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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '06, 10:22 
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a mop and bucket to clean up? :wink:

I haven't even started building siphons or such yet, so no real advice

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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '06, 10:22 
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As far under the fish tub as possible. Maybe a larger diameter "loop" also.

If it dribbles without starting then you may not have a high enough in-flow rate. If it dribbles with out stopping after a syphon then its a different story.

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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '06, 10:33 
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it dribbles without starting.

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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '06, 10:40 
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It doens't over flow in this state, does it?

let it dribble, then pour a bucket of water into your bed manually, it should start.

If so then i'd say either increase your inflow rate or decrease your syphon tube diameter. But i might be full of shit :) les will sort you out :)

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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '06, 12:19 
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Hi Janet:
What does the end outside the picture frame look like? The water has to have an unrestricted flow downwards to keep the inertia going. The tube should go at least a bit lower than the bottom of the GB, and should be straight and unrestricted so the flow can be fast enough to keep it going.

My bet is the tube diameter needs to be smaller. It is easy to get a siphon working when the water is rising at a good clip and impossible if the inflow is too slow relative to the tube size.

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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '06, 17:20 
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Hi Janet, been drooling over my new fish and haven't kept up with forum matters :oops:

When the water level gets near the top of the clear pipe tip in a bucket of water so that the water level inside the GB is above the height of the siphon pipe - if it kicks and starts siphoning it means that the inflow to the GB is too low/clear tube is too large. (one tuther).

Also as Dave says about the end of the tube being lower than the GB, from memory it drops straight down to the fish tank?

Let's know the outcome (after you have reglued it) and we'll go from there

Les

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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '06, 20:13 
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The loop of clear tube is about 1 meter up from the floor. It descends at an angle to the fish tub directly on the floor. When I 'manually siphoned' to clear the tub, all I did was give the end of the tube a quick sip, and it kicked right in, even with the leaks. Glue will be cured after lunch. I think I may run over to the hardware store to get some smaller diameter tubing, too. I can glue up a second test for later today.

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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '06, 20:28 
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try and run it vertically down first, instead of at an angle

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '06, 02:48 
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well if it was that easy to start then ellkaybee is right the inflow must be to little/the pipe to big. or you might even need a smaller loop in the clear hose itself.

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '06, 05:13 
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Well, after a day of experimenting, I have learned many things. I was able to get the sealant to stick better by cleaning and roughing the surfaces (thanks CG), but my big problem was the wiggly nature of the flexible tubing. Every time I tugged on it to adjust the loop, it stressed the sealant, eventually causing that seal to fail. I also determined that the flexible pipe in the siphon was too big for the rate at which my bed fills. I had some much better (although still leaky) tests with 3/8inch tubing. (Thanks to everyone!)

The guy at the hardware store showed me how to self-tap a brass male thread/barb fitting into a PVC endcap; that gives me a much more stable base to join the PVC and tubing. Now I'm waiting for the sealant on that construct to dry. As a bonus, I've eliminated the elbow and can drain the bed down further now.

In the meantime, I caged my heaters and got them going in the larger tank, sweet-talked husband and the neighbor into installing a GFI circuit for me, washed more rocks, and drilled the inflow tubing. Things are moving along!

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '06, 07:10 
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An easy way to change the diameter of a pipe (make it smaller):

1) cut a piece of the pipe about 2" long
2) cut the pipe vertically - split it lengthwise
3) squeeze the pipe together and push it into the original pipe - you may have to slim the extra piece of pipe by cutting it about 1/8" off vertically

This saves on getting smaller diameter pipe until you know approximate diameter

Go to the hardware store and get some saddles to fit the size of pipe you are using - this will clamp the pipe in position, especially near the seals

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PostPosted: Nov 20th, '06, 03:17 
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Well, I now have leak-free components, and have gotten the siphon sized down to 3/8inch ID. I have had limited success getting that to automatically start. My biggest problem now seems to be that when I loop the tube tightly enough to get a siphon, the tube collapses after a few hours. My thoughts now are to get a plastic elbow to form the peak of the loop, and maybe even trying to bend the elbow so that it is more acute than 90 degrees. I also am going to size up the inflow tube to increase the volume there. Any ideas/suggestions/observations?

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PostPosted: Nov 20th, '06, 04:22 
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Here are some pictures so you can see the work in progress.


Attachments:
File comment: Looking down into the 'stand pipe', you can see the additional screen protection against stones clogging the outflow to the siphon.
DSCN0251 small.jpg
DSCN0251 small.jpg [ 213.32 KiB | Viewed 3039 times ]
File comment: Detail of the siphon. I have a T-connector with duct tape over the third end so that I can test the concept that the top of the loop needs to be a sharper angle. It seemed to work. The input line to the bed is in the background--not connected to the sipho
DSCN0250 small.jpg
DSCN0250 small.jpg [ 217.28 KiB | Viewed 3037 times ]
File comment: The big picture.
DSCN0249 small.jpg
DSCN0249 small.jpg [ 180.43 KiB | Viewed 3035 times ]

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PostPosted: Nov 20th, '06, 06:23 
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Janet,
I don't like the way air is being trapped in the pipe leading from the outlet to the height of the siphon - this causes resistance to water flow, so if you could have the pipe exiting and and then inclining up to where your "T" is at the top instead of looping down slightly.

Is the end of the pipe submerged (in the tank on the floor)?

Something to try - when the water fills the tube (ready to flow throw the "T" back to the tank) block of the end for about 5-10 seconds then release, it should kick in and flow freely, if this is the case keep the end submerged in the tank and see if it will then start by itself.

With inflow to the GB less than outflow the siphons are hard to start unless the end is blocked slightly - anyway try it and let's know

Les

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PostPosted: Nov 20th, '06, 06:45 
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They are great looking tubs (am I missing the hole in the floor or is it out of shot?:D). I hope you can sort out your difficulties. As for advice listen to EKB.


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