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

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John08007

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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?
I would go with this. This is my plan for my future large 225+gallon. It is much cleaner than the large overflow chambers that tank companies typically install.
 
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Mjsmallz

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I see this question come up on a regular basis. I don't have near the experience of most people on this board but I was in the same situation and I couldn't drill my tank because its tempered on all sides. Someone on here mentioned a Lifereef Overflow and I went with that. Its been running flawlessly for 11 months now and my sump has the volume to take the water if the return pump shuts off. Just another option that works.
 

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Also just wanted to add my two cents here. There is an overflow box called a Toms RP90 that has a built in siphon breaker that will automatically stop the siphon when the power goes out and then restart the siphon when the power comes back on. I've been running it on my tank for months and its absolutely fantastic. I have an older model and I think the RP90 comes with a mini "sump" with a UV light but that can all be disconnected and just put right into a standard sump/return pump.
 

Frigus Reef

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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.
Bro, I’m gonna just say it’s SO much easier to just drill or buy a Pre-Drilled or an AIO... trust me I tried to do what you were doing and I was like “Of course I can make this work!” And it sucks... there’s so many issues. So many ways to lose suction. So noisy. Sometimes I’d wake up in the unGodly hours of Night to hear sucking noises and have to jump out of bed run over to my tank and start the siphon again. Imagine everytime you’re out of town on a business trip or maybe vacation and the whole time you’re wondering “Is my tank going to fail?” It’s a constant battle with one of those things. Believe me, save your time and money and drill, get a drilled or an AIO.
I hope I don’t sound rude I just really regret trying that and I don’t want to see you learn the same mistakes.
 

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I used to run a LIfe Reef HOB overflow, so I would get a DC pump so you can match the speed of the pump to the overflow. If you are worried about a disaster, some of the DC pumps have a float valve that will shut the pump off, so you could do a DIY with the float valve on the DT.
 
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waverider

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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.
thats good to hear, thank you. Question: Would you say its safe to run micro bubbles in the tank? I like to periodically run micro bubbles in my tank. If I have the U Tubes deep enough into the basket will that prevent micro bubbles from building up in the U Tube and breaking siphon?
 
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waverider

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Bro, I’m gonna just say it’s SO much easier to just drill or buy a Pre-Drilled or an AIO... trust me I tried to do what you were doing and I was like “Of course I can make this work!” And it sucks... there’s so many issues. So many ways to lose suction. So noisy. Sometimes I’d wake up in the unGodly hours of Night to hear sucking noises and have to jump out of bed run over to my tank and start the siphon again. Imagine everytime you’re out of town on a business trip or maybe vacation and the whole time you’re wondering “Is my tank going to fail?” It’s a constant battle with one of those things. Believe me, save your time and money and drill, get a drilled or an AIO.
I hope I don’t sound rude I just really regret trying that and I don’t want to see you learn the same mistakes.
Thanks for being honest. I have an Aqueon Tank. Im good with very good with tools and mechanically inclined. Is it safe to drill my tank? I would drill the back of the tank.
 

Frigus Reef

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Thanks for being honest. I have an Aqueon Tank. Im good with very good with tools and mechanically inclined. Is it safe to drill my tank? I would drill the back of the tank.
With any kind of tank I think it’s a risk to drill, but sometimes you gotta risk it for the biscuit I suppose. I have a twenty gallon tall and I drilled a hole in the top side of it, but my uncle helped me drill it since he has some experience. It went great! I’m not sure if it was tempered or what... I’ve heard of cases where tempered tanks were drilled... it must just be tempered tanks are at a higher risk of cracking? I’m not sure
 
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waverider

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With any kind of tank I think it’s a risk to drill, but sometimes you gotta risk it for the biscuit I suppose. I have a twenty gallon tall and I drilled a hole in the top side of it, but my uncle helped me drill it since he has some experience. It went great! I’m not sure if it was tempered or what... I’ve heard of cases where tempered tanks were drilled... it must just be tempered tanks are at a higher risk of cracking? I’m not sure
I think my tank might be tempered. I read that Aqueon Kit tanks (The ones that come with stand) are tempered. So, I ordered a pair of polarized sunglasses and will use the polarized sunglasses and cellphone screen test to see if that back panel is tempered. If not, Im drilling. This is really bothering me right now because I just dumped about $600 on my Sump and Skimmer. Might have to buy a reef ready tank. -We'll see. Last thing I want is to lay awake at night worrying about flooding my house. The system's gotta be bullet-proof
 

Frigus Reef

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I think my tank might be tempered. I read that Aqueon Kit tanks (The ones that come with stand) are tempered. So, I ordered a pair of polarized sunglasses and will use the polarized sunglasses and cellphone screen test to see if that back panel is tempered. If not, Im drilling. This is really bothering me right now because I just dumped about $600 on my Sump and Skimmer. Might have to buy a reef ready tank. -We'll see. Last thing I want is to lay awake at night worrying about flooding my house. The system's gotta be bullet-proof
Can’t you use the sump and skimmer with a drilled tank?
 
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waverider

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Can’t you use the sump and skimmer with a drilled tank?
yeah... just on top of everything I've already bought -Id have to go out and buy another tank, and if Im buying another tank it either has a built in weir or is pre drilled. Joke is, right now Im waiting on a freaking pair of polarized sunglasses to confirm if my existing tank is tempered or not! LOL
 
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I'd be interested to know where you heard this? True tempered glass will "Explode" into little tiny pieces if you attempt to drill it. There are many tanks out there that are drilled first and tempered later (this is how they make RR tanks and some custom tanks as well).



Well you already know how to check your tank to see of it's tempered so I'd say that's step one. There are lots of HOB overflows in operation that don't fail, Lifereef from what I have read is your best bet, Eshopps is a close second and they both use the exact same design.

Are they a pain to tune and keep quiet, absolutely, but there are ways around that as well with a little research. You already outlined all the ways needed to ensure that your system will never overflow, the biggest one being keep the return chamber as small as possible. It's the Water volume being pumped back up that causes the issues and if you can limit that you're okay. As mentioned above you can also buy a DC pump like the Reef Octopus Varios line that comes with a float switch that can turn your return pump off in the event the siphon does fail.
Im sincerely grateful for all this input. I have started dumping money into this hobby and have a gorgeous system developing. I just gotta be patient to confirm if my glass is tempered. Otherwse, I already ordered an Eshops Eclipse M 800GPH overflow. Already Im looking at LifeReef and CPR siphon overflows as backup... and eyeing some reef ready tanks.
 

01xp

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thats good to hear, thank you. Question: Would you say its safe to run micro bubbles in the tank? I like to periodically run micro bubbles in my tank. If I have the U Tubes deep enough into the basket will that prevent micro bubbles from building up in the U Tube and breaking siphon?
micro bubble will gather in the u tube. To help get rid of the bubbles from the tube you'll need to up the flow rate through the overflow. But faster rate means more noise.
 
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waverider

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I'd be interested to know where you heard this? True tempered glass will "Explode" into little tiny pieces if you attempt to drill it. There are many tanks out there that are drilled first and tempered later (this is how they make RR tanks and some custom tanks as well).



Well you already know how to check your tank to see of it's tempered so I'd say that's step one. There are lots of HOB overflows in operation that don't fail, Lifereef from what I have read is your best bet, Eshopps is a close second and they both use the exact same design.

Are they a pain to tune and keep quiet, absolutely, but there are ways around that as well with a little research. You already outlined all the ways needed to ensure that your system will never overflow, the biggest one being keep the return chamber as small as possible. It's the Water volume being pumped back up that causes the issues and if you can limit that you're okay. As mentioned above you can also buy a DC pump like the Reef Octopus Varios line that comes with a float switch that can turn your return pump off in the event the siphon does fail.
Just bought a Reef Octopus VarioS-2 For only an extra $100 above what I already was gonna spend on a Sicce AC pump it was a no brainer. Now my sump pump will have a float valve and auto shut off -besides all the cool variable programming features. That goes along way to preventing a flood regardless of overflow.
 

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Already Im looking at LifeReef and CPR siphon overflows as backup...

Lifereef, Eshopps and Marine Depot HOB overflows are fine as they use gravity using a u-tube to keep a siphon going. DO NOT consider the CPR HOB overflow. It relies on a Tom’s Aqualifter pump to maintain a siphon. If there is a power outage, there’s potential for a flood. The CPR HOB overflow is a very poor design for this reason. This is outlined in the long HOB thread I linked to earlier in this thread.
 

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