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FAQs about Circulation in Marine Systems 7

Related Articles: Circulation, Submersible Pump Selection, Efficiency and Price Assessments by Steven Pro, Inexpensive Wavemaker Impressions, by Steven Pro, Plumbing Marine Systems, Holes & Drilling, Aeration, Water Flow, How Much is Enough, Powerhead Impressions by Steven Pro, Marine System ComponentsRefugiums, Central FiltrationFlow-through Live-holding Systems, Refugiums, Business Set-Up

Related FAQs: Marine Circulation 1, Marine Circulation 2, Marine Circulation 3, Marine Circulation 4Marine Circulation 5Marine Circulation 6, Marine Circulation 8, Marine Circulation 9 & FAQs on: Rationale, Designs, Pumps, Plumbing, What's About the Right Amount, Troubleshooting/Repair, & AerationPumps, PlumbingMake Up Water Systems, Sumps RefugiumsGear Selection for Circulation, Powerheads, Pump ProblemsSurge Devices

Sedentary invertebrates need circulation to provide oxygen, take away wastes, deliver foods, distribute reproductive products... Colpophyllia natans, Bonaire

Refugium flow rates Hello Crew, <Hola Chris> Thanks so much for the collection of expertise. I have been so impressed with your site, Mr. Fenner that I have pledged $5 for every time I employ information from WetWebMedia.com. Please accept my first contribution of $50 from this gracious fellow hobbyist. <Thank you very much. I'm sure Bob will be tickled.><<I'll say! We've already spent it! RMF> I have built refugiums for both of my marine systems. (60 gallon reef /29 gallon refugium and 180 gallon FOWLR /75 gallon refugium). I have flow rates of 15-18 times turnover in each tank and want to maximize flow through the refugium. With all of the information available throughout the industry the formula for flow rate through refugiums does not seem to exist. What is the recommended flow rate through refugiums? Thank you for your time and help. Best regards, Chris Matthews Dallas, Texas <Well for a true refugium with a DSB and other denitrification properties, it only needs to be 2x-4x the turnover per hour. the slower on the refugium the better as the water needs time to be stripped of its impurities, and if you have a faster turn over, the substrate might be a cloudy mess as well. Hope this helps> <Justin (Jager)> 

Creating chaos! (Water Movement With Powerheads) Hello, WWM Crew! :) <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Trying to tweak with my circulation and had a quick question. Do you think 2 MaxiJet powerheads would be too much in a 55g reef (48x14x11)? <I don't think that this would be too much circulation for most of the commonly-kept reef animals that we work with (notice that I said "most", as there are many that like reduced flow). As long as you are not directing a powerhead's flow directly at an animal, literally blasting the tissue off of the coral, you should be fine, IMO.> I have mostly polyps, inverts, and fish. It seems most people seem to feel placement should either be facing each other and slightly offset or angled from the corners to the front/center of the tank. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated as always. Thanks for being such great guides. Best, John Kelley <Well, John, I think that you'd be well advised to do just that. Angle the flow off of the front/center of the tank. I like to direct pump output towards each other, to create a "chaotic" sort of flow in the tank. This will really help get movement towards many different areas of the system! Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.> 

Hello all how is every one? <Recovering nicely> Just two quick questions a stocking one and one about a 55 gallon refugium <Sure, Fire Away> Here's the refugium question The water from the 135 gallon will be pumped by a MaxiJet 1200 to the refugium by simple clear hose. There's a wall separating the two tanks, so it will have to be drilled so I can get the hose through. The refugium will have a MaxiJet 1200 to pump the water back. Will this work? It seemed like the easiest way to do it. If you can think of a better way without drilling my tanks please tell me! The refugium will have a 5 inch sandbed with Halymenia and some Caulerpa...I know, but I like it. I was going to only fill the 55 half to 3/4s full is this okay? <Umm, The MaxiJet pumping out and another pumping back will not work. one will pump more than the other and it will either flood or possibly burn a pump out. Buy an overflow box which allows the refugium, and will work better since it only needs priming once and if the pump fails it will drain to one level then stop preventing flooding if its done right.> The question about stocking it about a Naso tang. Just wondering if I got one small if it would be okay until I go to college in 2 years. I will then probably take my tank down. Thanks again Tristan <Yes the Naso should be ok till then in a 135, however you will be limited somewhat in what other fish you can have in there as well as it gets bigger as it will need all the space. Also if you do not have the home for this fish when you leave it might be better to not get one.> <Justin (Jager)> 

Chaetomorpha Quandary...To Tumble Or Not? Hi there WWM crew <Hey! Scott F. here today!> Need help with getting enough water flow thru my refugium to get my Chaetomorpha algae tumbling. I have a 20 gallon tank that I have separated into 3 chambers by gluing Plexiglas walls inside of. The first chamber which houses items such heaters and carbon or anything else I may need to use, gets the water flowed into it via an overflow box from my 55 gallon main tank. It then goes thru a baffle to cut down on bubbles and into my 2nd chamber that acts as a refugium. <A neat DIY approach! Awesome!> It currently has a 2 to 2.5 inch sand bed which I plan to increase to at least 4 or 5 this weekend, and just got hold of a clump of Chaetomorpha about the size of a fist. My problem is water flow. From my understanding and readings from this site, Chaeto needs to tumble around in order to grow. <I have my own feelings on this topic. I am a big fan/user of Chaetomorpha, and I have never kept it in an area with lots of tumbling motion. I've had so much success with this macroalgae that I had to give it away!  The key, in my opinion, is to give it enough water movement to keep algae and detritus from lodging in it and interfering with its growth, as well as decent lighting. Gracilaria, on the other hand (my other favorite macroalgae), is one that you do need to "tumble".> This is where my problem comes into play. The only water flow that I have in the sump/refugium is whatever is created naturally, which doesn't budge the Chaeto. I've tried adding a Maxijet powerhead but the unit I have, 1200 is way too powerful. It gets the algae tumbling but also causes a sandstorm. <Yep- a problem that is more annoying, IMO!> I was wondering if perhaps something like the Mini jet model of the powerhead, which reads a 13 to 104 gph rate would be sufficient to get the Chaeto tumbling and not cause a tsunami in my little refugium? And can the Chaeto survive long if not tumbling? <As above, I'd try it without taking these measures first. If you are finding that debris is polluting the algae, or nuisance algae is fouling it, then you may need to try one of these options, just to get some movement in there. even then, I don't think that tumbling is a guarantee of success. However, as a macroalgae geek, I love the fact that you are thinking to go to so much effort to keep it happy!> I can't get out to the LFS till Saturday due to work to get whatever I need to help my problem. I am restricted on space and therefore decided on a sump/refugium combo. The refugium area is aprox. 12 inches in length x 12 inches in width (small I know but better than nothing). I plan to use the refugium as a way to help nutrient reduction along with the 5inch DSB I have in my main tank and some critter production as well. <Relax. Things sound fine!> Also a question on the lighting needs for a 'fuge this small. What size light would work well in this case? At the moment, I have a 13 watt fluorescent over the fuge lighting it on an opposite schedule from my main tank. Is this sufficient or do I need more? <Well, you could always go for more, but if the proximity of the light to the algae is low, then you could see how it goes for a while. Perhaps a higher wattage compact fluorescent (like 28 watts or so) would be better "bang for the buck".> Thank you all in advance for any solutions to my problem you can offer. This is the most informative and helpful site I've come across to date, so much so that my head feels like its going to explode from all the knowledge gained and still gaining from your site !! <Yea- my head exploded quite a while ago, so I wear a lot of caps! seriously, thanks much for the kind words. It's our pleasure to be here for you!> Have a great weekend all !! <You too! Regards, Scott F.>

Powerheads Hi all, <Hello, how are you?> I have a new 50 gallon tank, and just started adding fish. I added two small clowns. The problem is that they keep on getting "blown" all over the place by the currents that are generated by the powerheads. I have four Powerheads on the tank one 900 two 400 and one 500. Is it normal for them to keep getting caught up in the currents? please help I hate to see them get pushed around. <The amount of power heads for that tank seems to be too much. If you have sufficient filtration, two powerheads should be enough. Good Luck. MikeB.> 

Water Movement For Acropora Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Do Acroporas do better with a direct flow of one power head or with 2 - 125gph Power Sweep power heads? I have a 10 gall nano reef tank with 1 Acro with plenty of room for more! What do you guys think? Thanks for your time! <Well, most of the Acropora that favor high flow will benefit from randomized, indirect flow. Laminar flow directly into a coral can literally peel the tissue right off of the colony. Better to use those Power Sweep powerheads, or even some sort of rotating return device, like the wonderful Sea Swirls! HTH! Regards, Scott F.> Water flow questions 2/11/05 Hello crew. I sent this letter of inquiry to Bob Fenner first, then found the crew's email option floating around your site. Very cool site by the way!  <Thanks! Glad you have found it useful!> I'm in the process of setting up my acrylic 48"x13"20" reef tank that's been down for a few years due to moving and busy schedule. I'm redoing the stand and hood too. Our living room looks like a workshop :) Would like someone to hold my hand as I venture forth with some plumbing advice/preferences. Technology has advanced a bit while my tank sat idle. The aquarium has one 5"x5"x19" corner overflow with a 1" bulkhead in the bottom, returning to the almost finished sump/refugium I am now making. My intention is to: 1) Drill another overflow in the opposite corner matching the existing one making two 1" bulkheads (large enough or drill them out to 1 1/2"?) using Durso stand pipe technology. <You may have to get your hands on the bulkhead and measure for the correct hole size since this varies by manufacturer.> I noticed on the Durso web sight that the stand pipe seems to only come in 1". Is there a reason?  <I don't know. "Durso" standpipes can be made from just about any size pipe. If this site is selling them, I suspect that it is an economy of scale issue.> Will have 3/4" to 1" (preference?) return lines come up through same 5x5 boxes.  <Bigger lines will get you more flow out of your pump. If you pump pumps more than about 500gph (at a head pressure equal to the height of the top of the tank), then go with 1", even if your actual outlet will be a smaller nozzle (SCWD, SeaSwirl, etc.). My personal preference would be to run the returns up and over the back edge of the tank. Advantages include less crowded spillway boxes, less clutter inside the tank and better access for the inevitable re-working.> Perhaps employ a squid valve to these return lines and a sea swirl (if needed) in the middle of tank on a separate pump. Am worried about water velocity hurting critters using a squid that will isolate return pump to only one line at a time. Valid concern?  <This is a very valid concern, but easily prevented. One or the other of these devices should be plenty on such a small tank.> Was thinking of a pump that does around 1000gph. Good number?  Pump recommendations? Also considered just using 2 sea swirl returns, both on all the time.  <You will probably need two 1.5" drains to handle that much flow. Also, with that much flow, you will have to be more careful of blasting corals. I like Iwaki pumps for outstanding service records, but quieter pumps are available. Blueline pumps are newer to the market, but seem to get good feed back. They are less expensive and reportedly quieter than Iwaki. Dolphin pumps are nearly silent, but not head rated and have reliability issues (seal leaks).> 2) Make a new, longer overflow wall, center back, say 16"x4", for improved surface skimming and looks. If I go with this option, I will either drill two bulkheads (1 1/2"?) in the bottom of the tank behind the overflow and utilize the Durso stand pipe arrangement, or come in from the back of the tank up by the water line with two 2" bulkheads. The return lines have the same options, up through the bottom or in from the back. My worry with having bulkheads up high without stand pipes is noise. After reading many letters sent in to you guys, it seems noise is the #1 complaint. Twin 2" bulkheads should be plenty for moving 1000gph though, true?  <Two 1.5" should handle the flow. No matter how you plumb it, noise will be an issue. Drilling through the bottom and using Dursos is the way to go if noise is a major concern.> 3) I guess a last option would be to plumb my return line(s) into a PVC pipe running along the upper back wall of the aquarium with several outlet nozzles, allowing for greater volume of water to be moved without creating flesh tearing force. Not as hot on this idea though. Worried about looks.  <This can be an aesthetic problem, but can also be hidden. The risks of higher velocity returns must be balanced against the benefits of the turbulence produced.> Would any of these scenarios require added power heads? Would rather avoid them if possible.  <Even at 3/4 of it's rated flow, a 1000gph pump will give you 15x turnover or more... plenty!> Just bouncing these ideas around in my head, trying to think of all the pros and cons . Would appreciate any feedback you have on what might work best.  <If noise is a serious concern, do consider running your 1000gph pump on a closed loop and only turning a few hundred gph over through the sump. You will get all the flow with little drain noise.> PS: Am thinking of getting a new skimmer. The Aqua C caught my eye. Is it really worth the $? <AquaC gives one of the best "bangs for the buck", especially in hang on models. If you go cheaper, performance will fall off rapidly, and you will gain very little if anything by going more expensive.> Also thoughts on a calcium reactor? Never had one. Used a drip back in the dark ages.  <This is largely a subjective question. Calcium reactors trade high initial cost for low hassle and low operating cost. However, they are a mechanical device and need to be maintained and do break. Kalkwasser remains a great choice, and "two-part" additives are very convenient (but expensive).> Thanks for the help, One who has definitely got the bug going again, (just ask my wife) Jim  <Welcome back to the hobby! Best Regards. AdamC.>

My external pump is throwing sand around Hello, all! <Chad> I just upped the circulation in my 75G FOWLR tank. It currently has: 4" sugar-sized aragonite substrate 90lbs Fiji live rock Eheim 2026 canister (~225GPH) Eheim 1262 water pump at 3ft head (probably about 700GPH).   The 1262 is absolutely nuts, btw! I put it in a 5 gallon bucket in the shower, and it was able to throw water over the shower curtain! What an awesome hobby... <Heee!> Yesterday, I rigged up a 28/34mm intake and strainer from replacement parts for the Eheim 2260 canister filter, so it's 28/34 hose the whole way down to the intake on the pump. I then took a 16/22 tube, ran it into a plastic T, split it out to two Eheim spray bars on the left and right sides of the tank, and pointed them roughly at each other. <Okay> All the extra current certainly stirs things up. On the bottom, the sand does jump around a bit, and little bits of waste, detached algae, etc. fly in crazy paths around the tank.  The only inhabitants of the tank are a yellow tailed damsel and a tomato clown. I'll be adding some sort of starfish later after I do my homework and get the tank set up to my liking. The clown always hides in a rock now, but has to constantly flap her arms around to stay in place. The damsel doesn't appear to mind, but then again, she never appears to mind anything.  So, is this too much? It seems like the answer is always "no," but I'm wondering if maybe I went a bit overboard and did the impossible here. I'm worried that I'm going to get some fish stuck to the glass in there! <If the water isn't clouded up, sand not getting sucked into your pumps, fish tossed out of the tank...> Oh yeah, and, should the water flow be like this day and night, or should I turn it off at night? Or should I turn it off right now...  As always, Thanks thanks thanks thanks!  - Chad <Better to leave all going 24/7. Bob Fenner>

The amazing, incredible pump to/from act! I am setting up a 40g Reef tank, with a 30g sump tank ,and I am wondering if I could use a canister filter with a flow output of 1000lph to feed the sump going through a UV into the sump then being returned to the display tank by a water pump of the same flow rate as the canister filter of 1000lph.  Your advice would be appreciated  <Uhh, no... as you will/would soon find... there are no two pumps that will stay balanced... rely on gravity... placing the sump above or below the main tank... having the one overflow into the other. Bob Fenner>

Micro Bubbles Dear Crew, I'm having problems with micro bubbles. I have a Panworld 40PX dedicated to a chiller and a sea swirl and I'm not having any problems.. I also have a Gen-X Mak4 that is dedicated to 2 sea swirls and that is where I'm having my problems. I have silicone all connections, placed a sponge in the sump and I'm still getting the micro bubbles. I notice at times that I will get a surge of bubbles that will shoot out both of the sea swirls, could it possibly be the pump? This is a new set up and I do not have any corals as of yet. Will this be a problem if the bubbles do not stop? Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Steve >>>Steve, I have no experience with the units you speak of, so I'm going to leave this query in the In-box for another crew member to hopefully answer. What I WILL tell you though for the time being is that whatever happens, micro bubbles are not harmful to corals or other inverts despite what you may hear or read elsewhere.  Jim<<<

Water circulation 1/29/05 I have a 29g saltwater tank, currently have 2 clowns, 1 yellow watchman goby, 1 cleaner shrimp, 3 snails, 5 hermit crabs.  Plan on adding 3 more fish in time.  I have a Rena XP1 filter, Red Sea Prizm protein skimmer, and a Rio 600 powerhead, is that enough for proper circulation or is one more powerhead needed, and if so what kind would you u suggest?  <aim for at least 600 gph turnover in this tank. Twice that if you have messy fishes or dense rockwork> I currently have a algae hair problem on my live rock and a lil on my sand...I think it might be because of the circulation...or am I wrong?  <you are correct... it may be from lack of circulation in part. Increased flow keeps solid matter in suspension longer for filters and skimmers to export the matter. Do make your skimmer work hard(er) too for faster control of the algae. Read more about all of this in our archives under the topic of nuisance algae> thank you for your help! <always welcome, my friend. Anthony>

Circulation 1/23/05 Just a quick question, I have a 150 gal. tank but with the LR and DSB it only holds 120 gal of water. When figuring the turn over rate of water in the tank do I use the 150 or 120.  <it really depends on the needs of the specific animals kept... and the shape of your aquascape, etc. All things that will place different demands or restrictions on water flow. Error on the safe side and give more water flow (assume tank volume size)> Also I was reading the FAQ and saw the abbreviation for sea salt... IO... is that Instant Ocean? <yes... correct :)> Thanks for your help....Steve  <kindly, Anthony>

Water flow for corals 1/14/04 I thought strong water flow was not good... Everything I read on your site said to keep it in a gentle water flow.. <Yikes... this is not the case for most any cnidarians kept. Have you been to a reef my friend? The water flow is dynamic! Bob often preaches about this dynamic. My articles/books, FAQs say the same... other reef writers too. This one is a no-brainer - water flow brings food to corals, carries away waste, etc. And is woefully inadequate in most tanks> Should the Mushroom stay in the strong water flow permanently? <Hmmm... you need to read/understand more about water flow... we are not talking about blasting it with a powerhead. Laminar flow is rarely needed/safe (save for planar species like Sea Fans). Instead, seek to produce surge or turbulent flow. Do a keyword search on our site here for an article called "Goodbye Powerheads". It details many of the how's and whys of water flow> Thanks for the response to my initial email <always welcome, Anthony>

Maddening Oolitic Dust Storms Hello Bob or Crew, After reading The Conscientious Aquarist and countless web articles on reef aquaria for over two years, I recently made the plunge into my first attempt at a reef aquarium.  After all, I was probably the most knowledgeable reefer who had never had a reef.  I was convinced that a DSB teaming with bacteria, micro-invertebrates, brittle stars and snails would lead to success, so I purchased ESV oolitic aragonite and added it unwashed (Don't wash it!  You want those angstrom-sized particles for biodiversity.) to my tank and two refugia.  The water clouded up big time and two days later a snail couldn't have seen its foot in front of its eyes.  (Add the live rock to the tank and it will clear.)  So, I added my Tonga live rock that had been dipped in a rainbow to the tank and the water did clear.  Now, my Tonga live rock looks like it was dipped in a mud hole and a powerhead won't clean it.<That is because you have an algae that is not coralline growing all over it.>  Then I added a small powerhead to a refugium and the water clouded up big time.<O.K. Don't do that again.  Depending on the size of the refugium a powerhead with direct disturbance will cloud your water along with disturbing the infaunal creatures that you are trying to cultivate.>  Lord only knows what will happen when I add the two Tunze air-cooled powerheads to the aquarium. Please tell me how aquarists have deep, fine oolitic sandbeds and water circulation at the same time? Thank you, Joseph <Joseph, The best thing to do is to disperse the water flow and not have it directly blowing into the gravel.  What I have found that works best is to keep the powerheads near the top of the water and blow from one side of the tank to the other.  This will disperse the direct flow of the water and not disturb the gravel as much.  As for the live rock, if you keep the phosphates down and the calcium and alkalinity up the color will come back.  Good Luck. MikeB.> Circulation, Coral Beauty color I have had any questions for you guys. You have always been great in the past. Thanks!  I have a 90 gal with 120 live rock approx. two years old.  I have usual asst. of crabs, starfish and snails (which this population has diminished in size over the last four months). I have  one Coral Beauty, two true Perculas, one LTA, two Cardinals, one Wrasse, three Anthias and one Hawkfish. Also have an asst. of about fifteen corals. Water parameters- sg- 1.024(change 8 gals twice weekly) nitrates- <10 but not zero,  pH- 8.3 , ca- 390 and alkalinity of 10 dKH.  I have 2 sumps adding about 25 gallons to the total. There are 2 skimmers working- one no name brand which works pretty well and one aqua-c 180 which is fairly finicky and does not work as well as I had hoped. <Mmm, should... what do you think is wrong here? Is the water level in the contact chamber within an inch or two of the collector?> lights are two 175 10,000k halides and 2 110 VHO blue actinics. Water flow is two 275gph powerheads (planning to upgrade to two Tunze powerheads with dual controller if you think it is worth it), <They're very nice units, w/ or w/o a controller... might upgrade as the older ones fail>   two mag 350 carbon filters changed every four to five weeks and one little giant 3 which I believe is about 900gph. I also have a little giant 4 with two 3/4" outlets (about 1400gph) that I run sporadically to increase the flow. Finally my questions. The first is that it seem between some of the rocks and corals it looks like spider webs are in there. Is this a problem? <Perhaps an indication of too little circulation... I would direct, dedicate some flow to the region> Second question which seems more important is that my two year old Coral Beauty over the last three to four weeks seems to be losing its blue color in its front over its mouth and around its eyes. He seems happy and eats well. They are fed Mysis and brine shrimp, flakes, seaweed wafer and dried seaweed. What is his problem? Thanks. <Perhaps "just age"... You might try adding a vitamin soak to these foods, perhaps some new live rock. Bob Fenner> Circulation Issues in a 100 Reef Ready I've really been thinking about redoing my 36 gallon reef tank.  <Sounds great! Ryan helping you today>  I had considered buying a whole new setup then something occurred to me.  I currently have a 100 gallon acrylic tank that is setup as a marine fish-only tank.  I feel the tank has nice dimensions for a reef, 60x18x20 and all ready has a built in overflow.  Now here's the problem.  I got a great deal on the tank as it was incorrectly ordered by a local fish store.  The overflow has a 1" drain and a 3/4 " return.  I currently have a Mag 9.5 as the return pump and the flow is adequate for a fish-only setup.  Unfortunately there are no slots cut in the top of the tank to allow for powerheads.  So on the opposite end of the tank I have thought about drilling two small holes in the top in between the edge of the tank and one of the removable tank covers.  There is 3 1/2" in between the edge and the lid so my thought was to drill two small holes to allow the hanging of two powerheads.  I have looked at the Tunze 6080 which claims 2250 GPH.  Do you think it is feasible to drill the top?  <Yes, but keep in mind that this strip provides much of the tank's support.  Small as possible.>    Will two of the Tunze pumps plus my return pump give me adequate flow for a reef?  <Yes, that sounds like a great circulation plan!>  This appears to be the easiest way to get the water really flowing?  <Yes, use the controller to have variable currents!  Great product.>   Any ideas would be appreciated. <If you're a DIY type, do a search on Anthony's Return Manifold as well- Less pricey, much of the same wonderful water movement.  Good luck! Ryan> Circulation Issues in 55 Gallon Good morning and seasons greetings to all. <Hi! Good morning! Ryan with you today.>  I have a few questions for you concerning water movement throughout my system.  <Surely.>  Over the past few months I've been working to upgrade my system (new 440watt VHO lighting,  20 gal refugium, 30 gal sump, DSB, 100+lbs of live rock) and he last part I am addressing is water movement (main tank is 55g).  I currently have a RIO 3100 pushing water from my sump back t main tank and would put the volume at 300-400 gallons an hour (had to adjust because my over flow can not keep up when running return at 100% capacity).  <Even 20% is realistic when accounting for head, algae growth.>    I bought a RIO 2100 this weekend and installed it (rated at 690g an hour) and I like the capacity but I'm not thrilled with the movement because there are several dead spots in the tank where I've noticed a lot of detritus has accumulate (note, this was installed in main tank to replace small powerhead).   To combat this,  I'm tempted to install ?inch PVC piping around the top of my tank and drill 1/4inch holes at the four corners and connect the RIO2100 to that so that I could have each of the holes push water to the opposite ends of the tank in an effort to keep detritus in the water column (have a AQUAC-Urchin on order).  <Yes, Anthony's return manifold works great!>  Does this sound like a feasible plan or would you recommend an alternative?  <You could also use a pair of Maxi-jet 1200's to help as well.  Or try the Rio Seio...>   I thank you in advance for you assistance. <Good luck! Ryan> John How much water flow for a 72 gal? Adam! Thanks for your response. By 20L, I meant a 20 gallon long aquarium. Sorry for the confusion. << Okay, that sounds better. >> Since then space constraints have limited me to a 15g refugium. Isn't 800gph in a 15 gallon refugium too much? Shouldn't I keep the flow low? << Well you don't want the water blowing all your algae around in your sump.  But on the other hand the refugium only helps out because it is connected to the main tank.  So to get benefits from it you need that water turning over. >> BTW, I just ordered a Tunze stream 1600gph pump. I'm planning to have two Seio 620s on one end and the Tunze at the other -1600gph meeting 1200gph somewhere near the middle of the tank. The Tunze has a 2" outlet, and the Seio's 1.5" outlets. As a result the output velocities will be close. I could use the Mag3 from the Remora Pro to pump water from the refugium to the display. With a 4' head it's good for at least 200gph, and the skimmer can be powered by a Quiet one 3000 rated at 780gph. << Sounds good. >> I hear these pumps don't like back-pressure and tend to overheat. Any truth to that? << All pumps have that problem, but if you are restricting the output and not the input I think you'll be fine. >> This will result in a total flow of about 3600gph for a 72G. Is that too much for just Xenia and Capnella? And the fish? I worry about the clown... << You can never have too much flow. This sounds great. >> Thank You for your time! Narayan <<  Blundell  >> New tank Hi! <Hey Claudia, MacL here today with you> My cousin's tank crashed so he sold me his 450 Liter tank (120 Gal?).  The problem is that I need to make a sump for it for filtering purposes (to put the skimmer, activated carbon, etc...) but there is no space for the overflow because of the hood (worst case scenario I can cut the hood), also I have heard that some of these overflows don't work that good when there is a power out (there are lots of them here). I considered two powerheads of equal strength one to take the water from the main tank and one to return it but, question one: will the water flow for these powerheads be the same? <The flow should be the same but the rate may differ because one is going up and one is going down.> or will they eventually differ because one of them has more pressure than the other (because they are at different heights). question two: what if one of them breaks down?  Somehow, this solution with the powerheads doesn't seem like a solution at all. Other than the overflow or a hole cut in the tank (impossible according to the glass expert) is there any other way I can have a sump? <I'm surprised a glass shop couldn't cut a hole in it. I've had pretty good success with overflows. You can use cut off valves.> The way I have it on my 26Gal is that I had a hole cut in on of the corners which solved my problem and to me that is the safest way so far. please help... Cheers, Claudia

Circulation confusion? Hello Bob, Thank you and your crew for all the past help. After spending many hours on your site I am not very happy with the set up my LFS sold me.<I am sorry to hear that.> I could have spent half the amount of money and had a much better set up. Oh well. I have a 90 gallon tank with a small external pump and two maxi jet 1200 for current. I have too many dead spots and think I'm really starting to upset the tank by trying to rearrange things every day for better water movement. So I decided to buy a larger external pump and see if I can do away with the ugly powerheads. ( I tried to hide them behind the live rock but then I don't get enough movement in front of the rock) My question what is the best way to set up my return lines? I am going to add another overflow box to the other side of the tank to handle the extra flow (pump is rated for 1,200 GPH). I can not set up a manifold system be cause I have a glass canopy. Do you think it would be better to run the return lines to opposite ends of the tank and point them together or use a deep spray bar? I have visited many LFS and they ALL seem to have the same setup. A couple of return lines from the main pump and power heads at the lower portion of the tank. Is that the only way to get total circulation? Thanks again. <Hello, MikeB here to help today.  If you want to add another overflow that is good just make sure the sump can handle that type of water flow.  As far as the power heads go, here is what I suggest.  Purchase a large powerhead (Rio 2100 or larger) and put a tube and T section on the end of it.  Place the pump on the bottom under some live rock and then use the T section diverter to pump the water out from behind the live rock.  That will help with the circulation and the "dead spots".  Good Luck MikeB.> Re: 375g setup Hi Anthony, <Out till 12/12> Thanks for the tip - I will follow up with him. When you commented "you don't follow", I was asking if switching the 2 DSB's would have any effect or make a difference (i.e. Thalassia in the refugium with sugar fine sand and the Chaetomorpha with fine sand in the tank). <Might indeed make a positive difference> Also, I wondered if this was going to be quite enough tank turnover...other than sea-swirls is there anything else that can perform their function? With their 1" max input it's going to take a lot of them ($$$$). Would I just plumb some of the additional returns as "direct" and aim them away from any specimens to avoid uni-directional flow ?            thanks,               Greg <Best to make, place a manifold of a few discharges... with one through-put to a few, or even an "over the top" arrangement to return water from a strong pump source outside this size system. Bob Fenner>

Flow rate Is flow rate of a tank determined by the return pump? <To the largest extent, yes> I know that in order to keep the sump at a certain level, the drain line to the sump has to be larger than the return line, for example, a 1" drain with a 3/4" return. <Yes> | If this is true, does installing a pump with a larger flow rate increase the flow rate of the aquarium? <Can, should, yes> What is the recommended turnover rates for different types of aquarium setups? <As a general "rule of thumb", more is better... ten, twenty times turnover for most all> Thanks for the info. I am getting tired of working in my trade. It has become very stressful and I do not enjoy it anymore. <Very sorry to hear... but glad to realize that your awareness> For the past 7 years I have been gratified with my aquariums and have been doing much research online with things pertaining to this hobby. In the past year I have been thinking of performing a slow (a little at a time) change in career to designing  and constructing acrylic aquariums, refugiums, wet/dry filters and terrariums. I  know I can do it and I know I would love it. <Outstanding. Welcome to our trade. Bob Fenner> Circulation problems Adam!   It's me again! One of my 3 SEIO 620 pumps died today -after a mere 3 months of operation. I just gave it a proper burial, and would like to do the same to the other 2 by the end of this year. These two are over 6 months old... First, I don't think with the swivel nozzle they were putting out anywhere near the claimed 620 gph output -about half that sounds reasonable. Second they vibrate a lot. I have a bunch of dead spots in the rear corners of the aquarium with this scheme...   My goal is to eliminate dead spots that are inherent with 2 power heads -very poor circulation just under the power heads... Plus I don't want noisy ugly powerheads anymore. I seem to have two choices. Choice A: A pair of Tunze Turbelles stream pumps at either end of the aquarium, each rated at  1600gph. Sounds good on paper, but I may still have dead spots under the pumps and they will still be unsightly. << Yes, but dead spots aren't bad as long as you have a high volume flow and the surface of the water is moving. >> Choice B: Manifold return with a 900gph Eheim pump - Maybe two of them in parallel -they cost about the same as the Turbelles. The problem here is that I have a 72G bow front tank and since they don't sell curved PVC pipes at Home depot, I won't have a closed loop! ...just an 'E' shaped manifold with the tubes running along the back and sides and one under the center brace! And the total circulation numbers will still be a lot less than the Tunze, especially since the Eheims will have a 5-3 foot head to work against. At this point they are down to 750 gph. << This is only partially true.  They have that 5 feet to work against, but they also have 5 feet of water above pushing down with positive force.  They lose (if built properly like a closed loop) very little pushing power.  I think a closed loop system is the way to go.  You don't need curved pipe, just build it like you would for any other tank. >> Occupants are 1 Kole tang, 1 Ocellaris clown, 1 Fridmani Pseudo chromis, 2 Lysmata Amboinensis, 1 small xenia (in QT) and 1 Capnella (in QT), plus live rock critters.... No additions are planned, except maybe more Xenia if this one grows. What do you think? As always, I'm grateful for your assistance. << I would check out some online diagrams and search for closed loop info. I think you'll be happy you did so. >> Narayan PS: If you are ever in the Rhode Island area, please feel free to call 401-886-XXXX... << Will do. Thanks >> <<  Blundell  >>

Circulation problems continued.... Thanks Adam!   My only concern with dead spots is that crap accumulates there, Cyano grows there and just below the surface the sand is black and smells like H2S. << Well it isn't bad for detritus to accumulate, nor for some Cyano to grow.  But the H2S is usually a bad sign.  So I'm surprised by that. >> With good flow all three don't happen. BTW, I'm replacing the Remora with a Remora Pro. Hope this helps with the Cyano without skimming too much. I want some dissolved organics for the desirable algae and coral. << Yes, it is good though to remove much of the nutrient load.  Having everything suspended (since you don't have dead spots) allows for good skimming action.  I'd also consider a filter sock.  I don't use one, but it may help here. >> Narayan <<  Blundell  >>

Will pumps kill pods from the refugium? Thanks Adam! I'll pass on the dragonet. I still want to set up a refugium at some point though -it would be nice to have live food so I can leave the tank to take care of feeding the fish for days at a time when I go on trips.... << Yes refugia are wonderful. >> I just hadn't considered under the tank refugiums. Wouldn't the pump kill the pods first before pumping them up to the display? << No, they go right through the pump.  I'd say 90% of refugia are under tanks with pumps pushing the water back up. >> Narayan <<  Blundell  >>

Circulation Question Good Morning WWMC:<Good Afternoon> After reading all the great articles on water circulation. I realized my pump may be under powered for my tank. I have a 90 gallon with a overflow box running off an Iwaki MD20rlxt (with two Rio 1200 power heads) I would like to upgrade my external pump and remove the ugly powerheads.<Ok, but what you have is sufficient.  Unless, you have a lot of fish (large bioload) in the tank.> I was considering a Pan World Magnetic water pump (1270 gph) or the Poseidon Titanium aquarium water pump (1225 gph Comes with a 1" barb fitting. Not sure how I would use that with my bulkhead fitting)). Do you have any suggestions or can you recommend a different pump? <I always considered Iwaki one the best.> Also would I have to increase the size of my overflow box to keep up with the pump? <I don't know the size of your overflow so I can't really answer that question.  But, probably you will have to increase it.> Thanks again for all your help! <No problem, one thing you should consider is the size of your sump.  It is possible to overwhelm the water flow through the sump and making it work inefficiently.  If you want to increase the water flow one suggestion would be to get a big pump (Rio 2100 or larger) and Tee it off in different directions in the tank.  It sounds like a good set up and

Surge device questions 10/26/04 I had written to Anthony before regarding my plans for a greenhouse. Two questions- surge (like in the Borneman flush device) seems very inexpensive to do- and could be powered by air.  The energy cost would go down as the frequency of surge goes down. Is it really necessary to have frequent surge?   <it is not necessary or even practical. They work poorly foremost when scaled down to hobbyist size applications (versus public aquaria size as wit Carlson surge devices). They wreak havoc on protein skimmers (from the variable water level) and create some dreadful salt creep to excess. Create simple random turbulent flow instead> Would most of the benefits, in some cases, be obtained from a surge every few minutes, or even longer? <a novelty if you ware willing to work for it> also, regarding water movement by a blower- it seems like the movement would be just as efficient by open bubblers as with lifts, assuming the bubbles aren't too close to the corals and irritate them.  Why bother with lifts? <allows for directional focus of the energy/flow> Thanks! Charles Matthews <kindly, Anthony - Flow rate Discussion - Hi, I recently asked a local pet store about flow rates and such, and when it came time to discuss the sump and skimmer, he basically said that the amount of overflow from the tank into the sump is NOT that important, but rather how much water the skimmer can process. Is this correct? <Well... in one way, both are related... if a sump only sees 100 gallons in an hour and the skimmer can process 200 gallons an hour, then the skimmer's limiting factor is the flow rate of the tank.> In other words, he said that if a skimmer can only handle, lets say, 350 GPH, than this is all that is really required to flow from the tank into the sump. <Well... there's no harm done by moving more water through the sump and past the skimmer than the skimmer can process... there are other benefits to be had from high flow rates besides what the skimmer can provide.> I have a 75 gallon reef and was worried that my flow was too low. I have 750 gph going into the sump, thru a Euro-reef CS6-1 skimmer and returned by a Mag 9.5. I also have 3 Rio Powerheads in the tank in which I am planning to get rid of once my OceanMotions quirt arrives....in which I will utilize it with another Mag 9.5 into a closed loop set up. (the OceanMotions squirt looks pretty awesome by the way...) <Am not familiar with this product but your current setup sounds like a 75g fish only I ran for quite a while... no worries.> Is the local pet store correct in his assessment about skimmer/overflow volume? <Not exactly.> I told the owner that I have been at your site almost every night reading and learning, and... this same local pet store advised me (while in a conversation) that I "Read too much and I should just listen to him as he has been doing salt water tanks for over 20 years"  How can a person read too much? <Well, I don't one can read too much... and I've been doing saltwater fish for roughly 20 years myself and I still barely know anything. I think it is possible for one to have one year of experience 20 years over which is very different from 20 years of growth and learning.> Mike oh....thanks by the way......great site. I just take you for granted these days. Sorry.... <Cheers, J -- > - Saltwater Aquarium Questions, Extensive Follow-up - Alright, I'm back for some more knowledge.  I must say this site is pretty incredible.  Every time I come to it for one reason, I end up finding something else that I might have wondered at one time, or discovering things that I might have been doing wrong all along, and the correct way to them.  Alas I am still left with a couple questions.  Just so you know, I'm doing my best to compile a list of questions to send at once instead of firing off every time one comes to mind. <Are you also doing your best to look through WetWebMedia for these answers? Chances are they are already there...> Hope this helps the burden I can imagine you are under for responses. First, you mention that mixing the crushed coral and the live sand is your preferred substrate. <My "personal" preference, yes.> I hadn't even thought of that, so I did some looking up on the topic (www.wetwebmedia.com of course), and came across a bunch of different issues that I'm now faced with.  I read keeping the size of the substrate relatively similar was important.  Well, with crushed coral, wouldn't that automatically throw out Aragonite (spelling?)? <Crushed coral is aragonite... is an overloaded word that simply means calcium based. What most folks might consider "aragonite" might be a smaller grain size, but essentially is all the same stuff.> I looked at a bag of that in my LFS and it is like flour!  Would that still be an option? <Sure.> If so, I can definitely see is going straight to the bottom of the coral.  Wouldn't that be a bad thing? <Not necessarily.> Does size really matter....sand size? <Think some folks make a bigger deal out of it than necessary.> I also read that sand bagged with water is a bad choice, or not the best rather?  Agreed? <Is perhaps a waste of money, and hardly "live" as the label implies.> The live sand would also help buffer my low PH (7.7) right? <Any calcium based sand will help in the buffering department, it does not have to be live to provide this benefit.> Then moving into the External Overflow.  I've been reading a lot about CPR Overflows since I don't have any holes in my tank.  Out of all that I read on this and the LifeReef version, I didn't see anything saying whether they are recommended or not. <Well... short of having holes drilled, you don't have many other options.> I know they wouldn't be above having an actual reef tank with the hole there, but as an alternative since I've already got my 125 gallons tank up and running. <Well... the presence of a drilled hole in a glass box doesn't necessarily make it a reef tank, it's more about the contents of the glass box.> I've read a lot about how they're going to flood the room if the power on the pump goes out. <Most of the good overflow boxes don't break siphon but do require regular maintenance to make sure this doesn't happen.> I thought it would automatically break the siphon and then start it again when the power is back on. <No... if the siphon breaks, then you're in trouble... the CPR has a fix for this by attaching a powerhead but I've see this system fail too. Best thing to do is have multiple overflows for redundancy.> Did I miss something? <Try to find one at a local fish store, once you see it, you will understand.> From what I can imagine, it would continue to flow water into the sump until the water level was below the intake from the tank.  As long as my sump is large enough to hold the difference right? <Correct.> The second issue I was reading about on these, was the sponge filter on the overflow growing bacteria in it. <It must be cleaned regularly.> How would this be a bad thing? <It could clog.> Wouldn't it just be doing what the canister filter is already doing in addition to what the water is going to go through when it reaches the bio-balls? <Canister filters must be cleaned too.>  Speaking of bio-balls, is there a recommended amount per gallon? <None if possible.> Onto another topic, just to confirm what I've read.  It IS recommended to "blast" the live rock periodically with a power head to remove all the detritus (spelling again?) that has built up on it? <Could use a turkey baster... doesn't need to be "blasted" but dusted off would be fine.> I've noticed when I have to move a rock a small cloud of "debris" comes off, so curiously I pointed a power head at it, and wow.  If using the live rock as a filter media, I can imagine this building up over time, so would it be necessary to "rinse, or blast" it occasionally or will the "live" part of the rock take care of all that stuff? <Some but not all... regular maintenance is required.>  Either way I should probably get at least a couple crabs or shrimp right? <They typically won't keep the rock dust free.> A coral banded or a cleaner? <Cleaner would be best.> Think my dragon wrasse will leave them alone? <No, they will be a costly snack.> My clown fish are still going at it. <You must separate them.> They've effectively torn the heck out of each others fins.  Which one do you think I should take out? <Your least favorite.> If I get a mated-mate to make the pair for my gold striped maroon clown, would he leave the percula (spelling still?) alone, or would both maroons go after the other one? <Probably the latter.> If I get rid of the maroon I can have more than 2 percula's though right? <Yes.> The other way around doesn't work though right, only 2 maroons at a time? <Maroon clowns are classic bullies, and if they don't mate up you may be stuck with only one.> One more.  I might be moving into a house so of course everything will have to be torn down and then reset in the house.  This is theoretically (spelling) going to kill/change most of the bacterial organisms living in the tank.  It will be close to a completely new set up in the house right? <Depending on the duration of the move, it is quite possible to have your tank up and running without having to re-cycle it.> Meaning that if I manage to successfully transport my livestock, they'll go into shock when I replace them in their homes.  Am I right? <Only if you are careless or haphazard.> Do you have any recommendations for this process? <Please read the FAQs on Wet Web Media... many Q&As on moving tanks.> Ok I lied, a couple more.  I don't know how able you guys are to give personal opinions on specific brands, but does the Seaclone 150 skimmer suck? <Well, essentially any answer I give is a personal opinion. So for that matter, any skimmer is better than none - are there better skimmers than a SeaClone? Absolutely.> I have had it setup now for almost 3 weeks and I don't think it's produced anywhere near a full cup of waste yet. <All tanks are different but this is a notoriously low-yield skimmer.> My tank cannot be that clean, however, what it has produced, has completely removed the brown algae from the glass.  Something my lazy snails have never come close to doing. I know it is highly improbable that'll you'll know off the top of your head from a description, but it's worth a shot, especially if it's bad.  On parts of several pieces of live rock, I have this clear "gel" looking substance forming, even balling up in one place looking like a white cactus.  My dragon wrasse always kicks up some coral which some lands on rock and sits for a while.  Well this gel has engulfed and completely formed on top of the crushed coral preventing it from falling off now.  Sound like anything familiar? <Could be one of any number of things.> I'm only running about 80 watts of 12K actinic light, which is still getting the coralline going, but not nearly enough light for corals.  There's also 2 clam like things in a little crevice of my live rock that just sit there and open and close, like it's eating particles that float by it.  No way it's a clam right? <Could be a bivalve of some type... could be a barnacle.> One never opens but the other is constantly doing that.  They're about the size of a shirt button. Alright, I'm sure I've kept you on your toes enough for one day.  My apologies for the lengthy battery of questions, but once I start, like I said, I just keep finding more and more things that I'm curious about and wanting to expand my knowledge on, even if they don't pertain to my setup.  I'm even thinking of taking a marine biology course.  Sound helpful? <I wouldn't hurt although most 100-level marine biology classes are especially difficult as it's meant to weed out individuals who aren't super-dedicated to the subject matter. Ask around before you spend the money.> Maybe even a part time job at a LFS or Sea World! <That would probably provide much more practical knowledge and experience.> Sounds fun now.  What kind of requirements do you think they'd have? <Depends at which one you apply... Sea World will most likely be more discriminating but both will likely welcome individuals with enthusiasm and a desire to work.> Well thanks again for the help in advance.  I can definitely speak for EVERYONE when I say it is greatly appreciated and gives great peace of mind on some issues.  We're just trying to raise the little ones (fishes) the best we can.  They grow up so fast these days....oh sorry.  The End. <Cheers, J -- >

Going For Flow! (Circulation Ideas) Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> First....thanks for "being there". <You're quite welcome! We're thrilled to be here for you!> My question is this. I have a 75 gallon tank in which I currently only have 120 Fiji rock, a blue mushroom rock, and a single Spotted Hawk...(cool little guy)  My rock is cured, the water has cycled, and is begging to be stocked...I'm rarin' to go...but have a concern about flow. I have a single Mag 9.5 supplying a manifold (thanks Anthony) with 5 water outlets. Pretty good flow. <The manifold concept is a great idea!> The overflow is a lone 1" hole drilled in the back of the tank (glass) going down into a 30 gallon sump/refugium with a Euro-reef skimmer. Also, in the display tank are 2 Rio 800's (200 gph each) on opposing sides creating turbulence,  and a Rio 400 circulating the water behind the LR.   I'd like to "lose" the Rio's in favor of a closed loop system which brings me to my query....   First...is the water flow adequate for an "all purpose" (livestock has yet to be determined...I'm learning about this) reef with maybe a few fish?  After reading your site...I feel it is borderline at best. <I'd shoot for 20 times plus tank capacity for good all-purpose circulation...Some SPS freaks go for 30, 40, or even 50 times per hour!> So, here is my thought... I unhook the Mag 9.5 from the manifold which is coming from the sump, use a SCWD device instead to feed 2 supply lines  to the tank, one in each corner facing front.  And since I have the manifold already in place, I could get another Mag 9.5 or some such equivalent pump (your thoughts on pump size here please) and use it with the manifold. <Good thought. Perhaps a MAG 12 would give you a little extra flow with a minimal additional investment> Does this sound like a plan? Or...should I leave the manifold as it is with the water from the sump...and use the SCWD device on the closed loop? <It sounds like a fine idea to me. The nice thing about the SCWD is that it does not use any additional electricity!> I am searching for the most efficient method. Currently, adding it all up, as it sits...1 Mag 9.5, 2 Rio 800, and 1 Rio 400 equal roughly 1300 GPH (assuming the Mag 9.5 is putting out 800 gph with head height figured in) Thanks so much.... Mike in KC <Your scheme sounds fine, Mike. If you're like me, and you can't handle lots of powerheads and stuff in the tank, you may want to consider powerful external powerheads, such as Tunze Turbelles. Yes, they are not cheap, but you can get up to 960 gph out of one pump with really low electrical consumption, and amazing reliability! Alternatively, you could employ a set of Tunze Streams (internal), and just get INSANE flow (up to 3200 gph per unit)...Again- very expensive, but easy to use and seriously powerful. Lots of options. Perhaps the easiest option of all is to modify that manifold to have a few more outlets, and use a more powerful pump...Do a little chatting with other hobbyists to see what they've done. You'll find that there is no one "right" way to do this, but a lot of cool ideas. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Goin' For Flow (Pt. 2) Scott, <Hi there!> Thank you for such a timely response. <You're quite welcome!> I guess I've confused myself though...so maybe to clear things up in my mind, I'll re-phrase the question in a more simple manner?!?  Here goes.... You think it would be better to unhook the Mag 9.5 from the manifold and use the manifold for a closed loop utilizing a Mag 12? Then, use the existing Mag 9.5 in the sump to return the water with a SCWD inline with 2 returns.... <Yes. I really like that configuration/idea!> Would you place 2 returns in each back corner facing approximately 45 degrees to center? Colliding at the front of the tank...?? <Good idea. I like the idea of currents and flow converging at some point in the tank to create chaotic flow.> How does the water behind the LR get circulated adequately? I left about an inch and a half from the back glass to leave room for flow. Simply aim a manifold fitting or 2 back there? <A good idea. You'll also be surprised how effectively the water can move into all different corners of the aquarium when rockwork permits, and when the flow is chaotic...> Have you heard of anyone using a OceanMotions Squirt instead of a SCWD? here is a link: http://www.oceansmotions.com/ <I have a friend who uses the OceansMotions units and loves them. Both devices have their fans and detractors. I'd choose the one that is most easily adaptable to your situation.> The cost is way more than a SCWD....so I was wondering if it was worth the investment? <Again- both are great units...I'm a Sea Swirl fan myself, but there are many ways to accomplish flow. It's really a matter of figuring out both your budget and the requirements of your animals, and working from there.> Thanks Scott...I really want to set this up right so my animals will thrive right out of the gate.... <I think that you're on the right track! With the good planning that you've done thus far, you're going to be successful! I really think that either of these devices will work well for you! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Need more circulation? First of all Thank-you for such a wonderful informing site, I've spent hours reading and thinking "Oh that's what I did wrong" when I initially set up my 30 gal reef (softies and zoos). Now to my reason for writing. I have a 125 gal. (up and running for 6 weeks), 2" of crushed coral topped with 3" of Florida live sand and 240 lbs. of Florida LR (all covered with the wonderful specimens that inhabit the gulf). Filtration is through a 60 gal converted tank that I baffled and partitioned, skimming is done with an Aqua-C 240 with a Dolphin 1200 pump, about 1/3 is partitioned off with 3" of crushed coral, 3" of Florida live sand and 1" of Kent Bio-sediment and 30 lbs. of live rock. I also have a CPR hang on refugium with 1lb. of Mineral mud and 1/2" of Florida live sand. Lighting is 3 250 watt 12000k sunburst and 2 96 watt actinic, sump has 2 55 watt PC and refugium has fluorescent only. << Sounds great.  I think this is just what I would have advised on all areas. >> For livestock I have various types of encrusting sponges, native corals and anemones, sea squirts, feather dusters, Christmas tree worms and several types of macro algae and sea weed and a lot more that is indigenous to the Gulf. I have added a Candycane coral, green open brain, birds nest, cats paw, green bubble and white bubble coral, and a couple of mushrooms and gorgonians. Fish are yellow tang, powder blue tang, Fiji Foxface, sailfin blenny, orange diamond goby (loves the substrate), Mandarin goby (rock is covered in copepods and he has a full belly), one black and one orange false perculas. Cleaner shrimp, coral banded shrimp, 30 hermits, 30 Astrea snails, 3 emerald crabs and 10 olives snails (sand sifters), spiny oyster (home to the mushrooms) My return is at 930 - 940 gph through a sea swirl, 2 power heads at 240 gph each and a W2k wavemaker rated at 4000 gph and a small amount from the hang on refugium. Will this be ample circulation for sps or should I consider increasing the overflow and return? or adding a manifold? << You don't need more flow from the sump, but adding a closed loop or just powerheads in the tank is probably a good idea. >> <<  Blundell  >> Flow rates 10/14/04 I add my many thanks to a great website and source of information. <much appreciation> I am planning a 70g reef tank for invert (soft corals) and fish and 30 g sump. It appears I need between 700 - 1400 gals per hour. <a good/safe range indeed> I plan to build a "Calfo" manifold on the return for circulation. My question is the number and size of the drain(s) from the overflow and return pipes to be able to achieve that flow with a good pump; <it depends on what you have access to and/or want for bulkhead sizes. Three to five 1" bulkheads... or two to three 2" bulkheads, etc. Simply see what you can get drilled then obey the manufacturers rec's on flow rates> how many and what diameter pipes do I need for water to drain from the tank to sump through the overflow. <drill enough 1" or 2" bulkheads to safely handle 2000 gph to be safe here> I am thinking of the Oceanic 72g bow, but it has one 1" pipe from the overflow to the sump and a 3/4" diameter pipe for the return. <beautiful tanks... but staggeringly undersized drainage for reef tanks to be healthy IMO> Oceanic tells me that their one inch drain pipe going to the sump from the overflow can handle 1000 gph (?). <I frankly don't see how that's possible. 300-600 is the normally accepted range... and even the high end of that is scary (high and noisy)> The WWM FAQ have quoted 300 or 600 gal/h for a 1 inch pipe. <indeed... do look at some of the calculators on big message boards for this (practical info) and again - do trust the actual bulkhead mfg rec's> I do not want to buy a reef tank that will not allow the proper circulation. Should I use two 1 inch drain pipes from the overflow(s) in order to get the 700 -1400gph flow rate or should I use a larger drain pipe(s). <I am certain two 1" bulkheads will not be able to handle that flow quietly if it even can at all (flooding)> Also (sorry) should the total diameter of the drain pipes be equal to the total diameter of the return pipe lead from the pump? <no... the return is/will be smaller> Thank you for your help. I am starting the new book by Calfo and Fenner. Chris <thanks kindly :) And do look into a local aquarium club for additional support and the chance to see some local tanks in action. Much information and experience to learn from in such places. Reefcentral.com has an extensive list of reef clubs. kindly, Anthony> Circulation Query I read all 7 Circulation FAQs (amongst many, many others), and found a few that were close to my setup, but I could use a little reassurance (My reef seems to teeter totter on the edge of destruction, or at least my fear is that). This site is a wealth of knowledge, and the whole crew's reposes are a joy to read and a good smile! Please comment on any spots you see I need improvement. I have a 37g (30x12x22) with 45lbs Fiji rock, CC substrate, 3 Spotted Cardinals, 1 yellow goby, Emerald Crab, Arrow Crab, assortment of snails/hermits, a green brain (on the substrate) and a Hammer coral (on the top 3rd of the rock). In addition I have a mechanical filter that I run only when needed (320gph), an internal Berlin 60 protein skimmer, and 65wPC 10000k/Actinic combo. I read much about circulation, and so I picked up 2 maxi-jet 1200s yesterday and placed them in apposing corners to up the flow ante. I have them apposing, and seems to create a nice random chaotic flow on the hammer. It is not being beat down, but it gets a good whiff every 10-15 seconds. The Brain also seems to jiggle on occasion. But WOW with almost 16x turnover, this tank looks like Hurricane season in the tropics (Which has been accurate for this year). The fish have been pretty wide eyed since I placed the new power heads into battle. I assume they will adjust, but for this small of a tank, am I asking for trouble? Seems like feeding with that much circulation would be un-doable; I guess I should cut them off at feeding time? Also please, any tips on methods and times for feeding the Brain coral and the Hammer (I've been dosing DT). What do I look for? The brain seems to have shrunk in size. I placed a piece of raw shrimp on one of the mouths of the brain, but it didn't do anything with it. As for the Hammer, where and when do I feed it? Be chatting, ;) Billy Dallas, TX >>>Hello Billy, I'm a bit confused. On one hand you say your hammer coral isn't being "hammered" by the current, and on the other hand you compare it to a hurricane? The bottom line is that if your tank inhabitants are not being stressed, it's not too much current. I'm not in front of your tank observing things, so only you can make this call. Euphyllia (hammers, torches, frogspawns) do not like strong, direct current. You will get better polyp extension in mild currents. If it's tentacles are half retracted, it's too much. Fish are usually not an issue in this area, although there are exceptions. Euphyllia will take direct feedings, but you have to experiment with food types. Some will take silversides, other's will not. Some will take shrimp, etc. Just drop the food item in the tentacles once a week or so. They don't eat phyto. Cheers Jim<<< Circulation Clarity Hi crew, <Scott F. your Crew member tonight!> Who might be looking at this question today? Awesome, I know everybody there is more than fully capable of easing my mind and I thank you. I am trying to understand something about powerhead placement and what one is trying to achieve. I have a 38 gallon tank with two Maxijet 1200 running. I have them positioned opposing each other, so I believe I have random turbulent flow. The surface of the water is nicely agitated. My question is about how to tell if I have them positioned right so I have no dead spots. how would I know for sure? <Well, one of my favorite ways is to throw in a pinch of frozen food and see "where it goes". A very easy way to observe your flow patterns.> Would I see slight movement of the sand in all areas? <That depends upon where the flow is directed. If you have powerheads bouncing flow off of the front glass, you will probably see some disruption of sand. Otherwise, a more reliable method is the one I described above> Or am I mainly concerned about moving the water and try to leave the sand still? <That is my goal!> To me-I feel more comfortable when I see the sand gently moving a little, but the sand eventually settles and finds a home to sit still so its hard to see if the flow is still there. <Well, if sand is moving and settling- you've definitely got some flow in there. It may simply be randomized, swirling around in different areas, broken up by rockwork, etc.> I really don't like to have to move the powerhead nozzles all the time to know for sure. I really don't want to get involved with a wavemaker for this small tank and I believe that I have enough circulation in there with 15+ turnover per hour with just the powerheads alone. I attached a little diagram showing the layout of the PH's. Have I got it more or less correct? <As long as you don't have laminar flow blasting the tissue off of corals, you're on the right track!> The main reason for asking this is that I have some Diatoms building up on the sand and glass, and with the Aqua-C remora skimmer going (which right now is only producing white-ish foam not the dark coffee colored stuff yet as the tank is quite young) <Give it time and some adjusting- it will pull dark colored skimmate even in a relatively "clean" tank...> and I want to make as extremely hard as I can to give the diatoms and blue-green algae a loosing battle. Hope you can help and thank you. Cheers Mike <The diatoms are generally caused by silicate in your source water. This can best be addressed by pre-treating your source water with an RO/DI unit with a high silicate rejection membrane. Circulation will definitely help with other forms of nuisance algae, but there is simply no substitute for high water quality, both with source water and in the system. You have a great approach here- get in the habit of performing good, routine maintenance procedures: Keep the skimmer well adjusted, clean, and productive, make regular water changes with quality source water, etc. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> To Flow or not to flow 9/13/04 Hello to the WetWebMedia Crew! <cheers :)> You have been so helpful with all the other little bumps I have hit I decided you would be the first people I ask for a recommendation on flow improvement. I have an 80 gallon AGA 48"X18"X21"tall and I am upgrading it to handle SPS.  I currently run a MAK4 (1120 GPH-head loss-SCWD loss=?) from my sump to a SCWD (squid) up to two sets of Loc line jets on each side of the tank.  The flow was fine for softies but I worry it will not be enough to keep my SPS happy.   <agreed... garden reefs need about 10-20X water flow... but SPS tanks generally need a minimum of 20X. So... your 80 gallon tank needs at least 1600 gph... closer to 2000 gall would be nice> I have considered a spray bar but have heard stories of frequent cleanings and increased backpressure leading to burst return pipes.   <true> I was wondering What you would recommend to boost/maximize my flow?    <please do check out: http://wetwebmedia.com/pbh2oret.htm> Do you recommend Sea Swirls?   <yes... they are very fine products> If I could avoid another couple hundred dollars in pumps that would be sweet as my new hood broke the bank!  Any suggestions would be much appreciated! <the above link is a very inexpensive and effective means of delivering water flow. Best regards, Anthony>

How much flow for a 38 gal? Hi guys, I never get tired of reading and reading as much information as I can on you site. I have a 38 gallon FOWLR tank 12 X 36. Aqua-C remora Skimmer with MJ1200, Aquaclear 150 and 200 running. I have two powerheads, one Maxijet 1200 and one Maxijet 400. I have great circulation without having a sand storm and the water surface is nicely agitated. the powerheads are located high in the two top back corners facing the center front-ish of the tank which seems to provide some degree of current everywhere in the tank. I added my first fish. A false Percula Clown. He seems to be in good spirits and is checking almost everything out but has an affinity for the back of the tank behind a rock. I found him the following morning up by the top of the heater in the back corner. << Doesn't it seem like they always do that. >> I can only assume its because there isn't as much water flow there because the temperature is great 79-80. He also seems to have great difficulty swimming through the direct flow of the MJ1200. I am wondering if I have to much in there for him. I do have a second MJ400 which I use for my pre-mixing tub that I could replace the 1200 with. do you think it would be a good Idea to lesson the water flow or should I stay with the MJ1200. << No, you can't have too much flow. >> He seems to relax a bit when I turn off the MJ1200 and leave the other 400 on only but I don't think that's enough circulation in the long run. Any suggestions or should I just leave things as they are and let him get used to things and learn to ride the flow? << Yep do that. Just leave it all alone. >> In a nut shell, Do I stay with MJ1200 and MJ400 Powerheads that are in there now. Or would two MJ400's be sufficient for circulation.  Thanks for all your help << The more circulation the better. >> Mike << Blundell >> 

Increase overflow capacity? Greetings. <Hello George, MacL here with you this fine evening.> My 170 Oceanic has two 1" drains in corner overflows and two 3/4" returns. Manufacturer claims max overflow rate to be 1200gph. From what I have read, that may be a bit on the low side and not really "reef-ready". Would you recommend increasing that capacity? <It truly depends on what you want to keep in your 170.> In addition, I've been trying to calculate the max flow rate through the drains to verify manufacturer's claim. I've got about 3 feet of head from the water level in the Durso tubes to the level in the sump and 5' of flexible PVC with no elbows. I've also been thinking about relocating my sump to a closet behind the tank and that would mean about 12' of 1" drain line instead of 5'.  Is the friction loss in 12' enough to significantly reduce flow to the sump compared to 5' at such little pressure? <I asked the expert and he said a one inch drain is a one inch drain. Won't make a difference if you change.> I'm afraid of reducing an already marginal overflow capacity. <Shouldn't do it.> What do you think of using the 3/4" return holes as drains in addition to the 1" holes and come over the top of the tank with new return lines? <It would give you more circulation George if you do that.> Regards, George. Question on Water flow Hi there, <Howdy> I was at a recent SCMAS meeting and got the privilege of listening to Anthony Calfo's presentation.  He mentioned a closed-loop with multiple outlets going around the top of the perimeter of the tank.  I have a 120g, 4'x2'x2' and was curious on what would be the best way to set this up, such as how many outlets and what size pump to use. <Anthony's article re is here: http://wetwebmedia.com/pbh2oret.htm and you should take a look at the many linked files (in blue, above) and where they take you> If you could forward me any more information or links, I would greatly appreciate it.  I read the link on your website, just would like to get a better feel for this system. Thanks Josh <And Antoine will be back (hopefully soon!) and able to respond directly to your queries. Bob Fenner>

- Flow Rates - Hi, I need some advice please. I have a 700 liter tank and 100l sump with a wet/dry trickle filter. The total head is about 1600mm. I have a pump with a 2500l flow rate. The curve on the pump shows that at head of 1600mm the flow is about 1500l. Is this sufficient? <It could be better.> What is the recommended flow rate? <Ideally, your total flow rate in a marine system should be at least 10 times the system volume. This can be accomplished with the return pump as well as circulation pumps [powerheads] inside the tank.> I also have an 8W UV sterilizer that I want to connect in the line to the sump. What is the recommended flow rate for that size U.V? <Well... for this UV unit, you'd want to give it its own dedicated pump, and not plumb it inline with your return. For the flow rate, it depends on what you're trying to kill. To kill the typical protozoan parasite, you're probably looking at about 180 LPH.> Thanks <Cheers, J -- >

How can I increase water flow? Hello, << Hi there. >>   I called Tunze and the only powerhead that goes on top is their classic and this is an older pump that they don't recommend any longer.  I currently have two sea swirls connected to the two pumps coming from my sump.  Do you have any other recommendations for additional flow? << Sure I like adding BioWheel filters for one option, or even just more powerheads. >> I've heard good things about the Tunze stream but they are too large for my 55 gallon aquarium.  My main concern is increasing the current in the tank without having a large volume of water circulating between the sump and the aquarium and having the powerheads in the tank increasing the temperature. << Well without powerheads in the tank, you are somewhat limited.  But as for the water in the sump concern, you could always add a surge tank above your tank. That would be way cool.  Or add a hang on the back type of refugia, but that still adds another powerhead.  Although extra powerheads give off more heat, I almost always think adding more of them is a good idea. >> Thanks in advance, -Brent <<  Blundell  >>

Can I pump water up from a basement sump to my tank? 7/29/04 Hi Crew, << Blundell here. >> I will be moving to my new house this Friday and I was looking forward to being able to setup a more accessible filtration system for my 180g reef tank.  My plan was to remove the cramped sump and refugium setup from my aquarium stand and to run the overflow and return lines through the floor to the basement, where I would keep a larger refugium.  After further consideration, I realize my return pump will have very little flow as a result of pumping to a 10'-12' head.  Do you have any recommendations for overcoming this obstacle -- aside from simply buying a larger (and much more expensive) pump? <<  Well I've seen people try to make a two stage set up for getting back up.  Basically one pump pumps up half way, then a second pump in that tank pumps up the rest.  I don't like this idea at all.  I would just buy a very nice external pump.  It is worth it, considering all the benefits you get from the sump in your basement. >> I am currently using a MAG 18 pump so, to keep approximately the same flow to the display tank, I have only found a MAG 36 or some very large pool-style pumps that would still provide at least 1,800 gph flow at 12' of head pressure.  Even at that, nearly 50% of the pump's potential flow will be lost as heat and I assume this will also provide additional shear damage to 'pods from my refugium.  << An external pump is the way to go, and I don't believe they will damage your pods.  They get sucked and blown through so fast that there really isn't time for damage. >> Do you have any suggestions for a good (not overly expensive) pump that would provide adequate flow at this height? << I don't, I would just check your LFS and look around. >> I have also considered using a pump similar to what I have to simply pump the refugium/sump water up one story to a sump in the tank stand.  The existing MAG 18 would then continue to provide return flow from this sump to the tank.  Although this would result in the same flow as I have today, the filtration flow (from the basement refugium & wet/dry) would be much less and I do not know if this would provide adequate filtration or oxygenation (since the skimmer would also be in the basement).  Managing two overflow systems could also increase the potential for leaks or floods. << Definitely, floods will happen. >> What do you suggest as the best approach to 2-story plumbing? << A good friend of mine has done the same thing.  His two options where to use two pumps at the bottom and pump all the way up, or buy one big pump.  He is very pleased with his decision to buy one big pump. >> Thank you for the help! --Greg <<  Blundell  >>

How much light and water movement do I need? Hello, << Hi, Blundell here. >> I have found your site to be a vast store of knowledge and consult it daily for new information; I have several questions for you. First I have a problem with high calcium levels in my tank, which is a 72 gallon bow front with 50  pounds live rock , an Eheim 2227 wet/dry,  4 inches of live sand , a remora pro skimmer , 2 250 MH Ushio lights , soon to be also 3 32 watt pc antics, and a 1/10th pacific coast chiller. I also have a SCWD hooked to a via aqua 3600 for water circulation from two standpipes with flex tubing outlets. Also the chiller return from an Eheim 1060 goes to a spray bar, <enough circulation? > I have calcium levels in the tank of 500 ppm, I finally found the source of this to be my well water, as it has 240 ppm of calcium, and as I was replacing the evaporative water every fey days it keeps the calcium high, I don't want the hassle and waste of a RO unit so I am going to purchase a Kati ion unit, My question is do you need the Ani unit as well or just the Kati? I am going to plump the Kati and the Ani if I get it as well from an ice maker valve under a sink to them and then to a float switch in my tank to make an auto top off system? << You don't need both, but most people who are willing to put forth this much effort in purifying their water will just get everything they need. >> See any problems here? << I don't see any problems, others may not like the idea, but I'm fine with it. >> Second question is I keep having a problem with green algae on the glass and brown <diatoms maybe> on the sand, I have no detectable silicates or phosphates and no ammonia or nitrate-nitrates..? << I would increase water motion in that area, and also grow more macro algae to compete for nutrients. >> The other question is when I install the pc antic bulbs I know I need them closer to the water than the MH's but will the MH's shining on top of the pc's hurt them? << No, but I would just mount them together anyway, otherwise you will get a shadow from the bulb. >> If I put a reflector on top of them it will make a shadow in the tank wont it? << Yes, it isn't bad, but most people don't like the look. >> I currently have the MH's about 10 inches off the water but when I get my custom canopy , < I have a temp one now , bow front canopy's are expensive and hard to find> I was wondering about raising them, to cut down on evap and heat transfer, what is a good distance? << I like to have my halides about 2 inches above the water.  I want them as close as can be (with a piece of glass in front of them).  I would suggest the same, but add fans to reduce the heat. >> I keep them on for 12 hours a day 10 to 10. Is this too much or can I go more? << That is fine. I run my lights for 14 hours per day. >> I also have a under sink water filtration unit plumbed into my chiller feed line to serve as mechanical filtration, I was wondering if the 5 micron size was too much filtration or should I try to find a higher micron rating? << That is fine. >> Just trying to get everything stable before I add corals and more fish, I currently have a yellow tang and a clownfish. My sand and rocks look yellow brown and dirty no matter how often I water change or vacuum the sand, the tank is 8 months old. I have a good amount of skim mate, it drains into a collection container, so I don't know how often the cup fills up, and it is green in color. Temp is kept at 78 degrees. Sorry for rambling, I know this was a long email, << Not sure how much live rock you have, but you could use more. >> Thanks in advance << Good luck. >> Eric D Smith <<  Blundell  >>

Water Turnover... Hi crew, <Scott F.> It's been a long time since I spoke with you all, I hope you are all well. <Doing okay! Scott F> This is just a simple question regarding total water turnover in my evolving tank......FO---FOWLR---FABTAWAFLOLRAM (Fish And Bubble Tip Anemone With A Few Lumps Of Live Rock And Mushrooms) <Ohh...a unique tank!> I am gradually changing from a system full of canister filters and bioballs/wet/dry to a more "natural" system comprising of :- main tank (200g) + refugium (30g) lit 24/7 with DSB of sugar fine sand & macroalgae + sump (30g) with live rock. <Nice> I will be using a Deltec AP850 skimmer. <A very highly regarded unit> My question is this. When calculating total water turnover (I am aiming at between 10 & 20 times per hour) do I take into consideration the skimmer as part of the total turnover? If so do I count 100% of the skimmers input flow or maybe a percentage of this? I hope I've made this clear enough as a lot of planning is going into this and I do not want to make the same mistakes I have made in the past. One day I'll buy you all a beer for helping me out on so many occasions ('except you Marina, you can have a coke as you don't drink) Thank you all again. Fabulous site, may it live long & prosper Simon. <Well, Simon- you bring up another controversial point...I supposed purists will say that water turnover means the number of times the tank volume turns over per hour, just by movement of pumps, etc. Others will take into account the output and flow from the skimmer and its pump. I suppose the easiest way to look at it would be to use the tank volume turned over by pumps (internal/ external) as the way to measure...Hope that helps a bit? Now, about that beer...Regards, Scott F.>

More Flow In A FOWLR Tank 7/28/04  Thanks Scott F. <My pleasure!> BTW, this is a fish only tank for now. I want to try my hand at mushrooms or leathers by next summer though. But first I need to reset-up my tank with more live rock, less hair algae and more lighting! Narayan <Sounds great, Narayan...And there is certainly nothing wrong with a lot of flow for a FOWLR tank...Have fun! Regards, Scott F.>

- Circulation - Hi, been reading a lot of threads here and I am in the process of setting up a 75 AGA Mega flow FOWLR tank and have a question on circulation. I like Anthony Calfo's idea of a manifold return around the top of the tank, but I am limited to the 600 GPH flow rate of the Mega flow drain to the sump (also, don't think I want to go higher anyway due to potential churning in the sump area).  I have limited room behind the tank and I am not interested in having additional holes drilled for a closed loop to provide additional flow.  I am also interested in aesthetics and don't want powerheads or a lot of piping clutter in the tank proper (e.g.., for an over the top closed loop in lieu of drilled). <Well... you've just limited many of your options.> So, I would like to know if the 600 GPH flow from the sump return pump to the Calfo manifold would  result in adequate flow through the manifold outlets. <Depending on the execution of the design it can produce good flow.> If so, what size pump would you recommend to achieve this rate considering head loss (sump return pump in cabinet below tank, manifold spread around perimeter of tank with about 7 or 8 outlets in 3/4" PVC)? <Probably going to need to shoot for the high end - around 700 GPH and plan on putting a valve on it to throttle it back if it is proves to be too much for the overflow.> I would intend to supplement this flow with a Tunze stream 6000 in the tank hidden in their Deco rock. Or is the Tunze stream enough by itself and scrap the manifold, just go with a spray bar from the sump return? <Both would be better.> Will the stream alone eliminate dead spots? <Will depend on placement and execution of the spray bar/manifold. At the very least if you can point at least two strong point-sources directly into each other, you should get random, turbulent flow.> Thanks for your reply. John <Cheers, J -- > Water flow reducing nuisance algae 7/6/04 Anthony: You asked me to send an update on how things went with my algae problem after your advice to increase my water flow. I think you were correct. After a month of tripling the original flow in my 75-gallon tank, I still get a patch of red algae here and there and there is some hair algae, but it's not nearly what it was. It's very manageable now <ah, very good to hear. You can polish off the rest of it likely with more aggressive skimming and tweaking your feeding regime (smaller feedings, more frequently if needed) and being tidy with feeding habits like never adding thawed pack juice from frozen foods into the aquarium (always thaw froz. foods in cold water, then strain meat away for feeding... else the pack juice is rocket fuel for nuisance algae/nitrates, etc.)> (a toothbrushing here and there every few days) and I suspect it will get even better as I refine my flow system. I'm embarrassed to say that when I first wrote about this problem, all my water flow came from my return pump, probably about 450 gph. <wow... remarkably slow/low> Now I've got four power heads totaling 1,340 gph in the tank. What a difference. The fish and corals seem more healthy too. <indeed more natural> Here is my next question: I'd like to get the power heads out and replace the return pump so I can use the PVC ring setup that goes around the top of my tank for all my water movement. (It's 1/2" PVC with eight openings that is currently supplied by my small Little Giant pump.) <very good> However, I'm afraid of flooding the tank. I have two 1" holes in the back of the tank. One is now used to link the return pump to the PVC ring. I figure I can switch that to a second drain and then just plumb the new return pump directly into the PVC ring that runs around the top of the tank. However, I can't seem to get a consistent figure on how much water 1-inch holes in the back of a 75-gallon tank can handle. <they say up to 600 gph at a noisy running siphon level... but that is dangerous. Frankly, Id count only about half as much: 300 gph per 1" hole max> I would really like to do it this way both for aesthetics and because I could better direct the flow to all parts of the tank. But I really, really don't want the worry of possible flooding. <rather than be at the mercy of your drain holes as a rate limiting factor, why not feed the PVC ring manifold with a pump from inside the aquarium? this will be independent of the return pump on the sump and as such have no influence. No chance of flooding for it (they are unrelated). You can get some very small pumps that push a lot of water (like those submersible "silent ones")> (In fact, I've thought of just buying a large, fish-safe powerhead, like a big Rio, and running its output directly into the PVC system. I'd still have a powerhead in the tank, but I wouldn't have to worry about overflow. <I should read ahead <G>... yes, exactly> Plus, I'd probably get a little more power from my Little Giant pump by disconnecting it from the PVC ring and letting it return directly into the tank.) <no worries... you can get submersible pumps for this that far exceed the Little Giant of choice here and are more than you need> Questions, questions. Sorry this is so long. Again, you were correct about the water flow and I greatly appreciate your advice. Matt <best of luck, Anthony>

- Closed Loop Limiting Factor - What determines the GPH flow in a closed loop system? <The pump.> I am thinking of using my 2 3/4" return bulkheads to feed a 1.5" intake on a pump, and wondering how much flow it would produce. the head would be about 5 feet. <Yes... all these will be determined mostly by the pump, although each can act as a limiter or impediment. No matter the size of the holes you use, if your pump only produces say 60 GPH at a 5 foot head, then that's all you're going to get out of the loop. A pump too large can overdrive those holes... but you're probably safe in the 1200 to 1500 GPH range.> Thanks, Ken <Cheers, J -- >

Overflow box sizing, flow rates, lighting... Hi it's Jonathan, sorry about the other night bob I was emailing you about 2 in the morning and watching cheers at the same time (night person) and I probably hit the caps lock and didn't now it. Anyway I had a few question's on my new 12gal salt tank.1)I was looking on two web sites (Championlighting.com and oceanencounter.com) for  a overflow box and both said that 600gph where enough for 125gal,What do you think << I don't think you can ever have too much water flow.  I would think that 600gph is fine, because you can always add a closed loop or powerheads to the display tank for more water motion.  That also prevents you from excessive flow in your sump. >> I would also like to know what would you think would be the right extra amount of GPH on the pump putting water back into the tank, so it would be letting out as much water into the tank as the overflow box would be taking out. The length I was going to do would be 55" long from sump to the top right corner of the tank. <<  Well in this case, I would recommend looking at other tanks and seeing what others have done.  I personally think that 1,000 gph pump is about right for most people.  However, that will depend on what you like and what your goals are. >> The light I was looking at was on Oceanencounter.com, and it was pretty much what I was looking for, It's a VHO Retro kit. It has two lights each one is 160 watts. Do you think this is enough for the following corals Star polyps, Brains, Leather, Frogspawn, and my transfer of 2 Florida anemones, Elegance, and Xenia coral. << I'm not sure how big your tank is, but for now I'll say no.  Some of those corals are okay, but in general if you want to have a large successful reef tank, I would recommend at least 4 VHO bulbs, and even better is a metal halide system.  Before you buy those lights, I recommend seeing a tank with that lighting set up. Adam B.  >>

Making Water Move! (Circulation) Hi (again) <HI there! Scott F. here!> An addendum to my first email: I currently have two pumps causing a noisy ruckus in my 60 gallon tank. 1 Rio 1700 and a Rio 2100 and a Rio 600 in my Ecosystem 40 refugium.  I have placed the water pumps at each end of the tank at the back hidden behind the rocks, facing each other, and resting on the sand bed. I made sure that no rocks impeded their flow along the back. I used to have one suction cupped to the wall mid tank level but my anemone continually got sucked in (despite the screen--and basically of its own volition since I placed it well away from the pump) <I hate when that happens!> I am willing to invest in something better if it will be quieter (I have never regretted investing in the AquaC Remora after I read how highly The Crew recommends it).  I have read about the Maxi-Jet and "Mag" pumps--I don't have tons of cash but believe in good investments for the long-haul. <They are both nice units> What do you recommend for optimal circulation in my tank and refugium (i.e. strength/flow rate and brand)? <Many different options here. If it were me, I'd consider investing some $$ in some external powerheads, such as Tunze Turbelles or Aquarium Products Geminis. They move a lot of water, are quiet, aesthetically pleasing, use very little electricity, and impart almost no heat into the system, as they are mounted above the tank. If you really are feeling like dropping some big bucks, get some Tunze Stream pumps, which are, in my opinion, the Rolls Royce of internal pumps. The only problem is that they are visible in the tank...But man- they MOVE water! As far as flow rate in the tank...Really depends upon the animals that you intend to keep. My hardcore SPS-geek friends believe in 10, 20, even 30+ times tank volume per hour as circulation, and will laugh at you if you move less than 10 times tank volume per hour. These guys are seriously under-medicated, of course, but they know what their animals want! Chaotic flow with high-powered pumps (not laminar flow directed at corals, blasting the tissue off of 'em) is the way to go. For mere mortals that aren't trying to duplicate a Roratonga reef pass, you could get by with 10 times tank volume per hour! In fact, with many soft and other types of corals and inverts, you could realistically get by with less. Research the needs of your animals and provide flow accordingly > How much flow should go through my refugium--is the Rio 600 enough or should I upgrade? <Your Rio is okay- but I certainly would not protest if you wanted to upgrade to get more flow. On the other hand, with the Eco System sump, you may want to check with Leng Sy and his crew, just to be sure what they think> Also--there are a few bio-balls in the refugium (about 10 bio-balls)--I have read they can be troublesome.  Should I remove them/replace them with something or will they be fine due to having so few? <I wouldn't worry about them, but you can certainly consider replacing them. In the EcoSystem, I believe that their purpose is to keep macroalgae debris from getting sucked back into the system.> Also, please let me know if my placement of the pumps is not correct--what might be better.  I'd like to keep them hidden/unobtrusive as possible. <Sounds fine, but you may want to consider those external pumps, too!> Thanks so much, Saskia <My pleasure, Saskia! Regards, Scott F.>

- Circulation - Hi guys and thanks in advance... was just reading that the sump flow or return and tank flow should be two separate things... Question is on my 120 Gal. tank with 65 Gal. sump I have dual 1 1/2 inch Durso overflows dropping into sump which houses (EuroReef CS8-3 ext., pacific coast 1/4 hp chiller, 500 watt titanium heater, refugium area, etc.) the way I have the tank set up is the return pumps for the sump are 2 Blueline 55's at 1100 GPH use for sump return and tank circulation, each pump splits to 2 outlets on each side of the tank. Is this fine for my sump or should I have built the return for sump and return for tank as two separate entities? <No, this is fine. What does happen on larger systems is that water flow through the "refugium" which is often also the sump, is so high that it's not much of a refugium. So... we often end up suggesting that one look to aiding circulation inside the tank via closed loop or high volume power heads.> would like to get away with existing setup if all would work well. <You should already know - if your circulation system is blowing sand back into your main system, then recirculation flow is possibly too high. Otherwise, no worries.> Could I have a successful reef utilizing my system of the sump returns being used for tank circulation as well albeit sump will be the same as tank 10 to 20 x's turnover. <Will likely be fine - in many cases regarding system setup, there is no right or wrong, only what works. Cheers, J -- >

Hello and Thanks again...quick question 5/31/04 I have included some photos this time to aid you in visualizing the tank  setup so you can help me out.....Thanks for taking the time...First question is about auto top off....what is the correct way to do it on a 120 gal. reef and what is the best equipment to do it with...RO/di Tunze Osmolator etc? RO/di to storage container with float valve? Then Tunze Osmolator hooked to storage tank and display or sump to activate auto top off? <I am not a big fan of auto top off devices because of the risk of failure.  I would suggest that whatever delivery method you choose that the water be drawn from a reservoir.  This will limit the amount of water that can run into your system at once if the device sticks open.> Also the second question is about pump sizing...I have included the pictures for this purpose.... <Your pic was not attached, but I will try to do my best without it.> The return pumps... I will have 2...one for each side of the tank and I am looking for 1500 to 1700 gph total between both of them... <Good plan.  Having two pumps offers a nice measure of safety if one fails.> From each pump the return line runs up through the custom overflow box with dual 1 1/2 Durso standpipes (o.d) into a "T" connector one output runs along the upper portion of the tank to the top right rear corner with a ball valve attached to regulate flow....the other part of the t runs down the outside of the overflow box and to the front bottom corner ...second return pump repeats the same sequence on the left side of the tank. (see attached photos) <I think I understand your description.  Be sure that you place at least one outlet very near the surface of the water.  This outlet will allow air to enter and prevent siphoning back to your sump if the pump stops.> taking into consideration the return line layout (3/4 " pvc) what pump would reliably give me the output for that side of the tank to reach a combined total of 1500 to 1700 gph.. <Many submersible or external pumps will fit the bill.  Look for models in the 1000 gph range each to get your desired flow after frictional and head losses.  I am a big fan of Iwaki and GRI for external pumps and Mag-drive and the new Quiet-One for submersibles.> and also how can I stop the tank from draining if the pump fails being that two outputs will be in each front lower corner?  Thank you for your time... <See my comments above about placing outlets near the surface.  Best Regards.  Adam>

- Turnover Rate - Hi Bob, First things first you maintain an excellent website.  I thank you and my inhabitants thank you.  I have a question that I hope you can answer.  I planning on building a filtration system for a 2000G fish only system with a wet/dry.  What would be a good turnover rate for the total volume of the aquarium? <If you could get ten times the system volume turned over every hour, that would be good. Not all of this needs to come from the recirculation pumps, but as much as possible is best - then, make up the rest with internal pumps/powerheads.> Thank you very much bob,  Joe <Cheers, J -- > - Water Flow - I have just started gluing my 300gal. tank together and have searched for the answer but can't find it. Have drilled holes for five two inch bulkheads in side of tank and would like to know the estimated flow rate and pump size to match. <Hmm... think a two inch hole can flow quite a bit of water - somewhere well past 2,000 GPH. If you want to get exact numbers, I suggest you pick up the book Aquatic Systems Engineering which contains many formulae for figuring out such things. As for the pump - that's all up to you, with the number of holes in this tank, you should be able to size that pump at just about anywhere. Would keep it within a practical range - likely not too far beyond 10x turnover per hour.>  What's the trick on reading my answer if you don't reply by e-mail? <Hmm... no trick there, if someone doesn't reply, then nothing gets posted. Once I reply, your email should show up on the daily FAQs within a day or so, and then filed under to appropriate topic a day or so after that. This FAQ would likely land in Marine -> Set-up - > Plumbing.> Can I search using word for word or use  key words. <You can do that too.> Thanks     <Cheers, J -- >

Filtration Follow-Up   Ryan, thank you for your reply! <Ah, shucks>   How would you suggest I increase my circulation? <I would add 2 maxi-jet 1200's to each tank, and a sea swirl for some random flow if you can work it in.  If you're the do it yourself type, check out Ozreef's DIY page for some great ideas.  ozreef.org  Good luck Sue!>

Powerhead v. closed loop? 4/28/04 Hey Wet Web Crew! I wanted to get your advice on my set-up, which is close to completion. 120g 48x24x24 with plans for FOWLR and some hardy inverts, possibly upgrading to full reef in the future. I have a single trapezoid overflow with 1.5in bulkhead drain and three 0.5in returns run off of two Sedra 9000s (1800 gph total at 0 head) --- I figure I may be getting 1000gph when all is said and done. <may be too low flow for messy/larger fishes and most inverts... and really is too low to go reef. 10-20X turnover is bare minimum. Paletta (2004) cites (and I agree) with reef tanks having flow as high as 37X and the average among tanks he measured was 17X> Now for my question, how would you go about achieving more flow? <Ooops... you were ahead of me! My apologies> Simplest probably would be to place a Tunze or maxi-jets in the corners, <Tunze streamers, Tunze or Gemini top-mounts I love too... traditional powerheads I'd strongly encourage you to avoid> but I know this produces more heat in the tank. <among other problems... inefficiency, unsightliness, poor lifespan, increased number of units needed (versus one Tunze), increased shock hazard to you, increased noise to fishes, etc)> I could also go with a closed loop and drill a couple more drains in the lower corners and have them return to a SeaSwirl up top; <not bad> could also just drill two more holes in the back upper corners as returns. Would it be worth the extra trouble to go with the closed loop? <yes... and do consider my return pump driven top-mounted closed loop manifold idea/suggestion (see article posted on this site... find with google search tool using that term and/or my name)> Also, (noob question here) is there a problem with small/weak fish getting sucked into the drain screens? Thx! Tom <slight problem yes... more so with gastropods and other motile inverts. Do avoid excessive powerheads for this reason too... cage-guard others/any with coarse media that blocks animals but does not clog easily. Anthony> Moving Water- Quietly! Hello, I would like to ask one quick question. <Ask away! Scott F. here today!> I am currently running two wave makers, powering eight MJ 1200's in a 125 reef. I didn't plan it that way, let's just say I found myself with all the equipment one day, so I decided I may as well use it all. <Nothing wrong with using what you've got!> The humming from the powerheads is KILLING me. The tank is in the living room, where we all watch television, etc. I am ready to dump all the powerheads. What is the best way to achieve quiet water movement. I am currently looking at the 1" SeaSwirl, for the return, and am also looking at the Tunze Streams. Being that this is all so costly, for me and my budget anyway, I would appreciate your input, before I throw down my hard earned cash. <Well, I am a big fan of Sea Swirls. They are quiet, efficient, and do provide good water movement. I'd also consider the (admittedly expensive) Tunze Stream pumps. They move a LOT of water, are essentially silent, and are quite efficient. They do require a bit of disguising in the tank, but they are well worth the money! You could also construct a manifold assembly, such as that suggested by Anthony Calfo in his "Book of Coral Propagation" and on the WWM site. It's a very cool idea!> Thanks for a great website, I use it daily. Mike <Glad to be of service, Mike! Regards, Scott F>

Overflow Box VS. Elbow + Strainer Anthony, <cheers> Hello friend, how have you been? <very well... hoping you are the same> I have Google searched on your site using "overflow" + "strainer" and found about 5 google pages full of information. I went though the FAQ's pretty well. I am about a week from ordering my tank. 60L X 24W(front to back) and 20H. I prefer depth over height. <yes... very nice for rock-scaping properly. I agree> This is right at 125 gallons. This is going to be an SPS tank. My LFS is trying to sell me on the overflow box with bottom drains. <ughhh! noisy and dreadfully inadequate for most reefs... certainly SPS tanks. The towers take up an obscene amount of space and yet still do not handle enough water flow! Ironic and unnecessary> So the box would be the entire height of the tank. Call me crazy, but I see no need to waste that much space. <yes... agreed!> I was thinking about getting the back drilled and using the ole elbow and strainer. <very fine> But after researching your site, it looks like it has problems. First is reduced flow. <that really is not wholly correct. Some aquarists will reckon it that way... but the total flow depends on many factors that effect floor and wall drains equally. For starters, the total run of pipe, number of elbows, and release under water or not of excurrent flow> Second it would be not as efficient at surface skimming. <correct... but neither is a tall narrow tower. The best solution, if I may say so, is the internal horizontal overflow box I describe in my coral propagation book> Third would be clogging with chunks of Nori that my fish love to rip off of the clip. <this is a problem for any overflow unless you use a bulk prefilter. And know that the internal horizontal overflow and be modified many wonderful ways to prevent clogging from fish, snails, food/Nori etc> To fix the reduced flow and potential clogging, instead of an elbow, I could come out with a tee and 45 up on both side and use 2 strainers per hole. <OK> This does not fix the second problem though. <no worries... internal elastic gutter guard protected overflow (again see illustrations in BOCP1) is what most aquarists do. Its too coarse to handicap the overflow water quality... yet still blocks chunks of food, snails, small fishes, etc> So, I'm back to square one but now I'm thinking of a small (maybe 3X3 grooved overflow box across the entire length of tank at the surface. This would give me great surface skimming and not take up too much space. <yes> As I have said, this will be a SPS tank and I want what's best, I'm just a little confused. I would really appreciate you opinion on one more matter. <BOCP1 pages 42-45 describes this all wit illustrations too> Number and Size of holes. <as per your desired flow and against the bulkhead size and specs you choose. Aim for 20-40X in an SPS tank. That means at least 2500 PGH through the display... and that would equal as many as 7 one inch holes! You could use fewer but larger holes instead> When I was at the strainer Idea and before I did some research, I was going to get 2 X 1.5 bulkheads. Glad I looked through your site. >From your and your colleagues opinions, I would have come very short of obtaining my 10 to 20 times water turnover. <this is true for most reefs... but is also a minimum, and not well suited for a true sps tank. See Paletta's new book on ultimate aquariums and notice that the best sps tanks described there have as much as 37X water flow> But if I go with the box, would that get me my needed turnover? <you may need to use a second pump and a closed loop manifold here too... do see my article by that name on this web site (google search)> I was thinking of using a dolphin Ampmaster 2700. <I am a dedicated (Japanese made) Iwaki pump fan. I have seen them in the best tanks and facilities in the world, and lasting for years and years of abuse <G>> I could throttle it down a bit if I need to.  If you think the strainer is the way for me to go, how many holes do you think I need to add? I really do appreciate you opinion and always take your advice. To date, you have never steered me wrong. Thank You, and all WWM'ers, Jason <best of luck, Anthony>

-Turnover!-  I will be getting a new tank soon 5' X 2' X 2' <160g right? A foot shorter than a 180 and a foot longer than a 120, a cool size indeed!>. The tank will be visible from front and back and the short end will be against the wall like a room divider. <Sounds great!> Wanted to have the overflow and return plumbing in the same box on the end. Your site recommends 20X turnover for reef tanks (3000 gph) should I try to get all of this to flow thru the overflow , go thru the sump and then be returned by 1 pump and if so what size bulkheads would I use. <I do believe that recommendation had to do with total turnover, including powerheads and other supplements to the return pump(s).> After the water is returned to the tank it will be run thru a manifold around the entire perimeter of the tank with as many lock-line nozzles as it will support. Is there a formula to tell how many nozzles I could use or is it best to just try it and adjust. <Your overflows will sound like Niagara falls if you try to force 3000gph down them. 10x turnover for your return pump is a more reasonable guesstimate, but the overflows would have to be custom, and still large. You can create more water flow in the tank with closed loops, powerheads, or even the new Turbelle streams by Tunze (always wanted to try those out). There are many ways to get appropriate flow, but by trying to do it all with your return pump it will make for a very noisy system or at least much of the viewing space will be taken up by overflows. I hope this has clarified it a bit. -Kevin> thanks for any info, Carson Crenshaw

- Circulation and Dead Live Rock - Mr. Fenner, <JasonC today...> I am new to the website, only 2 months or so of knowing about this plethora of information. I wish this would have been possible 12 years ago when I started this hobby. After many mistakes and trial and error, I feel I have made my bones in reef keeping the hard way. Many LFS bad advice and poor character, have allowed me to see first hand the problems involved with lack of preparation and knowledge can cost more than the initial costs that frighten you when you decide to keep a living reef in your home. I have searched almost all of the FAQ's and I think I have an original question. 3 years ago I was preparing to move to my new home, and I needed to break down my system. I, at the time was experiencing thick mats of red hair algae, (caused by poor judgment, poor lights, and stupidly using tap water to top off my sump ) I have learned my lesson, on most fronts, and hope to have better luck this time around. I have a 75 oceanic, I have purchased a new sump with refugium built in from a local tank manufacturer here in Minnesota, and I have purchased a Coralife retrofit with 2 X 175 W, MH and 2 X 96 W blue Actinic VHO. I am going to utilize the DSB method with Aragamax sand around 3 inches with a couple of bags of live sand on top of that. <Don't waste your money on the live sand - just shoot for a sandbed depth of four inches or more and put live rock on it - the sand will become live soon enough.> I have installed an RO unit in my home to avoid the garbage water I was trying to use in the past. I have 2 separate questions really, one is, I have around 200 lbs of rock that of course is dried out and completely clean of organisms from my previous tank. Its beautiful rock, full of cracks and crevices and places to set my new livestock. I would like to know if this can be used now for base with a few pieces of live rock to seed it to avoid the huge expense of all new live rock. <You can use this, but it will never return to 100% of it's former live-self.> I realize this would all eventually become encrusted, but my concern is that my tank wouldn't cycle properly with just a few pieces of rock and 2 bags of live sand. Any comment or concerns would be greatly appreciated. <I'd consider a larger percentage of new rock and less of the old rock.> Second question, is water movement. My plan was to purchase power heads and wave makers this time. To be honest, I never had enough flow in my previous tanks and my corals never really flourished. I ended up replacing them as they floundered and that is just not being a reefer, its being lazy. The more that I have read this site, the more I realized that water movement is crucial to reef development and long term existence. The more I read the more I realized that 4 power heads and a wave maker would work, but I would rather not have that many power heads in my tank just for aesthetics. I would like to know if one dolphin pump, specifically the 385 model, in the upper left hand corner of my tank, plumbed with pvc running the entire length of the back glass of my tank, capped off on one end and holes drilled in the pvc pointing towards the glass would be enough turbulence to keep soft corals, and elegance and misc. polyps? <Well... it would provide plenty of circulation, but it would be a laminar flow and less than useful in the long term. Much better to use something like a SeaSwirl or similar device to provide additional water movement - circulation should be both robust and random.> Thank you in advance, I welcome your comments and your criticisms, and can't wait to see what you have to say. <I thought you said these were original questions? ;-) No worries.> Respectfully, Quinn. <Cheers, J -- >

Quest. regarding Lighting and flow design 4/6/04  Just a quick hello to you all....  <how you doin'? >  Have bought some of your books...Coral Propagation....Aquarium corals...would gladly buy more if you can suggest  some others...one can never have to much information when it concerns healthy coral...  <agreed... and Eric's book named above is one of my absolute faves. Also, do look at Fabricius and Alderslade's 2001 "Soft Corals and Sea fans". This and many other unique books can be found at www.seachallengers.com >  You guys do an excellent job ,Thanks for everything..<a labor of love... but thank you for your regards, my friend>  I am stuck with lighting and circulation decisions for my new 120 Gal display, 65 Gal sump set up.. My problem is I love large polyp stonies as well as Mushrooms and Polyps and Xenia and Basically a lot of softs....  <all good... reasonably close in requirements>  But I also have a developing attraction to some SPS.  <Arghhh... a recipe for quite a challenge to coral health and water quality in the long run. Please (!) do resist mixing such unnatural groups if you want optimal success my friend>  Here is my Idea , please tell me if you think this  could work. Tank is 48"L X 24"D X 24"H. Sump is 36 " L X 22 " W X 18 " H and will house a Reef Devil Deluxe and also a Turboflotor 1000 fed by Dual 1 1/2 " O.D. Durso overflows through 50 micron bags.  <I frankly do not have much regard for either of these skimmers performance. Or rather, the Turboflotor can be made to work well with frequent tuning/babysitting or modification... but neither out of the box is consistent or reliable IMO for their price. There are much better skimmer values out there - see our archives for feedback on skimmers>  Overflow box in tank is 17 " long by 6 " deep centered in tank. After the skimmers there is a refugium for live sand and live rock only. Then baffles, heater etc. then return portion of sump which has 1/5 hp chiller fed through bulkheads and returned to same portion of sump. Return pumps are 2 dolphin 1200's used external at 1200 GPH at 24' of head, 3/4 " outlet. One pump runs the left side of the tank and one the right side, hard piped up through overflow box. All 3/4 plumping, each one teed in overflow box to return to each corner of the tank, two outlets each pump. one outlet on each is piped down and under sand bed to lower front corners of the tank pointing up and towards center of overflow box with a 45 elbow.. (hole drilled to break siphon, in case of power out) The other is located at top rear corner of each side. Questions are as follows.....Can I satisfy such corals stated above by utilizing a lighting fixture that accommodates on one side a 175 Watt Metal Halide 10 k and on the other side a 250 watt Metal Halide 6500 K and 2 4' VHO Actinics front and back  <the fluorescents serve little or no useful purpose for the corals (especially if they are more than 3" off the surface of the water), but do keep/enjoy them for aesthetics. The MH lamp suggestions are fine for a wide range of corals, allelopathy aside>  to keep a large mix of SPS , LPS and possibly a Clam as well as the polyps mushrooms and few softies that I love?  <it will work short to mid term... perhaps even several years with adequate water changes and ozone/heavy carbon to temper the excess allelopathy from unnatural corals stimulated in unnatural mixes. Still... I'd never advise such a large mix, rather focus on one group and enjoy (if you can) a teaser piece or two of the others>  Question number 2 is....Will this pump set up be sufficient as far as water flow is concerned?<it sin the ballpark. Fine for softies... light for stonies. Try to get closer to 20X turnover per hour>  Everything is bought and installed except for the lighting...Pumps can be changed if you suggest something other than the ones I have....No water Sand or rock yet but will have 6 " LS and about 80 LBS. LR in display and 40 LBS of LR and 4" LS in sump...Any help would be greatly appreciated....(as always :) )  Tank and sump was built by World Class Aquariums in Brooklyn NY....If this gets posted and anyone reads it and lives in NYC metro area.. great place to shop...!!!  <good to hear... and if you make it out to Long Island... do check out Country Critters for rarities. The prices are dear, but the selection is one of the best around>  Tank with 6" splash guards, Sump, overflow box ,standpipes and all plumbing ,bulkheads, made to my specifications only 900 $( Their livestock is pretty well maintained and a huge selection as well. Sure beats the puny overflows in an AGA Tank as well as Oceanic. Not to knock those companies but if you can get a custom tank for the same price...well why not...  <yes.. agreed. Thank you for sharing!>  Thanks for helping guys...  Anthony Pastorelli NYC Fireman Bayside Queens...  <best regards, Anthony>

Tank Configuration  I've taken some suggestions I've received and come up with the setup at http://mysite.verizon.net/dhildt70/TankConfiguration3.htm  the plumbing will not run exactly as depicted, it is more to show the flow of water. The 1.25 inch pipe running across the top of the tank is going to be a closed loop manifold. Will this be sufficient or should I try to incorporate some random flow via something like a SCWD. Do you see any other issues with my plumbing or amount of flow or anything else?  D'Wayne  <Well, D'Wayne- I really like the system that you've designed! The closed loop manifold is a great idea. Yes, my main revision/suggestion would be to incorporate some type of random water motion. SCWDS are really cool, and use no electricity, so they are a nice choice. I have always been a big fan of Sea Swirls, as they really mix up the flow nicely. Other hobbyists have felt that they are unreliable. Personally, I have not experienced this, myself, though. Another (albeit, more expensive) option might be to use specialized pumps, such as Tunze "Stream" pumps, which can be randomized or timed to pulse in the tank. Lots of ideas....Study them all and choose the one that suits you best. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Water flow rate 3/28/04 Hello Crew.  I was wondering if 2750gph would be to much flow for my 225 gallon trigger tank?   <not at all... on the contrary, reef tanks enjoy/need closer to 20X with sps featured tanks needing even more (as much as 40X cited in Paletta's new Ultimate Reef Aquarium book> If so, could I use a flow regulator with it?   <not needed> The pump is a little giant 6-cim-r it is rated 2750gph @ 1ft head.  Thanks a lot, Corey <Anthony>

SCWD Device Hi everyone at WETWEB, can I ask you to please critique this product? (Switching Current Water Director) I am working on excellent water movement in my reef and I found this to look interesting. Or course, I will also be looking into a new pump. thank you Pam <Pam, I have used one of these devices for some time now- and overall I'm happy with the results.  It's small, unobtrusive, and works.  It's a cost efficient way to break up the monotony of unilateral flow.  There are better ways of creating flow in the aquarium, but they're far more expensive.  Good luck, Ryan>

Water movement and magnesium -3/19/04 http://www.thatpetplace.com/MainPro/itemdy00.aspx?T1=F78+0062+0099 Pauley! I'm still at it. I looked into some of the companies here on the Cape, (one looked pretty good, but I'm holding off, I'm stubborn!) <A big and could be an expensive decision. Take as much time as your animals can take> in the meantime, I'm trying to solve some of the obvious prob.s for myself, like, water movement. <Excellent, Pam> There are so many pumps and other "water movers" out there I'm having a bit of a time deciding. <Understand> What do you think of this small pump? <Aquarium Systems Jet series are well regarded and respected. I would go with some of their larger pumps though. I remember you having a very large tank> I thought of  buying  4 to 6 of them, and placed in tank in strategic areas pointing at each other to create a constant movement. <Excellent but maybe a bit bigger pump?> I suppose I could hook them up to a device that turns them on and off. <No need. You could though> I have so many dead areas in the tank, and this can't be helping the Cyano. <Exactly. You make me happy with your new found knowledge> I've had the lights off in the tank for 2 days now. Just letting in the daylight. It will have to do. <OK. Likely won't affect the growth of the Cyano though. It can grow with minimal lighting sources. May help though> I'm bringing the salinity up bit by bit, today it's at 1.023. <Excellent, you> I'm looking for a good ph tester. I do have a LaMotte test, but it's the "matching color" type. Very hard to read! ,I am not a big fan of those either> Sometimes I think it says 7.5 and sometimes I think it says 8.0. I can't figure it out. The dKH is back to 7.8. <Yay!!!!> Tell me Paul. I know you told me NO MORE DOSING, <Right> but,..........I was reading about low magnesium levels possibly contributing to low ALK and Ca levels. <Not with the amount of water you are now changing. I don't think it is possible.> I DO have a magnesium supp., should I add some? <Nope. Unless you can test for it to ensure it level and necessity for dosing then NO! >And what depletes magnesium in the first place? <High Alk and PH are a couple of items that can lead to magnesium depletion. Some say high rate of growth ini coralline algae will rapidly deplete magnesium as well. None sound like issues  that relate to you.> Okay, I've probably picked your brain enough for this mailing. I did send an email to the others at WetWeb, but you always respond the fastest (pressure!) <I am slow in good ways> so, here I am again, at your door, asking more! <Not a problem. Here I am trying to give you answers. Will talk shortly. ~Paul> Thank you

Flow dynamics - 3/19/04 Well, back at ya Paul! <Sweet> I'm checking out more powerful Powerheads, <Great> is 642gph too much power at each end of the tank? <I can't remember how big your tank was....90 gallons? Do a mix of two 642 and 2 270s> I would like to get 4 of them, ugh, lot's of money. OR, 4 of the other 270 gph. <This would be fine too> I really like www.thatpetplace.com, I've been buying from them before there was an internet! <Nice of you. Go with them then although here are the pumps I would recommend. (I am not a big fan of ZooMed) : http://www.marinedepot.com/md_viewItem.asp?idproduct=AS1115 http://www.reefgeek.com/products/categories/pumps/103156.html http://www.championlighting.com/e/env/0001Oblbxn9DL4Qvyc7n1X5/Products/Pumps/rio.html?link=/Products/productinfo.html&item=main:r1100 Any one of those companies or pumps are excellent choices. We use a mix of them in our personal tanks as well as at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We even sometimes use those companies in a bind. Hope this helps. Take care Pam.> C'ya! Pam http://www.thatpetplace.com/MainPro/itemdy00.aspx?T1=F68+0495+0229   ZOO MED 270 GPH http://www.thatpetplace.com/MainPro/itemdy00.aspx?T1=F68+0964+0060    RIO 642 GPH 

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