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Old 10-03-2005, 11:51 AM   #1
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Sump Flow

Hey all,

Seems there are some mixed opinions regarding the flow through the sump.

I have seen and heard various posts/people mention to have as large of a pump as you can have to help you increase tank flow, and to help minimize power heads in the tank.

Locally though, it seems as if most of the aquarium owners, like to only have as much flow going into the tank in proportion to what the pump on the skimmer can run.

What would be the pros/cons to both, and really, is one better then the other?

option 1: high output pump in the sump with minimal power heads in the main...

option 2: pump to closely match the production/performance of the sump (i.e. lower gph return to tank) and more power heads in the tank.
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75g w/ 30g sump, 160# LR, 60# sand: Inverts =18 turbos, 30 nassirus's, 40 blue leg's, 5 emeralds, 1 CBS, 1 skunk cleaner, 1 brown gulf shrimp? and various other LR hitch hikers yet un discovered or un-ID'ed
Fish=1 yellow tang, 1 yellow headed jawfish, 1 pink/blue shrimpgoby, 2 perc clowns.
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Old 10-03-2005, 12:11 PM   #2
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Flow through a skimmer should be really low in comparison to what your tank needs for actual circulation. I think the recomendation for a low flow is for a dedicated 'fuge rather than a true sump which is extra water volume and high output. I run about 1000gph through my sump/fuge and am pretty happy. I don't have any powerheads or other hardware in my display, and a ton of algae and pods in the sump.
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Old 10-03-2005, 12:15 PM   #3
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For me, I just didn't want the look of having maxijets hanging all in my main, so I made sure that my return from my sump is enough flow. Also, my chaeto in the sump seems to like the flow and my skimmer works just fine.
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Old 10-03-2005, 12:28 PM   #4
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i guess the opinion is to clean most of the water as it runs through the sump/skimmer, not to just polish a small percentage of it.
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75g w/ 30g sump, 160# LR, 60# sand: Inverts =18 turbos, 30 nassirus's, 40 blue leg's, 5 emeralds, 1 CBS, 1 skunk cleaner, 1 brown gulf shrimp? and various other LR hitch hikers yet un discovered or un-ID'ed
Fish=1 yellow tang, 1 yellow headed jawfish, 1 pink/blue shrimpgoby, 2 perc clowns.
Future fish = 1 sixline, 1 lawnmower blenny
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Old 10-03-2005, 12:38 PM   #5
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That practice uses a large pump on a closed loop for flow.. if power heads are unwanted.. circulating pumps rather then preasure pumps can be used saving $ and power..
The idea behind lowering the flow through the sump is to not let the protien rich water from your overflow to be pumped and mixed back into your tank without the skimmer getting a good full shot at cleaning it.. Ive read that people have had better skimmer production from switching to this method.. it kind of makes sence to me..
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Old 10-03-2005, 02:33 PM   #6
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I think it would depend on your sump and your purpose for having it.

If you have a sump mainly to move equipment out of the display, then it would make more sense to use a bigger pump to keep from having to put PHs in the display tank (thus defeating the goal of your sump).

On the other hand, if you're using your sump with a refugium and skimmer for the purposes of maximizing the cleaning potential of both, then a slower flow would suit that goal.
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Old 10-03-2005, 05:41 PM   #7
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I agree with greenmaji. I opt for a lower flow sump/fuge to be sure the water coming out of the return is as clean as possible. I am using a higher power pump through an OceansMotions SS on a closed loop to get random flow in the main. Still no unsightly powerheads
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Old 10-03-2005, 05:45 PM   #8
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Slow the sump flow and build a closed loop for additional flow. I have 1500 gph through sump, 400 gph through refugium. 7900 gph closed loop
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Old 10-04-2005, 12:21 AM   #9
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Brenden..
I know your system is big but.. how much flow could your skimmer need to operate effecently? Im guessing its more like 100gph per 100gallons of system volume.. just an observation (Im figuring the skimmer is plumbed into the sump flow)..
that and how are you building a closed loop with the same pump as your using for the return pump? I would suppose that that line of plumbing would be more effecent at moving water, Im guessing your bypassing everything with the closed loop and using valves to controll flow to the sump and fuge.
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