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Old 06-13-2009, 09:24 PM   #1
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Reading or advice on how to plumb 125g drilled tank / sump / skimmer

I just bought a used 125g aquarium, stand and canopy. It's 72in x 18in x 20in. It is a glass tank with one return and one flow on each end. It has a 40g acrylic sump, protein skimmer/pump and Little giant 850gph return pump. Also has 1 UV 12a with it.

I need help on understanding how I should plumb this.... Especially the sump area... the sump is 30in x 11 1/4in x 16in but only has one separating compartment that doesn't go down all the way.

Anyone have any good reading for this? I tried Melvs and google searches but nothing really shows good pictures.... is this something maybe I should draw / take pictures of and post on here?

I have about 1yr reef experience but it's with a 34gal all-in-one nano that I really didn't have to plumb at all.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:35 PM   #2
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:30 PM   #3
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You can check out my build thread. You might get some ideas.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:41 PM   #4
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I have and your thread is awesome! Thanks. So i know understand how I need to plumb but have some questions on the size of pipe.... currently each corners "return to tank" PVC is plumbed with 3/4'' and then when it exits the tank it is downsized to 1/2'' (which goes to the 850gph little giant)....... Then on both sides the "overflow to sump" PVC is plumbed in tank at 1'' and then when it exits tank it is downsized to 3/4'' and both ends drop in sump. My question is - is this sizing correct? Why didn't the return stay at 3/4'' all the way and the overflow stay at 1''?

I plan on using the tank as mostly fish and LR but I will definitely have quite a few coral...
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:50 PM   #5
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correction.... the overflow to sump PVC is 1 1/4'' and then downsized to 3/4''.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:40 PM   #6
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Where does the drain downsize? At the bulkead? You really don't want anything smaller than a 1" drain. The return is OK at 3/4".
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:48 PM   #7
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Yeah they are all downsized right after they transition through the glass - after the bulkheads. Wonder why it was set up that way?? It's no biggie for me to take out their adaptors and move the drain to a full 1''.

but the drain isn't at 3/4... it also transitioned to 1/2 after the bulkhead -- but it's also easy for me to change that back to 3/4.

any idea why the original owner would have downsized both drian and return?
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:49 PM   #8
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I goofed a couple times so just to re-iterated
Return is 3/4 in tank and transitioned to 1/2 after bulkheaded through bottom of tank
Drain is 1in and then transitioned to 3/4 after bulkheaded through bottom of tank.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:07 PM   #9
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IMO you want to keep your drains at 1".

I like going with 1" for return lines as well. Any smaller and you really start noticing the head losses due to the friction in the pipe.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:16 PM   #10
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I have a little giant 850gph pump and the output on that is 1/2in so maybe that's why they kept it that way..... so if If I bulkhead it from 1/2 to 3/4 (or 1in) straight from the pump - will that affect anything negatively?
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:31 PM   #11
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pics

3241 is the pic where you can see how they had the sized lowered after exiting the tank -- (Drain from 1in to 3/4in and return 3/4in to 1/2)

3239 is the pic you can see the little giant pump (850gph) where the exit is at a 1/2in

3243 is the pic of the drain/return on one side of the tank

3234 is the pic of the tank..... I "think" i got a good deal....$350 for the tank, stand, canopy... used skimmer, sump, uv, little giant and MH and T5's (totally different story though) LOL
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:42 PM   #12
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It looks like they downsized it to allow for the hose. My guess is that the hose that is left on the fittings is roughly the same size as the original bulk head size. A short piece like that should not be an issue. But I say with some certainty that if you use half inch pipe or hose all the way back to the pump, you will not be happy with the flow.

Small pipe/hose makes the water move faster. The faster the water, the more resistance between the water and the walls of the pipe is realized. Fittings like elbows and other transitions all make more resistance. I'm guessing you have seen the pump curve for your pump, or at least a chart that tells you what the pump will put out at some given head (height). The resistance in the pipe gets added to that formula and looks to the pump just like you raised the tank a little more. It all equals less flow.

Play with this and see what the difference is: Reef Central Online Community
When entering the vert. height, use the height from the pump to the top of the water level in the main tank and not just where the water enters the tank.

Oh and I would say you did a fine job there with that find! Nice setup and good price.

HTH
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:32 PM   #13
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Oh, You are right! I didn't catch that.... i'm thinking they werre "downsized" but in reality they had to downsize it to couple on tubing that would be equivalent to the original sizes.... aaaahhh

Here is a question.... If 1'' is 900gph and I have a pump that is going to two returns (and the pump is 850gph) - that makes each return 425gph, right?
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:45 PM   #14
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There are other factors, but you get the basic idea. Yes
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:27 AM   #15
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You might want to consider making a durso for your overflow. The way that's setup now, it's going to be loud. It will sound like a toilet flushing all the time.

Durso Standpipes
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:07 PM   #16
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so do all pump's have only a 1/2'' fitting? My plan is to just transition the pump from 1/2'' to 3/4'' and use that for the whole return.
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