Is there an ACTUAL fix for the Red Sea downflow valve?

Ecotech Marine

NigeltheBold

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
104
Reaction score
30
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I have a Reefer 525xl and I've already replaced the stock diaphragm valve with a gate valve. It helped a little, but I'm still constantly adjusting it to try and keep the water level about an inch or so below the mouth of the emergency overflow pipe. Personally, I don't think the valve was the issue. I think the design of the overflow is the issue. In order to maintain the water level in the tank's overflow box, you have to match your pump's flow rate exactly. If the valve is a tiny bit too far open, the water level will drop and eventually you'll start hearing air going through the overflow. If the valve is a tiny bit too far closed, the water level will rise and eventually start going down the emergency overflow (which isn't ideal, especially if you have a roller mat filter in your sump that's only hooked up to the main overflow tube). A gate valve doesn't change that... you still have to bring the water level to the correct position, then find the sweet spot in the valve in order to match the flow rate. And even if you do seem to magically hit the spot, several days later, you have to start all over (at least, that's what happens with mine).

So, is there an actual fix that will eliminate the need to adjust the downflow valve? Because the gate valve isn't doing that.

I found this product being sold on eBay. I don't know if this will prevent water going into the overflow pipe though... It may just reduce the noise.

I've had my tank for a couple of years now, and I figured someone would've come up with a permanent fix by now. But unfortunately I'm not finding anything.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Keko21

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 16, 2022
Messages
244
Reaction score
222
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Florida
I have a Red Sea 350 G2. It took me quite some time to get the flow right between my down flow valve and my return pump AND getting the water level in my sump where I wanted it. Legit at least a week if not more before I got it right where I needed it. Currently sitting about 1/2 inch below to the emergency overflow with no issues. I would suggest setting your return pump where you want it first, then from a totally closed position, make 1/8th turns on the valve, wait like 30 min, check it and make another turn until the water is sitting where you want it in the down flow chamber.
 
OP
N

NigeltheBold

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
104
Reaction score
30
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I have a Red Sea 350 G2. It took me quite some time to get the flow right between my down flow valve and my return pump AND getting the water level in my sump where I wanted it. Legit at least a week if not more before I got it right where I needed it. Currently sitting about 1/2 inch below to the emergency overflow with no issues. I would suggest setting your return pump where you want it first, then from a totally closed position, make 1/8th turns on the valve, wait like 30 min, check it and make another turn until the water is sitting where you want it in the down flow chamber.
Thanks for your advice, but I've literally tried making adjustments where I barely turn the valve at all (like, I can barely feel it move), then wait a day. I do this repeatedly until the water level has dropped a few millimeters, then I leave the valve alone. But a few days later, it drops too low and starts sucking air into the downflow and into the sump.

It's as if I can't match the flow rate of the pump. I can get the water level to go up and down, but I can't get it to stop and stay in one spot.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
OP
N

NigeltheBold

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
104
Reaction score
30
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
My 425 only needs adjusting once in a while. Is it possible your return pump isn’t holding steady flow?
I guess it's possible, but I don't know why it would be doing that. I have an eFlux variable speed pump, which has a speed control dial, but I don't touch the dial at all. I haven't adjusted the speed since I set up the tank.
 
OP
N

NigeltheBold

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
104
Reaction score
30
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I do have two Red Sea ReefWave wavemakers, and they're set on reef mode, which is random. But that shouldn't affect the water level, right? They just move the water that's in the display tank.
 

Keko21

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 16, 2022
Messages
244
Reaction score
222
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Florida
Thanks for your advice, but I've literally tried making adjustments where I barely turn the valve at all (like, I can barely feel it move), then wait a day. I do this repeatedly until the water level has dropped a few millimeters, then I leave the valve alone. But a few days later, it drops too low and starts sucking air into the downflow and into the sump.

It's as if I can't match the flow rate of the pump. I can get the water level to go up and down, but I can't get it to stop and stay in one spot.
Soooo one stupid thing I did when I got my tank is I put my pipes in wrong... I had one of the shorter pipes in as an emergency pipe when it should have been the longer one. Maybe worth a check if this came from ebay assembled by someone else.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
OP
N

NigeltheBold

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
104
Reaction score
30
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Soooo one stupid thing I did when I got my tank is I put my pipes in wrong... I had one of the shorter pipes in as an emergency pipe when it should have been the longer one. Maybe worth a check if this came from ebay assembled by someone else.
It didn't come from eBay, I bought it new and assembled it myself. The pipes look like they're correct to me... the emergency overflow is in the middle, the normal downflow is on the right, and the return is on the left (looking at the tank from the front).
 

Poochaku

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
286
Reaction score
211
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Not sure what is going on here but i'm pretty confident its some kind of personal or install problem. I'm not saying its your fault as it could be equipment or something. But this style of overflow has been used for a long time and is well understood and used successfully by a lot of people.

I feel like you understand the "sweet spot" concept of this overflow design. I would look at things that could be changing your flow rate. Is the pump constant or does it vary in flow for some wild reason? Does a lot of algae or snails go down the overflow? what kind of mechanical filtration do you run if any?

When you do adjust and it loses balance over time, does it always trend in one way? Ie progressively more OR lessflow down the overflow?
 
OP
N

NigeltheBold

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
104
Reaction score
30
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Not sure what is going on here but i'm pretty confident its some kind of personal or install problem. I'm not saying its your fault as it could be equipment or something. But this style of overflow has been used for a long time and is well understood and used successfully by a lot of people.

I feel like you understand the "sweet spot" concept of this overflow design. I would look at things that could be changing your flow rate. Is the pump constant or does it vary in flow for some wild reason? Does a lot of algae or snails go down the overflow? what kind of mechanical filtration do you run if any?

When you do adjust and it loses balance over time, does it always trend in one way? Ie progressively more OR lessflow down the overflow?
Unless the pump is changing speeds on it's own, I'm not sure how the flow rate could be changing. It has a speed adjustment knob, but I don't mess with it. I guess I could try a different pump?

I don't think any snails or algae goes down the overflow... I don't have snails that could fit through the surface skimmer and my tank doesn't have much algae. I use a roller mat filter (Red Sea Reef Mat) in the sump, and it's connected to the downflow pipe. But that theoretically shouldn't affect the flow rate. I had this issue before I installed the roller mat.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

exnisstech

Valuable Member
Review score
+2 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
2,277
Reaction score
2,341
Review score
+2 /0 /-0
Location
North Central Ohio
I think its just a "characteristic" of this down flow system. I was going nuts trying to get it to stay at the exact height I wanted in relation to the emergency drain. I finally quit looking at the water level in the overflow and listen to it instead. I still have to tweak it once in a while, usually because it gets a little high and I can hear it going down the emergency drain. Rarely do I have to reduce the flow. If its quite I don't look at it. I even swapped out the AC pump for a DC pump thinking I could control it better but nope still the same. Tank has been running over 3 years now so maybe I've just gotten used to the finicky system?
 

Poochaku

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
286
Reaction score
211
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Unless the pump is changing speeds on it's own, I'm not sure how the flow rate could be changing. It has a speed adjustment knob, but I don't mess with it. I guess I could try a different pump?

I don't think any snails or algae goes down the overflow... I don't have snails that could fit through the surface skimmer and my tank doesn't have much algae. I use a roller mat filter (Red Sea Reef Mat) in the sump, and it's connected to the downflow pipe. But that theoretically shouldn't affect the flow rate. I had this issue before I installed the roller mat.
Is the pump changing speed? It could be continually getting slower and needs cleaning. I don't have experience with the pump you are using.

I am very interested in knowing if its always trending toward too much flow or too little.
 
Tidal Gardens

Neuratox

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
237
Reaction score
240
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Clemmons, NC
I came up with a fix for the noise a year ago for my tank and it has worked like a charm. I never hear my tank unless its going down the emergency drain valve and then I know that its time to do some tweaking.
Its not a fix, but perhaps this will help keep it from driving you nuts while you figure something else out.

Link
 

stevolough

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Messages
157
Reaction score
135
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
charlton
Unless the pump is changing speeds on it's own, I'm not sure how the flow rate could be changing. It has a speed adjustment knob, but I don't mess with it. I guess I could try a different pump?

I don't think any snails or algae goes down the overflow... I don't have snails that could fit through the surface skimmer and my tank doesn't have much algae. I use a roller mat filter (Red Sea Reef Mat) in the sump, and it's connected to the downflow pipe. But that theoretically shouldn't affect the flow rate. I had this issue before I installed the roller mat.
Sometimes I open it up fully and then close it to flush anything out. I’ve seen tanks with media reactors plumbed into the return. Never could understand how they keep all that extra flow constant
 
AquaSD
AI Hydra

Does it matter to you whether your fish are captive-bred or wild caught?

  • I only buy captive bred fish.

    Votes: 96 14.5%
  • It matters, but I will buy either captive-bred or wild-caught.

    Votes: 463 70.2%
  • I think wild-caught fish are the better option.

    Votes: 16 2.4%
  • I don’t care where the fish were bred.

    Votes: 85 12.9%
AFX
Top