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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up a 90 gallon acrylic tank the other day off craiglist (love craiglist). He didn't have the pump for the wet/dry and had to go buy one and brought it to me. I hooked up everything, but the question I have is that the pump isn't returning as fast as it's hitting the wet/dry tank. I had a little mess to clean up and just want to know what is the cause of this. My guess is that the pump is to weak maybe? Just curious, because I'm fixing to message him to inquire about the pump and just want to make sure i'm correct before I send him a message.
 

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I think you need some help setting up a proper overflow system. When it's right, water can't leave your tank any faster than the pump returns it. the way you're describing it, it sounds like you are just siphoning water out of your tank. If that's the case, you'll never get the pump return to match it exactly.

Please describe your overflow setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There is a box on the back of the tank with a U shaped tube going from the tank into the box. There is a filter type sleeve that is over the drain pipe in that box that leaves to the wet/dry. The wet/dry is like the normal you see in stores. It goes into the top and runs through a little compartment that spreads the water over several holes than trickles down into a tub of bio-balls. It then goes under there where I have my heater. It leaves out of that compartment to the right and through a sponge into a open compartment where there is a pump that is running with a tube back into the tank. The issue is that the water just drains out of the tank into the back box and then drains into the wet/dry. It's something like this:


What do you think?

This isn't my area of expertise, i'm more of a Canister/HOB type person. But, this came with the tank and I hear nothing but good about them. I'm just trying to get it to work. I'm going to try and mess with it a little more tomorrow when I can see better during the day. Maybe there is something I can do to slow the incoming water.
 

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It sounds to me like your return pump is not strong enough for the amount of water being siphoned out.

How many U-tubes are in the overflow box? If you have more than one you can take some out so that no as much water is being sucked out.

If you only have one u-tube, I would have to say its the return pump. Is there a flow valve on the return line thats possibly limiting flow?

If any of this doesn't help, what type of pump is this and how high is it from the pump to the top of your tank. The gph of the pump is dramatically reduced the higher up the water has to go which could also be the cause.
 

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Maybe there is something I can do to slow the incoming water.
I agree that it sounds like he bought you an undersized pump. I wouldn't slow the return to compensate for a pump that's too small, I'd get a bigger pump. How you handle that depends on the deal you had with him, but I'd definitely let him know. He probably knows already, actually. If you can at least get the receipt from him so you can exchange it yourself, you won't be out as much, but he really should handle this if it was part of the deal.

I'm curious too about exactly which pump he bought for you.
 

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You might also have too much water in the system. When running a wet/dry the tank and wet/dry must come to an equilibrium and once that happens the tank waterline will stay the same. The evaporation will then take place in the sump.

Like the person above said the overflow should only drain as much water as being pumped back into the tank. However, that does not stand true when you have a pump that flows more than the overflow can handle and ends up pumping water over the top of the tank before it can be sent back into the wet/dry..

So I would try not using as much water.

This is how you should go about doing it.

1. Unplug the return pump

2. Drain water out of the main tank only. Drain it so that the water is at least a 1" below the teeth on the overflow box. Drain the water into a buckets. Do not discard it.

3. Plug the return pump back in and let it fill the tank with the water that is in the wet/dry. If the water starts to get too low in the wet/dry before the display tank is returning water through the overflow then add some of the water from the buckets into the SUMP and NOT the tank.

4. Once the tank is full and draining water to the sump via the overflow just let it run and see what happens. If the waterline in the tank is below the trim on the tank you can raise the box inside the tank up and that will raise the waterline.

5. If it still isn't working right then get back to us.

The above steps are the way you should do your water changes also when using a wet/dry. Unplug pump, drain desired amount of water, add water to the sump, plug in return, add more water as needed until fully functional. A note on doing this is that you should either have buckets full of water and ready to be added or if using a python have it ready. :thumb:

What return pump did he buy? How many feet of head do you have? Meaning how many feet is it from the return pump to the top of the tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I think i've solved the problem. Or at least know what the problem is. If you look at the diagram above that I put up. There is NO box on the inside of the tank, just the tube sitting in the tank coming into the box on the back of the tank. I did send him an email last night about it not being there and just waiting on his response. I'm guessing without that box that the water is coming out as fast as it can and with no regulation at all. He did send me a response last night to my first question about the pump and he said he got a bigger pump than what was in there before.

This guy is actually very very nice and doesn't seem like the type to try to be pulling a fast one on me, so I believe he actually thought that I had that inside box on already because he told me to position it higher to slow down the rate. But, since I don't have that piece, all I can do is just put the U tube in the tank and let it just syphon. So, it's sitting there non-running now. Hopefully I'll get a answer from him today and have that box by tomorrow.

Do you all think that could be it also? Does this box on the inside actually make that much of a difference in the flow coming from the tank? I'm getting the impression that it's to fast right now without it.

Thanks again for all the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There is about 4 feet from the pump to the top of the return. I don't know what pump it is, there is no name on it. My impressions is that it's a pond pump of some sorts. He did go buy it brand new, I know that. He also brought me a new tube to go from the pump to the out take on the tank. There is a lot of slack in that (i'm guessing he bought it a little longer to give room for error when purchasing it). Should I cut that tube to make it really tight?

Just found the pump by doing a little research on the top label and good old google :)



Pump Specifications
Voltage 120 V/ 60 Hz
Power Consumption 99 watts
Max Flow Rate 1500 GPH
Max Head 13' 1"
Included Hose Adapters 1"
Cable Length 33'
Warranty [/img]1 Year
 

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Do you all think that could be it also?
Yes, without the overflow box, the tank will drain as fast as it'll siphon. With the overflow box, the siphon wouldn't be able to pull more than the pump would push into the tank that would then overflow into the box to feed the siphon. Hope that makes sense. :D Just tell him that you seem to be missing the overflow box.

Should I cut that tube to make it really tight?
I would shorten it, but not enough to make it tight, just to avoid dips and loops etc.

The pump should looks fine and should work ok once you get that overflow box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the response. So, i'm guessing that pump he got me is ok. Hopefully he'll bring me the overflow box and I see what you are saying. You just move up the overflow box until and equaliburium (spelling lol) is reached. I think I see now.....i've just always been and HOB/Canister person and never really ever dealt with these in 20 years of fish keeping myself. But, the thing about here is that on this site as a community we can always work together to solve anything :) I do have the tank filled and decorated. I'll get a forum up once I get it all running to show it off of course lol.
 
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