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duncangweller
09-30-2014, 05:58 AM
Hi All,

I'm having a bit of trouble with my Herbie setup.

This is the third tank in which I have run a Herbie and the only one I have had any problems with.

In the past I have been able to tune the overflow gate valve very easily and it would maintain a constant water level for months or until I flushed the valve.

It's only on my current tank (which has been setup for 6 months now) that I have problems.

It seems that, many times a day the level in my overflow drops or raises. It is starting to get really annoying as I am constantly fiddling with the gate valve trying to get it right. Sometimes even 5/6 times a day.

The other annoying thing is that when the level drops in the overflow it splashes water up the wall and that equals an unhappy lady friend. So you can appreciate my desire to get it sorted.

The main overflow pipe is approximately 5" below the surface with the emergency being a cm below the top of the teeth in the overflow.

I tune the Herbie with a gate valve.

If anyone has any advice in what may be going wrong I would greatly appreciate it.

Much obliged,
Dunc

HaZRaTTy
09-30-2014, 06:30 AM
To make this easier could you please post.

Pictures

Return pump GPH

Emergency/Drain PVC size.

---Your overflow box's water level is varying and draining to quickly? or is it going up/down/up/down.

Post those up and might be able to suggest things. where is your Gatevalve located.


Your tuning your gatevalve to let a small amount of water drain through your emergency drain in your overflow box right???

duncangweller
09-30-2014, 06:33 AM
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/09/30/ajyjumyb.jpg

Both drains are 1".

Return pump is an eheim 1262 in sump with around 4ft lift over the back of the tank.

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duncangweller
09-30-2014, 06:33 AM
The level in the overflow is going up>down>up>down

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HaZRaTTy
09-30-2014, 06:41 AM
Looks like your not running any water through your emergency drain.. I don't care what anyone says you should be running a slight trickle through your emergency.. It will keep your overflow box at a constant height.

1'' is more then enough to handle flow.

There should be approx 6'' between your main drain and your emergency.

HaZRaTTy
09-30-2014, 06:44 AM
http://gmacreef.com/herbie-overflow-reef-tank-plumbing-method-basics/


One of the best articles I have ever read about the use of a Herbie Overflow.

The Guy
09-30-2014, 07:10 AM
Looks like your not running any water through your emergency drain.. I don't care what anyone says you should be running a slight trickle through your emergency.. It will keep your overflow box at a constant height.

1'' is more then enough to handle flow.

There should be approx 6'' between your main drain and your emergency.
+1 to the slight trickle down the over flow, I was having level trouble until I started do this, otherwise it's too hard trying to match your return pump output with the gate valve.

spit.fire
09-30-2014, 07:41 AM
are you running an ato?

KLUW
09-30-2014, 08:58 AM
+1 to the slight trickle down the over flow, I was having level trouble until I started do this, otherwise it's too hard trying to match your return pump output with the gate valve.

+2. Same here, nice and silent!

reefwars
09-30-2014, 02:19 PM
are you running an ato?

That would be my first guess too , an ato is a must as the water level in the return has to be stable.

I never run my Hebrie with a trickle down the drain.

Filter socks , water levels in the return pump are the usual causes of fluctuations.

The Guy
10-01-2014, 01:23 AM
That would be my first guess too , an ato is a must as the water level in the return has to be stable.

I never run my Hebrie with a trickle down the drain.

Filter socks , water levels in the return pump are the usual causes of fluctuations.Filter socks are good as long as there kept clean otherwise I think there a PITA. I run an ATO using the double float system into the return pump area, which gives me constant level accuracy for the pump.
I use filter floss in my bubble trap area just before the return pump chamber for cleaning and don't use socks anymore, and always trickle down the emergency overflow, It works well for me. I just maintain a clean Herbie strainer in the overflow box. :biggrin:

reefwars
10-01-2014, 01:36 AM
too much noise for me , a trickle down my emergency would drive me nuts....and i dont submerge my emergency as i like to know when its going off so i can fix it , if its submerged you may not know if the main is clogged unless its creating bubbles;)

The Guy
10-01-2014, 02:06 AM
too much noise for me , a trickle down my emergency would drive me nuts....and i dont submerge my emergency as i like to know when its going off so i can fix it , if its submerged you may not know if the main is clogged unless its creating bubbles;)
My water level is the same level as the top of my emergency pipe so I only get a few drops down the pipe, can't even hear it at all until it starts running out faster, then I clean the herbie strainer and it's fine again.

gregzz4
10-01-2014, 02:15 AM
Hey Dunc

I know you said this setup is fairly new, but could there be something in the drain ?

I have the same problem with my 'fuge from time to time. It'll climb to overflowing and I try to open it up enough to lower it. But then it just suddenly drops as if I opened it wide

I find the only way to reset it is to open it all the way to flush out whatevers in there and then I can reset it just fine. And it lasts for months after a flush

Another thing
Is your plumbing under water in the sump ? If not air in there will mess with your levels

Oh, btw, I haven't had to tune my setup since my build over 2 years ago (except if the pump strainer gets clogged), and I don't purposely run anything down the emerg

duncangweller
10-01-2014, 03:38 AM
I don't run an ATO. My return section in the sump fluctuates quite a lot as I am so busy sometimes I let it get too low. I'll keep an eye on that and try to keep the level more stable and see how that influences things.

Thanks for all your input. It is very much appreciated.

Dunc

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neoh
10-01-2014, 05:50 AM
I would also consider a durso mod for the splashing and silence.

gregzz4
10-01-2014, 02:24 PM
I don't run an ATO. My return section in the sump fluctuates quite a lot as I am so busy sometimes I let it get too low
Oh
That'll be your problem right there

Skimmin
10-01-2014, 02:30 PM
A couple things to try.
Where is your gate valve located? Depending on the location it can potentially trap air and cause throttling issues
Try a different return pump. You could have a bad pump that is fluctuating how much flow is going into the tank.
Try a different valve. I personally had a pvc gate that I could not keep a constant level with. I switched to a true unoin ball valve and never had another issue.
Does your drain run vertically into the sump or is it horizontally offset? Large or too level of an offset can trap air causing fluctuation in the siphon.
Can you put up a couple more pics of the plumbing as it leaves the bottom of the overflow box and enters the sump. I think your issue is more likely drain related vs pump related

reefwars
10-01-2014, 04:11 PM
Oh
That'll be your problem right there

Yup guaranteed:)

Skimmin
10-01-2014, 07:40 PM
I never ran an ato either. The height of your drain comparment staying the same is more critical then return. Unless the pump begins to suck air. The weight of 4-6 inches of water varying in your return compartment is minimal @ 0.433lbs/ft but anything is possible. One more thing. Installing a valve on the outlet of your pump and throttling slightly will give a more constant flow rate too. If the pump is being held back by a valve the level fluctuation will cause less of a change in the flow rate of the pump. That is if you have a return pump with enough extra flow to throttle it.

duncangweller
10-01-2014, 08:58 PM
When its tuned and how I like the thing is silent. It just gets noisy when the level fluctuates. I have thought of throttling back my pump but my gate valve isn't very open in order to maintain a siphon so I never bothered.

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spit.fire
10-02-2014, 12:35 AM
why not just put an ato on it?

gregzz4
10-02-2014, 04:08 AM
why not just put an ato on it?
Or at the extreme least, put a drip on it

Seriously though, if you can't afford the money or time right now for an ATO, you could setup a small jug with say something such as a drip per second until you sort stuff out
And if you're concerned about too much freshwater, just use a 1G jug to start with -like a plastic milk jug. At least it's something you could re-fill daily and not worry about over-dripping, if you know your daily usage ...

Do something man, for silence's sake, and to save the splashed wall and noise

Or you could always go sleep with the dogs .... :smile:

reefwars
10-02-2014, 04:17 AM
When its tuned and how I like the thing is silent. It just gets noisy when the level fluctuates. I have thought of throttling back my pump but my gate valve isn't very open in order to maintain a siphon so I never bothered.

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Fluctuations in the return chamber create fluctuations in how the pump operates , this then leads to fluctuations in the overflow , the gatevalve is set based on the pumps running condition so any fluctuations on how it operates is derectly linked to your herbie oveflow , It is very common in herbie set ups:)

Throttling back the pump won't do anything as its not the speed of the pump but the consistency it's running at.

duncangweller
10-02-2014, 05:16 AM
Thanks for everyone's advice. I am taking it all on board and will get on it at the weekend. Watch this space

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Skimmin
10-02-2014, 05:31 AM
Say what u want but i've had numerous tanks with herbies, no ato and no problem keeping them quiet. A valve will make all the difference because the fluctuation in the return compartment is now irrelevant because of the back pressure caused by the valve. A valve does nothing to change the speed of the pump.:smile: I'm not sure where u got that from... It just gives it a consistent restriction to pump against... Anyways... I'm not here for a debate. I'm just offering suggestions for duncan.

reefwars
10-02-2014, 02:46 PM
Say what u want but i've had numerous tanks with herbies, no ato and no problem keeping them quiet. A valve will make all the difference because the fluctuation in the return compartment is now irrelevant because of the back pressure caused by the valve. A valve does nothing to change the speed of the pump.:smile: I'm not sure where u got that from... It just gives it a consistent restriction to pump against... Anyways... I'm not here for a debate. I'm just offering suggestions for duncan.

Yeah your right , since it works for you it must work universally for everyone as is the law of reef and you've def got more experience then me from what I can tell , if that's what we're gong by lol pay no attention that several people have pointed it out as well but when your right your right , right?;p

Would be simple enough to test .......fill return chamber , set herbie , let chamber drain , see if herbie stays set....easy peasy:)

duncangweller
10-16-2014, 03:20 AM
I am really getting peed off with my Herbie. Like I said I have never had these problems before. I cannot make an adjustment small enough to get the level to settle.

I have tried keeping the return level the same in my sump ans it still fluctuates. I've tried running a trickle down the return and its too noisy.

What the hell!

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HaZRaTTy
10-16-2014, 03:28 AM
Do you have a gate valve or ball valve. I'm assuming you have a ball valve. Somehow I lucked out with my first tank with a Herbie and was able to tune with the ball valve.

Current build I needed to get a gate valve to make smaller adjustments.

You could also try not running your emergency straight down so the water doesn't have do far to fall which is most likely where your sound is coming from.

Can you post a picture of all your plumbing and maybe a short video may help to get a better picture of what you're dealing with.

duncangweller
10-16-2014, 03:36 AM
I'll take a few more pics when I've calmed down. I have a gate valve. The same Gaye valve I have used previously. It just baffles me how its not working properly. The setup has been taken from my previous tank, exactly the same way and I didn't tinkle with the valve for a year with that one.

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gregzz4
10-16-2014, 05:18 AM
Heya Dunc

What have you done about an ATO on this tank ?

Besides that dead horse;

One thing you could try would be to put a 'tee' with a gate valve on the return pump, and have it dump back into the sump.
I had to do this with my current setup as the plumbing doesn't allow for my pump to run full-out.

Instead of tuning my drain, I tune my return. It's been flawless for 2-1/2 years and my pump isn't strained with any restrictions.

The only time I have to fiddle with it is when either the pump intake strainer gets mucked up, or if I've had my arms in the water for awhile and the displacement messes with things.

Maybe one day I'll bump up my drain plumbing from 1" to 1-1/2" ... :rolleyes:

CM125
12-05-2014, 05:21 PM
Did we ever find the answer for this?

duncangweller
12-05-2014, 07:00 PM
Hi,

Yeah I did. I've been keeping up with topping up my sump and it keeps the level more even. Even though, sometimes if I'm away for a couple of days and I don't top up my sump, the level in the overflow stays level. Its like it just settled or something.

Any who, all sorted. Thanks for everyone's help. I am going to set up an ATO in the new year when I get some money again.

reefwars
12-05-2014, 11:00 PM
Hi,

Yeah I did. I've been keeping up with topping up my sump and it keeps the level more even. Even though, sometimes if I'm away for a couple of days and I don't top up my sump, the level in the overflow stays level. Its like it just settled or something.

Any who, all sorted. Thanks for everyone's help. I am going to set up an ATO in the new year when I get some money again.

its a common issue , def gets annoying :)

are you using just straight stand pipes or do you have durso's , stockman etc ?

CM125
12-05-2014, 11:48 PM
Hi,

Yeah I did. I've been keeping up with topping up my sump and it keeps the level more even. Even though, sometimes if I'm away for a couple of days and I don't top up my sump, the level in the overflow stays level. Its like it just settled or something.

Any who, all sorted. Thanks for everyone's help. I am going to set up an ATO in the new year when I get some money again.

http://www.aquahub.com/store/diygaquarium.html

inexpensive auto top off solution... i still use it on my small tank, works great

duncangweller
12-05-2014, 11:56 PM
Straight up and down pipes.

Thanks for the ATO link