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FAQs about Pump Troubles/Repairs 1

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Pump noise question with a twist  10/3/05 Greetings crew. <And to you> I really hope that I didn't miss the answer to this in the FAQs, if I did, I apologize in advance. I have a Japanese Iwaki 30 series for the return pump from my sump.  Due to space constraints, it is connected to the sump via vinyl tubing, and it returns the water to the tank via vinyl tubing & SCWD.  All of the drain lines are hard plumbed.   I passed the freshwater leak test but there is an underlying hum from the pump that is, I believe, louder than I might achieve.  After a bit of poking around, I believe that the vinyl tubing that connects the sump to the Iwaki is amplifying what would be a tolerable amount of vibration noise from the pump itself.  I believe this is the cause because I can feel the vibration in that length of tubing, but not in the pump, or the walls of the sump. Changing the orientation/underlayment of the pump has no effect, but I can dull the noise by fiddling with the orientation of the vinyl tubing.  I'm just hoping that there might be a more permanent solution to the problem without me having to hold the vinyl tubing just so, as it would make it very difficult to observe the tank while holding onto the sump plumbing :*) Hard plumbing this I don't believe is feasible, due to limited space. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. <Although the Iwaki's are an excellent pump, I think they are a little noisier than most. Hard plumbing the return would just make this noisier.  If the pump is inside a cabinet you could line the cabinet with insulating foam.  This will dampen the noise level.  You may want to put a piece of foam under the pump itself also.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks so much, Sam

Pump prefilter  9/1/05 Bob, You were right about my knowledge on the venturi system. I bought a Kent Marine Venturi tube and hooked it up to the discharge of my pump. Like magic my Turboflotor is working great. <Ahh, glad you solved that mystery> I now have a question about something I am considering trying, and have found no mention of anyone else doing on this website or any other. My problem is that I still get some bubbles coming back from my sump to my main tank. <Not uncommon> I have the over/under/over baffles and that still allows some to enter the pump intake ending up in my tank. The only way I have found to stop them is to put the prefilter that came with the pump (MagDrive 9.5) on the intake. I've been cleaning it out really well once a week, but it still concerns me. I was wondering if you or anyone you know has ever tried to cut a filter pad to the shape of the plastic intake guard of a pump. I know that the filter pad would have a smaller pore size which will decrease the flow into the pump. <... and be real trouble if it gets "too" clogged, or sucked in!> I think that the smaller width of the filter pad will end up making the pressure drop through it just about the same as the prefilter the pump came with. <Likely more> On a side note I am also planning on putting a filter sock on the overflow coming from my tank into my sump. <A much better idea... these pumps are almost all made to "push, not pull"... are centrifugal... Not a good idea to restrict intake...> Thanks in advance for any suggestions or advice against doing so. Cory <Welcome. Bob Fenner> Tank Sump Flow Balance Problem <?> 8/5/05 We're having a flow balance problem we need help with.  Setup is basically a 125GL acrylic display tank with a 60GL sump/refugium, plumbed with two CPR CS10 (1400 GPH) overflows on a 1-1/2" line to the sump (ball valve in line to control flow to the sump), <No need....> and a Supreme MD36 Mag Drive Pump (3600 GPH @0'head) return, split into three 1" return zones, off of a 1-1/2" PVC manifold. Zone 1) 3/4" manifold to five LocLine valves around the top of the tank, controlled by a 1" valve, Zone 2) 3/4" manifold to two LocLine valves at each end of the tank, bottom and back, and to a SCWD, center of the tank, on a 1" valve Zone 3) a 1" bypass/return from the sump pump, back to the sump (to balance flow) on a 1" valve. The sump is divided into three areas, first, 7" wide, holds a Turboflotor 1000 Multi skimmer, three baffles (over, under, over), an open area for a future refugium, baffle, and 6" pump area. <Okay> Now, a balanced flow between the tank and the sump can only be reached by shutting off the zone 3 bypass valve, and low tank zone 2 valve, and closing the upper tank zone 1 valve to one quarter open. The flow from the upper zone 1 (five outlets) is only moderate (not even as much as a power head).  It seems that the flow from the CPR boxes (straight drop, one 90 elbow, no restrictions) is way too low for the pump's capacity (Approximately 4' head, and the two zone lines are 5', 1" vinyl flex lines into 3/4" manifold lines). <Yes> The pumps documentation calls for a minimum 1-1/2" input and output lines, on 1" threaded fittings.)  I expected noise from the pump, but it's WAY too loud for a living area. <Time to trade this pump in for something smaller, more quiet... or...> We have fan and round nozzles for the LocLine valves, not yet installed, and I understand that, with a nozzle restriction that even though flow will not increase, <It will decrease> water velocity should.  The other option we're considering is restricting the 3/4" lines at the output to 1/2", and switching to 1/2" LocLine valves.  The idea behind valves with nozzles at each of the outlets is to be able to control and direct flow in the display tank. The overflows seem to be working correctly, what suggestions would you have for the return situation (pump, flow, noise) ? <... trade this pump in... or add overflow capacity... these are your two options. Bob Fenner>

Pump question 7/31/05 hello, I was recently given a pond master 9.5 pump that had been used for approximately 1 month in an outdoor pond.  would it be safe, after cleaning, to use this in my saltwater aquarium?  Brian <Write the folks at Supreme and ask. Don't think so. Bob Fenner> Rio 1100 not pulling air Good Morning, Hopefully you can help me out.  My local pet stores are baffled... I have a RIO 1100 hooked up to a protein skimmer in a sump.  The pump recently stopped pulling air into the protein skimmer.  I checked all the valves and cleaned the pump and it still didn't work.  I decided to purchase a new 1100 RIO and it still doesn't pull air...  Any thoughts? Thank you for your help in advance Justin <Mmm, like all such centrifugal pumps, not made to "pull air"... likely there is a "bubble" that is trapped around the impeller, spinning in balance... less dense than water... such that it doesn't get discharged out of the otherwise water-filled volute... Thus, the use of elution valves... Venturis, to entrain air with water on the discharge sides of such pumps. Bob Fenner>  

- Strange Pump Noise - Guys, I have a slight problem with a new Panworld 100PX-X pump that is hooked into my closed loop.  The pump has a 1" inlet and 1" outlet... but I'm running 1 1/2" hose down to the pump to make sure it doesn't cavitate.  I have a 1" hose coming out of the pump up to my closed loop manifold.  I assure you the pump is completely isolated from vibration type noise.  I have attached a picture to show you my setup. My problem is that there is a slight intermittent spitting sound coming from the impeller portion of the pump. <Sounds like you're drawing air every so often.> It never really stops, but it's a random noise (not cyclic).  I'm sure its not cavitation, because there are no bubbles going down into pump inlet (I can see through the clear hose). <They wouldn't have to be very large.> The pump has plenty of water to work with.  Premium Aquatics told me to take apart the pump and inspect it for something inside it... but I'm only running freshwater for my test setup... no sand, coral, etc.  I took it apart and found nothing out of the ordinary.  After assembling it and running it again... the same spitting sound was there.    Moving the pump around does not affect the noise. <Would suggest you use the valve on the output side to throttle the pump back ever so slightly and see if this noise still occurs.> Any idea what it might be? <Beyond air in the line, no.> Have you ran into this issue before? <Not on my own systems.> (By the way, I'm out of the 30 day internet warranty period... and I'm just curious to what could be causing this because I think I've done everything right with the plumbing) Thanks,
<Cheers, J -- >
- Follow-up on Strange Pump Noise - Follow up after some testing... After reading more WWM FAQ's, I stumbled on the fact that might pump might still be cavitating even though I have enough water for the pump?? <Can happen.> I don't understand this... <Air induction in the plumbing.> But I guess it is cavitation that I'm hearing even though there isn't any air to cause cavitation.  I have 1200 GPH running through my closed loop manifold to 4 evenly spaced LocLine nozzle outlets (300GPH each).  It works great along with my (2) 300GPH return nozzles for a 75 gal tank. What's strange is that I blocked one of the nozzles with my finger thus increasing the resistance to the pump and the spitting noise went away instantly.  Why would more resistance to the pump stop the cavitation noise?? <Supply versus demand.>  It seems like it would be just the opposite.  Along the same lines I closed off part of my pump outlet to the manifold using the ball valve.  After adjusting it to put more load on the pump, the spitting noise once again stopped.  Can you guys explain this madness?  I surely don't want to only have 3 closed loop manifold nozzles although I guess I could. <I'd just close the ball valve a little bit...> And I'm not sure its a good idea to restrict the pump outlet with the ball valve. <Will only up your electric bill a little bit - will not harm the pump.> I am confused here. <The pump is just driving the system more than it can actually take in water. This may seem counter intuitive because you increased the inlet side, but you just have to take my word for it that this is in fact possible. The increased diameter of plumbing right before the pump could be inducing turbulence at the restriction and this is what is causing the cavitation. Throttling back on the supply side is just reducing this turbulence.> Thanks,
<Cheers, J -- >
- Closed Loop Bubble Trouble? - Hello Good People, John Here; This is not a question but rather I was moved to provide input regarding a question from yesterday where the individual had pump noise/cavitation trouble on a closed-loop circulation system.  I myself have tried to get a closed loop system going using a MAG350 (as a test bed, since I had one) and later with a MAG950 to provide the desired circulation with my final plumbing. The plumbing consisted of a pipe going up and over the rim to the pump, through a SCWD and two lines back to the tank.  What I found, and what my limited knowledge of fluid dynamics suggests, is that if your pump draws water faster than it would flow by gravity, a low pressure is imparted on the water.  Since the solubility of gas in water is proportional to pressure, any dissolved gases in the water may come out of solution in the form of bubbles (akin to opening a bottle of soda pop) which will cause pump cavitation and, in my case, bubbles in the discharge. The solution is to throttle the pump discharge valve (reducing flow and tank turnover) or increase the diameter of the suction line (preferred). This idea was proven nicely with the MAG350 which performed well with a 1" suction line whereas it cavitated with 3/4 or 1/2" line. Alas, with the 950, a 1.5" suction line was required and the height of the elbow above the tank (un-drilled, sigh) causes a sufficient temporary pressure drop at the elbow to cause the air to come out of solution regardless.  So far, I haven't figured a way around this and am still using power heads.  Some kind of wide flat elbow or two smaller ones in parallel may work, but I haven't tried it yet. <Thanks for sharing.>
<Cheers, J -- >

- Strange Pump Noise, Follow-up - Thanks for the information... <My pleasure.> I think I'm going to try to go to a slightly smaller nozzle size on the LocLine return outlets... maybe try one at a time going from diameter 3/8" down to 1/4" to tweak the pump into not cavitating. Is this a suitable fix also?  It seems like the same thing as throttling the pump exit only better. <That may help. Cheers, J -- >

Fix a Submersible Pump PP- Hi, <Hello there> I was asked to fix a cat water fountain that was picked up used. The pump seemed to be working, but there was no production. A quick look at the WEB showed a replacement part for $16 plus shipping (to go in a $20 product new). Before dropping the whole thing in the bin, I opened the pump assembly and found that it was fairly well made, serviceable and could be easily cleaned with a bit of soap <Hopefully thoroughly rinsed afterward...> and old tooth brush.  Once the thin film of slime was cleared up the unit worked fine. Cheers, - Rick ;^) <Great! Often a little investigation, simple cleaning of impeller, volute... works seeming wonders. Bob Fenner>  

Turboflotor 1000 Multi SL Hi guys really appreciate a hand, thanks for any advice you can give me.  I am from England so some products may differ in some respect. <Yes... though these products are largely made in Germany> I purchased the Turboflotor 1000 multi SL the other day. It came with an Ocean Runner PH2500 pump, with a needle wheel. It seemed to do a good job in removing stuff; I only have LR in presently. But the pump will just keep shutting off like it is overheating or something. <... not good> Making no sound or vibration, like it has been switched off. After a few minutes it will come back on, then ten minutes later it's back off again. Ever heard of this problem? <Yes, rare, but on occasion. Do take/send this back through your store/stockist... they will replace it> It is currently hanging onto my sump which is empty and only used for equipment. I have read through the FAQ's on this skimmer but haven't seen a problem like this one as such. I returned my first skimmer believing the problem to be a dodgy pump. I then took another from the shelf got it home and have had the same problem. <This is quite/very odd... am now wondering if there is summat odd with your electrics... I would have this tested if a third pump acts the same way> I am a big fan of Eheim products and utilize their equipment, externals, on all my freshwater tanks. I noticed that many a time you recommend ditching the RIO? (is this an American Ocean Runner?)... <Heee! Well put... yes, I am a much bigger fan of the Eheim product line> ..in favour of a 1060. What model would you recommend now? I believe the 1060 is no more. <This is what I would try... even w/o the needle wheel> And I don't understand from past FAQ's how you rig an air intake to it. <Mmm, let's see... imagine a "venturi" of sorts... a "Tee" cut in between the discharge point of the pump and the way into the skimmer... with a valve on the Tee allowing you to adjust the degree of air intake... does this make sense?> It seems these Ocean Runner pumps are no good. What other factors could be causing it to shutdown? I have a reasonable understanding of skimmers, I work in a LFS. But can't get my head round the problem. <Mmm, I do believe this is an instance of a "bad run" of pumps from a manufacturer end> Gladly I have no livestock in at the moment. The tank is a small 48*18*18 and the skimmer at present is on for 10 minutes then off for 10. Will it still be capable of doing a job for me? <No... I would not continue to use this pump> Thanks mucho for any help. Any other pump replacement suggestions, bearing in mind UK resident would be most welcome. Ian PS, half way through TCMA, great read. <Ah, glad you are enjoying this book. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Turboflotor 1000 Multi SL Excellent thanks a lot for the tips. I don't fancy returning to the shop again quoting the same problem. I'd rather have an Eheim anyway. <Me too> I have seen these things run dry all night at work and there be nothing wrong with it in the morning! A true workhorse! The externals I have owned are extremely well designed; I have nothing but faith in this company. <I as well> When I said the 1060 was no more I was under the impression the model is no longer in production. I realize the 1260 is supposed to be the "new" 1060 but it also has an increased GPH. <Yes... there is still some back stock of the older model about (here in the U.S.)> Surely reducing the flow will shorten the life of the pump a fair bit! <Mmm, actually not much if at all... well-engineered to work under a range of conditions> But I suppose it would be easy enough to do from the intake side. <Mmm, no... centrifugal pumps should be valved/restricted only on their discharge sides> Is there now a more suitable one? I guess I should aim towards the 2500 litre an hour mark the Ocean Runner quotes.  I understand about the "venturi" idea now thanks. I was thinking along the lines of the intake side of the pump and allowing the paddle, although not a needle wheel, to hit the bubbles. But between the Eheim and skimmer sounds simpler and healthier for the pump. <Is so> Thanks again Ian <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Pumps and air bubbles 1/4/05 Good morning Bob and Crew, <howdy!> As I was reading over the daily Q & A portion of your site I read something that caught my attention. "Do you get lots of fine bubbles in your return line?  If so, your pump is cavitating" I seem to have the same problem with small bubbles coming from my return line now that I added a more powerful external pump. The flow rate is approximately 1200 GPH coming off two overflows into the sump. <no worries... many ways to stop this. The simplest of which is a coarse foam block perhaps (like the largest Aquaclear foam insert for their powerfilters). The question I have is I'm not sure what is meant by "cavitating". <do a keyword google search for a more scientific definition... and/or a search of the same on reef tank specific web sites like reefcentral.com where the topic and archived discussions are more prevalent> I have tried adding foam to the sump on the outlet fitting that didn't really seem to work. <heehee... I should have read further <G>> I have a protein skimmer in the sump but I have stared at that thing for hours trying to figure it out and I don't believe the bubbles are coming from the skimmer. <agreed... not likely> Thanks again for all your help. <your next option is actually to increase the inlet size. A pump with a 1" intake may need a 2" feed. This may require the redrilling of your sump. In an effort to reduce cavitation ("whipping air into solution" so to speak> P.S. I bought the larger pump after reading many great articles on Cyano. And with in two weeks the problem with the Cyano was gone. <outstanding to hear! Anthony>

Fixing a noisy pump I have a 100 gallon aquarium with two CPR overflows (each with two 1" bulkheads). Each overflow is rate at 1200gph. The water flows into my sump and is returned by a mag drive 36. I am using the pump externally and have found it to be very loud. I have stuck towels underneath it and rapped it in towel. This seems to cut the sound down slightly, it sound more like a diesel engine running inside my house opposed to a jet engine. What should be my next step to cut down on the noise? I am thinking about spraying polyurethane all around the pump, this foam would hopefully cut down on the sound. Also, would adding more head pressure help with the problem. If so I thought I might install some extra height to the plumbing. If I have to, I am willing to buy another pump. I heard that dolphin pumps are quite but all of the larger pumps have 1.5" or 2" returns. I could adapt them down to 1" but the company says this could drop pump performance by 50%, that would mean that I would have to by a pump rated at around 6000gph. I really need some help sorting out this problem. Thank you very much, Andy <Hello Andy,  You certainly don't want to cover the pump with anything, it certainly will shorten its life.  All of these type pumps are rather noisy to an extent, but I've never had one that really bothered me.  Do you get lots of fine bubbles in your return line?  If so, your pump is cavitating, and that will increase the noise level.  If you have a cabinet, you might try lining the interior of the cabinet with the pink insulation foam sheets.  That should dramatically cut down on the noise.  Don't know how old the pump is, but you may need a new impeller shaft and rubber bushings.  James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Fixing a noisy pump I looked at the system closely and I will describe it to you so you might be able to find the problem that is causing the noise. My first observation is that in the large chamber of my CPR overflows, there is only about 2" of water and a continuous amount of water (looks like a small waterfall) flows into the chamber. When the water enters the sump, it comes out 4 separate 1" outlets. One drains from up high into bio balls, one is slightly above the sumps water level and two are down in the water in the sumps. I notice that a lot of bubbles come out of the two submersed lines. These return lines are within 2" of the intake of the return pump. A lot of bubbles are being returned to the tank. I suspect that these bubbles are adding to the noise. However, I tried the pump when the sump was full and the overflows were stopped (to see how noise the pump would be if it wasn't sucking in tiny bubbles) and the pump was just as loud. I hope my description will help you find the problem(s) with my system. Thanks, Andy <Hello Andy,  Its pretty hard to come to a conclusion as far as an answer goes without actually seeing the system.  Is this noise "water noise" or actual pump noise?  James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Fixing a noisy pump The pump was new and right out of the box. I am getting a lot of fine bubbles. How can I stop this and help the pump to quiet down. Thanks, Andy Andy, You need to make sure that there are no leaks in any of the fittings on the inlet side of the pump.  The smallest opening will draw air like a venturi and transfer this to the tank.  Use Teflon tape on your fittings to seal them properly.  James (Salty Dog)>

45-Degree Angled Iwaki Pump Output Dear Sir or Madam: I recently purchased an Iwaki MD-30RXT pump and noticed that the pump output opening is not aligned vertically.  Unlike the diagrams, it points 45 degrees from vertical.  Can the pump head to which the output is attached be removed and rotated?  <Yes, That can be done and I have done it before.>It seems possible to remove 6 bolts and rotate the head by 60 degrees, in which case, the output will only be 15-degrees from vertical.<If I did my math right...If you rotate the alignment by one bolt you should be vertical.  Good Luck. MikeB.> Thanks very much. Regards, Paul. This Old Pump... Mystery leak on Eheim 2128 Didn't find this in the searches, so I'll throw it over to you guys. <No worries. Ryan with you today> I have an Eheim 2128 that is only a couple of years old, and it started leaking in a very odd place.  The pump/top has a small cavity underneath where the pump's cord comes out (I imagine that the 2126/2026/2028 have this same physical feature). <Yes, I believe they do> When the pump is running, the cavity slowly fills with water.  I have re-greased the old gasket, installed a new main gasket, re-greased and reinstalled the new main gasket, still leaks.  Ideas? <Replace the pump.  Pumps, with exceptions, are really only good for a couple years before they should be replaced.  For a quick fix, try a silicone patch.  Make sure the grade of silicone used has no fungicides added.  Good luck! Ryan> Thanks!   Ash

MD-55 and MD-70 interchange parts I have an Iwaki MD 55 pump head and another gentleman has an MD -70 pump motor will they bolt up together and function correctly? Jake Henry <Mmm, there may have been model changes... and the difference between these may be more than just the impeller, volute... I would contact the manufacturer, distributor re this issue. Bob Fenner> Powerhead repair Hi crew- I have always appreciated the information you provide, and I contribute my   "findings" whenever I can so you can pass them on.  I was upgrading to a   closed loop system to replace powerheads.  I tightened the inlet to the  pump a hair too much, and it cracked, causing the good old tiny bubbles.   It was far from a hairline crack.  I covered the entire inlet in plumbers  epoxy- it solved the problem 100%.  I don't know if this is new to you- just  thought Id share it. James P <Thank you for this input. Bob Fenner>

Submersible Pump PP-333LV I purchased a Pet Waterer approx 1 year ago, equipped with subject pump. It has quit running.  The store where I purchased the system said there was some sort of revision to the pump control (?) and I had to go to the manufacturer - here I am! How do I get a replacement pump?? <Mmm, any other identifying information you can render? Like the brand name or manufacturer? Barring contacting the outfit who sold you this unit, you may have to go the route of visiting a large hardware outlet (Lowe's, Home Depot...) with the pump in hand and try to match up one there with the flow, pressure equivalents. Other than this route, it may well be that this pump is so small pressure and flow-wise that a small submersible pump or powerhead from an aquarium shop might do. Bob Fenner> Charles H. Newsome
Re: Submersible Pump PP-333LV The waterer is a Pet Mate Delux Fresh flow. Anything else you need? C Newsome <Nope. Try your search engines: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=petmate+deluxe+&spell=1 Bob Fenner>
Re: Submersible Pump PP-333LV Thanks for the info. HOWEVER - I visited that site before getting to you.  All of their info is regarding fish - not pumps. I purchased the waterer from PETsMART.  It is called Petmate, is a Delux Fresh Flow, it used a submersible pump, JEBO, PP-333LV, manufactured by Zhongshan Jebao Electrical Appliances Co., Ltd. I need the PUMP. Can you help me?? <Yes... contact PetSmart. Bob Fenner>
C Newsome
Re: Submersible Pump PP-333LV Thanks! For future reference, I found the pump at Crystella USA, at www.crystella.com. <<corrected as www.chrystella.com>> C Newsome <Thank you. Will post/archive for others edification. Bob Fenner>
More info on JEBO PP-333LV pump 7/5/05 Hi, Bob. <Michael> In my google search to find a replacement for my Petmate FreshFlow cat fountain's submersible pump, JEBO PP-333LV I found your very useful posting in the page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pumptrouble.htm Even though the link was wrong (one character missing) I was able to find the site to Chrystella USA. http://www.chrystella.com But, their web site was down, so I kept searching. <Okay> I found a better price at the original manufacturer, Petmate: http://www.petmate.com And, they also provide a trouble-shooting guide that saved me from spending $15 to replace the pump.  It turns out the pump only needed to be cleaned.  So, It would be great if you added this URL to your references in the above web page: http://www.petmate.com/FreshFlowFAQ.htm   <== pump trouble shooting FAQ it looks like this is a real problem with the pumps in the FreshFlow fountain and the FAQ reference above seems to fit well in your 'pump trouble' page. -- Mike PS, You might also consolidate the note in http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/instftnfaqs.htm that provides the good URL to Chrystella USA (this only showed up in a google search of your site.) <Thanks much for this work, note. Will do. Bob Fenner>

- Pump and Filter Questions - Hey, <Hey.> First I want to tell you how much I like your site. By just reading through some stuff I was able to get some answers I needed and understand more fully other answers I'd received at stores. This being said, here is a couple of questions. Please forgive any newbie terminology. I got a 150 gal aquarium from a friend of a friend. It came with the hoods , the stands and a filtration system set up under the tank. The filtration system consists of a 10 gal tank with the filter materials without a bottom sitting inside of a 25 gal tank. There are 2 ports the water comes down from  the main tank and enters this system. There is the one exit from the 25 gal tank which splits into 2 branches. There was only one pump attached to this branch and the valve to the other branch was closed off. The guy who had the tank told us that he had experienced problems with the pump getting 'hot'. The pump is a Grundfos Quiet one Silent Aquarium Pump. Here are the questions I have. 1. There are no markings on this pump to tell me it's GPH and as I found out by some postings in your site and by visiting the company home page, they no longer deal in aquarium pumps. <Well - long story short, Rainbow/Lifeguard was purchased by Pentair Products, which now has their own line of pumps marketed under the same "Quiet One" name but very different from the pump you have. I forget it's specifications.> How can I determine this pump's GPH <Run it in a five gallon bucket and run the pump until it empties the bucket - time this process and do the math.> 2. I read on your website that some folks had had an overheating problem with this company. Was this a common issue? <Yes - the original "Quiet One" was actually designed for forced hot water, radiant heating - so, freshwater. It had a small internal port that was meant to use some of the cycling water to cool its bearings... alas, this system did not stand up to saltwater. I'd be willing to bet a couple of dollars this is the main reason Pentair dropped it in favor of something else.> 3. With two outlets coming down from the tank, and the outflow branching into 2 pipes shouldn't I run 2 pumps? <You don't have to, but there's a lot to be said for redundancy. If one pump breaks, you still have circulation.> It would seem like the load would be very hard on just the one. <There's that too, but really one pump could run both outlets.> Any help with any or all of these three questions would be greatly appreciated. Thank You Love your site. Let me know if there is a contribution policy <Think we still have both an Amazon donation system as well as books, and Wet Web Media apparel from which we receive proceeds. Links to all should be on our site. Cheers, J -- >

STI News: 10 overhead filter pumps flunk safety test Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2004 14:46:51 +0800 (SGT) This message was forwarded to you from Straits Times Interactive (http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg) by perrychong@hotmail.com <Thanks Perry. We might be hauling out to Sulawesi in September, December. Any interest? Bob F> Comments from sender: Are such overhead pumps popular in the States? <Yes> 10 overhead filter pumps flunk safety test by Glenys Sim TEN popular makes of filter pumps, used to keep the water in home aquariums clean, have flunked a safety test commissioned by the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case). In one important check, after water was sprayed onto the pumps, it was found that moisture had seeped into the pump motors - which might cause overheating and short-circuiting. The faulty pumps were all overhead filter pumps, which are placed on top of a tank and clean the water by pushing it through a filter. Last year, a monthly average of three to four such pumps overheated and caught fire. Though no one has been hurt, furniture in several homes was damaged. In the Case safety test, conducted between February and May, 12 pumps - all selling well in the market - were randomly taken from the shelves of aquariums. Ten were overhead pumps. One was a pump designed to be fully submerged, another to be hung on the side of the tank. PSB Corporation ran a series of checks, for instance, to see if the material and parts could be burned or if there was leakage of electrical current. All 10 overhead pumps failed to meet international safety requirements, including the critical 'moisture resistance' component. The other two pumps passed. Yet overhead pumps, which are easy to use and cheap, are the most popular design. Over the last three years, there has been an influx of low-quality pumps imported from China and Taiwan, selling for as little as $10, said Mr. Chua Ser Keng, president of the Pets Enterprises and Traders Association. The other designs can cost between $25 and over $100. Some 60,000 overhead pumps were sold in the last three years, estimates Case. Case is urging consumers to be discerning and buy only pumps that have been 'tested and certified safe by an accredited certification body'. Case president Yeo Guat Kwang said the 'preferred approach was to educate the stakeholders - suppliers, retailers and consumers.' Qian Hu Corporation and Big Boy Aquatic Supplies, the two biggest pump suppliers with a combined 90 per cent market share, have already agreed to get their pumps tested and certified safe by Spring Singapore. At the moment, most pumps in the market are not tested. Mr. Yeo said those still preferring overhead pumps should place them away from flammable materials, follow usage instructions and replace the pumps once they become noisy. IP Address:

Pump Screw Dangers? (4/13/04) I was just looking at my sump, and noticed my new magnum 7 return pump has four stainless still screws holding a part on?  Is this ok? <Most likely> will they rust...I would think so? <By definition, stainless steel does not rust. That's why they call it stainless.> Should I replaced them or cover them with pvc cement or something? <I do not believe this is necessary.> Wouldn't that be odd they use metal screws? <Plastic screws are generally weak and easy to strip.> Surely this has come up? <I have never heard of a problem.> I would think screws would rust and kill the tank over time? <Again, it's "stainless" steel. Also, rust is an oxidized iron. Iron is beneficial to marine macroalgae--I add it to my tank. I am not aware of any documented harm from the metals that make up stainless steel. Here's a couple of web sites of interest: http://home.cogeco.ca/~mquill/stainless.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stainless_steel http://www.stainless-steel-world.net/basicfacts/index.asp http://www.bssa.org.uk/index.htm   (click on "Technical Information" and then on "About Stainless Steel" Hope this helps. Steve Allen>

Silencing A Noisy Pump!  Hello Gang !  <Hey there! Scott F. here today!>  I was wondering if you wonderful people had any information on the actual decibel ratings of external pumps. I currently am using an Iwaki 70rlt. I am considering replacing or even stepping up to a 100rlt to get more flow. This Iwaki is certainly not all that quiet and I need something in the range of 1500-2000 gph. Has anyone done any research on this noisy topic ???  <Well, there are a lot of different ideas out there regarding silencing noisy pumps. I have used mouse pads, insulation, and a variety of other materials to silence pumps. One of the most novel approaches that I have seen was a friend's system in which the pumps were suspended slightly above the floor of the stand by bungee cord. It was the quietest Iwaki-driven setup I've ever seen! Another item that you might want to check out is the "Iso-pad", distributed by the Euroreef people, which is a special padding designed to muffle pump noise. Just some thoughts here...Do a little research, don't be afraid to experiment- and share what works! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Pump Problem... My 90 gal Oceanic reef tank uses a Lifegard quiet one silent aquarium pump.  The system is about 6 months old.  All of a sudden, the pump has begun  to shut down.  After 2 - 3 hours, it will resume.  I've placed a back-up for now with an old Eheim I had.  I believe the Lifegard is overheating and turning off until cool down.  Does that seem right? I can detect no blockage - when running, it is too warm, but normal function.  Any ideas?  I cannot find a website for the manufacturer. Thanks, Mark G. <Well, Mark, I believe that the new name for the manufacturer is now Pentair Aquatics. I'd look for them on the net, and see if they can help you out. Regards, Scott F>

- Overheating Pump - My 90 gal Oceanic reef tank uses a Lifegard quiet one silent aquarium pump.  The system is about 6 months old.  All of a sudden, the pump has begun  to shut down.  After 2 - 3 hours, it will resume.  I've placed a back-up for now with an old Eheim I had.  I believe the Lifegard is overheating and turning off until cool down.  Does that seem right? <Doesn't seem right that it has started doing this all the time, but does make sense that it would have such a self-protection circuit.> I can detect no blockage - when running, it is too warm, but normal function.  Any ideas? <Hmm... do know the new company that bought Rainbow/Lifeguard no longer uses this pump, although their new pump bears the same name... might want to contact them to see if they offer repairs.> I cannot find a website for the manufacturer. < http://www.pentairpump.com/ > Thanks, Mark G. <Cheers, J -- >

Bye-Bye, Iwaki? Thanks in advance for the help. I've read over the FAQ's on the site and got a lot of good information. Still, I'm a bit stumped. My Iwaki MD100RLT is very loud.... VERY loud. I have it plumbed to my sump (for a 300 gal. tank of freshwater cichlids) via flexible tubing to dampen the vibration, plumbed to the return manifold above the tank with PVC, and the pump sits on rubber feet (designed for the purpose) to further reduce noise. The vibration isn't so bad now, but I still hear a very loud humming noise (sort of like the sound the cooling fan makes).......... So, I'm giving up on the Iwaki. Thanks again! <Bummer...They are reliable pumps, and very powerful- but I agree; not "quiet", IMO. I still love them and recommend them!> Now, I'm looking at plumbing in two Mag Drive pumps (I have two bulkheads from the sump), but I wonder if I should just run them submersed. Thoughts? Also, do you favor this brand of pump? <Mag drives are good pumps, IMO. However, I find that they do impart a fair amount of heat into the water, particularly when submerged. If it were me, I'd look into the Dolphin "Ampmaster" pump. It's extremely quiet, well-made, and puts out about 3,000gph. You can always turn down the flow if this is too much..  HTH Regards, Scott F>

Searching For The Sound of Silence Thank you so much for your reply! I will look into your suggestions. <You're quite welcome!> I did find the folks at Euro-Reef helpful. They told me about a pad (called isopod) that goes into the sump and is very effective (so they report ), made from material used By NASA. (and no doubt just as expensive ) <I have heard of this product (no pun intended!). It seems to work, according to those who use it> Anyway thanks again. I love the website.  Leslie <Hope that things are a bit more quiet around your house now! Enjoy! Regards, Scott F.> STRAY VOLTAGE 1/5/03 Hi, this is a very unusual question. <Hi James.  Adam here.  If you think this is unusual, you need to read some more of the daily FAQ's!> The pump I use to keep the water mixed in my saltwater refill container seems to be losing some voltage into the water.  I noticed this when I put my had in the water to adjust the pump.  It was a very mild jolt.  As far as you know, will this hurt the composition of the saltwater in any way?  thanks, James <Please do replace this pump ASAP.  Most importantly because you are you risking injuring yourself (or other household member).  Also, if current is leaking, that means that metal (most likely copper) parts of the pump are exposed to the water, probably through a crack or other defect in the pump housing or potting.  This will allow the metal to dissolve into your salt water.  It is likely in minute quantities, but why risk your life or many costly animals over a relatively cheap pump?  Best Regards.  Adam>

Salt dust on external pump 12/31/03 Hi Crew Happy Holidays! <Adam here today.  Happy New year!> I have a question regarding my recently set up in-wall 120 gal. having a 40 gal sump below the tank. The external return pump (Blueline 70) is now on it's 7th week running, and I have noticed my pump is repeatedly becoming covered in a very fine white dust (upon taste test...definitely salt powder) due to it's incorporated cooling fan, blowing over the pump's casing.     My question is: is this cause to worry about it's residual effects on the integrity of my new pump, and if so, is there a way to prevent it? Wiping down the pump housing once a week is no sweat to me, I just worry about any possible internal problems which may arise. thanks much! Blair <This is a common occurrence, and while I have seen pumps last a very long time exposed to the same conditions, I would recommend trying to minimize it.  It is likely that salt is being atomized by the bubbling from your drains, and as you observed is being drawn through the cooling fan on the pump.  Using coarse mesh bags, baffles or other strategies on your drains can help reduce the amount of bubbles or contain the mist they produce.  Best of luck!  Adam>

- Pump Problems - I've decided to go with an Iwaki MD40RLT for my 72 gallon Oceanic RR. <That's a lot of pump for a tank of that size.> I also bought the Oceanic sump as well, which I liked due to its size and fine filter damn. However, the Iwaki is so powerful that it sucks all the water out of the "cleaned" water area after it passes through the skimmed and passes through the dam. There's constantly a sucking noise because the pump is taking water out of the sump (cleaned water area) faster than it can be replaced. The fine filter damn is glued securely in place and removing it is probably not a good idea anyway. Any options that will allow more water to pass through at a quicker pace? Or possibly slow down the rate at which water is taken from the sump? <Put a valve on the output side of the pump or get a smaller pump.> Thank you, Brian <Cheers, J -- >

Plugless Pump: I recently purchased an Iwaki MD40RLT. I did not realize, however, that there is no plug at the end of the electrical cord, but just 3 open wires. How do I go about rigging this? <How odd, mine came with a plug. I'd suggest you make certain that this pump is truly 110V for US use (check the label). If so, and you feel comfortable doing so, you can buy a heavy duty plug at Home Depot and put it one. Just be sure to hook the wires up right. Did it have instructions. If you're uncertain as to how to do it, perhaps there is an LFS with experience or perhaps and electrician you can turn to. Hope this helps. Steve Allen.>

- Pump Noise - Bob - could you tell me if the noise that some pumps make and is transferred to the water could affect coral growth in reef tanks? <Actually, it's JasonC here today. The oceans are already pretty noisy places, I'm not sure pump noise would affect coral any differently. Cheers, J -- >

- Skimmer Noise, or was that Pump Noise? - Hi Folks, I'm new to the hobby and have just discovered your site. Looks terrific and I look forward to spending more time getting familiar with it. Here's the deal. I'm in the process of setting up my first tank in our family room. Equipment is being bought from and on advice of an experienced local dealer, but so far he's stumped on this one. I've plumbed the system myself and have a basic familiarity with the concepts involved, but I'm learning as I go. The tank's a 150 reef-ready with a Custom Sealife 200 wet/dry and an 1800 mag drive pump. I installed a Red Sea Berlin Classic with a Turbo pump in the sump. The problem is NOISE, and it's coming from the skimmer. The pump gives off a loud rattling or buzzing sound which is overpowers the 1800 pump and the chiller compressor noises combined. <Sounds to me like the pump is the source of the noise - have you tried swapping it out?> So far it can only be stopped by restricting the air intake tube (i.e. putting my finger over it). <Likely the incoming air is causing cavitation inside the pump - perhaps a bad impeller.> All devices have been padded with neoprene to reduce vibration/resonance, but this noise definitely an internal pump noise not a vibration against sump walls or bottom. After trying several footprint configurations when setting up the skimmer, I ended up with the pump output flowing directly into the reactor intake with no bends or distance in the flex tubing between them. I'm wondering if the high volume of air/water created by this direct unrestricted flow can be the source of the problem. <A possibility.> Can I create a different footprint with bends in the output tube and thus restrict the volume and control the noise? <About a valve inline?> If so how will I know what's adequate in terms of skimmer function? <By the skimmer's performance.> I'm still waiting on a response from Red Sea, but thought you might have had some experience with this situation. <Not directly, but if it were me I'd start with trying a replacement pump.> Thanks in advance for you assistance. Randy <Cheers, J -- >

- Skimmer/Pump Noise, Follow-up - Thanks for the prompt response. <My pleasure.> Since my original msg. to you RedSea has replied with speculation that the impeller may be out of balance on their Turbo pump. They are sending me a replacement impeller (like you suggested). <Ahh... sounds good to me.> I'll let you know the outcome if you like. <Sure, would like to know the problem is solved.> On more general issues... As I said I'm new to this and learning daily with the help of terrific resources like your site. My interest is in setting up a tank that can evolve to a reef system as my experience and competence increase. Based on what I've read I thought I'd learn to walk before trying to run. <Good plan.> Initially I've set the 150 up with 100+ lb. of LR and have just finished initial cycling and added an inch of aragonite. Plan to purchase and quarantine a few fish as soon as my quar. tank finishes cycling and stabilizes. My trouble is in coming up with a species plan. I've introduced a few invertebrates in the meantime ( 2 turbo snails, 2 emerald crabs, 1-sand star, 1-cleaner shrimp, and a small Panulirus versicolor). Before I go any further I'd like to come up with a species plan that is least incompatible with future movement toward a reef system. Is the concept of a gradual evolution practical? <Sure.> Any suggestions you may have are welcome. <Start with my favorite, Neon Gobies.> Also, please help me with some reading reference suggestions. So far Paletta's 'The New Marine Aquarium' and one other beginner book have been helpful but are about tapped out. <Time for Robert Fenner's Conscientious Marine Aquarist.> It appears you may have some publications of your own to plug, and maybe some others as well. <We'd love you to buy all the books there are out there, but in the same fashion as your stocking plans, there's no sense in overwhelming you. Take it one book at a time, the same as your fish.> Thanks again, Randy C. <Cheers, J -- >

Pump Impeller Needed I have a Hydrothrustor QV pump that needs a new Impeller. Where can I get this part???   I can't find a parts supplier for this thing anywhere! Thanks Robert <Mmm, give Superior Aquatic Technology a call at 1-800-477-8515. Bob Fenner>

Oiling A pump? How do you oil a little giant MDQX_SC magnetic (external) pump.  It came with a tank I just bought used. It's rusting but is functioning good so far. <please do consult the manufacturer's website/tech folks for the definitive answer here. Your pump may have sealed bearings (no oil needed) or not. If the latter, there is usually a conspicuous port for oil (stamped too). Anthony>

- Reducing Pump Noise - Hi all, <Hello to you, JasonC here...> Great site! I was wondering if anyone had a suggestion of how I might best be able to reduce the vibrating noise from my pumps. Both pumps sit inside a 20Gal glass aquarium (sump), the return pump is a dolphin dp900 teed to refugium and return line, both use ball valves to regulate flow and the dp900 sits on the glass with its 4 suction cups. There is also a Sedra 3500 in there powering the skimmer. It rest on the glass with its "non-suction" cups also. I was hoping there was something I could do to reduce the vibrating noise, like place the pumps on some sort of cushion or something that would absorb the vibration with out adding any extra biological filtration. <Well... I'm pretty sure that Dolphin (although it might be another company) makes an anti-vibration pad available as a separate item which is installed under the pump. This might help and also be adaptable to the Sedra pump as well. You might also consider drilling your sump and using the pumps externally which would open up more options to vibration dampening.> Thanks so much for providing an outstanding resource for hobbyist. Cheers - Ryan <Cheers, J -- >

Tank Tragedy (Pump Failure) Hi Scott, how are you doing, hope you're doing great. <I am! Thanks for the thoughts!> First of all my fishes where doing great till yesterday, I have them approximately for a year now, and now they're all dead. <Yikes! Sorry to hear that!> I used to have a Clown trigger, Harlequin Tuskfish, and a striped pufferfish, (The puffer is the only one that survived). <Thank goodness for that! Tough fishes, puffers!> My fish were very healthy eating great, I change their water every week, every thing was great, till yesterday that I got home and I notice that the water level was down, so I check and the pump was not working. <Uhh-Ohh> So I called a friend to tell him if he could bring me the pump, and these morning all my fishes where dead. I am not sure if it was because of the pump not working for about 15hr or it was something else. <Well, it sounds to me that, in the absence of other obvious problems, such as disease, poisoning, etc., that the lack of oxygen caused by the pump failure led to this catastrophe...> My only concern is that my dead fishes where surrounded by lots of tiny transparent things (like shrimps) I never seen them before, now I am concerned that the water maybe got contaminated or maybe is some kind of parasite or maybe these things only appear when fish died. <These "things" are most likely amphipods, an important part of the biodiversity in your system. They are harmless scavengers, and were simply "doing their business" of consuming organic matter. They are actually an important and beneficial component of a balanced system, and a possible supplemental food item for your fishes...Nothing to worry about.> Please give me some advice, or tell me if the fish died because of the pump, or maybe because the water is contaminated, I do not wish to put some more fish and got same results. <I'd suspect that it was the pump failure that did your fishes in. Unfortunately, this is something that is often beyond our control. If everything else checks out (i.e.; water conditions, no evidence of disease or toxic materials in the water), then I'd conclude that this was the cause...> Thank you. Also some advice on the temperature because I have two tanks, one in my house and one in my office, but the temperature in the San Diego area has been very hot lately, almost reaching 86f in my thermometer. Do you recommend a chiller or are there other techniques, please give me some advice. Thank you. <I am a big fan of chillers, but they are a very expensive, often noisy, and somewhat cumbersome piece of equipment. Many people employ small desktop fans aimed directly into their sumps or across the water surface in their tanks to employ some form of evaporative cooling. Also, cooling fans in your lighting canopy can help direct heat away from the tank. All in all, this is the most cost-effective and simple technique, short of installing a chiller, IMO. Don't let this tragedy dissuade you! Things will only get better! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- Pump Gone Bad - Fish Gone Dead - <Hi, David, JasonC here...> I screwed up and let the sump get low enough to where the main pump lost it's prime. The tank (125 reef) sat like that for maybe 36 hrs with only small powerheads for circulation. When I awoke this morning I found the flame angel dead and the Moorish idol is in bad shape. <Oh no... sorry to hear this.> Before you criticize, the idol is not new, I have had him well over a year and he is (was) in excellent health. <Am familiar with this/your fish. A real bummer.> Anyway I had to tear the reef apart to get him out and have him in a barrel with 5 gals tank water and 10 gals of water I had on reserve, with a strong air release. I added Amquel+ to the barrel. If I keep him upright and moving or just create a current with my hand he stays upright, but when I stop he falls to his side within a few minutes. <Doesn't sound good at all...> He may be too far gone but if there is anything I can do please let me know. <I think you've done just about all you can do... I would keep to this program until all hope is lost or the situation improves.> - D <Best of luck. Cheers, J -- >

- Pump Noise - Hello, <Hello to you, JasonC here...> I have read through your website and I have found many of your ideas and suggestions to be quite helpful. I spent a while looking for an answer regarding my question but unfortunately could not find one. I hope you can help. I have a 150 Gallon reef tank running on an Iwaki MD -100RLT. The tubing throughout the plumbing of the tank is ?" while the output and intake of the pump is 1". The pump's intake is connected to the sump with a 1" bulkhead. The output is vertical. I have all the PVC piping 1" until it reaches the nipples that are reduced to ?". The formation is as follows, directly out of the pump is a 1" ball valve --> 1" check valve --> 1" elbow --> 1" tee with a reducing ?" threaded in the middle. Attached to both sides of this 1" tee are 2 - 1" elbows with a reducing ?" threaded on the end. At this point there are 3 - ?" threaded outtakes connected to ?" ball valves and then connected to ?" nipples which connects to the flex tubing that runs through my chiller, UV and Sea Swirls. Ok, here is the problem. <As a quick aside here... you really want to meter the flow to the UV and chiller or else neither will work as intended.> When I open 2 of the ?" ball valves all the way, things are great, but when I open the 3rd ?" ball valve, the pump starts to make sort of a scratchy loud noise, It sort of sounds like there is air in the pump. When I close all ?" ball valves to about half way the noise reduces, but it is still there. One other thing that seems to work as well is when I close the 1" ball valve that is connected directly to the pump to about half way, this quiets down the pump but not completely. I have tried different ways of forming my three outputs, but still no luck and a lot of PVC glue and PVC used. I purchased this strong Iwaki pump for the purpose of running all 3 outputs but if I have to close the valves half way to reduce the noise than it kind of defeats the purpose. Any suggestions? <Personally, I would have gone with two or more smaller pumps - better in case one fails or needs to be cleaned. In any case, it sounds to me like the pump is indeed cavitating, but for the life of me I can't tell you why... you may want to try adding a few more ball valves just for the UV and chiller so that you can control the flow to those devices, this might create the back pressure you need to stop the pump from cavitating.> Angel <Cheers, J -- >

What is Cavitation and what causes impeller wear? Hello all: I have a Rio 1700 powering the protein skimmer in my sump. Unfortunately, the impeller in the pump seems to need replacing every three or four months. I asked the LFS why, and the answer I received was due to "cavitation." The LFS showed me the out-of-round space that occurred between the shaft and the hole in the impeller, and that was causing the pump to not work. I would greatly appreciate your explanation of what is cavitation and how this could be causing me to go through impellers in what seems to be a very short period of time. Thanks, Mitch <Cavitation is the impeller (or a boat propeller) spinning faster than the water can move, i.e.: not driving water due to not enough water supply, too much wear/space between impeller and pump body, and overpowering pump (not an issue) OR restricting pump output with a valve causing impeller to spin faster than it can push water through valve....cavitate. This is likely the cause, unless you have particulates in your water that are wearing your impellers. They wear better driving water efficiently, but will wear if they spin excessively from pumping water up in elevation, against pressure, valves, restrictions, etc. That's why they make pumps designed for pressure applications.  I would look to the above causes to start with.  Craig>

- Pump Placement - Hello all: <Good morning, JasonC here...> In cleaning my 125G yesterday, I decided to clean the Rio 2500 that is located in the sump to return filtered water to the display tank. After disassembling, cleaning, reassembling, testing in the sink to make sure it worked, I hooked it back up to the plumbing. Worked great, only I realized that I installed the pump upside down! Since the intake for the water to the pump was now 5" higher, I proceeded to take it out and place it right side up. It did not work. Puzzled, I did the cleaning and testing process again and then installed it right side up. It didn't work again. So, I wised up, installed it upside down, it worked, and then turned it right side up in the sump while it was still working. I would appreciate any explanation you can offer to explain why the pump worked in the inverted position and not when initially installed correctly. <Very hard to say without looking at your plumbing, but it sounds like the intake on the pump may be placed in such a way that it is not being primed... in a dry environment, these pumps will not 'suck' water in, they must have water in the impeller in order for the pump to actually work. How you managed to get into this situation is a bit of a mystery, but suffice to say, that pump needs to be below water level to work.> Thanks, Mitch <Cheers, J -- >

The Sound of Silence (Pt. 2) Last question Scott, thanks for the previous reply's! <My pleasure! Glad that I was able to provide some feedback for you!> So even though the pump will have water in it since the water level in the sump will be higher than the pump upon shut off, it will actually have problems getting the air out? <It's a possibility...not always, but it happens> Is there some sort of valve on it?  How do you prime it? <There are a variety of techniques, ranging from the unglamorous (suction) to the exotic (various priming devices...). I'd consult the Custom Sea Life customer service department for methods that would be well-suited to your system. They are very helpful people, and do a good job...> The Iwaki's don't have this problem, or I haven't seen it yet? <I have not experienced this with mine, but it could happen under the right (or wrong) circumstances...They are tough pumps with serious reliability!> I guess I will find out soon enough when it gets here, although the Iwaki didn't come with a manual.... <Yep- that's a very annoying thing...Fortunately, they are very easy to operate...> Thanks again Scott, Take care Paul <You too, Paul. Good luck with the new pump...Let me know how things turn out! Regards, Scott F>

Tank Emergency....burning smell Hi guys - sorry to write you, but it's kind of an emergency situation. I searched the site and the forums, but came up empty, possibly b/c I didn't quite know what to search for.  Funny Smell? Bad Pump?  None seem to come up with my situation. My husband and I came home from work today and noticed the return pump had stopped running.  We had another, so we took out the one that wasn't working and put in the new one. <Did you check to see if there was an obstruction in the return?> Then we noticed that our mushroom and yellow polyps weren't happy and started closing up.  Then we realized the tank actually smelled - it smelled almost medicinal and kind of like plastic.   Our initial thought was it was the new pump and it had an odor and it would quickly go away.  However, the old pump also had the smell and now it seems like it caused the problem (it was after all not working!). <Some pumps shut off without water....is it moving water or is there an obstruction?  The inhabitants may be reacting to the now dying filter....remove and service ASAP. Also check water flow and heater. Perform good sized water changes to remove filter wastes. When/if it goes out in the future, remove and service before restarting.> It's a 75 gallon tank with about 75lbs of live rock, all of which is very purple with coralline algae and all have lots of mushroom and yellow polyps. Other than the polyps, we have a bubble tip anemone and a Devil's Hand Leather. We also have a Tomato Clown and Yellow Tang, which actually seem to be doing ok.  Some snails have already died.  We have an extra 30 gallon tank that we've used to quarantine fish before, but we didn't see a way to try and save everything and thought the water we had on hand was better put to use as a water change. <Buy yourself an inexpensive Rubbermaid container to hold all your stuff.> At this point we have changed 25% of the water, left the pump off and the filter is off because it sits in the sump (with no pump, no reason to filter just the sump).  We've mixed more water and have it setting out ready to go tomorrow.  We're at a loss as to what really happened and what to do.  Any advice?  Hopefully we didn't do anything bad in our panic, and hopefully we can save them.  Help! Thank you, Amy <Sounds like a pump failure due to obstruction, overheating pump(s). I hope your heater is in the main...if in the sump you don't have heat....Don't start the pump until cleaned. I would completely go through the overflow/returns and clean to be sure it's flowing properly.  Good luck!  Craig>

Don't Dump That Pump! Hey Scott, Thanks very much for the advice. You guys are the best! <Thanks for the "props"! Glad that we've been helpful in sharing and growing together in the hobby!> I have one last question/ favor to ask as I'm having problems with my Mag pump. I have a Mag 7 and have been using it on a saltwater tank as my return pump from my sump to the main tank. My sump is about 3 ft. below the main and the MAG is in the last chamber of my sump, pumping the water back to the main. I've had the pump for a little over a month and I feel it's lost some power. My overflow box/ prefilter used to only be about 1/3 full with water and made sucking noises (probably because it is trying to keep up with the pump). Now the water level in the prefilter box is 3/4 full and no more sucking noises. 2 days ago, I took out the impellor and flushed it and the pump out with fresh water and it seemed to alleviate the problem. <Cleaning will definitely help, but you need to utilize some sort of prefiltering in line to keep this from occurring again and again.> The pump seemed to be back to normal, the sucking noises came back and the water level in the prefilter box was back down to 1/3 full. Yesterday, the pump lost power again. I took it apart and cleaned it again. It went back to normal for a few hours and then slowed down again. Do I have a defective pump? Do you know what's wrong? Thanks, Greg <Definitely a few possibilities. Could certainly be in need of a prefilter, as mentioned above. Also, it may a damaged impellor...I'd give the improved prefilter idea a try first, and if that doesn't work, you may want to check with the manufacturer to see if there is the possibility of a replacement. Hope this points you in the general direction of what to do! Regards, Scott F>

Silicone Valley? Hi Scott, <Hellooooo Again!> Thanks a bunch man! One last thing (sorry to be a pain), but I used GE Window and Door Silicone Sealant for my sump. It's been a couple of days now and I still smell that "glue-like" smell (probably 'cause I used so much due to my inexperience w/ silicone). Is this an ok brand and is it ok that there's a crap load of silicone caked in there? <Well, as far as I know, as long as it's cured properly (in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions), it should be okay. If the sump is filled with water already, I'd run some activated carbon in their to remove any potential leaching impurities...> Much thanks, Greg <Any time, Greg! Hope that things are coming along nicely for you! Good luck! See ya! Scott F>

Rust contributes to Cyano? Hello again.  I'm still having a small Cyano problem, and I've covered all the bases -- replaced bulbs, great circulation, clean filters, not overfeeding, not overstocked, regular water changes, aggressive skimming, checked source water, added competing macroalgae, etc. The other day I was talking to a manager at my LFS about my persistent problem, and he asked if there was any rust in the tank.  I mentioned that I had a small amount on the threads of the screws on one of my mag pumps, and that I had already contacted Danner to get some replacements.  Well, my LFS guy said that there is a connection between rust and phosphates and that the rust could be the source of my Cyano problem.  Does this sound accurate? <Mmm, possibly a contributor... iron is an essential element for most types of life... But I doubt if the amount the screws are contributing is very much. Have you tested your water for ferrous ion?> The Cyano is growing on top of my highest rocks and ON the Caulerpa, which is directly under the lights. He also suggested getting nylon screws instead of simply replacing them with more stainless steel.  What are your thoughts on this? <Sounds like a good idea... especially for in-sump applications. Don't know about trusting the non-metal screws out of the water. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Karen

Danner Mag-5 pumps Hi crew, A couple day ago someone mentioned that mag pumps had steel screws and might cause problems with invertebrates with prolonged use. I asked Danner Mfg. to comment on this here is their reply: >  Our MagDrive pumps do have [stainless] steel screws which are > anodized and > saltwater safe. Occasionally, we do have requests for additional > screws to > replace one that have mineralized, but that is not very common. >  We buy our screws by the hundredweight case -  we have to assume that > every > screw is what we specified . > Val / Customer Service Hope you find the information useful Paul E. Proue St. Joe Beach, FL <Yes. Thank you so much for sending this along. My understanding, position on these fasteners remains that they may contribute some ferrous material in submerged use, but nothing significant (harmful or beneficial). Bob Fenner>

- Skimmer Questions - Hi. <Hi, JasonC here...> I have a 110 gallon reef tank that has been up and running for a little over a year and seems to be thriving.  I am, however, inclined to replace my skimmer.  Currently I am using the Excalibur in-sump skimmer that is rated for a 150 gallon tank.  The performance of the skimmer seems to be good, but the RIO 1700 that runs it is horrible (very, very noisy - louder than the Gen X pump running my system - and often not restarting unless I pull apart the impeller assembly and reassemble it.   My questions are as follows:  Is there another pump I can replace the RIO with? <Sounds like you just need to replace the impeller - if you look at the center hole, on the magnet end, I would be willing to bet that the round hole is no longer round but oval shaped, hence the noise. Perhaps a new Eheim pump would treat you a little better, but then again... all pumps need maintenance.> Am I better off upgrading skimmers? <I would, but that's also because I'm not a fan of the Excalibur skimmers.> I am, unfortunately, limited by a small sump and cannot fit anything with a footprint larger than 9" x 7". <You might want to look at the Aqua-C Urchin models which have a very small footprint.>  What about a HO unit to hang on the sump? <Likewise, the Aqua-C Remora is an excellent hang-on skimmer.> Thank you for your anticipated response. Michael Jacobs <Cheers, J -- >

Mag Pump Info. Regarding the Mag 5 and Mag 7, If these are the same Mag pumps I see (and have used previously) then please be concerned with the exposed steel screws on the outside of the housing. Then again these may not be the same pumps I used in the past, but if they are then the exposed steel screws may pose a future problem with inverts. <We will definitely pass this on to our readers. Thanks for the information...>

Electric Flatulence: Pump puffs I just received my new IWAKI WMD-30RLXT pump for purposes of a closed-loop circulation system on my 55gal FOWLR (with future hope of more exotic marine life, and if I get around to a sump).  I have been testing my plumbing (outside the tank, but with water, of course), and I have noticed that the pump gives off a smell of some kind.   <Hmmm... question. Are you as OCD as me? Check lights, doors, switches, etc? Counting steps, food chewing? Excessive handwashing? Hmmm... just wondering how to weigh this advice <G>> It is not of a burning sort, nor is it from taking in air (because is hasn't), but is certainly is something.   <indeed a thought... combusting an aerosol in the air separately> Can this be like "new-car" smell?   <pump flatulence> Will  it wear off?   <don't light a match> Has anyone else smelled/heard of this?   <actually yes... minor though. Do consult IWAKI to play it safe> The pump works fine but since this is a living room aquarium, my wife will have none of it!  Thanks, Rich <Wow... strong enough for the family to smell!?! Sounds abnormal (the pump... not the families intolerance). Do consider exchanging the unit. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: Rio 600 (electrical use, aquarium in general) Hi guys (since I never know who'll answer this), <Hi Rene, you're right!  Craig here today.> I just found out this morning that the Rio 600 powerhead isn't worth it's weight in feces.  It shorted out on me and now my fish are hurting, the water smells like a burned motor, and I'm frustrated as you can imagine.   <Oh, yes, I can!> My question is, other than a massive water change (20 gallons out of a 45 gallon FOWLR tank), is there anything else I can do?  this is the first time I've ever had electrical failure inside a tank and am kind of out of my element.  Thanks.  Rene <Hmmm, not really. Replace the darned Rio and the water.  Perhaps several water changes over several days. I trust you have a ground fault interrupter installed so you don't become a victim of another failed powerhead? If not buy one ASAP....you have been forewarned! A PolyFilter may help.  Craig>

How do I prime my Regent outside pump How do I prime my Regent outside pump? The last time the pump stopped working I couldn't get it going again so I just went and bought another one. Now the new one stopped working (I think due to a power outage). Please answer ASAP. My fish are looking pretty distressed. Thanks - LaNita <Hello, I am not familiar with the Regent pumps, but most pumps can use a good tap on the impeller to get them going again. If possible check to see if there is any debris that is keeping the impeller from turning. Best Regards, Gage>

Re: too much water circulation? Thank you for your response. I followed your advice, so I contacted the people from Little Giant, and they told me what you said "this pump is not intended to use in marine aquariums". So I return it and change it. Thanks. <You are welcome.> Just to give some practical things that I observed with my reduced flow. Maybe 2-3 days after the flow was reduced, the hair algae started to grow over some parts of the rock, then Cyanobacteria appeared in spots over the sand, the skimmer started to produce just green tea substance instead the coffee product. It is amazing how fast the environment can be corrupted when just one (and so important as the water movement) condition is out of the right performance. <Appropriate flow is a critical component.> Today at night my tank will receive the benefit of a new pump 850 gal/h @3' ahead (my tank 50 gal.) <Sounds good> Greetings <Have a nice day. -Steven Pro>

Re: too much water circulation? Thank you for your response. I followed your advice, so I contacted the people from Little Giant, and they told me what you said "this pump is not intended to use in marine aquariums". So I return it and change it. Thanks. <You are welcome.> Just to give some practical things that I observed with my reduced flow. Maybe 2-3 days after the flow was reduced, the hair algae started to grow over some parts of the rock, then Cyanobacteria appeared in spots over the sand, the skimmer started to produce just green tea substance instead the coffee product. It is amazing how fast the environment can be corrupted when just one (and so important as the water movement) condition is out of the right performance. <Appropriate flow is a critical component.> Today at night my tank will receive the benefit of a new pump 850 gal/h @3' ahead (my tank 50 gal.) <Sounds good> Greetings <Have a nice day. -Steven Pro>

Increased Temperature Hello there, I just finished putting in a new return pump, a Mag-Drive 9. It's in the sump, a 10 gallon. I'm very excited and proud of myself as this is the first time I've ever worked with PVC and plumbed anything for my tank. All is working great so far, no leaks, thanks to the suggestions on the Chat Forum here. <Congratulations!> My question concerns increased temperature. Before installing the pump, the tank ranged from 77F-80F everyday. After installing the new the pump, and removing one of the powerheads (no longer needed with the increased circulation), the tank is now 82F. I am currently seeing how lowering the air conditioning in the house will affect the tank. But I don't want to lower it too much (my current electric bill is over $222!!! and I am making minimum wage, almost). Will the current temp of 82F have much of a negative effect on my inhabitants? <No, but I would not let it get any higher.> I have a 3" brown Acropora, a colony of yellow polyps, a pink carnation, green open brain, mushrooms, bubble tip, and two flower anemones...one yellow tang, Kole tang, and 4 damsels...~55lbs of LR, 55g tank with built in corner overflow, AquaC Urchin...the ball valve is about 3/4 of the way open as this is the most I can open it b/c the overflow can't handle much more. What would be a possible solution, besides returning the pump? <The best thing to do would be to mount this pump externally. That way the pumps heat is vented into the air instead in into your water.> Thanks a bunch, Randy M. Yniguez, MA <Talk to you later, -Steven Pro>

Dolphin Pump Mechanical Seals Bob, Hi this is Tom Briscall Jr from Dolphin Pumps, I talked with Ralph Gibson the other day and he recommended that I send you an e-mail clearing up any issues about mechanical seals. I know it may be a little lengthy, but it was the only way that I could get everything across. He recommended your site over others out there on the internet due to the amount of professionals that contribute to it. Call me at 850-434-9880 or email me at tbcall2@netscape.net if you need anything or have questions on our products & their use / testing etc. Thank-You for your time. <Appreciate the heads-up, and offer of info. on your line. Will cc my friends/associates here who respond to the public and post your message on our root web. Be seeing you, Bob Fenner>

Dolphin Pump Seals <Thanks much Tom. Will circulate and post on WWM. Bob F> To: Bob Fenner My name is Thomas Briscall Jr and I am the Vice President of Dolphin Aquarium & Pet Products, Inc. Dolphin Pumps Division. This Letter is to Clarify any questions or problems with a dolphin pump and may have had issues with our 1/15HP models (2100,2700,AM3000) not starting up after a power failure or for people having premature leaking problems. The issue was solved in all pumps made after 2-15-2002 by using a more expensive, higher quality seal. (In fact, this seal is not in use by any other centrifugal pump manufacturer because it is cost prohibitive to use and is custom made for Dolphin exclusively). This new seal uses a lesser spring tension by half compared to the older seal. This allows the low-amp capacitor start 1725 RPM models to start up easily. Also, this new seal has a lapped & polished machined carbon/graphite washer that can flex & pivot better than previous seals. This gives the ceramic portion of the seal better contact with the carbon/graphite washer Seal seats quicker with a more positive seal. This seal is now used in every Dolphin Centrifugal pump including our High RPM units. The second issue concerns mechanical pump seals leaking. Even with our older seal this was not a problem unless the end user is pumping in abrasive materials, sand, unmixed salt solutions, & snails are abrasive) (ABRASIVES DESTROY ALL SEALS IN ANY PUMP USING A MECHANICAL SEAL BY ANY MANUFACTURER INCLUDING OUR NEW SEAL) or ran their pump dry for a considerable amount of time. Another common practice which will destroy a seal is to have a elbow on the wet side of a sump pointing downward to use the pump as a vacuum cleaner. Others run the pump before hooking it up to see how quiet it runs, but this practice makes the mechanical seal dirty & it could leak afterwards. Every seal is cleaned with alcohol on both surfaces before installation here at the factory & water tested before leaving our facility, so do not run the pump just to see if it will work. Note: eventually all mechanical seals need to be changed, the interval depends on your set up. To solve any & all problems with abrasives: USE ANY TYPE OF PRE-FILTER Marine Depot, Custom Aquatic & Champion Lighting & others sell Strainer Socks with a clamp that will work good. Another method is to use slotted pipe wrapped with some Marine-Land type filter fiber. Almost everyone sells prefilters for pumps including us we use a poly ether foam around a slotted pipe core. Overflow screens are not pre-filters so they don't count, nor just thinking that your sump is clean enough as it is. Anyone with one of our pumps that are faced with a start up problem should call 850-434-9880, ask for Tom Jr. and we can send you a seal kit with instructions for self-installation N/C. (It will not void your warranty), or you can ship your pump back to us and we will replace the seal professionally. All We ask is that you are honest & do not call up just to get a seal when one is not needed or if you are one of the ones that ruined your seal with abrasives. If you did abrade your seal & it leaks we will still send out a kit to you at our cost as a favor to all Dolphin customers. My goal is to educate all freshwater, marine & reef enthusiasts about mechanical seals in centrifugal pumps, how they can be misused, and to dispel any misconceptions about them from uninformed persons on various chat boards on other sites. Remember: a properly pre-filtered Dolphin pump with the new seal can last you from 24+ months to 7 years. That 7 years was from a customer that has the same seal on a 3600 from 1995, who needed a replacement in 1-2002. If you need to reach me by e-mail my address is tbcall2@netscape.net I will be happy to answer any and all questions you might have about this. Thomas S. Briscall Jr. VP Operations Dolphin Pumps.

Amp Master 3000 Seal A quick question..... Tom Briscall Jr. from Dolphin pumps said there was an article/letter on your sight pertaining to the seal problem on the Amp Master 3000. Could you please let me know where it is located. Thank You! Tim Szetela <Tim... Tom just e-mailed us but Bob hasn't got back from Coz to clarify the issue. I am not aware of an article yet. If it exists on site, it can be archived through a keyword search of WWM through Google on our index page. Use appropriate terms/author names, etc.>

Return Pump I have a concern… Oh, by the way, hello!! In my sump, I have a return pump that seems to have a problem when it is disconnected from power. What I mean is, no matter if the power goes out or it is manually unplugged, the pump will not automatically "turn on" when the power returns. What I end up doing is wiggling (toggling, or whatever you call it) until the "spark" (literally) gets it going. Then it fine until the power goes out again. I have tried cleaning it out to see if that is the problem, but it isn't dirty. The impeller doesn't seem to want to turn. Might there be something wrong with the contact points going to the outlet? <Probably a defective pump or the impellor shaft is misaligned.> Can you suggest something pleeeeease!!?? <First see if there are any rubber bushings on each end of the shaft or if there are not, were there supposed to be. Some pumps use these rubber caps on each end of the shaft. After some time the rubber breaks down and allows the shaft to shift and hampers starting.> I am dreading the day when the power goes out while I am out of town, <A very real concern.> and all I have is the circulation of the powerheads keeping my fish alive. Muchos gracias!!!!!! Kim <Good luck in solving your dilemma. -Steven Pro>

Eclipse Pump Hello there. My pump has been very noisy for quite sometime now in my freshwater tank I think it's a 30 gallon tank). It's an Eclipse system and I purchased it at PetSmart. However, they have no replacement parts for my pump.  <Mmm, they should be. Maybe try the e-tailers listed on the links pages of WetWebMedia.com> I've cleaned it, but the notice level doesn't lesson. It's very annoying and hard for my sons to sleep as the tank is in there room. Could it be something else? <Perhaps a bit of something solid hanging up on the impeller or twixt it and the casting that encloses it> Can I order just the pump section and if so how? <See above> Does Eclipse have a web page? I tried to locate it, but have had no luck. Thanks in advance! Gail L. Roser <Their manufacturer does: http://marineland.com/ Bob Fenner>

Noisy pump blues... Bob (or current stand-in): <Am currently "sitting" in> Hello! It is great to have your expertise as a resource. A lot of times as a newbie I can keep reading and reading, but there are some questions that I just can't get answered. <Keep asking then> My problem is with a noisy pump. Let me describe the plumbing to you. 1. The overflow takes the water down through a 1" soft hose (and makes the flushing toilet noise). 2. goes into sump (acrylic). 3. From the sump it is hard plumbed, with universal joints, to the pump, using a 1" to 3/4" adaptor to the pump inlet. 4. The pump (Little Giant 2-MD-SC, 'bout 560gph) which is not bolted down yet, takes the output from 1/2" to 1" though a Rainbow 8 watt UV canister then out from the canister (1") to a horizontal spray bar. I hear a loud humming noise, what can I do? I doubt that these pumps are supposed to be this loud. Also the eternal flushing toilet noise... Please help! Thanks!!! Hugo S. <A few things can be done, need to be mentioned. Let's start with the "flushing sound" of the return. It can be solved, lessened by the use of a larger diameter line (flexible or hard), and the installation of an aspiration line (a length of rigid or soft tubing/piping inserted down the throat of the line from above (you may need to install a "tee" to vent this overflow line to the surface to install the aspirator). The pump may well need, benefit from being secured to a piece of panel (wood, plastic). Look at its base. There are casting arrangements to allow for this. Further, it may help a great deal to loosely cover the pump (allow air holes in the back for pump cooling) with a "shoe-box" and insulation (open-cell foam) arrangement attached to its sides. The UV and spray bar devices may be creating excessive back pressure on your pump, causing it to be more noisy than if you had a "open" discharge to bleed off excess flow and pressure... you might experiment here. Please read through the many FAQs on Marine System Plumbing: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/plumbingmarart.htm Circulation, Pumps...: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/circmarart.htm linked here. Bob Fenner>

Quick Skimmer Question I purchased a TF1000 protein skimmer that works great for my 90 gallon FOWLR tank. I have been very impressed with its efficiency. Just one complaint though, It came with a Rio pump with a bubble atomizer impeller. This pump is very loud.  <a common complaint> So loud that I went to the point of buying a timer so it would only run at night.  <bad for the tank in the long run and shortens the life of the pump with off/ons> This was ok because the simmer was so efficient, but 25% of the time the pump would not start and I would have to unscrew the impeller housing and retighten it to get the pump to run again. Do you have any suggestions of a different pump I can try that will also atomize the bubbles so well? Thanks so much for your time and experience. Scott Buske <no personal experience with this, my friend but I thought I recalled hearing several folks mention a specific pump for replacement in our old FAQ's and on some of the bigger Reef message boards. Do a keyword search on WWM and elsewhere (RC, Aqualink, etc). I'm sure somebody has hashed this over and over. Best of luck!>

Circulation, Confused Steven Pro, Iwaki pumps that have fan cooled motors should have covers taken off with power off ever month and clean the fan when inside cabinet. All Glass Aquarium corner overflows can have a flow of 1200 gal per hour with their bulkhead fitting. The flow rate has been tested. If some one wanted to go higher you would have to used a double over flow which would give a flow rate of 1400 per hour for each one. Parts will fit in side the corner overflows low noise. All parts can come from plumbing supply house. RGibson ps hope the baby is well <Frankly, I do not know what your question is nor what the above statements are in reference to. P.S. Thank you for your concern. She is doing quite well this evening. Be chatting. -Steven Pro>

CPR SR4 and RIO pump Hello. Sorry to bother you with an equipment related question, but I am not getting a good answer elsewhere. I have a CPR SR4 protein skimmer whose Rio pump died. I am looking for a replacement but am having trouble with the "venturi" part of the equation. Do you have any experience with this? Thanks for your patience and understanding. Eric. <No personal experience. Take a look at the "Bulletin Board" and "Product Support" at the CPR webpage, http://www.cprusa.com/index2.html -Steven Pro>

Temperature Swing Bob or Anthony, <Wonder Twin Anthony in your service> Easy question for ya: 90 Gallon All-Glass Reef Tank... Used to use a Rio2100 with 4' head. Didn't get the turns per hour I wanted so I upgraded to a Velocity T4 External Pump. Once I connected it, the pump rocked. It is actually quieter than the fans and the water it pumps is amazing. However, the heat it also generates is truly amazing. I was kinda dumb and didn't check my temperature until the next morning and realized the temperature swing. I used to keep my tank at 80 degrees and during peak lighting, the temperature would get up to 81-82 degrees. 8hrs after I installed this new pump, I saw a tank temp of 86 degrees.... whoa...  <hello! Now your fish can spawn omelets directly> I immediately put a small computer fan in the stand and faced it towards the pump and over the next 8hrs period, the tank settled back to a balmy 78 degrees. <even better would be a fan mounted in a cut-out in the stand exhausting air OUT of the compartment (rather than blowing it around inside)> Phew... This was last night and this morning. Now my question, today when my lights click on (2X 250W Metal Halide 5" Above Water) and my ballasts start to generate heat, <where are the ballasts?> the temperature will undoubtedly rise. What is the MAXIMUM daily temperature swing that a reef tank should see?? I've heard 2 degree shifts <agree in a perfect world> and I've also heard 4 degree shifts are OK as long as they are over a 10hr + period.  <also agree but absolutely no more... and even still... tank will not operate at peak> Please give me the facts... Thanks... <you got it...your man Friday...er, Anthony>

New System Dear Bob, An addition to the previous message! <Please copy/paste, forward previous pertinent information, messages...> Is it a good idea to bypass the Plenum with some of the main tank water, straight into the return chamber? <The plenum? No... unless it is part of a refugium style sump, and you have another parallel sump to bypass it by...> I read somewhere that Plenums don't like too much flow through them. <Think you're referring to something else... Plenums don't have water actually flowing through them. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Plenums.htm and the linked files above> For my return pumps I am using 2 Grundfos 15/50 Selectric central heating pumps with Aquaturn conversion kits on them making them safe for saltwater. I got the pumps free from a mate who is a plumber! <These are good products... do keep them free of debris... especially the cooling throughput in the front and back internal (volute) areas... not made to pump particulates> I hope to get it all completed in the next few weeks. I hope you find this letter interesting. When complete I will be more than happy to send you a few photos of the system from sunny England! Eden Maddocks <Sounds smashing. Cheers. Bob Fenner>

Green Chromis and Iwaki pumps Dear Bob, Another couple of questions today if you don't mind. One of my green Chromis damsels has what I would call "the shakes". He is quivering constantly. His identical partner is calm so I assume this behavior is not natural. <Mmm, no. Actually Damsels do "shake" behaviorally quite often in the wild... both in reproductive and other intra-species communication> I have him in a quarantine tank, feeding him vitamin enriched live brine shrimp which he eats hungrily. Anything else I might do? I hesitate to put him back in the reef tank until I hear from you. <I'd put him/her back> I have been unsuccessful with both the Iwaki company and the vendor in getting any information regarding my 700 gph (pressure) Iwaki pumps. I would like to learn what maintenance or parts replacement should be done after 14 months of continuous duty. I would appreciate knowing of any experience you have had with this type of pump. Do they really "run forever" as the vendor says. <About... until failure... No parts to replace, much maintenance. Good to keep pump, area about vacuumed... a good bit of air circulation about for cooling> With the bad experience I have had with RIO pumps I would rather be safe than sorry. I have emergency battery air pumps on a relay but the community does depend on the Iwakis for circulation, filtration, and life. Hoping you and yours have a pleasant holiday. <And yours. Bob Fenner> Howard

Bad Leaking Pump Mr. Fenner, First I would like to thank you for you quick response regarding my (what I thought might be an Anemonia) anemone. I have been observing it and it has been growing but not spreading. I also have been enjoying it's company in my tank further after I got the reply from you and telling me to just relax and enjoy it. Thanks. <You're welcome... this is just what I would do...> Well, I'm writing you this due to a recent breakdown of one of my Rio pumps in the sump of my reef tank. I came home one day after work and smelled something burning in my house. After a few minutes of "sniffing" I found that the smell was coming from my reef tank. I thought it might be my lights at first but it was actually the pump to my Berlin skimmer. I noticed smoke rising from the sump water and immediately shut down all power. <Good, quick thinking, action> I then waited a few moments before I retrieved the pump. I then noticed a lot of black soot and oil in my sump/refugium area. When I pulled the pump out and placed it in a bucket, there was a lot of brown oily smelling water leaking from it (pump was only 4 months old). I immediately did an emergency water change, approx. 40%. Fortunately I have a fish only tank and utilized some of the water from there combined with some reserves I had. Then in the morning I went to my LFS and purchased another 20 gallons of ocean water since I didn't want to strip the reef tank of all the nutrients and "seasoned" water then performed another change (I have a 60 gallon tank, 30 gallon sump/refugium only half full, 100 lbs of LR, and 50 lbs of live sand). I then also placed a poly filter pad to the water baffles (three partitions to reduce air bubbles) to try and soak up some of the oil/waste. I also immediately purchased a new pump to kick the skimmer to full gear again. I was wondering is this enough or should I also do anything further. <This is about all I would have thought to do...> My corals are all opening up but my xenias are not looking too hot. They look a little frail/frilly and not their usual selves. Will my tank eventually have a meltdown?  <If it has not done so already, probably not> The oily smell is still in my sump and a little in my tank. Will this ever go away? <Yes. I would add some activated carbon in your filter flow path, in addition to running the Polyfilter> I am picking up a rare florescent orange Florida Ricordea mushroom in a few days that I have ordered and was wondering if I'm taking a risk to place it in this tank now. <I would place it elsewhere if you can> Please let me know if I've done enough and should just wait this out. It was very painful to think that all my hard work will be going down the tubes while I was making the water changes at 3 o'clock in the morning. Again, thank you before hand for any advice/guidance you can give me. <You're welcome my friend. Your intelligent, diligent actions have likely saved your system, livestock. Bob Fenner>

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