Design for DSB

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Lemar, 4 Nov 2008.

  1. Lemar

    Lemar

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    After much deliberation, floods, skimmer running dry ect ect, my husband and we have decided to upgrade our sump. I will appreciate as much advice as possible, as this is the second time around we are building it (don't think my husband will fall for a 3rd time)
    At this stage we have a sump that is designed as follows:

    First chamber - Skimmer
    Second chamber - DSB
    Thirds Chamber - Return pump (also the 2nd and 3rd chamber is split by 3 pieces of glass, refer to design in pictures)

    It's approximately 100litres, but for some reason the water-level in our overflow is always very low, the skimmer chamber is very low, which created alot of noise and worries me (in case it might run dry) - the return pump is rated 1700l/h.
    See below some pictures of our current sump design.
    What I will like to know is, what the height of the skimmer chamber should be and the height of the return chamber in relation to the rest of the sump?
     
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  3. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    [​IMG]
     
  4. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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  5. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    ok i think we need to start at the begining.. can we get a pic of the overflow box? do you have a Durso? what diameter is the piping to the sump.. it also appears to be flexible piping? is this correct?

    sorry to be so quizzy just trying to get a better idea of whats going on...
     
  6. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    you will see my overflow box in the corner. the water is pumped out of the tank via pump (i had an already existing tank, and my husband did not want to take the chance in drilling a hole) The flow is controlled by ball valve which you will see in the 4th picture.
    What exactly is a durso? Is it possible to buy/construct an overflow box with a type of syphon, so that I will not need a pump to get the water from DT to sump?
     
  7. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    Overflow box

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    Bottom of the overflow box

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    Ball valve to the left, with which the flow is controlled.
    Soft tubing used (because pvc won't work with the pump in the overflow box), or am i wrong?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Hi Lemar,

    I am no expert, but here is my 2c worth .....

    Fundamentally i cannot see anything drastically wrong with your sump..... In fact it looks pretty good.

    I think your issue lies with the overflow and skimmer side of things. There are definately ways to get the water out of your overflow and into the sump using some sort of siphon! I will have a look and see if i can find something for you.

    I see in the sump that your skimmer outlet pipe dumps directly into the DSB compartment and it seems that this outlet of water has disturbed the DSB ...... which as far as i know is not good.... would possibly aerate that portion of the DSB thus killing the anaerobic bacteria living there.

    Why not try dumping the outlet water into the Skimmer compartment, this will do two things.... one it may cause the water to go through the skimmer several times (which is not a bad thing) secondly and more importantly the skimmer compartment will fill up with water - so you dont risk loosing your skimmer pump if it were to run dry, and there is then a slower more even overflow into and across the DSB which is really what you want .....
     
  11. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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  12. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    So it's not necessary for the skimmer to dump in the DSB? We are definetly upgrading to a bigger sump, so for the skimmer compartment should the height of the glass be the same as the height of my return pump glass or lower?
    You will see in the picture of my sump my DSB and return chamber is split with 3 pieces of glass. It prevents the sand from DSB going into return chamber and other than that it creates on over, under over flow of water into the return chamber.

    So just to understand correctly, I should let the outlet of the skimmer flow into the skimmer chamber, the chamber will fill up, overflow into my DSB, then go through the over, under, overs chambers into the return pump, back to the DT?
     
  13. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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  14. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    are you pumping to the sump? this is in my opinion the main problem... you need to as mentioned construct a syphon overflow.. this will make life alot easier.... the rest of the system is fine.. goot tips there on the skimmer neil...
     
  15. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    Yes, we are pumping from the sump, as I dont' have a hole in the DT.
    I will show the designs of the syphon overflow to my husband, to me they are greek.
    Maybe he will be able to make something of it!
     
  16. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Thats the way i run my sump...... the idea is they there is even and relatively slow flow over the DSB... you really dont want the outlet to disturb the DSB at all...

    the under over under will also help prevent bubbles entering the display tank !

    below is a picture of my sump when i first set it up, there have of course been many changes .... the plastic the skimmer is standing on has been replaaced with egg crate, there is now a home made autop top up, sump light, fan, chaeto etc etc ....

    as far as baffle height is concerned ....My goal was to design out failure, if that makes any sence at all? Basically i wanted to ensure that in the case of a power failure or equipment failure, that the impact on my tank was as minimal as possible ....... with that in mind the operating level of the sump (and hence the height of the glass baffels) was dictated by the surge capacity ...... If i have a power failure by display tank would drain to the lowest level of the overflow system, this excess water could all be contained in the sump (with about 1cm to spare ........) so no water all over the house...... if my overflow got blocked and my return pump ran dry ...... it would not drain my dsb... and my heater sits below the baffle level.... so if the return chamber ran dry, the heater would not be burnt out.......

    Of coure there limitations in any design, but with some carefull planning you can design out most problems.

    [​IMG] of
     
  17. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Agree with you Leslie, you'll never get it perfect using 2 pumps. What goes in must come out. If the overflow pump should stop working you'll have a flood on your hands. When my first tank cracked I lowered the water level to relieve some pressure off the glass. Because the overflow was obviously not working now, I used another pump to pump to the sump. I tuned it lekka and it was working well... until we went to town. Came back, wet floor, power tripped, wet and burnt plugs etc :(
     
  18. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i could never run a system this way.. when i see water i freak... i hate the idea of a system malfunctioning... besides it makes no sence to stock with beautiful inhabitants to have them have a 90% chance of demise (with our currrent power situation)..
     
  19. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    Great design neil. I am definitely going to take this into consideration. Trying to minimise any possible failures. Going to try and persuade my husband to build the overflow box. Or maybe i should just buy one.
    If anyone has bought one, can you please let me know whether it's working properly

    Why do you use egg crate under you're skimmer, if I may ask?
     
  20. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Ahh yes i forgot to talk about the skimmer ....

    i would hazard a guess that your skimmer is not working optimally ...... the reason i suggest this is the following

    skimmers seem to work best with constant water levels, fluctuation due to exaporation etc will adversely affect the skimmer.... what i call the bubble popping level will fluctuate meaning you would not be able to set the skimmer to the optimal performance. by allowing the skimmer to dump water back into the first chamber and fitting an auto topup unit you will maintain the water level and get the best skim mate you can ......

    reason for the egg crate under my skimmer is that my skimmer performs best at that level in the water column, the plastic you seen in the pic was tempory ..... long term it would have created a detritus trap.... causing problems..... the egg crate reduces the possibility of detritus trap by allowing unimpeded flow.
     
  21. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    You definitely need to either get the tank drilled or get an overflow box on there somehow, using 2 pumps to go from display to sump and then sump to display is rather hazardous. :)
     
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