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To CL or not to CL? That is the question.


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I am working the plumbing on my new-to-me tank, and am trying to decide whether to put in a closed-loop system or go with powerheads for the additional flow. Since the tank is empty, I figure now is the time to make these types of decisions. I know this is largely personal preference, but was hoping I could implore some people to chime in with pros and cons of each. If you have a preference, let me know what it is and why. Here's the specs on the tank:


- 70g acrylic: 42 x 24 x 16

- 2 x 1" drains. One in each upper rear corner.

- Return from sump is from a Mag 12. Currently uses flexible tubing which I will be swapping out with 3/4" PVC. Calculating head loss, the flow rate should be around 760 gph.

- Planning a reef tank. I would like to keep some SPS along with other corals.


I am thinking about closed-loop partially for aesthetics and partially because of past frustrations with keeping them in place. Those little suction cups they give you don't work for squat. Of course, magnetic holders are available now, so maybe the latter reason is a non-issue.


If I do go with a closed-loop, what things should I consider as far as size and # of drains/returns? What kind of flow-rate should I be looking for in a pump? What about the placement of the drains and returns?


If I go with powerheads, how many would you recommend and what kind of flow rate for each?


And while I have your ears (or your eyes as the case may be), there are no holes drilled for the return from the sump. I am assuming the way it was set up before, that the tubing just draped over the side. I will be drilling for the return line. Would it be better to go with one return, or should I T it into two? What are the advantages/disadvantages of either?


Thanks for your input.

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