How to make a Hang On Overflow box safe/reliable. Please Help?

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waverider

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I need some advice on how to make an external overflow box reliable -prevent flooding please:

I just started setting up a 65 gallon standard tank with no internal overflow. I had initially decided to use a hang on filter, skimmer...etc... but once I had the tank running that quickly went out the window! -now I just bought a Trigger Systems Saphire 26 sump, a Reef Octopus Classic 110 Skimmer and a Marine Depot 800GPH Hang on back overflow box with a Sicce 3.0 Return pump(rated at about 600GPH @3ft distance from sump to outlet return nozzle.) So the pump is rated less GPH than the return and seems a safe choice.

Ok... Here is what I have learned about making External Overflow boxes safe but I need some oversight: 1) Drill holes in your display tank return nozzle just under the waterline to prevent any back siphon from the display tank back into the sump through the display tank return nozzle should the return pump die. 2) Sump water level should have reserve space: Keep the waterlevel in your sump low enough to hold a volume of water from the display tank equal to the volume of water in both return and drain lines plus the level of water above the overflow box on the surface of the display tank in case system shuts down and all plumbing drains into sump. 3) Keep the hang on back overflow box intake box low enough below the surface of the display tank waterline so that air bubbles dont flow over and gather in the U siphon tube and break the overflow siphon causing your return pump to continually flood the display tank. 4) to further prevent the sump return pump overflowing the display tank, keep the water level in the Return Pump section of the sump low enough that your display tank can hold the additional volume of Return Pump Section of your sump.

Is this a full proof plan? Any advice and guidance is greatly appreciated.
r
TANK.jpg

all this filtration, heating..etc... is coming out to be replaced by the sump system
Marine-Depot-Overflow-Box-OF-800-99.jpg


sapphire26_4.jpg

the
 
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1) Get rid of that prefilter sponge and install a Stockman standpipe. It serves to both avoid the potential of flooding as that prefilter sponge clogs and also will reduce the gurgling noise from the single drain set up.

2) Also, make sure you DO NOT put a valve to restrict flow in any way from the HOB overflow drain box to the sump. Single drain set ups are to be run wide open without restriction.

Here is information about building a Stockman standpipe...


Here is a discussion on HOB overflows with lots of information on proper set up. Planned and executed correctly, they can be run quite reliably.

 

MichaelE

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Unfortunately there’s basically no way of making these things as safe as a proper overflow. For one thing most of them only has one down pipe which is a disaster waiting to happen.
Even if you don’t lose siphons or the down pipe keeps from clogging it’s still going to be significantly louder than a herbi/bean animal overflow.
Sorry to be negative but I would strongly advise you to do this properly and drill the tank...you will be much happier in the long run.
 
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Unfortunately there’s basically no way of making these things as safe as a proper overflow. For one thing most of them only has one down pipe which is a disaster waiting to happen.
Even if you don’t lose siphons or the down pipe keeps from clogging it’s still going to be significantly louder than a herbi/bean animal overflow.
Sorry to be negative but I would strongly advise you to do this properly and drill the tank...you will be much happier in the long run.
I will have the opportunity to drill the tank. I will have to break it down to setup the new stand, sump...etc.. breaking it down is going to happen this week. But I have been reading about people who have kept external overflow tanks for years successfully. I'd rather have the clean display if I can do so reliably.
 

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While I would agree that modern drilled Herbie or Beanimal set ups are preferred, I will disagree that there is no way of making these safe. Prior to drilled tanks, all we had in the hobby were single drain ”reef ready” set ups or HOB overflows if we wanted to run a system with a sump. Set up properly, they can run reliably for a very long time. My first tank with a sump used an HOB overflow. It ran flood free for almost 10 years in the late 90s and early 2000s.
 
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waverider

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1) Get rid of that prefilter sponge and install a Stockman standpipe. It serves to both avoid the potential of flooding as that prefilter sponge clogs and also will reduce the gurgling noise from the single drain set up.

2) Also, make sure you DO NOT put a valve to restrict flow in any way from the HOB overflow drain box to the sump. Single drain set ups are to be run wide open without restriction.

Here is information about building a Stockman standpipe...


Here is a discussion on HOB overflows with lots of information on proper set up. Planned and executed correctly, they can be run quite reliably.

Thank you very much!
 
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waverider

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While I would agree that modern drilled Herbie or Beanimal set ups are preferred, I will disagree that there is no way of making these safe. Prior to drilled tanks, all we had in the hobby were single drain ”reef ready” set ups or HOB overflows if we wanted to run a system with a sump. Set up properly, they can run reliably for a very long time. My first tank with a sump used an HOB overflow. It ran flood free for almost 10 years in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Water Dog, have I identified the prerequisites for setting up an external overflow sump system? drilling the return nozzle.... reserve sump water level, internal overflow box intake box level low enough to eliminate air into the U siphon, and sump return pump level... ** I have made note of not having a return valve restriction, and to get rid of prefilter sponges in the overflow and install a Stockman standpipe...
 

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Valve from the return pump up to the tank is fine... the valve allows you to adjust flow to the display tank. Valve from the HOB overflow drain box to the sump is a no go. You do not want any restrictions in a single drain set up.

Other than that, your list looks good to me! :)
 
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Unfortunately there’s basically no way of making these things as safe as a proper overflow. For one thing most of them only has one down pipe which is a disaster waiting to happen.
Even if you don’t lose siphons or the down pipe keeps from clogging it’s still going to be significantly louder than a herbi/bean animal overflow.
Sorry to be negative but I would strongly advise you to do this properly and drill the tank...you will be much happier in the long run.
BULL......
 
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waverider

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The Marine Depot HOB overflow was like $75. For $93 I can get a drilled in overflow box:

Eclipse S Overflow Box - Eshopps​


This design does not depend on Siphon as it is drilled into the back of the tank.. Im good with tools. I can easily drill the tank from the back.

This overflow is a better idea than a siphon, right?
 

MichaelE

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The Marine Depot HOB overflow was like $75. For $93 I can get a drilled in overflow box:

Eclipse S Overflow Box - Eshopps​


This design does not depend on Siphon. Im good with tools. I can drill the tank from the back.

This overflow is a better idea, right?
That’s a much better option! I’ve had one of the larger models and I was very happy with it.
You will also get the nice addition of being able to run a full siphon on the main drain which will make it much more silent :)
 

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If you have confidence drilling your tank, then go for it! As far as the Eshopps Eclipse Overflows go, I’m not a fan. If you want to hide the waterline of your tank beneath the trim of your tank, you may need to modify it. The weir teeth on the Eclipse boxes are cut very deep. For low profile ghost style overflow boxes, I use and recommend Modular Marine ghost style overflow boxes. They will cost more however.
 
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Be mindful of the hole positioning when you drill. You want the internal weir box as high as you can go if you want to hide that waterline beneath your tank trim. Of course, this is purely for aesthetic reasons.
 

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I added a small float switch in the display tank so the return pump wont over flow the display tank if I lose siphon. The pump will turn off and not burn out the return pump when the return section of the pump is empty
 
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If you have confidence drilling your tank, then go for it! As far as the Eshopps Eclipse Overflows go, I’m not a fan. If you want to hide the waterline of your tank beneath the trim of your tank, you may need to modify it. The weir teeth on the Eclipse boxes are cut very deep. For low profile ghost style overflow boxes, I use and recommend Modular Marine ghost style overflow boxes. They will cost more however.

Be mindful of the hole positioning when you drill. You want the internal weir box as high as you can go if you want to hide that waterline beneath your tank trim. Of course, this is purely for aesthetic
I added a small float switch in the display tank so the return pump wont over flow the display tank if I lose siphon. The return pump will turn off.
what float switch did you use? thanks in advance...
 

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I used a hob overflow from marine depot on my last tank. It worked great always started siphon when power came back on. It never lost siphon, very good design. I tried everything I could to make it fail and as long as you keep it clean and don't let anything run dry it'll work great. The only reason I got rid of it was upgraded to a seapora rimless and I wasn't using a hob overflow on a rimless.
 
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