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Old 03-23-2009, 08:10 PM   #11
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If the cost isn't a big difference I would go as large as you can. The 2' front to back is awesome and. Personally if you can do it I would go with the 240g tank. The vertical height and the front to back depth will give you more options for your rock work. The additional water volume will help your overall system too. I wish I had the room for a larger tank. I've come across some great deals on huge tanks but alas I'm stuck with the 120g tank.

Go as big as you can!!
Thanks Ziggy you have been a big help already. I've read your thread on your 120. What an odyssey. Good work.

I'd like to keep updating my first post with changes, but it looks like I'm locked. I think I'll just make additions here and start another thread when I get some things finalized.

I have some schematics I'm working on, but I need to find a tank first. I was thinking a closed loop into a sump with one in flow and two returns. Would I still need an overflow in this situation? What size plumbing, 1.5 inch?
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:08 PM   #12
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You do not want a closed-loop attached to your sump. A closed-loop is supposed to replace powerheads for the bulk-load of your water movement; otherwise, you will be putting about 20-30gph through your sump and that is vastly overkill. The sump return is normally within a 3-5gph or if you install a large pump it will need to be valved down. A 1" bulkhead in a standard 6x9 yields about 700gph.
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:06 AM   #13
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You do not want a closed-loop attached to your sump. A closed-loop is supposed to replace powerheads for the bulk-load of your water movement; otherwise, you will be putting about 20-30gph through your sump and that is vastly overkill. The sump return is normally within a 3-5gph or if you install a large pump it will need to be valved down. A 1" bulkhead in a standard 6x9 yields about 700gph.
I knew the closed loop was for water movement, but until you said "20-30gph through your sump" it didn't click why it cant be included in the sump. Totally make sense now. So without overflows, is another couple holes needed or do most FOWLR not use a closed system?

The plumbing is the mystery part for me so far and I've not seen any clear examples. Are there any good diagrams showing a sump and closed loop system?

I'll keep reading...
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:31 AM   #14
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Rough Plan of a 180

This is a first pass at a 180 gallon.
  • Is 1.2 feet at the top of the aquarium sufficient to work in?
  • Same goes for the 15 inches over the sump.
  • 3 feet off the ground is a bit low as far as aesthetics, but it's a great height for small children.
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:46 PM   #15
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You do not want a closed-loop attached to your sump. A closed-loop is supposed to replace powerheads for the bulk-load of your water movement; otherwise, you will be putting about 20-30gph through your sump and that is vastly overkill. The sump return is normally within a 3-5gph or if you install a large pump it will need to be valved down. A 1" bulkhead in a standard 6x9 yields about 700gph.
You are going to have to clarify your numbers for me. I have roughly 2200gph overflow on my tank and I'm pushing at least 1200gph through it. My fuge gets more then 20-30gph flow more like 300gph flow through it. Maybe I'm not reading that right?.?.?

Did you mean 20-3 turn over (3600gph - 5400gph??)???
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:51 PM   #16
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Sorry Ziggy, I did mean 20-30 as in turnover. Fuge's usually get more flow than the sump area (skimmer and return) just to keep detritus and other sedimentation from settling, but most sumps or should I say the "old rule of thumb" has always been 3-5gph turnover or basically what your overflows can handle (usually not much unless you drill beyond the standard.)
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:18 AM   #17
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Little Cute Fish vs Big Mean Fish

My wife is really getting into the aquarium now. She has always liked keeping fish. We also wanted it to be a family hobby for our newborn.

The thing is she likes the little guys (darts, cardinals, basslets,dottybacks) and like groups of them. I like the bigger guys (lions,eels,etc).

This may be the biggest hurdle yet

There are some we like in common (Butterflys, Angels, Puffer).

We are making a list of our top choices and will see what we come up with.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:51 AM   #18
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Sorry Ziggy, I did mean 20-30 as in turnover. Fuge's usually get more flow than the sump area (skimmer and return) just to keep detritus and other sedimentation from settling, but most sumps or should I say the "old rule of thumb" has always been 3-5gph turnover or basically what your overflows can handle (usually not much unless you drill beyond the standard.)
OK, so now I'm confused.

Can the return take the water from both the sump and closed loop?
Should the closed loop inlets be in the overflows as well?
Is there a way to do this without overflows? Most people seem to use them.
What is the most cost effective in terms of power used?
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:52 PM   #19
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A closed loop by definition means you are pulling water out of the main tank and pumping it right back in. You don't want your closed loop moving water though anything other then the glass, piping and the pump. A closed loop should have it's own seperate intake and typically it is drilled in the back glass or bottom of the tank. The returns are placed/drilled where ever you want and in what ever configuration you want. Bottom line 1 hole in the tank for the pump to be fed and at least 1 hole in the tank for the return line.

Overflows:

I use 2 1200gph hang on the back overflows (Eshoppes). My tank is not drilled and I did not have time to deal with drilling it when setting up this tank. Read through my thread you will understand. Having a Reef Ready tank is the way to go. It is predrilled and has the overflows built inside the tank. Plumb them up and you are ready to go.

The drawing above showing a return from the sump towards the middle of the tank, that is a disaster waiting to happen. If your return pump fails it will drain your tank to that level and flood your house. Remember the return/sump/overflow is not a closed system and can cause a flood if plumbed that way. Returns are typically towards the top of the tank and have some way of breaking siphon if the pump is shut off. Mine are plumbed with PVC and I drilled holes in the PVC right above the water level of my tank. When my pump is off the siphon breaks immediately and the water level barely drops in my tank.

I hope that helped...

Innovator,
I was under the impression that a fuge should have 600gph or less moving through it. The point of the fuge is for maximum contact time with macro, LR and LS.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:19 PM   #20
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Ok, I've updated the plans based on what I'm reading and what Zig and Vator are saying. I think I might like to try 3 returns from the closed system, but I'm not sure yet. Long way to go... Hopefuly the completed plans will help someone else after I'm done.

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