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  1. #1
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Overflow water level fluctuating

    Well my tank has been running for almost three years and in all that time I've never had a problem with the water level in my overflow chamber. This week I do.

    It's an AGA tank with the built in curved overflows. I have Durso standpipes inside. The water level in the tank is a bit too high, it's just over the top of the slots. In the overflow the water level is fluctuating by about 3". The lowest point is about where it used to be steady. At its highest it actually goes over the top of the standpipe. I have tubing in the air holes so the water level doesn't really affect the air intake.

    I've scrubbed out the slots and checked the air holes. It's not that. There's no flushing noise. It can't be a blockage, the standpipes are 1.5" and even if something big somehow got in there I don't see how it could cause this. It's very strange.

    This evening I choked back the return pump to see what effect it would have. It fixed everything. However, I don't want to decrease the circulation in my tank. I'm considering just boring out the slots with a dremmel but I really don't understand why this just started happening.

    Any ideas?
    Susan

  2. #2
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    Flame could the issue be the return pump? Perhaps it is variating in the amount of water it is pushing. A partial blockage or something moving in and out of the impeller area, a power fluctuation maybe?
    Rob

  3. #3
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    Cool

    no slime algea build up inside any pipes or tubes? did you maybe somehow put more water in your sump? that might affect it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    I don't think it's the pump. It's an Iwaki MD70 RLT and I cleaned it less than a month ago. Not likely power, I have GFCI's and haven't noticed any surges or spikes elsewhere.

    No change in the pipes or tubes. I suppose it is possible that the overall volume of water in the system could be different but it's not in the sump. Of course I have an auto top off that regulates that. If I turn off the top off and take water out of the system it just lowers the level in the sump though, doesn't change the tank.

    A couple engineer friends of mine were here last night and I showed them. They are really good with this kind of thing but we couldn't figure out what was doing it. It's quite a mystery.
    Susan

  5. #5
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    Flame .. when I referred to power fluctuation I meant within the pump its self. If you still have docs from when you got the pump check the troubleshooting section. If everything else is normal and clear your narrowing it down pretty fast towards the tanks water supply. If the pump is "surging" for any reason it would have the effect you are describing.
    Rob

  6. #6
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    Susan,
    I have had this happen to me too a couple of times over the span of my tank being setup. All the times, it was either 2 things. At some point in that airline tubing in the Durso, there was saltcreep buildup at the point where the water and air touch. This hinfers the syphoning effect. The other thing was the slots in the grate being just dirty with slime buildup, algae, coralline, etc.... Check your airline tubing well. Take it out and run hot water through it to clean it out. Hope this helps you. Let me know if it was either of these.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Hmmm salty you may have a point there. It came with "pigtails" and I put the plug on myself. It has been pulled tight recently (cord too short). Maybe I should put a new plug on just to be safe.

    I bored out the slots with a narrow scrub brush I have. It's not that. I will check the airline again though, just in case. I used a skewer to kind of "plunge" it but I suppose it's still possible that there's some salt in there, just enough on the iside walls to make the tube a bit more narrow.

    Thanks guys!
    Susan

  8. #8
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    Flame is this connection you have made to put the plug on have any alum wire involved?
    Rob

  9. #9
    NFR Mod Azonic's Avatar
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    I had the problem with my overflow box...my problem was that the tubing coming from the tank had a bend in it and wasn't letting full water pressure through....
    Visit my Reef @ NewfieReef.com

  10. #10
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    One Salty Guy,
    I seriously doubt it's a fluctuation in the pump. If you check your wall voltage in any city, state, whatever, there is always daily fluctuations and this would transfer over into fluctuations of the pumps RPM meaning variances in the volume delivery. I have seen people think their water level heights are caused by the pump fluctuating many times, but it just isn't the cause in the end. I'll bet you if you plug an Ohmmeter into your outlet and let it sit there, you too will have fluctuations. Yet, you never see it in your pumps supply. Why..., because it is just not a big enough difference to cause a problem. The only problem that could come from the pump is buildup inside it, but that would cause the complete opposite of what Susan is experiencing. There is something "physically" handicapping the flow of the water somewhere.

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