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FAQs about Gear Selection for Circulation 2

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Related FAQs: Pump Selection 1, Pump Selection 3, Pump Selection 4, Pump Selection 5, Pump Selection 6, Circulation Pumps, Circulation Pumps, Marine Circulation 1, Marine Circulation 2, Marine Circulation 3, AerationPumps, Powerheads, Installation/Arrangement, PlumbingMake Up Water Systems, Sumps RefugiumsSurge Devices, FAQs on pumps by Brand/Manufacturer:  Eheim Pumps, Dolphin , Hydor/Koralia Pumps, Iwaki, (Supreme) Pumps, OceanRunner, Quiet One (Pentair) Pumps, RK2 Pumps, Sequence (Dart), Tunze, VortechRio Pumps

Neither too much or too little pump/circulation.

Plumbing dual overflows-return pump size? I am setting up a 125 gal AGA reef ready tank w/ dual corner overflows. The drain holes are 1.75" which will be reduced to 1" when fitted with the proper bulkhead.  I have read that a 1" hose can only drain approx. 300gph. <I think it's actually closer to 650 GPH.> Assuming all of this is correct, the T4 which I was considering originally (1225gph), would be a waste. <Well... if you used a single pump, its output would be somewhat less because of the T-fitting in the return - would lose a little efficiency.> I would probably only need a T2 (650gph) to return both lines to the main tank, or would I be better off getting 2 T1's (540gph) and using one pump per return line. <Two pumps is always better, albeit more costly. With two pumps, you can take one out for cleaning and not disrupt the circulation of the system. Even better if one breaks...> The oceanic sump that I am looking to use has 2 return bulkheads that I could use if 2 pumps are better than one. <If money is not an issue, then by all means, buy the second pump.> Thanks in advance! <Cheers, J -- >

Pump for an EV-120... Hi Crew.  I am collecting the equipment to set of a 50-gallon reef tank.  I just purchased a slightly used AquaC EV-120 skimmer that did not include a pump.  The manual recommends four pumps:  the Mag 500, Dolphin DP 560, Iwaki 20 RLT, and RIO 2100.  Of the four, I ruled out the Iwaki because of price (maybe I'll upgrade later).  I've been reading on your site (and heard from retailers) that there are problems with Rios burning out, etc. <Yep, god bless TAAM for such a quality product... At least they're cheap.> So, it seems it's down to the Mag 500 and the Dolphin DP 560.  Both seem to be about the same price. Do you have a recommendations on which to select, and why? <Either one will work well, I run several Mags and neglect their maintenance like the plague and they still run strong. I also run one on my EV-180 and it performs very well. So, it's up to you, the mag might be a little smaller as well.>  Also, would any other pump work well with this skimmer? <Nope, you should be good with either the mag or the dolphin> Thanks, Tim <Happy skimming. -Kevin>

Pressure Rated? Ok, I was given a little giant 2mdqsc pump, from which I understand is a PRESSURE RATED PUMP. Exactly what does that mean. For example it is rated at about 465 gph...But it is pressure rated. So will a pressure rated pump at a less gph be equiv. to a larger gph non pressure rated pump? Also, any one ever use Hydrothrustor pumps I was given on of them also, yet I find very little info on them. <I have no experience with the Hydrothrustors, but the "pressure rating" is common. This refers to pumps designed to pump against pressure, for situations with high head heights, pumping through extensive plumbing or with large systems and skimmers, anywhere higher than normal pressures (free water or low pressure) will be encountered. Your pump will deliver 465 gph at a given height (usually 0') and then the output will decline as head height is increased. A pressure rated pump will deliver the same volume as it's 465 gph counterpart at 0' head, but will tend to deliver water higher, and more water at increased head heights when compared to pumps designed for lower pressures/free water/low head heights.  To see this on a chart, shop for your pump on-line and compare output with the low pressure counterpart.  Craig>

Overflow and pump size Hi, <Hi Chris, Don today> I have a 1200 gph overflow box, and I'm looking for a pump for the sump, do I want a 1200gph pump or one with less, or one with more? <My advice would be to go larger. Then use a valve to restrict the flow from the pump to the main tank if necessary.> This is for a 150 salt FO tank. Secondly I have a CPR skimmer that is good for up to 60 gallons, now I know that's not enough for my tank but is it imperative that I have another that is suitable for a 150? <The skimmer is the one piece of equipment I would not skimp on. Search for best skimmer at the www.wetwebmedia.com main page to get some ideas about makes and models. Don> Thanks Chris

Re: Bye-Bye Bulkhead? Scott, <At your service...!> I thought of another question...sorry.  You recommended to switch the order in the filter from live rock/skimmer to skimmer/live rock to get the most nutrient-rich water through the skimmer first. I thought of that, but this filter has a lid for the first chamber that has the bulkhead built into it. The skimmer is too tall to fit under that lid.  Would it be okay (safe-I have to keep things safe as possible with 7 kids!) to not use the lid for this chamber and just let the inlet hose from the display tank sit directly in the chamber (not connect it to the inlet bulkhead)? <Well, to give you my blessings on disregarding the bulkhead would be irresponsible on my part, but...I think that if you could properly attach the inlet hose to the inside of the sump, so that it won't pop out, it could work out okay...Just be careful> I would have a pump of some size running the skimmer.  The guy I bought it from had a Rio 2100 running it, but I plan to use an equivalent sized pump of another brand...maybe the mag drive.  I was also told that the Dolphin pumps are good...know anything about them? <I have not used them myself, but a number of my friends have, and they find them to be quite reliable. Do a little research on the options that you have, and select the pump that will best do the job. Good luck!> Thanks, Paul <Any time, Paul!>

The Sound of Silence... Ok Scott, if you recall from my previous email, we were talking about the MD40RLXT and that it might be a bit noisy....Well I was finally was able to hook them up and get them running.  Yikes, it sounds like an old fridge running!  It is tolerable, to me at least, but since I have 2 of them, my wife says NO! <Yep- she doesn't have the "reef gene", huh? LOL> She even said do whatever it takes to replace them, even if it costs $1000. <Well, with that budget, you could....> So you can imagine she does not care for the noise.  I opted to keep one of them for the closed loop, and I ordered a Velocity T4. Hopefully it doesn't heat up my 90G tank too much, but I guess I will find out.  They are supposed to be really quiet, so I guess it is worth it. <They are really, really quiet pumps. They will definitely make a huge difference, sound wise. I am a big an of Custom Sea Life Products. Obviously, you are aware that the outlets are hose barb instead of MPT/FPT, so keep this in mind when planning your plumbing hook ups. Some aquarists report that it requires a little effort to prime the pumps after routine maintenance or power failures...> Time for eBay for the old Iwaki, what a shame, its only hours old.  Maybe I should keep it as a spare, a rather expensive one at that. <My thoughts exactly....It's a helluva great pump to have for a backup!> The strange thing with the velocity pump is that the T4 has 1 inch barb fittings, and the lower flow T3 has MPT fittings?  I would of thought it would be the other way around.  Anyways, this makes it more difficult for me to fit the new pump in.  I have to do some cutting now. < Funny that I was thinking of this just a few lines ago...LOL> I wonder if flex PV can go onto a barb fitting?  Now I am rambling. <Should work fine...You may have to play with it for a bit, but it will work...> Take care. Paul <You, too- Paul! I'm sure that your new pumps will help ensure "domestic tranquility" and do a good job for the tank! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

The Sound of Silence (Pt. 2) Last question Scott, thanks for the previous reply's! <My pleasure! Glad that I was able to provide some feedback for you!> So even though the pump will have water in it since the water level in the sump will be higher than the pump upon shut off, it will actually have problems getting the air out? <It's a possibility...not always, but it happens> Is there some sort of valve on it?  How do you prime it? <There are a variety of techniques, ranging from the unglamorous (suction) to the exotic (various priming devices...). I'd consult the Custom Sea Life customer service department for methods that would be well-suited to your system. They are very helpful people, and do a good job...> The Iwaki's don't have this problem, or I haven't seen it yet? <I have not experienced this with mine, but it could happen under the right (or wrong) circumstances...They are tough pumps with serious reliability!> I guess I will find out soon enough when it gets here, although the Iwaki didn't come with a manual.... <Yep- that's a very annoying thing...Fortunately, they are very easy to operate...> Thanks again Scott, Take care Paul <You too, Paul. Good luck with the new pump...Let me know how things turn out! Regards, Scott F>

Large Fishes-Serious Water Treatment! I'm confused about water circulation and water turnover rates in my 280 FOWLR Tank. I currently have an Ampmaster 3000 pump  connected to my sump. Now my question is why should I have this much water running through my sump when my skimmer (Turboflotor 1000) can only process so much water anyway? Would my system benefit better if I used the Ampmaster 3000 in a closed loop situation and use a lower rated pump connected to the sump? <That sounds like a better arrangement to me. As you correctly surmise- there is no sense in pushing more water through the skimmer than it is capable of processing> If so, what size pump should I look for? <You really need to test for a level of circulation that works for your skimmer, as well as the ability of your overflow to handle the amount of water moving through the system.> By using the Ampmaster in a closed loop situation I would have better luck in keeping all those micro bubbles out of the display tank. I have tried different things and searched for a solution but I have not been successful. That is a lot of water splashing down in the sump just to be pulled right back up and pumped into the display tank. <True...I really like the idea of the Ampmaster powering a closed loop. This should work nicely> My tank includes a 20" Tesselata Eel, 5" Pink Tail Trigger, and a 12" Vlamingi Tang. I would like to add a Miniatus Grouper as a final addition to the system. <And that will be some final addition at a length approaching 15-16 inches! They can really mess up a tank in a relatively short time with the copious amounts of metabolic waste they produce. All the better that you have vigorous water movement and aggressive skimming! You've got some serious waste producers in that tank!> Just trying to find one of the appropriate size from my local dealer. I have approx. 300 lbs of LR and1/2 inch of crushed coral. I recently upgraded my lighting from florescent lighting to (2) 6 ft VHO bulbs and now green algae is starting to grow on the acrylic everywhere. My water parameters are all good. PH 8.6, Nitrates 10ppm, Nitrites 0, Ammonia 0, Alk 5ppm. My phosphate levels are in the 3ppm range. They were a lot higher before but I was able to get them to come down by doing 20 gallon water changes weekly and keeping my PH levels up. I know it would be best if I could get this level down to zero but is this possible with the fishes that I have? Is there anything else besides the phosphate levels that I might be missing contributing to the algae growing so quick on the acrylic?  Antoine Dunn <Well, I'm impressed by your stable water conditions, particularly when you consider the fishes that you've got in there! Phosphates are a major contributor to algae in closed systems, and 3 ppm phosphate is a SERIOUS amount of phosphate to deal with! Unfortunately, phosphate tends to accumulate as a result of feeding, as well as in source water. Nitrates and phosphates tend to serve as "algae fuel". Some ways to counter the accumulation of these substances are to continue your aggressive water changes (I tend to favor two smaller (5% of tank volume) changes a week, continued protein skimming, use of activated carbon, Poly Filter, or other chemical filtration media (replaced regularly). Use of quality source water (RO/DI) will help, by providing a "head start" with good quality water. It will be a battle, considering the fish load that you keep, but you can keep the water quality high indefinitely with good husbandry. Keep in mind that some algae is both natural and beneficial in closed systems, so as long as it's not taking over everything, I would just keep it in check through regular maintenance. Sounds like you're doing well so far, just keep up the good work! Regards, Scott F.>

- Pump Question - Hello Crew, <Good morning, JasonC here...> I was wondering if anyone has an experience with the Iwaki MD40RLXT pumps? <Yes.> I bought two for my 90 gallon reef, sump return and closed loop circulation.  I wanted to know if they were very loud. <Compared to what? They aren't silent.> I am still in the process of setting up this tank so I won't know for a little bit, but my wife sees the size of the pumps and starts imagining jet engines! <They're not that bad.> I read that they may be a bit noisy since they have fans on them ( unlike the smaller MD30RLXT ).  They are under the tank in a stand so its not like they are out in the open, but will they be any louder than the 2 4" muffin fans used to cool the canopy? <I'd say they would be "noticeable" but not louder than a pair of muffin fans; perhaps about the same.> Those are the noisiest things on my existing tank now.  It is in a living room so it doesn't have to be silent, but I would like to be able to have conversations in that room from time to time. <That shouldn't be a problem.> Thank for you time. Paul <Cheers, J -- >

- Pump Selection - Hi guys hope everyone is doing well, i have a return pump question I am currently using Iwaki 30rlxt want 2 upgrade to 40rlxt but the watt consumption of Iwaki is high so I'm also considering Gen X Mak IV and that's only 55 watts @ 5 ft head pressure.  Is Gen X comparable to Iwaki, I have used Iwaki for awhile but like I said the high power consumptions. <I think the Gen-X might be a little louder, but am pretty sure they have similar specifications otherwise - except for the power consumption as you mentioned.> Thanks in advance for the help, Rommel <Cheers, J -- >

Moving Up! (Pt. 2> Well Scott, thanks so much for the quick reply. Your "two cents" is exactly what I was hoping to get. <Glad that you found it helpful! I'd give you four cents, but I'm out of change.. LOL> I imagined that the fish you spoke of, blennies, gobies, cardinals, and the fairy wrasses would be the suggestion, which is what I was looking to do.  A few small fish will help fill out the tank just perfectly. <Yep, and there are a LOT of cool choices in these families! You'll really have fun selecting, researching, and keeping them!> But, unfortunately you did "freak" me out about the Iwaki pump noise!!! <Damn- sorry about that...But I did want to give you my honest impression of the pump. I really, really love Iwakis, and absolutely swear by them for their reliability, quality and durability, but I don't think that they are as quiet as some other brands out there. However, I continue to use them and recommend them to others for the reasons cited above.> I am hoping that since you had the RLT model for pressure applications, that maybe my RLXT will be less loud....I am crossing my fingers! <Good point, and I'm honestly not sure about that...Again remember that "quiet" is a relative term, as I mentioned before, so it may not be bad at all. I define "quiet" in pump terms as "absence of almost all sound" (yeah, I have a pretty demanding definition!) except the water. There are a number of other pumps out there that fit this definition, but they have other "trade offs" which require consideration, such as introduction of additional heat, greater electrical consumption, lower reliability, etc.> Its funny why your larger pump is quieter than the smaller one...go figure. <I have been told by a number of people "in the know" that the fan is the major noise producer in the MD40...And, yes- the MD55 is much, much more quiet than the MD40...In fact, it approaches my definition of "quiet!"> The tank is in the living room so a little noise is not a problem, but hopefully when we have guests, we don't have to try and talk over the noise!  So lets just say it is too noisy, what would you do?  Diff. Iwaki model? <There are a lot of different noise reduction techniques that you can use, including  acoustically insulating the stand, using mouse pads, etc, etc...lots of postings on these techniques throughout the internet...And, yes- I will ultimately switch to a different Iwaki model to replace my MD40 (probably an MD55) when it dies- in about 10 years (yep- THAT's reliability!)...> Smaller perhaps, although a loss of flow is not the best solution. <Try the MD40's first- please! If you are inclined to change, though, try the MD55; you can always control the higher flow rate through ball valves....Remember, also that the MD55 uses 1" fittings, not 3/4" like the MD40 does....> Don't think I want a submersible pump, seems like it will generate too much heat.  Another brand perhaps, but don't want to sacrifice quality.  Yes, it's another "two cents" question, but then that is what they pay you for...oh yeah, you don't get paid for this, well dammit, you guys and gals should! <Thanks for the kind thoughts! And, really- do try the MD40s first...They may be just fine. I guess that is the good and bad of relaying my experiences, huh? Other people may have totally different viewpoints on this. I'd hate to see you spend more money on something that's not needed...Remember, what works for me may be insane for you! As far as being "paid" for this- the satisfaction that I get from helping a fellow hobbyist avoid a mistake that I've made is pretty darn good "compensation", in my opinion! Have fun with your system, and good luck! Regards, Scott F> Thanks again, you reply was MUCH appreciated. Paul

- Setup Questions - I just recently purchased a 100 gal. tank 60w, 24 tall by 18 deep. i have a 2.25 cut out for bulkhead which has a 1.75 slip union for PVC to enter my AMiracle sump which is 24"long by 12" deep by 14" tall. i will be running a ev-180 skimmer by aqua c. that is pumped by a Sen 700g. my question is what range of GPH  return to tank pump do i need to look for and can i run inline an additional sump to add my skimmer and pump in that sump as the first sump will receive the water threw under the tank into the sump with bio balls. <For a return pump, you should shoot for something in the neighborhood of 5 to 10 times the system volume to turn over every hour - this will depend on the type of system you are trying to create. As for the extra sump, sure, that sounds like it would work.>  the return pump will be external....... thanks for any input <Cheers, J -- >

Iwaki pump 3/30/03 Hi, Have you heard of an Iwaki MD 30RXT? I have not found anything on this pump on the net. <surprising... Iwaki is one of the oldest and best pumps in the aquarium trade. Do a keyword search of just the word "Iwaki" or "Iwaki water pump" if you like. Perhaps the model number skewed your search> The reason I ask is that an LFS have a used one for sale. Since I am not able to find information, it leads me to believe this is an old pump, which is no longer made? Do you know the GPH? Thanks, Nikki <do browse the information at the manufacturer's site: http://www.iwakiwalchem.com/ very fine pumps. I consider them to be the best around without spending crazy money. Best of luck, Anthony>

Rio powerheads I purchased a 2500 RIO PUMP/POWER HEAD 14 months ago and have been running it in a 93 gallon aquarium. Every month when I do my water change I also open the Rio pump and clean with fresh water, then I run the Rio pump for a short time in clean fresh water.  The pump has quit working. I checked everything but still won't work.  I have a very small stock, 1butterfly, 1 hawk, 4 damsels.  My question is, I thought the RIO pump was suppose to be a good pump.  I'm not so sure.  What pump would you recommend?   Thank you, Mona <Hmm, Depends on who you talk to Mona!  Some like em' and some don't.  I have an older model running a CPR skimmer that (knock on wood) just keeps going.  I have heard and read otherwise, like from yourself.  A good choice if it fits would be a Mag-drive matched to the required flow.  Best of luck, Craig>

Return pump This site has been such a huge help and I thank you very much for all your effort and time you put in this site. <Our pleasure to help Bill!> Ok now for my question: Is it better to run 2 small return pumps and spilt the flow between them or run one big pump. I'm currently cycling about 1400 gph . Thanks Again, Bill <Depends on personal preference/expense/power use VS need for redundancy should a pump fail.  Also possible power savings over larger single pump or vice-versa, cost of two pumps over cost of one large pump, and of course plumbing. All personal decisions really. Not better or worse, but one set of benefits/costs over another, factored with type of person you are, and if you are there to oversee most of the time, as a single pump failing at the wrong time could be a bad thing. That said, there are many, many successful systems running with one pump. If you are asking me, I run vats with one big pump.  You can always flip a coin! Enjoy, Craig>

Iwaki Pumps Hi: New to the hobby.  I am setting up a 90 reef and saw an Iwaki 30rlxt pump on eBay.  Plan to have external sump with red sea Berlin skimmer.  Would this pump be OK.  I am concerned because it says not for pressure applications.  I don't think my plans constitute this but I wanted to be sure before I bid.  I should not have more than 4 ft. of head pressure. Thanks, Rob C. <Head over to our sponsor pages and research the ratings and how that applies. They all have flow rate charts to help you decide this.  A return line with an attached skimmer *may* be a pressure application.  You need to figure head height, needed flow rate, etc. to size pumps. Craig>

Eheim vs. Mag returns I would love to go Iwaki but I can't afford the $354 price tag.  What's your opinion of Eheim v. Mag?  Thanks again. <For submersible returns, I like Mags. Eheims makes great products, but trying to figure pressure/head ratings is difficult compared to Mags. I use several Mags.  Craig> Pump and New Book Release Hello crewperson: <cheers> So, I have my 30gal garbage pail for mixing/storing my water. 1) How large of a pump do I need to circulate? <any small powerhead will be fine... set it on the bottom of the pail and point it directly upwards for max aeration and dissolution> 2) Should I install it facing up from the bottom, suctioned to the side, or facing down from the top? 3) Do I leave pump on all the time? <if you choose not too, the water will need to be sealed and dark... but still aerated just prior to use> Thanks, Rich. Ps: I am so looking forward to the team's new book.  When are they shipping? <thanks kindly! We added 84 pages to the text (384 pp total now) and have taken about a one month delay in part for it. We expect it may begin shipping later in April now. We will post the specifics on word from the printer. Best regards, Anthony>

Mag 9 pump replacement I'm currently using a Mag 9 pump externally but am not happy and would like to go to something like a Mag 12.  Is there another brand you would recommend more for external use or do you like the Mags?  Would Eheim be good brand?  If so, which model would be comparable to the Mag 12?  Thanks for your help. <Hi Elizabeth, Don with you today. Many good words about the Iwaki pumps (a staple for many years) and also the Velocity pumps. You are going to spend more money for these, but as you have already found out, buying the wrong pump is expensive too! As far as 'comparable' is concerned, I would compare GPH at the pump head you are using. Bye for now, Don>

- Flow Rates - Hi there. <Good morning, JasonC here...> I was wondering if you could answer a question about the flow rate requirements of a 90gal saltwater tank. <I can try.> I have read that one needs to turn over the water at least (bare minimum) 5X per hour.  I have also read figures as high as 20X per hour though. <Sure. Somewhere in the middle is probably good.> My question is, is it possible to keep a 90gal mixed fish/reef setup with a tidepool filter and SOS skimmer (and a good quality fractionator like a Turboflotor).  My concern is that the 600gph limitation on the overflow equates to just over 6.5 volumes per hour.  Is the 600gph specification on the overflow box a hard and fast limitation, or can it be pushed?  If I hook up a 1200gph (accounting for ~4ft head) pump to the tidepool, will it outrun the overflow box and drain the sump? <Quite likely.> Is there some other route I can go or modification to be made? <You can augment the total circulation with fixed pumps [powerheads] in the tank.> Is it possible to design a DIY overflow box capable of handling 1000 gph? <Or just add a second overflow box.> Or is 6.7 volumes per hour fine for fish and a few hardy corals? <Not really, somewhere near 10x is better... again, think about three or four powerheads.> Obviously I'm a saltwater/reef newbie here. <No worries.> Thanks in advance for your sage advice. Nick Silvaggi <Cheers, J -- > - Pump Selection - I'm currently using a Mag 9 pump externally but am not happy and would like to go to something like a Mag 12.  Is there another brand you would recommend more for external use or do you like the Mags? <I like the Supreme Mag pumps just fine, but there are other good brands. If it doesn't need to be submersible, Iwaki is a good choice.> Would Eheim be good brand? <These are also excellent pumps, but I'm not sure they are available in the higher range of output like a Mag 12.> If so, which model would be comparable to the Mag 12? <Need to research this online - most e-tailers have flow charts.> Thanks for your help. <Cheers, J -- >

Pump Size? I currently am running a mag 9.5 return pump from sump beneath a 90ga. AGA with corner overflow. FOWLR.   I can maintain water levels wherever desired.  I also have a magnum 350 canister for circulation. I have read that the more water movement the better for the fish. My question:  Can I upgrade to a mag 12 with the current set up?  I do not want to put any type of valve on the mag12, it basically would be defeating the purpose of upgrading to larger flow if I have to restrict. Thanks again for your assistance on this.  Regards, Mendy <Only if your return and drain/overflow plumbing is designed to handle the added flow. Depends on bulkhead/plumbing size/capacity and return plumbing capacity. The overflow will be the hang-up if any as the returns can be plumbed easily.  AGA can supply the capacities of their overflows/plumbing.  Craig>

Submersible Pumps - 2/13/03 Dear crew, good evening, <cheers from across the pond> I wonder if you might be able to help me, I am looking for a pump or powerhead that will shift about 2000 litres per hour, but ideally it has to be about the same size as a MaxiJet, any ideas? <admittedly, those aquarium systems pumps are the smallest commercial pumps around. Still... can you find a Rio or Supreme (EG Danner) to squeeze in its stead? What is the application? Head or no? Recirculatory? For a specialized option.... do you have Oase brand available to you?> Many thanks Paul, Manchester, England <kind regards, Anthony>

- Skimmer & Pump Selection - Dear Crew: <Greetings, JasonC here...> If you are choosing between a old style AquaMedic classic Turboflotor and a Turboflotor t1000 multi (the one which only use 1 pump), which one is better at performance?? <Good question, and one I don't have an answer for. I would post this question on our forum where you will likely find people who use either one or the other. http://wetwebfotos.com/talk > I am using the classic and because it takes up too much my sump space, so I am thinking of switching to a out of sump model and run it with my main pump instead of a powerhead .. any thoughts on that?? <Not really - it's your system... if you need more space, so be it.> And also, how durable is the LRG quiet one pump?? <Not very - these pumps are not designed for salt water.> as compare to the GenX mak4?? <The GenX would be a much better pump.> Eric    <Cheers, J -- >

Plumbing and pump help please? WWM Crew, Are there any good resources that you can recommend for plumbing a marine system? As I am not a plumber and don't have anyone local that I can count on for solid information, I don't really know where to start. I am having a hard time getting enough information to make an informed decision on how to proceed but really appreciate you taking the time with this n00b and my seemingly endless questions. It seems for every question answered that the answer generates five more. Thank you for your time and patience. My tank will be predrilled for 4 bulkheads. 2 2" and 2 1.5" bulkheads. I had planned on running the 2" (outputs) to the sump with 2" flexible PVC. To return from the sump I had planned on using a Magnum 12 to return to the 2 1.5" bulkheads with a 45" on each of the inside bulkhead's to disperse the flow. Now most of the pumps I am looking at have a 3/4 discharge line. How do I plumb that so I end up with 1.5" line at the bulkhead of the tank? Is it better to run a single 3/4" line that would tee off to two separate 3/4" lines expanding from 3/4" to 1 1/2" right at the bulkhead or is it better to create a manifold or T directly after the pump discharge fitting with two 1.5" lines to return to the bulkheads? <It's best to go with 1.5" pipe manifold, split into two 1" lines and 1" bulkheads would be fine, no need for 1.5", depending on flow rate/size of tank (10-20 times turnover). Perhaps see plumbing flow rate/head calculator on Reef Central.> Thank you for the advice on the closed loop. I think I will use 4 3/4" intakes that go to a manifold directly before pump (again seems these pumps all have intake and discharge of 3/4") and then another manifold that splits into 4 3/4" lines. Will these manifolds cause any issues as I am converging so many lines before and after the pump? -- Would it be better to have a separate pump for each line? <Not necessary, but do go with a much larger manifold. You will notice the flow rate of Mag-Drives are dependent on using the prescribed plumbing size which is up to double the size of the pump outlets. IE: Mag 18's and 24's have 3/4" and 1" outlets yet call for 1.5" outlet plumbing. Go to Lowe's or Home Depot and purchase a 1.5" slip union or slip valve and a 3/4" to 1.5" threaded reducer, then run 1.5" or 2" pipe from there up, then reduce to the return size of 3/4" or 1".> Thank you ever so much! The ReefN00b <Go with larger pipe when in doubt!  Hope this helps!  Craig>

Return Pump Question Hey guys, I have gotten nearly 7 years of problem-free service from my Little Giant 4-MDQ-SC.  Lately it has been noisier than ever, and is generating too much heat (not to mention that my brother didn't top off my tank while I was away causing it to run dry for almost 2 days!).   <Maybe re-build your Little Giant?> I have been going nuts trying to determine what pump to buy as a replacement.  I am running the pump in line with my sump.  It has 1" inlet, a 1/2" outlet, and 3/4" return line.   I am considering getting another Little Giant 4-MDQ-SC which gets about 575 gph with the 14' of head that I have.  I was wondering what the impact on the flow is for a pump that has a 1/2" outlet running into a 3/4" return line? <Increases/maintains rated flow rate/gph. I would bet that LG asks for a larger pipe size than the outlet size of 1/2" in the specs.> With a 1" bulkhead in my overflow, what would be the largest pump, in terms of gph, that my overflow can handle? <Surf to one of our wonderful sponsors and look at the flow rate of add-on skimmer/overflow boxes with 1" pipe. I wouldn't go much more than you have now.> Keeping in mind that I do have heat issue, I was also curious if you had any input/experience with the Dolphin Tank Master Series DP-1200, the Iwaki WMD40RLT, and the Mak4 pumps? <All good pumps inline, some cooler/quieter, etc. Perhaps ask those at WetWebFotos?> Which powerheads are better in terms of heat transfer, Hagen or Maxijet? <Maxijets are my choice, I have both.> One more thing, say my return pump is pumping 575gph, with the addition of my 2 Hagen 802s and a Mag 12 running my canister on a closed loop,  I will have around 2000gph circulation for my 90 gallon tank.  "They" recommend a minimum of 10x turnover per hour, with 20x being nice - does this statement refer specifically to the return pump, or to total tank circulation including powerheads?  Are there any disadvantages of having the bulk of circulation occurring in the main tank?  I assume this is fine because this is where the main source of filtration is (Live Rock).  Am I off base in this assumption? Thanks for taking the time to read all this.  I can keep going if you'd like - nahhh, Adam This refers to tank circulation. This circulation rate is needed for corals to sweep waste products away and bring nutrients for food. The actual circulation will be less than the total added rate of your powerheads, pumps, etc. IE: The canister will slow the powerhead to *much* less than it's rated flow. You should be alright.  Craig>

Plumbing and pump help please? WWM Crew, As always thank you gentlemen for all the help! If I might ask another question ... I promise to leave you all alone for a month or two... hehe. <No problemo, ask away!> 90 Gal LeeMar Diamond Edge 2 2" Bulkheads 2 1.5" Returns 40 Gal Max Capacity DIY Acrylic Sump Head height from Sump to Tank is roughly 5 feet w/3 90' elbows (3 elbows will be used so I can create a siphon break on both of the returns) - the horizontal runs would only be about 1.5 feet with the vertical runs of roughly 5 ft.  I would like a healthy-to-heavy turnover through the sump but not enough to blast out the sand (although I have a double baffle system in place on both sides of the main chamber of the sump) -- What pump would you suggest for this application? <Try the cool plumbing head height/back pressure calculator on Reef Central. The flow through the main should be your consideration, the sump should be designed to handle that flow rate. The baffles should work to control the overflow current. Any of the pumps designed to put out 900-1800 gph with the stated head height/plumbing will work just fine. Make sure your return plumbing is sized properly to handle the flow rate and volume you have in mind.> For further turnover (I want to avoid the use of ANY powerheads) I was very interested in creating a closed loop system similar to the one at Reef-Eden ( http://website.lineone.net/~espsrg/diy_6.htm) -- With this same layout in mind with 4 3/4" lines w/5 feet or so of head and a desired total flow rate of about 1200 gph can you make a suggestion on a pump for the closed loop please? <Same as above, choose pump to move the desired flow rate and volume. Any of the pumps designed for this output will work fine.> Does having a drop in each line on the return side of the loop from where the line comes over the top of the tank to the bottom effect the amount of head? <The plumbing and any elevation the pump must overcome will add backpressure/reduce pump output. See the RC calculator.> The previous recommendation on plumbing that Craig made was to run a manifold on both sides of the pump for the loop. I am curious why a manifold on both sides is suggested instead of one large diameter pipe for the intake to the pump and then the manifold after the pump to 3/4" returns? What diameter would you suggest for the connection to the pump or does the manifold truly make more sense? <This depends on your inhabitants and the intake design. IF the closed loop can be run off the same overflows as the sump/filter system, then one large pipe will work fine. If this is a closed loop run off it's own intakes, then the size and number of intakes needs to match the desired flow rate/volume *and* if this flow would be damaging to any critters crawling by a large single screened intake as opposed to the lower flow rate (and safety) of more intakes. Please feel free to ask further questions if this isn't clear.> I had thought of going with two IWAKI 40 WMDs -- 1 for the sump and one for the loop -- do you think this would do it or besides the IWAKI brand is there another brand that has your Crew's wholehearted recommendation? As always thank you so very much! <I don't know the output of these pumps at the desired head, flow rate and backpressure. You will need to determine your requirements and pick your pumps from their respective flow chart. Hope this helps!  Craig>

- Ich Questions and Pump Selection - Dear crew!! <Howdy, JasonC here...> As I am fighting with ich these days ,  (some of my beloved fishes died…sad story) anyhow.. <Sorry to hear of your loss.> I was shopping the other day in a fish store and I was looking for a quieter pump, I have a 120 gallon reef with 35-40 gallon sump, driven by a MAK4 pump rated at 1180gph (plenty of power!!!). I use it for circulation and for my UV sterilizer (through a ball valve to control the flow). The pump have good electricity consumption, and run quite well. But it is a little bit too noisy for my living room. I was thinking if the velocity T4 would be a better choice for me since I heard the noise level is very very low. And they produce the same amount of gph, what do u recommend?? <I've never used this pump myself but have heard other people say it's not very dependable. You might want to pose this question on our forum where you can get a broad range of opinions: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk > And also, noise level is the reason why I want to switch. Second, I have heard something about the velocity pumps run very very hot, one of the people in a BBS wrote he could not touch the pump surface for more than 2 second!! Is that right?? <I don't know.> Or my question is that, will it produce more heat in the water than my MAK4?? <If it runs as hot as they say, it might.> Because I do not have a chiller, and I am not planning to invest in one. What should I do??? <Ask around.> Last question. As I am fighting with the evil ich, I left the main display fallow for 20 days now and reduce the flow rate of my UV to better kill free flow protozoan, and I am planning to introduce the fishes back into the main display after 30 days. Is that right?? <Well, your fish are in quarantine tanks receiving treatments as well, yes? If so, then they should be about as disease free as they can be when you re-add them. You could also give them a pH-adjusted, freshwater dip before adding them to the main system. That's about as thorough as you can be.> If it is, should I introduce a fish that is prone to ich attack in first and watch for signs??? <You could try that, sure.> Like a regal tang? <I guess.> And if that is right, how long do I have to observe the fish in the main display before I can introduce the rest of the pack?? <Well... that's really hard to say definitively. I would add them over a period of weeks - one at a time to allow your biological filter to readjust and in turn for the fish to get used to the main system again.> Eric <Cheers, J -- >

The Pressure Is On! Hello Crew, Appreciate you so much. Will make this short I know your busy. My tank is a 135 gal. Two corner boxes, 2-1'' drains. 2-3/4'' returns. Oceanic tells me the tank has a 1200gph. overflow rate. On my returns I have about 41/2' of head. I decided to go with Iwaki WMD-RLT -40.this would give me 720 gph. at 5 feet of head per return. The RXLT only gives me 480 gph at 5 1/2 feet. I am goring to run a EuroReef CS8-2 skimmer I will only need the pumps for circulation. Here is my question.? The add says the RLT can be run in any application were as the RLXT is circulation only. I don't see why I couldn't run the RLT since it is closer to my gph rating.???????  Thanks  Guys  Charlie newbie <Well, Charlie, I tend to agree with you. I like the pressure rated RLT Iwakis, and use two of them myself on a reef tank (one for circulation and the other for a skimmer). I like these pumps a lot, and they have served me quite well! Good luck! Scott F>

Re: 3/4" Durso standpipe Dear Craig, I managed, by the grace of GOD and all things holy, to get the 3/4" fitting unstuck from the 1" standpipe.  You should have seen my face as I was pulling, twisting, prodding, gnawing at the 3/4" fitting that was stuck perilously close to the bulk head and gasket and tempered glass bottom!  I looked like I was in labor   <---has issues <Ah yes, it gets turned or cocked just a hair and it IS like labor to get them unstuck!> Ok, so now I put the 1" Durso standpipe on there and the flow is much much better.  I drilled a 1/16" hole and farted around with the return flow and overflow discharge ball valves to get them sort of in sync with one another.  Things seem ok, although now I'm having one problem with air shooting out of my return fitting that's about 2" below the surface of the water.  Air is shooting out under the water when I "power up" the system and the pump shoots a wad of pressure out all at once.  So water and trapped air shoot out of the tank and go about 2" high and I'm afraid it will splash on my 250w Metal Halide bulb. <Use a valve to turn on the water after you turn on the pump. Purging of air and such is normal. Just get up to flow slowly.> I noticed that the piece of crap All Glass overflow kit came with a 90 degree elbow that had a hole drilled in the edge to prevent siphoning of system water into the sump incase of a power failure.  This hole is FAR TOO HIGH up above the water line in the overflow box and is basically doing nothing.  I believe this hole is what's causing the airline problem.  When I power down the system, this hole sucks air down into the return and into the sump where I see bubbles coming out of my pump's filter.   <You want this, although the hole should be below water level when running, and above when the power is off. This is to break the siphon between the main and the sump or your tank will siphon until the sump overflows......> Should I silicone this hole shut, then wait for it to dry, then drill a small hole in the standpipe about 1-1 1/2" below the surface of the overflow?   <Yep, the level you want the main to STOP at when the power goes off.> I think the folks that made that P.O.S. float contraption are horrendous.  May they be forced to lie beneath 300 camels fed nothing but warm beer and X-lax. Peasants...all of them. <Exactly, this is why I would avoid using it. Maybe check out the WetWebFotos forums, there is a whole bunch of info there on all-glass set-ups.> Well, share with me your thoughts on how to make my plumbing as silent as possible.  Can I use Styrofoam blocks (small ones) wedged into the overflow on the corners to muffle the sound of the cascading water? They seem to really quiet things down, and are "fixed" as I literally cram them real tight into the corners.  Does Styrofoam leach any toxic chemicals into the water?  Please advise. <No, the styro is harmless. Sometimes little bits break off and float loose, but it's essentially inert. Cascading water and air make the noise, so the Durso should pull air from it's vent, the vent can be shut down to a 1/4" hole and still will pull air...more quietly. Try a cap with a 1/4" hole.> Thanks again for your assistance.  Feel free to post all of my emails on the FAQ section as I think what I'm going thru is quite typical of most folks implementing this type of setup.  Regards, Steve <Absolutely, also check out the ways those people solved their design problems on WWF!  Craig>

Pumps and plumbing Hi guys do have quick question.  After doing some research I am thinking about buying a CSL velocity T4 pump.  Have you heard anything about or seen these pumps in action?  Good/Bad. <I have no personal experience with this pump but everything that I have ever heard was good. When I get my next tank, I plan to get a T4> Last few things.  I have decided that I will go with using some powerheads in my 75 gal, mostly soft coral display.  I want to plumb my return from sump to tank this way.  I want to run 1" return going to 3/4" pvc spray bar acros the entire back of tank.  The flow or drilled holes will alternate flow going down towards the front middle and straight across the top.  Use the power heads on the sides flowing towards each other and another powerhead at the bottom behind the LR.  See any problems or anything that can be done better?   <Sounds great to me!> Do have one last thing.  What do you think of the Zoo Med power sweep rotating power heads are they good or bad.   <They are pure trash and a total waste of money. The sweeping action will stop in about 2 weeks. Yes I have personal experience with these. David Dowless> Thanks Bryan

Pumps and plumbing Hi guys do have quick question.   <Hi Bryan> After doing some research I am thinking about buying a CSL velocity T4 pump.  Have you heard anything about or seen these pumps in action?  Good/Bad. >No, I haven't.  The best place to find out is the WetWebFotos forums.  You can ask there and someone or several will share their experiences. http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/index.jsp> Last few things.  I have decided that I will go with using some powerheads in my 75 gal, mostly soft coral display.  I want to plumb my return from sump to tank this way.  I want to run 1" return going to 3/4" pvc spray bar across the entire back of tank.  The flow or drilled holes will alternate flow going down towards the front middle and straight across the top.  Use the power heads on the sides flowing towards each other and another powerhead at the bottom behind the LR.  See any problems or anything that can be done better? <Sized properly it should work fine. Not as adjustable as individual nozzles unless you start with few holes/smaller holes and proceed until you get the flow you desire.> Do have one last thing.  What do you think of the Zoo Med power sweep rotating power heads are they good or bad.  Thanks Bryan <BAD, very BAD.  A total waste of money. There are much better methods/equipment available. Enjoy!  Craig>

Pump Brands Hi guys, Thanks for the great help with my MAG 18 situation.   <No problemo Bryan!> I have been doing some research and thinking about changing pumps...AGAIN.   <Uh-oh...> (75 gal tank, mostly softies) I want to run a few choices by you and let me know what you think IYO/IYE.  I am looking at the American motor Iwaki rated at 1200gph @ 4'.  1" in/outlets.  Possibly the dolphin AmpMaster 2700.  I would like to know if these are quiet running and do they run hot? <I know some folks prefer the Iwaki's. I'm not positive of the differences between American and Japanese motors, but these pumps have good reps.> Of the two which would you suggest. <The Iwaki.  What is the output of the Mag 18 @ 4'?> Last thing, trying to figure out pipe diameter with return flow, is it best to plumb with the outlet diameter or go a little bigger on the return side. <It's best to go bigger than the pump outlet pipe size. Once it's in, it's in, so oversize.  PVC is inexpensive....> Approx. 5' or so of head with the elbows and such. <Yes, larger pipe will help here as well and reduce friction in ells, tee's etc.> Would like a pump to outmatch my 2 1.5" bulkheads so that I can fine tune the sump level w/ a gate valve on the return side.  MAG 18 isn't working.  Thanks for all your help. Bryan I'm confused on this last part Bryan. The idea should be to control the water level (and overall flow rate) in the display with *valve* on the return side of the pump and let the sump level be where it needs to be to accommodate all water volume when power/pump is off. This way when power goes off accidentally, the water is contained. The flow is matched to the display overflows/bulkheads, not the sump level. If sump level is an issue for the skimmer, use a skimmer box to control water level of skimmer.  Let me know if this doesn't make any sense!  Craig> I believe Anthony has a diagram on WetWebMedia.com in the marine set-ups that will help you with the skimmer box idea.

- Circulation & Pump Selection - Jason, Thanks for answering my questions so fast. <My pleasure.> Just one or two more and I can get this show on the road. My over flow is 1,200 gph, I would like to turn over my tank volume 10 times. Its a 135 gallon tank. That comes out to 1,350 gallon. <Missing the mark by 150 GPH isn't going to be noticeable, but you can make up for it with powerheads in the tank.> I have about 5' of head. Would two Eheim 1060 -602 gallon pumps be enough pumping power, or should I go for a little more pump. <I'm not familiar enough with those pumps to say definitively... please use the manufacturer's rating for the pump output at five head feet and do the math... that where the answer will come from.> If so does Eheim make a bigger pump? <I think they do, yes.> I cant find any listed. One more question, Do you think my 30 gallon sump is big enough?. <Should be, but larger would not hurt.> Thank you so much Jason. Charlie newbie <Cheers, J -- >

Re: Mag-drive pumps How can I mount or hang mag-drive pumps inside tank? I am use to using Rio pumps with suction cups, when done right they almost never come loose, just the pumps fail too much so I do not care for them. My tank is 180 gal has large lip. I know a closed loop would be better to add more water movement so you do not have ugly heat generating pumps inside tank but I am not wanting to tear down tank to add holes to tank and I can hide pumps behind rock. Thanks, Bruce Burnett <Hi Bruce, there are several ways of doing this, including hiding it in the rockwork. I would be mindful of maintenance issues hiding pumps in remote places. MagDrive can be set-up outside the aquarium with the intake in a skimmer box and the return manifold running as usual. A means of priming the system will be needed, but once primed (like a canister filter) will run fine.  These pumps really run better submerged (cooler) but they can be run as an inline pump outside the tank as well.  You could also simply place the pump in a skimmer/overflow box for easier access, shielding from sensitive creatures like anemones, etc. I like the remote pump idea myself.  Lots of possibilities, depends on your individual set-up and wishes.  As always, have fun!  Craig>  

Pump Brands hi guys, Thanks for the great help with my MAG 18 situation. I have been doing some research and thinking about changing pumps...AGAIN.  (75 gal tank, mostly softies) I want to run a few choices by you and let me>know what you think IYO/IYE. I am looking at the American motor Iwaki rated at 1200gph @ 4'.  1" in/outlets.  Possibly the dolphin AmpMaster 2700.  I would like to know if these are quiet running and do they run hot? Both are quiet... I favor the Iwaki for quiet/sound (except their dual pump series).> Of the two which would you suggest.   <A Japanese or American made Iwaki... may feel the Japanese ones are worth the extra cost for longevity> Last thing, trying to figure out pipe diameter with return flow, is it best to plumb with the outlet diameter or go little bigger on the return side.   <I prefer not to expand on the outflow side> Approx. 5' or so of head with the elbows and such.  Would like a pump to outmatch my 2 1.5" bulkheads so that I can fine tune the sump level w/ a gate valve on the return side.   <or a teed bleeder with a gate valve into the sump for extra overall flow/oxygenation> MAG 18 isn't working.  Thanks for all your help. Bryan <best regards, Anthony>

- Pump Selection - <Greetings, JasonC here...> Hello, Steven Charlie newbie at you with some questions. I bought a Oceanic 135 gal. reef ready tank. Two corner boxes installed. Two 1'' drains, two 3/4 returns. I am goring to set this up for soft coral and LPS. From what I have been reading, your tank should be tuned over at least 10 x times. <That's a good number, sure.> The people from oceanic told me my tank has a over flow rate of 1,200 gph. Would two mag 9.5 pumps do the job? <What is the rating of that pump at four head feet?> I only have about 4 feet of head to deal with. My sump is 30 gallon. Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated. <Sure... just match up the pump's rating to the number of head-feet you have and you should be able to calculate the circulation rate for yourself.> Tell bob I enjoyed his book. A must for any newbie. Goring to order the crews books next.  Thanks Steven. <Cheers, J -- >

Need more water pressure David thanks for response <My pleasure!> I have some more questions about my plumbing, but 1st I want to ask about pumps. <Fire away!> Can/do certain pumps/brands have more power?  Meaning. say, pump A is rated at 900gph @ 4' and pump B is rated at 1200gph @ 4', could pump A be more powerful and not affected by plumbing as much (if it is the right brand)? <Decidedly...yes. Pump manufacturers pay varying degrees of attention to details regarding specifications. Notice how some companies don't even provide head pressure and distance? They simply state, "1400 gph" or whatever...Companies simply want you to know that their product provides more water movement at less expense than only other company. Sometimes these companies even claim their pumps are quiet!!! HA!> Now to my current situation:  I emailed HELP #1 yesterday but not sure if it went through so I'll explain a little from that. <I remember the email but thanks for reminding me> I currently have the MAG 18 plumbed to a manifold on my 75 gal tank.  Water pressure stinks out of the teed outlets.  Here is a run down of my pluming, see if I need to do/try something different. The bulkhead in the sump is 1"-1" flex pvc about 6" to the mag 18 - fitted to 3/4" to match the pump threads <Bingo! I might have found something. Normally, sending water through a 1' line and then reducing will increase pressure. Because you are then increasing the line back to 1' it's actually reducing the pressure. Fr a visual, think about something getting caught in a drain pipe...Does it matter that the pipe is 1' on both sides? No because the reducing action of your 3/4 line is not allowing the full amount of water to exit through the 1' pipe on the exit side of the pump. I hope I'm being clear...> - 3/4" pump outlet fitted to 1" flex pvc <This may be the problem> - there is a 45 degree elbow on the way to the main display to get my pvc out from my stand to back of tank - right before the plumbing gets to the top of tank I have fitted it back down to 3/4" then have 2 90 elbows to plumb/reach the manifold around the top of tank - <Your pump would benefit from not having these sharp angles. Try to soften them if you can. I've been in this situation and sometimes there are no logical solutions to angles> manifold is by way of 3/4" pvc - distance from pump to manifold is about 3' to 3.5'.   <Alright...this is how I see your choices: The bulkhead in the sump is great at 1' but as the water exits you need to match the 3/4 line exiting the pump. Don't use the 1' line...I believe it's killing your pressure. As the return is entering the tank, I would scale this pipe down to 1/2' which will give the water a thrust as it enters the tank. Consider using some flare nozzles to deliver the return water into the tank. Your second option is to return the Mag pump with the 3/4' fitting and get a pump with a 1' fitting, then use your 1' return line and reduce to 3/4 as the water enters the tank. This is the option that I like best because it would maximize the gallonage of whatever pump you decide to use...but of course, it's only my opinion>   Please let me know if there is something different I can/need to do to help increase the pressure of my MAG 18. Thanks for all your help Bryan.   <You're welcome! I may not always say what folks want to hear but I try to be honest! David Dowless>

HELP!!! PUMP II Hi guys sorry to bother you again, <Never a bother...We're here to help!> I wanted to go over a few more things about my pump situation.   <Fire away> I don't know what to think about the new MAG 18 I just got. Here is why:  I had bought a Little Giant pump <I don't care for these either> rated at not quite 1100gph at 0ft.  Hooked it up to my tank and ran it about 2 days.  It was entirely too loud (tank is in my office) <Common complaint> and ran very hot (called company and they said it would).  The return line was 1" the entire way and return to main tank was by a single outlet to test plumbing.  The pump had great/hard pressure and the thing I noticed was that there was a very good balance in my sump level.  2 1.5" bulkheads and the Little Giant pump kept the level about where I wanted in the sump and in the skimmer box/partition.  I thought I would have liked to have a little more power to the pump to lower the level a tad more and just use a gate valve to fine tune the sump level. <Sounds reasonable to me> So...I decided to sell the Little Giant b/c of noise, heat, and wanted more gph. Fast forward to now, where I currently bought/have a MAG 18 rated at 1800gph at 0ft. <Distance and 90 degree angles in the return will affect the gph drastically> Have it plumbed the way I described in first email...well the pressure out of the 4 teed outlets on the manifold was horrible, so I played with it awhile.  I noticed that when I capped the 2 nozzles on the sides that the 2 nozzles on the back of the tank had more pressure but I still wouldn't say real good.  So I capped the 3rd outlet which left me w/ one on the back of tank for them return.  This had some pretty good pressure, but really, when compared to my previous pump I don't think it had any more pressure.  I also noticed that w/ this new MAG 18 that the water level in my sump was incredibly high, 2-3X more than w/ the Little Giant. <Humph...> I didn't have the pump running a long time but it did seem to  level, but at the extremely high level.  I laugh b/c I was really worried about getting this MAG 18 thinking it may be to much for my tank and sump (75gal), instead it seems I need 3 more MAG 18's just to have things right.  I figured the extra 700gph or so in the new pump would put me where I wanted to be. <If your plumbing can handle it, more gph wouldn't hurt> The distance from the pump to top of tank is probably around 3' and I do have 2 90 degree elbows at the top of tank.   <That will have a negative effect on any pump> I guess it boils down to... I NEED HELP. <I'm not entirely sure what you want me to do...Can you stand another pump change? Try either an Iwaki or if you want something powerful and quiet as a whisper, try a Velocity pump. There are several models of both of these pumps and they are widely available for about $159. I currently use a Blueline pump from Championlighting.com I've been happy with it although it is louder than either of the two that I have already listed> I do apologize for such a lengthy email. Thanks a million Bryan. <No need to apologize. It was my pleasure to respond to such a well thought-out email. Let me know how this turns out. David Dowless>

Re: Basement Pumps Howdy again, thanks for the prompt response yesterday. Today's question involves basement sumps. We are working on a design for a 120 gal tank with appx. 100 gal sump in the basement. I searched around the site a little and didn't find any specific return pump recommendations. Have you got a favorite manufacturer of pumps that will push 400-600 gal/hr with a 14' head? Thanks  Kenny <Hi Kenny, No, no favorites, I use mag-drives as they are inexpensive.  There are many others that will push this volume and head height. Try looking at some of the WetWebMedia.com sponsors. Most of them list the volume and head height they will perform at. Make sure you account for the resistance of the plumbing, bends and other obstructions.  Craig>

Mag Pump Info. Regarding the Mag 5 and Mag 7, If these are the same Mag pumps I see (and have used previously) then please be concerned with the exposed steel screws on the outside of the housing. Then again these may not be the same pumps I used in the past, but if they are then the exposed steel screws may pose a future problem with inverts. <We will definitely pass this on to our readers. Thanks for the information...>

A Pump On The Outside... Hi guys, <Scott F. your guy today> Have a couple questions about a pump I just got.  I ordered a MAG18 rated at 1800gph @ 0'.  Here is my problem, I received the new Marine Depot catalog in the mail and was browsing through it. I came on the Mag pumps and at the bottom, I quote. "Note: Mag-Drive pumps are not recommended for saltwater aquarium external use."  What is the reasoning for this.  I am plumbing it in-line so I am a little worried.  I can't find any reasoning in doing other searches and on the pump box it says submersible or in-line. Should I be worried and get a different pump? <I noticed that, too. I am not quite sure what to make of this, myself. I was also under the impression that they can be used externally. I'd contact Supreme and get the straight scoop from them! Please do share this with our readers when you get a response from them.> Last few things.  I am starting a reef tank, going with mostly soft corals, in a 75 gallon tank.  Have the Mag 18, the more I think the more I tell myself that this is to much, will this mag 18 be fine, maybe add a gate valve if pressure is to much. <Well, if you take into account head pressure, and use multiple returns, I would think that the pump would work okay for this application> And finally, IYO/IYE what do think of the Velocity titanium pumps.  The Velocity T4 is rated at 1225 gph @ 3'. Between the Mag 18 and Velocity what would you choose.  Thanks Bryan. <Well, I like them both, quite honestly. As you are aware, they require different fittings (the Velocity T4 is 1" hose barb, and the Mag 18 is 3/4 NPT), so you need to take this into account when designing your plumbing system and considering future pump upgrades. I have been very impressed with the performance and quiet operation of the Velocity pumps. The down side that I have heard from friends who use them is that they tend to run a little hot, and sometimes don't prime immediately upon re-starting after maintenance, power failure, etc. However, I am a big fan of Custom Sea Life and most of their products. They are a great company, IMO, and I have been very impressed with their customer service. Do verify with Supreme the external use issue when you decide. Good luck to you! Regards. Scott F>

Re: two pumps & PSI Good Morning to the "All knowing and All seeing keepers of knowledge in all things aquatic". I come before you on bend knee, again seeking counsel and pearls of wisdom. If you have two air pumps that are churning out 2 PSI each, when you hook them together (into the same gang valve) would you not get 4 PSI as a result? <No. The devices are made for generating only so much thrust, flow. You would likely see only a modest increase> When I did this and only saw a .5 raise in total PSI. Went from 2 to 2.5 <This seems about right... think of the dense medium (water) and impellers rotating only so fast... if the water is pumped through them in series, does the initial momentum from one "speed up" the impeller in the volute of the second? What about induced drag? If you hooked up another such pump in this series the "gain" would be even less. Bob Fenner> Puzzled, Dave

Re: two pumps & PSI Ahh, then my experiment did as it should and would be considered successful! (glass half full stuff) Thanks for the speedy and educational reply. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Dave <Thank you my friend, and to you and yours. Bob Fenner>

Re: overflow to sump & gph to and fro Hello All/Some/One: I read in section http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pbfaq6mar.htm where Mr. Pro (stage name?) wrote: "I  would not take a siphon overflow for free and I would never even think about using one in my house".  If you are not Mr. Pro, do you agree?  Is the actual problem of breaking siphon that the sump's contents will then be emptied and cause the display tank to overflow? <Nope, the opposite> If so, what is a person to do with a 55gal all-glass that is already set up, but is now looking into sumps/refugiums?  At this time, I am not ready/willing to break it down, bring it to a professional, have holes drilled and an overflow put in (which I also read that they may not even drill/warranty my tempered-glass bottom!).  Can a safety switch be purchased (or created) that when the water level reaches critical in the display, the pump will shut off?  Please help with some solution other than "get yourself a tank with a built in overflow" wink!).  Also, please clear this up for me; if I have 1000gph overflow to sump, and 600gph return pump, does the overflow part slow down? <Yes, the overflow can only remove as much water as is being returned to the tank.> How about the opposite: 600gph overflow and 1000gph pump? <This would be a waste of pump, the overflow would be too restricting.> Or does neither work and they need to be equal (can't be, right?)?  I have read so many FAQ's that I think I am confused again. Regards, Rich. <Hey Rich, drilled overflows are always going to be safer than siphon overflows.  The problem with siphon overflows is the potential for problem.  In theory they work well, say for example your power goes out and your pump stops, then the tank drains down to the level of the overflow box that is positioned on the inside of the tank.  But what if the suction cups that hold it to the glass are old and no longer fit tight, then water will suck through these holes and overflow your sump.  Or maybe the return from the pump starts siphoning water back into the sump in the even of a power failure, another chance for your sump to overflow.  Another problem is air gathering in the top of the siphon tube and breaking the siphon, then the pump drains the sump and burns up.   Than being said, make sure that the suction cups fit tight, drill a small hole just below the water line on the return to the tank to break the siphon in case of a power failure.  You can also drill and attach some airline tubing to the top of the siphon tube and attach the other end to the Venturi portion of a power head, so if air does gather it will be sucked out.  Hope this helps. -Gage>

Closed loop manifold (water return) Anthony, Can you point me in a good direction as to putting a closed loop return manifold system together for that 125? I don't want to drill any more holes in the back of the tank, so I would be using over the back pvc. <my brother in law is drafting this sketch in AutoCAD for me this week. Please do follow up with me in another week for this illustration. Else, it really is as simple as I have described in this article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/circmarart.htm > What pumps are out there that could provide a high enough current? <many good and bad pumps out there. I like Iwaki by far for longevity and durability> I know that the return placement is also important, but a lot of that would depend on how much current is gonna be supplied. <for this There won't be much problem with distance as my sump is gonna be right below the display tank. I believe I am going to be using a MAK4 for the return on my sump (approx.1200 gph). That alone is not gonna cut it for water movement alone. Any suggestions will be appreciated. <I'm still sold on Iwaki for the best long term pump. I have seen them well over ten years old and take a beating> No, I don't have your book yet, but Christmas is coming and hints have been dropped. If I don't get it then, I'll have it less than a week later. <no worries... I'll tell you anything you wanna know for free and with pleasure> I've been wanting it for some time now! Thanx, Charlie <best regards, Anthony>

Iwaki Pump recommendations/commentary Anthony There are more sumps and pumps being put in the basement and pumping water to the next floor, and many folks wonder what pump to be used? If one is using a 180 gal reef tank a Iwaki MD100 is the pump to be used. With a 12 ft head you get 1920 gal per hour,14 head 1800 gal per hour... using an 11/4 pvc pipe on the out put of the pump and 1 1/2" return . For more water movement used a Iwaki md 40 in a close loop you can get 700 gal per hour, put two 3/4 outlets at the front of the tank. this pump can be put in basement with the md 100. Iwakis pumps are the best to used you can believe their pump specifications, many other pumps are in a gray zone for valid specs.    RGibson YOU CAN PAY LESS &YOU CAN GET LESS <Ralph... thank kindly, my friend. I am in agreement that Iwakis are time tested and true. I have sworn by them for fifteen years and am not likely to stray anytime soon. We've seen too many new pumps come and go like so many flashes in a pan. Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Dolphin/Ampmaster pumps Any insight on whether this bit of puffery is likely to be true: Dolphin claims that the "HHS pumps are great for applications where the pump is in the basement and the system is on another floor. The HHS 5000 or 5900 are the most popular for this use. The motors are 1/2, 1, 2, and 3 horse power respectively. The HHS 5000, and 5900 have dual voltage energy plus motors. They are one of the most efficient 56 frame motors available."  For more see: http://www.dolphinpumps.com/highhead.htm <Hmmm... I am withholding my enthusiastic recommendations for this promising line of pumps. I have got an unusual number of detailed complaints regarding this line that has been disturbing. Leak issues, mis-wiring (failed ground) issues... and pumps not meeting the enticing low power consumption ratings cited.  For anyone that wants my opinion: Iwaki is time tested and true. They are not the penultimate across the board... but they are categorically high marked in all areas. And as with all WWM crew members... never a single free sample here <G>! I have paid good money for a decade worth of Iwakis in hobby and business applications. They are just good products. Best regards, Anthony>

Pump Choices Scott, thanks for quick reply. <My pleasure!> Did some searching about the pumps you listed as being quiet.  On some chat forums people did not like the custom sea life pumps because they ran so hot.  What is your experience with this, b/c I was leaning toward the "velocity" pump. <Yes, they do tend to run slightly warmer than some other pumps. Additionally, some people have a bit of difficulty getting them primed after shutting them down for maintenance, etc. Generally, however, I think that they are good pumps.> Also, I was thanking of going with a Supreme MAG drive 1200 or 1800 and plumbing in-line with my sump...have heard they are quiet...IYE do they seem to be good pumps? <Mag Drive pumps are generally good quality, and I like them, but they do have their detractors, too. Again- check out the chat forums on these pumps> Last thing, trying to look up info on the Gen X/MAk4 pumps but can't seem to find much except where to buy from.  Are these good pumps and if so are they quiet? <I have not used these models myself, but the friends I know that use them are generally pleased with their performance and quality. They seem to run quietly, but not as quiet as, say, the CSL pumps. As mentioned previously, Iwaki pumps are awesome all-around pumps for quality and performance. They are certainly less quiet than some of the other models that you are looking in to, but they may warrant inclusion in your search. They are just about the most rugged, long-lasting, and reliable pumps out there, IMO> Thanks for all your help Bryan <And thank you for stopping by, Bryan. Good luck in your research!  Scott F.>

Pump Selection Real quick question tonight.  I have a 75 gallon tank in my office.  Doing some upgrading and going with some corals.  But am upgrading to a new pump.  Since this is in my office I want a quiet pump. <I can relate!> I had bought a little Giant 3-MDQX-SC but was to loud for my liking and am selling it.  IYE/IYO what or who makes a fairly quiet pump...it seems like everybody advertises their pump as the quietest.  Thanks, Bryan <Well, that's the "million dollar question!" I am partial to the reliability and durability of Iwaki pumps, but I find them noisy, myself! I also like the Custom Sea Life "Velocity" pumps- they are about as silent as a pump gets. I've also seen (not heard!) the Dolphin pumps- also super quiet. One of them, the "Ampmaster", puts out an amazing 3000gph and is absolutely silent. These are just a few. Do look into the other pumps out there- ask some fellow hobbyists on the wetwebmedia.com chat forum...Good luck in your search! Scott F>

Gurgling sound from Undersized overflow Hello, I set up a 200gallon wet/dry on my 180gallon fresh water tank. I've been wanting to get one for a couple of years now but never made the next step until now. The problem I'm having is a annoying gurgling sound coming from the twin prefilter. <we get this complaint a lot about Oceanic aquarium system. And any other just like it with a woefully inadequate overflow design. It is unbelievable that they make and market these inferior overflows and label them as "reef-ready"?!?! Have any of these people actually run a successful reef in one of these tanks? At least... without a gaggle of powerheads in the main display to compensate for the lack of water flow because of the undersized drains?!? The problem, my friend, is that your overflows are too small for the pump used to return from the sump. I assure you that the reverse is not true (that the pump is too big for the tank). Modern marine aquariums (reef or fish only) need dynamic water flow. These weak/small overflow holes simply cannot keep up with the high volume pumps needed to run a healthy system> What can I do to quiet the water flowing down to the sump area? <simple.. you need to restrict the return pump (a gate valve on the output side), bleed water from the output side back into the sump (reducing top return water flow), or simply use a smaller return pump. Then... you will have to add powerheads in the main display (or a closed loop pump topside if the tank can be drained, drilled and fitted with circ pump). If powerheads are required... do see if you can afford Gemini or Turbelle pumps for aesthetics and longevity> Thanks, Jesse <best regards, Anthony>

Pump Questions Hi guys, I have a couple quick questions. First,  I am looking at getting the Supreme Mag Drive 12 pump. I was searching for the best price and found a website that said they are not made to be used in line, only submersible. <Not according to Danner/Supreme. It says so right on the box.> It was my understanding that you could use them in line. <You are correct.> Let me know. Last question. I have two 1.5" bulkheads drilled on my 75 gallon tank. The mag drive has 3/4" in/outlets.  Will this be fine to run the 3/4" bulkhead from my sump and 3/4" return pipe or can I use a 1" return with the 3/4" outlet? <Feel free to use fittings to enlarge the return pipe. I would not use anything less than 1" pipe for this return.> Thanks for your help, Bryan <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Pump Ideas Thanks for the input, the more I think about it I think that the MD55 is the better choice, by the time you add other Returns or if you do, and then the manifold itself with multiple returns up top is a lot of elbows and I bet eats up pressure fast. <That's exactly why I chose that pump!> Anything over 8 feet and the MD55 is a better choice easily, I'd bet 8 feet of pressure isn't very much all things considered!   Since you use this pump, I will sum up my other question a lot, what do you drain with? I'll try an make that my last question for awhile, instead I'll but your books and actually do all this!  Lol Take care, Mark <No problem Mark. Like I said, what works for me may not work for you! I use two 1 1/2 inch standpipes feeding into my sump. If I could do it all over again, I probably would have went with 2 two inch standpipes. Feel free to contact us any time, but do enjoy getting "lost" on the site- there's so much good information here! And don't forget to talk to your fellow hobbyists, they are your truly best source of information and feedback on "fishy stuff" ! Take care! Scott F.>

Pump for new tank question Hi Anthony, Hope you are well..  <same to you my friend> I have a question regarding a pump for my new tank. You suggested either AMP master pumps( I have no idea what/where to look for here) or Iwaki. I found an Iwaki that I thought would be just right,  <excellent... Iwakis are the best overall in my opinion> it is called Iwaki MD 70RLT and is supposed to be 1500gph however the shop that is selling it puts a ? as to if it is safe for normal circulation as they say it is designed to work under pressure (i.e feeding a filter canister or such like??) Do you know of this pump and if it's suitable as a straight return pump or not? <Iwaki makes every unit in their line for pressure or circulation (two different models for every style). You can order this pump for circulation only if you like> I also found a pump called MagDrive 1800 which guess what, does 1800 gph and is a lot cheaper than the Iwaki which makes me wonder if it is powerful enough even though it say's 1800gph, is this a suitable pump?  <sort of... and as the saying goes: good things are seldom cheap and cheap things are seldom good. I won't be surprised if you have your Iwaki 15 years from now still running... I have seen older. Yet, I will be very surprised if you still have a mag drive pump 7 years down the road. They are less durable by far... sealed motors, mag drives (not direct shafts) and impart a lot of heat into the system (about 4 degrees F). They are cheaper to buy, though, and do move a lot of water. They are also usually quite economical to operate (electricity consumption). You must weigh the factors that matter most to you> otherwise please give me a clue... If I had a pump of 1500 to 1800 gph and enough overflow holes across the back for say 2000 gph would this be o.k.? <yes... very fine> Have a nice week-end! Jenny UK <best regards to you as well, my friend. Anthony>

Metal screws I use a Rubbermaid container with a Little Giant pump to prepare my water. I noticed the pump housing is put together by 4 screws. Can these screws make my water toxic? They could be stainless steal or aluminum. Shaun Nelson <there is little or nothing to worry about here. The screws can withstand for saltwater for quite some time... and even when they degrade pose little threat. Enjoy peace of mind by siliconing over the screw heads. Best regards, Anthony>

Pump Selection Hello fine friends, I am currently upgrading my system pump which is an Eheim 1250. This is on a 30 gallon reef with sump. I'm going with an Iwaki 20. Now this is the gray zone, which one should I get to use as my main system pump and what is the difference, the 20RLT 0r the 20RLXT? <I would get the RXLT. This is a non-pressure situation and the RXLT has slightly more gph than the RLT.> Thank you for the light you can shine on this subject, Paul <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Protein skimmer 2 Quick Q's: 1) I have a Red Sea Berlin Turbo Hang-on skimmer but the pump broke. Can you recommend a new brand/size pump? <hmmm... for the cost of a new pump, do consider a different skimmer if this one hasn't been performing reliably. Many of these Berlin's do not. I personally wouldn't take them for free. Too finicky and inconsistent for what they cost. A good skimmer should yield dark skimmate more reliably. We hear a lot of flak on this brand/model beyond pump failures. Prisms too... ughhh. A lot on Prisms> 2) I think it was Anthony who mentioned some sort of easy modification to greatly improve this skimmer's efficiency, but I looked and can't find what he had said. What was it again? <Hmmmm... not me, bud. But the rest of the crew will spy this in the morning an hopefully we'll hear of a modification. I only recall modifications on the Turboflotor. Again, I am so disgusted with the quality and inconsistency of this line out of the box that I would not waste my time on a modification. Replacing the pump with a mag drive styled pump of like volume should be easy. Please do so if this skimmer worked well for you before. I suspect though that your inquiry about a modification is telling us that you've had similar problems to the many we hear weekly about this unit. Do consider another skimmer altogether. Many good choices to be had... Aqua C, Euroreef, Tunze, Klaes> Regards, Michael Krechmer <best regards> PS Tit for tat; I'm including a photo of the underside of my clingfish, thought you might like it. <absolutely horrifying and disgusting. Quite appropriate for Halloween :) Thanks kindly>

Water movement Hello! I'm from Poland and I find your web very interesting. I've got a question about water circulation in my tank which is 70*70*70 cm. It will b exposed from two sides situated in a room's corner. How many lph should I need when I wand to keep anemones and clownfish. Should I have wavemaker or in such a short tank I won't need this equipment. <I'm not such a big fan of wavemakers... I would employ two small powerheads (moving 3-4 of your volume per hour each... angled from below or above, crossing at the front glass... and make sure and use sponges, or other substantial covers over their intakes... to prevent the anemones (which will move about at times) from being sucked in. Bob Fenner> Looking forward to hearing from you, Darek

Re: Kalkwasser & Wavemaker Hi Anthony, Just checked my magnesium and it is at 1375 ppm so it seems to be fine.  <agreed> I dose in the AM around 8 or 9:00 AM, and my lights only come on around 1:00PM so It's about 4 hours before.  <too early likely but not the problem here. It spikes the pH just before the lights come on and the pH rises even further from symbiotic activity. This can contribute to greater differences between pH readings peak day/deep night> I'll try at night, but my lights are on until 10:00 PM and I usually get lazy at this time. Readings today DKH 11, new Salifert calcium test 250! yikes. Old Hagen Calcium 300. So it has dropped in the last few days as I have stopped dosing to see how fast the calcium dropped. It seems my tank uses huge amounts of calcium. I have excellent Coralline algae growth over the 200lbs plus live rock, and the entire back and one side is covered. Every few weeks I have to scrap the corners to get rid of new growth. Does this seem normal that I am having trouble keeping up with the demand, or is something else going on.  <not likely normal... but aren't calcium reactors wonderful <G>?> I'll re-start the slurries tonight. BTW time is about 4:30 PM, and PH is a little low at 8.15 for this time of day, ORP is at 350. Thanks Larry <best regards, my friend. Anthony>

Tangs, Angels, And Powerheads  <Scott F. at your service> I would like to know how I can get rid of the film that sits on the top of the water and what causes this? <Organic compounds and proteins> I have a Eheim Pro II canister filter and a red sea Prizm skimmer. Its seems to be doing the job. <I believe that Eheim makes a surface extractor attachment for their filters-check with them. As for the skimmer, this particular model has a sketchy reputation with some-check with fellow hobbyists. If it's pulling a cup a day of dark, yucky stuff, then you're doing okay>  I also would like to add some coral. I have one Volitans Lionfish about 4" long, and just got a Powder Blue Tang 4" also have two small red starfish about 3". <The lionfish needs a lot of oxygen and room to move-so does the tang, which is a sometimes delicate species, prone to parasitic infection. You may ultimately need a larger tank if they are to live normal lifespans> I would like to add some other fish such as a Juvenile Emperor Angel of a Koran Angel. <Honestly, probably not a good choice, given the fact that they both get very large, requiring tanks of 180-200 gallons or more, especially when you consider the potential size of the other fish you have> My LFS has a blond Naso tang as well I was interested in. <Not a great choice, IMO, for reasons sated above> What is your advice on some fish I can put in my tank. <See this FAQ http://wetwebmedia.com/stocking1.htm> I have a 125g tank with about a 1" bed of live sand and 155lbs of live rock. I just got my powder blue tang 2 days ago, second fish into system and was just wondering about feeding. The fish is grazing a lot and very busy but doesn't seem to want to come to the top of tank for food. Is he just adjusting still? <Could be- BTW, be sure to exercise a quarantine procedure with all new arrivals in the future, especially with tangs, as they do have a reputation for being "ich magnets"> I added some powerheads Hagen802 400gph. I put three of them in planning for some coral. The lionfish didn't seem to like the extra circulation even on the slowest setting. I was thinking about getting a couple of 402 that are 200gph. Will this be sufficient for some coral. <depends-most corals need high water quality, and with some heavy eaters like you have, may not fare well> I also had a thought of a power bar along the back of the tank spraying out at the back of the rock and using powerheads to drive that. <nice idea> Aeration, a concern yet? <Keep the water highly oxygenated> Thanks, Ian Roff <Keep reading, studying-you will be fine. Remember to quarantine all new fish-it really works! Regards, Scott F.>

Please help. (Powerheads? Marine Set-up...) I am setting up a 125 gallon reef tank, All-Glass aquarium, with model 3612 ecosystem filter powered by Iwaki WMD40RLXT. <I would remove any biomedia here.> Should I put any powerheads in the tank? <that or a closed circulation system) What model(s) do you recommend? <Most people like and use Maxi-jets> What flow rate? <ten times total volume overall> Where should I locate? <This is an individual consideration depending on how the tank/rock/inhabitants are placed or configured and what you want to keep. Please do look into a good book that will provide the various conditions for whatever you plan to keep.> How much live rock should I use? <Depends on the type/density/weight of the rock. For Fiji the recommendation ranges from 1 to 1.5 lbs per gallon. This is also a personal/appearance decision. The above recommendation factors in bioload.> Thanks for all your continued help. You are very welcome, have fun! Craig

Re: Power Heads for Reef Tank Craig, Biomedia is stuff like Chemipure, etc? <No. Bioballs, sponges, etc. If it's sponge and you want it to filter particulate matter, then it needs to be cleaned at the very least, weekly. Most sponges, bioballs, media etc. produce nitrates from nitrites. LR and DSB's resolve this.> Do you like the Power Sweep power head that rotates? <No, and you won't either. They sometimes last a whole week!> What brand do you like for calcium? <I use SeaChem products as they are balanced and supply minor elements in proportion to the major element you are supplementing. IE: Seachem calcium also contains magnesium, strontium, etc.> What brand do you like for alkalinity? <Ditto, Seachem buffer or Reef Carbonate depending on what is happening with your pH. (read the labels) Kent makes a good buffer/carbonate builder as well> What brand do you like for iodine? <I'm not particular. I use Lugol's Solution according to test, label and response.> I hope this helps! Craig

Pump Question This is a great site. <<Thanks... is due to many people's work, not just my own.>> I visit your site every day absorbing as much of the material as my puny brain will allow. <<No worries - can you feel your brain getting bigger? ;-) >> All of you deserve the highest praise for your time well spent helping others. <<Thanks again, I will blush now.>> My reef tank is a 75 gallon All-Glass aquarium with one built in overflow that I understand is rated at 750 gph. <<Am quite familiar... I have one in my living room.>> I would like to replace my noisy Rio 2500 return pump rated for a little over 500 gph at 4' with something a little more quiet, it has a constant hum, clean or dirty. I have minimized the angles in the return piping for maximum flow from the Rio so I think I am fairly close to this number. I was thinking of replacing the Rio with a Supreme Mag-Drive 9.5 rated at 800 gph at 4', but I am not sure the overflow can handle the extra gph from the 9.5. The next step down is a Mag 7 rated at 480 gph which is a drop in gph from the Rio. <<I have a Mag-7 running on mine... this is likely fine, but you could just as easily put a gate valve on the Mag-9 and throttle it back just a bit.>> I do not have a bulk head fitting in my sump so I am limited to a internal sump pump at this time. Which of the two would you choose, the Mag 9.5 or 7? <<Your call and your wallet.>> Do you know of a better quality and quieter pump for my application? <<I use the Iwaki pumps on my 180, but think the Supreme Mag pumps are an excellent value. Used submerged they can add a little extra heat to the system, but not really a big deal. The Iwaki pumps are for external use only.>> I know you like Eheim pumps but I cannot find their rated capacity at 4' to compare. Just for you information, heat is not a problem and I also have two Hagen 802 (400 gph) pumps, one mounted in each back corner aimed at the opposite front corner for additional flow. Thanks again for all your help. <<My pleasure. Cheers, J -- >>

Pump Selection Good Morning Crew, A quick question regarding my pumps. My LFS sold me 2 (900gph) pumps for my new 90 gal tank. After they had come, set everything up and left, I began to check out all my new equipment. (Obviously a little too late). The pumps in the sump were a 500gph and a 700gph. I know this is still okay for my size of tank, my question is should I return the pumps and get the two 900gph ones or just get the difference back in store credit? <I would get what you paid for and not store credit as I would be extremely reluctant to ever deal with these people again.> Can you have too strong a pump for a tank? <If this is a reef tank, the two 900 gph pumps would be my strong preference. Even if this is a fish-only tank, vigorous circulation is nice and needed for some fish.> Thanks so much for all your help. <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Rio Pumps and TurboFlotor Skimmers Thanks for the GREAT site! I think I have read every page at least once and many pages multiple times. Based primarily on your advice, I purchased the TurboFlotor T1000 with Rio 2100 pump for my nascent 75 gallon reef. I did keep an eye on the Rio pump as recommended by many sources. Everything worked great until a power outage and the RIO did not restart and just sat in the sump making heat. I removed the needle-wheel impeller and tested the pump and sure enough it wouldn't restart after disconnecting the power to it. I went to Home Depot and purchased two nylon washers that fit the impeller shaft end that goes in the motor housing, reinstalled the needle-wheel impeller, and reassembled everything. After many tests and successful restarts, I left it alone for a while. This morning was our first power outage in months and sure enough, the Rio pump restarted as soon as the power came back on. The two $.50 nylon washers seems to fix the problem (at least this time). Monty <Thanks for the information! -Steven Pro>

Plumbing Parts Hello Guys, Bryan again with a few quick questions about aquarium plumbing parts.  I have been searching all over trying to find one place that carries all types of plumbing parts.  One place has some, then another has something different that I need.  IYE what is or are the best online places to buy plumbing parts?  I read that you want to use check valves and not ball or gate...right?  Exactly where are the best places to add check valves? (after return pump) (my understanding is they prevent backflow and siphoning) Last question.  I am looking for 1/2" moveable outlets to make a return manifold like Anthony describes in his book.  What would this type of stuff be called and where should I be looking? Sorry for the trouble...and as always...Thanks for wonderful help. <<Hi Bryan, Thank you for writing!  This is Craig Watson, I'll be answering for Bob while he's away at MACNA 14 this weekend. This all depends on your set-up. Gate and ball valves are usually used behind pumps to throttle them back to the required flow if they are too big or oversized. Check valves are not the best way to prevent flooding or siphoning.  The best idea is to plan your sump so it can accommodate any and all water that flows into it after the return is turned off.   A small hole drilled into the return at the intended waterline of the tank will allow air in to break the siphon and the water level will stop at the top of the hole or your overflow/skimmer box. This is far safer and doesn't require check-valves, because the water can backflow into the sump and not overflow it.  And it will save you not only a flood, but $30-40.  It isn't a good idea to relay on valves to prevent flooding. If this isn't clear or I didn't explain this to your satisfaction please let me know. I found the best place for plumbing parts to be Marine Depot. I'm sure there are others but MD stocks things like black pvc for black backgrounds and stuff like that. The 1/2" fittings you are talking about are sold by Kent and MD has them on their plumbing page.  No trouble at all, have fun! Craig>>

Pump Selection This is a great site.  I visit your site every day absorbing as much of the material as my puny brain will allow.  All of you deserve the highest praise for your time well spent helping others. My reef tank is a 75 gallon All-Glass aquarium with one built in overflow that I understand is rated at 750 gph.  I would like to replace my noisy Rio 2500 return pump rated for a little over 500 gph at 4' with something a little more quiet, it has a constant hum, clean or dirty.  I have minimized the angles in the return piping for maximum flow from the Rio so I think I am fairly close to this number.  I was thinking of replacing the Rio with a Supreme Mag-Drive 9.5 rated at 800 gph at 4',  but I am not sure the overflow can handle the extra gph from the 9.5.  The next step down is a Mag 7 rated at 480 gph which is a drop in gph from the Rio.  I do not have a bulk head fitting in my sump so I am limited to a internal sump pump at this time.  Which of the two would you choose, the Mag 9.5 or 7?  Do you know of a better quality and quieter pump for my application?  I know you like Eheim pumps but I cannot find their rated capacity at 4' to compare.  Just for you information, heat is not a problem and I also have two Hagen 802 (400 gph) pumps, one mounted in each back corner aimed at the opposite front corner for additional flow.  Thanks again for all your help. <<Hi Todd, Thank You for the kudos, I know the WWM crew thanks you. Craig here for the guys while they are in Fort Worth at the MACNA conference.  I would use the mag drive 9.5 and a plastic gate valve to adjust the output to the capacity of the overflow.  This will get you the maximum turnover for your overflow.  If you use flexible hose for the pump output it will help with the hum. Zo tells me of a *rumor* of a heavier duty Eheim, you might want to go to their web page to check it out, but the Mag should work fine for you. Have FUN! Craig>>

Extra filter pump for Fluval 404 Hi Bob, My present filtering is done by a Fluval 404. My problem is I moved the Fluval behind a wall a way from the tank. Now my water flow is very low, due to the distance tank.  <Actually... practically speaking, this distant placement should make little difference (the pressure in the intake line should offset the "head" resistance in the discharge side... unless it's a very long way (tens of feet let's say) or you've reduced the tubing diameter... Do look for "kinks" in the line... restrictions through valving, filter media/packing, fittings (I would remove any "spray bars" for instance.> My question is I just purchased a Mag 7 to help the Fluval with pumping. Should I place the Mag before the Fluval or after. I also have a UV sterilizer after the Fluval. The Mag 7 is rated @ 700gph and the Fluval is much less. I don't want to damage the Mag or Fluval with this increase in pump volume. Any help would be great!! <I am very leery here of telling you to try and do something I myself would not do... If a centrifugal pump were added, it would be placed ahead of the restrictive filter (such pumps "push" by design, engineering, not "pull"... However there may be a real danger in "popping" the filter canister, O-ring... I would NOT add a pump here... Let's chat over some other possibilities... like adding a sump/refugium to your system and using the new pump there... or moving the canister filter closer to the system... or both. Bob Fenner> Thank you Jamie

Re: Extra filter pump for Fluval 404 Thanks Bob for the suggestions, I would say I have about 12 - 15 feet of hosing round trip drop & rise for hoses would be about 3 ? to 4 feet). <Good input, once again the height is of little consequence... as the water is "pushed" as much as it is "pulled" with the lines originating and ending at the same approximate level (relative to the mass of this planet.> The intake side, is the Fluval intake pipe that comes from manufact. The hose travels down the back side of the tank to a bulkhead in the wall. I live in a Bi-level house with a crawl space under the steps. Fluval & UV are placed here for easy access.  <Oh! The induced drag through the sterilizer may be significant... could be a/the deciding factor... possibly might be worth experimenting here... cutting the hose between the canister and U.V. and inserting the Mag 7 there...> The return side is configured in a similar manner with another bulk head in the wall returning to the tank the cleaned water. The new hoses are ? , <Is this 3/4"? I hope so. Can't make out the tiny print> I think the Fluval hoses are only ?, which I don't use anymore. I thought maybe the Mag 7 after the UV to help draw the water back up to the tank. <Not made to "draw" but to push... hard on the pump... may cavitate badly if placed to "suck"... Bob Fenner>

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