Water Level Nightmare!!!

lewistommason

New Member
View Badges
Joined
May 3, 2024
Messages
18
Reaction score
6
Location
Wales, UK
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I have a red sea reefer G2+ 350 max. For the life of me I cannot get the water flow right.
I have set my return pump to 25% as recommended and I adjust my diaphragm valve in small increments until the water level in the overflow box is about 2cm under the return pipe. Great.. It all works great.. Then I go to feed my fish, turn off the wave makers and within 10-15 seconds my overflow box water level rises to the top.. With less water now going into the sump my return chamber empties and my ato+ top off thinks the water has evaporated and starts dumping in a load of RO water. So I have to turn the diaphragm valve all the way anti clockwise to quickly flow more water into the sump and dial it all back in again.. only to have to repeat this every time I feed the fish.

Can't work it out for the life of me. It's not a small level change either. I've attached an image of my overflow box at normal level before feeding, and a photo of my sump.
Any ideas?

IMG_4415.jpg IMG_4416.jpg
 

TangerineSpeedo

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 8, 2022
Messages
2,318
Reaction score
3,204
Location
SoCal
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
If you have a Fowler tank, I can see leaving the pumps on. But for a reef tank. Corals can’t chase after food.
But even for a Fowler tank. Why would you let uneaten food go into the overflow? I guess that depends how much you feed etc.
I just push a button and all my tanks stop for 10 minutes…
 
OP
OP
L

lewistommason

New Member
View Badges
Joined
May 3, 2024
Messages
18
Reaction score
6
Location
Wales, UK
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
If you have a Fowler tank, I can see leaving the pumps on. But for a reef tank. Corals can’t chase after food.
But even for a Fowler tank. Why would you let uneaten food go into the overflow? I guess that depends how much you feed etc.
I just push a button and all my tanks stop for 10 minutes…
It’s a mixed reef tank. It has 6 small fish in it.
I don’t feed much. Just a pinch of flakes.. or 1 frozen brine shrimp cube etc twice a day.. but the issue happens as soon as I put food in.. it doesn’t make any sense to me either ‍♂️ it’s not as if I’m dumping a load of food in that goes straight into the overbox.. I’d say maybe a chance of a tiny bit getting pulled in through the weir but surely not enough to clog the overflow..
I have to open the diaphragm valve by a huge amount to get it to clear before I can reset it after feeding.. and it’s only been like this the last 3 days or so..
it’s been fine before that.. ‍♂️
 

TangerineSpeedo

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 8, 2022
Messages
2,318
Reaction score
3,204
Location
SoCal
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I have a red sea reefer G2+ 350 max. For the life of me I cannot get the water flow right.
I have set my return pump to 25% as recommended and I adjust my diaphragm valve in small increments until the water level in the overflow box is about 2cm under the return pipe. Great.. It all works great.. Then I go to feed my fish, turn off the wave makers and within 10-15 seconds my overflow box water level rises to the top.. With less water now going into the sump my return chamber empties and my ato+ top off thinks the water has evaporated and starts dumping in a load of RO water. So I have to turn the diaphragm valve all the way anti clockwise to quickly flow more water into the sump and dial it all back in again.. only to have to repeat this every time I feed the fish.

Can't work it out for the life of me. It's not a small level change either. I've attached an image of my overflow box at normal level before feeding, and a photo of my sump.
Any ideas?

IMG_4415.jpg IMG_4416.jpg
Just to be clear. When you feed, you turn off your return pump and your wavemakers? Or just the wavemakers and your return pump is still cycling. And also does your skimmer turn off also when you feed? It's confusing because a wavemaker should not affect your return/cycling pump.
 
OP
OP
L

lewistommason

New Member
View Badges
Joined
May 3, 2024
Messages
18
Reaction score
6
Location
Wales, UK
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Just to be clear. When you feed, you turn off your return pump and your wavemakers? Or just the wavemakers and your return pump is still cycling. And also does your skimmer turn off also when you feed? It's confusing because a wavemaker should not affect your return/cycling pump.
No, I only turn off the wave makers. I leave everything else on. I have Red Sea fleece roller and skimmer that remain on too.
I’ve tested it out yesterday and it’s not the wave makers.. it’s the food. For some reason as soon as I add a pinch of food or a thawed frozen brine shrimp cube or similar… something is causing a restriction the in the display tank draining system.. as the overflow box rises high and then my return chamber in sump pretty much empties… and the ro system thinks it’s because the water has evaporated but it’s because the water isn’t draining into the sump…
I then have to open the valve considerably to get it flowing again.. and then I can dial it back in to normal.. but this is happening every time I feed the fish..

It’s only 6 small fish in there.. and they get a small amount of food.. either 1 cube of thawed frozen brine shrimp, or one pinch of flakes/seaweed pellets..
 

JustaClown

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
37
Reaction score
66
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
No, I only turn off the wave makers. I leave everything else on. I have Red Sea fleece roller and skimmer that remain on too.
I’ve tested it out yesterday and it’s not the wave makers.. it’s the food. For some reason as soon as I add a pinch of food or a thawed frozen brine shrimp cube or similar… something is causing a restriction the in the display tank draining system.. as the overflow box rises high and then my return chamber in sump pretty much empties… and the ro system thinks it’s because the water has evaporated but it’s because the water isn’t draining into the sump…
I then have to open the valve considerably to get it flowing again.. and then I can dial it back in to normal.. but this is happening every time I feed the fish..

It’s only 6 small fish in there.. and they get a small amount of food.. either 1 cube of thawed frozen brine shrimp, or one pinch of flakes/seaweed pellets..
Did you figure out the issue yet?
 

Glowurm

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 26, 2024
Messages
67
Reaction score
43
Location
Hampshire
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I have a red sea reefer G2+ 350 max. For the life of me I cannot get the water flow right.
I have set my return pump to 25% as recommended and I adjust my diaphragm valve in small increments until the water level in the overflow box is about 2cm under the return pipe. Great.. It all works great.. Then I go to feed my fish, turn off the wave makers and within 10-15 seconds my overflow box water level rises to the top.. With less water now going into the sump my return chamber empties and my ato+ top off thinks the water has evaporated and starts dumping in a load of RO water. So I have to turn the diaphragm valve all the way anti clockwise to quickly flow more water into the sump and dial it all back in again.. only to have to repeat this every time I feed the fish.

Can't work it out for the life of me. It's not a small level change either. I've attached an image of my overflow box at normal level before feeding, and a photo of my sump.
Any ideas?

IMG_4415.jpg IMG_4416.jpg
Turn your ATO and pump off at the same time, alternatively set them up with there own power bar with a a wifi enabled plug so you can use your phone to just turn them off and back on again when needed...

Or move your ATO sensor to your return pump chamber. When you turn you pump off the chamber floods and your ATO wont dump water into the system. After all the return pump chamber will be the only chamber in your sump which will be impacted by falling water levels.
 

Glowurm

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 26, 2024
Messages
67
Reaction score
43
Location
Hampshire
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
It’s a mixed reef tank. It has 6 small fish in it.
I don’t feed much. Just a pinch of flakes.. or 1 frozen brine shrimp cube etc twice a day.. but the issue happens as soon as I put food in.. it doesn’t make any sense to me either ‍♂️ it’s not as if I’m dumping a load of food in that goes straight into the overbox.. I’d say maybe a chance of a tiny bit getting pulled in through the weir but surely not enough to clog the overflow..
I have to open the diaphragm valve by a huge amount to get it to clear before I can reset it after feeding.. and it’s only been like this the last 3 days or so..
it’s been fine before that.. ‍♂️
So when you feed you leave your return pump on?
 
OP
OP
L

lewistommason

New Member
View Badges
Joined
May 3, 2024
Messages
18
Reaction score
6
Location
Wales, UK
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Did you figure out the issue yet?
No, still can't work it out. I'm assuming it's some of the food is getting through the weir during feeding and possibly causing an obstruction to the draining of the tank. Also maybe the skimmer is kicking in when it's detecting the food taking more water out of the sump and lowering the levels in the return chamber.
 
OP
OP
L

lewistommason

New Member
View Badges
Joined
May 3, 2024
Messages
18
Reaction score
6
Location
Wales, UK
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
So when you feed you leave your return pump on?
Yes, the return pump stays on when feeding. I also have a fleece roller and skimmer running.
The only thing I turn off is the wave makers, but I've tried leaving them on too and same issue.
 

JustaClown

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
37
Reaction score
66
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
No, still can't work it out. I'm assuming it's some of the food is getting through the weir during feeding and possibly causing an obstruction to the draining of the tank. Also maybe the skimmer is kicking in when it's detecting the food taking more water out of the sump and lowering the levels in the return chamber.
All valid possibilities. I have a buddy who’s fighting the same issue. Headed to his house this weekend for some hands-on troubleshooting. No luck over the phone. lol

Good luck, man! Really hope you get it sorted out soon. If we come across anything productive I’ll be sure to let you know.
 

Tonycass12

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
1,451
Reaction score
2,388
Location
Traverse city
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
No, I only turn off the wave makers. I leave everything else on. I have Red Sea fleece roller and skimmer that remain on too.
I’ve tested it out yesterday and it’s not the wave makers.. it’s the food. For some reason as soon as I add a pinch of food or a thawed frozen brine shrimp cube or similar… something is causing a restriction the in the display tank draining system.. as the overflow box rises high and then my return chamber in sump pretty much empties… and the ro system thinks it’s because the water has evaporated but it’s because the water isn’t draining into the sump…
I then have to open the valve considerably to get it flowing again.. and then I can dial it back in to normal.. but this is happening every time I feed the fish..

It’s only 6 small fish in there.. and they get a small amount of food.. either 1 cube of thawed frozen brine shrimp, or one pinch of flakes/seaweed pellets..
What I think you have going on is your return pump flow is too low you said running at 25% earlier. This is causing you to nearly close your diaphragm valve to get the water level in the overflow right. When you feed it's closing up that valve and stopping the flow to your sump. Just run your return pump at 80-100% and open that valve more. I'll bet you have no issues after that. Not sure why red sea would recommend you to get such an oversized pump to run it at only 25%. What's the turnover on your tank like?

Also no need to kill pumps for feeding the ocean doesn't take breaks so the corals can get food.
 

Blackstar

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
10
Location
Ely
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I leave my wave pumps on during feeding then turn off the skimmer & return pump, I have skimmer & pump on seperate countdown timers. Return pump 10 minutes (plenty of time for fish to hoover up all the food & none ends up in the sump) & skimmer 45 minutes as some foods send it into overdrive & makes it overflow
 

Rappa

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 14, 2023
Messages
160
Reaction score
187
Location
Tewksbury
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Yes to ALL above! You should run your pump little higher flow. Dial the valve for your full siphon drain until you get a small trickle into your second drain. If its too loud for you, throw a double elbow on it and drill an air hole at the top. I shut the return pump off during feeding for ten minutes, but power heads stay on like normal. It helps get some food to the shy less aggressive fish, shrimp, hermits, CUC, etc... No need to send food into your fleece roller. Here's an old pic of mine when I was dialing it in. I have since drilled a larger hole, and threaded a 3/8" barbed fitting an added 4" of tubing sticking straight up, just in case the water level ever exceeds the top of that drain, it will still get air.

20230531_092423.jpg
20230610_124006.jpg
 

How much do you care about having a display FREE of wires, pumps and equipment?

  • Want it squeaky clean! Wires be danged!

    Votes: 96 44.2%
  • A few things are ok with me!

    Votes: 100 46.1%
  • No care at all! Bring it on!

    Votes: 21 9.7%
Back
Top