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tidalsculpin

Trying to learn about closed loops.

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I've been reading about circulation this Thanksgiving weekend. I'm trying to understand why people go such great lengths to plumb their systems.

 

What I've found:

1. Many powerheads can be bad.

2. Powerheads can be good if they are quality,well placed, and on a good wavemaker.

3. Closed Loop Circulation is good for corals.

4. Many reefers secretly want to become plumbers.

5. Drilling is not that hard or complex, just time consuming.

6. Plumbing can get really complicated if you want it to be.

 

What I still do not understand:

 

1. Anthony Calfo's Closed Loop Manifold. "CLM" is this a secret cult?

2. Do most closed systems have separate return pumps and closed loop systems?

3. How do you decide where to drill holes for your loop? I understand the effluent holes but don't understand about the tank return to the pump.

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I've been reading about circulation this Thanksgiving weekend. I'm trying to understand why people go such great lengths to plumb their systems.

 

What I've found:

1. Many powerheads can be bad.

 

** they add heat to the aquarium - may leak stray voltage - are an eyesore

2. Powerheads can be good if they are quality,well placed, and on a good wavemaker.

3. Closed Loop Circulation is good for corals.

 

** random flow is good for corals

 

4. Many reefers secretly want to become plumbers.

 

** just waiting for the union to recognize my skills

 

5. Drilling is not that hard or complex, just time consuming.

6. Plumbing can get really complicated if you want it to be.

 

** try to do it right the first time DOH!

What I still do not understand:

 

1. Anthony Calfo's Closed Loop Manifold. "CLM" is this a secret cult?

 

Here is an image from the advanced aquarist online mag. This is not a Closed Loop Manifold, but an open loop manifold. It is open because it draws from the sump and exits in the display. A closed loop always draws from the display and exits in the display. If this example had the pump drawing from the display it would be a closed loop manifold. The manifold equally distributes the exiting water from the pump all around the top of the display ( angled downward at differing degrees ).

 

calfo1.jpg

 

 

2. Do most closed systems have separate return pumps and closed loop systems?

 

** Yes, a closed system will have its own pump, otherwise it is an open system.

 

3. How do you decide where to drill holes for your loop? I understand the effluent holes but don't understand about the tank return to the pump.

 

** One side sucks water out of the tank and the other side blows it back in. How do you decide? Ask lots of questions. I asked a lot of questions before I come up with my layout. Here it is:

 

ClosedLoop.jpg

 

The top three holes are part of the open system for my sump. The remaining 9 holes are part of the closed loop system. The 6 small holes in the center are my returns for water flow. The small hole in the bottom is for the sparybar. The 2 big holes in the center are were the pump draws the water from.

 

Here is how it looks in the display.

 

fulltank.jpg

 

Jay

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couldn't have said it better. Another plus on the CLS is energy savings vs powerheads. Adding something like an oceans motions or other to a CLS is even better.

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Until you realize that to get the flow you really want and have no equipment in the tank, you need at least a 2" intake which is an ENORMOUS hole in the glass. Or you need at least 2 1.25" intake holes.

 

I wish i had never drilled my tank for CLS.

 

It doesn't create enough flow = more PH in tank anyway.

It creates more heat than just a few PH in the tank.

It leaks.

It takes up a lot more space behind the tank and in the stand than PH.

Its much harder to remove and clean the pump.

Its louder than PHs.

Its permanent.

It costs 3 times what a couple PH do.

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Until you realize that to get the flow you really want and have no equipment in the tank, you need at least a 2" intake which is an ENORMOUS hole in the glass. Or you need at least 2 1.25" intake holes.

 

I wish i had never drilled my tank for CLS.

 

It doesn't create enough flow = more PH in tank anyway.

It creates more heat than just a few PH in the tank.

It leaks.

It takes up a lot more space behind the tank and in the stand than PH.

Its much harder to remove and clean the pump.

Its louder than PHs.

Its permanent.

It costs 3 times what a couple PH do.

I have problems with leaks and I'm not drilled; use a sump setup with overflows. (OK, usually spills from user error, but water on the floor nonetheless) I think people have spills/leaks with many a tanks, but my spills would have been decreased with closed loop. If plumbing is done right, there shouldn't be leaks in closed loop pipes...just like you shouldn't have to worry about the plumbing in your home. From what I've seen in some DIY'ers, they twist and turn pipes in directions they are not meant to be without using proper bends or elbows....when I've plumbed my homes, the pipes leak if connections are not straight. (not saying it fails for everyone, but is tougher to plumb) Fittings are meant to be glued or screwed straight on. Some fittings need plumbing putty and some need tape.

I still have a few powerheads in my tank as well, and like the fact I can redirect their flow. I have some "T"s connected to push output in different directions, but you can do that will CL too if correct pipes are used (I'll post pics in my 2 headed reef soon). My inline pump is loud, but there are quieter options and am still researching for a replacement. I think a lot goes here with heat transfer..both inline and power heads have issues.

I wonder how many people with drilled tanks still use modified pumps and/or that $300 magnetic prop, tunze, etc. etc.... My guess is probably pretty high.

Maybe in a another 5 years there will be a 1 fix setup that works for everyone, but that won't happen without all of us "tinkerers" doing the test work beforehand.

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I have thought a lot about doing a CL...

However...

CL are far more expensive to install, maintain and in their energy consumption than good PH's

for example...

Use 2000gph for the circulation and $0.10 per Kwatt.

 

A good CL pump alone cost ~$200-$300 and uses 2-300Watts of energy, an OM 4way is $340 plus the cost of drilling, plumbing, bulkheads and ball valves easily pushes the $800 price. It can be done for less... Will cost you ~$21.00 a month to operate.

 

Tunze 6000 streams with controller cost ~$800, produces 3600gph and only use 36watts of electricity. Will cost you $2.60 a month to operate. Produces more flow that the CL. Will run for 3 days on my battery backup.

In case of a power outage... I would still be fine.

JMO

Bill

Thinking about doing an open loop system for my sump return....

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Yes.... having 4 gallons of water surge the tank randomly about once a minute... it was nice.

Very noisy in the living room.

Might just be the thing for the classroom though.

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The only real advantage to have a CL is not having big power heads in the tank...I was going to do a CL on my tank, but when I looked at the cost of plumbing, I am just going with two eco-tech pumps in my tank...plus, you can put them on their factory battery back up and not worry about power going out...most people set up generators for thier CL to make sure it can still go during a power outage... I think these are going to be the best route...I will probably never do CL again...

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Thanks for the respones people. I was asking about this because I think my flow is not really adequate in my current reef tank. Plus, I want to build the upcoming tidepool tank with as strong a current as possible.

 

I think Borneman Surge apparatus is the way to go for the tidepool + a powerful pump. I might build 2 for it.

 

As far as the 60 g reef is concerned, I think I am just going to upgrade my pump to an Eheim 1262 + scwd. Currently runs a rio 2500. I mgiht

 

BTW - Got Borneman's Aquarium Corals Book this weekend. So informative on all areas of reefkeeping. VERY HELPFUL!!!!!!!!

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I am really disappointed in how my CLS came out. I really expected a lot more. Part of its the pump, part is the OM, part is all the plumbing. Right now its all just sitting there while a couple Seio 820s handle the flow in my tank. I might just sell it all and get a ecotech. We'll see.

 

Problem with open loop is all the flow you have to run thru your sump to get that flow into the display = Microbubble heaven.

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I have been told before on this forum that too fast a flow will mean less water gets processed by your skimmer. There seems to be a sweet spot.

 

I was interested in the Calfo design because it appeared that it could be done without much drilling.

Open system or closed, like lowman mentioned, it looked simpler than all those designs I have seen many posting in the tank sections. It looked like I could run two pumps in my sump. One for the manifold and one to run the flow for the skimmer. I could drill 1 large overflow and use it for the sump inflow and the clm manifold inflow. I liked the neatness of it and the economy. I just wonder about the randomness of the flow. I am sure it is nothing like a surge device, but it sounds efficient.

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wont an open loop cause your skimmer to be less efficient as well since the waters moving thru sump faster?

 

Then beef up your skimmer (laugh) (nutty)

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Just wait for the New Rio Polarios to come out in January. They are basically supposed to be a tunze knock off much smaller than the current Seio pumps and fully controllable but not as expensive as the Tunze pumps.

 

It is funny Tunze goes and makes some pumps that are much more economical to compete with the seios and then Rio creates a more upscale pump to compete against Tunzes higher end pumps. It is good for us stores because we can actually buy Rio stuff and make money on it.

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Problem with open loop is all the flow you have to run thru your sump to get that flow into the display = Microbubble heaven.

 

Correct, so this is why you can not relay on the return pump to make your water movement...you either need a CL or some pumps in the tank to make the water movement...

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The old rule of thumb is match your return pump size to your skimmer pump size, this essentially allows for best skimming percentage of water if you actually build your sump to your skimmer size and make it close to the same size as possible in that section. I made mine this way and agree it works fine but I'm sure pleanty of dirty water makes it past, the best way is drain direct to skimmer however most skimmers are not designed to handle this method.

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Problem with open loop is all the flow you have to run thru your sump to get that flow into the display = Microbubble heaven.

 

I agree, the sump should be used for skimming, heating, cooling, mechanical filtration, media (carbon, phos remover), refugium (if built properly), and maybe a time out area for bad fishies. But I would not try and make up my water turnover rates through my sump. More speed you get in there more risk of micro bubs.

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The seios are not oil filled and I am sure the new pumps won't be either. In fact don't quote me because I don't stock all of there other pumps yet but I think they did away with the oil in all of their pumps. I believe that is the difference that made them Rio + but like I said I am not positive about that.

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