If you keep an aquarium, you know how much trouble they can be to set up and maintain. However, an overflow box makes aquatic life easier by allowing you to forego drilling and instead connecting your filter directly to the aquarium. If your overflow box goes on the blink, there can be disastrous results, including flooding. At the first sign of issues, troubleshoot and fix your overflow box before worse comes to worse.
If things seem a little slow, you may need to double-check the pump. This could be a sign that the pump you are using is too small for your aquarium. Check the pump's gallons per hour rating to determine you are using the proper pump to correspond with your overflow box. There may also be a microbubble issue. This happens when small bubbles build up in the U-tube and can bring the entire overflow to a halt, causing many other problems. Monitor your tank's U-tube on a regular basis, especially if things are moving slowly. Do this to ensure that microbubbles are not building up, which could damage your siphon and your overflow box, or cause a blockage that could halt the system and break your box, resulting in you having to replace the overflow altogether, if you do not fix the issue in time. Remove the tube and clean it if you spot microbubbles.
A Blocked Box
A blockage is an issue that can ruin your overflow box and cause your aquarium to flood. You will know there is a blockage when your overflow box stops working altogether. There are a couple of things that can cause a blockage, namely aquarium plants or even fish that become stuck in the box. Disassemble the box to look for the problem, and inspect the aquarium screens. Clean the parts with a special pipe brush to remove debris or coral, which may be causing the blockage, and then put the box back together. Check the overflow box, screens, and tubes weekly to eliminate the possibility of blockages in the future.
There is nothing more soothing than the gentle babble of an aquarium; if you hear a loud, offensive gurgling noise coming from your overflow, chances are there is something amiss. Check the water volume to make sure it is not too fast for your tank and the amount of water in your aquarium, and see if the return line valve is sending water too fast. You may need to install a standpipe to eliminate any noise, or purchase a CPR overflow to reduce sounds.
Leaky Overflow Chamber
You may notice the water level is low inside the overflow chamber. In this case, there may be a leak in the tank's plumbing or a break in the seam. This can cause an overflow that is not watertight, and could cause lower water levels. Check the seal on your standpipe, and adjust the water level height if necessary. A seam leak requires complete replacement of the plumbing or the tank itself if the leak becomes larger.