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Old 11-22-2011, 09:27 PM   #21
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I hadn't thought of that. I've got tons of 1/2" tubing and ball valves... Thanks. I'll up it to the next one up.

On the topic of skimmers, what would be a good, economical, option for a 40 breeder with a 20 long sump (probably 50g total?)

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Old 11-22-2011, 09:56 PM   #22
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There's tons of good skimmers, at good prices. My only advice is to size it up from your anticipated volume; don't buy one rated for your setup size. I like Vertex & Super Reef Octopus, but there are better bargains out there for sure.
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:38 PM   #23
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It's a good idea to have your return pump put out more than the overflow capacity and just throttle it back with a ball valve. I have a 1200gph overflow and a 1532gph return pump. you also have to account for any head loss as well when figuring out the pump to get.

I've been using a CPR continuous overflow for the last 6 months and haven't had one glitch or screw up yet. I hated the hang on overflow woth the J tubes, always lost siphon on my tank....
If I may ask, why is this a good idea? Throttling back a return pump puts stress on the bearings of the pump IME and causes the pump to burn out faster than it should. By throttling it back, you're creating pressure against the pump in a way it is not designed to take. Return pumps are not designed to work against pressure like a sprinkler pump. Do agree with you on the head loss factor, but I always go with a bigger overflow than the pump calls for - it won't overflow any faster than the pump returns, so bigger is irrelevant. Now if you plan on directing some of that flow in another direction, such as through filters, chiller, etc. that is a whole different topic. I've also seen tanks plumbed so that the excess amount is just dumped back into the sump, but again I really fail to see the point of that.
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:48 PM   #24
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I must have edited as you were typing. I was thinking of a 500gph mag drive. That way, I'm not pushing more water than the overflow can handle. Keep in mind I'm also planning on two 750gph powerheads as well. Does that change things?
Just speaking from my own experience, I would suspect that in the long run you will determine that that is actually too little flow. Prior to getting my Vortexs, I was running a 4000 High Head on my 65gal (little over 1000 gph). In addition to that I had three K2s (about 1800 gph) and two K1s (another 800 gph) picking up dead spots, and that was still not enough.

Now your 40 is a little smaller, but not a whole lot and some of it will have to do with your rock arrangement and how open it is vs. how many dead spots you have.
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:50 PM   #25
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Hmmm. That just seems like so much flow. Perhaps that's the fw in me. Would two 1050's be better than two 750's? Or... three 750's?
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:53 PM   #26
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Hmmm. That just seems like so much flow. Perhaps that's the fw in me. Would two 1050's be better than two 750's? Or... three 750's?
LOL probably so. I would avoid the 1050s just because with a 3' tank the directional flow will probably be too much. I'd start with the three 750s and adjust from there as you see the need based on dead spots or algae growth.
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:59 PM   #27
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Ok, that works. So, I'm thinking that I'm going to work on the sump first. I have ideas as to how I want it, and I'll do some more research on how i want to set it up before I start to get everyones criticism. I'm thinking what I'm going to do is set up the return with a wye and run lock line to help point the flow where I want it. Since I'm going to do FOWLR for the first couple months (at least, that's the plan), I'll hang off on a skimmer, but make sure I keep a place avialable for one in the sump. This is coming together more and more in my head. I'm kind of getting excited about it now. As much as I don't want to buy anything yet, this bulk reef supply group buy may give me the deals I want to go ahead and bite the bullet.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:06 AM   #28
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Ok, that works. So, I'm thinking that I'm going to work on the sump first. I have ideas as to how I want it, and I'll do some more research on how i want to set it up before I start to get everyones criticism. I'm thinking what I'm going to do is set up the return with a wye and run lock line to help point the flow where I want it. Since I'm going to do FOWLR for the first couple months (at least, that's the plan), I'll hang off on a skimmer, but make sure I keep a place avialable for one in the sump. This is coming together more and more in my head. I'm kind of getting excited about it now. As much as I don't want to buy anything yet, this bulk reef supply group buy may give me the deals I want to go ahead and bite the bullet.
Sounds like a good plan. BRS is an excellent source for good prices on supplies.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:42 AM   #29
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Actually, from the experts on this forum I've come to learn that throttling a pump back isn't in fact a bad thing and that it can prolong the life of the pump! I was also in the other school of thought too but have come to the other side. lol

Mr. X is an absolute plethora of great information so if you need specific help rookie, I'd suggest you drop him a quick pm. He is always more than willing to answer my questions.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:58 AM   #30
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I would think, unless you are severely choking down a pump, the added pressure created would have a similar effect to head pressure. After all, added pressure on a pump is still pressure, whether it's from gravity or a ball valve.

However, I wouldn't reduce flow below 75-50% capacity, nor would I reduce flow on a low quality pump.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:28 AM   #31
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I have my return pump throttled back about 20%, nothing too major.

Just easier to match an overflow with a pump if a ball valve is used.

Just my opinion and what I've learned here. It's worked well for me so far.lol
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:57 PM   #32
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I also had to put a ball valve in my return line. Going on 3 years with very little to no maintenance on the pump and no problems.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:26 PM   #33
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So, is the general consensus that the 750 will work ok? I definitely don't mind having a little less flow if that means more room for error on the overflow. If the overflow can handle 750gph, 600 or so is going to be a good comfort level for me.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:45 PM   #34
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If I was doing a 40B reef build i would get two 750's and run a overflow/drilled overflow at about 600gph with a mag 7.5 return pump.

But that's just me. LOL I have considered the 40B before as the footprint is excellent for a coral tank. You are going full reef for this correct? Cause a reef requires lots of flow, in my opinion you cant have too much.

I was running (2) 750's in my 29g plus the filter and skimmer and everything just thrived.

As far as the overflow, I believe if you drill it to a 1" diameter then you will be getting about 600gph. If you go with a hang on overflow box then it's dependent on the specs of that box. BUT you can't overflow the overflow cause it will only handle as much as you put in. LOL Hope that made sense.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:55 PM   #35
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Well, the overflow is going to be placed so that the tank is full, but as soon as I turn the pump on in the sump, it'll start overflowing. Clearly, that's the only way to do it without risking a flood. I think we decided that three koralia 750's were what I was going to go with. So, 2250gph plus the pump at about 600gph with head loss? So 2800gph estimate? That's 56x tank volume, with an estimated 50g volume including the sump.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:14 PM   #36
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ahh i didn't realize you were going with the 3 koralias. Seems like alot of flow doesnt it? I only have about 4000gph going on my 125g! lol Though I do want to add 2 more powerheads for a total of 5500gph... I would say it's a bit high but better safe than sorry. If the flow is managed well it should work in my opinion.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:15 PM   #37
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I can certainly start with two 750's and go from there. Would be cheaper too
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:17 PM   #38
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That's how I was thinking it out. If you need more flow you can always add at anytime.
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Old 11-25-2011, 02:21 AM   #39
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Totally depends on the type of corals you plan on keeping down the road.

Quote:
If soft corals are being kept in the aquarium then flow should be provided which is ten times the net water volume of the aquarium. If hard corals are being kept then water flow should be provided which is in the region of thirty times the net water volume of the aquarium. As said this is a general rule of thumb and is primarily based upon a minimum requirement. It is not uncommon for reef tanks to have water flow in the region of sixty times the net water volume or more.
Little light reading you might want to look over as you're consider flow

Advanced Beginnings: The Basics Of Water Movement In The Reef Aquarium — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog

Feature Article: Water flow is more important for corals — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog

Feature Article: Water flow is more important for corals than light. Part 1. Introduction to Gas Exchange — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog

Feature Article: Water flow is more important for corals than light. Part II: The science of corals and water flow — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog

Feature Article: Water Flow is More Important for Corals Than Light Part 4: Basics of Hydrodynamics — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog

Feature Article: Water Flow is More Important for Corals Than Light, Part V — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog

You will certainly be ok starting with two, especially since you plan on not adding corals until later. If you plan on keeping any type of the more demanding SPS down the road, you will need more flow. Also keep in mind though that adding powerheads down the road may mean that you have to change your aquascape as well. Just something to consider.

That said keep in mind that the koralias provide a pretty directional flow (and with the older ones, if you put the small plastic piece on the outside, it was also a very small outlet). By leaving the small plastic piece off, you could increase the size of the flow, and I definitely recommend that. I'm not familiar with the newer version, so can't speak to that.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:35 PM   #40
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Thanks again. Looking at some corals in LA and a few other sites, I'm really liking a lot of the soft corals, mainly zoanthids. I'll also be planning a nem down the road, if that makes any difference on flow. I want to do something a bit different with the rock than what I usually see. I'm wanting the middle to be the highest point, sloping down to a single rock height on the ends. I'm also wanting the ends to be thicker front to back than in the middle... I want a kind of 'cove' look to it. It's hard to explain, and I'm not about to draw up a visual. I think I'll do the two at first, then move to 3 if needed. I've also considered a wavemaker... doing some research seems to show the same as most everything. For every person who swears by them, there's another who says they're useless. Thought?

I've also done some googling on sump designs. I've yet to find any recommendations for a cheapish skimmer that's still considered good quality. The cheapest one I've found so far is a reef octopus, but it's still really expensive for a piece of clear pipe with a pump on it. Not a $4,000 skimmer (I saw some of those... wow!), but thoughts on that brand? I was looking at their 6" model. Back on the topic of sumps, would a refugium in the middle with a light on top be a good idea for macro algae? I understand that chaeto and the like suck up the nitrate and phosphate, which corals don't like, but algae does? Also, bubble traps are a good idea at the last chamber before hitting the return pump?
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