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Old 02-28-2007, 06:38 AM   #1
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power heads

I am amazed by the number and strength of power heads people put in their tanks. I have a 55g that is fed by a Mag 1800 from a 15 gallon sump below. I have tried a Maxi-Jet 1200 and the Maxi-Jet 600 in the display and abandoned them both beleiving them to be a bit too much for the environment.

My judgment is based primarily on the visable reaction of fish and coral. The powerheads create so much movement in the Xenia, I'm afraid the growth will be distorted and there seems to be no safe place to put both in the same tank! Fish also seem to stay away from areas a greatest water flow... So what's the point? Why do I need powerheads?

The problem is, I don't know what information a good decision would be based on. I know there are mathmatic formulas for this but I'm suspicious of math... is there any other thing to go by?

Thanks for your thoughts!
~Becks
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:27 AM   #2
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8O 8O You've got some serious water turnover there with 1800 gallons (maybe 1700 with head loss) of water running thru that pump every hour. That means with a 15g sump - (assuming a 20g with only 15g of water in it), you're emptying it about 100x an hour. The main tank is being emptied/turned over maybe 35x an hour. I see why powerheads are of no use to you and provide too much current.

How's your filtration set up? Skimmer and how situated? What I'm wondering is if the water is moving too fast for filtration between the sump and main.

I think the "circulation" is purely water movement within the tank, like with powerheads. "Turnover" is water movement between the sump or wet dry. I think I got it right. But circulation is commonly faster than the turnover. You've got all your in your turnover. Not sure that's working best for you, but I'm sure there'll be opinions coming soon. I kinda think 1800 gph could be ramped down to a Mag 12 or maybe even less, and then place a couple of random or sweeping powerheads (like maxijet 900-1200's) on either end of the tank. Maybe your reef won't be as over swept as I think you've described.
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Old 02-28-2007, 10:13 AM   #3
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Closer to 1300 GPH with a 4ft head but it's still a 23+ times turnover which is more then enough and you must have a heck of an overflow to handle that kind of flow
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:59 AM   #4
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well, I HAVE flooded my tank room twice due to slowdowns in the overflow boxes... But I think I have all that worked out and the system is balanced now.

Absent in the above conversation is that I have another 55 plumbed into this system.. So the big pump is pushing both tanks at once.

Do you still think the turnover might be too quick? The skimmer is an EV180 (200 gallon capacity) Sometimes it seems to pull a lot of gunk and other times, not much. It was a hand-me-down but I think it's working okay..
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:03 PM   #5
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For two 55 gal tanks turnover should be just about right if not on the slow side. I assume the two tanks share the 20 gal but am still shocked at the huge turnover on sump either way. Also amazed the skimmer has time to collect much of anything with the turnover rate so high on the sump.

Any way to get a bigger 40+ gal sump in between those two tanks?
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Old 02-28-2007, 02:01 PM   #6
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Where there's a will, there's a way!
Maybe I could put more water in the container I have now... It is 28" by 18" and 15" deep... I don't know how many gallons it would hold but when I speak of it - I am using the number of gallons that I know I have put in there. So I call it a 15 gallon sump because I poured 15 gallons in there.
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Old 02-28-2007, 02:08 PM   #7
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It's about 32 gal and you could easily fill it up to around 20 gal but I wouldn't go much past that to allow for a little back flow from both tanks.
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