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Old 07-31-2009, 03:01 PM   #1
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Alright this is a question for the experts on sumps. I need to get an overflow box to work with a sump, and the overflow box that i want to get is going to be returning water via an aqua-list return pump. The pump is rated at 300GPH. So knowing this, would something like a 20G high tank be able to handle 300GPH? and the skimmer and filter still work appropriately?
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:05 PM   #2
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It's not the tank you need to worry about. A 300gph return is pretty small. A 1" drain (overflow or drilled) drains at approx 600 gph. Your overflow needs to only drain at approx 300gph or u have a sump flood (unless you restrict it somewhere).

Question, the 300 gph return.. You're sure that's 300 gph at the headheight you need right?

But to answer the direct question.. a 20G tank is fine for a sump.. I would venture a guess that alot of us have sumps in the 20 gallon range.
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:08 PM   #3
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Well then what would be an appropriate GPH for returning water through a 20G tank? Im not really sure as how to measure this by.. head height. Would i be better off going with a 600GPH+?


The overflow box that i wanted to get only had a 3/4" bulkhead.. so i would guess that a GPH of 300 would work considerably for it, but imnot sure. what do you think?
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:16 PM   #4
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Forget the tank and think of it as a math problem. You have a hole in your tank flushing water at a certain GPH into a container. You have a pump in the container pumping water out. If the pump doesn't pump at almost the same rate at the water is flushing you have a container overflow. If the pump is too big and it pumps water faster than it is getting water then your tank will overflow. If they are roughly equal, all is right with the world. Water in = Water out = Water In .. etc

Headloss is how much power you pump loses because it has to pump water up hill to get it back in the tank. It may be able to pump 300gpm in a str8 line but when it has to pump it 4 ft up from the sump and over the rim of the tank, that takes a beating on the pump (not in a bad way) and requires more effort. More effort, slower pumping. slower pumping,less gallons moving....

Your pump should have a headloss paper w/ it. If not the manufacturer will have one. There are other things to take into account also, how many bends are in you pipe, couplings, etc etc etc

Look here.. Reef Central Online Community

Make sense?
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:18 PM   #5
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Makes alot of sense. Thanks for spinning the yarn for me.
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:26 PM   #6
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Oh so NOWW your going to get a sump XD
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:28 PM   #7
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But see, if im getting an overflow box kit, that has a pump specifically made for the overflow box, and it takes into consideration the flow rate as well, then shouldnt it work like its supposed to?

In other words, lets say i got an overflow box with a 1" bulkhead. Then getting something like a 650GPH or 700GPH pump with a max head height of 9.5ft, then wouldnt it work perfectly? its 750gph @ 1ft.

Well, im not sure if im getting a sump just yet because i want these calculations to be just perfect before i go out and buy something that either will overflow my sump,or not pump water to my tank fast enough. Plus i have some extra $ now because my mom wants to "invest" on my SW tank and shes going to pay half for the LR. xDD How lucky i must be.. :p
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:38 PM   #8
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You would think so but......

Do you have a link to the one you're looking at?

I'm always more comfortable buying the pieces I need. That way I can get exactly what I want and that works for me and not what someone else thinks I need. There are good pumps, bad pumps, fire hazard pumps, loud pumps, etc (all highly subjective of course).

Frankly I never heard of the brand you listed and Google turned up nada as well... Just saying.. It's not just your tank but a big expensive mess if it overflows to take a chance on it.

Anyway, as to your example.. it doesn't always work that way.. Each pump will have diff headloss numbers.

For example. I have a 1" drilled tank and a Mag 9.5 running that I have to restrict just a tad to make it all work out based on my head height (stand height, tank height). Now you may have a 75g instead of a 90 and prefer your stand to be lower. Put my 1" drain and pump on your tank and you may have a disaster. It's just not cookie cutter which makes me leery of packages unless it's the full monty.. tank, stand, sump, overflow, pump.

Anyway, don't wanna beat the dead fish too long.
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:38 PM   #9
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A 1" pipe drains 600 gph and the pump pushes 750gph, unless you restrict the flow as Captain Ahab suggested then your DT will overflow because the overflow cant take out what the pump is putting in
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:42 PM   #10
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So in other words, if i get an overflow that has a 1" bulkhead and a flow rate of 600GPH, then to the best of my abilities, i would get a pump that pumps water out of the sump at 600GPH.. rriiiight?
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