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Pro's and Con's of closed loop


CA2OR

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I am getting ready to embark on a new chapter in my saltwater expedition here and find myself trying to decide whether or not I should go with a closed loop. I have read people recently....Frank, Rick, and so on....who have complained about algae build up and other issues like power consumption.

 

I understand that one of the perks to a closed loop is increased flow....but I am going with a wave. So I guess I don't care about flow.....well.....you know what I mean.

 

So I have to ask....what are the pro's and con's to a closed loop?

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pump goes out, replace a 200$+ pump.

closed loop means hidden plumbing

power heads are visible, but cost less to replace and maintain

 

as for better flow? i beg to differ, if you don't plumb it right, you can make it worse, and the net effects are more than likely not much of a greater advantage over power heads. i would say closed loops are mostly for aesthetics more than anything.

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got it.....what about sound? are they quieter?

 

all external pumps make alot more noise than internal pumps and powerheads.

 

most people tend to plumb their external pumps in a separate room to reduce or eliminate noise issues from the main display. There are very quiet external pumps, but they are still no where near silent and the quiet ones tend to cost more.

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The biggest pro is that you can put the flow anywhere in the tank (Mine was at the rear bottom) and that it can be hidden pretty easily. If you do decide to go closed loop be sure the lines are dark and that should keep the algae from being too bad. The main reason I took mine offline is that it used ten times as much power as the equivalent flow would using powerheads.

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the positive side to external is there is little to no addition of heat to the tank.

 

I like this too.....the additional heat is why I am doing primarily LED's for display light. I do plan to add 2x250w MH's once I am ready to add coral again. But for the fish LED's should be great.

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Eric I think it really depends if you go glass or acrylic. If its a glass tank cutting a bunch of closed loop holes plus the cost of setup can get spendy.

 

Its also a lot easier to sell a tank that doesnt have a closed loop. Most people arent looking for something like that.

 

I say get a set of Tunzes or Vortechs.

 

Also what type of corals do you plan on keeping if any?

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To me the cons of a close loop is:

Bulk heads: After years of use they will start to leak I know that Upscales just tore 2 systems down due to leaking bulk heads.

Random Flow: If you want to do random flow then you have to have a ocean motion. But you can’t aduust the amount of flow to change as you can with a vortec.

Power: The pump on a close loop has more draw then the vortecs.

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Eric I think it really depends if you go glass or acrylic. If its a glass tank cutting a bunch of closed loop holes plus the cost of setup can get spendy.

 

Its also a lot easier to sell a tank that doesnt have a closed loop. Most people arent looking for something like that.

 

I say get a set of Tunzes or Vortechs.

 

Also what type of corals do you plan on keeping if any?

 

no corals to start....am starting with stocking the fish first. I wont be ready for corals for a few months as I have to figure out how best to feed and maintain tank and water parameters before adding corals. So initially I am only seeking enough flow for the fish....but I want to options open to add more when I am ready without having to drain my tank to drill holes.

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To me the cons of a close loop is:

Bulk heads: After years of use they will start to leak I know that Upscales just tore 2 systems down due to leaking bulk heads.

Random Flow: If you want to do random flow then you have to have a ocean motion. But you can’t aduust the amount of flow to change as you can with a vortec.

Power: The pump on a close loop has more draw then the vortecs.

 

Hmm.....I am really thinking closed loop is not for me.

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To do random flow then you have to have a ocean motion to do this you have to do a lot of plumbing with 90 or 45 and for every one you put in it add to head pressure so you have to over rate the pump.

One big thing about the vortec it how is just isn’t forward low but how it draws the water back it draws it back in umbrella can’t do that with a close loop.

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Hmm.....I am really thinking closed loop is not for me.

 

Hmmm-where did I hear that from-;)

When I suggested the Vortechs I should have added that for the size you will have you may want the new MP60-2 of them (around 650.00 each I think) or 4 MP 40's at around 425.00 (each) if you get a deal

Good luck bud

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well im on the side for a closed loop. Now bear in mind i have had mine only running for 2 years.

Mine is setup to go through an ocean motions 4 way controller. With that said, i get a lot of random current in the tank, this is important to try and get flows that go back and forth. No pumps inside of the tank, no heat generation by pumps. As for sound I use a dart and it is whisper quiet

As for extra plumbing off the closed loop i only use 2 90s for each return into the tank not too bad, but there will still be a fair amount of plumbing

Keeping the pipes clean, when i moved my tank they where clean, i think a lot of it has to do with how much you feed, detritus buildup etc, there are some new magnet cleaners made to go inside of pipes now to clean them out, not sure how well they work

Cost is going to be a lot cheaper then adding vortechs, which will be better in the long run? its hard to say.

I am personally saving up for a vortec to use as the only internal pump in my tank to hopefully get any dead spots stirred up. I think that will the closed loop will be sufficient for my water motion until the corals grow into one solid block of calcium... about 1/2 way there already

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One thing I think is important with a closed loop is planning. Once you drill the holes, thats where it is. Unlike with directional powerheads, that you can move wherever suites you best.

 

Between the un-adjustability, drilling extra holes in your tank, tons of fittings that can all leak, a big/noisy power-hog of a motor to run it, and an oceans motion drawing even more power to give you changing current, I can't think of any reason to go with a closed loop. What are the benifits anyway? It seems like an archaic idea.

 

Get in touch with The Nano Reef. They are, I believe, the only people in portland that sells Vortechs, and will cut good deals. Do some reading on them if your un-familiar. I think it's a far better route to go.

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I agree with most of the cons thats been listed.

 

Not sure if its been mentioned but I also think resale value of the tank should be considered. Once you have a tank custom made or drilled for a CL I believe it lowers the resale value of the tank. Since most people don't want a CL system.

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I think the MP60 would be overkill. The MP40 is rated for tanks from 50 to 500+ gallons and will do 1000-3200 GPH flow and can be used on glass up to 3/4" thick. Yes it will be expensive but if you think about the pumps, plumbing and electricity used for a closed loop and then add to the fact you are drilling holes in a box that is supposed to hold water (leaks) it's probably not that much more and you'll have it running in an hour or less.

 

I'd call Ecotech support and ask them what combination of MP40 and possibly MP10 units could be used for your needs.

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all external pumps make alot more noise than internal pumps and powerheads.

 

most people tend to plumb their external pumps in a separate room to reduce or eliminate noise issues from the main display. There are very quiet external pumps, but they are still no where near silent and the quiet ones tend to cost more.

 

My Reeflo Dart makes less noise than my skimmer, and is very energy efficient. My 6 bulb t-5, skimmer, heater and pump run on 14 amps.

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