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210 Mixed Reef Build

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    Posted: December 07 2014 at 7:47pm
 Hi all,

Starting 210 gallon mixed reef build. I am not in a hurry (does everyone say this?) and will want help planning the build and with all the issues I will have.

I have a (72"X24"X29) good used all-glass RR double overflow tank with nice stand and canopy. The Canopy has 3 150 watt MH, 4 compacts and 3 moon lights in one 72" fixture. I will be keeping the lights as this setup is proven. The stand is in great shape and I think beautiful.

I bought the tank knowing I was not crazy about the RR dual over flows. The holes drilled are for 3/4 and 1 inch ID pipe in each overflow. What can I do to make this as flood proof as possible without gutting the overflows (I think Herbie)? I will have room in sump for power out water. Dont plan on using check valve because it doesn't look like you can trust them anyway.

What I have now and will use:

210 gallon RR All-Glass tank (double over flow)

Stand and canopy

Light fixture with 4 CF, 3 MH, and 3 moon lights

100 gallon a day RO

Here are my objectives:

Healthy system

Ease of care

Automated

Reliability

Safety (no floods)

Beautiful

Everything contained below the tank except quarantine tank and RO.

 

So let's start with my draft plumbing:

Don't focus to much on the sump at this point I will soon have a post on this (waiting for word on custom build plans). There will be a filter sock chamber (3 each 4"X14") that the full siphon drains go to. This feeds into the skimmer chamber that feeds into the Return chamber. The Refugium will be fed by either a 25% split off the drain or return, have not decided yet. What do you think about the 25% flow and clean or dirty water?

My focus at this point is the Herbie style drains in my RR 210 gallon double over flow. The two overflows are drilled for 1 and 3/4 inch drains and returns. I will be putting over the back returns on as depicted by the red. The 3/4" line in the overflows will be the full siphon line and the 1" will be the emergency. The emergency goes into the return. This should cause lots of bubbles in the return if the primary gets plugged and will detune the pump some.

Still have not picked the return pump, looking for reliable and quite external 1800-3000 GPH. The Reeflo hybrid Snapper/Dart Gold is in there as is the Waveline DC1200 Gen II. Leaning towards the Reeflo at this point.



Thoughts?

Glenn



Edited by relethg - December 09 2014 at 6:24pm
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A siphon drain setup with an emergency drain is pretty much fail proof. Thumbs Up 

When doing a siphon drain like that, I make a screen over the standpipe so that nothing has a chance of clogging the gate valve. The more common ball valve is not used here because a Gate Valve can allow the more precise adjustment required of this kind of set up). I have one of these set up and running on a 180 gal. dual overflow in North Salt Lake. Let me know if you would like to go see it. It's been running for ~3 years without incident.

Pictured below is the 60"x12"x48" frag tank I had in 2010-11 utilizing a full siphon overflow without an emergency drain. The overflow was facing forward in order to be completely accessible. The overflow teeth were removed to allow 1200 gph down the drain which was a 1" bulkhead immediately bushed up to 2" pipe so the water could enter more easily. I found that rubble in the bottom of the chamber stopped the bubbles which were created by the fast water flow, bubbles that occurred even though the waterfall height was adjusted to only ~1/2" to 1".



The stiff netting tended to collapse when it became more clogged, so I later devised a solid frame to prevent collapse. Pics may follow in a later post.



Aloha  Hug


Edited by Mark Peterson - December 08 2014 at 6:27am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 08 2014 at 6:59am
The toothed overflow is the flow limiting point in this kind of setup. It does no good to have a +1000 gph pump when the toothed overflow cannot handle more than that. Typically, the manufacturers make the spaces between teeth smaller than the teeth themselves when it should be just the reverse. (You may have noticed that I often disagree with manufacturers designs, preferring instead to make modifications to improve efficiency.)

Direct the emergency drains wherever you want. It makes no difference because with good screens, the main drains will never clog. I would recommend using the 1" holes for the main drains and the 3/4" holes for the emergency drains, bushed up to larger diameters of course, to increase the length of the spillway.

Why this "There will be a filter sock chamber (3 each 4"X14")",  when there are only two drains? I disagree with filter sock chambers and other baffled chambers except a barrier just tall enough to separate the full floor sand bed from the external pump intake. Come take a look at the 180 gal. I maintain in NSL. There are no filter socks on this setup, for good reason.

Aloha  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote relethg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 08 2014 at 5:01pm
Originally posted by Mark Peterson Mark Peterson wrote:

A siphon drain setup with an emergency drain is pretty much fail proof. Thumbs Up 

When doing a siphon drain like that, I make a screen over the standpipe so that nothing has a chance of clogging the gate valve. The more common ball valve is not used here because a Gate Valve can allow the more precise adjustment required of this kind of set up). I have one of these set up and running on a 180 gal. dual overflow in North Salt Lake. Let me know if you would like to go see it. It's been running for ~3 years without incident.
 
I will use the mesh type screen and have gate valves specked. Would love to see the 180 in NSL. Let me know what would work for you via text or IM (I have Friday off).

Originally posted by Mark Peterson Mark Peterson wrote:

 Pictured below is the 60"x12"x48" frag tank I had in 2010-11 utilizing a full siphon overflow without an emergency drain. The overflow was facing forward in order to be completely accessible. The overflow teeth were removed to allow 1200 gph down the drain which was a 1" bulkhead immediately bushed up to 2" pipe so the water could enter more easily. I found that rubble in the bottom of the chamber stopped the bubbles which were created by the fast water flow, bubbles that occurred even though the waterfall height was adjusted to only ~1/2" to 1".

I have an area for ruble where the the drains dump into the sump. You ask in you other post why two socks or socks at all. The drains dump into an area and then go over a waterfall into the 3 socks on the way to the skimmer. I will run socks when I need to, not much , or not at all, but wanted the ability.



Edited by relethg - December 09 2014 at 5:37pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote relethg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 08 2014 at 5:13pm
Originally posted by Mark Peterson Mark Peterson wrote:

The toothed overflow is the flow limiting point in this kind of setup. It does no good to have a +1000 gph pump when the toothed overflow cannot handle more than that. Typically, the manufacturers make the spaces between teeth smaller than the teeth themselves when it should be just the reverse. (You may have noticed that I often disagree with manufacturers designs, preferring instead to make modifications to improve efficiency.)

Direct the emergency drains wherever you want. It makes no difference because with good screens, the main drains will never clog. I would recommend using the 1" holes for the main drains and the 3/4" holes for the emergency drains, bushed up to larger diameters of course, to increase the length of the spillway.

I like the idea of opening the gap between the teeth and think I will do that. I have been struggling with this as others have brought this issue up. How do I estimate flow when I have know idea what the teeth will flow. This is one thing that is keeping me from specking the pump. 

I under stand about the screens and will use them, but I am concerned with the ability of the 3/4" drains backing up the 1". I think I will see what I can get out of the 3/4" drains. They will not be sch40 but 200 instead and that should allow for more flow (bigger ID). I will neck up the inlet and the outlet to try and increase flow. 

Thanks so much for providing your thoughts and I hope more folks chime in.

Glenn


Edited by relethg - December 08 2014 at 5:13pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote relethg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 09 2014 at 5:31pm
Was hoping to get more feedback. Here is the updated drawing. Not much has changed but wanted to point out the drains will be flex line after the valves to the sump (nylon reinforced).

Would like some pros and cons of just using one pump for return and to drive the manifold that will supply reactors and other needed system distribution.

Another thing I am questioning: I see most people do a hard connection between pump and sump and outlet plumping. Why is no one using the rubber connections used  for a home water pump. This would isolate vibration from the plumbing and reduce the likely hood of cracks in the plumbing. These connections are strong and readily available at plumbing supply stores.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote relethg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 09 2014 at 5:46pm
Here are the returns over the back. I don't have the line Lock installed yet.



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canopy and lights.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote faviasteve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 09 2014 at 9:22pm
Rubber connections with stainless steel hose clamps may work for an external (not submerged) return pump but they are a very bad idea for a submerged pump.  Stainless steel will corrode in saltwater over time and whatever it releases (chromium is my guess) poisons inverts.  I lost all the snails in my first tank because of corroding stainless steel hose clamps.

I think the return plumbing looks good.  I agree with Mark that the thin slots in the toothed overflows are not well designed.  They can be widened with a dremel tool or a large section of teeth can be cut out and a plastic mesh/grate attached over the hole.  This will work well for flow but may not look "professional" depending on your skill with plastic.


Edited by faviasteve - December 09 2014 at 9:23pm
Steve Burton

aka Burton Marine

faviasteve@yahoo.com

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Your plumbing setup is very similar to mine. I also have a 210 and ran my returns over the back of the tank and did Herbie style drains inside the overflows. I have had snails make their way into the main siphon drain, but the back up has always been great. Never any issues. I left the ends of the backup drains that go into the sump area just above the water line so that they would make a splashing noise and I would know if the siphon drain was clogged. Usually just opening the gate valve on the siphon would clear the block, and I readjust it back to normal. Something that I did with my external pump was use spa flex to help with the vibration. Most of my plumbing is PVC, but on each end of the pump there is some spa flex. That way you can glue it right together and not worry about clamps. Good luck with your build! Your stand looks great!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote relethg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 10 2014 at 3:44am
Originally posted by faviasteve faviasteve wrote:

Rubber connections with stainless steel hose clamps may work for an external (not submerged) return pump but they are a very bad idea for a submerged pump.  Stainless steel will corrode in saltwater over time and whatever it releases (chromium is my guess) poisons inverts.  I lost all the snails in my first tank because of corroding stainless steel hose clamps.

faviasteve thanks for inputs and the heads up on the clamps, this will be external pump.

Originally posted by faviasteve faviasteve wrote:

 think the return plumbing looks good.  I agree with Mark that the thin slots in the toothed overflows are not well designed.  They can be widened with a dremel tool or a large section of teeth can be cut out and a plastic mesh/grate attached over the hole.  This will work well for flow but may not look "professional" depending on your skill with plastic.

I will figure out away to open the flow up by either making the gap bigger in the teeth or removing them and putting something else in there place. No plastic skills yet.

Thanks Glenn
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Originally posted by P.Kapp P.Kapp wrote:

Your plumbing setup is very similar to mine. I also have a 210 and ran my returns over the back of the tank and did Herbie style drains inside the overflows. I have had snails make their way into the main siphon drain, but the back up has always been great. Never any issues. I left the ends of the backup drains that go into the sump area just above the water line so that they would make a splashing noise and I would know if the siphon drain was clogged. Usually just opening the gate valve on the siphon would clear the block, and I readjust it back to normal. Something that I did with my external pump was use spa flex to help with the vibration. Most of my plumbing is PVC, but on each end of the pump there is some spa flex. That way you can glue it right together and not worry about clamps. Good luck with your build! Your stand looks great!

P. Kapp, did you do anything with the teeth on the overflows? Do you have 3/4 and 1 lines in the overflows? What line did you use as the siphons, 3/4 or 1? If you did anything to the teeth on the overflow do you have a picture? Lastly what kind of pump did you go with and what do you figure your flow is?

Thanks Glenn
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Why don't we use those rubber patch couplings? No matter how much they are tightened, they allow "salt creep" and the salty humid environment inside the aquarium stand swiftly rusts the metal clamps. . "Salt creep" can become a horrible mess, a maintenance nightmare and a destroyer of metal. How do we avoid this? We use flexible PVC pipe (spa flex) and PVC slip (glued) fittings wherever possible. We use teflon tape to ensure a proper seal on all threaded fittings

Sorry I didn't see it sooner and say something but, four return lines is going to be counter productive to flow. Make it one, or no more than two, return lines so the return pump can actually move some water within the tank. This idea is not readily intuitive because it's a unique situation in flow dynamics. In a box of water, a strong stream creates a good current. If that strong stream is split up, the strength of the water current within the box decreases exponentially, yes, exponentially. 

So what do we do to get good flow? First of all we don't depend on the return pump for flow. We use powerheads inside the aquarium. A typical overflow limits the amount of water that can be pumped back into the tank to less than 700 gph(typical overflow). Instead, we use stream powerheads inside the tank to create the flow necessary for coral growth. Remember the 1300 gph stream pumps sitting on the bottom of my 40 gal tanks? (Note: When I use the term "we", I'm referring to hobbyists. Maintenance companies are different. They don't often provide the complexity of equipment and almost daily monitoring required to keep more difficult coral like Acropora. For tanks in a dentist office where the death of a sensitive coral would be a catastrophe, the flow from a return pump is sufficient to keep hardy coral or just fish and LR.)

Why does more water current grow coral better? People don't like a windy day, but coral actually thrive on constantly "windy days". It has to do with respiration and excretion. Coral are animals, but they can't move. They need water to flow past them to take away CO2 and bodily waste and they need water current to bring O2 and food to them.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug

P.S.
P.Kapp would find it useful to add a screen to the top of the siphon drain to keep Snails out of the Gate Valves. I'll post some pics later today.


Edited by Mark Peterson - December 10 2014 at 8:18am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 10 2014 at 8:08am
Originally posted by relethg relethg wrote:

 I am concerned with the ability of the 3/4" drains backing up the 1". I think I will see what I can get out of the 3/4" drains. They will not be sch40 but 200 instead and that should allow for more flow (bigger ID). I will neck up the inlet and the outlet to try and increase flow. 

Thanks so much for providing your thoughts and I hope more folks chime in.

Glenn
I'm glad to read that you understand the value of Class 200 PVC pipe with its larger ID. Also remember what we discussed regarding the spillway. The larger spillway allows more water to fall down the same sized pipe below.

More about fluid dynamics and design engineering...
I don't know about you, but for me, the son of a Rocket Engineer, it's logical to use the best equipment (1" drain hole) for the main system and rely on lesser equipment (3/4" drain hole) as a backup in case performance degrades in the main system. As P.Kapp mentioned, what typically happens is that a Snail shell clogs the drain. Flow typically decreases but does not stop altogether. The backup drain can then make up for the lack. But wait, why should we even allow a snail shell to enter the drain. Why not design it so that can't happen, ever?

Aloha  Hug

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote relethg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 10 2014 at 5:24pm
Originally posted by Mark Peterson Mark Peterson wrote:

Why don't we use those rubber patch couplings? No matter how much they are tightened, they allow "salt creep" and the salty humid environment inside the aquarium stand swiftly rusts the metal clamps. . "Salt creep" can become a horrible mess, a maintenance nightmare and a destroyer of metal. How do we avoid this? We use flexible PVC pipe (spa flex) and PVC slip (glued) fittings wherever possible. We use teflon tape to ensure a proper seal on all threaded fittings

I would have never guessed that these connections could not stop salt creep. I help my brother maintain is 42" twin Caterpillar boat and these connections are used every place salt water is moved. Thanks for the heads up.

Originally posted by Mark Peterson Mark Peterson wrote:

Sorry I didn't see it sooner and say something but, four return lines is going to be counter productive to flow. Make it one, or no more than two, return lines so the return pump can actually move some water within the tank. This idea is not readily intuitive because it's a unique situation in flow dynamics. In a box of water, a strong stream creates a good current. If that strong stream is split up, the strength of the water current within the box decreases exponentially, yes, exponentially.

OK, the tank game plumbed with 2 returns with 2 loc lines on each. I thought I should use all four. I can cap two. 

Originally posted by Mark Peterson Mark Peterson wrote:

So what do we do to get good flow? First of all we don't depend on the return pump for flow. We use powerheads inside the aquarium. A typical overflow limits the amount of water that can be pumped back into the tank to less than 700 gph(typical overflow). Instead, we use stream powerheads inside the tank to create the flow necessary for coral growth. Remember the 1300 gph stream pumps sitting on the bottom of my 40 gal tanks? (Note: When I use the term "we", I'm referring to hobbyists. Maintenance companies are different. They don't often provide the complexity of equipment and almost daily monitoring required to keep more difficult coral like Acropora. For tanks in a dentist office where the death of a sensitive coral would be a catastrophe, the flow from a return pump is sufficient to keep hardy coral or just fish and LR.)

I have two power-heads on my list of equipment and understand there need and use. I just see many large hobbyist tanks with 4 loc line returns or more, they are just on two lines not 4. I did notice your return flow appeared low but the in tank circulation was high. At what rate are you turning your water over at? I do plan on modifying my overflows so they will flow more. I would like to get close to 2000 GPH through the sump. 

Originally posted by Mark Peterson Mark Peterson wrote:

Why does more water current grow coral better? People don't like a windy day, but coral actually thrive on constantly "windy days". It has to do with respiration and excretion. Coral are animals, but they can't move. They need water to flow past them to take away CO2 and bodily waste and they need water current to bring O2 and food to them.

I understand this.

Mark thanks for your input it is appreciated.
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P. Kapp, did you do anything with the teeth on the overflows? Do you have 3/4 and 1 lines in the overflows? What line did you use as the siphons, 3/4 or 1? If you did anything to the teeth on the overflow do you have a picture? Lastly what kind of pump did you go with and what do you figure your flow is?

Thanks Glenn
[/QUOTE]

I bought my tank used and it already had the overflow teeth cut out on every-other tooth. My drains are both 1" inside each overflow, but I think you'll be fine with the 3/4". If one of your siphons fails, you still have two 3/4" drains as back ups. My pump is a reeflo dart, and it also came with the tank. I ran two return lines with a Y in the loc lines like Mark is talking about. For supplemental flow in the tank I run one mp60, and two mp40's, but they are turned down quite a bit.
Preston Kapp

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Originally posted by P.Kapp P.Kapp wrote:

I bought my tank used and it already had the overflow teeth cut out on every-other tooth. My drains are both 1" inside each overflow, but I think you'll be fine with the 3/4". If one of your siphons fails, you still have two 3/4" drains as back ups. My pump is a reeflo dart, and it also came with the tank. I ran two return lines with a Y in the loc lines like Mark is talking about. For supplemental flow in the tank I run one mp60, and two mp40's, but they are turned down quite a bit.

I have been considering the Snapper/Dart hybrid. Do you like the dart? Does it flow enough? Is it quiet? Are you using one pump for return and manifold?

I was thinking of two MP40s. Do you think they will be sufficient?

Do you have some pictures of your tank and sump?


Thanks Glenn

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 11 2014 at 8:35am
Originally posted by relethg relethg wrote:

...many large tanks with 4 loc line returns or more, they are just on two lines not 4.
Some hobbyists don't understand how multiple return lines (and fan nozzles) actually diffuse the flow. They then have to use multiple powerheads to create better flow. 


Originally posted by relethg relethg wrote:

I did notice your return flow appeared low but the in tank circulation was high. At what rate are you turning your water over at?
Only about 200 gph is flowing between each tide pool tank, but within each pool the water is moving at 1300 gph thanks to the $20 Maxijet 1200 powerheads.

Originally posted by relethg relethg wrote:

I do plan on modifying my overflows so they will flow more. I would like to get close to 2000 GPH through the sump. 
Why? What do you see as the benefits?
The tank I was suggesting that you visit with me and see uses a Snapper, but it's valved back to ~60% flow. This 180 gal reef has no other circulation. That's right, no MP or WP propeller pumps, not even a Maxijet. Many would call this tank extremely low tech, but coral grows massive for this hobbyist. You ought to see it soon.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote relethg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 11 2014 at 9:05am
Originally posted by Mark Peterson Mark Peterson wrote:

Why? What do you see as the benefits?
The tank I was suggesting that you visit with me and see uses a Snapper, but it's valved back to ~60% flow. This 180 gal reef has no other circulation. That's right, no MP or WP propeller pumps, not even a Maxijet. Many would call this tank extremely low tech, but coral grows massive for this hobbyist. You ought to see it soon.

I do want to see the 180 gallon. I said in response to the first post you mention the tank that I want to look at it and let me know what works for you. I have Friday and the weekend off or after work.

Thanks Glenn




Edited by relethg - December 11 2014 at 9:20am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote relethg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2014 at 2:26pm
Here is the before and after shots of the overflows. This should flow more than that close teeth setup. I ran it above the overflow so it will touch the screens that sit on top of the tank. No carper surfing. The material is plastic mesh gutter guard from HD. 20' was $4. I have 18' left if anyone needs some. I will use this for my drain screens too.


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