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Which size pump for 60G cube?


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I have a choice between a 650GPH pump and a 1200GPH pump.

The 1200 makes it necessary to add a second U-tube to the overflow. Otherwise the water level slowly creeps up in the main tank.

The overflow has no trouble keeping up once the second tube is added, but Iworry about losing the siphon in one tube.


I have the water level in the tank/sump set that in case of power failure the sump can take the backflow from the main tank, and if the siphon fails, the tank can take what's in the return pump chamber.

But I'm not sure what would happen if just the siphon in one tube fails...


I lean toward less flow and just adding pumps to the tank for flow.

Opinions? :)

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If the siphon breaks, remember there's a chance of burning out a pump. I'd go with the bigger pump and use a ball valve on the output so you can adjust the flow to keep the utubes flowing and helps push the air bubbles through. It's impossible to make more flow from a low end pump. I believe it was Reef Central that had an excellent guide/table to see how much flow you get from a particular pump. You input size of tubing used, height to tank, elbows, etc. but I can't find it. Maybe someone else knows and will speak up.

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I went with the valve and one U-tube, since I know that with this set-up the worst that can happen is burning up the pump (which I prefer to a huge flood, I guess).

My smaller pump turned out the have a rusted and cracked impeller and I couldn't use it.


Thanks for the advice!

Now to get the darn overflow and sump quiet! The stockman pipe helped, but didn't completely do away with the noise.

And the air coming out of the drain in bubbly bursts is really annoying.

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Like Andy said, you don't need much flow for a return...isn't that what closed loops and powerheads are for? Just go for a quiet pump.


I once had 2 siphon tubes on my overflow..one always breaks.


Some of us don't have a setup for CL, or choose not to. From recent experience, I have not had my second siphon break or have air collect since I've increased my flow in the return. I'd have to shake a u-tube and/or plug up one to and rattle the other to get air bubbles out every week; got very annoying having to lift/move my canopy every week. I've had no problems since increasing my return flow; it just pushes any bubbles right through. Personally I use a fairly quite Dart, but also goes up a 10' return line. I think our overflow boxes are a rare pain in the butt with users in this club. I guess you can use the trial and error philosophy, but that depends on your budget. Talk with the store you purchase from, see what they say and maybe you can do an exchange if the pump isn't enough for your needs. I like my peace of mind and don't bother checking the u-tubes anymore.

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I still run my HOB overflow. I guess my pump return rate was low that's why one of the siphon always breaks. From past readings I got that you don't want the flow through your sump to be very rapid, skimming purposes I believed and if you have a refugium connected, I'd think the slower the water goes through, the better, no?


Do you have 2 drains on your overflow? Do an herbie style drain. Use one with a gate valve and the other for an emergency drain. The emergency pipe should tower the herbie by a few inches, but still within the overflow box. Put a screen around the herbie to trap debris if you want. Adjust the valve for the speed of return from the pump. It may take a little adjusting, but it's definitely worth it. That will definitely quiet the overflow down. I have almost no bubbles go down from the overflow to the sump. I may have not explained it fully, but that's the basics of it. Someone else can post a link to the reefcentral thread...not sure where it is.

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I would go with the bigger pump. I run 1500 through my 90 and it is great. I have my return plumbed through a 4 way pvc with loc line on each end to adjust the flow where I want it. So far has worked perfect. I am not really familiar with the HOB overflows but like Vanz said do a herby on there it will be quiet and works great.

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I use the Herbie method on my 120G and wish I had a dual HOB overflow for the cube.

But alas, it's only a single drain. So no Herbie, unless I run the emergency drain on an elbow, but that wouldn't be a true back-up drain, just an insurance if the level fluctuates a bit in the overflow.

I might do that anyhow, because the flushing drives me crazy.

Maybe I'll try the Hofer Gurgle Buster first, though.

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It's acrylic, but I don't think there is room to drill another hole. Unless I use the area reserved for the u-tube.

I guess that could work if I glue the emergency drain pipe so there is no chance of that chamber draining and the siphon not restarting.

I'll have to check into that...

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