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Old 09-22-2005, 02:01 AM   #1
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Is this too much flow for a 29 gallon reef?

I've currently got two Maxi-Jet 1200's, and a Coralife SuperSkimmer 65, and it's rather 'fast' in there. Tanks only been running for 2 and a half weeks, so no fish or corals yet, and want to make sure I don't have the flow to violent. I plan on adding a sump to the equation, moving the skimmer into the sump, with probably a Mag 500 for the return pump. So, is that too much flow? I could up the return pump on the sump (when I get it) to a Mag 700, split the return into two outputs, and get rid of the Maxi-jets, that's just an idea I had. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!

29 gallon, 30 lbs live rock, about 20 lbs base rock, 30 lbs aragonite substrate. Tank has been running for about 2 and a half weeks.
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Old 09-22-2005, 09:56 AM   #2
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What do you plan on keeping (fish, types of corals, inverts, etc.)?
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Old 09-22-2005, 10:04 AM   #3
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Well, your 2 MJ 1200s are producing 590 gph of flow. That is just over 2 turnover in your tank which is ideal for a reef. Just make sure that the two powerheads are pointing towards each other and making a chaotic flow. That is the most important part for a reef. The return from your sump doesn't have to be too strong and I think your tank is in great shape. Good luck!

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Old 09-22-2005, 10:42 AM   #4
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I'm going to make this a reef, softies and LPS. 3 or 4 small fish, clown I'm sure, maybe a lawnmower blennie, something else. Couple of shrimp, snails for cleanup crew. Haven't decided on hermit crabs yet.

590 gph is 20x turnover, not 2x. So are you saying that with those powerheads I've got 10 times too much flow? I think maybe you just forgot the '0' in the '20'? When I add a pump for a sump, that'll be another 350ish gph, which would push the total flow to 940 gph, which would be about 24x to 27x flow, when taking into account the water in the sump. I'm new to reefs, and it just seems awfull strong. If it's OK, then great, if not, I can reduce it some. Just need to know!
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Old 09-22-2005, 10:46 AM   #5
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Sorry, apparently the "O X" makes that nice little alien guy instead of what I had intended. Ten to Twenty times turnover is what you are looking for. So you are on the right track. Also, keep in mind that there will be some head loss for your return pump so you won't get the full 350gph.
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Old 09-22-2005, 10:51 AM   #6
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I was thinking of using a Mag 5 pump, rated at 500 gph, so that's why I figured it would actually be pumping 350 gph. Is it bad to go over the 20x flow? I could just get the 350 gph pump, save me a bit of money.
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Old 09-22-2005, 12:45 PM   #7
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I don't know if it's actually BAD, but I don't think you need to spend the extra money and over-do it. I would stick with the smaller return pump.

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Old 09-22-2005, 01:23 PM   #8
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Or I could set up a fuge, "T" off the output of the 500 gph pump, with maybe 30% of the flow going to the fuge (and then back into the sump) and the other 70% going into the tank. Hehe, this is getting interesting!
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Old 09-22-2005, 06:02 PM   #9
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One of the issues might be that the MJ1200 produce a very strong laminar flow. While the total "x" turnover rate is good, it could be potentially too much force even when directed at each other. Hydor makes attachments that turn most powerheads into rotating ones, but I have never used one to observe how it may help in your situation.
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Old 09-22-2005, 06:12 PM   #10
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Total flow is important to be sure but how the flow is utilized is equally important. You can have a great amount of flow but it may not be used effectively. I would actually suggest splitting off the return from the MAG 5 (300 GPH @4 ft without elbows and such) once it reaches the tank top so you can create more coverage/surface movement. Then use the two MJ's lower in the tank (towards the back glass) slightly angled upwards to help get as many dead spots as possible and keep nutrients suspended in the water as long as possible. It will allow corals and such more opportunity at foods sources and the equipment better opportunity at removing it.

As for the types of corals you plan on keeping (soft/LPS), they are not a great appreciator of high flow (species depending) but with the proper placement of the animals and thought out direction of the flow itself, you should do just fine.

As for the split from the sump to fuge back to the sump, I would honestly suggest a different pump for that. The more you split off the return/add directional changes, the more you add to the head pressure reducing performance.

Cheers
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