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View Full Version : 8 Foot 280 Gallon -> Basement Sump Room


element291
12-08-2016, 04:50 PM
Hi guys,

I have been receiving some great feedback regarding my sump room from friends/LFS guys so I figured I would throw a few pics up for the community to see.

I also am open to ideas of any kind, especially pertaining to my return pump setup. I have a reeflo hammerhead gold but my run of head height is around 16 feet on a 1.5" line.

The GPH at this height is not ideal for me but I did not want to buy a 10 amp pump running it 24/7 my hydro bill would be outrageous. I am open to ideas, other pump models, brands, etc I am looking towards low amperage, currently my hammerhead runs just over 2 amps. I cannot find any pumps so far from searching a few weeks that will give me the GPH at this height running this low of amperage.

Their manta ray/tiger shark models from Reeflo lowest amperage starts at 7.2 amps (thats what my whole entire system runs already AVG - no way I want that much current just on ONE pump!)


So the tank is 280 gallons, has dual side overflows with 1.5" gate valves installed so I could fine tune the water going downstairs as my pump isnt as powerful as I had hoped at my height. To help maintain pressure coming down from above I then modified the two 1.5" drain lines from tank overflows I put into a Y setup down at sump and into one smaller line that goes into my custom filter sponge 5 gal dual bucket setup.


The valves are both almost closed with this pump :twised: which stinks. The system can run 100% silent upstairs but it only does this for a max of 1-2 days at a time then it will start gargling at the overflow. I hooked up my auto top off to my sump the other day thinking this would solve my issue with having to adjust the valves upstairs but nope, 2 days later my sump level still bang on due to ATO but its like this damn pump has a mind of its own....

Thank god for my water sensors and apex to shut down my pump when the water gets to the top of the tank upstairs because 3 times now I have had the system going for 1-2 days no noise no issues, flows steady... Then all of a sudden I'll be upstairs hearing gargling and my water level has dropped in the main display, so I will have to close the one gate valve off the overflow a tiny bit to hold more water upstairs and get rid of the noise... thats all great, until you goto bed and the pump magically decides with its own mind again that now it will speed back up to where it was before the adjustment was needed = resulting in the tank upstairs getting too high of water level...




I have had at least 5 salt water tank setups. None this large, none with dual overflows. I have shutoff the one overflow and tried tuning and running one but the same thing will happen after 1-2 days....

My last tank was a single overflow 215 gallon and similar to all previous tanks I could run that thing 365 days a year without a single gargle or overflow/sump noise. The water level would only ever drop in the sump at my return pump section which is where I would hookup a manual float ATO and had perfect success for years!

I get this dual overflow setup and tried plumbing it to my basement and its been nothing but a pain in the butt to maintain a constant flow/system.

I think 100% this is due to my pump not pumping enough water from the sump up into the tank.
IMO - I should have a pump large enough like my previous setups that I would have so much water going up to the tank I need the overflow opened up 100% full and I would drill my durso hole larger and larger until I had no noises. Then if anything I would rather have my return pump tuned back or running full speed and have my overflow gate valves opened up fully.

Right now with the gate valves being so closed I also fear small snails or debris that gets past my screens to overflow will eventually clog the small gap that is opened in each gate valve and cause the tank to hit overflow sensor and keep turning my return pump off.

Sorry for the novel, Im not the greatest at writing my thoughts. Any advice, comments tips appreciated largely as this is my first basement sump/dual overflow/pushing water up 16 feet of vertical lift.

Month old picture before changing up rock and doubling my coral stock.

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg41/Element291/20161129_155759.jpg (http://s245.photobucket.com/user/Element291/media/20161129_155759.jpg.html)

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg41/Element291/20161208_111901.jpg (http://s245.photobucket.com/user/Element291/media/20161208_111901.jpg.html)

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg41/Element291/20161208_111842.jpg (http://s245.photobucket.com/user/Element291/media/20161208_111842.jpg.html)

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg41/Element291/20161208_111831.jpg (http://s245.photobucket.com/user/Element291/media/20161208_111831.jpg.html)

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg41/Element291/20161208_110938.jpg (http://s245.photobucket.com/user/Element291/media/20161208_110938.jpg.html)

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg41/Element291/20161208_110911.jpg (http://s245.photobucket.com/user/Element291/media/20161208_110911.jpg.html)

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg41/Element291/20161208_110847.jpg (http://s245.photobucket.com/user/Element291/media/20161208_110847.jpg.html)

Auto top off bin and float

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg41/Element291/20161207_164604.jpg (http://s245.photobucket.com/user/Element291/media/20161207_164604.jpg.html)

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg41/Element291/20161207_164541.jpg (http://s245.photobucket.com/user/Element291/media/20161207_164541.jpg.html)

element291
12-08-2016, 04:58 PM
I have considered spending the $600 on another hammerhead and doing what their manual here says -


#6. If more flow is required than a single pump can produce, consider using two or more pumps in parallel. This will double the flow. If more pressure is required consider using two pumps in series (one feeding into the other). This will have the effect of doubling the pressure.We have found that using two pumps instead of one larger pump uses an average of 30% less
electricity.


Thoughts?

Thanks,

mohammadali
12-08-2016, 08:05 PM
How many gallon is that long tank under the dosing pump

element291
12-08-2016, 09:53 PM
How many gallon is that long tank under the dosing pump

I built that last year have a breeding pair of cinnamon clowns and a few corals that my angels in the 280 pic at.

Specs are

Tank Height = 12"
Tank Width = 12"
Tank Length = 48 "
Glass Thickness = 1/4"
Approximate Gallons = 30



Further on my pump/water flow issue ***

Good example of this I just got home from work, looked at my tank checked out all my corals the water level was bang on same as I left 7 hours ago.
I went down stairs checked out my sump room, pet my cat for 2 minutes and in that 2 minutes when I walked back upstairs, AFTER TOUCHING NOTHING AT ALL only observing, walk up the stairs and I could already hear the gargling.
Tank is 1/8th inch low than normal and this causes the overflow box to gargle.

I run downstairs and my sump is 1/4" above the normal running water line which makes sense its that water that SHOULD be upstairs!
My pump im telling you has a mind of its own or something I am not seeing is going on with this design...

Nothing was touched, nothing changed, but just now, like every 2-3 days this will happen.... I am still hearing the gargling as I type this message and I don't even bother to go turn my gate valve closed a bit on the overflow line because I know in an hour or so the pump will decide to go back to how strong it was all day and I will have my water level going to high upstairs due to my slight closing of that gate valve. So I leave it alone and after an hour sometimes more sometimes less the thing will equalize again....

Very annoying I wish I could figure this out without spending another $600 on a second pump.

brotherd
12-09-2016, 12:03 AM
Could you set up one of the overflows for a full syphon with a gate valve at the sump and the other as a back up? Sort of like split Herbie? That way air is not being sucked into the drains?

swimfan
12-09-2016, 02:26 AM
Don't buy a second hammerhead, bail on the reeflo set up. I've had the exact same issue as yourself. Bought a brand new gold a while back. It runs roughly 14 feet vertical through a combination of flexible and rigid 1 1/2" pvc. Literally 3 days after installing it, it started leaking, took it off line and limped along with a Laguna 2900. Not nearly enough flow, but it did the job until I could get replacement seals and bearings. Also bought a used hammerhead ( not a gold) realizing I needed to have a back up. Had a millwright replace the bearings on both pumps as well as new seals. Within weeks, of the reinstall, the gold has developed a pinhole leak somewhere around the seal. Salt creep seems to have plugged it. It too seems inconsistent with flow rates. Took it off line and the second hammerhead leaked not even a week into running. I've got on order, seals made of a different material. If that doesn't fix these pumps. I will let them rot outside on my future pond build. Could not be more disappointed with them. Look into an Abyzz A400. I've never used one, but if money isn't an issue, they sound like an awesome pump. There is a place in Canada who sells them cheaper than the states. Sorry for the long rant, just want to warn you of my frustrations with reeflo hammerhead pumps.

DKoKoMan
12-09-2016, 02:30 AM
That is a crazy behind the scene setup!

element291
12-09-2016, 04:45 AM
Could you set up one of the overflows for a full syphon with a gate valve at the sump and the other as a back up? Sort of like split Herbie? That way air is not being sucked into the drains?

Right now it sort of runs like a herbie at least even though it has an air hole at the top of the right drain that one is opened up probably 3 turns whereas the left drain is only opened 1 turn or so and I can hear a slight trickle at the left side drain.

I have my drain hose going into my filter bucket which is actually above the sumps waterline a few inches, would this be causing my problem because I read you want your pipe an inch under the water line but not further as the air will have a hard time getting out. Also once the water is high enough for the right side drain box to fill up the left side already is as well so I am wondering how much luck I will have getting one side to be a full syphon and one be an emergency as they both run the same water line in each side drain box. I could definitely try doing a few trial runs tomorrow because this is tiring to have to keep seeing my tank shut off via water sensor when the tank gets too high (which is was right now when I wokeup on the couch after its gargling episode it randomly started after work today and slightly closed the right gate valve - knew this would happen always does!)

*EDIT* Actually you can see the waterlines in each drain box in the pics I posted and they are basically the same. BUT! After looking at this I could definitely cut a straight pipe on the left side, have its length basically long enough so its almost right to the top of the tank (my emergency drain side wide open valve) then I could on the right side, since even though my tank is bang on dead level with my level the right drain box fills up first so I could pull my durso pipe out since its just pressure fitted not PVC glued. Cut a pipe 2 inches or so, throw a grate over it just to be safe and keep fish/snails that somehow pass my initial light diffuser panel screens and tune that as my full siphon. The only problem is I will have to mod the sump setup to get the drain pipe out of my filter bucket and 1" under the sumps water line. I used to use socks which would make this easy but hated washing them all the time and it got expensive VS just simply changing out some filter floss. I am excited to try this tomorrow now! This will truely show me if my Reeflo Hammerhead is actually changing its speed throughout the day at random which I believe really is what is happening currently cause how does it run fine for 3 days even sometimes then other times like today its like the pump chokes back ever so slightly, my display water level drops, sump level rises, and I get the annoying gargling in display tank. Thanks for this advice got me inspired to try some stuff!

Don't buy a second hammerhead, bail on the reeflo set up. I've had the exact same issue as yourself. Bought a brand new gold a while back. It runs roughly 14 feet vertical through a combination of flexible and rigid 1 1/2" pvc. Literally 3 days after installing it, it started leaking, took it off line and limped along with a Laguna 2900. Not nearly enough flow, but it did the job until I could get replacement seals and bearings. Also bought a used hammerhead ( not a gold) realizing I needed to have a back up. Had a millwright replace the bearings on both pumps as well as new seals. Within weeks, of the reinstall, the gold has developed a pinhole leak somewhere around the seal. Salt creep seems to have plugged it. It too seems inconsistent with flow rates. Took it off line and the second hammerhead leaked not even a week into running. I've got on order, seals made of a different material. If that doesn't fix these pumps. I will let them rot outside on my future pond build. Could not be more disappointed with them. Look into an Abyzz A400. I've never used one, but if money isn't an issue, they sound like an awesome pump. There is a place in Canada who sells them cheaper than the states. Sorry for the long rant, just want to warn you of my frustrations with reeflo hammerhead pumps.

Appreciate the experiences, surely not a long rant when you consider the size of my novel lol! I read a few other stories of leaking seals, scares me quite frankly. I looked up the Abyzz A400 and holy mother of expensive pumps! I would love to go back to a submersible again but it doesnt look like anyone makes any huge puppies that sit in the water for a fair price.

That is a crazy behind the scene setup!

Thanks! Its always given me something to do since buying this house at the end of October. This is my house at 26, wonder how fishy it will be when im 50 LOL!

brotherd
12-09-2016, 05:04 AM
What if you try closing one drain completely and open the the other wide open, then throttle it with the valve in the basement? For sure need 2 sets of eyes for this. The idea is not to have any air at all in the full syphon drain.

element291
12-09-2016, 05:09 AM
If I close one completely and just use one drain I still have to close off that drain 50% or more due to how fast the drain is vs the pump.
I had the gate valves glued in downstairs initially, this made it a 2 man job to tune anything and it made for a lot more air noise upstairs, once I moved the valves right below the overflow boxes the air sound was cut in half when it wasnt operating right or the pump had just turned back on.

I think step #1 is to cut off that joiner I put at the sump linking both drain lines into one. That is bad I believe from a lot of reading. Its strange right now if I walk over to the tank and hold my finger over the hole I have in the top of my right side drain pipe it has no effect... You'd think it would, it changed the siphon on all my previous tanks if that hole got clogged or covered...
I can plug the hole for even a minute and notice zero change in operation. Still stays 100% silent upstairs.

brotherd
12-09-2016, 05:32 AM
Okay, next idea. Reduce both drains to 1" pipe with a reducer on each drain at the overflows on the display. Separate the drains and have both terminate below the water line in the sump. If that doesn't work.. call in the big guns.

brotherd
12-09-2016, 05:46 AM
Sorry I just re read this. For a basement sump you pretty much need to have the drain valves downstairs. What happens is the water drains into the sump and causes water from the sump to be sucked back up into the pipe until that column of water becomes too heavy and dumps back into the sump. this explains the surging you're experiencing. I would try separating the drains, gate valve one of them at the sump so that one is a full syphon with no air intake at all, terminating below the sump water line. That's all I can think of.

element291
12-10-2016, 08:34 PM
Sorry I just re read this. For a basement sump you pretty much need to have the drain valves downstairs. What happens is the water drains into the sump and causes water from the sump to be sucked back up into the pipe until that column of water becomes too heavy and dumps back into the sump. this explains the surging you're experiencing. I would try separating the drains, gate valve one of them at the sump so that one is a full syphon with no air intake at all, terminating below the sump water line. That's all I can think of.

So I have done this and it has been running pretty good for over 24 hours now!

brotherd
12-11-2016, 12:37 AM
Awesome. You have a great set up. Will be following along for sure.

element291
12-12-2016, 04:59 AM
Awesome. You have a great set up. Will be following along for sure.

Of course as soon as I posted this I had my water level drop down somehow in the display, which took a tiny closing of the gate valve and everything has been good for 18 hours or so now. Maybe me adding a filter sock onto the drain line in the sump yesterday...

Thanks for your support brotherd I appreciate the responses on my plumbing setup.

Hopefully shortly I will find out what camera I should be investing in to get some good pictures of my tanks contents. I got a really nice majestic anemone that my clowns are loving and about $800 in new corals in the past month or so that I would glady show off once I have a camera worth doing so with.

Cheers for now