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Old 03-04-2008, 12:38 AM   #1
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How many pumps do I need?

I purchased a 120 gallon tank and am wanting to purchase the pump and skimmer next. I want to do reef and fish with a sump that has macro algae and rock and maybe sand. I thought I had the pump figured out that I was going to get. ...around 1500 gph at 4 foot head height but then I saw where someone had said they had one pump hooked up for their return and ANOTHER ONE on the skimmer ! How many pumps do you have to have? I'm so confused. Please help. Also, I am very interested in getting a pump that uses low wattage and any suggestions would be fantastic. I have such a hard time googling it for some reason.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7...m/PIC-0338.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7...m/PIC-0337.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7...m/PIC-0336.jpg

THERE ARE TWO overflows.

48X24X25 - From the top of the tank to the bottom of the stand is almost 54 inches.

Are powerheads pumps? Do I only need one pump, one skimmer, and either 2 powerheads or a wave2k, a heater or chiller and thats it? If I don't have money to blow is the wave2k a waste of money or will it make my fish and animals happier?? WAVE2K!
Leah

Oh, and the reason I mentioned the skimmer is because that is part of the confusion. Someone said they needed to know what kind of skimmer I am getting before they can tell me what kind of pump to get. ?
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:24 AM   #2
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Those overflows are rated for about 600 gph each. You have 2. If you get a pump that does 1500 gph, you will have a dry sump and overflowing tank. You MUST match the pump with what your overflows can drain.

You only need 1 pump to return water to the tank. The protein skimmer will have it's own pump, unless you get a recirculating model which needs a pump to feed it. The return pump has nothing to do with the skimmer and if you do get a recircualting model, that pump will have nothing to do with the return pump. They are seperate and independant of each other.

You can get 2 Hydor Koralia 3's for circulation inside the tank.

Depending on where you live, you will need a heater to keep the water temp steady. A chiller is only necessary if you run MH lighting, live in a hot climate with no A/C and the tank won't stay under 83 degrees.
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:16 PM   #3
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:52 PM   #4
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Expanding on what cccapt said; You need one pump for the return; the skimmer you get may come with a matching pump or it should give you a list of available pumps that are sized for it. The skimmer pump does not count towards the amount of flow you have running through your tank. The skimmer pump only pumps water through the skimmer.

You want to have 10x - 20x tank capacity flow in gph. For a 120 gallon tank you want 1200 - 2400 gallons of water flowing through the tank. Powerheads are interal pumps (internal to the tank) that move water. A couple of the Hydor Koralia's will get you to the desired value.

You do not need the wave2k. Set your powerheads to face each other, or criss-cross so that you get a chaotic water flow in the tank (from every direction instead of from a single direction).

Hope that helps.
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Those overflows are rated for about 600 gph each. You have 2. If you get a pump that does 1500 gph, you will have a dry sump and overflowing tank. You MUST match the pump with what your overflows can drain.
How did you know they handle 600 gph each?
Quote:
The skimmer pump does not count towards the amount of flow you have running through your tank.
Thank God you said that. I think that is what was confusing me.
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You do not need the wave2k. Set your powerheads to face each other, or criss-cross so that you get a chaotic water flow in the tank (from every direction instead of from a single direction).
Do I want the water to be moving on the surface? or is that bad? If I had money to spend would it be better to have 2, 3, or 4 powerheads?

Thank you so much !!!!!!!
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:40 PM   #6
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Do I want the water to be moving on the surface? or is that bad?
Yes very much you want surface aggitation. This is how your tank recieves adequate aeration.
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:00 AM   #7
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Thanks.

Ok, here's one more question. sigh. I just heard about "closed loop system". Is this cheaper/more expensive in the long run or initial cost? Is this better for water quality? Does it matter what kind of fish or coral I want to decide this? I don't know what coral I want but I have an IDEA of the fish I want:
yellow faced jawfish
seahorses
ocellaris clownfish
blue jaw tilefish - (very active lives on bottom - so probably not with the seahorses, right?)
blue powder tangs
other tangs,
racoon butterfly fish,
Angel Fish
I realize I can't have these fish together and am also thinking about using my 75 gallon to do the seahorses. I am most in love with occelaris clownfish and blue powder tang and am aware I can't tackle this until later on...just trying to plan ahead. Also, I am developing a real problem with wild caught fish because of some horror stories I've read recently. I hope I am at least going to be able to find the BPT tank bred as I know I can find the clowns. If anyone knows of captive bred blue powder tangs PLEASE give me the link.
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:24 PM   #8
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Your drains from the overflow are a standard size that can handle 600gph.

You probably want 2 -4 powerheads (depending on size) placed to agitate the surface of the water and give you good flow through the tank.

Seahorses should be kept in a species specific tank as you already know.
Read this article on jawfish before getting one. Read up on all the fish you want to make sure you can provide the proper environment for the adult fish.
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