Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   am i total idiot who did this wrong or is this a real possability that i can't handle (

zachhay11 08-04-2009 01:21 PM

am i total idiot who did this wrong or is this a real possability that i can't handle
ok so i'm setting up my new sump that i spent $100 on (a new pump). so i got it filled with water and i put in the pump and the overfill box is set up but not running and i turn on the pump to see if it works and i see the sand moving around a little so i say ok great as soon as i get the syphin working i can get this wohole thing set up! so as soon as i say "get the syphin working" it well... does...:| all of a sudden the overfill box starts cycling water to the sump for some reason... with the return pump not on...:shock: so as you can tell i am standing there with the U-shaped tube in my hand to stop the syphin as i watch i shrinking puddel of saltwater(it was going down the drain in my basement bedroom.) and as i watched my bio-balls float to the rim i said to myself "maybe... JUST MAYBE!!... this hobbey... is not for me...":cry:

so i started thinking what if the return pump malfuntions? and i'm not there to stop it. thats 65 gallons of saltwater on my floor! could something like that happen? i decided this was too much for me so i need your guy's opinion. should i try again or should i count my looses and sell this dang thing?:-(

zachhay11 08-04-2009 01:26 PM

Wait! It wasn't the syphin! It was the pump! It cycled water out of my tank into the sump, i just figured it out because the u shaped tube is dry on the inside!!!! Why'd this happen?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

wake49 08-04-2009 01:52 PM

If you shut the pump down, the water in the pump that hasn't made it into the aquarium will be forced (by gravity) to fall back towards the pump. The pressure that is created by this action causes a Siphon to form, pumping water (via this siphon) from the display back into the sump. There are two ways to avoid this:

1) poke a hole in the return line coming from the pump just above the outlet. It should be large enough to clean with a toothpick, and clean it regularly. This is called a Siphon Break.

2) Install a Check Valve on the outlet of the pump in the sump. This will stop the flow back from the display immediately. This will not need to be cleaned.

p.s. - Ditch the bio-balls. They are a trap for uneaten food, detritus and any other excess floating garbage. This will eventually cause a buildup of nutrients; i.e. nitrates and phosphates, which will contribute to algae growth.

wake49 08-04-2009 01:59 PM

And read this: Understanding Sumps. It is a sticky written by SK Austin that is available for reading in this very subforum. It helped me generously when I decided to install a sump.

zachhay11 08-04-2009 02:44 PM

thanks wake:)

wake49 08-04-2009 02:49 PM

no prob! :-)

zachhay11 08-05-2009 12:21 AM

ahh yes but the fun doesnt end there! turns out there was a small peice of hand soap in my sump also...not sure how that got there but whatever... looks like i have a full day of cleaning and salt buying tomarrow... god i hope this is the last of the disasters!

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