Can’t seem to get my sump level correct..

Be102

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So I have been struggling with this for quite some time now. My tank is 65 gallons with an external overflow from life reef and it just has one output. This pipe goes down into a sideways T where some water goes to my refiguium which
has a gate valve to help restrict flow. The rest of the water reaches an output that has a gate valve that I use to modify the output to help minimize the noise level on my overflow box. After the that it enters my sump.
So my dilemma is this, I have tried Hoffman busters or whatever they are called and I can’t seem to get my tank to be quiet unless I adjust the gate valve leading into my sump which then basically restricts the flow above my output in my overflow box allowing water to flow silently but at a steady rate.
This is all great except it makes running an ato nearly impossible because I have my ato setup to deposit water into my overflow box, this I feel then causes an excess of water to build up in my tank raising the level making it close to overfilling.. that’s another problem to handle for another day unless there are ideas for that as well, I have it hooked up to my ProfiLux and it is we to run for say 60 seconds at a time 4 times a day but I stopped that because I felt it was risky.

the thing I cannot figure out is where some of the water in my tank is going. For example right now my tank is quiet and the water level is not too close to the top, and I have a marker for where the water level is right now. But then if I restart my return pump that level fluctuates.. which I can’t understand why? I don’t evaporate water that quickly as well as there is no water leaking anywhere. I know water takes time to fill the pipes and whatnot but I do not know where the water goes; as it sometimes is both higher or sometimes lower than the current marking I measure.

I would think that when I set my gate valve to a specific position, it would keep that same amount of water every time. I have resorted to normally now just dumping my ato water in manually and ignoring my ato all together because I tend to have to make sure it does not overflow as to always fluctuates.

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don_chuwish

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A few things I'm not clear on - where is your ATO sensor switch? Should be in the sump, to set the level of the water in the return pump chamber. ATO water inlet should go there too.
Water level of the display tank should not change with evaporation - only the water level in the sump.
Some water from display will drain down into sump when the return pump is off - so you have to have a siphon break before TOO much drains down and overflows the sump.
 
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Be102

Be102

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A few things I'm not clear on - where is your ATO sensor switch? Should be in the sump, to set the level of the water in the return pump chamber. ATO water inlet should go there too.
Water level of the display tank should not change with evaporation - only the water level in the sump.
Some water from display will drain down into sump when the return pump is off - so you have to have a siphon break before TOO much drains down and overflows the sump.
I can help clarify,

I have both sensors to shut off my ato located in my sump. You can kinda see them behind the return pump. I don’t really use these at all and ultimately just relied on a timer to dispense the right amount of water because for some reason I think my ato puts water in too slow Into the return which then seems to cause the water to enter the display. Which as I mentioned before is sort of at a set level as I close the gate valve to replicate a smaller pipe and remove air/ noise.

should I put my ato hose into the return pump? As of right now I have it aiming into my overflow / overflow box. If I have it going into the return since the ato is pretty much the same level as my tank I don’t want a siphon to form from the ato to the return resulting in an increase of ato water going in
 

don_chuwish

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Typically the ATO dispenses into the sump, but you are correct that if the ATO reservoir is up high then you can’t do that. Might be better going into the tank directly instead of the overflow. Make sure the end of the ATO hose is not submerged or you’ll siphon tank water back out.
 
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Be102

Be102

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Typically the ATO dispenses into the sump, but you are correct that if the ATO reservoir is up high then you can’t do that. Might be better going into the tank directly instead of the overflow. Make sure the end of the ATO hose is not submerged or you’ll siphon tank water back out.
You can actually see the siphon hose in my third picture; it aims into the tank / before the overflow box. Is there any sort of advice to try not to prevent a back flow if I put the tube into the sump rather than the tank?
 
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Be102

Be102

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I guess it doesn’t really help regardless tho as I can’t figure out why if I press pause on my return pipe, that it fills up my sump, but then I turn the return pump back on and the water is at a different level than it was prior to the shut off.
Sounds confusing but hopefully it’s understandable
 

don_chuwish

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I guess it doesn’t really help regardless tho as I can’t figure out why if I press pause on my return pipe, that it fills up my sump, but then I turn the return pump back on and the water is at a different level than it was prior to the shut off.
Sounds confusing but hopefully it’s understandable
That part is weird for sure. The ATO tube is NEVER submerged, right? The end of that tube needs to be in open air. Can't really tell from the photos.
The only way I can imagine the display tank water level being different is if something is going on with that overflow. Like it either does or doesn't get a full siphon going. But I've never used that type so I'm not familiar with its quirks.
 
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Be102

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That part is weird for sure. The ATO tube is NEVER submerged, right? The end of that tube needs to be in open air. Can't really tell from the photos.
The only way I can imagine the display tank water level being different is if something is going on with that overflow. Like it either does or doesn't get a full siphon going. But I've never used that type so I'm not familiar with its quirks.
Thanks for the help, it actually is not submerged at all. I think I will attempt to try it all again and see how it all goes. I dont really recall why I took the ato offline, maybe just was annoyed listening to the noise of my ato turning on and off ( tunze makes a noise when it turns on,) i was using it on my profilux off of a timer allowing it to dose water say for 60 seconds every 8 hours or so.
 

don_chuwish

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Trust the Tunze - they do it better than anyone. Just leave it powered on. Only time I turn mine off is when I'm doing water changes and I know the sump level will get low until I refill.
 

Dj City

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Just curious to see if I'm understanding you...

You use a timer on a pump to dispense water for ato?

If Im reading you correctly, I can tell you that can't work and would be the reason you can't keep a steady level of water.

Evaporation is different depending on temperature, humidity, surface agitation etc, etc.

There is no way to dose the correct amount of water with a timer.
It has to be done with a float switch or sensor and based on the actual level of water.
The sensor needs to be in the sump. The display will keep level but the sump will get low.

You can add the water to either the sump or display. It does not really matter where the water is added but adding water to the sump has a faster response.

Good luck.
 
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I think the problem is that you are restricting the flow into the sump using a gate valve. Single drain overflow boxes, such as the Lifereef are meant to be run wide open with no restrictions.

I would suggest keeping the refugium side valved back (like you currently have it) BUT run the output into the sump wide open. To address the noise issue, use a Stockman Standpipe in the external box of the Lifereef overflow. Let the Tunze 3155 run independently (without programming from the ProfiLux) with both the ATO sensor and topoff water output hose going into the return section of you sump.
 
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Be102

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I think the problem is that you are restricting the flow into the sump using a gate valve. Single drain overflow boxes, such as the Lifereef are meant to be run wide open with no restrictions.

I would suggest keeping the refugium side valved back (like you currently have it) BUT run the output into the sump wide open. To address the noise issue, use a Stockman Standpipe in the external box of the Lifereef overflow. Let the Tunze 3155 run independently (without programming from the ProfiLux) with both the ATO sensor and topoff water output hose going into the return section of you sump.
I’ll try again later today to mess around with it. I guess my biggest problem is that since my ato is next to my sump, unless I put the water into my tank itself or overflow box then the water is potentially going to create a siphon from gravity?

I will attempt to create a stockman standpipe as well. The problem I think overall is I’m using a varios 6 pump which provides more water than I need. Therefore I throttle it to level 2 of 5 and as well I try to close my gate valve as if I didn’t I wouldn’t get any water into my refugium section.
 

don_chuwish

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If the ATO reservoir and sump are at the same level then you just have to be sure the ATO reservoir 'full' level isn't higher than the tube end. My ATO reservoir is taller than my sump but sitting on the floor next to it. So I have a max fill line marked on it - if I overfill then that much extra will gravity feed into the sump.
 

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Therefore I throttle it to level 2 of 5 and as well I try to close my gate valve as if I didn’t I wouldn’t get any water into my refugium section.
Then have the gate valve to the refugium section fully open. You just can‘t restrict both the refugium and output into the sump. If you valve one of them back, the other has to be fully open. If you restrict both, you’re not allowing the overflow to self regulate the water levels.
 
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Be102

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Here’s a good video on building a Stockman standpipe...

I actually have something similar that goes with my overflow: just unsure how to really use it. This is an older version for a lifereef overflow ( similar to mine just prob 15 years older)

how do I use it? I open my pipes and it just flows loudly still.

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Be102

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I actually have something similar that goes with my overflow: just unsure how to really use it. This is an older version for a lifereef overflow ( similar to mine just prob 15 years older)

how do I use it? I open my pipes and it just flows loudly still.

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So I contacted Jeff @lifereef and apparently that is not a silencer made by him. Is this something I can use or should I just try to make a new one? It seems like it would work just unsure how the airline tubing works and whatnot. unless it goes the other way,and only a little piece of airline tubing is up?
 

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So I contacted Jeff @lifereef and apparently that is not a silencer made by him. Is this something I can use or should I just try to make a new one? It seems like it would work just unsure how the airline tubing works and whatnot. unless it goes the other way,and only a little piece of airline tubing is up?
Use what you already have. That’s a Stockman standpipe, same like I used to use when I ran an HOB overflow. You need to make sure that airline hose us shoved pretty deeply down the standpipe so that the gurgling noise stops.
 
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Be102

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Use what you already have. That’s a Stockman standpipe, same like I used to use when I ran an HOB overflow. You need to make sure that airline hose us shoved pretty deeply down the standpipe so that the gurgling noise stops.
So you suggest I open my gate valve all the way and use this as the silencer. The tube goes into the water and that then makes the only sound come out of the little airline tubing? I see that the video you posted shows the guy messing with some little device to limit the amount of water going through the airline tubing. I do not have one of those is that alright? I am just a little confused how I will make flow go towards the refugium when the T off of that is higher than the original gate valve?

You can kind of see how the setup is in the first picture. The first valve you see is a ball valve that I do not use. it was a safety setup in case i want to take my plumbing apart or whatnot. it goes down to a sideways T with the longer part leading to the refugium. I just dont see how the water won't fall straigh down into my sump if I do not limit the flow with the gate valve.
perhaps I am wrong. I have two things to mess with the ATO and the silencer.
 

Water Dog

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So you suggest I open my gate valve all the way and use this as the silencer. The tube goes into the water and that then makes the only sound come out of the little airline tubing? I see that the video you posted shows the guy messing with some little device to limit the amount of water going through the airline tubing. I do not have one of those is that alright? I am just a little confused how I will make flow go towards the refugium when the T off of that is higher than the original gate valve?

You can kind of see how the setup is in the first picture. The first valve you see is a ball valve that I do not use. it was a safety setup in case i want to take my plumbing apart or whatnot. it goes down to a sideways T with the longer part leading to the refugium. I just dont see how the water won't fall straigh down into my sump if I do not limit the flow with the gate valve.
perhaps I am wrong. I have two things to mess with the ATO and the silencer.
I ran my Stockman with just the airline tubing shoved all the way down the standpipe until the gurgling noise stops. I didn’t have airline valves like in the video either.

If you need to restrict the valve doing into the sump to get water to flow into the fuge, then make sure the fuge valve is opened up fully. Do not valve back the refugium line. I think your issue lies in the fact that you have both valves restricted. Keep one of them fully open. In your case, because of the plumbing flow set up, keep the fuge valve fully open. Dial back the sump line until you get the proper flow into you refugium with the the fuge line fully open
 
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