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  1. #1
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    Water level in sump did I get it wrong

    I have a photo and will try to attach it thru the forum it's the first time so might take me more than one try.

    Anyway here's the thing. When I first set up the sump last week it was all fine for a couple of days and I didn't really see the water level go down according to the mark I made but suddenly the water level in pump section dropped and pump was pumping air and water filling tank with bubbles. So I added 2 gallons and everything fine again till 2 days later, still no apparent water level change but pump section water level low and pumping air and water.

    I added 3 more gallons and everything fine. Then I added some more because I thought there lots of room in there and it will still be safe from overflowing even if power goes out.

    Now today I notice the water level is OVER the glass divider that seperates pump section from refugium. I can't be certain but I don't think it was over before (it's quite possible it was and it didn't strike me at the time I honestly am SO confused still that when working on one problem I could easily overlook something obvious)

    So I will post a photo and can you tell me please does it matter if the water is over this divider or should it be visiblily flower over as a sort of sheet waterfall effect the way it does it it's just level with the divider.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Cool

    1.) How high is the WL in ur DT when the water in the sump is this high?
    2.) When u started running the return how high was the water in the DT?
    3.) Are u running an HOB overflow box or is it drilled?
    4.) Do u have any ball valves on ur downline or return lines?

    If your water level in the tank is just right I would remove some from the sump. If no B-valves I would put one on the return to adjust the flow back to the DT. Usually what happens sometimes people start with the water level maxed in the DT or the sump and when they start their pump it empties before the overflow can circulate it back. If all the levels are ok right now and everything is circulating, you could just remove about 1.5g frm the sump. I would still put b-valve on the return. One more thing did u drill a siphon break into ur return line below the water level to prevent flooding? Hope this helps.:b15:
    45G Tall, 20g sump/fuge, Boyu dg2520 skimmer, Rio 1700 rp, 2 Koralia K1 ph, 4x39w T5HO w 12 Cree XRE LED DIY, CS90 OF, Fish- 2 Ocel, 2 Neon Damsels, Algae Blenny, Serpent Star, CUC- 5BL Hermits, 4 Tiger Turbos, 10 Ceriths, 10 Nassarus, 10 Nerites, Corals- Xenias, Mushrooms, Yellow Polyps, Zoos, RBTA :b15:

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trijam View Post
    1.) How high is the WL in ur DT when the water in the sump is this high?
    2.) When u started running the return how high was the water in the DT?
    3.) Are u running an HOB overflow box or is it drilled?
    4.) Do u have any ball valves on ur downline or return lines?

    If your water level in the tank is just right I would remove some from the sump. If no B-valves I would put one on the return to adjust the flow back to the DT. Usually what happens sometimes people start with the water level maxed in the DT or the sump and when they start their pump it empties before the overflow can circulate it back. If all the levels are ok right now and everything is circulating, you could just remove about 1.5g frm the sump. I would still put b-valve on the return. One more thing did u drill a siphon break into ur return line below the water level to prevent flooding? Hope this helps.:b15:
    Thanks it has helped me feel a bit better about it. Ok the water in the display tank is at the top of the overflow. The overflow section is angled glass and has 2 two inch holes drilled that have 2 inch ABS pipe going down to the sump. The water in the display tank never goes over the top of the angled glass unless the pump from the sump is running it is made that way.


    I have no ball valves and I don't have a hole drilled in the return or that special valve (sorry forgot the name) that has a flap to prevent a siphon happening. The water to the display tank goes up a flexible tube that goes from pump to an overhanging head on the DT. I will be getting one of those valves with the flap to prevent siphoning but for now have the head aimed up above the water line just in case of a power outage there will not be much siphoning able to happen.

    I just took a couple of pics in case my description is confusing, the pics are not very clear but I hope u can see how it is.

    its shows the water flowing over the top of the angled overflow section, the water never makes it more than halfway up the 2 two inch holes because it immediatley goes down to the sump and the pump is not pumping enough water up that this section ever fills all the way up.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
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    Pics I took are not showing it very well so I found pic online of what my overflow looks like (tho I don't have the light on mine)

    ok this is what it looks like empty. The glass is angled and the water flows over it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Water level in sump did I get it wrong-531_13_02_09_8_26_38.jpg  

  5. #5
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    From what I can see with that fuzzy sump picture (please take us some better ones:b2: ),is that it looks like the very last baffle before your return is set too high. It looks almost even with the other 2 baffles from the skimmer section. You'd want the last baffle at your return pump to be quite a few inches lower, and here's why; If at any point your water evaporation goes down to the height of that last baffle, you'll now not have enough water to flow back down and over this baffle, then you VERY QUICKLY start sucking back the water in the last chamber. As water continues to evaporate, the rest of your sump will keep the water at the same height until the chamber your pump is in finally runs out of water and burns out your pump when it starts sucking air. I'd lower that last baffle 4 - 6 inches.
    120g AGA~145 lbs Haitian LR~DA Reef Keeper 2 Controller~Dual 14k 250 DE MH's~Dual Overflows~Dual 250w Jager Heaters~Dual 96W Actinics~30g Sump/Refugium~Mag 12 Return~140 lbs Reefgrade Caribsea Aragonite~BubbleKing 180 Skimmer~Phosban Reactor~GEO Kalk Reactor~Powerheads:MP40w/Seio 820/modified Powersweep 270 with Hydor rotating deflector~Digital lighting timer for moon/fuge lighting~7 stage RODI filtration~Quarantine: modified 12.5g Marineland Eclipse

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BethOttawa View Post
    its shows the water flowing over the top of the angled overflow section, the water never makes it more than halfway up the 2 two inch holes because it immediatley goes down to the sump and the pump is not pumping enough water up that this section ever fills all the way up.
    This all sounds good. That's a very good thing that the water never makes it more then halfway up your bulkheads. If your water pump was pushing more water then what your overflows could handle, hello FLOOD. It would just start flooding over your display tank until the pump goes dry from no more water in the sump. Good idea to always keep an eye on those 2 holes for debris and whatnot.
    120g AGA~145 lbs Haitian LR~DA Reef Keeper 2 Controller~Dual 14k 250 DE MH's~Dual Overflows~Dual 250w Jager Heaters~Dual 96W Actinics~30g Sump/Refugium~Mag 12 Return~140 lbs Reefgrade Caribsea Aragonite~BubbleKing 180 Skimmer~Phosban Reactor~GEO Kalk Reactor~Powerheads:MP40w/Seio 820/modified Powersweep 270 with Hydor rotating deflector~Digital lighting timer for moon/fuge lighting~7 stage RODI filtration~Quarantine: modified 12.5g Marineland Eclipse

  7. #7
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    Cool

    Couldn't she just lower the water in the return now about 4" and maybe run one downpipe to the fuge and the other to the skimmer allowing some nutrients to get to the fuge and evap would be more easily controled otherwise there is no reason to have a fuge if everything is being skimmed out. I went with the return in the middle and my DP T'd with a B-Valve to get some flow over to my fuge for my cheato, mangroves and pods. I personally think if she is going to take the baffle out to cut it down, it would be better and easier just to move the return to the middle, and keep the baffle the same height but make the center return section smaller with the 2 DPs 1 to skimmer and 1 going to the fuge. Does that make sense. :b15:
    45G Tall, 20g sump/fuge, Boyu dg2520 skimmer, Rio 1700 rp, 2 Koralia K1 ph, 4x39w T5HO w 12 Cree XRE LED DIY, CS90 OF, Fish- 2 Ocel, 2 Neon Damsels, Algae Blenny, Serpent Star, CUC- 5BL Hermits, 4 Tiger Turbos, 10 Ceriths, 10 Nassarus, 10 Nerites, Corals- Xenias, Mushrooms, Yellow Polyps, Zoos, RBTA :b15:

  8. #8
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    I'd keep all the overflowed water going to the skimmer chamber. You want to try and skim as much of the water from the display as you can. It won't get all of it naturally. Since it's not directly plumbed in to the skimmer. The fuge (in my opinion) is your next step a long the way of filtration after the skimmer, to polish what's left. I'd probably also do what you said about moving the last baffle to make the center chamber smaller for the return pump. Then make the last section of the sump the refugium. But I'd splice in an extra T from the return pump and have it deliver the water over the fuge chamber. Then you can control how fast or slow you want the water over the fuge, as you do want a slow flow.
    120g AGA~145 lbs Haitian LR~DA Reef Keeper 2 Controller~Dual 14k 250 DE MH's~Dual Overflows~Dual 250w Jager Heaters~Dual 96W Actinics~30g Sump/Refugium~Mag 12 Return~140 lbs Reefgrade Caribsea Aragonite~BubbleKing 180 Skimmer~Phosban Reactor~GEO Kalk Reactor~Powerheads:MP40w/Seio 820/modified Powersweep 270 with Hydor rotating deflector~Digital lighting timer for moon/fuge lighting~7 stage RODI filtration~Quarantine: modified 12.5g Marineland Eclipse

  9. #9
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    The water does need to be lowered to the level of the 1st and 3rd baffle. This will be a maintained water level for the skimmer section. The evaporation where water will go down before being topped off is going to be the current fuge/pump section if kept in that style, but the last baffle has to be shortened. I'd bring it down 5 inches, and stagger another baffle upwards to keep mini bubbles from getting to the display.
    120g AGA~145 lbs Haitian LR~DA Reef Keeper 2 Controller~Dual 14k 250 DE MH's~Dual Overflows~Dual 250w Jager Heaters~Dual 96W Actinics~30g Sump/Refugium~Mag 12 Return~140 lbs Reefgrade Caribsea Aragonite~BubbleKing 180 Skimmer~Phosban Reactor~GEO Kalk Reactor~Powerheads:MP40w/Seio 820/modified Powersweep 270 with Hydor rotating deflector~Digital lighting timer for moon/fuge lighting~7 stage RODI filtration~Quarantine: modified 12.5g Marineland Eclipse

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the replies.

    What I will do for now is lower the water in the pump section. Hoping to have someone who knows what they are doing take a look at this and see what can be done (or undone as the case may be)

    Since the sump was made for me at a store and each section measured for the equipment I currently have I am of course reluctant to change it but if someone who knows for sure it is really wrong looks and says this is how it should be and (here is the real thing) tells me exactly about the plumbing (because this is our hardest thing) then I would change it around. I am sorry I am such a total idiot about this.

    and thirdly yes lol I will try and improve my picture taking. Its not usually that bad but (yes yes always I have an excuse) u know I have to get down of the floor to photograph the sump and then the dog and cat get on top of me and also I have a little curtain to hide the sump and it keeps falling on my head so not so easy.

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