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Old 11-03-2011, 04:33 PM   #1
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Bubbles In Return Only At Startup Video Link

Tank (65g) has been cycling and plumbing had no issues until...
  • Swapped out a Mag 7 (hated the vibration) for a Max-Jet 3000. More powerful and quiet 500+ GPH vs. approx. 425 GPH.
  • Drilled 1/4" siphon break hole on bottom surface of 3/4" loc-line return on pipe that is raised slightly above water level (top surface of pipe breaks water line; bottom surface is underwater until power is killed. When power off, as water line reaches siphon break I can hear the air suck). 3/4" line to 'Y' and splits to two 1/2" loc-lines with flat 5 hole nozzles.
Once those changes were made, when pump is restarted a massive amount of air bubbles are seen shooting from siphon break (straight down) and from both 1/2" nozzles. Bubbles became issue with pump swap prior to drilling siphon 1/4" break. Video Link: Loc-Line Return After Siphon Break Drilled Startup - YouTube

Takes approximately 30 sec for majority of larger bubbles to dissipate but close to a minute or more for the balance of the micro-bubbles to be gone.

Questions For Feedback:

1. Is the flow too powerful as to cause stress or whatever for fish and/or corals?

2. Are these bubbles anything to be concerned about? Surely, on/off much cause stress on the system...no?

3. If any of this is an issue, then what's to be done?

Feedback much appreciated.
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:54 PM   #2
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Still Photos Loc-Line & Bubbles

First and 2nd photos are water with return pump off - water at low point.

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3rd photo captures larger bubbles shortly after turning pump back on.
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Next post with photos with pump on - water level high (normal).
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:58 PM   #3
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5th photo shows loc-line with pump on - water level normal.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:25 PM   #4
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nope,no problem.What you need to remember is when the pump has stopped and the AIR BREAK has done its job(which is to fill the pipe with air to stop water from going to sump) as soon as you turn power back to the pump air is pumped first,micro bubbles are just caused by large air bubbles going through the impellor.this is normal operation with a sump system.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:56 PM   #5
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nope,no problem.What you need to remember is when the pump has stopped and the AIR BREAK has done its job(which is to fill the pipe with air to stop water from going to sump) as soon as you turn power back to the pump air is pumped first,micro bubbles are just caused by large air bubbles going through the impellor.this is normal operation with a sump system.
Yes on the 'air break'.

My concern was twofold:

  • The massive amount of bubbles was not occurring when the Mag 7 was in-line - was very minimal. So, was not sure if the now excessive bubbling with the marineland pump was an issue?
  • The bubbles act as a visual aide of sorts in seeing the now more significant flow - nearly 100 gph higher with current pump. So, am not sure if I've some how crossed a threshold of more is too much?
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:35 PM   #6
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as long as the flow isnt too strong for your fish you should be ok,you could always throttle down the pump if it has a valve on it,if not install one in the return pump pipework then throttle it down slightly.(throttling down pumps helps prolong the life of the pump)
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:07 PM   #7
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as long as the flow isnt too strong for your fish you should be ok,you could always throttle down the pump if it has a valve on it,if not install one in the return pump pipework then throttle it down slightly.(throttling down pumps helps prolong the life of the pump)
Very interesting to learn that throttling down will prolong pump life. Have in-line ball valve.... but pump also has feature where it can be throttled back at the pump...

So, if I understand this.... once I add fish... I'll be able to tell if there's too much flow ('cause at the moment) where still in the cycle phase.

Thanks, David.
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:14 AM   #8
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You can always do a T off your return back to the sump and instead of throttling the pump or return line, you can divert some of the flow back to the sump. That doesn't cause any stress to it at all. That's what I did, see the pic down on this page: Benjamin's 55g Malawi Cichlid Build
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:54 PM   #9
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yep thats another option as well mrbee
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