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Old 07-17-2006, 01:01 PM   #21
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In saltwater, bigger is almost always better. The minium size of your sump should depend on several factors:

Do you want a fuge in the sump?
Do you want a skimmer chamber?
Do you want bubble baffles?
How much backflow do you expect during a power outage?
How much evaporation tolerance do you want?

After you figure out the minium space, consider the greater stability excess water volume lends to a saltwater system.

As for the pump, measure head from the water level in the pump chamber to the water level in the aquarium. Find the power curve graphs for the pumps you are considering, and find one that pumps 400-600 GPH (6-10 GPM) at your head rating. I personally think you're better off with an underpowerd pump rather than overpowered. You'll have to suppliment your flow rate anyway, and an overpowered pump will be noiser and burn more electricity without much benifit.

If you want to keep softies, your total goal flow should probably be around 10x, or 750 GPH. Since your overflow can only take 600 GPH, consider a closed loop or powerheads to cover the diffrence between your sump flow and your goal flow. Since closed loops and powerhead don't have to worry about head, just add together thier ratings with the sump flow to see how you're doing.
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Old 07-17-2006, 01:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sum1serin
Plus, I see all these sumps with the plumbing where it has what can only be a shut off valve to close the pipe?
Some people get overpowerd pumps and throttle them down with those valves. In my opinion it's a complete waste of power and it's going to shorten the life of the pump. Sure it's upgradable to a larger tank later, but are you sure now what size you're going to upgrade to next?
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Old 07-17-2006, 03:32 PM   #23
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Okay, so if I can get a 30 gal I will, but if not, I'll stick with the 20 long, since that should still allow for power outage.

But what do you mean by adding in power heads to make up for the sump flow? If I can find a pump to do 600gph with the head included, what would there be to supplement since it would be equalled out to the overflow rate?

I do understand that having a powerhead in the tank increases circulation and allows for more oxygen exchange, plus movement for the corals, right?
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Old 07-17-2006, 04:10 PM   #24
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You may want more flow within the tank than your overflow can handle. If you add a powerhead or two directly in the display tank, you can provide the current corals prefer without going over the rated capacity of your overflow.

A rule of thumb is that a reef tank should have 10 times the volume of the tank circulated per hour, in your case, that's 750 GPH. Your overflow can't handle 750 GPH, so lets say you find a pump that runs at 550 GPH at your head. 750-550=200 You could put one 200 GPH powerhead, or two 100 GPH powerheads, or one 200 gph closed loop in the tank to suppliment your flow.

High flow rates are important to corals and anenomes, because they do not actively hunt food, but rather wait for food to come to them on the current. If there is a stagnant spot around one of your corals, it won't be able to eat enough.
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:33 PM   #25
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Okay! I understand much better....Any suggestions on a good pump if not Mag?

Now.. any help with plumbing? what I need? heh.
That's my next confusion.. well that and lighting, but lighting is a whole nother thread.
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Old 07-17-2006, 10:57 PM   #26
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Well, Mag is a fine pump, but maybe the 9.5 is a bit much. Lets see... 56" is between 4 & 5 feet... Mag 7 would give you around 500 GPH, Mag 9 would give you around 750 GPH. I'd go for the Mag 7. Mag is a pretty reputable pump.

Plumbing: Use Spa Flex in place of rigid pipe and elbows where practical. Put the system together with a minimum number of fittings. Use threaded fittings or union fittings where you think you might want to be able to disassemble later. (A must if there is any hard pipe running below the bottom of the aquarium. You may want to be able to put the aquarium in a truck some day.) Drill an anti-siphon hole right below the water line. Follow directions on PVC primer/cement cans, it's pretty easy.
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Old 07-18-2006, 01:54 PM   #27
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But I can easily have just two pipes running? I see these sumps where there are multiple pipes when there is only two holes coming from the tank.
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Old 07-18-2006, 02:21 PM   #28
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Oh yes, only two pipes for the main up-down route, unless you want to T off your drain line to feed a fuge, or a DIY skimmer. Other reasons for rats nests of pipes include closed loops, multiple overflows, in-line heaters, other in-line equiptment....

You may want to branch the return line to distribute the flow around your display a bit.
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Old 07-18-2006, 06:16 PM   #29
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i just wanted to say thanks dskidmore! this thread has been a great help!
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:09 PM   #30
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Well, I figured I'd have one of those tubes that seems to have the bubble shape... they tend to be black, and it splits off in two... sorry I can't describe it any better.

in-line heater? how so? heh.

And a DIY skimmer.... are those any good? What I wouldn't kill for to not have to spend so much money on a skimmer (although I know it's good)... I hear people doing without a skimmer... hmm. Any input?

And yes, you have been a wonderful help!
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