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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking and thats bad.

I've been considering some type of siphon overflow PVC system, but the complexity of it is a concern of mine. I don't want a flood.

I could drill my tank, but my problem is I have a short period of time my tank can be down when I move it, the fish have no other home.

I could also put in overflows at that time and I like the idea of overflows rather than a siphon system I've seen on monsterfishkeepers.com

Why haven't people considered using like 4" PVC as overflows? Saves you the time of building one. Then I could use a pipe to siphon the water into my sump from the PVC overflow. Put them in the back center (you would lose space if you put them in the corners) of the tank.

They function like a regular overflow, holding the water level in the tank and spilling over the top of the pipe. I could attach a screen to the top to keep the fish out.

The question is how to plumb the overflow if I don't want to drill and with so little turnaround time I might not have the time for the silicone to cure.

I'm struggling with the PVC siphon mechanics. I just don't believe they are reliable enough and I need to maximize the amount of space behind my tank, (I don't want any kind of box on the back of my tank).

I do believe a siphon works, but how how can I make it so they selfprime and don't lose suction and be 100% certain it will work before I invest any of my time buying or building.

I guess I have nothing to lose by drilling my ugly acrylic tank, but I am more looking for a solution when I get a larger glass tank soon.

I really like the idea of a PVC overflow SAVES SO MUCH TIME that it would take to build an overflow. Its also round, so it should blend in better. I am going to spray paint mine with Kyrlon Fusion to match the back panel.

If I am going to drill, I wanted to try using external Durso Standpipes with no overflow (good tank space), by drilling the sides of the tank and then a bulkhead would attach the standpipe to the street el and the pipes would be behind and not in the tank, except the street el PVC part.

You guys understanding my babel?
 

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Round was first. A trap for debris and a place impossible to net a fish from resulted from round internal overflows. I like the first improvement which was a single sheet creating a triangle in a corner instead of the popular square or rectangle. It did have tight spots, and those may be enough to want to go back to Square.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I decided to try this design out.

http://www.jimweller.com/robs/PVC_Overflow.htm

I have Magdrive 9.5 (950 gph), do you think I'll need to make two of them? I bought the parts to do one. I've heard 600 gph from a 1" pipe. If that is the case, then I only have to back off my pump a little as it will get about 750-720 gph pumping up into my tank 5' to 6' high.
 

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1" pipe will max at 600gph, but once you put the bends in, it reduces a bit. But your pump won't push at its rated value either, with a reduction based off how high it has to pump.

I'll assume that rather then using 2 pvc overflows, you could just use wider piping to increase your output flow. Depends what you're looking for.

btw: thanks for that link, it is a lot clearer then the one I was going off of. Spent 2 hours this afternoon in my yard trying to get it to work, and to self-stop when the level drops to low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I built the one from the Jim Weller site tonight. Looks great and only takes up 1" of space behind the tank unlike the pitcher one. It also doesn't use a siphon system in the same way, my thought is less flood risk. I tested it out and it works good in the backyard after it is primed. It should hold prime.

I glued it, and painted it black with Krylon Fusion as well. HD didn't even carry the 2" to 1" reducer bushing had to go to Lowe's (About a stone's throw away for me). Any of the parts that were going to be inside the tank I didn't glue, because if they leak no big deal and If I need to adjust the water level it will be easier and I can clean it out which is huge. The mod of the reducer bushing was a bit of a challenge, you'll need the hack saw and a 1" hole drill bit with a drill in some cases because the reducer has a lip to keep the 1" pipe from sliding all the way through (Like we want it to). I vice is a nice tool to have as well.

I'll have to fine tune the flow, probably have to throttle back the pump a little with a ball valve and leave the overflow wide open, but I think I can come to a happy place because it isn't too far off. The pump outlet is 3/4" and I am using 1" pipe which should reduce my flow to bring the two into harmony.

If not the overflow project cost me about $25 so I could do another at a later time and throttle back the pump a lot or start with a small pump I have worst case.

Anyone who wants a cheap overflow without the hassle of cutting glass, acrylic, using silicone, multiple saws, weldon, and the big one, drilling your tank...should try this project. You can paint the overflow to match your background as well, so it really will blend in, and it only takes up the size of a 2" PVC, where mot overflows are larger, but you accomplish the same flow rates as this guy.

As with everything, I worry about a flood, but my wet/dry sump doesn't have much water in it so even if the overflow clogs, and all the water goes into my tank I doubt I flood, and in a power outage it operates just like a normal overflow once the flow falls below the top of the overflow, no siphon problem.

I pretty happy with the result. I'll post pics soon. It might be a week before I get pictures of it operating because I want the Krylon to be chip resistant before I put it in the tank which it says takes 7 days (Full cure).

I'd use the 2in1 PVC glue, the primer and PVC glue was a pain, and mine was borderline too old to use, but it worked.

Hope this helps any of you who might want to try it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The overflow can't handle the pump. I'd say I might have to make another one if I want to use the full capabilities of my pump.

However, it does work. I might have too many bends in the line from the overflow to the sump, but even if it was direct, the pump fills up the tank in about 10 seconds with the overflow working as hard as it can to keep up. I need to fine tune it still.

I'll start with a ball valve on my return line, stupid me didn't get one.

I also am going to drill the current 3/4" holes in the top corners to 1" So I can use that to secure the overflow pipe.

Spray bar is going to be a must as well or I could use the return to power UGJ, not sure what is best. Recommendations? I was thinking use it to power the UGJ, but how to make sure I don't get a strong bursts out of the jets nearest to the pump outlet.

I am into the project about $45 and my thinking is by the time I finish with just one overflow it wil have cost me $50. If I build another overflow...$75. A little more than I had hoped.

However, when all done, it should make the tank look great. Smaller than average overflows in the back corners same flow, no drilling and all the other benefits of a sump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Take it back, should only cost about $10 more to build another with reducer, 2" cap and 5 - 90 elbows, and T.

I think I have enough 1" Pipe and I for sure have enough 2" pipe.

I think I will build another.

To get them both dumping in my sump at a higher flow rate, I might have to mod some more with some of that extra 2" pipe, a 2" T and a couple more 2" to 1" reducer bushings

Overall, though, should get the full output of my pump that way (Around 800 gph at that height).
 

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On overflows you really don't save much $ VS that of say buying one. If your time is $20 an hour and your parts........ So reality is your $55 purchase to get an acrylic overflow is greater. That's with shipping too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah realized that now. However, it was a fun project. Part of the reason I did it was because I didn't want to drill my tank, well I wouldn't have minded doing it to my scratched up plexi, but when I get my glass I don't want to do that. I also can't afford the tank down time for cure of silicone, etc.

Realized a few things that will make it easier when I have to make them for my glass. I had the ball valve turned in a bad spot on the first one (Waste of $3 because I can't use it hardly at all) and some other things.

Cheaper...not really, but fun and I had to buy the pvc and fittings to hook up the sump anyways, it was just more work, but I don't charge when I like to do it most the time ;)

Here are the pros and cons:

1. Zero Down Time
2. Customizable water level
3. Customizable flow on the overflow
4. Less tank space
5. about the same cost
6. More complicated
7. More work
8. Customizable color
9. Similar flow rate
10. Satisfaction of a DIY success.
 
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