Jeff's 75 gallon Reef Tank Build

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Jeff Rehling, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Jeff Rehling

    Jeff Rehling Supporting Member

    the overflow pvc is underwater. no valve, but 3 unions!
  2. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    You need a ball or gate valve on the drain to slow the drain down. It's draining too fast for your return. That's why the water level in the overflow is much lower than the tank n you are getting noise at the over wier since it had to fall a larger distance. It is also why it's noisy, I'm assuming it's sucking in air at the top?

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  3. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  4. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    Hey there! I am late to join your party here but as was mentioned I have tanks in a classroom and am in a good position to share the pros and cons about it so far. From the time stamps of your posts I'm guessing you decided to set up the tank at home and not at school. Is this correct?
    I also agree with adding a gate valve to control overflow level. Fixes noise issues and if you need to change your return pump you can easily adjust the flow. Works great in my 105g.
  5. Jeff Rehling

    Jeff Rehling Supporting Member

    the noise is from my overflow. The return setup works fine. I think I caused it as I added a "T" but not correctly. My overflow has one 1" hole and I plumbed it with 1" pvc. My sump is an EShopps 200 and it has two 1" bulkheads. What I did wrong, I think, is I installed a "T" but sideways to flow into both bulkheads, and I think that's added a ton of air. My overflow is a corner one, and it "breathes" and heaves every couple seconds. I believe the overflow is called a came with the Marine Land 75. I'm waiting on a gate valve to arrive from BRS to install it and just remove the "T" and second overflow. I plan on installing a short piece of PVC on the second one just to avoid splashing.

    The overflow is very aggressive, but I've been told not to slow down the overflow. My pump keeps up with the overflow nicely, but the noise is aggravating to the point of almost giving up on the hobby without a single fish. My tank is filled and all my equipment is here. I want to get my rock and start cycling, but I need to get this noise fixed first.

    I have a ATC refractometer has two scales. One is gravity and the other says o/oo. The instructions were only in chinese and I don't know what the calibration is for the included solution, because the bottle is all white. I bought a bottle of calibration solution (aqua care) and the instructions say to calibrate to 35ppt. I assume that is measured on the right side scale that says o/oo? I can't move forward until i verify my salinity. Please help!!

    I gave up on the classroom tank. My school doesn't give teachers keys so over the breaks and weekends I cannot get into the room to service or maintain the tank. I'm also skeptical of the temperature variations. I work in Oakland
  6. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

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  7. Jeff Rehling

    Jeff Rehling Supporting Member

    mine was factory included and it has the bend and a small hole for the airline tubing. It seems I have all of this, but its really noisy
  8. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

  9. Jeff Rehling

    Jeff Rehling Supporting Member

    Today my gate valve and Tonga shelf rock arrive from BRS. I need to install it on the overflow to quiet the thing down, and then I can build my scape and get it in the tank. This hobby has tested my patience and I'm so happy to finally start the process.
  10. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Since you have a Durso, the gate valve goes on the return not the drain.

    If the tank has tested your patience already, you are in for a shock!

    There are other drain designs that would have made it much easier and quieter. A Herbie or Bean Animal drain would be silent. You can tune a Durao to be silent as well but it is harder to do so.

    The advise given to you when you 1st asked for help still applies. Take your time, do your research. It will save you headaches and frustration down the road.

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  11. Jeff Rehling

    Jeff Rehling Supporting Member

    I appreciate the advice. However, this is more frustrating. I've been told on the forums that the reason my durso is so noisy is the flow is too great and the air column is affected, which requires a valve to slow it down. I've been told at LFS to never restrict the overflow and drill holes in the PVC that goes into the sump. Now I'm told not to valve and restrict the overflow. I have two holes in the bottom of my tank. My return is very quiet and I'm pleased with that. I want the overflow quieter, and now I'm not sure how. When I run the system right now, the overflow area "breathes" up and down and make a lot of noise. How would an experienced reefer make it quieter?
  12. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    If you stop and think about it. They are all telling you the same thing.

    1. You have too much water going bk into the tank than the Durso can handle quietly.

    2. Do not restrict the drain.

    3. If you shouldn't restrict the drain, how else can you slow down the flow? By reducing the amount of water returning to the tank. So putting a valve on the return will do just that.

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  13. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    My advice;

    - As a newbie, your tank is loud, as and oldbie I can tell you that I only notice tank noise if it's not present. Wifebane is in the dining room and I can hear it from 80% of the house. My point is that at some point, you'll start to ignore it. BUT ... you want it quieter.

    - I've tried to stop the gurggle-bloop sounds from the drain at the sump, you can do this somewhat by using PVC to add some air inlets (like a sideways T of PVC just before it hits the water, with one part in the water and one part open to the air. You'll have to fiddle with it because the sound is air burping or rushing and water splashing.

    - A drain that is a straight drop into the sump will have more splashing and gurgling. Maybe try vinyl hose to add a sweeping curve so you get a more laminar (non turbulent) flow into the tank ... like a water slide at a water park, the flow on the slide is not turbulent, and it enters the water at an angle ... versus a small waterfall which is much louder.

    - DO NOT RESTRICT YOUR DRAIN! Why? Because a piece of algae will get caught in there, or a snail or just crap and then it will clog and then your sump/return will overflow your tank! Restricting the return pump (at it's output, never the input) lets you control water flow out the drain if you must.

    - Go to Home Depot and buy a "Buckethead" wet/dry vac. $20 and it sits on top of a 5gallon bucket, of which you probably already have several, or else by the Homer bucket for like $5. Having a small wet vac will be one of the best things you can do to control your blood pressure in your time in the hobby! Forget tons of towels, nothing gets floods under control like a wet/dry vac and the buckethead is a great one for this task. Small and fits on your existing bucket.

  14. Jeff Rehling

    Jeff Rehling Supporting Member

    so to continue the overflow's a photo of my current plumbing. I'm sure the "T" on the overflow is installed incorrectly, and I doubt it's necessary. I will likely remove that and just run one straight pipe to the sump.

    I took a lot of time (and pride) in using 45's instead of 90's to reduce the head pressure on the return. But, as all of you are telling me, i need to reduce the water flow returning to the tank, so while i redo the plumbing for the gate valve, i guess I could use 90's since my pump is pushing too much water...?? if i can get away with a couple 90's then i have room for my unions and gate valve. I really want to have this completed this evening so i can move forward.

    I know i'm annoying (always have been) but i'm trying to get this right. I appreciate all the advice.

    Attached Files:

  15. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    There is another trick if flow is too high. But a bit hard to explain.

    First, you need to make an small movable sleeve around your standpipe.
    Get a PVC coupler, cut it in half lengthwise, so it slides over a pipe.
    Then, take a chunk out vertically, so you can clip it onto a pipe.
    (It should look like a "C" if viewed from top)

    Second, drill a pretty big hole at the very bottom of the standpipe. About 1/4 diameter of pipe.

    Then, you take the clip you made, and cover the hole.

    Re-install everything and get it running as normal.

    Then adjust the clip up and down to cover the hole.

    Since that hole is deep, there is more pressure, so a lot more flow.

    Now it is a bit strange, but there are two modes:
    1) Just a bit of flow through the hole.
    This "assists" the durso, increasing total flow.
    2) Almost all the flow through the hole.
    Essentially replacing the durso.
    I run this way, and ended up simply removing the top part.

    In between those modes, it makes a ton of noise.
    When 100% of the water is through the hole, it makes a ton of noise.
  16. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Yeah the T looks like all the water will simply flow straight downwards and ignore the second pipe. However if the second pipe is not submerged, I imagine it allows air to combine with the straight-down pipe water so it would not burp and gurgle.

  17. Jeff Rehling

    Jeff Rehling Supporting Member

    so happy. water's in, rock's in, spira stuff in. water's clearing up. all of you have helped so much. thanks pictures soon
  18. Jeff Rehling

    Jeff Rehling Supporting Member

    So here's a stocking question. From another tank i have a snail and two really cute hermits. I used Bio Spira and some live rock along with some dead live rock. When will i know it's ok to add those critters, and is it ok to put them in first--or should i have a couple hearty fish first?
  19. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    You need to test the water for amonia, nitrites, and nitrates. When the amonia and nitrites are 0 then you'll need to do a large water change to bring your nitrates down to around the 5 to 10 range. Then you can add your first tank inhabitants.
  20. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Yeah, listen to what Flagg said. When Ammonia and Nitrites are zero, you'll know your ANN cycle bacteria is up and running. Check it now, and Ammonia should be above zero.

    Typically there is enough dead stuff on the rocks to spike ammonia, and ironically you need some otherwise the ammonia eating bacteria can't thrive, and produce nitrite for the nitrite eating bacteria.

    Some people put in some fish food flakes just to kick start the cycle. Some people even put in some ammonia!!


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