Homemade Aqaurium Weir Siphon Overflow Box

First off, what is the world is an aquarium weir siphon overflow box?

Well, everyone knows what an aquarium is, and that I like my fish tanks!
Most people are familiar with a siphon – a hose that allows you to drain water out of a container over the side of the container.
A weir is basically a long dam where the water overflows for the full length of the dam.
An overflow box is a type of aquarium filter.

So, basically, I am making a dam, that siphons water out of a fish tank.
The neat thing about doing it this way, is that the siphon won’t ‘break’ when the water level gets too low, as the weir (or dam) will hold the siphon. Quite a clever setup actually. I wish I had thought of it.
I read about this probably well over a year ago. I did a quick search, and found the same site! http://www.melevsreef.com/acrylics/overflow.html

So, with a quick look over their instructions, I completely disregarded them as to measurements, and made up my own. I just wanted the concept.

So, after much scientific analysis, here are my measurements. Yeah, Yeah, I mocked it up in cardboard. I did actually take a measurement! I measured the inside of my 4″x4″x4′ nano tank. The idea is that I will make a ‘stream’ fish tank like nobody else has!


So, from the 1 measurement, I made it square, as an overflow box MUST be BOX shaped, or it’s an overflow rectangle, and, well, we just can’t have that. I started cutting away at my plastic.

This is a high-precision operation I run hear. Silicone my tolerances! I taped the two sides together, and cut them with a coping saw.

After many long, excruciating seconds calculating the flow rate for the whole contraption, I just held the damn thing up to the tank and eyeballed how high I wanted the water to be in the tank and made the weir element that tall.

Here you can see the start of the inside of the siphon element. You can start to see the difficulties assembly will incur, due to the various bits and pieces getting in the way of sealing the seams. It can really only be assembled from the inside out and be able to be sealed. (high tolerances, remember?)

This is what the completed unit would look like. It’s just taped together here, waiting to be cut apart and glued together.

This is what it looks like hanging on the side of the tank. Pretty cool looking, I think. I need to add the outflow pipes yet. But you can get the idea. The water will overflow the weir on the right side, inside the aquarium. The water will be siphoned over to the left side, where it will overflow the second weir into the outflow box.



Remember those high tolerances. Yeah, you know, measure twice, cut once. Don’t let the ruler slide around as you cut. I have a leak. I turned the thing upside down, and filled the siphon area to see if it will hold water. Nope, my work ‘sucks’ air. No worry. 100% Aquarium silicone to seal up the leak. **grin**.

Industrial Flat Roof Leak Detection

At work, the HVAC guy was in yesterday, trying to hunt down the leaks in the roof. (We had a leak the night before when it wasn’t raining, so there was an AC condensation buildup, the traps had gotten messed up this winter. )

He was tasked with sourcing the OTHER leaks as well (not sure how that’s his responsibility, but, to some a leak is a leak, if he can fix one, he can fix them all). Talk about mission impossible. Flat roof, with lots of stuff sitting on top, with holes poked through for whatnot.
Rainy day, the roof leaks. They can’t work on it in the rain. They come a day or two later. How do you catch the leak then?
My idea, send a ‘salesman’ out with my idea. Find the leak, mark it. 
You know those 3/4 rotor UAV/RC helicopter thingys?
Yeah, like that.
Use one of those in the attic space to fly right up and have a look at the roof.
I am thinking dual video cameras, with rotating polarizers and multiple colored lights to make the water leaks visually ‘pop’ out at the UAV operator.
Basically, it would need to be a ‘smart’ R/C able to fly up to a wall, maybe even brush it, but not drive hard into it even if told to.
The UAV would need some pretty good sensors to keep from trying to fly through the wires that hold the ceiling tiles up, insulation, etc. If done right, you could probably even get it to fly through the roof structure steel ‘by feel’, letting it bump and dodge it’s way through.
Hrmm, a RC flier that can ‘feel’ it’s way through an obstacle course. Might be fun in the woods too…

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Fish tanks

I realized tonight, that I hadn’t shown recent photos of my fish tanks.
A buddy of mine gave me a 75 gallon tank. I cleaned it up a bit, got the water spots and salt stains off of it. I have 1 Jack Dempsy in it. The other one I got with the tank lasted about a week, died when I was in Florida sometime. It was on borrowed time, as my friend figured it wouldn’t have made this last Christmas, much less this far into this year.

The big tank is in the living room. It kinda dominates the room, but not too much so I hope. It’s used as a resting place for some decorations. Looks pretty good, to me.

I actually bought some fish recently. I Pleco, 3 Kuhli loaches, and a dozen ghost shrimp. The pleco looks happy as a clam, with that big piece of driftwood. The Kuhlis are contantly free-swimming about the tank. Pretty rare, to have them swimming around like that. They are even starting to eat from the surface.
A close up of 2 of my kulis. I love this little buggers for some reason. Way too snake like, but so much fun just the same.

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