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Discussion Starter #1
On my 125G - no, the tank's not leaking at the regulator...

In order to get the CO2 in my 125G tank, I have it controlled (to stop at pH 6.4) - it is a pure and vicious stream of bubbles in my counter (and fully dissolved before it makes it into the tank).

I have an overflow and a sump and I just can't believe how much CO2 I'm losing because of this. I'm not turning that much (maybe 50gph) over (CO2 is on a separate flow system), but really considering a re-design to get rid of the sump and overflow. I don't think the degassing is happening at the sump so much as it is trickling down the overflow - as it is the same sump (and pump) that I used on my 55G.

However, I like the sump and overflow because it keeps the top clear and un-gunked - and I can keep a constant level of water in the tank (and it's an easy place to throw fertilizers).

I'm thinking of moving to an ATO directly in the tank and replacing the sump/overflow with a canister filter, but still want to keep the surface scum-free.

Just ranting now for ideas...
 

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Wow...that's incredible. Shouldn't even go through 10lbs in that little time.

I have no experience with a sump but I think several people run one with no problems.

Sorry about the frustration. Is it CO2 tubing or just regular tubing you are using? Diffuser or reactor? Maybe the issue lays within one of those.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
loss through the tubing is effectively a myth for low-pressure systems - for loss to occur, it requires a substantial amount of pressure difference between the exterior wall of the tubing (the atmosphere) and the tubing. I did the math one time and it was less than 0.1% potential leakage.

I use a 2"x24" reactor where it hits the impeller of a Quiet One 3600 (IIRC). Barely a mist exits the system, so it's very dissolved.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't have the sump covered, but I designed it so there is no "gurgling" (using Standpipe/Durso)...

The thought of sealing/covering the sump has come up, but the only turbulence I can think of is when water trickles over the overflow.... (and you can't hear that either...).

- Jeff
 

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I was having the same problem with my R/R 125 tank. I tried everything I could think of and even posted for some answers but nothing worked. The problem exists were you think it does and that is the overflow boxes but also in the line itself if you are using anything larger than 5/8 inch ID tubing and any type of surface agitation in the sump. I wanted the overflow as well for skimming purposes but more than a hundred bucks later and more than several frustrating hours I finally gave up and decided to cut the boxes out, bulkhead the holes and went with a Eheim pro 3 canister filter. It has a great bio function that is perfect for a live plant system but like you I still I don't like the fact that the surface water is dirty but the results and the expense of Co2 out of the picture I see the benefit of canister filter over the overflow box system.

If you are still trying to solve this riddle there are a couple of things I can suggest since I have learned some more about this hobby. You could try a closed pump system were you plumb the pump and lines together but there are obstacles to over come like filter media, carbon, polishing media and so on. I thought of designing my own plumb line filter were you build it out of PVC and take it apart with a cap to replenish the media but it would be a challenge to build and several would be made before it would work correctly. the other obstacle is air in the line but that is easy with Eheim module suction and return piping . These pipes have a screw cap for priming purposes, because they reach further down into your tank you need to pour water into then to help the priming process. You could use these pipe to fill the line then turn on the pump to expel any left over air.

The other idea I have that might help is something I have learned from the Eheim bio function and that is to have one very slow pump (mag drive 250) for 12 day light hours and a faster pump (mag drive 500) for the second 12 twilight hours. This would reduce the amount of Co2 loss during your light cycle and give the plants a better opportunity to absorb the Co2 gas and at night it would help the plants expel the
Co2 gas. I don't think this will solve the problem completely because you might need to adjust the bubble rate during these cycles or shut it down or something but again this is only a theory.

I am interested in how you make out and good fortune to you on this matter.
 

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Wowzers. They make surface skimming attachments for the inflows on canister filters. I have a cheap ebay one that looks like the Hagen/Fluval one and it works wonderfully.

 

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20lb in 2 month, wow. I vote for a eheim canister filter. ;) Though not impossible, it's a fighting battle with a sump filter on a planted tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Couple of updates here gang:

1) I put a gate valve at the output of the sump's pump and reduced it to a trickle, literally. I still get a little flowing off-the-top of the tank into the overflow, but its very slow now. I actually measured the pH difference between the tank and the sump and found out I was losing almost 70% of the CO2 in the water as it went to the sump. Other than shutting down the sump altogether, I figured if I'm going to lose that much CO2 - I would do it with as little water as necessary. I still like the overflow for its ability to skim the top and maintain a constant water line, and the sump as a place to keep the extra water and a place to throw the ferts, etc...

2) The wife got me an XP4 for Christmas - I'm not a big believer that a planted tank needs much bio filtration beyond what can exist in the sand, water, on the walls and on the plants... I do like the mechanical filtration aspects however and the clarity is way better. We'll see if I get any other aspects that I might (via no scientific way) attribute to additional bio media.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

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Couple of updates here gang:

1) I put a gate valve at the output of the sump's pump and reduced it to a trickle, literally. I still get a little flowing off-the-top of the tank into the overflow, but its very slow now. I actually measured the pH difference between the tank and the sump and found out I was losing almost 70% of the CO2 in the water as it went to the sump. Other than shutting down the sump altogether, I figured if I'm going to lose that much CO2 - I would do it with as little water as necessary. I still like the overflow for its ability to skim the top and maintain a constant water line, and the sump as a place to keep the extra water and a place to throw the ferts, etc...

2) The wife got me an XP4 for Christmas - I'm not a big believer that a planted tank needs much bio filtration beyond what can exist in the sand, water, on the walls and on the plants... I do like the mechanical filtration aspects however and the clarity is way better. We'll see if I get any other aspects that I might (via no scientific way) attribute to additional bio media.

Thanks for the feedback.
Seal your overflows with clear tape, raise the height of the durso, and seal your sump using weather stripping and acrylic or glass lids. Problem solved. For mechanical filtration used sock filters. I will never service a canister filter ever again.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Once I seal the sump (it is not a wet-dry) - I kill the #1 reason I have it: Accessibility.

I had tried this on my 55G and each time I wanted to throw something in the sump (ferts) or add water to the tank, I had to pull it off... and then put it back on.

I don't use it as a filter as much as I use it as a place to throw stuff and add water (a real pain to lift a 5G bucket full of water 5' in the air to set it on-top of the tank so I can fill - heck, I just pour it in the sump). But I do like the sock idea.

(and this is my first real canister filter - if it's cons start outweighing its pros, look for it for-sale on FS/T ;) ).
 

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Sumps are tough. I went through a 20lb in a month on a 190 holding set-up that spilled one tank into the next. On my 190 I go through a 10 lb bottle every 3 months, but I have lots of current and keep it at 6.5 ph all the time. I would seriously consider scrapping the sump and going with a nice canister filter, or pentair modules. Just my $.02
 

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Once I seal the sump (it is not a wet-dry) - I kill the #1 reason I have it: Accessibility.

I had tried this on my 55G and each time I wanted to throw something in the sump (ferts) or add water to the tank, I had to pull it off... and then put it back on.

I don't use it as a filter as much as I use it as a place to throw stuff and add water (a real pain to lift a 5G bucket full of water 5' in the air to set it on-top of the tank so I can fill - heck, I just pour it in the sump). But I do like the sock idea.

(and this is my first real canister filter - if it's cons start outweighing its pros, look for it for-sale on FS/T ;) ).
So make the lids in three sections, not a hassle to life a 10 inch piece of acrylic.

:kev: <- I don't know what that means but I felt I needed to include it in this post.
 

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At least you're not alone, lol. My 125 with 55 sump uses a 10lb cylinder every 3 weeks. And before anyone says it, I don't have any leaks. It's consistently used this amount for > 10 months.

I'm now transitioning this tank to low light and will dial back the Mazzei accordingly. Refilling the tank at $11.00 every 3 weeks isn't that big of a deal to me though. I have a Nexair 3 minutes away.

There are advantages to a sump setup that I really like:
1. Place to dump my dry ferts
2. Place to hide heaters, reactors other equipment
3. Constant water level in display tank
4. Can do water changes from the sump
5. Extra water volume for high bioloads
6. Can use sock filters for mechanical filtration
7. Helps mitigate danger of CO2 overdose
8. No surface scum

The disadvantages are getting to me as time goes by:
1. Noise (even with Durso standpipes)
2. Extra water volume (need more CO2 and ferts)
3. The space my internal overflows take up and the flow issues they cause
4. Overflows eat dwarf shrimp (and it's a PITA getting them out of filter socks:rolleyes:)

One day I'll probably tear this tank down and cut out the overflow walls to run a canister setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It's been several weeks now since I've reduced the flow through the sump significantly, and I still reap the benefits (I don't use a sock) with a lot less CO2 loss.

I also don't have any noise (and haven't gotten any shrimp... yet, so I'm not losing those).
 

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hi,
I am glad to have found a few APD folks who have sumps. I decided to use sumps and internal overflows on my 3 new tanks.... set up 2 months ago. I am still tweaking things. I knew CO2 loss could be a problem, so i did a few things but not as much as i could (e.g. the sumps have covers, but not completely sealed yet; The overflow compartment is going to have a cover, but the acrylic is not cut yet; the dorso is high but not as high as it could be; and the water flow rate is moderate with teh pump and head for my tank.
My CO2 tank went empty today (but not sure if it was full at the start), so i starting to think about my CO2 injection.. I am using a needle wheel skimmer pump(OTP-1000 Pump Assembly with Needlewheel Impeller) that outputs into the intake of the sump pump (QuietOne 4000). This is an extremely efficient CO2 injection system.

When reading this thred, i wondered if my bubble rate may have been too high, so i lowered it to several bps (before i couldnt even count them). I set the initial rate by guessing the amount needed to drop the pH to 6 which i guestimated was needed for my KH. I watched the fish to be sure none were gasping at the surface. All was good, so i left it running that way for past 2 months.

After dropping the bps today,the annonying mist of fine bubbles is less but more importantly, it seems that the plants are pearling more... even the Echinodorus horemanni red which seemed to be growing slowly, that i reported to APD in the ADG forum. There i questioned if the possible effect of low pH of ADA AquaSoil on a few plant species, but now i wonder if CO2 is another influence.

The lower bubble rate should give me much longer life from the CO2 tank. Now i expect it to last a year on my two 90g tanks.

I would love to hear more about others experiences with sumps and overflows. Most days, I am enjoying mine. :) Lots of advantages, and one that i have not previously heard: I use the sump as a holding tank for plants and fish. It is like buy one, get one free. Also, i am interested in the possibility that too much CO2 is no good. Also see my related thred on BarrReporthttp://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquatic-plant-fertilization/5196-too-much-co2-mist.html?posted=1#post32844
--Neil
 

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Discussion Starter #19
hi,
I would love to hear more about others experiences with sumps and overflows. Most days, I am enjoying mine. :) Lots of advantages, and one that i have not previously heard: I use the sump as a holding tank for plants and fish. It is like buy one, get one free. Also, i am interested in the possibility that too much CO2 is no good. Also see my related thred on BarrReporthttp://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquatic-plant-fertilization/5196-too-much-co2-mist.html?posted=1#post32844
--Neil
Neil,

There seems to be a thought train out there that you must increase CO2 proportionally with any increase in lighting ad infinitem - I think there is a max limit (but don't have the want, time or resources to do this myself - after all, I've got my little 125g tank and that's the one I mostly want to see do well).

I have had similar experiences - up the CO2 to the point of gasping fish, and pearling seems to reduce and plant-growth seems to slow. It is well documented that you can "overdose" (approach a point of diminishing returns) with CO2 for terrestrial plants - I had a "discussion" with Tom which didn't go very far on the subject. The terrestrial plant data is pretty solid though - do a few google searches and several sites will come up. Also, look for a few sites that sell CO2 generators for warehouse growing - they have some articles addressing max values.
 

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There seems to be a thought train out there that you must increase CO2 proportionally with any increase in lighting ad infinitem - I think there is a max limit (but don't have the want, time or resources to do this myself - after all, I've got my little 125g tank and that's the one I mostly want to see do well)..
I am rethinking my hypothesis that too much CO2 is bad (provided that the fish are OK). First, my other CO2 tank which is bubbling at a similar rate still has CO2.... so the CO2 tank that expired may have not been full when i put it into operation on the other aquariums. Second, i have since lowered the light levels (from 12hours four T5HO Geissman 6500 to 10hrs for 2 bulbs and 5 hrs for 4 bulbs). That slowed down plant growth enough to put the light and nutrients into better balance with the CO2. (as per T Barr suggestion). The lights were driving the plant growth too much and some nutrients may have been lacking (Lieblig). This is consistent with the quoted statement above.
I had not properly recognized the intensity of these Tek lights, naively assuming that they were roughly comparable to my experiences w 4 NO tubes on as smaller and less deep tank. My issues were also complicated by the need to phase in new nutrients to supplement the initial 30-60 day burst from AquaSoil+PS. I had not yet started to regularly dose and my occasional supplements may not have been enough. There were too many thinks going on! A good thing to remember (which i had forgotten myself): It is easier to keep things in balance with less light.
So, i am now finding that the mist CO2 injection from my sump is working just fine and is sufficiently compensating for any losses from the overflow. I have since sealed the sump and this has lowered pH at the same bubble rate, suggesting less CO2 loss.
--Neil
 
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