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Drain/Return issues


guitareefs

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I'm starting to set up my 100 gallon. I filled it with water to test for leaks, and none so far.

I'm having trouble with my return. I have a Quiet One 3000 (I was told it would be too much for my tank and I was told it'd be just fine) so my drain has pretty good flow, but my return is sucking up water like crazy. I have a ball valve to control the flow, but it still sucks up water fast, leaving the return area very low on water.

And I guess my skimmer is my flow for the sump? It's pretty slow at getting water across. If I let my drain go full blast, it would just fill up the skimmer section which would lead to filling up the fuge section then getting the same dirty water through the return.

How do I get equal flow from my drain and return?

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I will take a pic later, I'm in class right now...but

1st time I tried everything for the first time...I left the drain open while I filled up the tank to let some water in the sump. Before I turn the skimmer and return pump on, the water level is about 2" below the rim of the main tank. The skimmer section, fuge, and return section is full (baffles are 8" high). I turn on the return pump first to get the tank water level at the rim. I shut the return pump off and I then let the tank drain again with skimmer on to get water moving in the sump. Once the return section was full I then turned the return back on. The return sucked up water pretty fast and almost emptied the return section quick.

I think the problem is the bubble trap I made. I bought a 55 gallon tank and placed baffles in myself. Anyway, the water from the skimmer flows out into the bubble trap but the water just tends to stay in the bubble trap and back track back into the skimmer section. It's all very confusing and I was getting very frustrated

Any help would be great. I know it might sound confusing

Thanks

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I don't think the problem is your return pump. If I understand correctly something is stopping the water getting back to the return section of your sump fast enough. It sounds like it isn't your drain. I would try removing some of the panels from the bubble trap and see if that works.

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Yep, that's what I came home and worked on. I removed two of the baffles from the bubble trap and it's working alot better! Now I have to figure out how to get water to the return from the fuge faster. Both baffles left in place are the same height. Should the fuge/return baffle be shorter?

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A pic would help tremendously. It sounds like you have a seperate skimmer chamber and the drain is feeding that? And then the skimmer feeds the refuge and drain? If this is the case then that is your problem. Regardless of what you setup in the sump, the drain must feed the return. You can have skimmers, heaters, UV sterilizers, etc. in between, but when you turn all that stuff off, or remove it, the drain must feed the return chamber (directly or indirectly) or it is not going to work.

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you shouldnt have to regulate your drain with a valve. and if you do have to regulate your return pump with a valve, you should use a tee to redirect water from the return area in your sump, to the drain area in your sump. that way the dirty water just passes back through the skimmer section. or, you dont even have to tee it all the way over to your drain area. you could just add a tee and let the water drain right there into the return area.

the basic "bleed off" setup would be from the return pump to a tee, after the tee would be a valve on each end. one valve would be to control the amount of water going back to the display, and the other valve would be to control how much water goes back into the sump. if you dont have the 2 valves, there is nothing stopping water from going full force through the end of the tee that doesnt have a valve. its just a basic bleed line, and it will keep your sump full, but the water will still go just as fast through the sump. if you want to have less flow going through your sump you should get a smaller pump rated for less gph than the one you have now... you could simply use a valve right after the return pump to restrict the flow, but thats bad for the pump.

its not bad to have a huge turnover through your sump. alot of people say that the gph going through your sump should equal the gph of your skimmer pump, but its all the same water, so if your skimmer misses some water before it makes it back into the display, its ok. just as long as there are no pockets of detritus settling in any part of the display or sump, it should be fine

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