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I was hoping for some input regarding overflows. I’m asking for a friend of course because I promised the hubs never to go back to saltwater … . Let’s say someone was to build a 20x20x 9 shallow reef. Low maintenance lagoon style with maybe some green hairy mushrooms, a nem , GSP and mangroves growing out the top. What kind of filtration would be best if one wanted a sump. Is it better to drill and have an overflow or use an external overflow like the Eshopps one?  
Pic included to give a vague idea of what “friend” envisions. 
Thank you. 

96858A41-8C67-4977-BEEC-75060EBEF06D.jpeg

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I currently am running external overflows because that’s what came with my tank.   There are plusses and minuses to both types.   My opinion below…

 

external…

pro:  keeps the aquarium totally open for fish.

cons: more likely to leak, harder to fix, more difficult to maintain (unless you can walk behind the tank). Requires larger footprint due to overflow box.

 

internal…

pro: easier to plumb (as long as you have enough room under the tank), easier to maintain. Takes up less footprint.

 

cons: takes up more room in the tank. Doesn’t look as pretty.

 

ultimately if done right both work equally well.   It really all depends on how much access you have and what you want the inside to look like.  
 

at the size tank you’re talking about,  reaching it from the front and sides won’t be a problem…just getting to the bulkheads on the back if you go external could be tough.

 

i much prefer internal because the access is under the tank, normally easier to get to…but dang I love the look of my current external overflows.

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14 minutes ago, Parzifal said:

I currently am running external overflows because that’s what came with my tank.   There are plusses and minuses to both types.   My opinion below…

 

external…

pro:  keeps the aquarium totally open for fish.

cons: more likely to leak, harder to fix, more difficult to maintain (unless you can walk behind the tank). Requires larger footprint due to overflow box.

 

internal…

pro: easier to plumb (as long as you have enough room under the tank), easier to maintain. Takes up less footprint.

 

cons: takes up more room in the tank. Doesn’t look as pretty.

 

ultimately if done right both work equally well.   It really all depends on how much access you have and what you want the inside to look like.  
 

at the size tank you’re talking about,  reaching it from the front and sides won’t be a problem…just getting to the bulkheads on the back if you go external could be tough.

 

i much prefer internal because the access is under the tank, normally easier to get to…but dang I love the look of my current external overflows.

Thank you for the input. This is the overflow I was thinking of. Do they leak easily?
There is lots of space under the tank to access everything if there was a pipe going into the Sump and then the return would be more like what a canister filter has and would clip onto the glass inside the tank. Thoughts? 

 

8A32DA45-2ABF-4DD1-917D-234331C2631B.jpeg

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7 minutes ago, Vis said:

Thank you for the input. This is the overflow I was thinking of. Do they leak easily?
There is lots of space under the tank to access everything if there was a pipe going into the Sump and then the return would be more like what a canister filter has and would clip onto the glass inside the tank. Thoughts? 

 

8A32DA45-2ABF-4DD1-917D-234331C2631B.jpeg

I've had one of these, absolutely trash without a constant aqua lifter. They always lose siphon. No matter how clean or how much flow you are using. Drill it and you won't have to worrying about emptying the entire sump onto the floor.

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3 minutes ago, islandVib3s said:

I've had one of these, absolutely trash without a constant aqua lifter. They always lose siphon. No matter how clean or how much flow you are using. Drill it and you won't have to worrying about emptying the entire sump onto the floor.

Ok thank you! Drilled seems safer. How small and unobtrusive do you think the overflow box could be for that size tank. It will be about 13 gallons 

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Ah,  no…those do not leak that much,  however whenever the pump stops working (maintenance, power outage, circuit breaker trip, pump failure, variety of other reasons) you have to reprime it and if you happen to not be around when the pump starts again it can pour a ton of water on your floor.

 

with the amount of money and energy we put into this hobby…go with a plumbed overflow, not a siphoned one.

also,  make sure there are plenty of holes for water (one for return from the sump, and at least two preferably three for draining water to the sump)

 

for the drains I like to use one with a gate valve to create a full siphon, one for a little bit of water so it’s a silent system, and a third for emergency draining if the first two get clogged.

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8 minutes ago, Parzifal said:

Ah,  no…those do not leak that much,  however whenever the pump stops working (maintenance, power outage, circuit breaker trip, pump failure, variety of other reasons) you have to reprime it and if you happen to not be around when the pump starts again it can pour a ton of water on your floor.

 

with the amount of money and energy we put into this hobby…go with a plumbed overflow, not a siphoned one.

also,  make sure there are plenty of holes for water (one for return from the sump, and at least two preferably three for draining water to the sump)

 

for the drains I like to use one with a gate valve to create a full siphon, one for a little bit of water so it’s a silent system, and a third for emergency draining if the first two get clogged.

Ok. So it’s decided that drilling and plumbing will be best. Do I have to to drill for the return pipe though? Candy I just use a glass lily pipe return that’s used with a canister filter? 

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You can absolutely have the return go around the tank and over the top,   Not a problem at all!

 

just depends on how you want it to look.  
 

Are you going to drill it yourself?

 

going with glass or acrylic?

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34 minutes ago, Parzifal said:

You can absolutely have the return go around the tank and over the top,   Not a problem at all!

 

just depends on how you want it to look.  
 

Are you going to drill it yourself?

 

going with glass or acrylic?

No idea what happened to my reply so I’ll repost. I’m thinking of glass diy. YouTube has convinced me it’s doable. I’m open to acrylic but I worry about it scratching easily. Thoughts? 

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I’m a huge fan of DIY glass.   They both have their benefits, but for me acrylic is just too scratchable.

I have both and just like the glass better. You will eventually scratch any tank you have and acrylic is buffable, unlike glass.

if you’ve never drilled glass before it can be very intimidating.  It’s truly easy.

i live in inner SE Portland, you are welcome to bring whatever tank you end up getting to my place and we can drill it together.   I’ve drilled a bunch of holes in glass up to 3/4” thick and have a drill press I use on tanks to give nice clean cuts.

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2 minutes ago, Parzifal said:

I’m a huge fan of DIY glass.   They both have their benefits, but for me acrylic is just too scratchable.

I have both and just like the glass better. You will eventually scratch any tank you have and acrylic is buffable, unlike glass.

if you’ve never drilled glass before it can be very intimidating.  It’s truly easy.

i live in inner SE Portland, you are welcome to bring whatever tank you end up getting to my place and we can drill it together.   I’ve drilled a bunch of holes in glass up to 3/4” thick and have a drill press I use on tanks to give nice clean cuts.

Oh thank you. That sounds absolutely awesome. I’ll pm you when I’m ready. First need to use Mother’s Day to my advantage to convince the hubs that this is a good idea 😁

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1 hour ago, Parzifal said:

Lol.   Just make comparisons….well this person has a 60,000 gallon system, I only want xyz.😉

I’ll try that 😄

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A couple things.  With a tank like that you are not going to need a lot of turnover or flow through the sump so you could get away with a small overflow.  While I like external overflows with a small internal box.. like the "ghost" overflow, You might consider just using one or two of the H2Overflows instead.  They only require a simple bulkhead and pipe.  They can be a little nosier, but with two of them and a larger bulkhead.. say 1", they should be fairly quiet.  They are kind of the best of both worlds really.  https://www.customaquariums.com/information/h2overflow/

My vote, as always, is for acrylic.  They are the clearest tanks you can get and scratches are easily removed both inside and outside the tank. You scratch glass, its over. 

 

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7 hours ago, pdxmonkeyboy said:

A couple things.  With a tank like that you are not going to need a lot of turnover or flow through the sump so you could get away with a small overflow.  While I like external overflows with a small internal box.. like the "ghost" overflow, You might consider just using one or two of the H2Overflows instead.  They only require a simple bulkhead and pipe.  They can be a little nosier, but with two of them and a larger bulkhead.. say 1", they should be fairly quiet.  They are kind of the best of both worlds really.  https://www.customaquariums.com/information/h2overflow/

My vote, as always, is for acrylic.  They are the clearest tanks you can get and scratches are easily removed both inside and outside the tank. You scratch glass, its over. 

 

Thank you. That’s super helpful. The H20 overflow is pretty cool. I’m thinking of experimenting with acrylic and seeing how it goes. 

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