Surge device questions

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Kanga, 16 Jan 2008.

  1. Kanga

    Kanga Retired Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Hi Sara, I know you Yanks are big on surge devices, I have a few questions and I was wondering if you would be so kind as to help.

    Any real benefits for life in the tank, if so why?

    What size for what tank?

    How do I make it quite? (Not keen on a continues freight train sound)

    How reliable are they? (dont like flooded lounges:p)

    How simple are they to build?

    Thanks in advance
     
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  3. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Geeez, only 5 questions in one post, you couldn't think of any more?
     
  4. sihaya

    sihaya

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    Unfortunately, I've never built a surge myself. But I've seen a lot of tanks with them and there is a clear (albiet possibly anecdotal) difference even just looking at them. Aside from that, surge flow is more "natural" flow (more similar to what's on a real reef).

    As for the mechanics, I'm going to ask Rod Buehler if he wouldn't be so kind as to answer these Qs for me. After seeing his systems, he's the surge-master in my book. I believe he uses mostly the "Borneman" surge design... but I'll let him talk about it (if he can find the time).

    In the mean time, if there's anyone here who has experience building them, please feel encouraged to chime in here.
     
  5. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Sara / Kanga - I have seen Irie Ivan's surge device in action - it's quite impressive. He has a 25 litre water container which he plumbed with an inlet (about a third down on the side of the 25 litre container), which gets fed by a power-head in-tank. The outlet is another pipe plumbed about 10-15cm above the inlet pipe, which acts as an outlet.... the water is pumped slowly into the container, and as it reaches the outlet, starts to flow out (I am not sure if he has some kind of valve in the inlet/outlet)...
    This water then flows out via the outlet back into the tank, causing a huge flow of water (I think that Ivan plumbed in a T-outlet system which splits this outlet into two....)

    This seems to work well for him - he seems to be very chuffed with this...

    Perhaps we can get him to comment more on this than what I have said.
     
  6. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    i heard some horror stories yesterday of tanks silicone giving way due to surge pumps etc
     
  7. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Henk - as we discussed - this seems to have been with the Tunze Surge-controllers and pumps - yes - I agree - it is possible that this could happen if the bracing is not changed or done correctly with the Tunze devices, as there is ONE HUGE amount of water that is moved from one side of the tank to the other side of the tank, all at once. Take into account the volume and weight displaced and distributed all at once - I think that this could easily happen - if one do not take the bracing and strengthening of the tank into the equation when you install the Tunze units.

    The device which Ivan built does not displace this amount of water at once. All if does is create a huge timed stream of dispersed water that flows over the corals in his tank......
     
  8. Rod Buehler

    Rod Buehler

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    Hello everyone

    Thanks for the invite nice&curvy ;)

    Are there benefits? Some say no, but I like them. I keep gigantea anemones which are supposed to be difficult to keep. One of mine has been with me for 14 years, and another for 4. I attribute the success to the surge tanks. We all know that a lot of water movement is good, but I sometimes wonder if short periods of rest from the massive flow is needed.

    I have surges ranging from 2 gallons to 30. Random flow is the key IMO. Setting up more than one sure on a system is the best way to go IMO.

    I have used the siphon design by Dr Bruce Carlson, and the toilet flapper design by Eric Borneman. I find th eBorneman design to be much more relaible, less bubbles and more quiet if the borneman design is reduced to a 1" discharge. The 2" still puts a lot of bubbles whereas the 1" model only has a little "burp" of bubbles at the beginning of the surge.

    I have some surges that are 8 years old and have been very reliable. The Borneman design has a safty overflow built in, and the Carlson design can incorporate a safty overflow as well.

    Either design can be very simple to build. I have a lot of practice in building them.. If I have all of the parts, I can have one up and surging in less than 15 minutes.


    From the description, it sounds like Ivans surge MIGHT be the Carlson design which is basically a siphon.


    Rod
     
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  9. Kanga

    Kanga Thread Starter Retired Moderator MASA Contributor

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    masahello Rod
    Thanks for the great info, could one hook them up to a timer to run, lets say 8 hours a day or so?

    Would you mind posting some pics of your device (We love pics)

    Thanks Rod and welcome:thumbup:
     
  10. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    Hey Rod!

    welcome to MASA! any chance of some photos?
     
  11. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Welcome Rod, thanks for helping out :thumbup:
     
  12. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Thanks Jacques, and Yes I love my surge bucket, and No, there is no valve on it. It is a carlson surge device (CSD), using a 25 litre drum, fed with a powerhead. Fills in about a minute and discharges in around 20 seconds through a 32mm hole, which is not t'd. (preffered the stronger surge of one outlet, as it discharges directly over the highest concentration os sps in my tank)
    To answer your questions Kanga:

    I am not aware of any scientific benefits of surge devices, have not bothered to look, as it just makes more sense:

    -Surges help emulate conditions in which corals have evolved, as opposed to the linear, and unnatural flow provided by powerheads. This aids reef crest corals in maintaining their morphology. I have noticed that coral mucus not generally washed away by normal flow in my tank ( trust me when I tell you I have plenty flow) is rapidly stripped off the corals when the surge device is in operation.
    -As water is pumped to the dump bucket, it falls and splashes, improving gas exchange, ensuring that water entering the tank is saturated with oxygen. (Although I suspect most tanks with good flow and surface skimming does already have acceptable levels of dissolved oxygen)
    - Strong sudden surges also help to eliminate dead spots, which naturally serves as a benefit to the whole system. My CSD is fed by a 3000lph powerhead, having a 10mm outlet. Naturally the surge device (a 32mm outlet) covers a larger area, lifting and suspending detritus more than the powerhead.

    Not sure of any recommendation out there, but I would say 5% to max 10% of tank volume per surge. The important thing to remember here is that your sump needs to be large enough to not have too much of a drop in water level. This would cause an "unnesascary" activation of your auto top up. I do believe this is not too much of a concern, as this will only happen until the volume in the surge buckets has been compensated for, which takes a few cycles anyway, rendering concerns of too muck kalk being dumped at once..... My surge bucket is 25 litres, total water volume 650 litres, and I am planning to add another one to the other side of the tank soon.


    Fortunately noise is not an issue for me (I actually cannot sleep without the sound of the water cascading, if its quiet, something is wrong!)
    I believe the borneman surge device is not as loud as the CSD. The reverse CSD should be the least noisy of the three, so I noise is an issue, this shoud be your first option.

    I have not had one single problem with mine. Both the Borneman and the CSD have buolt in emergencyt overflows, so no concern with flooded homes and irate other halves.


    They are not just dead simple, they are even cheaper than they are easy!!!
     
    Last edited: 19 Jan 2008
  13. sihaya

    sihaya

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    Thank Rods!!! You're the best! And thanks everyone else who has added here too.

    I'm sorry, I'm at a loss to say much about real surges, but I do have the Tunze "surge" controller. It's pretty cool, but nothing like a real surge...
     
  14. Kanga

    Kanga Thread Starter Retired Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Thanks Irrie:thumbup:
     
  15. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Thanks Ivan - much appreciated. And sorry for my misunderstanding about the t-section.

    Welcome Rod - I hope that you pop in every now and again to see how we are doing? ;-) And thanks for the invaluable information as well.

    So - Kanga - I hope that this answers your question.

    AND YES - I would have mind one - BUT not at this stage as I will have to redesign the rental house I am living in's living room, before I can do this type of thing ;-)
     
  16. George

    George Sponsor

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    Surge pumps

    Hi guys just a short note for those of you looking to have a wave box in your aquarium, (surge devise) I can't talk about Bornemans or Carlson's surge devise as I have never had any experience with such attachments
    Forthose of you who are looking at the Tunze Wave Box I urge you to construct your aquarium on the basis of Timoshenko's formula (The page cannot be found) for the correct glass thickness and ahesion.

    IMO the surge created is very effective in disloging detritus around the rocks and also minimises any dead spots in the tank. In the 25 years of diving I have found that the surge created by the wave box occurs mostly only after heavy storms out at sea. again IMO I would only run such a device 2-3 / week in conjuntion with your normal streams so as to remove the detritus to your overflow.

    You will find that the wave created by the surge will be very mesmerising and quite fasinating to watch.

    'm sorry, I'm at a loss to say much about real surges, but I do have the Tunze "surge" controller. It's pretty cool, but nothing like a real surge...

    Sihaya I am a little dissapointed at the above comment made by you as a professional , believe me it is like the real surge. Perhaps you should give Roger Vitco a call who is the Tunze Representative in the U.S.A ho will help set it up properly.

    George
     
  17. sihaya

    sihaya

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    George- thank you so much for your input and insight

    Hmm... ok, but I'm not speaking as a "professional" surge expert here. I'm speaking only as an aquarist who has been using the device for years now. All-in-all, I am quite a big fan of the Tunze units and surge controllers and have recommended them many times. Yes, it is somewhat like a "real" surge, but I'm sorry, imo, it just doesn't compare to a Carlson or Borneman surge devices. There just isn't the same sudden rush of gallons of flow with the Tunze as you get with these other types of surge set-ups. The difference is actually quite visible.
     
  18. George

    George Sponsor

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    Scientifically a 20 litre bucket of water discharging over 20 seconds with a 40mm outlet or more cant possibly havethe same effect as a unit drawing in and discharging 3 litres @ .8 of a second depending on the resonance of the aquarium. Naturally it depends on the aquarium size. To say which is better is a matter of preferance.

    George
     
  19. sihaya

    sihaya

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    I completely agree... and this is all I am/was saying. ;)
     
  20. Shaun

    Shaun Retired Moderator

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    We as humans can only try simulate a surge, both devices have their pros and cons.

    If we could make a smaller ver of the devices they use in wave pools I think it would be more effective than the others as it would release water the entire width of the tank.

    My 2c.
     
  21. Anemone

    Anemone

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    Sara,

    Have you ever had the opportunity to visit Rod's shop? Its awesome!!!!
     
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