I woke up this morning to find my return pump has failed again. Here's the chronology for my return pumps:
1. Mag Drive 12. Worked great for a year, then it stopped working.
1a. replaced the impeller. Worked for a couple of days, then quit again.
1b. replaced the impeller and cover. Worked for a couple of days, then quit again.
2. Mag Drive 12. I bought a new one, installed it from the box, it worked great for about a day and then quit.
3. Mag Drive 12. I exchanged the last one for another new one. Installed it, it worked great for less than two days, and then quit.
4. Quietone 6000. I exchanged the last one, and asked the LFS
what they would recommend. They said this brand, since it's the one they use there, and it happens to be the same brand as my backup pump (below). I ordered one of these, but it seemed to provide the same amount of flow as the backup (half of what it was rated). I installed it anyways, and it worked for about a week. It quit this morning.
Backup. my backup pump is a Quietone 2200, rated for 600 gph
. It doesn't give me nearly what I want, but it has worked and never failed every time these other pumps do.
I'm getting really frustrated with this situation. I've gone through a lot of trouble and I still can't get a decent return pump working that will stay working. I'm going to return this Quietone 6000 after work today and I don't know what I'm going to do for a return pump at this point. All I care about is that I have a return that will actually give me at least 1000 gph
Possible causes (in alphabetical order):
I currently run an auto-topoff switch, but I have it mounted so that it protects the pump. That is, if the water level in the refugium gets too low, it will shut the pump off so that it doesn't run dry. What sometimes happens is that evaporation makes the level get low enough that it trips the ATO to turn off the pump, but then gravity kicks in and there's an oscillating of on/off every second or so. At worst, this could happen for a few hours until I get home to top off the tank. I'd like to think that pumps are made to turn on and off, and with a couple of these pumps (the ones that lasted for a day or two), there wasn't much opportunity for this to happen. I don't think this is realistically a cause, but please correct me if I'm wrong. I've tried pumps with and without this setup and it doesn't seem to affect whether or not they work, but I haven't tried *every* pump in *every* possible configuration.
: I have an API battery backup/surge protector that I run all of the fish tank stuff on. I'm not happy with the battery backup part, I'm pretty sure that's shot, so at this point everything is just on the surge protector, but I've tried every configuration for these pumps I can think of: plugged into the battery backup, the surge protection only, and directly into the wall. The differences in configuration seem to make no difference in the performance of the pump.
I use flexible tubing to do from my return pump back to the display tank. There is a "T" branch, so there are two return nozzles that come from this one pump. The returns are about 5-6 feet above the return pump. I have a spongey-thing in front of the pump's intake to try and get out any large bits that might clog up the pump. This is the same plumbing (at least the same plumbing surrounding the return pump) I have used for most of the time I've had this tank, so it's worked with the first Mag Drive 12 pump for several months before it failed.
Here's a video of the most recent setup of the tank. The backup pump was installed when this video was taken. Maybe there's something else I'm missing...
is tired of me coming back and saying that their pumps don't work.
My main questions are: what return pump should I get at this point? Is there something wrong with my setup that is causing all of these pumps to fail?
I would appreciate any feedback or suggestions. I'm at a total loss right now.