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kingjam

IBC Fish Tank Overflow Drain

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My system pumps from sump to FT then drains down to DWC raft growbed that is bridge syphoned back to the sump. Having problem with FT overflow drain's strainer plugging up, so that the IBC FT overflows thereby leaving sump and growbed dry.

Anyone have a good design for the overflow standpipe drain?

Kingjam

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What size pipe are you using for the over flow drain ? Mine is 2in.

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Having problem with FT overflow drain's strainer plugging up, so that the IBC FT overflows thereby leaving sump and growbed dry.

Hi Kingjam,

My systems are configured totally differently to yours,

However, I had the problem with an overflow drain strainer blocking up also.

I added an additional overflow a couple of inches higher than the original one (just as a back up).

Its purely there only as a fail safe..& if I ever see it in use..well I know its time to clean out the original one.:P

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I have one installed too. I call it "the edge of the tank" :) hehe. Its always good to have a back-up overflow for your FT.

I placed a net in my FT overflow because the small fingerlings would find their way into the grow bed. But the net would always clog causing the FT to overflow and dry up the sump. My fish are big now so I removed the net. No more clogging issues. But when I place new fingerlings in my system, I'll install a backup overflow or isolate them using small floating cages :).

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My overflow drain is only 1 1/4", however the diameter is not the problem but the problem is that the vegetation that the fish chew up completely blocks the screen and so the FT overflows leving the sump and the DWC bed dry. Yesterday my son-in-law built a double drain extension within the FT. These can be rotated so as to be at two different levels. The lower one acts as the drain and the higher one acts as a back-up drain. He also used PVC adapters to make the drain intake into 3" which helped the problem somewhat, however it doesn't take many sweet potato leaves to completely block 3" screen. I need to find something that I can use as a large basket that will expand the blockable surface much larger...any suggestions?

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My overflow drain is only 1 1/4", however the diameter is not the problem but the problem is that the vegetation that the fish chew up completely blocks the screen and so the FT overflows leving the sump and the DWC bed dry. Yesterday my son-in-law built a double drain extension within the FT. These can be rotated so as to be at two different levels. The lower one acts as the drain and the higher one acts as a back-up drain. He also used PVC adapters to make the drain intake into 3" which helped the problem somewhat, however it doesn't take many sweet potato leaves to completely block 3" screen. I need to find something that I can use as a large basket that will expand the blockable surface much larger...any suggestions?

Kingjam,

Maybe you should have a look at what Gary did when feeding his fish with Duckweed, he used a bucket with the bottom cut out so the fish could access the vegetation without it being dispersed everywhere.

It sounds like this could possibly be the simple suggestion your looking for perhaps with your sweet potato leaves?

Gary's link & pictures are here (feeding bucket is approx 1/2 way down the page)..http://www.microponics.net.au/?cat=18

Hope this helps solve the strainer blocking:)

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You could try building a cage around the inlet pipe that is 3" or 4" away form the inlet.. otherwise I like Gary's idea. Thanks Shane good link.

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Thanks everyone for your info and help. My double drain so far remains unclogged for 24 hours, but the fine mesh covering them will eventually get clogged. I will check out the feeding bucket idea as I do want to resume feeding the leaves. I am currently tweaking my 2 55 gallon filter system adjusting the overflows to match the intake volume, and await the delivery of my moving bed media. When these filters finally come on line I hope that will solve my leaf-solids buildup problem.

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FYI I came across a suggestion for a drain filter that I will try. The idea is to use a stitchery grid that is rolled around the drain and zip-tied into place and have the standpipe in an vertical alignment. This will allow the water to rise higher as the holes get plugged, but eventually when all the holes are plugged, it will just overflow over the top. The top would be just below the top of the tank.

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Update: I just completed the new overflow drain using the stitchery grid, and I worked really well. I'm so happy. That plastic stitchery grid was just the thing needed. For those interested, I bought six sheets and as it turned out, I only used one sheet that I cut that made two drain strainers. Each sheet only cost me 59 cents plus the zip ties.

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I'll place this here instead of a new post. I plan on using a bottom drawing overflow and need to keep goldfish out of the 2" pipe. Would a standard 2" intake screen / bulkhead strainer work for this? I could put a T fitting at the bottom and use two of them.

I guess I could put a T at the bottom with two capped 2" PVC pipes covered in 1 3/4" holes then wrap it with that stitchery grid (plastic cross stitch grid?).

The 2" FPT slip adapters on a slip T and two bulkhead strainers would be less work.

Then again I could just make a tube out of the plastic cross stitch grid and zip tie the end closed to avoid drilling holes. Hell I could make a 1ft cube out of plastic cross stitch grid and run the pipe into it.

What do you guys think? The cube as silly as it sounds might be the easiest and cheapest. Does anyone else worry about non food safe plastic as much as I do?

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Jobney

If I understand you correctly, your overflow intake pipe is at the bottom and the out flow is over the top using siphon with a U shape on the outside to control the overflow height. If this is the case, the only thing you need to worry about is that the holes in the bottom are large enough to allow debri through but smaller than the fish.

I used a PVC adapter that goes from a 1 1/2 inch to a 3 inch size. Then I inserted a short length of 3 inch pipe into it to form a little lip around which I wrapped the cross stitch screen and zip tied it in place. The larger 3 inch size allows a greater surface ares for screening the overflow water. If it gets plugged, the water simply overflows over the top of the screen without overflowing the IBC.

In addition, I have a similar bottom uptake pipe that is Teed that syphons over into my settling filter. The Overflow drain is to handle the extra water flow that is not handled by the syphon. Eventually I want to increase the syphon capacity to totally handle the water flow.

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Close... just the standard fish tank bottom sucking output with built in overflow/vent.

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I think the problem with any kind of screen on an overflow drain is that it keeps the solids in the FT where removal becomes problematic. I use a SLO that goes to the bottom of my tank with a minimal gap (3/16 to 1/4) between it and the tank bottom. Sorta acts like a vacuum cleaner and the solids move on to the mechanical filter where they belong and are easily removed.

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So the real need is for something that will keep fish away from the exit tube via psychological control. Maybe some moving fake wading bird feet.

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