PDA

View Full Version : External Overflows and Herbie Drains


rhickman17
08/04/2015, 11:00 AM
Hey everyone,

My name is Rick and I've kept freshwater tanks for about 13 years now. Unfortunately I'm not switching to the salt side of this addiction just yet, but I would like to pick the community's brain a little.

When I say external overflow box, Herbie overflow, or BeanAnimal overflow, my friends and forum members on other sites think I have a third eye.. So I need your help for the plumbing on my new tank, please!

Its a standard 75 gallon tank, tempered bottom, and I want to run a full siphon to my sump. I've never done a Herbie or an internal/external overflow box before, so some of the questions I have are;

- Im going to be drilling the upper left corner of back pane of glass on the tank, if I go with an internal overflow box only, should I drill the bulkheads beside each other, or have one lower than the other?

- Is it better to go with an external overflow box in this case? I'm building my internal box myself, so if need be I can build an external as well.

- I have a bunch of glass thats never been touched with silicone or water from a 20g tank I took apart, could I cut it and silicone it to the back of the tank to make an external overflow box? Or is it better not to build your own external overflow and just stick with the internal on its own in this case?

Personally I like the idea of the external overflow box for both operation of the Herbie, but aesthetically as well, I think it looks a lot more professional . I'm using 1" plumbing for the drains, yes I have my gate valve, and I'm planning on running a Herbie. It is a freshwater tank, and this is going to be overkill for the fish I'm keeping but it's going in my living room and I want it silent, or as close to silent as possible. I have a Quiet One 4000 as my return pump and my sump is already designed so I've got those covered already.

Any input would be great thanks.. and I know, I'm on the other side of the salt/fresh fence, but the help is much appreciated :bounce1:

RocketEngineer
08/04/2015, 11:41 AM
1) You should drill side by side and use a long (preferably coast-to-coast) overflow box inside the tank. The longer box improves the surface renewal, even for a FW tank that's a good idea.

2) Not in my opinion. If you have the room, go directly into the plumbing outside the tank. I didn't have the room on my 125g setup and the external box still makes me nervous as its another place for leaks to occur. JMO.

3) I built my external box with no problems (aside from breaking the bottom when I drilled it the first time). Personally, I preferred to have a shop cut the glass to the size I needed as I've never been able to get as straight a cut as they can. Plus, it wasn't that expensive, maybe $100 for all the glass, internal and external, so buying it isn't much of an expense for the correct sizes.

If you are drilling, upgrade from a Herbie to a BeanAnimal drain setup. The Herbie was developed as a patch on commercial "reef ready" overflow boxes. The BeanAnimal setup was designed from the start to do what you want with lots of fail safe features. Go read the website about it, there is a ton of information on how/why it works so well.

HTH,

rhickman17
08/04/2015, 03:16 PM
1) You should drill side by side and use a long (preferably coast-to-coast) overflow box inside the tank. The longer box improves the surface renewal, even for a FW tank that's a good idea.

So three holes side by side. Im going to do a coast to coast along the side of the tank, so 18" long. I dont want it across the entire back because I want to keep the tank as close to the wall as possible.

2) Not in my opinion. If you have the room, go directly into the plumbing outside the tank. I didn't have the room on my 125g setup and the external box still makes me nervous as its another place for leaks to occur. JMO.

I do have the room because Im going to be going out the side of the tank now that I look at the orientation of the tank in the room. Also now that I will be drilling 3 holes instead of two, I dont want all that in the upper corner on the back pane, much prefer the side pane to be coast to coast.

3) I built my external box with no problems (aside from breaking the bottom when I drilled it the first time). Personally, I preferred to have a shop cut the glass to the size I needed as I've never been able to get as straight a cut as they can. Plus, it wasn't that expensive, maybe $100 for all the glass, internal and external, so buying it isn't much of an expense for the correct sizes.

That's a good point. At the end of the day, I cant afford, nor do I want any water on my living room floor at any point in time. I think I am going to go with a Bean Animal, and not worry about the external overflow box.

If you are drilling, upgrade from a Herbie to a BeanAnimal drain setup. The Herbie was developed as a patch on commercial "reef ready" overflow boxes. The BeanAnimal setup was designed from the start to do what you want with lots of fail safe features. Go read the website about it, there is a ton of information on how/why it works so well.

HTH,

I am drilling the tank myself. I will upgrade to a BeanAnimal, good thing I ordered a couple extra bulkheads :beer:

Now, here is my shopping list after looking at his website. Im using 1" PVC, so I've got;

3 SlipxSlip Tee's, instead of sanitary tees
3 SlipxSlip 45's, for directing the pipes into the sump at the bottom
3 Slip End Caps, gluing on the top of the standpipes at the back
3 SlipxSlip 90's, for inside the overflow box, one facing down, two facing up

I already have the gate valve, I dont know where to get that spigot he has on top of the one open standpipe, and the airline I already have. Is there anything else I'm missing?

rhickman17
08/05/2015, 07:43 AM
For the siphon on the BeanAnimal, why must I run a tee into a cap, why can I not just run the pipe into a 90 at the back, and forget the tee and the cap that resemble a standpipe? Seems pointless to me but is there a scientific reason for that?

On my open pipe (the second emergency) I know I need to run a standpipe to have the airline come up and over. My question is should I drill all three of the bulkheads in a straight line, or should I have my main siphon a little lower than the other two? And where would I look to find that spigot that goes into the top of the PVC cap to attach the airline?

On the last pipe, again why must I run it into a tee? Seems pointless. All three lines terminate about 1" below the waters surface in the sump correct?


My silicone questions have to do with building the internal overflow. Do I have to use a Momentive 108 or similar silicone for it? Or would a regular GE1 or some other silicone that is aquarium safe work for this?

Thanks in advance, sorry for all the questions, but you seem to know what you're doing.

Rick

Shawn O
08/05/2015, 08:09 AM
Any Aquarium silicone will do. The outside Ts were for cleaning purposes, 90s will work just as well but will require removing them to dislodge any stuck debris. Drill all bulkheads in a straight line, adjust height by cutting the elbows/Ts in the overflow. That fitting the airline goes into is called a john Guest fitting. If you only use 90s on the outside you would need to use Ts on the open channel and Emergency channels inside the overflow. On the Open channel, add a threaded end, a threaded (inside/ outside) reducer bushing and the Guest fitting to make it easy to install.

Pipes are as listed:
Siphon, Open Channel and Emergency Channel.

Siphon runs a full siphon, throttled by a gate or ball valve to force approximately 10% of the drainage through the open channel.

The Open Channel could/should(?) be a bit taller than the siphon channel. The flow through the Open Channel should be just enough that the water sticks to the sides of the pipe and the air in the center of the pipe is undisturbed (so it won't gurgle). The air line attached with the John Guest fitting should be set so that it remains above the water line except when/if the water rises too much and submerges the air line's end, causing the Open Channel to become a full siphon. You can use a zip tie to fasten it to the emergency pipe just above the normal water line.

The Emergency pipe is to be installed taller (setting your max safe water level) and be dry at all times, except during an emergency. It should also terminate above the water line in the sump to notify you by the splashing noise it'll make.


IHTH. Good luck.

rhickman17
08/05/2015, 09:41 AM
Any Aquarium silicone will do. The outside Ts were for cleaning purposes, 90s will work just as well but will require removing them to dislodge any stuck debris. Drill all bulkheads in a straight line, adjust height by cutting the elbows/Ts in the overflow. That fitting the airline goes into is called a john Guest fitting. If you only use 90s on the outside you would need to use Ts on the open channel and Emergency channels inside the overflow. On the Open channel, add a threaded end, a threaded (inside/ outside) reducer bushing and the Guest fitting to make it easy to install.

Pipes are as listed:
Siphon, Open Channel and Emergency Channel.

Siphon runs a full siphon, throttled by a gate or ball valve to force approximately 10% of the drainage through the open channel.

The Open Channel could/should(?) be a bit taller than the siphon channel. The flow through the Open Channel should be just enough that the water sticks to the sides of the pipe and the air in the center of the pipe is undisturbed (so it won't gurgle). The air line attached with the John Guest fitting should be set so that it remains above the water line except when/if the water rises too much and submerges the air line's end, causing the Open Channel to become a full siphon. You can use a zip tie to fasten it to the emergency pipe just above the normal water line.

if they're all the drilled at the same height, how would I change the height? All the drain holes are the same height so I put an extra piece of pvc in the down turned siphon elbow?

The Emergency pipe is to be installed taller (setting your max safe water level) and be dry at all times, except during an emergency. It should also terminate above the water line in the sump to notify you by the splashing noise it'll make.


IHTH. Good luck.

That did help quite a bit so thank you for your input Shawn, how high should I mount the overflow box and how deep should I make it? Just deep enough for the elbows to clear or leave a few inches between the bottom of the siphon and the box bottom?

TotalReefer
08/05/2015, 10:10 AM
I've been researching these systems as well, Rhickman. From what I've read you want to keep the downspouts pretty close to the box bottom to minimize junk from settling in the overflow.

rhickman17
08/06/2015, 01:54 PM
I've been researching these systems as well, Rhickman. From what I've read you want to keep the downspouts pretty close to the box bottom to minimize junk from settling in the overflow.

OK sounds good. I now have to find fittings to reduce my plumbing down for those John guest fittings. I'll be heading to a plumbing supply store tomorrow to check it out. I picked up the silicone today for my INTERNAL overflow box, and I won't be doing the external box on this tank.

Thanks everyone who gave input. I'll be posting some pics as things get completed.. Drilling, fitting and testing the plumbing to be specific.