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Old 02-12-2005, 12:48 AM   #1
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Return pump specs for a sump 3 feet below main tank.

I currently have a 50 gal tank, 4" DSB, 60# live rock, CPR Bakpak skimmer, hang-on refugium, about 170 watts of PC lighting (fairly new bulbs), 3 clowns, 2 4-stripe damsel, 2 pj cardinals, 1 orange spot goby, shrimp, snails, hermits, mushrooms and a few other soft corals. Temp=76, pH=8.2, Ca=410, kH=11 ppm, Nitrates vary from 10 to 20 (a bit high). I know my bio-load is a little high and the skimmer has to be working perfectly to keep up. I was given a larger sump-type skimmer and plan to use a 10 gal tank as a sump below the 55 gal tank. My question is what size/type/specs etc are required for the return pump to lift about 3 feet. My tank is not drilled so is a hang-on type of syphon box with gravity flow to the sump adequate? My tank has been running well for about 1.5 years but if I don't keep the skimmer perfectly clean, etc. I start to get a ton of slime algae. Thanks for any advice.
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Old 02-12-2005, 12:55 AM   #2
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My return pump for my 125 lifts about 4 feet and is rated at 650 gal/hour if that helps you.

Its a CAP-2200 and it's worked flawlessly.
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125 SW
80 lb LR
330w PC
Euphyllia, Alveopora, Pachyclauvularia (Metallic Green and Daisy), Frogspawn, Torch, Gold Nepthea, Kenya Tree, Galaxea, Pulsing Xenia, various leather (umbrella, toadstool, fingers, devil fingers, lettuce)
Maroon Clown/White tip LT anemone, Powder Blue Tang, Female Swallow Angel, SixLine Wrasse, Solar Fairy Wrasse, Firefish, Fathead Anthias, Blue Mandarin, 3 Chromis, 3 Green Gobies
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Old 02-12-2005, 01:56 AM   #3
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I have a Mag 9.5 on my 60 gallon. Is currently at 4 feet, split into 2 loc line return couplings after a ball valve/true union. Rated at 950 gal/hour, with 2 overflow boxes powering it. Not sure what you need, as long as the pump will pump LESS than what your overflow box is rated for.
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Old 02-12-2005, 02:16 AM   #4
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One thing to keep in mind -

I have a 20 gal wet/dry servicing a 125 gallon tank. I keep the water level in the wet/dry at maybe 5 gallons. The slower pump comes in handy in the event of a power outage. If I lose power, I have about 10 minutes before the siphon breaks and even if the siphon breaks, the power comes back and the wet/dry runs dry, it won't overflow the tank

I'm neurotic about power outages though.
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125 SW
80 lb LR
330w PC
Euphyllia, Alveopora, Pachyclauvularia (Metallic Green and Daisy), Frogspawn, Torch, Gold Nepthea, Kenya Tree, Galaxea, Pulsing Xenia, various leather (umbrella, toadstool, fingers, devil fingers, lettuce)
Maroon Clown/White tip LT anemone, Powder Blue Tang, Female Swallow Angel, SixLine Wrasse, Solar Fairy Wrasse, Firefish, Fathead Anthias, Blue Mandarin, 3 Chromis, 3 Green Gobies
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Old 02-12-2005, 02:48 AM   #5
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My return pump is rated at 1500G. I have a 80G tank and a 27G sump. I have the returnline split into 4 at the tank and use them as powerheads.
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Old 02-12-2005, 08:43 AM   #6
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I guess mine is the simplest of the ones listed. I have a mag 7 returning water through a 1/2" PVC line from a 10 gal sump into a 30 gal tank. I had to use a ball valve near the top of the return pipe to reduce the flow a little bit (don't reduce the flow too close to the pump, and NEVER on the intake side!!!) , because it was pulling so much water out of my sump that the pump was (I thought) in danger of running dry. It probably wasn't, but I'm new at this and didn't want to take a chance - margin of error seemed too tight.

I may think of splitting the return into two, but I'll wait because I'm using two powerheads in addition to the return - one of them is one of those PH's that turn back and forth automatically. Right now, it's the only think moving in my still-cycling tank!
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 02-13-2005, 05:53 PM   #7
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It all depends on what the overflow is rated. If your overflow is rated at 600 gph, you don't want a pump that pumps more than that at the head height for your setup. You can throttle some pumps back if you get one that is too big but get a pump to match your overflow.

I would think with a 50 gal and if you get a single U tube overflow, a Mag 5 or 7 would be ok. If you get a bigger overflow you can get a bigger pump.

HTH
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