Week 5: Plumbing, Overflows, and Return Pumps | 52 Weeks of Reefing #BRS160
An overflow is used to get water from the aquarium safely down to the sump and they come in a few different types. Your typical reef ready tank comes with an overflow already installed, you can buy a hang on overflow or install a custom overflow for standard or non-reef ready tanks.
There are three main ways to plumb your overflow, all of which are designed to help make it silent, safe and prevent gurgling. All three are named after the reefer who made it popular with the Durso, Herbie and Bean Animal.
The Durso standpipe uses a single overflow standpipe with a vent hole and adjustable air valve in the top. This allows you to fine tune a small amount of air into the overflow. Without the air vent the pipe would pull a full siphon which will continually start and stop with a ton of really loud gurgling.
Hobbyists have worked to further improve on that to make it safer and even quieter with the Herbie overflow . The Herbie uses two overflows; a primary and an emergency. Rather than use air to control the water like the Durso does it uses a gate valve to fine tine the flow of water to a complete siphon with no air getting sucked in which basically makes it completely silent. The second emergency overflow is required just in case something like a fish, snail or chunk of algae gets sucked into the main overflow and reduces flow.
To step that up one more notch the bean animal combines both of these together to achieve something that is ultra silent , ultra safe and really easy to tune. The bean animal uses a gate valve on the primary overflow, a secondary stability overflow with a hole drilled in it which is capable of accounting for small fluctuations in water flow while never creating a full siphon, and an emergency overflow which will handle the water it something happens to the other two. The bean animal is really the gold standard these days and what most of us want to use if we can.
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