DIY Overflow using Marcels design - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-21-2010, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
McNertney's Avatar
DIY Overflow using Marcels design

Original Idea from Marcel at
Thanks Dude....

Ive taken this idea and modified it to my own needs. My Tank has two hang on back filters that are touching the wall behind my aquarium. Recently one of them has started making a vibration that can be heard on the other side of the wall wich is my roomates room. And instead of draining the tank and moving it out a little, ive looked into this method. Oh and i am too afraid to drill cause it could be tempered glass. here is what i have so far...
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-22-2010, 03:29 AM
iamntbatman's Avatar
That's a pretty cool idea. Have you got it running yet?

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post #3 of 8 Old 05-24-2010, 07:29 AM
bearwithfish's Avatar
wow very creative... keep us up to date with how well it filters... its also a great way you could add in an ATO or move some of your gear out of the main display like heaters etc....

Back in the Game!!! Live Bearers in a 40 Breeder
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-02-2010, 12:40 AM
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Very nice work! That's a really clean looking iteration of the design. Thanks for posting about it here.

My one question is, with your modifications, will the tank continue to drain if the power is shut off? I see the intake from the overflow is near the bottom inside the tank?

Without the PVC pipe skimming chamber inside the tank to equalize the water pressures, the siphon will just continue to empty the tank, into your sump, and then on to the floor in the event of a power failure.

Unless you have though of this already?

Let me know if you have any questions, and happy building!

PS: Nice forum!
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-02-2010, 01:08 AM
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Good point, at least maybe a small anti siphon hole drilled just below the water line could be in order, that is if you haven't already drilled one.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-02-2010, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input everyone...
i haven’t had time to mess with it as it requires me to take all my gear out. I got it working the same weekend but I don’t trust it to leave it on yet. The Energy people in my area are cutting power to give us new power boxes at some point this month. so ill turn it on when they finish that

Not shown here is a piece of black 2" PVC with one end capped. the length is my water level. That piece is where the water overflows into and the siphon takes it out from there. the way it works is when the return pump puts water into the tank, it overflows into the black piece, and is siphoned out. The problem i ran into is when i unplug the return pump. the siphon is supposed to stop and freeze. but it slowly drains with the pressure inside the circuit. Eventually the 10 gallon would overflow onto my carpet. i think i need a stronger return pump and maybe i need to level some of the pieces out so they aren’t sloped.

As for drilling im not sure if my glass is tempered so im not even going to try. I have noticed a couple of chips in the corners though could that happen to a tank that’s tempered?

Zof: I know what you mean but the idea here is to never actually lose the siphon. its supposed to stop and go when water is put into the tank. kind of like when you add water to a toilet. Im missing a few steps here so ill have to take more pix. I think id rather have the emergency hole drilled then have water on my floor though so maybe you can tell me where I should drill it with all the other pieces in place

Marcel: YEah i know im only half done trust me i didnt leave it on or anything. I do have one question though: where do i put the other end of the tubing that starts the siphon? i saw yours sits in the jug i think right?
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-03-2010, 11:54 PM
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The stronger the return pump the better in my opinion, as you can always increase the size of the drains if you need more flow.

I normally attach one end of the small tubing that starts the siphon to a powerhead venturi port, as insurance that the siphon will restart when the power is turned on. You can also just leave both ends submerged in the juice jug.

Just so every one knows
the proof that it works, I 'm still running that exact same setup with orange juice jug you see in my pics to this day.

My tank journals at
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-04-2010, 12:40 AM
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I'm getting this alot more now I missed the importance of the "diffuser" maybe the key is to equalize the siphon faster? If so maybe your overflow water level should be the same amount that you desire to leave in the diffuser? Is there any reason the diffuser has to be almost the same height as the tank water level? Or is it just that high so it can sit on the bottom of the tank? If you cut down on the amount of water inside the diffuser it should equalize quicker. Maybe load the bottom of the diffuser with ballast then seal the diffuser up at the level of water that you want it to equalize at? So it does not drain the full size of the diffuser.

I hope I'm catching on the the concept :)
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