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Old 01-19-2007, 09:25 AM   #1
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Internal Overflow Help

Hi All

I need some advice on the design of an internal overflow system for a new reef tank that I am getting custom built

The tank itself is 60"x18"x28" which works out at approx 130 Gallons

I want to push through about 900GPH (any comments on this please feel free)

According to the overflow calculator on reef central that would require an outlet of 1.25" and a linear overflow of 14 inches.

I am thinking about putting in a central overflow system with 1 drilled outlet and 2 drilled returns. (All drill holes will be on the bottom of the tank)

I would greatly appreciate some advice on the best way to have the overflow box constructed including the size of the outlet and return holes. This is holding up tank build as I'm not entirely what to tell the manufacturer as this is my first marine build

Many Thanks in Advance
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Old 01-19-2007, 10:24 AM   #2
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I don't have any flow charts to show you but I'm working on a 180g RR tank now. It's a Glasscages tank with two internal overflows. Each overflow has a 1.25" drain and a 1" return. I built Durso standpipes out of 1.25" PVC. Make sure your overflow is large enough to accomodate a Durso standpipe. Mine just barely fit due to the return line coming up beside it. This system handles 1800gph with no problem. It would flow more than that I'm sure. Based on that, I think you're good with one 1.25" drain as long as you don't intend to up the flow through your sump later. 900gph in a 130 gal tank isn't alot of flow if this is intended to be a reef tank. However, you can always add a closed loop pump to up the flow if your sump is maxed out. If you have too much flow through the sump, you will have problems with microbubbles...closed loops don't have that problem. I would shoot for 2300-2600 gph total flow if it's a reef or even a FOWLR. JMHO.
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Old 01-19-2007, 07:05 PM   #3
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Would the method I have describe in my first post provide enough circulation without the need for adding powerheads to the tank?

How does a closed system work? Any links with images would be greatly appreciated

Thanks
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Old 01-19-2007, 07:19 PM   #4
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I run about 1500gph through the returns on my 120 and its a FOWLR i would recommend at least 2000gph for a reef 2400gph being optimal. Just look at the AGA overflow system and base your tank off of that. Two 1" drains and two 3/4" returns or you can make your returns 1" also.
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Old 01-19-2007, 07:30 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply

Using the AGA design I assume that the overflows would be in each corner of the tank as opposed to a central overflow?

What size would the corner overflows need to be?

I was hoping to use a central overflow as one end panel of the tank will be visible in the room.
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Old 01-19-2007, 08:51 PM   #6
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Old 01-20-2007, 12:48 AM   #7
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You can put the overflow anywhere you want it and it'll work fine. I'd go with a 1.25" drain and a couple of .75" returns. You could go with two 1" drains, but I think the 1.25" will handle it just fine. I would use the Durso standpipe because it works and it's quiet. A closed loop system is where the pump draws directly from the aquarium and pumps the water right back up to the aquarium. All it's doing is creating currents in the tank. I'd use a big strainer on the pump intake so inverts don't get sucked in...it usually kills them.
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Old 01-20-2007, 04:51 AM   #8
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OK I'll stick with the original central overflow design with one 1.25" drain and two .75" returns.

I am planning in putting about 90lbs of live rock and a 4" sand bed to cater for the filtration.

I will be using the 1.25" drain to feed a sump where I will have a skimmer, heaters, refugium etc and returned to the tank via an aqua medic pump. Most likely an Ocean Runner 6500.

Will this setup alone cause enough turbulence in the tank so I don't need any additional equipment like powerheads in the tank itself?

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Old 01-20-2007, 02:01 PM   #9
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I would go with an external pump if possible. They are quieter, last longer, and transfer less heat to the water. 900 gph is not enough flow for a 130 gal reef tank. It's enough going through the sump I think, but you need more flow in the main tank. I would go with a closed loop pump system using a SQWD or at least multiple returns. Powerheads clutter the tank, require cleaning, add heat to the water, and usually don't last nearly as long as a good external pump. You really should have at least another 1200-1500 gph flow in this tank. Examples of pumps you could use are an Iwaki 30 RLXT for the sump return and an Iwaki 40 RLXT for a closed loop. Remember that the pump isn't going to pump what it's rated. Most pumps are rated at 0' (some are rated at 4') head. By the time you pump the water up to the tank and figure the frictional losses from elbows and such, your pump output will be decreased somewhat. If you slightly oversize the pump, you can always choke it back some with a valve on the PRESSURE side...never on the suction side.
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Old 01-20-2007, 04:23 PM   #10
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Hi Sorry for all the questions but I'm very new to this hobby.

Am I right in assuming that I need a closed loop in addition to the sump?

If so I also assume that I need extra drill holes in the tank? Are these in the bottom or the back of the tank or both?

Anywhere I can read about closed loop systems and their design as I am struggling to understand how they work and how to set these systems up.

Thanks
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