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help getting better flow thru the tank


nelsz3
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So i got a 75g glass mixed reef tank with hang on overflow box and a 500gph return pump to a single outflow and two cheap powerheads dont know the gph on those but guessing not very much, while back i got 3 sps frags from smann, i parked two right in front of a powerhead and there doing awesome but the third i moved around but it did not like any other place in the tank and decided to move on. The 2 that are grow i love and want to get more! So i'm thinking i should upgrade my return pump and change from a single return to a double. I'm trying to stay on the cheap side and used eqip is ok with me but am not sure what size of return i should use

Is 1000 gph enough or to much or should it be bigger if i do two returns?(scratch)

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My tanks run close to the 1000gph mark. I run hang on overflows(single). No real problems yet. It is always a good Idea to have redundant systems. In case of failure. I don't know If you looked close when you were here at the overflows. But are welcome to come look. Then maybe we can tune yours up a little. Better power heads make a huge difference.

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There have been a number of threads like this lately. If you need more flow then powerheads are the way to go. Too much flow through your sump can cause many more problems. I'd look to upgrading your powerheads if you are just trying to increase the water movement in your display.

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what are your thoughts on a scwd on the return vs power heads on a controller?

 

I have both on my tank. I wouldn't waste the money on a scwd. (I got it before I had a controller.) So far I haven't had problems with mine, so I have continued to use it. If you do a google search, many of them fail or get clogged up. The PHs on controller make it much nicer to change up flow patterns as your tank matures.

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what kind of problems come up with to much flow thru the sump

 

With more flow you typically get more noise (unless you make additional changes, like go dual overflows as mentioned above). You can also get microbubbles in the sump and pass them into the display.

 

With a higher flow return your tank level will typically run higher (if overflow capacity is not added). This can cause a problem during a power failure, if your sump is not large enough to handle the additional water.

 

One of the main reasons for a sump is to allow for ample time for for your refugium and skimmer to work for you. Both the skimmer and any macro algae need some contact time with the water. If you flow too much water past either then you reduce efficiency.

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It looks like we have very similar systems, except mine is a internal overflow.

 

I have a 750 gallon per hour return pump and two 700 gph power heads and love this setup. At first I thought this was going to be too much movement has worked out well. It has lots of flow and seems to keep everthing moving without making a huricane in my tank

 

I am still a noobie so a grain of salt is needed here but I think this works well on a 75 gallon system

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ok, my sump right now is a rubbermaid tub with some sand, lr , chaeto and a 2 little fish cu-125 skimmer there are tons of pods in the sump but i rarely see any in the display, is a external pump better than submersible for getting the pods into the display

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is a external pump better than submersible for getting the pods into the display

 

Doubt it makes any difference, as long as the pods have access to the pump inlet.

 

You probably have pods in your display if you have them in the sump. Try a flashlight after the lights go out. I rarely see pods out in my DT with the lights on.

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With more flow you typically get more noise (unless you make additional changes, like go dual overflows as mentioned above). You can also get microbubbles in the sump and pass them into the display.

 

With a higher flow return your tank level will typically run higher (if overflow capacity is not added). This can cause a problem during a power failure, if your sump is not large enough to handle the additional water.

 

One of the main reasons for a sump is to allow for ample time for for your refugium and skimmer to work for you. Both the skimmer and any macro algae need some contact time with the water. If you flow too much water past either then you reduce efficiency.

 

Good summary, same goes with the heater...need a little contact time.

 

I forget what the saying is, but I remember hearing its good to go with 2 to 3 times the total system volume in gph through the sump (100 gallon system = 200-300GPH through sump). Don't quote me on the exact amount, as it isn't even necessary, but it just shows you that you want a smaller flow through the sump, accomplish higher flow with powerheads etc.

 

I personally don't have a huge issue with SCWD. I have owned many, they do clog, but you can get them for like $25. Whats a controller running these days? I don't own one so I don't know, I don't really like them. I don't trust them...that's just me.

 

Before I moved to portland I had a 100 gallon display (225 gallon total volume) that was SPS dominant. I only 350 GPH through the sump and accomplished the other 4000+ with closed loop etc. Random flow is good but I had it go out and never changed anything and never saw a difference...With that much flow, as long as its not direct (one powerhead) it will be pretty random...its fluid dynamics baby! haha

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also, same goes for those with recirculating skimmers...1-1.5 times total system volume through the skimmer...give those pumps some time to foam!

 

That is why I never got becket type skimmers...I had an aqua C a-long time ago. I had a mag 12 as a return and they recommended a mag18 for the skimmer. I used it, and immediately sold it. Doesn't make sense to blast that much flow through the skimmer, it doesnt even do anything, and takes a week to build a foam tower

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I meant with recirulating kinds. The kinds that have an input pump to move water into skimmer and seperate bigger pumps to do the skimming. Mine has 3 pumps. One that is smaller, or supposed to be, that moves water from tank to skimmer. Then the other two larger pumps act as like closed loops within the skimmer to make the foam. You want the water moving through the skimmer slower than the recirc pumps so they have time to actually skim.

 

Same goes for sump/display. You want slower flow through the sump to allow things to do their job.

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