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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So having an issue with poop collecting around the rocks in the tank and not reaching the top of the weir in the overflows. I have the powerheads in opposite corners closest to the bottom as I can go without pushing sand while pointed up. The returns I have skimming the surface to help push water towards the weirs but I think instead its pushing it down. Should I make the returns dip under the water and point them up in an arc shape? What else could I try? Overflows are on the sides of the tank which is what the black boxes are. Top pic is the side view, bottom is the top down view.
May be an image of text that says '一 Return Powerhead'

 

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Looks like you're still dialing this new one in? And yes, if the fish waste and possible uneaten food is building up on the bottom, that can be a problem. There's a couple ways you can go with this,
OPTION 1
Do Nothing! Or well, basically work with what you have now. That is, make adjustments to the powerheads in there, etc... You could also try and mix in some small diameter gravel to your substrate sand. That will at least help to visually mask the waster buildup on the bottom of the aquarium. Then, short of more frequent spot cleanings or something to physically remove that stuff....?
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OR
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OPTION 2
This one is NOT recommended, unless this waste buildup thing on the bottom, is REALLY bothering you. That's because it will require the build and install of completely new systems to manage the return and discharge water for your aquarium.
The first one is to replace the simple discharge spray bar/nozzles you have now, with a purpose-built Under Gravel Jet System (under sand?). This will enable you to remove both of the powerheads from the aquarium, and will provide your tank a comprehensive water flow and current system to remove dead spots and facilitate removal of waste products from the bottom.
Here is a decent description of an UGJ System,
Yes, discharge water from your filtration must be planned and managed.
And that, can vary from something as simple as a discharge spray bar, to a full-on Under Gravel Jet System (UJG),



I am a huge advocate for UGJ, as they will:
  • Distribute filter discharge flow more evenly throughout the aquarium water column.
  • Can be directed and placed to remove dead spots on the substrate, that would be prone to debris buildup.
  • Can distribute a massive amount of water flow and pressure throughout the aquarium (Instead of from a single 'fire hose' discharge point)



UGJ can be powered up basically by any source of water pressure. Driven by submerged powerheads, canister filtration discharge. Or of course, a sump. Canister discharge to a UGJ system could be accommodated very discretely by use of low-mounted bulkhead fittings. A sump discharge to UGJ is typically provided by vertical 'stand pipes' that direct the water flow over the lip of aquarium and down into the UGJ piping system. A small anti-siphon hole is drilled near the top of each stand pipe to prevent the contents of the aquarium from flowing back through the UGJ, and down into the sump when the discharge pump(s) are turned off.
The second part of the OPTION 2 re-work fix to the problem, is to replace your corner overflow weirs. The ones installed on both my old All Glass Aquarium and Marineland tanks had these curved, double-walled, black ABS plastic corner overflows, that had a lower intake area sort of built in to the weir.
Here is a better, visual description of that type of overflow weir,
Cylinder Gas Cookware and bakeware Kitchen appliance Machine

The lower slatted area of the weir works off of some kind suction created by water overflowing over the top or something. It has a small amount of suction that will draw in fish waste, uneaten food or other undesirable things....
After seeing my fish get basically blasted by a malfunctioning powerhead for a few days, then got the shock of my life when I personally discovered the actual problem putting electric current into the water of the aquarium... I have just never used powerheads since. Never liked the look of the things anyway. But, that is a pretty big re-work at this stage of the game to try and fix this waste buildup problem in your aquarium. So, going with OPTION 1 is probably your best bet. ;)
 

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I'm not sure if you're in the same boat I am, OP, but my overflows only overflow at the top. I don't have the handy lower cut-out that @Auballagh mentions in his fantastic answer. (I would not want them either. They look scary...

I noticed the same thing. Trying to push everything around was making a lot of flow. I've technically added more flow now, but I'm using air. Right at the base of the overflow tower, I've got air stones. These cause an upward current on the sides of the tower, bringing the "Particulate matter" to the top to go over the weir. It added a bunch of noise, but I actually think I like it. I find that everything in this stinking hobby is a trade off.
 

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Oh my.....
Twas' NEVER my intention to alarm you El' Hefe!
The lower slatted area of the weir works off of some kind suction created by water overflowing over the top or something. It has a small amount of suction that will draw in fish waste, uneaten food or other undesirable things....
Hmmmmmm.....
I'm not sure if you're in the same boat I am, OP, but my overflows only overflow at the top. I don't have the handy lower cut-out that @Auballagh mentions in his fantastic answer. (I would not want them either. They look scary...
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Rest easy now, my scholarly friend @SenorStrum! The double wall construction on that black ABS plastic overflow weir, means that the inner wall (behind the lower. grated area) is a totally solid wall. Any fish poops, uneaten food or just strange, unwanted particles (depleted uranium, etc....) that are sucked up by the lower, grated intake area of the weir - have to be pulled up between the double walls and pass OVER the (solid) inner wall of the double-walled overflow, weir system, to get into the sump.
That is..... A totally safe, and secondary - lower - intake weir overflow system, my good man. :geek:
 
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Oh.... and once again, El Hefe':
I find that everything in this stinking hobby is a trade off.
:ROFLMAO: Yer jus' killin' me man, with those (rather 'pithy') observations! :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So I feel like the problem might be the dual returns on opposite sides not contributing to a circular flow and instead clashing against each other. The tank is 7 ft long taking into account the two overflows and 30 inches wide. Normally in a smaller tank you'd have a return on the opposite end of the overflows directing the current towards it with the powerheads directing any waste back into the current to be pushed by the return. With my setup having dual overflows on opposite ends, Im starting to get worried this is more a setup for salt water than fresh water. I do have quite a few rocks in so sucks, but I might have to start removing some of the plecos hiding spots by removing rocks. This should stop the waste from getting stuck on the rocks at least and keep it flowing through the water column.
 

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Are your returns adjustable, that is loc-line or similar? You may just need to play with them a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Loc-line. I have the flare nozzle fitting and my buddy has two dual nozzles with the cone outlets Im going to switch to. Also considering switching out my standard powerheads for cross flows and removing alot more rock. Tested parameters last night and tank is still cycled even after draining it few weeks ago and switching out the sand.
 

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I've experimented with the flares as well as the cones. Flares are RAD! If.... you point them at the surface so that they agitate the most water possible. The cones are much more directional, IME. I'd play around with cones and where you point them to see if you can get water swirling in such a way as to dislodge all the junk that visibly collects. Another thought - Gyre. You could get wave makers that cycle on and off in a surge or wave motion to try to change water flow so nothing gets and opportunity to get stuck next to a rock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I switched to dual flares and the flow is less powerful. I repositioned my powerheads in the exact middle close to the bottom and its doing OK but I went ahead and ordered two cross flow power heads, 13 inches wide so these should produce a nice flow in a much wider area.
 
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