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FAQs about Pump Installation/Arrangement

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Related FAQs: Pump Trouble 1, Electricity FAQ 1, GFCIs and Marine Aquariums Marine Circulation 2, Marine Circulation 3, AerationPumps, Powerheads, PlumbingMake Up Water Systems, Sumps RefugiumsSurge Devices

What will suffer if the power goes out? Agariciid TBI. in the Turks.

Pump question     3/19/18
Hey Bob good afternoon. So today I finished setting up my 750 and got it up and running. Unfortunately I am very disappointed in the pressure at my return nozzles in the tank. I am running a Reeflo hammerhead gold. There is about 14-15 feet of 3/4” pvc
<Yeeikes John. This is a VERY long way to pump any pressure, volume of water through 3/4" pipe>
and 4 90* elbows between the pump output and the return nozzles.
<Heeee! Even worse... >

The flow is barely noticeable when I put my hand next to it. Can you recommend a pump that is going to really push some water around in that thing? Thank you in advance!
<Umm; for this volume system... I do hope you have bigger through puts/bulkheads than three quarters of an inch. Let's have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pumpselmar6.htm
and the linked files above for background. Do you have a pref. for 12 V or 120? Very quiet, less waste producing? Minimalized electrical consumption? Data please. BobF>
Re: Pump question     3/19/18

What I did was build a manifold for 6 return nozzles. The manifold is made of 3/4” pvc pipe that runs on top of the back topside edge of the tank. From that manifold I installed 3 pvc Ts that are cut through the lid and each of those Ts have 2 nozzles each for a total of 6 nozzles that are 3/4” each. I hope I painted a clear pic for you with that explanation.
<The existing pump; what is the diameter of the volute on the discharge side? I would NOT change this till reaching the manifold>
Maybe I can get a pic and send it if you aren’t clear on my explanation.
<A diagrammatic drawing would be better>
I was just thinking that the hammerhead would be more powerful than it is. I think before I change the pump out that I’ll replace the pvc between the pump and manifold with 3/4 tubing.
<Yes. IF it is more than 3/4 inch diam. for sure>
That would eliminate 3 of the 90* elbows that are currently there now. Thank you for that link, I’ll check it out now.
<Cheers, BobF>
Re: Pump question     3/19/18

Oh sorry I forgot to add a reply to your question. I really don’t care if it’s an AC or DC pump. I just need something with a little more balls than that hammerhead
<There are several, many options. B>
Re: Pump question     3/19/18
The discharge on the volute is 1.5” and I have it reduced down to 3/4” right at the discharge. Did I make a mistake by doing that??
<Heeeee! Oh yes. The induced drag is incredible>
I just assumed that using 1.5” pipe from the pump to the manifold would be way to much water weight in the pipe and suffocate the pump. Is that incorrect?
<Yes; incorrect. Go back to the 1.5 up to the manifold. B>
Thank you as always,
Re: Pump question     3/19/18

Will do. Thanks again Bob.

Puffer proofing. Internal pump placement, use concerns       3/9/16
Mr. Bob and crew, Haha, I ain't finished bugging you yet about the puffer I plan to purchase ;)I did decide on which species to get. I am going to get a dog face puffer for my tank which is 150 g. 29 g refugium, and about 30
gallons in the sump.
<A good choice>
Will be the only fish.
<Mmm; I'd add more>
My question is... I can Not figure out the best way to puffer proof the power heads.
<Really just complete, and possibly enlarged intake screens. Some units these can be purchased for; others you have to fashion... Hide behind rock, drill and fit PVC etc., cover in large-cell foam...>
Omg! Too many horror stories about that! Some suggestions are sponges, but with their curious nature that sounds like an accident waiting to happen. I thought about lighting grate. I think people call it egg crate?
<Yes; another good choice>
I could build a little cage around my power heads?
<Yes; or maybe use more, smaller volume/suction pumps>
The squares look awful big. I dontbknowcwhat size the fish will be when I finally purchase it. I did find a product for crafts called Darice 7 plastic mesh. It is 7 squares per inch. I am waiting for an email back and hoping they will tell me what it is made of.
<Something chemically inert>
I know what it do with the cords.
<Set these underwater units just below the surface... with the cords out... this is the best placement... AT the air-water interface, for moving the most water...>
But can't figure out the safest for my power heads. Hee hee I had ordered some Hydor 3250 gph but whoa! What a sand storm, lol I tried some 1950 but not enough flow.
<Again; consider using multiple units>
I am considering the.. I think they are 2200 or something like that. Maybe once I build a safety over the power heads I can use the 3250's. I bought a wave maker and will start off with them at minute intervals just in case so
the little fellow could escape if needed. Maybe that should be 30 seconds?
<Shorter... 15 at most is what I'd use>
I am setting up a 40g qt. I bought a large sponge filter which is seeding in the sump. I bought a bio wheel 350 but have no place to put it on the 150 to seed. Can I cut some aquarium foam and put in the sump.
Sorry for the long post. I just thought you might be missing me..lmao!!HaVe A hApPy DaY :)Stace.
<And you. Bob Fenner>

Latest from LA Fishguys         8/12/15
Hi Bob,
It’s the latest from LA Fishguys, Episode 145 The Water Pump Switch-A-Roo
<Thanks Jimbo; will plug on WWM. Cheers, B>
Your Commercial is in Part Two
Part One https://youtu.be/Pd-U7eL6DGw
Part Two https://youtu.be/BtlWJy89ZT0
Part Three https://youtu.be/khV6ChBMX9c
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

Re: Question re. plumbing a closed loop manifold, pump pb  12/12/09
Thanks Scott for your quick response. One clarification, and subsequent question. It is in fact the Barracuda I am considering, but I got the G/hr wrong in my original e-mail. With an estimated 10 feet of head and at least 8 manifold openings at 350 G/hr per opening, I figure this kind of power is necessary.
<Will work fine.>
Anyway, these pumps come with a 1 ½ inch intake instead of the 2 inch that comes with the Dart. In your comments below, did you recommend going to a 2 inch intake instead of the 1 ½ inch because of the 2 inch intake on the Dart? Or is it a good idea to go with a 2 inch even though I will need to reduce it to a 1 ½ inch anyway before it joins the pump.
<I would intake with a 2" line at this flow, just reduce it at the pump connection.>
In terms of my options, I think I'll try the over the tank one first, but move to drilling a new hole if it doesn't work out as well as I would like. I will, however, start to read with more interest the FAQ's re. tank draining/relocation. Regardless, option 2 is off the table.
Thanks again. Andrew
<Welcome, have fun, Scott V.>
Question re. plumbing a closed loop manifold
Ah, knew I should have waited. One additional quick question. If I stick with the 1 ½ inch PVC vs. the 2 inch, but put one such "U" on either end of the tank and join them before it gets to the pump, will this sufficiently increase the flow capacity?
<In a similar way to using 2", yes. The 2" vs. 1.5 is not life or death here though. The 2 is just "better", but the difference in flow will likely not even be noticeable to be honest.>
If I did that, would it be better that each "U" is separate or can they be at opposite ends of a common piece of PVC that spans the bottom of the tank?
<May be the way to go. I am a fan of multiple intakes when possible. Stuff always has a way of clogging up junk when you just have one!>
Let me know if I am not describing this well enough, and I will try my hand at PowerPoint again.
Thanks muchly. Andrew
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Maximize Pump Flow Rate With Larger Diameter Pipe? -- 01/16/08 I was in touch with Danner Mfg. today regarding their Mag Drive Pumps and flow charts. They confirmed that their charts say that you must use minimum 1-1/2" hose to get maximum flow. <<Yes, I have heard this about these pumps as well. Although, I do seem to recall some 'unofficial' testing re that indicated the advantage to using the larger diameter piping on the output was marginal>> Since many return lines are much less (AGA overflow kit has 3/4" for example), most aquarium users are getting a significantly reduced flow. <<If using these pumps you mean 'maybe so. Although the pipe diameter may play a small part, my own experience with these (most any brand) pumps is that the presence and number of bends/restrictions (elbows/tees) plays a much greater role in flow reduction>> I'm using a Mag 7 submersed in my wet/dry in a 54 gallon reef tank. <<This 'size' pump is likely ideal (after head loss) for the drain on this tank>> I was considering going up to a Mag 9.5 to increase flow, but according to them I could go significantly larger. <<I disagree'¦ Unless your plumbing configuration presents a 'bunch' of back-pressure/head loss to the pump, I think you run the risk of overwhelming what is likely a 1' drain with even the Mag-9.5 pump>> In the AGA brochure, it states that the built-in overflow can handle up to 600 GPH using a 2400 GPH rated pump at 5' of head. <<Mmm, I'm not sure what the correlation to the 2400gph pump is here, as it is 'way too much' for this tank's overflow drain '¦which should in reality be limited to a return of no more than 300gph>> So I think that means I could use a Mag 24 if my return line is 3/4" which it is. <<Not even close'¦ Though the Mag Drive is not a true 'pressure-rated' pump, a Mag-24 will move a whole lot more water than your tank's 1' drain can handle 'even through ¾' pipe at 5' of head. As mentioned, the return flow for this tank should be regulated to about 'half' that stated in the kit (i.e. - 300gph), else you risk overfilling/overflowing the tank. You can try the Mag-9.5 if you want/truly think the return flow is that diminished with the Mag-7, but be sure to plumb a gate-valve on the output side of the pump to temper flow if needed. But, if you need to significantly increase water flow within the tank, you will have to turn to other means (powerheads, Tunze Stream pump, closed-loop'¦)>> Are there any pumps out there that are rated accurately for aquarium use when using 3/4" return line? <<All things being equal, a true pressure-rated pump like the Iwaki 'RLT' line of pumps is a good choice/is likely what you seek here. But the Iwaki is an 'external' pump 'if you want a 'submersible' with more 'power' than the Mag Drive pumps; look in to the Ocean Runner line of pumps. In 'my' experience, the OR pumps deliver more flow at a given height than a like-rated MD pump. I also consider the Ocean Runner pump to be more reliable than the Mag Drive (less prone to freeze-up or not 'restarting' if the power goes off), and they run smoother/quieter>> Let me know what you think. <<You have my input>> Mitch <<Regards, EricR>>

Question Regarding Two-Pump Sump And Refugium Return Setup -- 12/13/07 Hi, <<Hello>> I can't seem to find an answer to this question in your website and I'm wondering if you can help me. <<I shall certainly try>> I have a 110 gallon FOWLR with a wet/dry sump and an Eheim Hobby 1262 return pump (900gph) that is currently running. <<Okay>> I'm planning to add another sump just for refugium (live rocks and macro algae) and use my Mag-Drive (1200gph). <<Mmm'¦>> Would there be any problem if both sumps (with different pump speed) are running separately into the same tank?? <<Even though you have not provided any information re your plumbing scheme (Number/size of drains, how these vessels will be 'fed' from the tank), I recommend you do NOT try this'¦ Even if the drains are sized appropriately for the flow rates, you will have great difficulty/an impossible task keeping the flow regulated for the individual pumps (and before you ask'¦no'¦valves on the drain lines are not the answer). What is most likely to happen is the flow will equalize between the overflows causing one pump to starve and one pump to not keep up (overflow the vessel). Even if you use dissimilar drain diameters, the smaller will be overwhelmed and surge 'with the resultant noise and bubbles. Nor is utilizing two pumps of the same flow/manufacture going to work as differences in head-pressure caused by subtle differences in plumbing, even differences in the rate of buildup of bio-film within the plumbing, will still keep the flow from being exactly the same between the two. Your best option is to plumb the refugium to gravity-drain in to the pump chamber of the sump (fed by one of the drains). And there's no reason you can't put both pumps here (the sump) if you wish to have the extra flow 'assuming your drains can handle the total output, which for the two pumps you have listed I recommend three -- 1/1/2' drains OR two -- 2' drains '¦minimum'¦>> Thank you in advance for your response. Regards, Miguel <<Happy to share Miguel'¦ Do write back if what I have stated is not clear or you wish to discuss further. EricR>>

Overflow prevention, electrical kill switches    9/28/07 Crew- <Craig> Do any of you clever people know of an electrical approach to keep the power off to my return pump in case of a power outage? <Mmm, there are a few... you can build or buy... I'd call on a licensed electrician here... as "the code" varies by State, country...> I have a return pump that I do not want to restart in case of an outage. <You are wise here... too much chance of more trouble... overheating, fire...> I have done some searching re this subject but have only found generators, battery backups to take over for a loss of power. I am looking for a solution that would keep the power from coming back on to the pump in the event that power is lost. <There are such switches...> Having staged several "drills" to test my overflow, there is no way I can be assured the overflow will restart and keep up with the return pump if power is lost. Adding additional draining capacity is not an option at this stage. Thanks for your input, contributions. Craig <Mmm, am wont to state much for fear of liability... Again, there are simple devices to do what you want. Perhaps even available "off the shelf" at large-box hardware stores... Bob Fenner>

Pump Mounting/Damping Vibration -- 09/26/07 Again after searching through the web I resort to this wonderful wealth of knowledge. <<We're pleased you think so>> I have been looking for the best way to mount two Sequence Darts underneath my tank. Oh by the way, I'm assuming it's better to have a pump pushing the water rather than pulling it, am I correct? <<Oh yes! The pumps need to be flooded/gravity fed/positioned below the tank>> I had thought about mounting the pumps on rubber mats, but I'm not sure how to fix everything together. <<...?>> Obviously if it's screwed in anyway to the floor it will transfer the noise, and the rubber pad will be for not. <<Ahh...yes, you are correct. But there's no need to 'secure' the pumps so... Simply let them 'rest' on the rubber pads>> The rubber can be glued to the floor, but I'm still stumped how to mount the pump to the rubber in a way that it can removed easily for routine service/cleaning. <<As just stated>> What solutions do most people use? These pumps will be mounted in-line and not submerged. <<I like to use segments of the rubber flooring used in workshops to lessen back fatigue from standing on a concrete floor...but you can use just about any material that will dampen vibration...including simple computer mouse pads>> Once again, I am grateful for your experience. Cheers, Olly
<<Happy to share, Olly. EricR>>

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