Sump compartments overflowing - help needed

Discussion in 'Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds' started by BlackSpark, 12 Jan 2014.

  1. BlackSpark

    BlackSpark

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    Hi all,

    I have an RSM650 tank with a 90L sump. sump was initially stocked with just Matrix and ceramic bio-balls running through the skimmer, carbon and phosphate reactors.

    I re-scaped the tank and added a little more live rock yesterday and added a live DSB to the sump.

    After adding the rock and live DSB, the water level coming from the tank into the sump (inlet compartment) rose to its max and so did the water level in the skimmer biological stage (with DSB).

    This is now overflowing into the pump return portion of the sump. Naturally this not supposed to do this.

    Things I have done to try and eliminate the problem:
    • Remove some of the Matrix & ceramic bio-balls
    • Remove some of the water from the sump
    • Adjust the flow control valve on the tankdown to almost nothing
    • Adjust the flow control valve to a point where there is some sort of level drop - this worked for a short while but refilled and overflowed again into the return pump comparment
    • Scratch my head in confusion :confused1:

    Am thinking of removing half of the DSB...but that is going to create a sandstorm in the DT...

    So any advice / help from the sump / system fundis would be appreciated as i am going on vacation in a week and need to resolve this ASAP.

    Attached is a link to a video I made of the problem:

    Dropbox - 20140112165545.MTS
    Dropbox - 20140112165641.MTS
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2014
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  3. Mac75

    Mac75

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    sounds like a faulty return pump to me... but then again these tanks have a weird sump design. where is the vid?
     
  4. BlackSpark

    BlackSpark Thread Starter

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    Still uploding lol will have it up shortly.
     
  5. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

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    I was thinking about this on the drive home, try taking a little water out at a time and readjust the ball valve accordingly when needed. It would most probably be a PITA doing this but at least you will know at which level the water is starting to become a problem. Good luck and fingers crossed that you come right!
     
  6. BlackSpark

    BlackSpark Thread Starter

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    I have been removing the water but not adjusting the top-up valve - am too afraid to break the darn thing :p
     
  7. BlackSpark

    BlackSpark Thread Starter

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    Video links added in the first post.
     
  8. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Unfortunately this is the problem with RSM's. You just can't mess around too much with the standard set up, they stop working properly. Hope you come right.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2014
  9. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

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    Lol, nooooo, not that darn flimsy piece of plastic :lol: I am talking about the ball valve at the back for the tank. Don't adjust it when taking the water out because I think it is at the correct setting right now.
     
  10. BlackSpark

    BlackSpark Thread Starter

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    :lol:

    I have been doing that...to the point of cutting of all flow - which is not good :(

    If open the valve up it gets out of control and the pump compartment fills up very quickly :eek:
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2014
  11. Mac75

    Mac75

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    does your return have a ball valve as well?
     
  12. BlackSpark

    BlackSpark Thread Starter

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    Nope none on that, just the inlet to the sump.
     
  13. Mac75

    Mac75

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    check if your return pump is working at its max. maybe something got into it so its slowing it down. take it apart and check the impeller
     
  14. BlackSpark

    BlackSpark Thread Starter

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    Going to have to do that shortly.
     
  15. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

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    I feel that we should have just stayed and tried to figure it out together :lol: This is making no sense to me why it should be doing that. I am literally sitting in front of my sump and trying to make sense of it. Have you tried removing the black sponges as yet? It could be clogged resulting in this?
     
  16. BlackSpark

    BlackSpark Thread Starter

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    Would have been fun :) Going to deconstruct the sump setup and figure it out - my internal combustion engine needed fuel :p

    Will keep you posted. I think it could be related to the sponges or something clogging up the pump.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2014
  17. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

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    Yeah, I am also now thinking that something is clogging up the section between the skimmer and return. I suspect it is the sponge or something in the media bags...
    Enjoy dinner!
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2014
  18. BlackSpark

    BlackSpark Thread Starter

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    So we figure that the amount of water being fed into the sump is not being pump out at a faster rate than is being fed in...only thing that can be the culprit is either related to the pump or is the pump itself.
     
  19. BlackSpark

    BlackSpark Thread Starter

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    Methinks we figured out the problem...:blush:

    The return pump is working perfectly - no blockages. No obstructions on anything in the pump chamber.
    Part of the problem was a matrix bag in the chamber in front of the skimmer which seems to have been restricting flow out to the return pump. The other part being that because the water level was low in the return pump chamber, the auto-top up float valve was doing its duty and filling up the sump - which led to around 30L of RO going into the sump with not enough flow out from the sump to the pump resulting in the issues seen in the video :blush::blush:

    Now monitoring it - will keep you posted.
    @Mac75 & @tekkengal thank you for your suggestions :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  20. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

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    Glad you found the problem! :thumbup:
     
  21. Mac75

    Mac75

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    cool :thumbup:
     
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