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Reef Tank Overflow Height Adjustment

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Gerryd, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    I have adjusted the drop in my corner overflows by simply extending the 1" PVC pipe that acts as the return by about 2-2.5". I am expecting/hoping that this will result in a slightly smaller C02 loss in these overflows as the 'drop' to the water below is now less.

    I know that Tom had advised doing this in some way with a Durso standpipe, but this seems to work (so far) for my setup, but will keep you posted if otherwise.

    I just needed a collar to connect the existing 1" PVC in the overflow to a small 1" long extension. Since the collar itself is almost 2" in length, you don't need very much extra pipe at all, just enough to connect the old and new.

    It is much quieter and you can hear the difference immediately. I just did this so I do not know yet the effect on c02 loss, but the noise alone was worth it.

    CAUTION: Please bear in mind that this will result in the overflows holding a bit more water. Please account for this when the pumps are off and they drain into the sump. I had to make a few cuts before I found a length that did not overflow the sump. While the drain height is higher, it did not account for the extra volume in the overflows, at least for my setup.

    Combining this with the nenew wly enclosed sump and the use of a 500 gph pump on a much larger reactor (Aqua Medic Reactor 1000) than before, I expect to lose even less c02 and deliver more to my plants.

    Questions:

    1. My sump capacity is about 5 gallons at a level where it will not overflow if power is lost. Can I just get a bigger sump or does it have to match the size of the tank (180 gal)?

    I have a trickle filter with both 1" intakes into the trickle column and pumps sitting in the sump. Has worked well for years but if an upgrade would help....
    Also, I could get bigger pumps (currently use two 500 gph) and get a better turnover/flow rate.


    2. I currently have a high fish load and do not fertilize AT ALL. I want to switch to EI, but wanted to know if I can dose in incremental stages, e.g dose only 25% of normal for a week or two, then increase slowly until I hit normal dosing levels.

    I have many stable cryptocoryne (%90 of plant species) but do not want to experience a meltdown with many water chemistry (due to fert routine) changes at once. However, I have started weekly %50 water changes, so this should help even if I do nothing else.

    Or does EI need to be all in?

    What do you folks think?



    Thanks again for all of your help,
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You can and should get a bigger sump, no issue there.

    Yes, you can dose say at 25% of normal levels.
    Also, realize CO2 is going to be the largest issue for you.

    Take care of that prior.

    There is no reason to go 100% EI dosages if you have a lower light tank and higher fish loads.

    However, it also should not harm any tank (either fish, plants, or cause any algae) if the other parameters such as water changes and CO2 are done well.

    If so, then you did something wrong.

    I've heard every excuse in the book, lots of claims etc.

    I go back and consistently without fail, I am unable to induce such changes or show any sort of correlation or cause when I repeat the test based on these folk's claims.

    CO2 is a huge issue if you chose to use it.
    Getting it right is critical.

    Obviously if you limit PO4 or NO3, or some other nutrient you are not aware of.....the tank will use CO2, not more.

    So while 10-15ppm may work well when you limit PO4, or Fe etc, when you add more PO4, Fe etc, the demand for CO2 goes way up.

    Then if you do not account for that and add more CO2, you get algae.
    However, that's the aquarist's fault for not adding more CO2, and PO4 or Fe excess, rather non limiting levels of PO4 and Fe do not cause the algae, the CO2 limitation did.

    Still, all they see and think is it is the PO4 or Fe dosing.
    since when they reduce it back to what they where use to to begin with, their "problem" goes away.

    Classic examples of why correlation can accuse the wrong parameter.

    I know some folks on the web that have years experience, some can make nice scapes etc, but they still do not get this concept and are sure I must be wrong.

    Just do not be so sure of your self and what you think.
    always check and recheck the CO2 and when you are wits end, play around with it and you'll learn.

    I know many folks that think it's something only to later realize, slap in the head, it was CO2. I myself are among that group, but I go back and confirm it.

    I also try and induce things based on claims. When I am careful and do the excess K+, or PO4, or Fe etc, I do not get those same results.

    For it to be causal, I should see algae in most/all cases when PO4(or whatever nutrient) is excessive.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr






    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    On the way

    Progress so far:

    1. As stated previously, overflows have been reduced to 2.5" below the water line.
    2. Sump has been covered.
    3. C02 usage reduced by at least 75%.

    Same Ph value now set at about 8 bps (hoping to go lower), more pearling, no other changes (other than a large WC lol)..... looking better I think

    I do have 450 W of MH at 14K so am high light intensity. 12" above tank.

    Assuming I do changes in other threads (re reef tank conversion) what else can I do for c02? Obviously I have to wait to see how EI progresses but at some point I assume I will need more c02, or do I reach a plateau and go no further without causing some inbalance?

    Per your response, the dosing ultimately isn't the issue, but lack of c02 is the limiting factor or the cause of algal type issues.

    Again, sorry for the length of my replies, but appreciate all the help.


    BTW, this is an open top tank with no cover of any kind. Not sure if that makes a difference, but assume I will have better air/gas exchange at the surface.
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    One last thing.....

    One other change I made (as per prev thread) was to go to a much larger reactor driven by a 500 gph pump.

    My ph is 7.9 w/o c02 and now with all these changes is at 7.2-7.3 at about 8 bps where before it took about 10-20 times that amount to reach the same amount.

    Point is that all of these changes have WORKED well, and in a short timeframe (2 -3 days since I joined the site).

    Also per prev threads, I saw that you do like a 6500K MH. I think I will switch from my 14k............

    All my threads from the last few days are related to my one tank. I have learned a tremendous amount, thanks to all

    If I should be linking these somehow so they are easier to follow please advise how ASAP!
    :D
     
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