180 sump/overflow setup

duanes

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I usually drill holes close to where the water surface will be, on a side, or back of the tank, and either use upturned PVC elbows, or just screw a strainer into the bulkhead.
The most toxic stuff (although most it's almost invisible, such as oils , proteins, semi dissolve organics) collect at the waters surface, and hinder gas exchange, so surface skimming helps remove it.
The poop to me is a minor detail, which should be removed with siphoning during water changes.
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Fish Tank Travis

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Here are some pictures from when I drilled my 220. These are H2Overflows from Custom Aquariums. You don’t need these exact overflows though. You can easily make an equivalent overflow using black PVC fittings from an aquarium supply website. Each overflow is 1.5” and each return is 3/4”. Returns are optional and can be plumbed over the tank instead.
 

AKBlueJacks

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I like the look of those overflows. Do you just go straight to the sump from there? Are they noisy set up like that?

Also - do those returns have some kind of antisiphon built in?
 

twentyleagues

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I like the look of those overflows. Do you just go straight to the sump from there? Are they noisy set up like that?

Also - do those returns have some kind of antisiphon built in?
Yeah those are super cool. They are pretty quiet. I have a friend that has them. Expensive though.
 

Fish Tank Travis

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I like the look of those overflows. Do you just go straight to the sump from there? Are they noisy set up like that?

Also - do those returns have some kind of antisiphon built in?
Yeah those are super cool. They are pretty quiet. I have a friend that has them. Expensive though.
They are expensive, but they are great.

I have mine setup as a full-siphon herbie-type overflows, so they are completely silent. The returns do have siphon break holes in them.
 
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celebrist

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How do you set them up Herbie do you have staggered heights so one can pull full siphon?
 

Fish Tank Travis

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How do you set them up Herbie do you have staggered heights so one can pull full siphon?
Two of them are at the same height. The middle one is a bit higher. I use PVC ball valves to partially close off the two that handle the water. I have a ball valve on the third one as well, but it is wide open. The other two are about half closed.

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This is a picture of where my overflows drain into my sump. The filter floss roll is blocking the third ball valve, but it’s there. Once I have them set, I can use my pumps’ adjustability to turn the flow up a little bit or down a little bit so that the two siphon drains remain in full-siphon and the e-drain stays dry.
 

AKBlueJacks

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Thanks for sharing that Travis. I like the simplicity of your set up. Are there any disadvantages to not using some type of overflow box? I never would have guessed that the commercially available boxes would be so expensive. I paid $300 for my tank/stand/pump. I do have to put some time into cleaning it all up nice and painting the stand and tank trim to get it how I want, but I still feel like I don’t have a ton of money into it at that point. I also plan on building some acrylic covers for the tank. Your set up has me considering doing something similar with black pipe.

Is the black plastic pipe at the Home Depot something I could build the skimming portion of my overflow with or is the white PVC better?
 

Fish Tank Travis

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I don’t see any reason why you can’t use the black tubing from Home Depot. Keep in mind, that is ABS tubing and needs a different glue than PVC. I just got a glue that was meant for both and used it. I don’t see any disadvantage to building your own stuff versus buying an overflow box except for maybe looks.

Here’s a link to an online site that sells black, white, clear, and maybe grey PVC fittings.


Here’s a link to an online site where you can get some low-profile strainers that are black.

 
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