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FAQs about Gear Selection for Circulation 6

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

A shy species of bass.... Cephalopholis formosa. Pic by Lucius Davis

Return Pump with copper parts       7/3/19
Hi team
When in doubt, I always rush to you'll
Was just ordering a return pump for my 16 "x16" Nano reef tank.
Was going through the specifications and on one occasion landed on the copper parts used to make the pump more reliable/durable.
Though the parts are sealed/water proof, there can be leakages and go undetected till the pump breaks down.
The copper can then be hazardous.
<Yes and yes>
Please suggest whether there are any alternatives to these pumps and how to select one without copper
Many manufacturers do not specify the parts and in most cases claim tem to be safe for saltwater use
<Really? I would go w/ one with all plastic or ceramic impeller. There are many on the market. are you familiar with Eheim and the Mag pump lines? Bob
Warm Regards,

Saltwater question. Wet Dry SW Filtr., rdg     12/31/16
I have a 72 gal bow front saltwater tank with a wet n dry system, I want to add another wet and dry system to the aquarium, can I do that?
<You can, could; yes... but there are "better" filtration moda nowayears....
And if so what size pump would I need for the both of them to work well together to return the water to the aquarium. Please email me back regarding this matter
Thanks rashoun
<Need to know more re the plumbing here, the current pump/ing... And let's have you read, starting HERE:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
re: saltwater question... not a reader    12/31/16

I have a 300gph return pump on one I had a 9000ca
<? What is this?>
return pump before but it died on me and when I got a new one the water went down too fast in the sump please help
<Help yourself... where you've been directed. BobF>

LA Fishguys Episode 152         2/15/16
Hi Bob,
Episode 152 of LA Fishguys, DC Pumps is now on-line.
Your promotion is in Part One
Part One https://youtu.be/Q4WODnw7Yc8
Part Two https://youtu.be/aUewpLv7zOU
Part Three https://youtu.be/2xfhbT_rfzM
<Real good mate. BobF>
Jim Stime, Jr
Aquarium Design - Installation and Maintenance
Midwater Systems - JELLIQUARIUM Jellyfish Display Systems
MyFishTank.com - Acrylic Aquariums, Stands and Canopies
LA Fishguys - Aquarium Reality Television

Sump return pump and plumbing questions      2/15/15
HELP, I can't make up my mind. I have information overload. I'm trying to decide what would be the best return pump for my under cabinet sump system.
And how best to plumb it. I have a 110 gallon Oceanic Reef Ready Tank with a 30 gallon Oceanic Reef Ready sump. (probably not quite big enough, but it was a good deal) & I have a MTC HSA-250 Protein Skimmer.
<Which will run on its own pump>
The Display Tank has two compartments, one for the overflow (that I'm planning on installing a Dursos Stand Pipe)
<Use two>
& the other for the return. Both are pre-drilled with two holes. One 2" (outer most) One 1 1/2" - 1 3/4" (inner most, can't reach great to measure but close to that).
<Use them both for the overflow... run the return/s over the top>
Any who...my questions are: I'm wanting to get at least 1100 GPH return, however there will be at least a 3' lift from the under cabinet sump (my holes are in the bottom of the display tank) then add the 18"+ stand pipe(s) inside the tank. Should I have two drain pipes, both Dursos' & two returns?
<At least the two drain pipes... most of the water movement I would do in-tank... not in/out of a/the sump>
Will one pump be sufficient?
<For the sump recirculation, yes. Again... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm
scroll down... for sumps, refugiums... plumbing, pump selection... Further down, Circulation...>
If I have two returns and drains, what would be the best way to plumb that?
<All posted>
Would two pumps be required? (Again, how would I plumb that?) Can my Skimmer handle that many GPH?
<Have to research the requirements yourself.. of pressure AND flow rate.... from the manufacturer and tweak per your application>
My research sounds like 900 GPH is the maximum for my Skimmer, but that's not confirmed by the manufacturer.
<Do so>
Just a deduction from discussions regarding the best pump for the Skimmer from your and other websites.
Now, here comes the dumb girl questions. Explain to me the "flow" of the plumbing. (I'll attach pictures of the sump)..
<Nothing attached>
H2O comes out of the tank into the 1st sump chamber, fills that until it reaches the narrow chamber that the previous owner had some foam like media in. Fills that until it overflows into the largest, final chamber where I plan to put the Skimmer. Then attach the pump(s)
<One; dedicated>
to the Skimmer, pump(s)
to the return pipe(s) up to the display tank and then back again.
<Mmm; yes; you ask good questions... but I strongly suggest you have some petfish friends come over and look at your design in place. Again, I'd run most of the circulation WITHIN the tank itself... much quieter, safer, cheaper...>
I've been doing a ton of research on what would be the best pump and I've narrowed it down to four.
1) The Reef Octopus Water Blaster 5k, 7k or 10k.
Is bigger really better?
<Mmm; not really. Best to have "just about right" and use it full-out... i.e. not over-sized and throttled back>
These are not cheap and come highly recommended by the website (LFS owner)
they're sold on.
2) Jecod/Jebao DCT Marine Controllable Water Pump DTC-12000 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=A7SIQ2Y2T11UM 
this pump is way cheaper, but way bigger GPH. Do you really get what you pay for?
<Not always, and sometimes...>

3)Aqueon Quietflow Submersible Aquarium Utility Pump
Again less expensive than some of the others, decent GPH, but quality??
<Middle of the road; like most all their copy-cat, relabeled mostly imported products>
4) Danner Supreme HY-Drive Water Pump 3200 GPH.
http://t.petco.com/product/114742/Da...ed-_-Product_3  Now we're getting pricey again, but super GPH.
<Good units... Not to throw you a loop, but do look into the Eheim line as well>
See what I mean! I can't decide. Don't know what the better quality would be. Is my sump tank big enough to handle the size of pump I'm considering?
<Not really an issue... the transit volume (water in play) is about the same w/ any pump used... you'll need to experiment and mark the sump water level at max. with the recirc. pump off... to avoid flooding in the event of power, pump failure>
And the skimmer as well?
<... the manufacturer... will have this data>
ARGHHHHH! Not to mention the plumbing itself. I've read dozens of articles and I just get more confused.
<Do NOTHING until you feel comfortable. DO PLEASE READ what we have here...
it is largely complete and internally compatible. AND THEN ASK specific questions. You have a good mind obviously... as you're aware of the basic questions and differences... >
Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
<The reading>
Thanks in advance.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Oops forgot pictures

Here they are...
<14 Megs...>

Pondmaster Mag Drive Pump; saltwater mod.     2/4/15
Hi WWM Crew,
Thank you for your wonderful work and site. Every time I ask a question I say that, but every time I mean it sincerely.
<Ahh, you're welcome>
Here is the information for my question tonight. I am still in the early stages of setting up my next marine tank. I am trying to do this on a budget, so I am trying to find good deals and sometimes gently used equipment. A couple of months ago I got an almost new Aqua C EV-180 skimmer on e-bay. That meant I needed to get a pump. I downloaded and printed the instructions from the Aqua C website, and they recommend a Danner Mag Drive 7 (or any pump that rates between 700 and 800 gph), so I have been on the lookout for a good deal on a pump. This week I found someone who said he had a used, but working Mag Drive 7 he would sell me fairly cheaply. He let me take it with me for a few days to test it, and it seems to work well. Upon examining it though, it didn’t look like the pictures, and after some internet searching I discovered it was a Pondmaster Mag Drive 7 pump. It has been used for a marine aquarium before, but I am not sure it is safe. It has four screws that hold the face on that would be exposed to the water. Wouldn’t these rust and leach metals into the water?
<Mmm; yes... I knew Eugene Danner... then his son Mike (Danner Manuf.)... and wrote reviews for these pumps many years ago when they first came to market. They are different (pond vs. aquarium); especially the screws holding the volute onto the pump body... You could source some higher stainless... to replace them>
I did some searching on WWM and didn’t find much, but I did find one FAQ from 10 years ago where Bob mentioned these screws as a potential problem for saltwater use. The tank will be a FOWLR for sure, and perhaps will include some soft corals eventually.
My questions are 1) Is this a reason not to use this pump?
<IMO it is>
2) Could something be done to make it useable (covering the screws with aquarium safe sealant, for example)?
<Switching them out as stated>
Thanks again for all your help,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Pondmaster Mag Drive Pump      2/15/15

Hi Bob,
Thank you for your answer. I picked up some good stainless screws for the pump, but now I have another question about it. In the last email I told you that the pump was a Pondmaster Mag Drive 700. I wasn't 100% certain of that since the label on the side was missing. The guy told me it was a Mag 7, but I wanted to be sure. So I did a couple of tests, and now I'm
confused. In the first test I used a two foot section of 3/4" (ID) PVC with an elbow and a 6 inch section of Loc-line at the top. With this set up I filled a 5 gallon bucket in about 40 seconds.
By my calculations this is around 450 GPH. I'm a little new to figuring out head pressure, but after reading a lot of plumbing FAQ's on WWM I think I had around 3 feet of head on this set up. For the second test I used a five foot section of 3/4" (ID)
PVC with an elbow at the top (no loc-line this time). With this set up I filled up a 5 gallon bucket in about 51 seconds. By my calculations this is around 350 GPH. I think this set up had about 6 feet of head pressure. I looked up the head/GPH chart for the Pondmaster series on the internet. At 3 feet of head it a Pondmaster 700 should get 500 GPH, but I only got 450 GPH.
<Aye ya; you're a sharp one... this is close>
At 6 feet of head pressure, it should have get 400, but I got only 350 GPH. Yet, it cannot be a Pondmaster 500. They are the same physical size (according to the specs I looked up), but at 3 feet of head a 500 gets about 375, and at 6 feet of head it gets about 175 GPH. It's got to be a 700.
So, here are my questions . . .
1. Am I figuring the head pressure right?
<Apparently so>
2. Is it just not running at optimum level? Could this be because of age?
(It's used, but I'm not sure for how long)
I got this pump to use with my Aqua C EV-180. If it's not putting out a full 700 GPH though, I don't want to use it for that. I might instead use it for my return pump. Let me give you a few details on my planned set up in that regard. I have a 75 gallon tank (factory drilled with 1" drain & 3/4" return & overflow). I'm not going to drill additional holes. After a lot of research of WWM plumbing FAQ's, I had decided to use both of these holes for drains and limit my flow to between 300 and 350 GPH (and make up for the rest of what I need through power heads). I haven't figured out all the plumbing details yet, because I'm still in the planning stages and haven't gotten my stand finished yet, but I know I'll have about 5 to 5 1/2
feet of vertical distance from the sump to the top of the tank for the (over the side) return. I'll have a little bit more head than that because I'll have to move to a little the side to get out from under the tank to go over the side for the return. I'm not sure how much additional head that will be. If I use this pump, I know that at 6 feet of head it does around 350 GPH. If I use much more than 6 feet of head through my eventual plumbing set up, then it will (likely) get down to or below 300 GPH. Would that be enough flow through a sump/refugium combo?
<Yes; assuredly>
Would I be better off with a more powerful pump (say a new Mag 7) and use a valve to throttle it down if need be?
<I'd stick with/use what you have>
I'm not trying to put the cart before the horse. I'm trying to figure out if I want the pump or not. The guy gave it to me to test, but I haven't paid for it yet. I can give it back to him. I'd like to use it, because it means considerable savings over new one, but if I can't use it for the skimmer or the return, then I might as well give it back to him.
Sorry about the length of this email. Thanks so much for all you do for us in this hobby.
<You're fine w/ this pump. Bob Fenner>

Pump options... Pressurized filters/SW, and the use of under-rock supports     12/15/14
Dear Crew,
I have been reading up on an idea but am not getting the clear-cut answer I need before I move forward. You have always been so helpful; I thought I’d throw it your way J I have a 265 gallon tank I am setting back up after a move. The pump I had before was about 650gal/hour and serviced two refugiums as well. It worked, but obviously there is lots of room for improvement here. I have an above ground pool pump/filter that was used on my salt water pool.
It hasn’t been used in over a year. Its specifications are 1,200 gph (110-120V).
<Mmm; well; just the flow rate doesn't give the whole picture... need (head) pressure at operating and maximum (back flush)... different pump (motor, impeller...) configurations give a mix of both of these>
What do you think about using this?
<The simple statement: "Can work", but with provisos, warnings... that such pressurized filters, even when filled with appropriate media (a rarity) take a bunch of electrical energy/cost to run... and they have downsides; real (like the cost of water to back flush/rinse) and potential (channeling, "going anaerobic"). Another way to put my response: "I am a much larger fan/promoter of non-pressurized" means; like your refugiums, DSBs, the use of filter "socks"....">
I thought I could hook up some restrictions to control the flow and maybe connect my home-made protein skimmer.
Also, I was thinking about placing some egg crate under my rock structures to distribute the weight and protect the glass.
<This is a very good idea IMO/E>
My issue here is that my inhabitants tend to move the sand causing it to show.
<No big deal... can just re-cover when doing regular (weekly) gravel vacuuming/water changes... Make it a bit of a game>
If I placed a sheet of acrylic on top of the eggcrate, sprayed the whole thing black (I have black sand), do you see any problems from this?
<Only a bit (not really significant) of anaerobiosis>
Thank you so much for all your advice.
Sincerely, Alyssa
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Difficulty planning for new build's pump/plumbing sizes     4/25/13
Hi WWM crew...My name is Kris. 
<Hiya Kris>
I've never posted a question here before but have found this site quite valuable.  After years of running all-in-one reef tanks (currently a 39 gallon) I am taking the plunge to a tank with a sump, the sump being plumbed down in the basement of my home.  I am having the tank custom built to fit a certain area of my house, but I can't order it until I know how big I want the holes drilled, and I can't know that until I know what size my plumbing will be, and I can't really plan that until I choose my pump.  Which is where I am stuck.  Here is my plan:
<I'm excited haha let's do this!>

60 gallon mixed reef with drilled internal overflow (corner), 30 x 22 x 23.5 tall.  Planning on a Herbie style drain. 
<I too have a 60 with a Herbie. LOVE.>
Single return which comes out through the overflow box and splits into 2.
<Same. I made a spray bar with loc line circle flow. Part of it comes in front of the overflow box and the other goes along the back wall. Very discrete and effective. But a bit pricey>
Sump is a 40 breeder.  Simple sump plan, from left to right: 
Refugium-bubble trap-return-bubble trap-skimmer-mechanical filtration. 
Refugium will have its own supply T-ed off the main drain with a valve to control flow.  So water will flow into the sump in the refugium section (slower flow) and into the mechanical filtration section, all moving toward the center return section.
<Ok this will be tricky with the Herbie. I use the center return concept like yours quite often on 4-6ft tanks seeing as there are 2 drains. But i would advise against this with your single drain 60. Have your 2 drain lines go right into your mech/skimmer chamber, then fuge, then return. If you really wanted to split your drain line into 2 different sections you will obviously need two gate valves. I would advise using a "True Wye" fitting for this application rather than a T. They are about 4 times the cost and hard to find but worth every penny.>
I initially planned for a external pump, and may still go that route, but thought with the return section on the sump being in the center it might be easier to go submersible if I could find a pump that will push the kind of head I need.  I have measured about 10 ft of vertical, 7 foot horizontal, and with added elbows valves and such, online calculators were varying between 14 and 16 ft head loss.
<This will vary greatly on the size of your plumbing. 1" will do though>
 I am open to either internal or external pumps at this point, but I need to pick one.  I was trying to look at the flow curves on pumps online to see what would still have good flow at that head pressure.  I was looking at the Iwaki 40RT and 55 RT, Blueline 70HD, PanWorld W70HD, and the Danner Mag drive 24 (submersible).  Are any of these a proper size for my tank and sump?  I am open to any suggestions.
< Blueline 70HD=PanWorld 200PS. Both are made by PanWorld and way too big.
Based upon the 14-16 ft of head, turning 85 gallons of water over 5 times an hour, the BlueLine 40hd would do. If you want a bit more turnover or to have the option of powering a reactor then the BlueLine hd55. That's for external which will need 2x 1" true union ball valves-there is about $50 on the cheap end. I would look into a DC internal return. Look into the Waveline/SpeedWave 10000 or Reef Octopus Diablo DC 10500. Pricey but 50+ less in plumbing and much less electricity. Oh and you can control the flow with a push of a button. I've got the Diablo 5500 with the Herbie-pretty awesome. You could have a very narrow section for the pump if you run an auto top off. Which i would absolutely do if you have the room for it. >
The other thing I am having problems with is the size of drains and return.
 I am planning on using regular old PVC piping. Should the return be the same size as the outlet of the pump?  How do I size the drains properly? 
Drains need to be larger than returns right?  How much larger?  Can your plumbing be TOO big for your tank?
<Plumbing can certainly be too big. Question for you-how many gph are you trying to be putting through this system? You can put a LOT of water through a 1" siphon. I don't think you would want to turn your system over more than a 1" siphon could handle. Go with 1" bulkheads for drain and 1" for return. Are you planning on putting all 3 bulkheads in the overflow box? Will be tight. For what its worth, I use my 3/4" bottom bulkhead for siphon, 1" bottom bulkhead for safety drain, and i have a 1" bulkhead drilled in the back of the tank/overflow chamber. 90 into that back bulkhead and 90 out of it to my loc line. Pretty tight quarters but clean>
One of the problems I'm having is in asking for advice on various forums, is when I ask for pump advice people say the pumps I am looking at are way too big.  But most of the pumps with higher head ratings ARE bigger pumps, and the high head then takes the GPH down to a more reasonable flow.  I can always tee off the return line as well to reduce flow in he tank.
<Look at a flow chart for these pumps. You will then agree with the advise you have already been offered>
Please help me with a pump size and plumbing size.  I am so lost.  I have been planning this tank for a long time but just decided to put the sump in the basement a couple of months ago, and have been confused ever since.
<It is indeed a complicated system with a lot of variables. -NateG>
Re: difficulty planning for new build's pump/plumbing sizes     4/26/13

Thank you so much Nate!  That was fast!
<The internet is quick haha>
I had planned this center return configuration to try and keep a truly separate refugium, where the fuge water is not getting skimmed or anything.
 Is this concept kind of over-rated? I also wanted to keep the flow slower through the fuge.  I see your point in both drains going to the same place though.  I'm going to rethink my sump plans...
<Try thinking about how many gph you want going to your tank. Then decide if you want less than that to go through your fuge. Keep in mind that with pretty standard baffles, the speed will be faster at the surface than at the substrate. I really don't see the benefit to that concept unless you have 2 overflow boxes going into a fuge i.e. high gph.>
I am planning on using my PhosBan reactor and pellet reactor (see how I've outgrown the AIO?), but left them out of this discussion because I was planning on them running off a separate small pump like I have them now, for ease of controlling flow, and having them return right back into the sump.  Does this sound ok?  It's pretty much how they are configured now.
<Bio pellet reactor? Sounds fine, i would have them in sump if you can make the space. What are you running for a skimmer?>
So I should be ok with a submersible pump of some sort, 1" plumbing on return and 1" on both drains?  Or am i better off with 3/4 on the main drain?  And if I am, why?
<Submersible should be fine but you should consider the total wattage of your pumps. Then find out how much they are costing to run in a month.
Danner Mag drives work but they are just so damn inefficient on top of being loud. A Mag 18 would work at 145 watts. @ $0.10/kwh that's $126.67 a year for a pump that costs about $180. The Diablo DC 10500 with spa flex to the tank to get rid of some head pressure will do the job and @85 watts.
Cost upfront is about $270 but costs $74.26 a year. Money will start going back into your pocket long a little after a year. Long before its warranty is up.>
<Nah, go with 1" on all lines. More gentle flow around turns for that siphon line.>
Thank you thank you thank you!  I am feeling much better about all this.
<Oh good. Happy to help. Any plans for an auto top off? They are simple and wonderful! -NateG>
Re: difficulty planning for new build's pump/plumbing sizes     4/26/13

I do have an auto top off, a Tunze Osmolator.  I have a thing for topless rimless tanks so that has always been a necessity.  I plan to have that holding tank in the stand under the sump, topping off into the sump.
<Excellent choice. Happy tank>
Skimmer, well, I got a deal on a ASM g4 off a local reefer site.  Thing is HUGE, I had no idea until I met the guy to buy it how big it was.  Figured I would bring it home anyway because I should be able to sell it for a profit on e-bay.  I assume this is too big...and it takes up so much sump space.  Not sure what to buy though...any advice is appreciated.
<Yeah that's a monster for your set up. Imagine that you have 3 different skimmers, all 3 have different body and drain styles but all 3 have the same pump. They will likely perform very similarly to one another. Skimmers have come a very long way and the pump is its heart in soul. You can absolutely not go wrong with a skimmer that has a Sicce pump on it. I would start there>
So I have always ran reactors outside the sump.  I have this 40 breeder sump on a big stand, so I have space outside the sump.  I like the idea of having then in there though in case of leakage. :). Do you just...set them in there?? And yes bio pellet reactor.
<If you have the room i would absolutely put them in them in sump. Better to have them sitting on sump flood vs. hang on the inside>
I was looking at the dc pumps and like that idea a lot.  Way more energy efficient...like that they are adjustable flow. So flex line will help with head loss?  I assume because no sharp angles?
<Yeah this last wave of more affordable dc pumps has been pretty legit.
Love mine. Flex pvc is very handle stuff. Pricey but great. Any chance you will be having all 3 bulkheads drilled into the bottom? -NateG>

Return Pump vs. Skimmer Size – 12/11/12
I have had my small reef tank set up for about a year now and I was considering upgrading my return pump and skimmer.  My tank is a 25 gallon with a 20 gallon sump and I currently have a Mag 5 running a dual return line that seems to provide about 180 gph after head loss etc.
<<More than sufficient for this size sump/system>>

I have an mp10 in the display to provide for circulation (provides between 200-1500 gph max, depending on the setting that it is running).
I also have been running a Tunze 9002 nano skimmer.  A few months ago my return pump started making a lot more noise and I have tried everything to quite it down. I have cleaned it many times and tried to place it carefully to avoid vibrations but nothing seems to work.
<<It likely needs a new volute…these pumps tend to “wear” where the impeller inserts in to the volute…and/or it may need a new impeller.  Both can generally be found on the Net as replacement parts>>
I have decided that I would just buy a new return pump and keep this one as an emergency.
<<This is another option>>
I am considering a Water Blaster pump as they seem to be built very well and run extremely quiet and with less power consumption.
<<Have heard good things about these pumps, but my first choice would be one of the small Eheim Hobby pumps…superb quality/reliability>>
I have been looking at two models but not sure which one to use.  The 2000hy Water Blaster would probably provide about 120-180 max gph based on the flow chart where as the 3000hy would probably provide about 240-300 gph.
<<If your estimates are accurate based on your plumbing configuration, I would go with the smaller pump.  100-200 GPH through your small sump is fine, and will greatly reduce any issues re noise, excessive bubbles, etc.>>
I based the estimates by comparing the actual gph my Mag 5 was putting out to its flow chart and then using that head height number for the Water Blaster flow chart. This was to accommodate for unions and elbows in my plumbing in an attempt to get an accurate estimate.
I think that the 2000hy should be fine but it may be a little slower than what I have running right now, but the 3000hy seems like it may be a little fast and would turn over my display volume 10x per hour. What would you recommend should I have a faster sump turn over or should I try the slower pump and possibly have a lower turnover around 4.8 times per hour.
<<As stated, I feel the smaller pump to be sufficient here.  But if you want to get/use the larger pump to see how the higher flow rate works with your system, you can…just be sure to plumb a gate-valve on the output side of the pump to temper the flow if needed>>
I also have a 'fuge in the middle chamber of my sump so it would be running at whatever gph is pulled though my tank. One other thing to consider is that I will be purchasing a new skimmer as the Tunze 9002 does not seem to be performing that well for me and the new one I am considering seems to be a better design. I am looking at The Bubble Magnus Nac 3.5 cone skimmer which has a pump rated for 340 gph. I have read that it is good to match your skimmer pump to your return and that the return should be if anything, slower. Is this correct?
<<Can’t recall that I have ever heard this…and certainly have never paid such any mind>>
Both pumps would be under this number but I suspect the ATMAN 1100 pump in the skimmer due to the needle impeller will probably only push about half or 180 gph and that would make it slower than the 3000hy. It seems to me that I should go for the 2000hy water blaster pump as it is closer to what I am running now but my only fear is that it will not be able to push the estimated gph into my display and it is a very expensive pump.
<<Then use the ‘3000’ and add the gate-valve as mentioned>>
 Also maybe I should have had a faster sump turnover rate all along not sure. Let me know what your thoughts are.
<<You have them>>
Thanks so much for taking the time to read over this.
<<Happy to share…  EricR>> 

3" Pump Flow Rate 9/27/11
What is the maximum flow rate a 3" sump pump can pump?
<That is all going to depend on the horsepower and rpm of the motor.
Pumps this large are also going to require a 230 volt supply. I know of no three inch sump pumps that will operate at 115 volts. James (Salty Dog)>

Pump Equipment Information (just the beginning) -- 08/13/11
<<Greetings Brandon>>
I have several questions.
I have a 90 gallon reef ready tank with a 125 gallon rated sump.
At the time I am running a Sicce 4.0. I am looking to run a quieter pump, possibly Iwaki or Velocity and I am torn about the two.
<<Likely the Iwaki'¦but if you want truly quite (and reliable), I suggest you look in to the Eheim line of submersible pumps>>
At the time I am running freshwater but will be switching over.
<<I see'¦ Do start reading here and among the associated links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marineSetUp.htm >>
I am curious as to what type of skimmer to use.
<<I like the 'needle-wheel' skimmers, with my fave being those from Reef Dynamics (formerly Euro-Reef), but there are other good manufacturers out there (H&S, Bubble King, Reef Octopus, etc.). Start searching/researching the NET re>>
I also need to know should I run the pump in or out of the sump and should I also use separate pumps for the sump and skimmer.
<<I prefer submerged pumps where noise might be an issue, and for simplicity'¦and yes, the skimmer should/will have its own dedicated pump(s)>>
Any advice would be appreciated.
Thank you,
Brandon Baer
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>
Re: Pump Equipment Information (just the beginning) -- 08/15/11

<<Hey Brandon>>
Thank you very much for your response!
<<Quite welcome my friend>>
I will check out the link, and do some research on the products you mentioned.
Brandon Baer
<<Super! EricR>>

Water Pumps...   4/15/11
I have a 3.0 Sicce water pump in my 120 gal saltwater tank. It sits in the refugium. The return splits to 2 overflows that have 2 return jets on each.
It does not seem to be putting out as much pressure as it should.
Do you think the pump is to small for this type set up?
<Not for a sump return. If you are counting on this for total flow, yes.
See: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/circmarart.htm>
It's specs say 714 gph at 9.9 ft. I thought it would be plenty, but maybe I should have gone a bit bigger.
<Split into 4 outputs you will not have much perceivable pressure. And the rating will be a best case scenario.>
I just heard it was a very good pump. Do you recommend any other pumps??
<These are very good pumps, so are Eheims. Keep in mind though with more flow comes less overflow redundancy and the possibility your overflows can't handle it at all. See:
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Danner Mag Drive 7 (Supreme)/Pump Flow Rates 3/22/2011
<Hello Dan>
I have a question about the model 7 Mag Drive pump from Danner.
According to the charts online, it can deliver 700gph @ 0' head, and about 480 at 4' head (which is what I need), however it only has a 1/2" inlet/outlet, seems too small to me?
<The Danner charts should be correct.>
So I tested the flow from the one I just bought used, but still basically brand new. The pump was put in a bucket with a 1/2" fpt to barb adapter, and 20' of 1/2" hose attached going to another bucket. I timed how long it took to pump 1 gallon, did the math, and apparently it was only pumping about 170gph.
<Actually, the pump's head specs are based on pumping water straight up, not on the horizontal. In that regard, the Mag 7 would shut off with 13 feet of vertical head.>
Now I've read 20' of run equates to 2' of head...that flow does not sound right.
<It isn't.>
So, I did another test, this time with nothing on the outlet with it sticking out over the top of the bucket. Then the inlet just into the bucket. Timed how long it took to pump 1gallon and came up with 480gph, but that is at 0' head. Was the impeller changed to the wrong one, was the model sticker changed? The math is 60/(seconds to pump 1 gal) X 60.
<?? My math says 12.5 gallons per minute or .2 gallons per second which tells me the pump should deliver one gallon in 5 seconds.>
Thanks for your help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Danner Mag drive 7 (supreme)
For what it is worth this is par for most pumps. The charts seem to be the best of the best with all the planets aligned just right. I have tested many pumps and few have met up to flow charts with any sort of plumbing on them. Your numbers on the Mag 7 are right inline with what I had got from a couple of them about 3-4 years ago.
Scott V.

Return pump question   1/20/11
Hello, I have an Iwaki wmd 40 rxt as my return pump for my 240g reef with 70g sump/refug.. It is too loud for me and doesn't provide quite the flow that I need. I would like to purchase a Reeflo snapper gold to replace it.
<Definitely a quieter choice!>
Would the snapper gold give me just that little bit of extra flow I need or would the advertised 2600 gph be greatly reduced? I have 3 vertical feet of head and about 8 horizontal feet of head.
<It will be reduced a good bit with this. IF your overflows can handle it I would go with a Dart here over the Snapper Gold if you want extra flow. A ball valve on the output will allow you to throttle it back if it is a bit too much.>
My 1.5 in. return lines eventually decrease to two 1" lines on the top of the tank before exiting into LocLine into the water surface. Thanks.
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Pump Selection for 180 Gallon Reef 12/1/2010
Hi Bob and Crew,
<Hi Casey!>
I've torn down my 180 gallon single overflow acrylic tank and am setting up a 180 gallon dual overflow glass tank (1" drains, 3/4" returns) with a 50 gallon sump/refugium. The new tank is going in the same location as the old. As of now, the fish (a Regal Tang, Foxface, Pink Spotted Goby, Mandarin, and a pair of Ocellaris Clowns) and the corals are divided among a 90 gallon and a 55 gallon plus a Yellow Tang, a Coral Beauty, a Tail-Spot Blenny, and a Bicolor Blenny are finishing their quarantine in a 29 gallon and 10 gallon. My house looks like a fish store. Kind of smells like one too!
Anyway, I am questioning my choice of pumps. I would like a pump that is reliable, quiet, and appropriately sized. Energy consumption is also a factor. I have already purchased from a fellow reefer an unused Blue Line 40x External Pump that is rated at 1,270 GPH while using 130W. I got the pump for less than half retail price, but I'm second guessing my choice.
Maybe I want to go with an in sump pump instead of external, and I hadn't taken into consideration the energy efficiency when I bought the Blue Line.
Here are my questions:
1. Is the Blue Line pump appropriately sized for my tank with dual 1"
<Yes. easily. You will get nowhere close to 1200 GPH with 2 x 1" drains>
2. Is it a quality, quiet pump?
<No direct experience with one, but they are supposedly made designed by the same engineer that designed the Iwaki pumps, which have an excellent reputation. I have not heard any complaints either, which is more than I could say about other pumps.>
3. From an energy perspective, how much money would I be saving by going with a more energy efficient pump?
<That varies depending on how much power costs in your area, but the savings can be significant To figure your power consumption, take the wattage of your device, multiply by the number of hours you are going to use it (8760 for 24 hours\day 365\year) then divide by 1000 That gives you your Kilowatt hours. Multiply that number by your cost per kilowatt (on your electric bill) to get the yearly cost of operation >
4. Should I re-sell the pump to purchase one of the following pumps that I saw recommended in the WWM FAQs? Ocean Runner 3500 900 GPH at 65W or Eheim 1292 900 GPH at 80W or Tunze 1073.040 792 GPH at 42W?
<Matter of personal preference, in my opinion, you cannot go wrong with an Eheim.>
Basically, if this were your tank, would you keep the Blue Line, and if not, what would you use that would be appropriately sized, quiet, reliable, and energy efficient?
<A very subjective question, so I will give you my opinion. Unless I need to move a huge amount of water, I prefer submersible pumps. In my opinion, most external pumps are noisier, as well as requiring additional bulkheads and fittings, which, to me is just another potential for leaks\failure.>
Thanks for your help. I am successful with my aquariums mostly because of WWM and The Conscientious Marine Aquarist.
<Glad you find it useful.>

Pump Specification Chart  8/29/10
Hi Bob,
I've compiled a pump specification chart for what I felt were the most popular pumps/powerheads. I'm thinking this may be of help to our readers in selecting a pump or powerhead for a given application and also with efficiency in mind as I've included the power draw in watts for each model.
Well done James. Will (try) to post, with credit to you. BobF
Mmm, actually, not to light a fire under you... but would providing a link to the manufacturers be a good idea? B

Shorted <yet another> Rio Pump Cleanup after electrical failure.   3/26/10
Aloha WWM crew-
<Hi John.>
I woke up this morning to find one of my Rio 600 circulation pumps had shorted inside the aquarium.
My Percula Clown and Blue Damsel were already dead (the banded coral shrimp was stunned but seemed to be still alive) and the water stunk of electrical fire. Boo!
<The magic smoke was let out of the pump and into the water.>
I quickly did a 50% water change today, and plan on another 50% tomorrow.
I installed new carbon in the filters which I plan to remove and replace sooner than quick! Other than the massive water changes and carbon filters, what else, if anything, can I do to clean up my now "Exxon Valdez" infected water??
<The only other thing I would do at this point is to add Polyfilters to soak up any contaminants - particularly copper from the system..>
As it stands now, the banded coral shrimp is alive and seems to be less stunned after the water change. My invertebrates (a few colonies of various polyps and some undesirable Aiptasia) are half closed but seem to be trying to open back up. I do not have a quarantine tank and at the moment am stuck with the main display.
<Let me take the opportunity encourage the use of GFCIs
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/FWGFIUseArt.htm >
Mahalo in advance for your help!
<My pleasure.>

New 180 Gallon FOWLR Aquarium Setup, now FO... Pb, pump sel.   3/8/2010
Hello and thank you for your wonderfully informative site.
<What a planet eh?>
I have spent time researching your site but still not sure on the best approach for my new tank.
I am in the process of combining two 55 gallon FOWLR systems into a single 180 gallon tank. I will stay fish only. I will have a 65 gallon custom sump. The sump has three chambers: the intake side which would have my AquaC EV180 skimmer (raw water except for a filter sock), the return section is in the middle and would have my return pump, heaters and other equipment.
The refugium is on the far end. The refugium would be fed by a tee and gate valve off the drain line passing over it. The gate valve would provide an appropriate flow rate for the refugium.
<Sounds good thus far>
I was going to get an All Glass Mega Flow dual overflow system and add two Hydor Koralia Evolution power heads for circulation. The power heads are rated at 1,400 GPH. Is this a good setup for a FOWLR system?
<Can be>
I thought an Eheim 1262 would make a good return pump but I am confused about feeding the two return lines, does this effectively double the head?
<Mmm, about, yes>
If so, would I better served getting two pumps at roughly 300 GPH for my estimated 6' of head or a larger pump that would give me approximately 600 GPH at the combined 12'?
<Is one approach... though valving and one larger pump would serve as well>
Then I read about through the wall overflows, specifically the Dart overflow system with two 2" drains. I would feed this into my 65 gallon sump.
This should provide approximately 2,600 GPH of gravity-only flow. Is this a wise amount of water flowing through my sump?
<Only so much will flow through as is pumped back up... but having excess/redundant flow capacity is a very good idea>
I also read about Anthony Calfo's closed loop manifold system. I love the simplicity, low cost, and clean look.
<Designs with pumps in the systems, some flow outside to/from sumps/refugiums are superior>
I would rather have the pump in the sump because I think it will run quieter and I would rather not drill my sump. I think head would be about 6'. Is having the pump in the sump a good choice and what pump would you recommend? The Eheim line sounds like great pumps but I don't think they are large enough.
<I too favour the Eheim line above all others>
Given that I will stay fish only, is one of these two configurations a better choice than the other?
<Yes; your first one over the "closed loop">
Thank you again for your wonderful site and all the time the crew puts into.
You are a big part of what makes this such a great hobby!
Doug McDermid
<Thank you! Bob Fenner>

Self priming pump question. Moving pre-made synthetic SW reading  -- 02/14/10
> Hi
> Was wondering if you could look at the pump in the link below. I  need a self priming pump for my water change station I am in the process of setting up. It would be used to pull salt water from the display tank, move RO water from it's drum to the salt mix drum and push the salt mix from it's drum back to the display tank. I bought the pump but am concerned because it says to add a teaspoon of oil to the inlet of the pump at the start of each use, which I won't be able to of course. If not any suggestions?>
<I would not use such a pump>
> http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/3YU61?Pid=search
> Thank you
> James
<... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/swmoving.htm
Bob Fenner> 

Return pump size   12/13/09
Good afternoon,
<Hello Bobby.>
I'm in the process of slowly building a reef tank. I have a 75g that will be my display tank and I have a 55g that is my sump/fuge. I'm planning on putting on a 1500 gph overflow kit from www.glass-holes.com.
<Oh nice, lol. I am part owner there!>
I'm trying to figure what return pump to get, this pump not only return water up to the DT but it will be T off to drive the fuge, of course I will have valves on the lines. I want to keep a small number of soft corals, but my reef be made up mostly with combination of LPS and SPS along with a clam or 2. I want to have on the turnover to be between 30-40. So I'm at lost on the return pump, because I want plenty of flow thru the overflow so it would be quiet.
<These can be quiet at low flows too. Don't concern yourself about flow for that reason!>
I know I need a return pump that is submersible. Since I'm planning on having SPS my lighting is gonna be 8x54w T5HO. I think why I'm having a hard time figure the return pump is I'm having trouble figuring the headroom. I know for vertical height 1 foot = 1 foot but when it comes to horizontal and using 45 degree and 90 degree elbows I don't know how to figure those into the headroom.
<Check out this chart, you can actually sit down and figure out frictional loss here: http://www.plumbingsupply.com/flowchart.html.>
Also which is better to use on the elbows on the return 45's or 90's or combination.
<Not a huge difference, though the 45s do come out a little ahead.>
I know I'm gonna run 2 powerheads that push 1200gph each and been thinking 2 that does around 200 or 400 gph each to have the flow in the tank for acropora (the type of SPS I want).
Future Reefer,
<From what you describe I would look into Eheim, Tunze or Oceanrunner models here. Quiet, efficient and reliable! Scott V.>

My Pump Died! Pump sel., FW   9/26/09
Hello all of you wonderful people at WWM.
<Good morning Nikki!>
I am sort of new to keeping a larger aquarium and recently upgraded my 20 long to a second hand 75 gallon display tank with 10 gallon sump. I got the aquarium from a local pet supply that was getting rid of their fish department and had a few tanks left. The specific tank is a MARs "Feeder Warehouse Display System" that is meant to house 3000 feeder fish (talk about overstocking...). Here is the manual in case it helps you answer my questions:
<Yes... am very familiar with these units. Our business used to fabricate and sell such variably high-stocking density holding units>
I know that the chiller doesn't work from what the sales person told me (which isn't a big deal at all as I have it set up as a tropical planted tank) Is there a way to safely remove it all together?
<Yes... simply a matter of cutting out the existing plumbing and rerouting the incoming and discharge lines...>
It should also be noted that I don't have the automatic drain and refill feature set up as this tank is sitting in my living room (you can have it connected directly to a drain and water supply to replace a gallon of water every hour)
<Yes... a very useful feature for "feeder" systems>
The tank is about ten years old and the person who ran the fish department never did any maintenance on it (such as oiling the motor). I didn't know that you had to oil the motor (this being my first large tank and all) and was surprised when I started hearing horrible screeching sounds and whining from the pump two days after I started it cycling. I did some research online and at my LFS and realized that it needed oiled, so I tried oiling it with 3 in 1 only to find that the little rubber stoppers were completely melted into the pump. After a few hours of digging chunks of rubber out, I got the pump oiled and running. I also found out in this time that the pump is not the Little Giant 4-MD-SC listed in the manual, but is a Little Giant 3-MDQX-SC.
<Am also well-versed in/with this line of pumps... the SC stands for "semi corrosive"... Used to be these were amongst the better pumps for marine use... No longer though...>
I honestly don't know much about pumps at all and don't know the difference between the pumps other than the one I have has less power and circulates a smaller volume of water per hour. The circulation seems to be an acceptable amount, especially considering that I am using this tank as a simply stocked home aquarium.
The pump ran for another three days, occasionally making some horrible sounds and sometimes becoming louder and more rumbly. It died all together last night. The cool guys at my LFS told me that a ball bearing in the motor could be damaged and that the whole pump would have to be replaced if that were the case.
<This is so... and really a good idea to switch it out entirely in any case>
Judging from the sounds it was making in the hours before its death, that seems to very likely be the problem. Should I replace the pump or is there any way to repair it?
<Replace it. Beyond economic repair>
I found a Little Giant
3-MD-SC on my local Craigslist but am unsure if it would suit my system or if I need a different model.
<I would go with another brand/manufacturer>
I know that you guys favor another brand over Little Giant and I am totally open to suggestions, especially since I am over my head and this is all new learning for me. If you have other pumps in mind, please include model numbers and keep in mind that I am a hobbyist with a budget.
<Ahh, then do bear in mind that operational cost/s (mainly electricity) are quite variable...>
Right now I have a makeshift filter set up inside the main part of the tank to keep my plants and the few fish inside happy and healthy, but obviously would like to get the pump figured out and going again.
Thank you for all the help (including all of the answers you have provided to me over the years via other peoples questions! This is my first email to you)
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/pumpselmar6.htm
and the linked files above... for background... and do remove the chiller... It is adding to a loss of flow here. Oh, and do write back if there are elements to further discuss. Bob Fenner>

Re: My Pump Died! 9/29/2009
Hi Bob,
<Hello again Nikki>
Thanks for the tips. It seems you guys favor Eheim Hobby pumps?
Would you say that a Eheim Model 1260, CD-12784 would be a good pump for my situation? I am new
to calculating the right volume of overturn, but I know it should be around 4x the volume of the tank. The next pump down does under 4x, so I went for the next one up which is about 7x the volume. Is that going to be way overkill?
<It would not be>
How do I consider "overhead"? This is all pretty new to me. If you have a specific model you would recommend, please tell me. Under $300 would be nice.
<I would actually opt for the next size up, the 1262... it won't be too much, is just as quiet... and is nominally more expensive. Is about 170 US to purchase, draws 80 Watts>
If I wanted to remove the chiller, what kind of plumbing skills would be involved?
<Minimal... some cutting, replacement of plumbing line... could be done with a length of flexible...>
Would I have to just cut the whole chiller unit out of the line and patch it up or are there some valves to turn and attach?
<You need to connect the line coming in and the discharge>
Would it be better to leave it to kill the flow a little if I were using the stronger Eheim pump?
<Not in my opinion... the loss of pressure, flow... the opportunity cost of pumping the water... Is too much for me. I'd remove it. This unit may present problems if left in place long term in the way of metal pollution
I'm sorry if I am asking really novice questions; this is my first experience with a large tank and anything other than a HOB filter unit.
Thanks again!
<Glad to assist you, your efforts. Bob Fenner>

Pump Upgrade Question/Pump Selection 9/12/09
Dear Crew,
I would like to know what you think about a potential pump upgrade on my 90 gallon reef tank. It is a corner overflow system with a 1 3/4" Durso stand pipe style return, a 30 gallon DIY three chamber sump with a Miracle Mud refugium in the center, on a reverse photo period, and a small amount of Chaeto tumbling around. Currently running a ViaAqua 23OO, with a 5' head, which I understand is getting about 300 gph.
<Actually 600gph not including head loss.>
I am considering an Eheim 1262, with one return or a Mag 12 with two returns. I have 4 Koralia pumps for internal flow, but would love to remove several if possible.
<The Mag 12 may be a little overkill, the Eheim at 900gph would be a better match providing you have minimal restrictions (90's, 45's, etc.) in your return line.>
Thank you for your time.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

pump questions for 215 oceanic, and pb -- 08/14/09
Hi guys! Great site here. While I was searching for an answer to my question I was able to learn other useful information. But I am still confused as to how to proceed with pumps. We have a 215g reef ready
Oceanic. It came with the standard dual overflows with two 1/34 inch
<One and three quarter diameter holes I'll take it>
pre-drilled holes in each. We have a MRC 450g high-flow reef sump that will be connected to this system. This will be a reef and fish system with sand and liverock. We installed our tank in the wall of our
living room, and the back of the tank is inside our utility room. The sump is not directly underneath the tank, but off to the right, crating a 6 foot return to one overflow and a 2 foot return to the other.
<Umm, I'd use both these lines as overflows... either have the tank further drilled or just return the water from the sump over the top of the display tank>
We are not concerned with the noise of the pumps we use as all equipment will be housed in this utility room which is pretty well insulated for noise already. So my question is, what type of pump should we be purchasing for the returns? I have read information on your site which recommends Iwakis, but I am at a loss for what the appropriate gph is needed for this system.
<... well, there are a few "ways to go" here... I wouldn't rely on a/one single pump to circulate water from the sump AND provide internal flow.
I'll present what I would do here as my one best choice (there are others)... So... for the sump itself, you can 'guess-timate' what flow per given head, turns... I'd look into a fractional horsepower Sequence Pump... see here for their calculator: http://www.mdminc.com/SEQChooseYourPump.aspx
of about 900 actual gallons (all that can really "fit" through one of the drilled through-puts safely... lest the other become occluded)... read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/BulkheadFloRateArt.htm... and add some internal pumping... My choice? Vortechs...>
And I am confused about whether we should have a separate pump for each return or be getting a larger pump and t-ing the returns.
<I'd run the returns on one pump, make a discharge as pictured here:
(Our protein skimmer is external and comes with it's own pump if that helps). I have tried reading the
FAQs but I got even more confused. Anything you can tell me would be great. And I have attached a picture of how the tank and sump are configured in relationship to each other.
<Take your time here... realize your goals and the inherent limitations in the openings you have... Bob Fenner>

Re: Pump Recommendation 6/19/09
Scott: as per your recommendation I ordered the 2 1262 Eheims.....now if you please- do you have an opinion on the new Tunze recirculation silence pumps??
<I have never personally used these, but am a fan of anything this particular company puts out.>
Also can you recommend a single pump that will deliver 1200 gph to the tank not too loud and no flow accelerator will be used....just up and over the side of the tank from about 52" below in the sump?????
<Ocean Runner 6500 or Reeflo Snapper will do the trick.>
Thanks in advance...
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: Pump Recommendation 6/25/09
FYI : the Eheims were an excellent suggestion...I am extremely pleased....
thanks....will the use of the eductors shorten the pump life in any way ?
<They are great pumps. Most pumps will actually last longer with this type of restriction on them. Scott V.>

Re: Pump Recommendation 6/25/09
That's great to know...thanks Scott ...and BTW : Glass-holes.com is the best !! I wear my t-shirt every chance I get ....thanks...
<Ahh, great to know, I will CC this to Mike too. Thanks!>

Replacement Pump For Solano Nano Tank 6/7/09
Hey Guys,
<Hello Samantha>
my husband and I both have Solano 34g nano tanks. Set up as reef tanks we've had great success with them but recently both our pumps have gone out, mine being the latest. And we've had to rig replacements since I can't seem to find a true replacement from Solano or anywhere else. Do you'll suggest anything else I should or could do to continue to have optimal skimmer performance. I appreciate any input.
<Have you contacted Current USA on this? Forward this to info@current-usa.com.>
<Your welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Samantha Serie

Lateral "head", circ. pump sel.    5/2/09
Good morning ! This site is an unbelievable source of invaluable info, and I thank you!
<Hail! And welcome>
My question is trying to figure out a return pump (external) for my application and head pressure.
90 gallon reef, but with a 30 gallon sump and 15 gallon 'fuge that is located remotely-down in my basement.
Can only see info on calculating loss of GPH on vertical head. I have 10 feet of this...but also an additional 12 feet of lateral 1"pvc. All 45 deg. angles until it splits at the tank into ¾" pvc,(2 outlets, 2 loclines outlets on each) there are a couple 90 deg angles. I assume I need to figure in lateral distance due to friction/parasitic loss, but don't know how to do this...should I consider ALL plumbing as vertical head to be safe?
<Mmm, one approach, but there are some other approximations of use here... One aspect that you don't mention that IS of more importance is induced drag... such small diameter piping has a good deal of this with increasing flow>
Or would I end up way overpowering my drain to the sump?
<Not possible if you've provided sufficient numbers, diameters (plural) of overflows/plumbing>
Going by most recommendations, I'm looking for 1000-1500 gph return flow. All pumps are NOT created or rated equal.
<This is indeed so>
Pump manufacturers use their own graphs on vertical head vs. gph output vs. current draw....
<Mmm, and typically ones that aren't "too fallacious">
and purchasing the wrong pumps to utilize the pickle bucket measurement is not a viable option.
Keeping in mind my 1" drain line, can you recommend a good quality external pump (mfg/model) that will be adequate for my needs, but at the same time I won't find myself trying to restrain a fire hose thru choking off flow? I am assuming I will need to supplement in tank with powerheads....
<You would do well to understand pressure as well as desired flow/capacity... Do a bit of reading re our individual preferences (makes/models) here: http://wetwebmedia.com/pumpselmar6.htm
and the linked files above>
Thanks so much for your time!!
Kent Warren
Delta Air Lines
<Ooh, reminds me... I've got to use my 234,848 ff miles soon... thank goodness you code-share with NWA (HI, Bonaire...). Bob Fenner>

Micro Fauna Damage 04/28/09
Dear Crew:
I am in search of a study regarding the effect pump impellers may have on micro fauna and, if indeed there is significant mortality does impeller design along with GPH/RPM play a role in either increased or decreased
micro fauna mortality?
<I am unaware of any "studies" per se, but I do know that such things do kill many types of larvae (especially crustacean larvae apparently). This is why, when raising/breeding different inverts (such as crustaceans, snails, etc.) one must use a tank with an airstone and/or undergravel filters (or other such "gentle" form of filtration) to raise the larvae/juveniles (this is true of most fish larvae/juveniles as well). As
for other micro fauna, I do believe it just depends. Clearly, pod and worm populations of many species found in our systems seem largely unabated by such impellers.>
Thank You,
<De nada,
Sara M.>

Water pump sel.  4/10/09
Best brand water pump for silence. I have a quiet one3000 that is quiet but I want something a bit stronger. When I hooked my uv up to my system the flow from tank to sump went way down. So I bought a quiet one4000 and it is loud and vibrates and actually has very little flow difference. Just wondering pump suggestion? Is eheim good and quiet?
<They are, and very true to the flow rating...you cannot go wrong with a 1262 for what you are looking for here.>
PS your book is a very good read. Pages are getting worn out already from all the reading.
<Ah, Bob will be happy to hear this!>
Happy Easter!
<You too.>
Sent from Penny Pendergraft
<Scott V.>

Re: Water pump 4/10/09
Thank you for your fast response.
I will go with the eheim then. I sure hope it's quiet. For the price it should be. Haha.
<Never a 100% guarantee, but these pumps have never let me or anyone I have talked to about them down!>
Sent from Penny Pendergraft
Ellcar Ventures Ltd.
<Scott V.>

Spare/Replacement Pump -- 04/04/09
I Have a Pro Clear Aquatics Wet- Dry filter for my 75 gal tank. I would like to have a back-up submersible pump for the CAP 1800. Any suggestions?
<<Hmm'¦ A Mag-Drive 5 would make for a good backup to this system. But if you want the best re quality and reliability, go with the Eheim 1260. You could use the Eheim as your primary pump (install a gate-valve on the output-side of the pump to temper flow, if needed) and rest easy'¦and hold on to the CAP pump as the emergency backup, that you would likely not need for many years>>
Thanks, Michael
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

Flow and Pump Question for Scott V.  2/25/09 Hey Scott, <Randy.> You had helped my out a while back on a few flow related question so I wanted to run something past you real quick before I order the wrong pump. <Okay.> I have a custom ordered 90 gallon Oceanic reef ready tank with Starfire front glass. I will be using both of the holes in the overflow for the drains. They are both 1.5" wide holes(measured glass size). I will be using a 30 gallon in the stand for a sump. I have picked up from my LFS the stock AGA slip bulkheads(in my research I have found that these are not always common but the 90 gallon came with one for the drain.) They allow for 2 - 1.25 pool sized flex hoses. These seem to be slightly larger than the std. 1" drain bulkheads, I was gonna hard pipe it but the opening in the LFS AGA slip/thrd bulkheads we smaller for the same size glass hole. Both drains will run maybe 10-12 inches almost straight down into a 300 micron hang on sump bag. Within this chamber I have an Aqua C EV180 w/ mag7 pump. Then thru 2 over unders to the final return sump. I have built some custom overflow drains from the "hoffer gurgle" design with 1.5inch main reduced down at the bulkhead. The return pump (TBD) will run thru 1" spa line to a T(mid height at the rear of the tank) then split out into 2-- 3/4"s(also spa line) to return over the lip with the std black 3/4" pre bent modular returns. The tank will be full reef (transferred from my 46 bow full reef w PC's -been running for 3+ years very successfully) with softies and LPS's. In tank I will have 2 -Hydor Koralia 3's for flow directed off the glass. <Okay.> So here is the question: I am looking to find a economical, reliable and efficient return pump. I love the MAG's and the Eheims but for power consumption and price respectively I am looking toward other options. What do you think of the Ocean runner 3500 for this particular setup? <The Ocean Runner pumps are a great series, my favorite for the money, just hard to get in a timely manner at times.> Will it be enough for the 2 - 1.25" pool line drains without inducing additional unnecessary noise due to siphoning?? <It is a strong pump for these lines'¦do plan on throttling the pump back with a ball valve on the output or just go with the 2500.> Are they pretty reliable? <Very much so in my experience'¦I have used these pumps a lot over the years.> I see the Quite One 4000 could work also and is definitely cheaper but I read mixed reviews on these and the Oceanrunners. Any thoughts? <Go with the OR here.> Also, on the 90 I will be adding a 6 bulb T5 fixture. I have it narrowed down to either a Nova Extreme Pro 6x54w or a Tek light of the same config. Of course I am leaning toward to extreme Pro due to cost, included bulbs, dust cover and legs. Is the Tek really that much better? I see the boast over a 300% increase in directed output due to their reflector but the Extreme Pro also has a curved reflector-not sure of the increases output from the Extreme Pro. Any thoughts? <This gets to be a hot subject in many of the online forums. I personally see little difference between the two style of reflectors, there are many that will argue with me to the death about that. I would love to actually see a quantified study on the subject, much like Sanjay Joshi's work with MH. But I know of none. If anyone else knows of one, we would love to see it!> Also I have a med. yellow tank in the 46 bow and would like to add another tank. Which may be best for this size tank and compatibility with the yellow tang? Other fish include your basic reef safe-Ocellaris Clown, yellow watchmen, 2 Firefish, 1 cardinal and 2 yellow tail damsels. I know a Blue Hippo will work but I have one in my 120 FOWLR and would like to try something else. <Hmmm, I would not add another tang to this size tank. Even the smaller species require a fair bit of swimming space.> Thanks as always for your help and everyone's contribution to our hobby and this site-It's a great site. <Welcome, thank you.> Randy

Re: Pump Selection 12/28/08 Hmm, looking at the ocean runner. Is the 6500 too much for my 120 gal tank with 2, 1 inch drains with 4.5 foot head? Keeping marine and soft corals?? Or is the runner 3500 enough?? <I've erred here somewhat on the pump suggestions. With two 1 inch drains, you need to look at a pump in the range of 1000gph. If it's a little too much you can always throttle down the pump. I'd rather have a little too much pump than not enough. James (Salty Dog)> <<Mmm, not after it's pumped the water onto your floor... Better to get "just about the right "size", flow/pressure characteristics pump... And again, this amount of water cannot be conveyed safely through these two one inch inside diameter lines... would have to rely on siphoning (noisy, unreliable)... IF one line becomes occluded or the siphon stop (WILL happen), water will be pumped into the tank faster... overflow... RMF>>

Re: Pump Selection 12/28/08 Is it 1200gpm or 1200gph. <Wowsie, 1200gpm, nope is 1200gph.> Will my (2) I inch drains handle that at 4.5 foot head? <Probably not, depending on your head loss. James (Salty Dog)> <<Will NOT. I would re-drill, have two 1 1/2" drain lines. RMF>> 

Re: Pump Selection: Scott V. input 12/28/08 Hmm, looking at the ocean runner. Is the 6500 too much for my 120 gal tank with 2, 1 inch drains with 4.5 foot head? Keeping marine and soft corals?? Or is the runner 3500 enough?? <I've erred here somewhat on the pump suggestions. With two 1 inch drains, you need to look at a pump in the range of 1000gph. If it's a little too much you can always throttle down the pump. I'd rather have a little too much pump than not enough. James (Salty Dog)> <<I would like to add for the benefit of all those reading that a 1" bulkhead will only flow 300 gph without siphoning (read: safely). Anyone with a couple of 5 gallon buckets, 1" plumbing, water and a timer can quantify this! Also, the pump may be throttled back, but there is also significant danger running an overflow to max. See here regarding redundancy and sizing drains: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pbholessizeplace.htm. In other words to do this safely you will need a pump that will give you 300 gph at head height, seriously. This really is the problem with many of the overflows out there, the throughputs are just flat out too small! Scott V.>>

Re: Pump Selection 12/28/08 Question, if I do get powerheads (Hydor Koralia) and a submersible pump. What size pump (gph) and what size Hydor 3 or 4. Again with (2) 1 inch drains into a sump. A 4 foot tank by two foot. Which I will house marine and soft corals. Difficult to calculate the right amount of flow. <Mmm, not difficult at all, just strive for 10 to 12x flow rate for the size of tank you have. In your case, 1200 to 1400 would work well. Do read here and other related articles/FAQ's. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/Powerhead_test/powerhead_comp.htm James (Salty Dog)> 

More re: pumps... actually one inch ID lines/drainage  12/28/08 Bob, Don't believe I've erred here. I'm running a little over 500gph full bore with just one 1" return line, so my suggestion of about 1000gph with two 1" lines and a 4 1/2" foot head doesn't seem out of line unless the guys got 90's in his feeds. James <James, I'm always trying to err on the side of absolute redundancy in such matters... What happens if one of these siphons stops, gets clogged? Again... I do respect that you, I, everyone has different experiences, results... and I do agree that one line of one inch ID can/will in most cases siphon 500 plus gallons of water at any drop... but will it do 1000? No... Cheers, BobF>

More re: pumps  12/29/08 Bob, <James> Agree here, and is one reason I despise siphon tube type returns. I've used them before and am always tinkering with them, bubbles trapped in the neck for the most part. Have found that if you size the siphon return type overflow close to the pump output, they work much better. The velocity of the water through the tube reduces trapped bubbles in the neck. I've never had a problem with drilled returns clogging up, but then again, I generally check this on a daily basis. Well Bob, the old fart is 63 today. <Ahh! Happy bday!> Life goes by much too fast, doesn't seem that long ago when I was a "young" 50. Regards, James <Indeed "tempus fugit!" for sure. Let's enjoy ourselves while we're about! BobF>

Eheim pumps 12/28/08 <Hello Joe. Minh at your service.> Do you know much about the eheim compact 5000 pump? <Although the Eheim Compact series of pumps have not been available in the North American market for long, Eheim is very well-known for producing excellent pumps in the Universal Hobby pump series.> Looking to buy it if it is quiet and can it be used to circulate water into a sump at 5 ft head. not much info online about this pump. Big Als Canada now carries it. It sounds like a quiet pump. Can i use it for this application?? <Based on the specs of this pump, it should deal with the 5 ft of head just fine. A quick search on a UK-based aquarium forum, Ultimate Reef, shows an interesting review comparing the Eheim Universal Hobby pump with the Eheim Compact pump: http://www.ultimatereef.net/forums/showthread.php?t=252194. You can review the thread for others' first hand experience with this pump. Good luck, Minh Huynh.>

Return Pumps 11/29/08 I am in the process of upgrading my tank to a 180-gallon acrylic. So far I have done everything you guys recommend in your faq and from your response to my previous email. As a refresher my 72x24x24 acrylic (live in CA) has two overflows for redundancy with 1.5" drains and 3/4" returns pipes. What size return pump do you recommend for this setup? I was thinking somewhere in the range of 1700gph but one of my LFS said I would be fine with just an Eheim 1262 with 900gph. What do you say, closer to 1700gph or 900gph? Thank you very much. <The Eheim is a very nice pump; quiet and dependable. The flow is plenty through your sump and will be just about 1/2 of what two 1.5" bulkheads can handle (with a bit of head pressure on the pump), putting you right at the 100% redundancy. Welcome, Scott V.>

Closed Loop vs Vortech MP40w, Oceanic vs Aqueon 11/4/08 Hello WWM, <Hello Ryan.> Let me start off with you guys are great I spend days reading information on your website, the information is truly overwhelming but super informative. One suggestion for your website'¦. Could you make it look more like an excel spreadsheet? Then my boss will think I am working when I am reading! <Ahhh, a good idea ? Glad you have found the site of so much use!> I have had a 70 gallon reef running for 6 years and am ready to take the plunge into a bigger tank. My current setup is a disaster waiting to happen. I have two CPR over flows (the biggest ones they make) off the back of the tank draining at full capacity into my refugium/sump. And actually I to put one of the out puts of one of the CPRs directly into the chamber of the refugium where the pump connects because the refugium could not handle all of that water flow. My Dolphin Amp Master 3000 pumps the water back into the tank with 4 - ½ inch nozzles and a manifold 1 ½ pvc with about 40 1/8 inch holes down behind 120 pounds of Fiji live rock. <That is a lot of flow for the boxes to handle!> I know the tank is more rock that anything. The water movement is great my fish and soft corals love it but it took a lot of work to keep it from sand storming. This setup did cure my hair algae battle I fought for a couple of years. The Chaetomorpha in my refugium grows like a weed; I have to groom it down all the time. Also the halimeda in my tank grows like no other as well. I have some candy corals that I have split a few times, various polyps, and Xenias that are growing like crazy. Along with a yellow tang, some Chromis, and maroon clown. My snails and hermit crabs are doing great and I have a Stomatella population thriving. The problem which I am sure you have noticed is the overflow boxes, and the water levels to keep the pump not blowing air are at capacity. I put a ball valve on the return side of the pump to try and line it up with the overflows. Yes it has resulted in a couple of floods, my wife not so happy. <I'll bet.> I realize this potential disaster but have figured the wrath can't be that bad'¦'¦ My wife has limited my spending (like so many others) so I have been saving for a while. I want to make sure I am heading down the right path. I realize there are many different ways to accomplish the same thing but I am sure your collective infinite wisdom will be priceless. <Will try.> For the Tank I am looking at the Aqueon 180 with built in overflows. Realizing it is not drillable for my Dolphin Amp Master 3000/4000, or the Oceanic 178 or 215 (with over overflows) that would be drillable. <Do keep in mind the Aqueon can be drilled through the back/sides.> I want to run the overflows down to my refugium/sump and run a small pump (1200 GPH) back up for filtration. <These overflows typically have 1" drains, which are in reality only good for 300 gph per. You can special order any of these tanks with larger/more holes predrilled for a small charge per hole.> Obviously that will not be enough water turnover through those alone so I was going to drill 2 inch bulkheads (Qty 2) for a closed loop with my Dolphin Amp Master. Then at my LFS I found the Vortech MP40w's. I could go with the cheaper Aqueon tank and not have to drill but still keep the interior of the tank clean (No power heads/pumps visible.) Also I would not void the warranty by drilling the Oceanic Tank. <Reason to have them do it!> Realizing the money I save from going with the Aqueon Tank I will be paying more for the set of MP40w's with controller, but again would keep my warranty on the tank. So really I need a shove in the direction of the best way to turn over water in my tank between these two options????? I read up on your website about these Vortech pumps and I didn't find much'¦.. Any new experience on reliability and functionality of this product? <They have vastly improved in quality over the few years out on the market, you won't go wrong with these.> They are pricey but if they get the job done maybe worth it long term?? <They are IMO, you savings in power monthly will be noticeable over the Dolphin. More traditional powerheads can do the same for less, but then you have powerheads!> My thought is 1200 GPH through the refugium is plenty for filtration? <Or 600 gph, tis enough for filtration.> So what is the best way to increase circulation? <The Vortechs/powerheads.> Also is Oceanic tanks that much better than Aqueon (both made by the same company) is it worth it and still go with Vortech pumps requiring me to save a little longer? <Not IMO, unless you want to spend the big bucks on the Oceanic Starphire tanks.> Or is the versatility of a closed loop system (water flow in any direction) better than the Vortechs? <It is a tradeoff, but experimenting with the placement on the Vortechs, good flow can be achieved.> Wow so I have reread this questions a few times I apologize for its length. Any help and advice at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Ryan <Welcome, have fun, Scott V.>

Noisy Pump 10/17/08 Hello--First I want to say thank you for running this site. It is a great help to me. <Glad you have found it of use!> I have learned more from this site than any other source. I am in the process of setting up a 210 gallon Hawaiian-themed FOWLR tank. <Nice, I am throwing around the same idea.> Right now I am having some serious issues with my return pump and the noise it generates. I have gotten several ideas for dealing with it from reading your FAQs. The pump is still very noisy however. Here is the setup: In our basement family room I have the 210 tank up against a wall. The overflow plumbing runs through a hole in the wall into the utility room, where I have a 50 gallon Rubbermaid container as the sump. The return pump is a Mag-Drive 24. It is quite noisy in the utility room, which is to be expected. However, you can hear the pump quite clearly from the family room as well. In fact, you can literally hear the pump running from every room in the house, including the upstairs bedrooms (our house is a split-level). So you can imagine my frustration and my wife's irritation. <Gee, I can imagine.> The noise is not a vibrating or a rattling, nor is it any sort of water-related sound. It is the sound of a motor running. Here is what I have done to attempt to quiet the pump. First I put a silicone pot-holder under the pump. This did a good job of quieting the pump's vibration against the sump. However you could still hear the motor running. Other things I did include: adding a second silicone pad, removing the pre-filter from the pump (an idea I got from your FAQs), restricting the flow with a valve and then opening it up again to try to flush out any air pockets (also from your FAQ), I also stuffed towels around and through the hole that was cut in the wall to muffle any noise escaping through the hole, and finally I went so far as to install that pink fiberglass insulation in the utility room walls, but even that is not muffling the pump much. Each of these things seemed to have a positive impact on the noise, but unfortunately it is still really loud. Is it possible my pump is defective? <Possibly, in a way. Do take the pump apart an be sure your rotor shaft is not broken, it sure may be and an easy fix (replace it!). It is also possible you just have a rotor that is plain out of balance, but these large MagDrive pumps are not the quietest things anyhow.> It seems to run fine, but with noise like this the situation is not going to last. Right now I am looking into buying a different pump. <I would, for the noise and power consumption.> I thought Mag-Drives were supposed to be reasonably quiet, but mine definitely is not. This is not my first sump return-pump, so I have some experience in quieting them, but this pump is beyond my abilities. So I have two questions: First, do you have any other ideas to quiet the pump? <The one thing I would try is some flexible plumbing. This can have quite an impact on transferred noise, but if it is the pump noise itself it will only help a bit. Look for flexible PVC, sold as SpaFlex in many hardware stores. If you do use this, make sure to use a solvent rated for flexible PVC, such as Christy's Red Hot.> Secondly, can you recommend a quiet pump? Obviously I still need a decent flow rate, but I am willing to sacrifice some of that in order to quiet the noise. <No need to sacrifice, in fact you will gain with lower power consumption!! Do look at the Reeflo line, the Dart or Snapper for your application. They are the exact same pump with different $25 impellers, this gives you cheap options for flow. These pumps offer great flow, relatively cheap power consumption, and are virtually dead silent.> Thank you so much for any help you can give. Tom <Welcome, this is a completely solvable problem. I do urge you in this case to seek the new pump. Scott V.>

Re: Pump Noise 11/7/08 Scott: <Hello again Brandon.> For a heads up, I discovered a large part of my problem with my pump (the Mag7). Once you remove the shroud, there is a small (but most definitively problematic) tab where the injection mold formed, and this tab actually rubs on the impeller! <Yikes! Playing card in spokes!> I looked carefully at the old one - it was grooved. I looked at the new one, and after 60 seconds of use, it, too, was becoming grooved. I filed this tab off, and it is the quietest I have EVER heard this pump. <Good to hear.> I'm not sure if this is a common problem, but I thought I would share what helped me out. <Not to my knowledge, I do hope not.> Thanks again for all of your input earlier on! -Brandon <Welcome, happy it worked out, Scott V.>

Re: Pump Choices, Design in General Reef 11/2/08 Also Scott, is there a particular model you recommend from Reeflo that would move the same volume? Thanks again... <Look at the Snapper and Dart models, quite a bit of flow for the power used, and near dead silent.>

One Monster Pump 9/30/08 Good Morning! <Good morning your way too!> I've been looking and having a hard time deciding on the right pump. The pump I'm looking for will have to go up 14 feet from basement to 180g tank on first floor. I think 800 gph will be about the right rate of flow. The route from the basement to the 2 returns is pretty straight...will be using pvc flex hose for the most part. Any suggestions of pumps(brands) would be great! <I would start with looking at the Reeflo line, the Tarpon or Wahoo will suit your application well. The Iwaki pumps are a favorite too, just be sure to pay particular attention to the power consumption as well as the flow curves, the power use varies quite a bit from pump to pump in this size range. A few links to the flow curves to these particular pumps below.> Thanks <Welcome, have fun, Scott V.> http://www.reeflopumps.com/pressurebiaseduno.html http://www.iwakiamerica.com/products/wmd_curves.htm

Re: One Monster Pump 9/30/08 Thanks for the suggestions. <Glad to help.> I've been thinking about the Sequence pumps. Is it ok to use a gate valve on the output side of the Reeflo pumps to turn down the flow if necessary? <Yes, it definitely is. The pump will actually work a bit less (pumps are counterintuitive) and consume a bit less power. Scott V.>

Re: One Monster Pump 10/1/08 One more question.... I will also be having a frag tank in the basement(60 gallons) that will be draining into the same sump as the 180g. Should I get a separate return pump for the frag tank or would it be ok to plumb a return line from the return pump that will be pushing water back up to the 180g? <Either option will work fine, the latter will save you a pump to buy/run!> BTW....the sump in the basement is approximately 180 gallons too. <Nice setup!> Thanks once again!: <Welcome, very happy to help out. Scott V.>

Rio and Catalina Pumps  9/29/08 Hi Crew <Hi Jamie> I have a quick question. Are the Catalina and Rio brand pumps the same? <No I don't believe so.> I have a pump on my sealife skimmer and the impeller is gone. The sticker on the pump is completely faded. I tried to ID online and it looks just like a rio and a Catalina??? Are they the same? I cant find an impeller for a Catalina pump but can for a rio pump? <If you do a search for 'Catalina Aquarium' you should find the impellors.>  Are the impellers the same for rio 1700 2100 and 2500? Any help I would appreciate it. Thanks Crew! <Thanks for the email..Good luck and take care!! BrianG>

Right Pump Size for 90 Gallon    9/20/08 Dear WWM crew, <Hello!> I have a question regarding my intake pump, and what size I should use? <Depends largely on your outflow size.> I have a 90 gallon which is going to be mixed reef with a lot of SPS and LPS, so I want a high turnover rate, but I am not sure how strong of a pump I am going to need? Right now I have 2 Mag Drive 12 submersible pumps, which at 4' still pump about 1130 gph. I was planning on running this through my squid and then will go through 3 more elbows before it goes into the tank. So the pump will have a total height of about 4' with a squid to go through and 3 elbows. If I were to go this way do you think that would be s strong enough pump. My second question is how to plumb my chiller? I have another Mag drive 12 which I was going to separately run through that only and then back to the sump. <Would work.> Is this a good idea to have one pump designated to the chiller, and then a main pump designated for plumbing water back into the tank? <Would decrease head on the pump, but your maximum flow-through should be determined by your overflow size.> I would like to ideally just have one pump which would run through the chiller (which sits right next to the tank) and then to the squid and tank. <Unless you have a very large overflow fitting, you probably can't handle the full potential of these pumps, which means that you'd be throttling back the Mag12 to prevent overflowing anyhow- so the extra head from the chiller really wouldn't be an issue.> I was thinking a Mag Drive 18 would have enough power to do this, but I am not sure, what do you guys think? <Depends. What diameter is the outflow?> Thanks for your input! Alex Jacobs <Benjamin>

Eductors on non pressure rated pump return? 9/14/08 Hi Crew! Thanks for all you folks do! <Hi there John, thank you!> I have read a little about flow accelerators / eductors, but am having a hard time assessing their value on non-pressure rated pumps. <Basically the same value as pressure rated pumps from an aquarium point of view. The short run of restriction on these does not necessitate the use of a pressure rated pump.> Background: I refinished an older 75G flat back hex DAS tank which I drilled for two 1.5 inch bulkheads (I took out the lame corner box). The two drain lines run to a 30 gallon sump . One runs straight to the skimmer chamber, while the other passes the refugium and drops water, via a teed ¾ ball valve, into the refugium before continuing on to the skimmer. Pic previously posted here (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/SystemPIX/aquarium_cabinet_and_sump_rear_removed.jpg). <Nice setup.> My return is an Oceanrunner 6500 marketed at 1625 gph. However, with 4 vertical feet, two 45 degree elbows, a unioned ball valve, a tee reducing the 1 inch return line to two ¾ inch lines and 90s on each of these ¾ inch lines I am probably getting 1000 or less. <Likely, a fair estimation.> I have a couple of Koralia Nanos for corner flow and a Maxijet driving a UV and a Phosban reactor. I could use more flow. <Possibly dependant on what you keep. What is listed is a fair bit of flow.> While I understand the basic concept of eductors, I don't know whether there would be any benefit in a non-pressure rated set up like mine. Do you think there would be any value to me adding eductors at the end of the return lines with the pressure I am getting from the OR? <May be worth a try if you wish. These really just exchange one type of flow to another; a flow with high velocity for a flow with high volume.> Would changing anything on my plumbing make this feasible? <Your plumbing sounds fine.> Thanks in advance! John / Fishnu <Welcome, Scott V.>

Return Pump vs. Powerheads for system flow 8/22/08 Hey Guys, <Larry> I moved last year and had to sell my 125G reef tank (sad day for me). I have been in serious withdrawal ever since. My beautiful wife surprised me on my 40th birthday by purchasing a new 120G (48" x 24") aquarium and stand to re-kindle my obsession. <I'll bet!> The tank is an AGA with dual Megaflow overflows. I see all over the FAQ's that the realistic flow rate through the two 1" bulkheads will only get me half of the published rating of 2x600GPH. Obviously, that total flow rate is insufficient for a 120G reef tank. <Yes, sad that the holes are not simply larger.> The overflows will feed a 30G DIY sump located in the furnace room behind the wall. The sump will house a skimmer and heaters. I plan on eventually adding a separate refugium above the sump with water pumped up from the sump and overflowing back into the sump. <Consider running an overflow line from the tank to the refugium, then overflow into the sump. This will save you the use of one pump.> Ignoring overall system flow for the moment, will a properly sized return pump (500-600GPH after head loss) be sufficient to support the skimmer and a refugium? <To support the tank, yes. You will need to add supplemental flow as you mention below. The problem with this overflow setup is it leaves you no margin for safety. Running the lines at capacity means water on the floor if a line gets even partially blocked. If you are at all comfortable with DIY, consider drilling the tank for larger throughputs. You can drill the rear pane of glass inside the existing boxes, substantially increasing your flow capacity while keeping the tank looking the same.> I am considering using a number of Koralia powerheads to get the overall water movement in the tank up to a reasonable level. I like the idea of the diffused flow generated by these style powerheads vs. strong jets from the return lines. Is there a downside to doing this vs. increasing the flow through the sump? <Only aesthetics. There are many upsides though. Less power use, better flow characteristics, usually quieter, etc. > I've read various suggestions for increasing flow, including using the 3/4" return line bulkheads as additional overflows, or even drilling more or larger overflows. I'd like to avoid doing these if possible. <Okay.> Also, is there any benefit to draining the 1" bulkheads into larger PVC pipes(1.5")? I know it won't increase the max flow rate but will it help with noise? <Not really, any many cases doing this will increase the noise with the water beating around inside the larger pipe. Most noise associated with these overflows comes from siphoning issues/running past capacity.> I plan on running 2 separate lines down to the sump. If I can stick with 1" lines, the holes through the wall will be a little smaller. <1' will be fine.> I am excited about getting the tank up and running, but I don't want to make any short-sighted decisions that will impact things later on. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Larry <Welcome, congratulations on the new setup, Scott V.>

EcoTech Marine Begins Shipping the MP20  -- 07/28/08 REVOLUTIONARY PUMP TECHNOLOGY FOR REEF AQUARIUMS July 28, 2008 EcoTech Marine Begins Shipping MP20 EcoTech Marine, the company that revolutionized coral aquarium propeller pumps with the VorTech MP40w, has begun shipping it newest pump, the VorTech MP20, to its family of retailers and distributors. Pre-order sales have been brisk and shipping is right on schedule. A limited number of review units will be provided to the reef aquarium media. Please contact Andrew Stanten, Altitude Marketing at andrew@altitudemarketing.com if you are interested in receiving an MP20 for review. Some terms and conditions apply. The MP20 is ideally suited for aquariums smaller than 70 gallons, and, like its big brother the MP40w, produces unmatched broad yet gentle flow while placing the motor outside the tank�preserving the beauty of your aquarium and enhancing the health of your tank�s ecosystem. MSRP on the MP20 is $295. To view a list of retailer outlets, click the following link: http://www.ecotechmarine.com/retailers/distributorlist.php The MP20 leverages the patented and award-winning technology of the MP40w and offers many of the same features, including: - Feed More: Slows down your pump for 10 minutes to allow you to feed your aquarium. - Constant Speed Mode: The pump runs at a constant speed you set based on your aquarium�s specific needs. - Reef Crest Mode: Simulate the high energy conditions of a natural reef crest environment. - Lagoon Mode: Simulate a calmer, lagoon reef environment. - Long Pulse Mode: Allows for wave pulse timings of between 2 and 60 seconds, enabling the creation of slow alternating flow throughout the tank. - Short Pulse Mode: Allows for wave pulse timings of between 0.3 and 2 seconds, enabling the creation of resonant standing waves within the tank. - Night Mode: Enables the pump to operate for 14 hours in whichever mode is selected for the day and go back to Night Mode for 10 hours. - Pump Disconnect: Automatically shuts down the system if the wet and dry sides become separated. - Optional Battery Backup: Keeps the circulation going during power failure for 120 hours or longer. MP20 specifications include: - Appropriate Tank Size: 20 to 70 gallons - Dimensions: - Wet Side: 3� diameter by 2.25� long - Dry Side: 3� diameter by 2.25� long - Flow: 500 to 2,000 gallons per hour - Power consumption: 6 to 18 watts - Aquarium Wall Thickness: 3/16� to 3/4� - Clearance needed behind aquarium: 3� �We have on-going dialogue with our customers, engage in frequent conversation with our retailers, and the market has spoken,� says Tim Marks, EcoTech director of production. �The interest in VorTech technology, for smaller tanks, with a limited range of functionality and at a lower price point, is huge. Not everyone perceives the need to have wireless communication between their pumps or is ready to purchase the high end model of the most superior product line on the market.� The MP20 can easily upgrade to the MP40w by purchasing a special upgrade kit which provides additional functionality and flow and enables wireless communication between pumps. With all the electrical components outside the aquarium and a variety of easy-to-program modes, the VorTech remains the safest, most versatile pump on the market. EcoTech Marine | 610.954.8480 | sales@ecotechmarine.com This message was sent by: EcoTech Marine, 1349 Lynn Ave, Bethlehem, PA 18015

Heat/Chiller, pump sel.  6/18/08 Hi WWM, Does anyone know which pump produces less heat Sedra 9000 or Sequence ReeFlo Dart Pump, 3600 GPH? <The Dart will likely impart less heat into your water.> This is for my sump. I have a Cali ray tank and all of the sudden my chiller isn't up to par like last summer and I think its because I switched pumps form Sequence ReeFlo Dart Pump, 3600 GPH to Sedra 9000. I am trying to narrow the problem down. <I would have the chiller looked at. An appropriately sized chiller should not have issues keeping up with the heat produced by this pump. Have you noticed the chiller running longer or coming on more often? Chillers are merely air conditioners for our water, they need to be serviced from time to time. An air-conditioner tech in your area will likely be able to help. Please help me if you can Thanks Michelle <Welcome, Scott V.>

Inline vs. Submerged Pump 6/16/08 I'm planning to use a 10G tank as a sump for a 30G display. It will have three compartments: 1. intake + skimmer, with baffles to 2. refugium, with overflow to 3. return area. Most designs leave a substantial return area which typically houses a submerged return pump. My question is: Why submerged? Since it A. adds heat, and B. increases the size of the return area, and so decreases what's left for the fuge.  Is there a reason for the popularity of submerged return pumps? <Cost is probably the greatest factor. Submerged pumps are generally cheaper. Also, certain submerged pumps rate as some of the quietest out there (although many of these can also be run external). The other issue is space, a submerged pump can simply be put into a sump without the need for extra space in the stand. If you are designing your own sump this may not matter.> I would rather make the return compartment just wide enough for a pipe feeding an in-line pump resting on top of the sump tank. (I'll also use an auto-top-off.) Thanks --Jan <I totally agree with all the above statements, all are factors for an individual consideration, every application is different. With a smaller return compartment the auto top off is that much more important. Welcome, Scott V.>

I Need A Quiet External Pump For My New 120g FOWLR System -- 04/22/08 I've been reading your FAQ's for over 6 hours looking for my answer, but to no avail. <<Oh?>> I'm moving from an 8 year old 20gal FOWLR with a DSB and plenum to a 120 gal FOWLR with the potential to add some corals. <<Neat!>> My plan for livestock is going to be smaller peaceful fish including my current Tomato Clown <<Not a 'peaceful' fish>> and Mandarin and eventually adding 2 Yellow Tail Blue Hippo Tangs, <<Mmm, this' tank will hardly be large enough for one' of these big (to 12'), robust, and twitchy fish'¦and is certainly not large enough for two>> 7 Blue Green Chromis, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish, <<Can be difficult to keep. Do be sure to select a healthy specimen that is feeding well'¦and have a read here too (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/c_bispinosa.htm)>> 1 Longnose Hawkfish, 3 Banggai Cardinal fish, <<These will likely end up as a 'pair'>> a Long-Spine Urchin and maybe a brittle star (not sure if he would compete too much with my Mandarin's food. This list is from Mike Paletta's book (except for the Tomato and the Mandarin) and I liked the combination. Any red flags here? <<Indeed'¦as indicated>> I've going to try a shallow sand bed with my DSB in my refugium (50 gal). <<Sounds fine>> I'm trying to decide on a pump. So far, my husband has been pretty tolerant of my obsession, but if my new tank is noisy and he has to turn up the TV to hear it, I think that tolerance will disappear. <<Ah yes, the relative 'noise' of the/a system is very often a prime (and understandable) consideration>> So I need a quiet external pump since my sump is being built to go external so I can have as big a sump/refugium as possible. <<Mmm, a submerged pump would prove to be quieter'¦and a less expensive option?? I had settled on an Iwaki (Japanese model), but after reading and reading, I'm concerned about the noise level. <<These are very good/well made and quiet (relatively) pumps'¦but they are not silent'¦and noise levels do seem to vary 'slightly' among individual pumps of the same model'¦or perhaps the installation has more to do with this last item. If you're not looking for a high flow rate, the smaller Iwaki pumps that don't employ a cooling fan (usually the bulk of the noise generated) may suit your purpose>> Most people have their Iwaki's outside of their living quarters (garage, basement). Mine will be under the display tank. Also, I'm not thrilled with having put on my own plug, hello - I'm not an electrician!) <<A very simple procedure'¦but I do understand your hesitation>> Do you have any other suggestions as to the quietest yet higher quality pump on the market? <<Depends on your desired flow rate. For higher flow rates the Dolphin pumps are reported to be pretty quiet with fairly good reliability'¦GRI is also a very good pump and makes about as much noise as the similarly sized Iwaki pumps. For a lower flow rate, the Eheim hobby pumps (can be used as both submersible or external) are worth investigating'¦quiet and very well made>> I was reading some of the FAQ on the Dolphin AmpMaster and saw some models mentioned; DP800 that drives about 600 gph with a 4' head or a DP1200 driving 1050 gph with a 4'head. When I go to look for them, the company doesn't appear to sell these smaller pumps anymore. <<Mmm, yes'¦does seem to be a dearth of information re'¦but you can find the DP800 and DP900 here (http://petchauffeur.net/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=TPCS&Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=dolphin-water-pumps) I'm not sure when the FAQ were written as they didn't have a date on them. <<Then likely three years or so>> Is this company no longer around or have they moved to higher gph pumps only? <<Seemingly, the latter>> If so, do you have any other suggestions as to a high quality external pump that is quiet enough for my living room? <<As stated, an external pump will be a bit of a trade-off re the noise produced>> Ocean Runner? <<A possibility'¦ I use a pair of 3500s for my return pumps and I find them 'very' quiet'¦but they are run submerged. But I have seen them installed as external recirculation pumps on large skimmers and they did also seem pretty quiet in this configuration as well>> My tank will be the standard predrilled All-Glass Aquarium with 2 overflows and rated for a maximum flow through of 1200 gph. <<Hmm, these are very likely 1' throughputs/bulkheads. As such, you should plan for a safe flow rate of no more than 600gph'¦especially considering your noise (or lack of!) requirement. As such'¦the larger Eheim Hobby pump (model 1262); with a gate-valve plumbed on the return side to temper flow if needed, may be perfect here>> The LFS told me to get a pump that is rated 500 gph. <<After headloss, yes'¦ And KUDOS to your LFS for recommending such>> With the refugium just below the display, my head should only be 4-5 ft, correct? <<This sounds about right'¦aside from the vertical height, figure an additional foot of headloss for each elbow and tee fitting>> 500 gph sounds too low, doesn't it? <<Nope'¦the drains on this tank will not handle much more than this. But your pump will need to be rated higher to allow for the headloss'¦and by using the gate-valve mentioned, you can easily go big enough and still have the capability to temper the flow if it proves to be too much>> He said I should make up the rest with powerheads since I want to do 10-20x. <<I'm liking this guy more and more [grin}. I am much in agreement'¦ With noise as a prime consideration, utilizing a small(ish) return pump helps with both this and the plumbing issues/hassles associated with high flow rates. Supplementing flow in the tank with powerheads as opposed to an external (noisy) closed-loop will also prove very quiet. And'¦there are more and better choices becoming available nowadays>> Now I'm confused and not sure how big of a pump to get now. <<For external application'¦and in consideration of your situation'¦the smaller Iwaki or larger Eheim pumps should serve>> He's already not happy with me because I want to get a Euro-Reef skimmer <<Ah! A VERY good choice'¦and my current fave>> but his store only carries the Nautilus. <<Is bunk'¦go with the Euro-Reef>> He's custom making my refugium for me and is going to do the plumbing setup (since that's the scariest part for me). I ensured him that I'll be buying all my livestock, rock, sand and tank from him, so not to worry, he'll still make a lot of money off me (kept grumbling about how internet sales was the bane of his existence). <<Mmm, I can understand his position but don't let him sway you'¦if you gave him the opportunity to obtain the quality equipment you want/need and he can't deliver (for whatever reason)'¦then don't feel bad about doing what you need to do>> He also carries only the Rio & Mag Drive pumps. <<A limited selection indeed'¦but is he willing/can he not order other makes?>> I know the Mag Drive pumps are good workhorses but they are also noisy, so I'm trying to do the pump and skimmer on my own. <<I think you are wise>> I really could use some advice and I so much appreciate the fact that you are here to help. Your advice makes this all possible. <<I hope I have provided some useful input'¦but do feel free to write back for clarification or further discussion>> Thanks!! <<Be chatting. Eric Russell>>

Re: I Need A Quiet External Pump For My New 120g FOWLR System (Livestock Plan) -- 04/29/08 Thank you so much Eric for all your help. <<Is my pleasure>> I feel so much better about my pump concerns and plan to go with the Eheim. <<An excellent choice>> I also feel better about my LFS because of your comments. <<Ah, good>> I understand what pressures they're dealing with to keep alive, <<Indeed'¦>> but I don't want to be stuck with buying inferior equipment either, << Sadly, cheap and inferior seems easier (too easy?) to sell. I know it's easy for me to say, but'¦even though more expensive, beginning hobbyists might be more successful; and save a little money in the long run due to replacement, if offered and urged to by quality functioning gear from the start. One should at least have options/choices available if they've done their homework and wish to be more discerning in their selections>> so I'll continue to support them as much as I can because I don't want to buy my livestock via mail order. <<The dollar savings from buying off the NET are very small usually, once you factor in shipping (less than $10 difference in my dealings and with 'my' LFS), while the advantages of buying your livestock through an LFS you trust can be many>> So I'll do my best to keep them in business! <<Very good>> Speaking of livestock, you helped me solve my equipment problem, but what I thought was a good livestock plan sounds not so great by your comments. <<Yes'¦in fact I 'strongly disagree' with some aspects your plan as originally presented>> I seriously was taking the list from Michael Paletta's book, "The New Marine Aquarium". <<And much fine information to be found there'¦but we have a difference of opinions re stocking selection/densities>> It was the list for the 75 gal tank (I believe), <<Making it even more disagreeable to me>> so thought if that was good, then a 120 should be "under stocked". <<Not with a 'pair' of Paracanthurus hepatus>> My two fish that I currently have in my 20 gal is the Tomato clown and the Green Mandarin (which I'm keeping fat and happy with frozen Cyclops, live and frozen brine shrimp and now I'm culturing copepods until my new refugium is up and running) - sorry - she was an impulse buy - my fault for not researching <<Yes'¦[grin]>> and another LFS which I no longer frequent said was easy to care for and fine for a 20gal <<An all too common tale>> - but I take personal responsibility and am working hard to keep her happy. <<Very well>> So I do need to build my list around them, and knowing that the Tomato's reputation is that they don't always play nice in the sandbox, <<Pretty much true for all the Clownfishes. And ironically'¦ In more than three decades in the hobby (and including a brief stint working the retail side), clownfish species are the only fish to have ever 'drawn blood' from me while working in the tank>> I'm hoping to come up with a good livestock list to go with him. I would like to keep the list as reef safe as possible in case I want to add "easy" corals at a later date. <<I see>> I love to watch them flow with the water movement - it's mesmerizing and relaxing. Is there a good suggested list to begin with knowing my starting point? <<Many choices'¦ But what do 'you' like? Best to start with a list of desired fishes and then research them individually for compatibility and suitability to your system>> I've read for many hours on all the different types of fish and invertebrates (Bob and Anthony's Reef Invertebrates is a great book). <<Agreed>> I thought I had a good handle on the list until now. The recommended list was: 2 Yellow Tail Blue Hippo Tangs; which you said was too many for that tank and one was even pushing it. <<I did, yes>> I found from reading that these didn't grow as large <<Mmm'¦where did you read this I wonder?>> as the yellow and purple's and the powder blue, so thought that was why he was recommending them and that they got along better as a pair compared to other tangs. <<I don't recommend a pair of 'any' Tang/Surgeonfish from the same species for your tank'¦and most certainly not Paracanthurus hepatus. This fish grows LARGER and more robust than the two Zebrasoma and one Acanthurus species you mention (to 12' in the wild>>. And in my opinion/experience, is one of the more high-strung and easily damaged (socially/psychologically) tang species'¦suffering terribly from just being 'raised up' in a 'too small' system>> So you're vote is no for a 120g. <<Yes'¦better choices available>> Any similar type fish that you would recommend - I'm for long term survival - I cry when any fish die - that's just me. <<Though I stated I don't recommend a pair from the same species (or genera, for that matter) for your tank'¦I do think you could get away with two from 'differing' genera, with some though to selection and introduction. The Yellow or Purple Tang would be a fine Zebrasoma choice for the 120'¦and among Acanthurus species I think A. japonicus (White-Faced or Gold-Rimmed Tang) or A. pyroferus (Chocolate or Mimic Tang) are good choices'¦you could also choose one of the smaller Ctenochaetus species if you wish like C. strigosus (Kole Tang)>> 7 Blue Green Chromis; these are ok? <<These are considered a more 'docile' Damsel species, and are always a popular choice for a 'schooling' fish'¦but with the exception of very large tanks (several hundred gallons and more), I don't really recall any instances where the subordinate individuals didn't all just 'disappear' until only one or two specimens were left. As such, it is hard for me to recommend these. If you decide to give them a go, I do recommend no more than five for your tank>> I like to watch the schooling -- if not any other suggestions? <<Either Sphaeramia nematoptera (PJ or Pajama Cardinal) or Apogon leptacanthus (Threadfin or Longspine Cardinal) would be more successful re'¦in my opinion. And again'¦no more than five either species>> 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish; You said these are difficult to keep <<Many come in 'damaged' from collection/shipping>> - so odd that he recommends for a beginner <<Differences of opinion'¦though they can be very hardy/long-lived if a 'healthy' specimen can be obtained and acclimates well>> - what about other angelfish? <<Ah well, my personal fave Centropyge species is C. loricula (Flame Angel). These are gorgeous fish that do well in captive settings'¦and the best choice here I think>> 1 Longnose Hawkfish, 3 Banggai Cardinal fish, you said these would likely end up as a pair. <<Yes>> Why? Because one would be killed off?? <<Indirectly'¦through stress, yes>> Then I only want to start with two...so these are better as pairs or more than 3? <<Results are much like those of the Chromis... And just purchasing a 'pair' can be difficult as differences between sexes are not readily apparent (the male has a more angular head and a longer second dorsal fin)>> I want to add the Long-Spine Urchin because of the relationship they have with the cardinals <<Mmm'¦more as juveniles than adults>> - similar to the clown and the anemone but urchins are hopefully hardier than the anemones. <<Diadema sp Urchins can get quite large'¦and in my experience can be destructive in a reef system...but the choice is yours>> Any other suggestions? The more I read, the more I get nervous that I may mix Pacific fish with Atlantic and so on and really do want what's best for the fish. <<Do look up your choices/selections on fishbase.org. This site is very useful for determining locale/origin'¦ and for determining adult 'size' of the fishes you are thinking of keeping>> Any suggestions for other invertebrates with these suggestions for a beginner? <<Hmm'¦the Hawkfish will make adding shrimp difficult as they may be preyed upon'¦but do consider some detritus feeding snails like Nassarius sp and maybe a Brittle Starfish or two>> I wouldn't mind starting off with a known successful mix rather than trial and error by killing off perfectly helpless fish. <<Nothing is a guarantee'¦even 'my' selections [big grin]>> I've read the article on Steven Pro's 55 gal setup http://www.pmas.org/pro/ <<Ah yes, and do note how the tank is NOT filled up with rock'¦>> but wish he would update us with his new 120 gal so I can see how he stocked it. <<Why not ask him to do so (http://forum.marinedepot.com/Forum14-1.aspx)>> Do you know what he ended up doing? <<I'm afraid I don't>> He had a Maroon Clownfish-Premnas biaculeatus an Orange Tail Fiji Damsel-Chrysiptera cyanea, an Algae Blenny-Salarias fasciatus and a Yellow Tang-Zebrasoma flavescens in the 55 gal. My tomato has been with me since 2004 and has been playing nice with the mandarin who has been with me for over 6 mos. I couldn't find any sample combination lists in the FAQ sections, only very nice write ups on the individual species. Any help or direction you can point me to would be absolutely great. <<I hope I have done so>> I have plenty of time, my new tank has to cycle for a few months, but need to get my plan going so I know when to introduce my tomato - before or after the others to help keep the fighting to a minimum. I want a happy tank! Thanks so much Eric for all your help! <<Quite welcome>> Sorry my email is so long <<No worries>> - hopefully it gives you the info you need though to help me out! Jean <<Species selection is a serious process but is also part of the fun of system setup. Do keep reading/researching, and feel free to discuss with/bounce your selections off me if you wish. Regards, Eric Russell>>

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