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-   -   siphon and overflow problems. HELP! (

McFishin' 01-10-2009 05:38 PM

siphon and overflow problems. HELP!
Hello, I'm having trouble setting up my 55 gallon saltwater tank. Their is nothing in the tank except: RO water and sand. When I turn on the 55 watt, 2972 liter per gallon pump in the sump, it pumps more water into the tank then what is draining. So, the over flow box in the tank is almost submerged and the sump drains down to the pump. The tube for the siphon is about an inch in diameter. Any feed back would be appreciated. Let me know if you need more information.

McFishin' 01-10-2009 05:52 PM

I just checked the tube from the overflow to the sump and it is not blocked by anything.

Kellsindell 01-10-2009 06:45 PM

So you pump is pushing 785gph roughly? That's quite a bit for a 55g tank. How many gph is your overflow box rated for?

If your over flow is rated for less... say 350gph then you'll need to either, get a smaller pump to decrease the output, get a bigger overflow that can handle the gph or put a ballvalve in the output so that you can regulate how much water is coming out of the pump.

onefish2fish 01-10-2009 08:03 PM

lol kell i have a mag 9.5 as my return but i have a monster overflow box.
are you sure there is water in the u-tube?
as mentioned your going to want to ball valve the output but personally i like to "T" it off with a ball valve returning back into the sump. Closed the valve would mean maximum pumping into the tank, opening it up would mean more back into sump. You can also plump other things into it like a reactor that runs carbon or maybe a skimmer

McFishin' 01-10-2009 09:31 PM

Hey, thanks for the posts. I just installed a ball valve and I'm in the process of finding the sweet spot so that the tank is receiving as much water as it's losing. I put a couple small power heads in there and poured the salt in and it's really cloudy from mixing. I can't wait for it to clear up!

onefish2fish 01-10-2009 09:33 PM

what are you testing SG with?

hydrometer or refractometer?

McFishin' 01-11-2009 12:40 AM

I'm testing with a Hydrometer. I can't seem to get the ball valve in the right spot : (. In general, how does getting a bigger overflow box affect the flow of water in a tank? And why?

onefish2fish 01-11-2009 01:08 AM

if you can redo the return pipe plumbing. you can add in a "T" piece with a ball valve on that so some of the water returns to the sump. You can also have it go else where with a "T" to feed water to carbon reactors and so forth.
Is it a straight pipe up to the tank? you may want to consider spliting the pipe with a few turns in it and to have 2 return lines which will also slow the flow rate down.

A larger overflow means a larger amount of water gets siphon'd out at a giving amount of time. I think you can do some things to get around having to replace the overflow, as ive mentioned above.

if i was you i would calibrate the hydrometer with someone that has a refractometer marking its true values with permanent marker. regardless the hydrometer still isnt accurate but this will increase accuracy.salt builds up on the swing arm throwing SG off. As a matter of fact if/when you can i personally would go with a refractometer. You can find them pretty cheap on

Pasfur 01-11-2009 08:18 AM

Lemon juice will help keep the salt buildup on the hydrometer arm to a minimum.

McFishin' 01-11-2009 10:58 PM

Here's another problem: when I initially create the siphon, there are no bubbles to speak of in the siphon tube. But, shortly after starting the system up, bubbles start showing up! I took the tube out and looked for cracks by filling it up with water, drying off the outside, and looking to see if any water starts appearing. I found no holes or cracks. Is there any other possible source for the bubbles or is there a crack that I'm just not seeing?

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