you run your sump too full or not full enough you will either have a flood or you will burn up a pump. After you find a good working level that keeps the pump submerged and allows enough room for when the power is shut off on the return pump, mark that level on your sump. As water evaporates you will know how much water to add back to the tank.

I hope all of that makes sense.
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:30 PM   #6
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It's making sense. I actually know the principles behind a sump/fuge, it's just the technical aspect that is somewhat 'scary'. My tank is in an apartment with carpeting, so I can't afford to make any boo boos. Landlord would shoot me. :P
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