FAQs about Gear Selection for
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A shy species of bass.... Cephalopholis
formosa. Pic by Lucius Davis
Return Pump with copper parts
When in doubt, I always rush to you'll
Was just ordering a return pump for my 16 "x16" Nano reef tank.
Was going through the specifications and on one occasion landed on the
copper parts used to make the pump more reliable/durable.
Though the parts are sealed/water proof, there can be leakages and go
undetected till the pump breaks down.
The copper can then be hazardous.
<Yes and yes>
Please suggest whether there are any alternatives to these pumps and how
select one without copper
Many manufacturers do not specify the parts and in most cases claim tem
be safe for saltwater use
<Really? I would go w/ one with all plastic or ceramic impeller. There
many on the market. are you familiar with Eheim and the Mag pump lines?
Saltwater question. Wet Dry SW Filtr., rdg 12/31/16
I have a 72 gal bow front saltwater tank with a wet n dry system, I want
to add another wet and dry system to the aquarium, can I do that?
<You can, could; yes... but there are "better" filtration moda nowayears....>
And if so what size pump would I need for the both of them to work well together
to return the water to the aquarium. Please email me back regarding this matter
<Need to know more re the plumbing here, the current pump/ing... And let's have
you read, starting HERE:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
re: saltwater question... not a reader
I have a 300gph return pump on one I had a 9000ca
<? What is this?>
return pump before but it died on me and when I got a new one the water went
down too fast in the sump please help
<Help yourself... where you've been directed. BobF>
LA Fishguys Episode 152
Episode 152 of LA Fishguys, DC Pumps is now on-line.
Your promotion is in Part One
Part One https://youtu.be/Q4WODnw7Yc8
Part Two https://youtu.be/aUewpLv7zOU
Part Three https://youtu.be/2xfhbT_rfzM
<Real good mate. BobF>
Jim Stime, Jr
Aquarium Design - Installation and Maintenance
Midwater Systems - JELLIQUARIUM Jellyfish Display Systems
MyFishTank.com - Acrylic Aquariums, Stands and Canopies
LA Fishguys - Aquarium Reality Television
Sump return pump and plumbing questions
HELP, I can't make up my mind. I have information overload. I'm trying
to decide what would be the best return pump for my under cabinet sump
And how best to plumb it. I have a 110 gallon Oceanic Reef Ready Tank
with a 30 gallon Oceanic Reef Ready sump. (probably not quite big
enough, but it was a good deal) & I have a MTC HSA-250 Protein Skimmer.
<Which will run on its own pump>
The Display Tank has two compartments, one for the overflow (that I'm
planning on installing a Dursos Stand Pipe)
& the other for the return. Both are pre-drilled with two holes. One 2"
(outer most) One 1 1/2" - 1 3/4" (inner most, can't reach great to
measure but close to that).
<Use them both for the overflow... run the return/s over the top>
Any who...my questions are: I'm wanting to get at least 1100 GPH return,
however there will be at least a 3' lift from the under cabinet sump (my
holes are in the bottom of the display tank) then add the 18"+ stand
pipe(s) inside the tank. Should I have two drain pipes, both Dursos' &
<At least the two drain pipes... most of the water movement I would do
in-tank... not in/out of a/the sump>
Will one pump be sufficient?
<For the sump recirculation, yes. Again... Read here:
scroll down... for sumps, refugiums... plumbing, pump selection...
Further down, Circulation...>
If I have two returns and drains, what would be the best way to plumb
Would two pumps be required? (Again, how would I plumb that?) Can my
Skimmer handle that many GPH?
<Have to research the requirements yourself.. of pressure AND flow
rate.... from the manufacturer and tweak per your application>
My research sounds like 900 GPH is the maximum for my Skimmer, but
that's not confirmed by the manufacturer.
Just a deduction from discussions regarding the best pump for the
Skimmer from your and other websites.
Now, here comes the dumb girl questions. Explain to me the "flow" of the
plumbing. (I'll attach pictures of the sump)..
H2O comes out of the tank into the 1st sump chamber, fills that until it
reaches the narrow chamber that the previous owner had some foam like
media in. Fills that until it overflows into the largest, final chamber
where I plan to put the Skimmer. Then attach the pump(s)
to the Skimmer, pump(s)
to the return pipe(s) up to the display tank and then back again.
<Mmm; yes; you ask good questions... but I strongly suggest you have
some petfish friends come over and look at your design in place. Again,
I'd run most of the circulation WITHIN the tank itself... much quieter,
I've been doing a ton of research on what would be the best pump and
I've narrowed it down to four.
1) The Reef Octopus Water Blaster 5k, 7k or 10k.
Is bigger really better?
<Mmm; not really. Best to have "just about right" and use it full-out...
i.e. not over-sized and throttled back>
These are not cheap and come highly recommended by the website (LFS
they're sold on.
2) Jecod/Jebao DCT Marine Controllable Water Pump DTC-12000
this pump is way cheaper, but way bigger GPH. Do you really get
what you pay for?
<Not always, and sometimes...>
3)Aqueon Quietflow Submersible Aquarium Utility Pump
Again less expensive than some of the others, decent GPH, but quality??
<Middle of the road; like most all their copy-cat, relabeled mostly
4) Danner Supreme HY-Drive Water Pump 3200 GPH.
we're getting pricey again, but super GPH.
<Good units... Not to throw you a loop, but do look into the Eheim line
See what I mean! I can't decide. Don't know what the better quality
would be. Is my sump tank big enough to handle the size of pump I'm
<Not really an issue... the transit volume (water in play) is about the
same w/ any pump used... you'll need to experiment and mark the sump
water level at max. with the recirc. pump off... to avoid flooding in
the event of power, pump failure>
And the skimmer as well?
<... the manufacturer... will have this data>
ARGHHHHH! Not to mention the plumbing itself. I've read dozens of
articles and I just get more confused.
<Do NOTHING until you feel comfortable. DO PLEASE READ what we have
it is largely complete and internally compatible. AND THEN ASK specific
questions. You have a good mind obviously... as you're aware of the
basic questions and differences... >
Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Oops forgot pictures
Here they are...
Pondmaster Mag Drive Pump; saltwater mod.
Hi WWM Crew,
Thank you for your wonderful work and site. Every time I ask a question
I say that, but every time I mean it sincerely.
<Ahh, you're welcome>
Here is the information for my question tonight. I am still in the early
stages of setting up my next marine tank. I am trying to do this on a
budget, so I am trying to find good deals and sometimes gently used
equipment. A couple of months ago I got an almost new Aqua C EV-180
skimmer on e-bay. That meant I needed to get a pump. I downloaded and
printed the instructions from the Aqua C website, and they recommend a
Danner Mag Drive 7 (or any pump that rates between 700 and 800 gph), so
I have been on the lookout for a good deal on a pump. This week I found
someone who said he had a used, but working Mag Drive 7 he would sell me
fairly cheaply. He let me take it with me for a few days to test it, and
it seems to work well. Upon examining it though, it didn’t look like the
pictures, and after some internet searching I discovered it was a
Pondmaster Mag Drive 7 pump. It has been used for a marine aquarium
before, but I am not sure it is safe. It has four screws that hold the
face on that would be exposed to the water. Wouldn’t these rust and
leach metals into the water?
<Mmm; yes... I knew Eugene Danner... then his son Mike (Danner
Manuf.)... and wrote reviews for these pumps many years ago when they
first came to market. They are different (pond vs. aquarium); especially
the screws holding the volute onto the pump body... You could source
some higher stainless... to replace them>
I did some searching on WWM and didn’t find much, but I did find one FAQ
from 10 years ago where Bob mentioned these screws as a potential
problem for saltwater use. The tank will be a FOWLR for sure, and
perhaps will include some soft corals eventually.
My questions are 1) Is this a reason not to use this pump?
<IMO it is>
2) Could something be done to make it useable (covering the screws with
aquarium safe sealant, for example)?
<Switching them out as stated>
Thanks again for all your help,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Pondmaster Mag Drive Pump
Thank you for your answer. I picked up some good stainless screws for the pump,
but now I have another question about it. In the last email I told you that the
pump was a Pondmaster Mag Drive 700. I wasn't 100% certain of that since the
label on the side was missing. The guy told me it was a Mag 7, but I wanted to
be sure. So I did a couple of tests, and now I'm
confused. In the first test I used a two foot section of 3/4" (ID) PVC with an
elbow and a 6 inch section of Loc-line at the top. With this set up I filled a 5
gallon bucket in about 40 seconds.
By my calculations this is around 450 GPH. I'm a little new to figuring out head
pressure, but after reading a lot of plumbing FAQ's on WWM I think I had around
3 feet of head on this set up. For the second test I used a five foot section of
PVC with an elbow at the top (no loc-line this time). With this set up I filled
up a 5 gallon bucket in about 51 seconds. By my calculations this is around 350
GPH. I think this set up had about 6 feet of head pressure. I looked up the
head/GPH chart for the Pondmaster series on the internet. At 3 feet of head it a
Pondmaster 700 should get 500 GPH, but I only got 450 GPH.
<Aye ya; you're a sharp one... this is close>
At 6 feet of head pressure, it should have get 400, but I got only 350 GPH. Yet,
it cannot be a Pondmaster 500. They are the same physical size (according to the
specs I looked up), but at 3 feet of head a 500 gets about 375, and at 6 feet of
head it gets about 175 GPH. It's got to be a 700.
So, here are my questions . . .
1. Am I figuring the head pressure right?
2. Is it just not running at optimum level? Could this be because of age?
(It's used, but I'm not sure for how long)
I got this pump to use with my Aqua C EV-180. If it's not putting out a full 700
GPH though, I don't want to use it for that. I might instead use it for my
return pump. Let me give you a few details on my planned set up in that regard.
I have a 75 gallon tank (factory drilled with 1" drain & 3/4" return &
overflow). I'm not going to drill additional holes. After a lot of research of
WWM plumbing FAQ's, I had decided to use both of these holes for drains and
limit my flow to between 300 and 350 GPH (and make up for the rest of what I
need through power heads). I haven't figured out all the plumbing details yet,
because I'm still in the planning stages and haven't gotten my stand finished
yet, but I know I'll have about 5 to 5 1/2
feet of vertical distance from the sump to the top of the tank for the (over the
side) return. I'll have a little bit more head than that because I'll have to
move to a little the side to get out from under the tank to go over the side for
the return. I'm not sure how much additional head that will be. If I use this
pump, I know that at 6 feet of head it does around 350 GPH. If I use much more
than 6 feet of head through my eventual plumbing set up, then it will (likely)
get down to or below 300 GPH. Would that be enough flow through a sump/refugium
Would I be better off with a more powerful pump (say a new Mag 7) and use a
valve to throttle it down if need be?
<I'd stick with/use what you have>
I'm not trying to put the cart before the horse. I'm trying to figure out if I
want the pump or not. The guy gave it to me to test, but I haven't paid for it
yet. I can give it back to him. I'd like to use it, because it means
considerable savings over new one, but if I can't use it for the skimmer or the
return, then I might as well give it back to him.
Sorry about the length of this email. Thanks so much for all you do for us in
<You're fine w/ this pump. Bob Fenner>
Pump options... Pressurized filters/SW, and the use of
I have been reading up on an idea but am not getting the clear-cut
answer I need before I move forward. You have always been so helpful; I
thought I’d throw it your way J I have a 265 gallon tank I am setting
back up after a move. The pump I had before was about 650gal/hour and
serviced two refugiums as well. It worked, but obviously there is lots
of room for improvement here. I have an above ground pool pump/filter
that was used on my salt water pool.
It hasn’t been used in over a year. Its specifications are 1,200 gph
<Mmm; well; just the flow rate doesn't give the whole picture... need
(head) pressure at operating and maximum (back flush)... different pump
(motor, impeller...) configurations give a mix of both of these>
What do you think about using this?
<The simple statement: "Can work", but with provisos, warnings... that
such pressurized filters, even when filled with appropriate media (a
rarity) take a bunch of electrical energy/cost to run... and they have
downsides; real (like the cost of water to back flush/rinse) and
potential (channeling, "going anaerobic"). Another way to put my
response: "I am a much larger fan/promoter of non-pressurized" means;
like your refugiums, DSBs, the use of filter "socks"....">
I thought I could hook up some restrictions to control the flow and
maybe connect my home-made protein skimmer.
Also, I was thinking about placing some egg crate under my rock
structures to distribute the weight and protect the glass.
<This is a very good idea IMO/E>
My issue here is that my inhabitants tend to move the sand causing it to
<No big deal... can just re-cover when doing regular (weekly) gravel
vacuuming/water changes... Make it a bit of a game>
If I placed a sheet of acrylic on top of the eggcrate, sprayed the whole
thing black (I have black sand), do you see any problems from this?
<Only a bit (not really significant) of anaerobiosis>
Thank you so much for all your advice.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Difficulty planning for new build's pump/plumbing sizes
Hi WWM crew...My name is Kris.
I've never posted a question here before but have found this site quite
valuable. After years of running all-in-one reef tanks (currently
a 39 gallon) I am taking the plunge to a tank with a sump, the sump
being plumbed down in the basement of my home. I am having
the tank custom built to fit a certain area of my house, but I can't
order it until I know how big I want the holes drilled, and I can't know
that until I know what size my plumbing will be, and I can't really plan
that until I choose my pump. Which is where I am stuck. Here
is my plan:
<I'm excited haha let's do this!>
60 gallon mixed reef with drilled internal overflow
(corner), 30 x 22 x 23.5 tall. Planning on a Herbie style drain.
<I too have a 60 with a Herbie. LOVE.>
Single return which comes out through the overflow box and splits into
<Same. I made a spray bar with loc line circle flow. Part of it comes in
front of the overflow box and the other goes along the back wall. Very
discrete and effective. But a bit pricey>
Sump is a 40 breeder. Simple sump plan, from left to right:
Refugium-bubble trap-return-bubble trap-skimmer-mechanical filtration.
Refugium will have its own supply T-ed off the main drain with a valve
to control flow. So water will flow into the sump in the refugium
section (slower flow) and into the mechanical filtration section, all
moving toward the center return section.
<Ok this will be tricky with the Herbie. I use the center return concept
like yours quite often on 4-6ft tanks seeing as there are 2 drains. But
i would advise against this with your single drain 60. Have your 2 drain
lines go right into your mech/skimmer chamber, then fuge, then return.
If you really wanted to split your drain line into 2 different sections
you will obviously need two gate valves. I would advise using a "True
Wye" fitting for this application rather than a T. They are about 4
times the cost and hard to find but worth every penny.>
I initially planned for a external pump, and may still go that route,
but thought with the return section on the sump being in the center it
might be easier to go submersible if I could find a pump that will push
the kind of head I need. I have measured about 10 ft of vertical,
7 foot horizontal, and with added elbows valves and such, online
calculators were varying between 14 and 16 ft head loss.
<This will vary greatly on the size of your plumbing. 1" will do though>
I am open to either internal or external pumps at this point, but I need
to pick one. I was trying to look at the flow curves on pumps
online to see what would still have good flow at that head pressure.
I was looking at the Iwaki 40RT and 55 RT, Blueline 70HD, PanWorld
W70HD, and the Danner Mag drive 24 (submersible). Are any of these
a proper size for my tank and sump? I am open to any suggestions.
< Blueline 70HD=PanWorld 200PS. Both are made by PanWorld and way too
Based upon the 14-16 ft of head, turning 85 gallons of water over 5
times an hour, the BlueLine 40hd would do. If you want a bit more
turnover or to have the option of powering a reactor then the BlueLine
hd55. That's for external which will need 2x 1" true union ball
valves-there is about $50 on the cheap end. I would look into a DC
internal return. Look into the Waveline/SpeedWave 10000 or Reef Octopus
Diablo DC 10500. Pricey but 50+ less in plumbing and much less
electricity. Oh and you can control the flow with a push of a button.
I've got the Diablo 5500 with the Herbie-pretty awesome. You could have
a very narrow section for the pump if you run an auto top off. Which i
would absolutely do if you have the room for it. >
The other thing I am having problems with is the size of drains and
I am planning on using regular old PVC piping. Should the return be the
same size as the outlet of the pump? How do I size the drains
Drains need to be larger than returns right? How much larger?
Can your plumbing be TOO big for your tank?
<Plumbing can certainly be too big. Question for you-how many gph are
you trying to be putting through this system? You can put a LOT of water
through a 1" siphon. I don't think you would want to turn your system
over more than a 1" siphon could handle. Go with 1" bulkheads for drain
and 1" for return. Are you planning on putting all 3 bulkheads in the
overflow box? Will be tight. For what its worth, I use my 3/4" bottom
bulkhead for siphon, 1" bottom bulkhead for safety drain, and i have a
1" bulkhead drilled in the back of the tank/overflow chamber. 90 into
that back bulkhead and 90 out of it to my loc line. Pretty tight
quarters but clean>
One of the problems I'm having is in asking for advice on various
forums, is when I ask for pump advice people say the pumps I am looking
at are way too big. But most of the pumps with higher head ratings
ARE bigger pumps, and the high head then takes the GPH down to a more
reasonable flow. I can always tee off the return line as well to
reduce flow in he tank.
<Look at a flow chart for these pumps. You will then agree with the
advise you have already been offered>
Please help me with a pump size and plumbing size. I am so lost.
I have been planning this tank for a long time but just decided to put
the sump in the basement a couple of months ago, and have been confused
<It is indeed a complicated system with a lot of variables. -NateG>
Re: difficulty planning for new build's pump/plumbing sizes
Thank you so much Nate! That was fast!
<The internet is quick haha>
I had planned this center return configuration to try and keep a truly
separate refugium, where the fuge water is not getting skimmed or
Is this concept kind of over-rated? I also wanted to keep the flow slower
through the fuge. I see your point in both drains going to the
same place though. I'm going to rethink my sump plans...
<Try thinking about how many gph you want going to your tank. Then
decide if you want less than that to go through your fuge. Keep in mind
that with pretty standard baffles, the speed will be faster at the
surface than at the substrate. I really don't see the benefit to that
concept unless you have 2 overflow boxes going into a fuge i.e. high
I am planning on using my PhosBan reactor and pellet reactor (see how
I've outgrown the AIO?), but left them out of this discussion because I
was planning on them running off a separate small pump like I have them
now, for ease of controlling flow, and having them return right back
into the sump. Does this sound ok? It's pretty much how they
are configured now.
<Bio pellet reactor? Sounds fine, i would have them in sump if you can
make the space. What are you running for a skimmer?>
So I should be ok with a submersible pump of some sort, 1" plumbing on
return and 1" on both drains? Or am i better off with 3/4 on the
main drain? And if I am, why?
<Submersible should be fine but you should consider the total wattage of
your pumps. Then find out how much they are costing to run in a month.
Danner Mag drives work but they are just so damn inefficient on top of
being loud. A Mag 18 would work at 145 watts. @ $0.10/kwh that's $126.67
a year for a pump that costs about $180. The Diablo DC 10500 with spa
flex to the tank to get rid of some head pressure will do the job and
Cost upfront is about $270 but costs $74.26 a year. Money will start
going back into your pocket long a little after a year. Long before its
warranty is up.>
<Nah, go with 1" on all lines. More gentle flow around turns for that
Thank you thank you thank you! I am feeling much better about all
<Oh good. Happy to help. Any plans for an auto top off? They are simple
and wonderful! -NateG>
Re: difficulty planning for new build's pump/plumbing sizes
I do have an auto top off, a Tunze Osmolator. I have a thing for
topless rimless tanks so that has always been a necessity. I plan
to have that holding tank in the stand under the sump, topping off into
<Excellent choice. Happy tank>
Skimmer, well, I got a deal on a ASM g4 off a local reefer site.
Thing is HUGE, I had no idea until I met the guy to buy it how big it
was. Figured I would bring it home anyway because I should be able
to sell it for a profit on e-bay. I assume this is too big...and
it takes up so much sump space. Not sure what to buy though...any
advice is appreciated.
<Yeah that's a monster for your set up. Imagine that you have 3
different skimmers, all 3 have different body and drain styles but all 3
have the same pump. They will likely perform very similarly to one
another. Skimmers have come a very long way and the pump is its heart in
soul. You can absolutely not go wrong with a skimmer that has a Sicce
pump on it. I would start there>
So I have always ran reactors outside the sump. I have this 40
breeder sump on a big stand, so I have space outside the sump. I
like the idea of having then in there though in case of leakage. :). Do
you just...set them in there?? And yes bio pellet reactor.
<If you have the room i would absolutely put them in them in sump.
Better to have them sitting on sump flood vs. hang on the inside>
I was looking at the dc pumps and like that idea a lot. Way more
energy efficient...like that they are adjustable flow. So flex line will
help with head loss? I assume because no sharp angles?
<Yeah this last wave of more affordable dc pumps has been pretty legit.
Love mine. Flex pvc is very handle stuff. Pricey but great. Any chance
you will be having all 3 bulkheads drilled into the bottom? -NateG>
Return Pump vs. Skimmer Size – 12/11/12
I have had my small reef tank set up for about a year now and I was
considering upgrading my return pump and skimmer. My tank
is a 25 gallon with a 20 gallon sump and I currently have a Mag 5
running a dual return line that seems to provide about 180 gph after
head loss etc.
<<More than sufficient for this size sump/system>>
I have an mp10 in the display to provide for circulation (provides
between 200-1500 gph max, depending on the setting that it is running).
I also have been running a Tunze 9002 nano skimmer. A few months
ago my return pump started making a lot more noise and I have tried
everything to quite it down. I have cleaned it many times and tried to
place it carefully to avoid vibrations but nothing seems to work.
<<It likely needs a new volute…these pumps tend to “wear” where the
impeller inserts in to the volute…and/or it may need a new impeller.
Both can generally be found on the Net as replacement parts>>
I have decided that I would just buy a new return pump and keep this one
as an emergency.
<<This is another option>>
I am considering a Water Blaster pump as they seem to be built very well
and run extremely quiet and with less power consumption.
<<Have heard good things about these pumps, but my first choice would be
one of the small Eheim Hobby pumps…superb quality/reliability>>
I have been looking at two models but not sure which one to use.
The 2000hy Water Blaster would probably provide about 120-180 max gph
based on the flow chart where as the 3000hy would probably provide about
<<If your estimates are accurate based on your plumbing configuration, I
would go with the smaller pump. 100-200 GPH through your small
sump is fine, and will greatly reduce any issues re noise, excessive
I based the estimates by comparing the actual gph my Mag 5 was putting
out to its flow chart and then using that head height number for the
Water Blaster flow chart. This was to accommodate for unions and elbows
in my plumbing in an attempt to get an accurate estimate.
I think that the 2000hy should be fine but it may be a little slower
than what I have running right now, but the 3000hy seems like it may be
a little fast and would turn over my display volume 10x per hour. What
would you recommend should I have a faster sump turn over or should I
try the slower pump and possibly have a lower turnover around 4.8 times
<<As stated, I feel the smaller pump to be sufficient here. But if
you want to get/use the larger pump to see how the higher flow rate
works with your system, you can…just be sure to plumb a gate-valve on
the output side of the pump to temper the flow if needed>>
I also have a 'fuge in the middle chamber of my sump so it would be
running at whatever gph is pulled though my tank. One other thing to
consider is that I will be purchasing a new skimmer as the Tunze 9002
does not seem to be performing that well for me and the new one I am
considering seems to be a better design. I am looking at The Bubble
Magnus Nac 3.5 cone skimmer which has a pump rated for 340 gph. I have
read that it is good to match your skimmer pump to your return and that
the return should be if anything, slower. Is this correct?
<<Can’t recall that I have ever heard this…and certainly have never paid
such any mind>>
Both pumps would be under this number but I suspect the ATMAN 1100 pump
in the skimmer due to the needle impeller will probably only push about
half or 180 gph and that would make it slower than the 3000hy. It seems
to me that I should go for the 2000hy water blaster pump as it is closer
to what I am running now but my only fear is that it will not be able to
push the estimated gph into my display and it is a very expensive pump.
<<Then use the ‘3000’ and add the gate-valve as mentioned>>
Also maybe I should have had a faster sump turnover rate all along not
sure. Let me know what your thoughts are.
<<You have them>>
Thanks so much for taking the time to read over this.
<<Happy to share… EricR>>
3" Pump Flow Rate 9/27/11
What is the maximum flow rate a 3" sump pump can pump?
<That is all going to depend on the horsepower and rpm of the
Pumps this large are also going to require a 230 volt supply. I know of
no three inch sump pumps that will operate at 115 volts. James (Salty
Pump Equipment Information (just the
beginning) -- 08/13/11
I have several questions.
I have a 90 gallon reef ready tank with a 125 gallon rated sump.
At the time I am running a Sicce 4.0. I am looking to run a quieter
pump, possibly Iwaki or Velocity and I am torn about the two.
<<Likely the Iwaki'¦but if you want truly quite (and
reliable), I suggest you look in to the Eheim line of submersible
At the time I am running freshwater but will be switching over.
<<I see'¦ Do start reading here and among the associated
I am curious as to what type of skimmer to use.
<<I like the 'needle-wheel' skimmers, with my fave being
those from Reef Dynamics (formerly Euro-Reef), but there are other good
manufacturers out there (H&S, Bubble King, Reef Octopus, etc.).
Start searching/researching the NET re>>
I also need to know should I run the pump in or out of the sump and
should I also use separate pumps for the sump and skimmer.
<<I prefer submerged pumps where noise might be an issue, and for
simplicity'¦and yes, the skimmer should/will have its own
Any advice would be appreciated.
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>
Re: Pump Equipment Information (just the beginning) --
Thank you very much for your response!
<<Quite welcome my friend>>
I will check out the link, and do some research on the products you
I have a 3.0 Sicce water pump in my 120 gal
saltwater tank. It sits in the refugium. The
return splits to 2 overflows that have 2 return jets on each.
It does not seem to be putting out as much pressure as it should.
Do you think the pump is to small for this type set up?
<Not for a sump return. If you are counting on this for total flow,
It's specs say 714 gph at 9.9 ft. I thought it would be plenty, but
maybe I should have gone a bit bigger.
<Split into 4 outputs you will not have much perceivable pressure.
And the rating will be a best case scenario.>
I just heard it was a very good pump. Do you recommend any other
<These are very good pumps, so are Eheims. Keep in mind though with
more flow comes less overflow redundancy and the possibility your
overflows can't handle it at all. See:
<Welcome, Scott V.>
Danner Mag Drive 7 (Supreme)/Pump Flow
I have a question about the model 7 Mag Drive pump from Danner.
According to the charts online, it can deliver 700gph @ 0' head,
and about 480 at 4' head (which is what I need), however it only
has a 1/2" inlet/outlet, seems too small to me?
<The Danner charts should be correct.>
So I tested the flow from the one I just bought used, but still
basically brand new. The pump was put in a bucket with a 1/2" fpt
to barb adapter, and 20' of 1/2" hose attached going to
another bucket. I timed how long it took to pump 1 gallon, did the
math, and apparently it was only pumping about 170gph.
<Actually, the pump's head specs are based on pumping water
straight up, not on the horizontal. In that regard, the Mag 7 would
shut off with 13 feet of vertical head.>
Now I've read 20' of run equates to 2' of head...that flow
does not sound right.
So, I did another test, this time with nothing on the outlet with it
sticking out over the top of the bucket. Then the inlet just into the
bucket. Timed how long it took to pump 1gallon and came up with 480gph,
but that is at 0' head. Was the impeller changed to the wrong one,
was the model sticker changed? The math is 60/(seconds to pump 1 gal) X
<?? My math says 12.5 gallons per minute or .2 gallons per second
which tells me the pump should deliver one gallon in 5 seconds.>
Thanks for your help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Danner Mag drive 7 (supreme)
For what it is worth this is par for most pumps. The charts seem to be
the best of the best with all the planets aligned just right. I have
tested many pumps and few have met up to flow charts with any sort of
plumbing on them. Your numbers on the Mag 7 are right inline with what
I had got from a couple of them about 3-4 years ago.
Return pump question
Hello, I have an Iwaki wmd 40 rxt as my return pump for my 240g reef
with 70g sump/refug.. It is too loud for me and doesn't provide
quite the flow that I need. I would like to purchase a Reeflo snapper
gold to replace it.
<Definitely a quieter choice!>
Would the snapper gold give me just that little bit of extra flow I
need or would the advertised 2600 gph be greatly reduced? I have 3
vertical feet of head and about 8 horizontal feet of head.
<It will be reduced a good bit with this. IF your overflows can
handle it I would go with a Dart here over the Snapper Gold if you want
extra flow. A ball valve on the output will allow you to throttle it
back if it is a bit too much.>
My 1.5 in. return lines eventually decrease to two 1" lines on the
top of the tank before exiting into LocLine into the water surface.
<Welcome, Scott V.>
Pump Selection for 180 Gallon Reef
Hi Bob and Crew,
I've torn down my 180 gallon single overflow acrylic tank and am
setting up a 180 gallon dual overflow glass tank (1" drains,
3/4" returns) with a 50 gallon sump/refugium. The new tank is
going in the same location as the old. As of now, the fish (a Regal
Tang, Foxface, Pink Spotted Goby, Mandarin, and a pair of Ocellaris
Clowns) and the corals are divided among a 90 gallon and a 55 gallon
plus a Yellow Tang, a Coral Beauty, a Tail-Spot Blenny, and a Bicolor
Blenny are finishing their quarantine in a 29 gallon and 10 gallon. My
house looks like a fish store. Kind of smells like one too!
Anyway, I am questioning my choice of pumps. I would like a pump that
is reliable, quiet, and appropriately sized. Energy consumption is also
a factor. I have already purchased from a fellow reefer an unused Blue
Line 40x External Pump that is rated at 1,270 GPH while using 130W. I
got the pump for less than half retail price, but I'm second
guessing my choice.
Maybe I want to go with an in sump pump instead of external, and I
hadn't taken into consideration the energy efficiency when I bought
the Blue Line.
Here are my questions:
1. Is the Blue Line pump appropriately sized for my tank with dual
<Yes. easily. You will get nowhere close to 1200 GPH with 2 x
2. Is it a quality, quiet pump?
<No direct experience with one, but they are supposedly made
designed by the same engineer that designed the Iwaki pumps, which have
an excellent reputation. I have not heard any complaints either, which
is more than I could say about other pumps.>
3. From an energy perspective, how much money would I be saving by
going with a more energy efficient pump?
<That varies depending on how much power costs in your area, but the
savings can be significant To figure your power consumption, take the
wattage of your device, multiply by the number of hours you are going
to use it (8760 for 24 hours\day 365\year) then divide by 1000 That
gives you your Kilowatt hours. Multiply that number by your cost per
kilowatt (on your electric bill) to get the yearly cost of operation
4. Should I re-sell the pump to purchase one of the following pumps
that I saw recommended in the WWM FAQs? Ocean Runner 3500 900 GPH at
65W or Eheim 1292 900 GPH at 80W or Tunze 1073.040 792 GPH at 42W?
<Matter of personal preference, in my opinion, you cannot go wrong
with an Eheim.>
Basically, if this were your tank, would you keep the Blue Line, and if
not, what would you use that would be appropriately sized, quiet,
reliable, and energy efficient?
<A very subjective question, so I will give you my opinion. Unless I
need to move a huge amount of water, I prefer submersible pumps. In my
opinion, most external pumps are noisier, as well as requiring
additional bulkheads and fittings, which, to me is just another
potential for leaks\failure.>
Thanks for your help. I am successful with my aquariums mostly because
of WWM and The Conscientious Marine Aquarist.
<Glad you find it useful.>
I've compiled a pump specification chart for what I felt were the
most popular pumps/powerheads. I'm thinking this may be of help to
our readers in selecting a pump or powerhead for a given application
and also with efficiency in mind as I've included the power draw in
watts for each model.
Well done James. Will (try) to post, with credit to you. BobF
Mmm, actually, not to light a fire under you... but would providing a
link to the manufacturers be a good idea? B
Shorted <yet another> Rio Pump
Cleanup after electrical failure. 3/26/10
Aloha WWM crew-
I woke up this morning to find one of my Rio 600 circulation pumps had
shorted inside the aquarium.
My Percula Clown and Blue Damsel were already dead (the banded coral
shrimp was stunned but seemed to be still alive) and the water stunk of
electrical fire. Boo!
<The magic smoke was let out of the pump and into the water.>
I quickly did a 50% water change today, and plan on another 50%
I installed new carbon in the filters which I plan to remove and
replace sooner than quick! Other than the massive water changes and
carbon filters, what else, if anything, can I do to clean up my now
"Exxon Valdez" infected water??
<The only other thing I would do at this point is to add Polyfilters
to soak up any contaminants - particularly copper from the
As it stands now, the banded coral shrimp is alive and seems to be less
stunned after the water change. My invertebrates (a few colonies of
various polyps and some undesirable Aiptasia) are half closed but seem
to be trying to open back up. I do not have a quarantine tank and at
the moment am stuck with the main display.
<Let me take the opportunity encourage the use of GFCIs
Mahalo in advance for your help!
New 180 Gallon FOWLR Aquarium Setup, now
FO... Pb, pump sel. 3/8/2010
Hello and thank you for your wonderfully informative site.
<What a planet eh?>
I have spent time researching your site but still not sure on the best
approach for my new tank.
I am in the process of combining two 55 gallon FOWLR systems into a
single 180 gallon tank. I will stay fish only. I will have a 65 gallon
custom sump. The sump has three chambers: the intake side which would
have my AquaC EV180 skimmer (raw water except for a filter sock), the
return section is in the middle and would have my return pump, heaters
and other equipment.
The refugium is on the far end. The refugium would be fed by a tee and
gate valve off the drain line passing over it. The gate valve would
provide an appropriate flow rate for the refugium.
<Sounds good thus far>
I was going to get an All Glass Mega Flow dual overflow system and add
two Hydor Koralia Evolution power heads for circulation. The power
heads are rated at 1,400 GPH. Is this a good setup for a FOWLR
I thought an Eheim 1262 would make a good return pump but I am confused
about feeding the two return lines, does this effectively double the
<Mmm, about, yes>
If so, would I better served getting two pumps at roughly 300 GPH for
my estimated 6' of head or a larger pump that would give me
approximately 600 GPH at the combined 12'?
<Is one approach... though valving and one larger pump would serve
Then I read about through the wall overflows, specifically the Dart
overflow system with two 2" drains. I would feed this into my 65
This should provide approximately 2,600 GPH of gravity-only flow. Is
this a wise amount of water flowing through my sump?
<Only so much will flow through as is pumped back up... but having
excess/redundant flow capacity is a very good idea>
I also read about Anthony Calfo's closed loop manifold system. I
love the simplicity, low cost, and clean look.
<Designs with pumps in the systems, some flow outside to/from
sumps/refugiums are superior>
I would rather have the pump in the sump because I think it will run
quieter and I would rather not drill my sump. I think head would be
about 6'. Is having the pump in the sump a good choice and what
pump would you recommend? The Eheim line sounds like great pumps but I
don't think they are large enough.
<I too favour the Eheim line above all others>
Given that I will stay fish only, is one of these two configurations a
better choice than the other?
<Yes; your first one over the "closed loop">
Thank you again for your wonderful site and all the time the crew puts
You are a big part of what makes this such a great hobby!
<Thank you! Bob Fenner>
Self priming pump question. Moving pre-made
synthetic SW reading -- 02/14/10
> Was wondering if you could look at the pump in the link below.
I need a self priming pump for my water change station I am in
the process of setting up. It would be used to pull salt water from the
display tank, move RO water from it's drum to the salt mix drum and
push the salt mix from it's drum back to the display tank. I bought
the pump but am concerned because it says to add a teaspoon of oil to
the inlet of the pump at the start of each use, which I won't be
able to of course. If not any suggestions?>
<I would not use such a pump>
> Thank you
<... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/swmoving.htm
Return pump size
I'm in the process of slowly building a reef tank. I have a 75g
that will be my display tank and I have a 55g that is my sump/fuge.
I'm planning on putting on a 1500 gph overflow kit from
<Oh nice, lol. I am part owner there!>
I'm trying to figure what return pump to get, this pump not only
return water up to the DT but it will be T off to drive the fuge, of
course I will have valves on the lines. I want to keep a small number
of soft corals, but my reef be made up mostly with combination of LPS
and SPS along with a clam or 2. I want to have on the turnover to be
between 30-40. So I'm at lost on the return pump, because I want
plenty of flow thru the overflow so it would be quiet.
<These can be quiet at low flows too. Don't concern yourself
about flow for that reason!>
I know I need a return pump that is submersible. Since I'm planning
on having SPS my lighting is gonna be 8x54w T5HO. I think why I'm
having a hard time figure the return pump is I'm having trouble
figuring the headroom. I know for vertical height 1 foot = 1 foot but
when it comes to horizontal and using 45 degree and 90 degree elbows I
don't know how to figure those into the headroom.
<Check out this chart, you can actually sit down and figure out
frictional loss here:
Also which is better to use on the elbows on the return 45's or
90's or combination.
<Not a huge difference, though the 45s do come out a little
I know I'm gonna run 2 powerheads that push 1200gph each and been
thinking 2 that does around 200 or 400 gph each to have the flow in the
tank for acropora (the type of SPS I want).
<From what you describe I would look into Eheim, Tunze or
Oceanrunner models here. Quiet, efficient and reliable! Scott
My Pump Died! Pump sel., FW
Hello all of you wonderful people at WWM.
<Good morning Nikki!>
I am sort of new to keeping a larger aquarium and recently upgraded my
20 long to a second hand 75 gallon display tank with 10 gallon sump. I
got the aquarium from a local pet supply that was getting rid of their
fish department and had a few tanks left. The specific tank is a MARs
"Feeder Warehouse Display System" that is meant to house 3000
feeder fish (talk about overstocking...). Here is the manual in case it
helps you answer my questions:
<Yes... am very familiar with these units. Our business used to
fabricate and sell such variably high-stocking density holding
I know that the chiller doesn't work from what the sales person
told me (which isn't a big deal at all as I have it set up as a
tropical planted tank) Is there a way to safely remove it all
<Yes... simply a matter of cutting out the existing plumbing and
rerouting the incoming and discharge lines...>
It should also be noted that I don't have the automatic drain and
refill feature set up as this tank is sitting in my living room (you
can have it connected directly to a drain and water supply to replace a
gallon of water every hour)
<Yes... a very useful feature for "feeder" systems>
The tank is about ten years old and the person who ran the fish
department never did any maintenance on it (such as oiling the motor).
I didn't know that you had to oil the motor (this being my first
large tank and all) and was surprised when I started hearing horrible
screeching sounds and whining from the pump two days after I started it
cycling. I did some research online and at my LFS and realized that it
needed oiled, so I tried oiling it with 3 in 1 only to find that the
little rubber stoppers were completely melted into the pump. After a
few hours of digging chunks of rubber out, I got the pump oiled and
running. I also found out in this time that the pump is not the Little
Giant 4-MD-SC listed in the manual, but is a Little Giant
<Am also well-versed in/with this line of pumps... the SC stands for
"semi corrosive"... Used to be these were amongst the better
pumps for marine use... No longer though...>
I honestly don't know much about pumps at all and don't know
the difference between the pumps other than the one I have has less
power and circulates a smaller volume of water per hour. The
circulation seems to be an acceptable amount, especially considering
that I am using this tank as a simply stocked home aquarium.
The pump ran for another three days, occasionally making some horrible
sounds and sometimes becoming louder and more rumbly. It died all
together last night. The cool guys at my LFS told me that a ball
bearing in the motor could be damaged and that the whole pump would
have to be replaced if that were the case.
<This is so... and really a good idea to switch it out entirely in
Judging from the sounds it was making in the hours before its death,
that seems to very likely be the problem. Should I replace the pump or
is there any way to repair it?
<Replace it. Beyond economic repair>
I found a Little Giant
3-MD-SC on my local Craigslist but am unsure if it would suit my system
or if I need a different model.
<I would go with another brand/manufacturer>
I know that you guys favor another brand over Little Giant and I am
totally open to suggestions, especially since I am over my head and
this is all new learning for me. If you have other pumps in mind,
please include model numbers and keep in mind that I am a hobbyist with
<Ahh, then do bear in mind that operational cost/s (mainly
electricity) are quite variable...>
Right now I have a makeshift filter set up inside the main part of the
tank to keep my plants and the few fish inside happy and healthy, but
obviously would like to get the pump figured out and going again.
Thank you for all the help (including all of the answers you have
provided to me over the years via other peoples questions! This is my
first email to you)
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/pumpselmar6.htm
and the linked files above... for background... and do remove the
chiller... It is adding to a loss of flow here. Oh, and do write back
if there are elements to further discuss. Bob Fenner>
Re: My Pump Died!
<Hello again Nikki>
Thanks for the tips. It seems you guys favor Eheim Hobby pumps?
Would you say that a Eheim Model 1260, CD-12784 would be a good pump
for my situation? I am new
to calculating the right volume of overturn, but I know it should be
around 4x the volume of the tank. The next pump down does under 4x, so
I went for the next one up which is about 7x the volume. Is that going
to be way overkill?
<It would not be>
How do I consider "overhead"? This is all pretty new to me.
If you have a specific model you would recommend, please tell me. Under
$300 would be nice.
<I would actually opt for the next size up, the 1262... it won't
be too much, is just as quiet... and is nominally more expensive. Is
about 170 US to purchase, draws 80 Watts>
If I wanted to remove the chiller, what kind of plumbing skills would
<Minimal... some cutting, replacement of plumbing line... could be
done with a length of flexible...>
Would I have to just cut the whole chiller unit out of the line and
patch it up or are there some valves to turn and attach?
<You need to connect the line coming in and the discharge>
Would it be better to leave it to kill the flow a little if I were
using the stronger Eheim pump?
<Not in my opinion... the loss of pressure, flow... the opportunity
cost of pumping the water... Is too much for me. I'd remove it.
This unit may present problems if left in place long term in the way of
I'm sorry if I am asking really novice questions; this is my first
experience with a large tank and anything other than a HOB filter
<Glad to assist you, your efforts. Bob Fenner>
Pump Upgrade Question/Pump Selection
I would like to know what you think about a potential pump upgrade on
my 90 gallon reef tank. It is a corner overflow system with a 1
3/4" Durso stand pipe style return, a 30 gallon DIY three chamber
sump with a Miracle Mud refugium in the center, on a reverse photo
period, and a small amount of Chaeto tumbling around. Currently running
a ViaAqua 23OO, with a 5' head, which I understand is getting about
<Actually 600gph not including head loss.>
I am considering an Eheim 1262, with one return or a Mag 12 with two
returns. I have 4 Koralia pumps for internal flow, but would love to
remove several if possible.
<The Mag 12 may be a little overkill, the Eheim at 900gph would be a
better match providing you have minimal restrictions (90's,
45's, etc.) in your return line.>
Thank you for your time.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
pump questions for 215 oceanic, and pb --
Hi guys! Great site here. While I was searching for an answer to
my question I was able to learn other useful information. But I
am still confused as to how to proceed with pumps. We have a 215g
Oceanic. It came with the standard dual overflows with two 1/34
<One and three quarter diameter holes I'll take it>
pre-drilled holes in each. We have a MRC 450g high-flow reef sump
that will be connected to this system. This will be a reef and
fish system with sand and liverock. We installed our tank in the
wall of our
living room, and the back of the tank is inside our utility room.
The sump is not directly underneath the tank, but off to the
right, crating a 6 foot return to one overflow and a 2 foot
return to the other.
<Umm, I'd use both these lines as overflows... either have
the tank further drilled or just return the water from the sump
over the top of the display tank>
We are not concerned with the noise of the pumps we use as all
equipment will be housed in this utility room which is pretty
well insulated for noise already. So my question is, what type of
pump should we be purchasing for the returns? I have read
information on your site which recommends Iwakis, but I am at a
loss for what the appropriate gph is needed for this system.
<... well, there are a few "ways to go" here... I
wouldn't rely on a/one single pump to circulate water from
the sump AND provide internal flow.
I'll present what I would do here as my one best choice
(there are others)... So... for the sump itself, you can
'guess-timate' what flow per given head, turns... I'd
look into a fractional horsepower Sequence Pump... see here for
of about 900 actual gallons (all that can really "fit"
through one of the drilled through-puts safely... lest the other
become occluded)... read here re:
http://wetwebmedia.com/BulkheadFloRateArt.htm... and add some
internal pumping... My choice? Vortechs...>
And I am confused about whether we should have a separate pump
for each return or be getting a larger pump and t-ing the
<I'd run the returns on one pump, make a discharge as
(Our protein skimmer is external and comes with it's own pump
if that helps). I have tried reading the
FAQs but I got even more confused. Anything you can tell me would
be great. And I have attached a picture of how the tank and sump
are configured in relationship to each other.
<Take your time here... realize your goals and the inherent
limitations in the openings you have... Bob Fenner>
Re: Pump Recommendation
Scott: as per your recommendation I ordered the 2 1262 Eheims.....now
if you please- do you have an opinion on the new Tunze recirculation
<I have never personally used these, but am a fan of anything this
particular company puts out.>
Also can you recommend a single pump that will deliver 1200 gph to the
tank not too loud and no flow accelerator will be used....just up and
over the side of the tank from about 52" below in the
<Ocean Runner 6500 or Reeflo Snapper will do the trick.>
Thanks in advance...
<Welcome, Scott V.>
Re: Pump Recommendation
FYI : the Eheims were an excellent suggestion...I am extremely
thanks....will the use of the eductors shorten the pump life in any way
<They are great pumps. Most pumps will actually last longer with
this type of restriction on them. Scott V.>
Re: Pump Recommendation
That's great to know...thanks Scott ...and BTW : Glass-holes.com is
the best !! I wear my t-shirt every chance I get ....thanks...
<Ahh, great to know, I will CC this to Mike too.
Replacement Pump For Solano Nano Tank
my husband and I both have Solano 34g nano tanks. Set up as reef tanks
we've had great success with them but recently both our pumps have
gone out, mine being the latest. And we've had to rig replacements
since I can't seem to find a true replacement from Solano or
anywhere else. Do you'll suggest anything else I should or could do
to continue to have optimal skimmer performance. I appreciate any
<Have you contacted Current USA on this? Forward this to
<Your welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Lateral "head", circ. pump
Good morning ! This site is an unbelievable source of invaluable info,
and I thank you!
<Hail! And welcome>
My question is trying to figure out a return pump (external) for my
application and head pressure.
90 gallon reef, but with a 30 gallon sump and 15 gallon 'fuge that
is located remotely-down in my basement.
Can only see info on calculating loss of GPH on vertical head. I have
10 feet of this...but also an additional 12 feet of lateral 1"pvc.
All 45 deg. angles until it splits at the tank into Â¾"
pvc,(2 outlets, 2 loclines outlets on each) there are a couple 90 deg
angles. I assume I need to figure in lateral distance due to
friction/parasitic loss, but don't know how to do this...should I
consider ALL plumbing as vertical head to be safe?
<Mmm, one approach, but there are some other approximations of use
here... One aspect that you don't mention that IS of more
importance is induced drag... such small diameter piping has a good
deal of this with increasing flow>
Or would I end up way overpowering my drain to the sump?
<Not possible if you've provided sufficient numbers, diameters
(plural) of overflows/plumbing>
Going by most recommendations, I'm looking for 1000-1500 gph return
flow. All pumps are NOT created or rated equal.
<This is indeed so>
Pump manufacturers use their own graphs on vertical head vs. gph output
vs. current draw....
<Mmm, and typically ones that aren't "too
and purchasing the wrong pumps to utilize the pickle bucket measurement
is not a viable option.
Keeping in mind my 1" drain line, can you recommend a good quality
external pump (mfg/model) that will be adequate for my needs, but at
the same time I won't find myself trying to restrain a fire hose
thru choking off flow? I am assuming I will need to supplement in tank
<You would do well to understand pressure as well as desired
flow/capacity... Do a bit of reading re our individual preferences
(makes/models) here: http://wetwebmedia.com/pumpselmar6.htm
and the linked files above>
Thanks so much for your time!!
Delta Air Lines
<Ooh, reminds me... I've got to use my 234,848 ff miles soon...
thank goodness you code-share with NWA (HI, Bonaire...). Bob
Micro Fauna Damage 04/28/09
I am in search of a study regarding the effect pump impellers may have
on micro fauna and, if indeed there is significant mortality does
impeller design along with GPH/RPM play a role in either increased or
micro fauna mortality?
<I am unaware of any "studies" per se, but I do know that
such things do kill many types of larvae (especially crustacean larvae
apparently). This is why, when raising/breeding different inverts (such
as crustaceans, snails, etc.) one must use a tank with an airstone
and/or undergravel filters (or other such "gentle" form of
filtration) to raise the larvae/juveniles (this is true of most fish
larvae/juveniles as well). As
for other micro fauna, I do believe it just depends. Clearly, pod and
worm populations of many species found in our systems seem largely
unabated by such impellers.>
Water pump sel. 4/10/09
Best brand water pump for silence. I have a quiet one3000 that is quiet
but I want something a bit stronger. When I hooked my uv up to my
system the flow from tank to sump went way down. So I bought a quiet
one4000 and it is loud and vibrates and actually has very little flow
difference. Just wondering pump suggestion? Is eheim good and
<They are, and very true to the flow rating...you cannot go wrong
with a 1262 for what you are looking for here.>
PS your book is a very good read. Pages are getting worn out already
from all the reading.
<Ah, Bob will be happy to hear this!>
Sent from Penny Pendergraft
Re: Water pump 4/10/09
Thank you for your fast response.
I will go with the eheim then. I sure hope it's quiet. For the
price it should be. Haha.
<Never a 100% guarantee, but these pumps have never let me or anyone
I have talked to about them down!>
Sent from Penny Pendergraft
Ellcar Ventures Ltd.
Spare/Replacement Pump --
I Have a Pro Clear Aquatics Wet- Dry filter for my 75 gal tank. I would
like to have a back-up submersible pump for the CAP 1800. Any
<<Hmm'¦ A Mag-Drive 5 would make for a good backup to
this system. But if you want the best re quality and reliability, go
with the Eheim 1260. You could use the Eheim as your primary pump
(install a gate-valve on the output-side of the pump to temper flow, if
needed) and rest easy'¦and hold on to the CAP pump as the
emergency backup, that you would likely not need for many
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>
Flow and Pump Question for Scott V.
2/25/09 Hey Scott, <Randy.> You had helped my out a
while back on a few flow related question so I wanted to run something
past you real quick before I order the wrong pump. <Okay.> I have
a custom ordered 90 gallon Oceanic reef ready tank with Starfire front
glass. I will be using both of the holes in the overflow for the
drains. They are both 1.5" wide holes(measured glass size). I will
be using a 30 gallon in the stand for a sump. I have picked up from my
LFS the stock AGA slip bulkheads(in my research I have found that these
are not always common but the 90 gallon came with one for the drain.)
They allow for 2 - 1.25 pool sized flex hoses. These seem to be
slightly larger than the std. 1" drain bulkheads, I was gonna hard
pipe it but the opening in the LFS AGA slip/thrd bulkheads we smaller
for the same size glass hole. Both drains will run maybe 10-12 inches
almost straight down into a 300 micron hang on sump bag. Within this
chamber I have an Aqua C EV180 w/ mag7 pump. Then thru 2 over unders to
the final return sump. I have built some custom overflow drains from
the "hoffer gurgle" design with 1.5inch main reduced down at
the bulkhead. The return pump (TBD) will run thru 1" spa line to a
T(mid height at the rear of the tank) then split out into 2--
3/4"s(also spa line) to return over the lip with the std black
3/4" pre bent modular returns. The tank will be full reef
(transferred from my 46 bow full reef w PC's -been running for 3+
years very successfully) with softies and LPS's. In tank I will
have 2 -Hydor Koralia 3's for flow directed off the glass.
<Okay.> So here is the question: I am looking to find a
economical, reliable and efficient return pump. I love the MAG's
and the Eheims but for power consumption and price respectively I am
looking toward other options. What do you think of the Ocean runner
3500 for this particular setup? <The Ocean Runner pumps are a great
series, my favorite for the money, just hard to get in a timely manner
at times.> Will it be enough for the 2 - 1.25" pool line drains
without inducing additional unnecessary noise due to siphoning?? <It
is a strong pump for these lines'¦do plan on throttling the
pump back with a ball valve on the output or just go with the 2500.>
Are they pretty reliable? <Very much so in my experience'¦I
have used these pumps a lot over the years.> I see the Quite One
4000 could work also and is definitely cheaper but I read mixed reviews
on these and the Oceanrunners. Any thoughts? <Go with the OR
here.> Also, on the 90 I will be adding a 6 bulb T5 fixture. I have
it narrowed down to either a Nova Extreme Pro 6x54w or a Tek light of
the same config. Of course I am leaning toward to extreme Pro due to
cost, included bulbs, dust cover and legs. Is the Tek really that much
better? I see the boast over a 300% increase in directed output due to
their reflector but the Extreme Pro also has a curved reflector-not
sure of the increases output from the Extreme Pro. Any thoughts?
<This gets to be a hot subject in many of the online forums. I
personally see little difference between the two style of reflectors,
there are many that will argue with me to the death about that. I would
love to actually see a quantified study on the subject, much like
Sanjay Joshi's work with MH. But I know of none. If anyone else
knows of one, we would love to see it!> Also I have a med. yellow
tank in the 46 bow and would like to add another tank. Which may be
best for this size tank and compatibility with the yellow tang? Other
fish include your basic reef safe-Ocellaris Clown, yellow watchmen, 2
Firefish, 1 cardinal and 2 yellow tail damsels. I know a Blue Hippo
will work but I have one in my 120 FOWLR and would like to try
something else. <Hmmm, I would not add another tang to this size
tank. Even the smaller species require a fair bit of swimming
space.> Thanks as always for your help and everyone's
contribution to our hobby and this site-It's a great site.
<Welcome, thank you.> Randy
Re: Pump Selection 12/28/08 Hmm,
looking at the ocean runner. Is the 6500 too much for my 120 gal tank
with 2, 1 inch drains with 4.5 foot head? Keeping marine and soft
corals?? Or is the runner 3500 enough?? <I've erred here
somewhat on the pump suggestions. With two 1 inch drains, you need to
look at a pump in the range of 1000gph. If it's a little too much
you can always throttle down the pump. I'd rather have a little too
much pump than not enough. James (Salty Dog)> <<Mmm, not after
it's pumped the water onto your floor... Better to get "just
about the right "size", flow/pressure characteristics pump...
And again, this amount of water cannot be conveyed safely through these
two one inch inside diameter lines... would have to rely on siphoning
(noisy, unreliable)... IF one line becomes occluded or the siphon stop
(WILL happen), water will be pumped into the tank faster... overflow...
Re: Pump Selection 12/28/08 Is it
1200gpm or 1200gph. <Wowsie, 1200gpm, nope is 1200gph.> Will my
(2) I inch drains handle that at 4.5 foot head? <Probably not,
depending on your head loss. James (Salty Dog)> <<Will NOT. I
would re-drill, have two 1 1/2" drain lines.
Re: Pump Selection: Scott V. input
12/28/08 Hmm, looking at the ocean runner. Is the 6500 too
much for my 120 gal tank with 2, 1 inch drains with 4.5 foot head?
Keeping marine and soft corals?? Or is the runner 3500 enough??
<I've erred here somewhat on the pump suggestions. With two 1
inch drains, you need to look at a pump in the range of 1000gph. If
it's a little too much you can always throttle down the pump.
I'd rather have a little too much pump than not enough. James
(Salty Dog)> <<I would like to add for the benefit of all
those reading that a 1" bulkhead will only flow 300 gph without
siphoning (read: safely). Anyone with a couple of 5 gallon buckets,
1" plumbing, water and a timer can quantify this! Also, the pump
may be throttled back, but there is also significant danger running an
overflow to max. See here regarding redundancy and sizing drains:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pbholessizeplace.htm. In other words to do
this safely you will need a pump that will give you 300 gph at head
height, seriously. This really is the problem with many of the
overflows out there, the throughputs are just flat out too small! Scott
Re: Pump Selection 12/28/08
Question, if I do get powerheads (Hydor Koralia) and a submersible
pump. What size pump (gph) and what size Hydor 3 or 4. Again with (2) 1
inch drains into a sump. A 4 foot tank by two foot. Which I will house
marine and soft corals. Difficult to calculate the right amount of
flow. <Mmm, not difficult at all, just strive for 10 to 12x flow
rate for the size of tank you have. In your case, 1200 to 1400 would
work well. Do read here and other related articles/FAQ's.
James (Salty Dog)>
More re: pumps... actually one inch ID
lines/drainage 12/28/08 Bob, Don't believe I've
erred here. I'm running a little over 500gph full bore with just
one 1" return line, so my suggestion of about 1000gph with two
1" lines and a 4 1/2" foot head doesn't seem out of line
unless the guys got 90's in his feeds. James <James, I'm
always trying to err on the side of absolute redundancy in such
matters... What happens if one of these siphons stops, gets clogged?
Again... I do respect that you, I, everyone has different experiences,
results... and I do agree that one line of one inch ID can/will in most
cases siphon 500 plus gallons of water at any drop... but will it do
1000? No... Cheers, BobF>
More re: pumps 12/29/08 Bob,
<James> Agree here, and is one reason I despise siphon tube type
returns. I've used them before and am always tinkering with them,
bubbles trapped in the neck for the most part. Have found that if you
size the siphon return type overflow close to the pump output, they
work much better. The velocity of the water through the tube reduces
trapped bubbles in the neck. I've never had a problem with drilled
returns clogging up, but then again, I generally check this on a daily
basis. Well Bob, the old fart is 63 today. <Ahh! Happy bday!>
Life goes by much too fast, doesn't seem that long ago when I was a
"young" 50. Regards, James <Indeed "tempus
fugit!" for sure. Let's enjoy ourselves while we're about!
Eheim pumps 12/28/08 <Hello
Joe. Minh at your service.> Do you know much about the eheim compact
5000 pump? <Although the Eheim Compact series of pumps have not been
available in the North American market for long, Eheim is very
well-known for producing excellent pumps in the Universal Hobby pump
series.> Looking to buy it if it is quiet and can it be used to
circulate water into a sump at 5 ft head. not much info online about
this pump. Big Als Canada now carries it. It sounds like a quiet pump.
Can i use it for this application?? <Based on the specs of this
pump, it should deal with the 5 ft of head just fine. A quick search on
a UK-based aquarium forum, Ultimate Reef, shows an interesting review
comparing the Eheim Universal Hobby pump with the Eheim Compact pump:
http://www.ultimatereef.net/forums/showthread.php?t=252194. You can
review the thread for others' first hand experience with this pump.
Good luck, Minh Huynh.>
Return Pumps 11/29/08 I am in the
process of upgrading my tank to a 180-gallon acrylic. So far I have
done everything you guys recommend in your faq and from your response
to my previous email. As a refresher my 72x24x24 acrylic (live in CA)
has two overflows for redundancy with 1.5" drains and 3/4"
returns pipes. What size return pump do you recommend for this setup? I
was thinking somewhere in the range of 1700gph but one of my LFS said I
would be fine with just an Eheim 1262 with 900gph. What do you say,
closer to 1700gph or 900gph? Thank you very much. <The Eheim is a
very nice pump; quiet and dependable. The flow is plenty through your
sump and will be just about 1/2 of what two 1.5" bulkheads can
handle (with a bit of head pressure on the pump), putting you right at
the 100% redundancy. Welcome, Scott V.>
Closed Loop vs Vortech MP40w, Oceanic vs
Aqueon 11/4/08 Hello WWM, <Hello Ryan.> Let me start off
with you guys are great I spend days reading information on your
website, the information is truly overwhelming but super informative.
One suggestion for your website'¦. Could you make it look more
like an excel spreadsheet? Then my boss will think I am working when I
am reading! <Ahhh, a good idea ? Glad you have found the site of so
much use!> I have had a 70 gallon reef running for 6 years and am
ready to take the plunge into a bigger tank. My current setup is a
disaster waiting to happen. I have two CPR over flows (the biggest ones
they make) off the back of the tank draining at full capacity into my
refugium/sump. And actually I to put one of the out puts of one of the
CPRs directly into the chamber of the refugium where the pump connects
because the refugium could not handle all of that water flow. My
Dolphin Amp Master 3000 pumps the water back into the tank with 4 -
Â½ inch nozzles and a manifold 1 Â½ pvc with about
40 1/8 inch holes down behind 120 pounds of Fiji live rock. <That is
a lot of flow for the boxes to handle!> I know the tank is more rock
that anything. The water movement is great my fish and soft corals love
it but it took a lot of work to keep it from sand storming. This setup
did cure my hair algae battle I fought for a couple of years. The
Chaetomorpha in my refugium grows like a weed; I have to groom it down
all the time. Also the halimeda in my tank grows like no other as well.
I have some candy corals that I have split a few times, various polyps,
and Xenias that are growing like crazy. Along with a yellow tang, some
Chromis, and maroon clown. My snails and hermit crabs are doing great
and I have a Stomatella population thriving. The problem which I am
sure you have noticed is the overflow boxes, and the water levels to
keep the pump not blowing air are at capacity. I put a ball valve on
the return side of the pump to try and line it up with the overflows.
Yes it has resulted in a couple of floods, my wife not so happy.
<I'll bet.> I realize this potential disaster but have
figured the wrath can't be that bad'¦'¦ My wife
has limited my spending (like so many others) so I have been saving for
a while. I want to make sure I am heading down the right path. I
realize there are many different ways to accomplish the same thing but
I am sure your collective infinite wisdom will be priceless. <Will
try.> For the Tank I am looking at the Aqueon 180 with built in
overflows. Realizing it is not drillable for my Dolphin Amp Master
3000/4000, or the Oceanic 178 or 215 (with over overflows) that would
be drillable. <Do keep in mind the Aqueon can be drilled through the
back/sides.> I want to run the overflows down to my refugium/sump
and run a small pump (1200 GPH) back up for filtration. <These
overflows typically have 1" drains, which are in reality only good
for 300 gph per. You can special order any of these tanks with
larger/more holes predrilled for a small charge per hole.> Obviously
that will not be enough water turnover through those alone so I was
going to drill 2 inch bulkheads (Qty 2) for a closed loop with my
Dolphin Amp Master. Then at my LFS I found the Vortech MP40w's. I
could go with the cheaper Aqueon tank and not have to drill but still
keep the interior of the tank clean (No power heads/pumps visible.)
Also I would not void the warranty by drilling the Oceanic Tank.
<Reason to have them do it!> Realizing the money I save from
going with the Aqueon Tank I will be paying more for the set of
MP40w's with controller, but again would keep my warranty on the
tank. So really I need a shove in the direction of the best way to turn
over water in my tank between these two options????? I read up on your
website about these Vortech pumps and I didn't find
much'¦.. Any new experience on reliability and functionality
of this product? <They have vastly improved in quality over the few
years out on the market, you won't go wrong with these.> They
are pricey but if they get the job done maybe worth it long term??
<They are IMO, you savings in power monthly will be noticeable over
the Dolphin. More traditional powerheads can do the same for less, but
then you have powerheads!> My thought is 1200 GPH through the
refugium is plenty for filtration? <Or 600 gph, tis enough for
filtration.> So what is the best way to increase circulation?
<The Vortechs/powerheads.> Also is Oceanic tanks that much better
than Aqueon (both made by the same company) is it worth it and still go
with Vortech pumps requiring me to save a little longer? <Not IMO,
unless you want to spend the big bucks on the Oceanic Starphire
tanks.> Or is the versatility of a closed loop system (water flow in
any direction) better than the Vortechs? <It is a tradeoff, but
experimenting with the placement on the Vortechs, good flow can be
achieved.> Wow so I have reread this questions a few times I
apologize for its length. Any help and advice at all would be greatly
appreciated. Thanks. Ryan <Welcome, have fun, Scott
Noisy Pump 10/17/08 Hello--First I
want to say thank you for running this site. It is a great help to me.
<Glad you have found it of use!> I have learned more from this
site than any other source. I am in the process of setting up a 210
gallon Hawaiian-themed FOWLR tank. <Nice, I am throwing around the
same idea.> Right now I am having some serious issues with my return
pump and the noise it generates. I have gotten several ideas for
dealing with it from reading your FAQs. The pump is still very noisy
however. Here is the setup: In our basement family room I have the 210
tank up against a wall. The overflow plumbing runs through a hole in
the wall into the utility room, where I have a 50 gallon Rubbermaid
container as the sump. The return pump is a Mag-Drive 24. It is quite
noisy in the utility room, which is to be expected. However, you can
hear the pump quite clearly from the family room as well. In fact, you
can literally hear the pump running from every room in the house,
including the upstairs bedrooms (our house is a split-level). So you
can imagine my frustration and my wife's irritation. <Gee, I can
imagine.> The noise is not a vibrating or a rattling, nor is it any
sort of water-related sound. It is the sound of a motor running. Here
is what I have done to attempt to quiet the pump. First I put a
silicone pot-holder under the pump. This did a good job of quieting the
pump's vibration against the sump. However you could still hear the
motor running. Other things I did include: adding a second silicone
pad, removing the pre-filter from the pump (an idea I got from your
FAQs), restricting the flow with a valve and then opening it up again
to try to flush out any air pockets (also from your FAQ), I also
stuffed towels around and through the hole that was cut in the wall to
muffle any noise escaping through the hole, and finally I went so far
as to install that pink fiberglass insulation in the utility room
walls, but even that is not muffling the pump much. Each of these
things seemed to have a positive impact on the noise, but unfortunately
it is still really loud. Is it possible my pump is defective?
<Possibly, in a way. Do take the pump apart an be sure your rotor
shaft is not broken, it sure may be and an easy fix (replace it!). It
is also possible you just have a rotor that is plain out of balance,
but these large MagDrive pumps are not the quietest things anyhow.>
It seems to run fine, but with noise like this the situation is not
going to last. Right now I am looking into buying a different pump.
<I would, for the noise and power consumption.> I thought
Mag-Drives were supposed to be reasonably quiet, but mine definitely is
not. This is not my first sump return-pump, so I have some experience
in quieting them, but this pump is beyond my abilities. So I have two
questions: First, do you have any other ideas to quiet the pump?
<The one thing I would try is some flexible plumbing. This can have
quite an impact on transferred noise, but if it is the pump noise
itself it will only help a bit. Look for flexible PVC, sold as SpaFlex
in many hardware stores. If you do use this, make sure to use a solvent
rated for flexible PVC, such as Christy's Red Hot.> Secondly,
can you recommend a quiet pump? Obviously I still need a decent flow
rate, but I am willing to sacrifice some of that in order to quiet the
noise. <No need to sacrifice, in fact you will gain with lower power
consumption!! Do look at the Reeflo line, the Dart or Snapper for your
application. They are the exact same pump with different $25 impellers,
this gives you cheap options for flow. These pumps offer great flow,
relatively cheap power consumption, and are virtually dead silent.>
Thank you so much for any help you can give. Tom <Welcome, this is a
completely solvable problem. I do urge you in this case to seek the new
pump. Scott V.>
Re: Pump Noise 11/7/08 Scott:
<Hello again Brandon.> For a heads up, I discovered a large part
of my problem with my pump (the Mag7). Once you remove the shroud,
there is a small (but most definitively problematic) tab where the
injection mold formed, and this tab actually rubs on the impeller!
<Yikes! Playing card in spokes!> I looked carefully at the old
one - it was grooved. I looked at the new one, and after 60 seconds of
use, it, too, was becoming grooved. I filed this tab off, and it is the
quietest I have EVER heard this pump. <Good to hear.> I'm not
sure if this is a common problem, but I thought I would share what
helped me out. <Not to my knowledge, I do hope not.> Thanks again
for all of your input earlier on! -Brandon <Welcome, happy it worked
out, Scott V.>
Re: Pump Choices, Design in General Reef
11/2/08 Also Scott, is there a particular model you recommend
from Reeflo that would move the same volume? Thanks again... <Look
at the Snapper and Dart models, quite a bit of flow for the power used,
and near dead silent.>
One Monster Pump 9/30/08 Good
Morning! <Good morning your way too!> I've been looking and
having a hard time deciding on the right pump. The pump I'm looking
for will have to go up 14 feet from basement to 180g tank on first
floor. I think 800 gph will be about the right rate of flow. The route
from the basement to the 2 returns is pretty straight...will be using
pvc flex hose for the most part. Any suggestions of pumps(brands) would
be great! <I would start with looking at the Reeflo line, the Tarpon
or Wahoo will suit your application well. The Iwaki pumps are a
favorite too, just be sure to pay particular attention to the power
consumption as well as the flow curves, the power use varies quite a
bit from pump to pump in this size range. A few links to the flow
curves to these particular pumps below.> Thanks <Welcome, have
fun, Scott V.> http://www.reeflopumps.com/pressurebiaseduno.html
Re: One Monster Pump 9/30/08
Thanks for the suggestions. <Glad to help.> I've been
thinking about the Sequence pumps. Is it ok to use a gate valve on the
output side of the Reeflo pumps to turn down the flow if necessary?
<Yes, it definitely is. The pump will actually work a bit less
(pumps are counterintuitive) and consume a bit less power. Scott
Re: One Monster Pump 10/1/08 One
more question.... I will also be having a frag tank in the basement(60
gallons) that will be draining into the same sump as the 180g. Should I
get a separate return pump for the frag tank or would it be ok to plumb
a return line from the return pump that will be pushing water back up
to the 180g? <Either option will work fine, the latter will save you
a pump to buy/run!> BTW....the sump in the basement is approximately
180 gallons too. <Nice setup!> Thanks once again!: <Welcome,
very happy to help out. Scott V.>
Rio and Catalina Pumps
9/29/08 Hi Crew <Hi Jamie> I have a quick question. Are
the Catalina and Rio brand pumps the same? <No I don't believe
so.> I have a pump on my sealife skimmer and the impeller is gone.
The sticker on the pump is completely faded. I tried to ID online and
it looks just like a rio and a Catalina??? Are they the same? I cant
find an impeller for a Catalina pump but can for a rio pump? <If you
do a search for 'Catalina Aquarium' you should find the
impellors.> Are the impellers the same for rio 1700 2100 and
2500? Any help I would appreciate it. Thanks Crew! <Thanks for the
email..Good luck and take care!! BrianG>
Right Pump Size for 90
Gallon 9/20/08 Dear WWM crew, <Hello!>
I have a question regarding my intake pump, and what size I should use?
<Depends largely on your outflow size.> I have a 90 gallon which
is going to be mixed reef with a lot of SPS and LPS, so I want a high
turnover rate, but I am not sure how strong of a pump I am going to
need? Right now I have 2 Mag Drive 12 submersible pumps, which at
4' still pump about 1130 gph. I was planning on running this
through my squid and then will go through 3 more elbows before it goes
into the tank. So the pump will have a total height of about 4'
with a squid to go through and 3 elbows. If I were to go this way do
you think that would be s strong enough pump. My second question is how
to plumb my chiller? I have another Mag drive 12 which I was going to
separately run through that only and then back to the sump. <Would
work.> Is this a good idea to have one pump designated to the
chiller, and then a main pump designated for plumbing water back into
the tank? <Would decrease head on the pump, but your maximum
flow-through should be determined by your overflow size.> I would
like to ideally just have one pump which would run through the chiller
(which sits right next to the tank) and then to the squid and tank.
<Unless you have a very large overflow fitting, you probably
can't handle the full potential of these pumps, which means that
you'd be throttling back the Mag12 to prevent overflowing anyhow-
so the extra head from the chiller really wouldn't be an issue.>
I was thinking a Mag Drive 18 would have enough power to do this, but I
am not sure, what do you guys think? <Depends. What diameter is the
outflow?> Thanks for your input! Alex Jacobs
Eductors on non pressure rated pump return?
9/14/08 Hi Crew! Thanks for all you folks do! <Hi there
John, thank you!> I have read a little about flow accelerators /
eductors, but am having a hard time assessing their value on
non-pressure rated pumps. <Basically the same value as pressure
rated pumps from an aquarium point of view. The short run of
restriction on these does not necessitate the use of a pressure rated
pump.> Background: I refinished an older 75G flat back hex DAS tank
which I drilled for two 1.5 inch bulkheads (I took out the lame corner
box). The two drain lines run to a 30 gallon sump . One runs straight
to the skimmer chamber, while the other passes the refugium and drops
water, via a teed Â¾ ball valve, into the refugium before
continuing on to the skimmer. Pic previously posted here
<Nice setup.> My return is an Oceanrunner 6500 marketed at 1625
gph. However, with 4 vertical feet, two 45 degree elbows, a unioned
ball valve, a tee reducing the 1 inch return line to two Â¾
inch lines and 90s on each of these Â¾ inch lines I am
probably getting 1000 or less. <Likely, a fair estimation.> I
have a couple of Koralia Nanos for corner flow and a Maxijet driving a
UV and a Phosban reactor. I could use more flow. <Possibly dependant
on what you keep. What is listed is a fair bit of flow.> While I
understand the basic concept of eductors, I don't know whether
there would be any benefit in a non-pressure rated set up like mine. Do
you think there would be any value to me adding eductors at the end of
the return lines with the pressure I am getting from the OR? <May be
worth a try if you wish. These really just exchange one type of flow to
another; a flow with high velocity for a flow with high volume.>
Would changing anything on my plumbing make this feasible? <Your
plumbing sounds fine.> Thanks in advance! John / Fishnu <Welcome,
Return Pump vs. Powerheads for system flow
8/22/08 Hey Guys, <Larry> I moved last year and had to sell
my 125G reef tank (sad day for me). I have been in serious withdrawal
ever since. My beautiful wife surprised me on my 40th birthday by
purchasing a new 120G (48" x 24") aquarium and stand to
re-kindle my obsession. <I'll bet!> The tank is an AGA with
dual Megaflow overflows. I see all over the FAQ's that the
realistic flow rate through the two 1" bulkheads will only get me
half of the published rating of 2x600GPH. Obviously, that total flow
rate is insufficient for a 120G reef tank. <Yes, sad that the holes
are not simply larger.> The overflows will feed a 30G DIY sump
located in the furnace room behind the wall. The sump will house a
skimmer and heaters. I plan on eventually adding a separate refugium
above the sump with water pumped up from the sump and overflowing back
into the sump. <Consider running an overflow line from the tank to
the refugium, then overflow into the sump. This will save you the use
of one pump.> Ignoring overall system flow for the moment, will a
properly sized return pump (500-600GPH after head loss) be sufficient
to support the skimmer and a refugium? <To support the tank, yes.
You will need to add supplemental flow as you mention below. The
problem with this overflow setup is it leaves you no margin for safety.
Running the lines at capacity means water on the floor if a line gets
even partially blocked. If you are at all comfortable with DIY,
consider drilling the tank for larger throughputs. You can drill the
rear pane of glass inside the existing boxes, substantially increasing
your flow capacity while keeping the tank looking the same.> I am
considering using a number of Koralia powerheads to get the overall
water movement in the tank up to a reasonable level. I like the idea of
the diffused flow generated by these style powerheads vs. strong jets
from the return lines. Is there a downside to doing this vs. increasing
the flow through the sump? <Only aesthetics. There are many upsides
though. Less power use, better flow characteristics, usually quieter,
etc. > I've read various suggestions for increasing flow,
including using the 3/4" return line bulkheads as additional
overflows, or even drilling more or larger overflows. I'd like to
avoid doing these if possible. <Okay.> Also, is there any benefit
to draining the 1" bulkheads into larger PVC pipes(1.5")? I
know it won't increase the max flow rate but will it help with
noise? <Not really, any many cases doing this will increase the
noise with the water beating around inside the larger pipe. Most noise
associated with these overflows comes from siphoning issues/running
past capacity.> I plan on running 2 separate lines down to the sump.
If I can stick with 1" lines, the holes through the wall will be a
little smaller. <1' will be fine.> I am excited about getting
the tank up and running, but I don't want to make any short-sighted
decisions that will impact things later on. Any feedback would be
greatly appreciated. Thanks, Larry <Welcome, congratulations on the
new setup, Scott V.>
EcoTech Marine Begins Shipping the MP20
-- 07/28/08 REVOLUTIONARY PUMP TECHNOLOGY FOR REEF
AQUARIUMS July 28, 2008 EcoTech Marine Begins Shipping MP20 EcoTech
Marine, the company that revolutionized coral aquarium propeller pumps
with the VorTech MP40w, has begun shipping it newest pump, the VorTech
MP20, to its family of retailers and distributors. Pre-order sales have
been brisk and shipping is right on schedule. A limited number of
review units will be provided to the reef aquarium media. Please
contact Andrew Stanten, Altitude Marketing at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in receiving an MP20
for review. Some terms and conditions apply. The MP20 is ideally suited
for aquariums smaller than 70 gallons, and, like its big brother the
MP40w, produces unmatched broad yet gentle flow while placing the motor
outside the tankï¿½preserving the beauty of your
aquarium and enhancing the health of your tankï¿½s
ecosystem. MSRP on the MP20 is $295. To view a list of retailer
outlets, click the following link:
http://www.ecotechmarine.com/retailers/distributorlist.php The MP20
leverages the patented and award-winning technology of the MP40w and
offers many of the same features, including: - Feed More: Slows down
your pump for 10 minutes to allow you to feed your aquarium. - Constant
Speed Mode: The pump runs at a constant speed you set based on your
aquariumï¿½s specific needs. - Reef Crest Mode: Simulate
the high energy conditions of a natural reef crest environment. -
Lagoon Mode: Simulate a calmer, lagoon reef environment. - Long Pulse
Mode: Allows for wave pulse timings of between 2 and 60 seconds,
enabling the creation of slow alternating flow throughout the tank. -
Short Pulse Mode: Allows for wave pulse timings of between 0.3 and 2
seconds, enabling the creation of resonant standing waves within the
tank. - Night Mode: Enables the pump to operate for 14 hours in
whichever mode is selected for the day and go back to Night Mode for 10
hours. - Pump Disconnect: Automatically shuts down the system if the
wet and dry sides become separated. - Optional Battery Backup: Keeps
the circulation going during power failure for 120 hours or longer.
MP20 specifications include: - Appropriate Tank Size: 20 to 70 gallons
- Dimensions: - Wet Side: 3ï¿½ diameter by
2.25ï¿½ long - Dry Side: 3ï¿½ diameter by
2.25ï¿½ long - Flow: 500 to 2,000 gallons per hour -
Power consumption: 6 to 18 watts - Aquarium Wall Thickness:
3/16ï¿½ to 3/4ï¿½ - Clearance needed
behind aquarium: 3ï¿½ ï¿½We have on-going
dialogue with our customers, engage in frequent conversation with our
retailers, and the market has spoken,ï¿½ says Tim Marks,
EcoTech director of production. ï¿½The interest in
VorTech technology, for smaller tanks, with a limited range of
functionality and at a lower price point, is huge. Not everyone
perceives the need to have wireless communication between their pumps
or is ready to purchase the high end model of the most superior product
line on the market.ï¿½ The MP20 can easily upgrade to
the MP40w by purchasing a special upgrade kit which provides additional
functionality and flow and enables wireless communication between
pumps. With all the electrical components outside the aquarium and a
variety of easy-to-program modes, the VorTech remains the safest, most
versatile pump on the market. EcoTech Marine | 610.954.8480 |
email@example.com This message was sent by: EcoTech Marine, 1349
Lynn Ave, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Heat/Chiller, pump sel. 6/18/08 Hi
WWM, Does anyone know which pump produces less heat Sedra 9000 or
Sequence ReeFlo Dart Pump, 3600 GPH? <The Dart will likely impart
less heat into your water.> This is for my sump. I have a Cali ray
tank and all of the sudden my chiller isn't up to par like last
summer and I think its because I switched pumps form Sequence ReeFlo
Dart Pump, 3600 GPH to Sedra 9000. I am trying to narrow the problem
down. <I would have the chiller looked at. An appropriately sized
chiller should not have issues keeping up with the heat produced by
this pump. Have you noticed the chiller running longer or coming on
more often? Chillers are merely air conditioners for our water, they
need to be serviced from time to time. An air-conditioner tech in your
area will likely be able to help. Please help me if you can Thanks
Michelle <Welcome, Scott V.>
Inline vs. Submerged Pump 6/16/08
I'm planning to use a 10G tank as a sump for a 30G display. It will
have three compartments: 1. intake + skimmer, with baffles to 2.
refugium, with overflow to 3. return area. Most designs leave a
substantial return area which typically houses a submerged return pump.
My question is: Why submerged? Since it A. adds heat, and B. increases
the size of the return area, and so decreases what's left for the
fuge. Is there a reason for the popularity of submerged return
pumps? <Cost is probably the greatest factor. Submerged pumps are
generally cheaper. Also, certain submerged pumps rate as some of the
quietest out there (although many of these can also be run external).
The other issue is space, a submerged pump can simply be put into a
sump without the need for extra space in the stand. If you are
designing your own sump this may not matter.> I would rather make
the return compartment just wide enough for a pipe feeding an in-line
pump resting on top of the sump tank. (I'll also use an
auto-top-off.) Thanks --Jan <I totally agree with all the above
statements, all are factors for an individual consideration, every
application is different. With a smaller return compartment the auto
top off is that much more important. Welcome, Scott V.>
I Need A Quiet External Pump For My New
120g FOWLR System -- 04/22/08 I've been reading your
FAQ's for over 6 hours looking for my answer, but to no
avail. <<Oh?>> I'm moving from an 8 year old
20gal FOWLR with a DSB and plenum to a 120 gal FOWLR with the
potential to add some corals. <<Neat!>> My plan for
livestock is going to be smaller peaceful fish including my
current Tomato Clown <<Not a 'peaceful'
fish>> and Mandarin and eventually adding 2 Yellow Tail
Blue Hippo Tangs, <<Mmm, this' tank will hardly be
large enough for one' of these big (to 12'), robust, and
twitchy fish'¦and is certainly not large enough for
two>> 7 Blue Green Chromis, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish,
<<Can be difficult to keep. Do be sure to select a healthy
specimen that is feeding well'¦and have a read here too
(http://www.wetwebmedia.com/c_bispinosa.htm)>> 1 Longnose
Hawkfish, 3 Banggai Cardinal fish, <<These will likely end
up as a 'pair'>> a Long-Spine Urchin and maybe a
brittle star (not sure if he would compete too much with my
Mandarin's food. This list is from Mike Paletta's book
(except for the Tomato and the Mandarin) and I liked the
combination. Any red flags here? <<Indeed'¦as
indicated>> I've going to try a shallow sand bed with
my DSB in my refugium (50 gal). <<Sounds fine>>
I'm trying to decide on a pump. So far, my husband has been
pretty tolerant of my obsession, but if my new tank is noisy and
he has to turn up the TV to hear it, I think that tolerance will
disappear. <<Ah yes, the relative 'noise' of the/a
system is very often a prime (and understandable)
consideration>> So I need a quiet external pump since my
sump is being built to go external so I can have as big a
sump/refugium as possible. <<Mmm, a submerged pump would
prove to be quieter'¦and a less expensive option?? I had
settled on an Iwaki (Japanese model), but after reading and
reading, I'm concerned about the noise level. <<These
are very good/well made and quiet (relatively)
pumps'¦but they are not silent'¦and noise
levels do seem to vary 'slightly' among individual pumps
of the same model'¦or perhaps the installation has more
to do with this last item. If you're not looking for a high
flow rate, the smaller Iwaki pumps that don't employ a
cooling fan (usually the bulk of the noise generated) may suit
your purpose>> Most people have their Iwaki's outside
of their living quarters (garage, basement). Mine will be under
the display tank. Also, I'm not thrilled with having put on
my own plug, hello - I'm not an electrician!) <<A very
simple procedure'¦but I do understand your
hesitation>> Do you have any other suggestions as to the
quietest yet higher quality pump on the market? <<Depends
on your desired flow rate. For higher flow rates the Dolphin
pumps are reported to be pretty quiet with fairly good
reliability'¦GRI is also a very good pump and makes
about as much noise as the similarly sized Iwaki pumps. For a
lower flow rate, the Eheim hobby pumps (can be used as both
submersible or external) are worth investigating'¦quiet
and very well made>> I was reading some of the FAQ on the
Dolphin AmpMaster and saw some models mentioned; DP800 that
drives about 600 gph with a 4' head or a DP1200 driving 1050
gph with a 4'head. When I go to look for them, the company
doesn't appear to sell these smaller pumps anymore.
<<Mmm, yes'¦does seem to be a dearth of
information re'¦but you can find the DP800 and DP900
I'm not sure when the FAQ were written as they didn't
have a date on them. <<Then likely three years or
so>> Is this company no longer around or have they moved to
higher gph pumps only? <<Seemingly, the latter>> If
so, do you have any other suggestions as to a high quality
external pump that is quiet enough for my living room? <<As
stated, an external pump will be a bit of a trade-off re the
noise produced>> Ocean Runner? <<A
possibility'¦ I use a pair of 3500s for my return pumps
and I find them 'very' quiet'¦but they are run
submerged. But I have seen them installed as external
recirculation pumps on large skimmers and they did also seem
pretty quiet in this configuration as well>> My tank will
be the standard predrilled All-Glass Aquarium with 2 overflows
and rated for a maximum flow through of 1200 gph. <<Hmm,
these are very likely 1' throughputs/bulkheads. As such, you
should plan for a safe flow rate of no more than
600gph'¦especially considering your noise (or lack of!)
requirement. As such'¦the larger Eheim Hobby pump (model
1262); with a gate-valve plumbed on the return side to temper
flow if needed, may be perfect here>> The LFS told me to
get a pump that is rated 500 gph. <<After headloss,
yes'¦ And KUDOS to your LFS for recommending
such>> With the refugium just below the display, my head
should only be 4-5 ft, correct? <<This sounds about
right'¦aside from the vertical height, figure an
additional foot of headloss for each elbow and tee
fitting>> 500 gph sounds too low, doesn't it?
<<Nope'¦the drains on this tank will not handle
much more than this. But your pump will need to be rated higher
to allow for the headloss'¦and by using the gate-valve
mentioned, you can easily go big enough and still have the
capability to temper the flow if it proves to be too much>>
He said I should make up the rest with powerheads since I want to
do 10-20x. <<I'm liking this guy more and more [grin}.
I am much in agreement'¦ With noise as a prime
consideration, utilizing a small(ish) return pump helps with both
this and the plumbing issues/hassles associated with high flow
rates. Supplementing flow in the tank with powerheads as opposed
to an external (noisy) closed-loop will also prove very quiet.
And'¦there are more and better choices becoming
available nowadays>> Now I'm confused and not sure how
big of a pump to get now. <<For external
application'¦and in consideration of your
situation'¦the smaller Iwaki or larger Eheim pumps
should serve>> He's already not happy with me because I
want to get a Euro-Reef skimmer <<Ah! A VERY good
choice'¦and my current fave>> but his store only
carries the Nautilus. <<Is bunk'¦go with the
Euro-Reef>> He's custom making my refugium for me and
is going to do the plumbing setup (since that's the scariest
part for me). I ensured him that I'll be buying all my
livestock, rock, sand and tank from him, so not to worry,
he'll still make a lot of money off me (kept grumbling about
how internet sales was the bane of his existence). <<Mmm, I
can understand his position but don't let him sway
you'¦if you gave him the opportunity to obtain the
quality equipment you want/need and he can't deliver (for
whatever reason)'¦then don't feel bad about doing
what you need to do>> He also carries only the Rio &
Mag Drive pumps. <<A limited selection indeed'¦but
is he willing/can he not order other makes?>> I know the
Mag Drive pumps are good workhorses but they are also noisy, so
I'm trying to do the pump and skimmer on my own. <<I
think you are wise>> I really could use some advice and I
so much appreciate the fact that you are here to help. Your
advice makes this all possible. <<I hope I have provided
some useful input'¦but do feel free to write back for
clarification or further discussion>> Thanks!! <<Be
chatting. Eric Russell>>
Re: I Need A Quiet External Pump For
My New 120g FOWLR System (Livestock Plan) -- 04/29/08
Thank you so much Eric for all your help. <<Is my
pleasure>> I feel so much better about my pump concerns and
plan to go with the Eheim. <<An excellent choice>> I
also feel better about my LFS because of your comments.
<<Ah, good>> I understand what pressures they're
dealing with to keep alive, <<Indeed'¦>> but
I don't want to be stuck with buying inferior equipment
either, << Sadly, cheap and inferior seems easier (too
easy?) to sell. I know it's easy for me to say,
but'¦even though more expensive, beginning hobbyists
might be more successful; and save a little money in the long run
due to replacement, if offered and urged to by quality
functioning gear from the start. One should at least have
options/choices available if they've done their homework and
wish to be more discerning in their selections>> so
I'll continue to support them as much as I can because I
don't want to buy my livestock via mail order. <<The
dollar savings from buying off the NET are very small usually,
once you factor in shipping (less than $10 difference in my
dealings and with 'my' LFS), while the advantages of
buying your livestock through an LFS you trust can be
many>> So I'll do my best to keep them in business!
<<Very good>> Speaking of livestock, you helped me
solve my equipment problem, but what I thought was a good
livestock plan sounds not so great by your comments.
<<Yes'¦in fact I 'strongly disagree' with
some aspects your plan as originally presented>> I
seriously was taking the list from Michael Paletta's book,
"The New Marine Aquarium". <<And much fine
information to be found there'¦but we have a difference
of opinions re stocking selection/densities>> It was the
list for the 75 gal tank (I believe), <<Making it even more
disagreeable to me>> so thought if that was good, then a
120 should be "under stocked". <<Not with a
'pair' of Paracanthurus hepatus>> My two fish that
I currently have in my 20 gal is the Tomato clown and the Green
Mandarin (which I'm keeping fat and happy with frozen
Cyclops, live and frozen brine shrimp and now I'm culturing
copepods until my new refugium is up and running) - sorry - she
was an impulse buy - my fault for not researching
<<Yes'¦[grin]>> and another LFS which I no
longer frequent said was easy to care for and fine for a 20gal
<<An all too common tale>> - but I take personal
responsibility and am working hard to keep her happy.
<<Very well>> So I do need to build my list around
them, and knowing that the Tomato's reputation is that they
don't always play nice in the sandbox, <<Pretty much
true for all the Clownfishes. And ironically'¦ In more
than three decades in the hobby (and including a brief stint
working the retail side), clownfish species are the only fish to
have ever 'drawn blood' from me while working in the
tank>> I'm hoping to come up with a good livestock list
to go with him. I would like to keep the list as reef safe as
possible in case I want to add "easy" corals at a later
date. <<I see>> I love to watch them flow with the
water movement - it's mesmerizing and relaxing. Is there a
good suggested list to begin with knowing my starting point?
<<Many choices'¦ But what do 'you' like?
Best to start with a list of desired fishes and then research
them individually for compatibility and suitability to your
system>> I've read for many hours on all the different
types of fish and invertebrates (Bob and Anthony's Reef
Invertebrates is a great book). <<Agreed>> I thought
I had a good handle on the list until now. The recommended list
was: 2 Yellow Tail Blue Hippo Tangs; which you said was too many
for that tank and one was even pushing it. <<I did,
yes>> I found from reading that these didn't grow as
large <<Mmm'¦where did you read this I
wonder?>> as the yellow and purple's and the powder
blue, so thought that was why he was recommending them and that
they got along better as a pair compared to other tangs.
<<I don't recommend a pair of 'any'
Tang/Surgeonfish from the same species for your
tank'¦and most certainly not Paracanthurus hepatus. This
fish grows LARGER and more robust than the two Zebrasoma and one
Acanthurus species you mention (to 12' in the wild>>.
And in my opinion/experience, is one of the more high-strung and
easily damaged (socially/psychologically) tang
species'¦suffering terribly from just being 'raised
up' in a 'too small' system>> So you're
vote is no for a 120g. <<Yes'¦better choices
available>> Any similar type fish that you would recommend
- I'm for long term survival - I cry when any fish die -
that's just me. <<Though I stated I don't recommend
a pair from the same species (or genera, for that matter) for
your tank'¦I do think you could get away with two from
'differing' genera, with some though to selection and
introduction. The Yellow or Purple Tang would be a fine Zebrasoma
choice for the 120'¦and among Acanthurus species I think
A. japonicus (White-Faced or Gold-Rimmed Tang) or A. pyroferus
(Chocolate or Mimic Tang) are good choices'¦you could
also choose one of the smaller Ctenochaetus species if you wish
like C. strigosus (Kole Tang)>> 7 Blue Green Chromis; these
are ok? <<These are considered a more 'docile'
Damsel species, and are always a popular choice for a
'schooling' fish'¦but with the exception of very
large tanks (several hundred gallons and more), I don't
really recall any instances where the subordinate individuals
didn't all just 'disappear' until only one or two
specimens were left. As such, it is hard for me to recommend
these. If you decide to give them a go, I do recommend no more
than five for your tank>> I like to watch the schooling --
if not any other suggestions? <<Either Sphaeramia
nematoptera (PJ or Pajama Cardinal) or Apogon leptacanthus
(Threadfin or Longspine Cardinal) would be more successful
re'¦in my opinion. And again'¦no more than five
either species>> 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish; You said these
are difficult to keep <<Many come in 'damaged' from
collection/shipping>> - so odd that he recommends for a
beginner <<Differences of opinion'¦though they can
be very hardy/long-lived if a 'healthy' specimen can be
obtained and acclimates well>> - what about other
angelfish? <<Ah well, my personal fave Centropyge species
is C. loricula (Flame Angel). These are gorgeous fish that do
well in captive settings'¦and the best choice here I
think>> 1 Longnose Hawkfish, 3 Banggai Cardinal fish, you
said these would likely end up as a pair. <<Yes>>
Why? Because one would be killed off??
<<Indirectly'¦through stress, yes>> Then I
only want to start with two...so these are better as pairs or
more than 3? <<Results are much like those of the
Chromis... And just purchasing a 'pair' can be difficult
as differences between sexes are not readily apparent (the male
has a more angular head and a longer second dorsal fin)>> I
want to add the Long-Spine Urchin because of the relationship
they have with the cardinals <<Mmm'¦more as
juveniles than adults>> - similar to the clown and the
anemone but urchins are hopefully hardier than the anemones.
<<Diadema sp Urchins can get quite large'¦and in
my experience can be destructive in a reef system...but the
choice is yours>> Any other suggestions? The more I read,
the more I get nervous that I may mix Pacific fish with Atlantic
and so on and really do want what's best for the fish.
<<Do look up your choices/selections on fishbase.org. This
site is very useful for determining locale/origin'¦ and
for determining adult 'size' of the fishes you are
thinking of keeping>> Any suggestions for other
invertebrates with these suggestions for a beginner?
<<Hmm'¦the Hawkfish will make adding shrimp
difficult as they may be preyed upon'¦but do consider
some detritus feeding snails like Nassarius sp and maybe a
Brittle Starfish or two>> I wouldn't mind starting off
with a known successful mix rather than trial and error by
killing off perfectly helpless fish. <<Nothing is a
guarantee'¦even 'my' selections [big
grin]>> I've read the article on Steven Pro's 55
gal setup http://www.pmas.org/pro/ <<Ah yes, and do note
how the tank is NOT filled up with rock'¦>> but
wish he would update us with his new 120 gal so I can see how he
stocked it. <<Why not ask him to do so
(http://forum.marinedepot.com/Forum14-1.aspx)>> Do you know
what he ended up doing? <<I'm afraid I
don't>> He had a Maroon Clownfish-Premnas biaculeatus
an Orange Tail Fiji Damsel-Chrysiptera cyanea, an Algae
Blenny-Salarias fasciatus and a Yellow Tang-Zebrasoma flavescens
in the 55 gal. My tomato has been with me since 2004 and has been
playing nice with the mandarin who has been with me for over 6
mos. I couldn't find any sample combination lists in the FAQ
sections, only very nice write ups on the individual species. Any
help or direction you can point me to would be absolutely great.
<<I hope I have done so>> I have plenty of time, my
new tank has to cycle for a few months, but need to get my plan
going so I know when to introduce my tomato - before or after the
others to help keep the fighting to a minimum. I want a happy
tank! Thanks so much Eric for all your help! <<Quite
welcome>> Sorry my email is so long <<No
worries>> - hopefully it gives you the info you need though
to help me out! Jean <<Species selection is a serious
process but is also part of the fun of system setup. Do keep
reading/researching, and feel free to discuss with/bounce your
selections off me if you wish. Regards, Eric Russell>>