Plumbing Help

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chris stevens

Aquarium Advice Regular
Mar 27, 2005
Cape Neddick, ME and Lowell, MA
Ok, so I decided that I'm going to drill the back of my acrylic 55g (black back) to plumb a sump. I need some help figuring out exactly what i need

I'm going to have three bulkheads, two for returns and one for the outlet. (i'm assuming the line going into the sump would be larger than the returns, right)

The returns are going to be powered by mag drive 7s (4 foot head) and are going to replace my two powerheads, using loc line fittings and flare nozzles inside the tank. Is loc line detachable? I want to use less than the 6" it's bought in.

Everything (pumps and overflow tubing) will be connected to the sump via vinyl tubing connected to elbow joints at the back of the bulkheads. I want to use vinyl tubing so that I can more easily adjust it.

I'm going to drill for the bulkheads near the top of the tank - should the out/in lines be even (in respect to distance from the top of the tank), or does it matter?

Now, the most important question: can somebody provide me with a list of all the fittings I will need? I know I'll need loc line, flare nozzles, bulkheads, elbow joints (that can screw into the bulkhead and take vinyl tubing on the other side), a strainer, and any unions needed to properly connect to the mag 7s. The problem is I'm not exactly sure what sizes are best, and I want to make sure everything is compatible before i go ahead mail ordering.

Thanks for any help anyone can offer.
What size holes? 2 Mag7's might be too much for 1 drain unless it is a big hole. you might want to make 2 drains and 1 return. You can always bring fittings up over the tank to get a return. You could even run some pvc on the lip of the tank with multiple outlets. If I could change one thing on my 75 gal with the internal overflow, iy would be another drain. I would like to handle more flow but my overflow can't handle any more.

I would use 3/4 for most parts. The locline comes in 3/4 and 1/2 at most places and 3/4 pvc and or vinyl rubing and fittings are easy to come by. Locline can be shortened. Just make sure you know the hole size for the size of bulkhead you want and size your bulkheads based on the flow you want to handle. Keep in mind if you ever go with SPS that you might want more flow than 2 mag7's. Don't be limited by your drain(s). You can put a small pump on a big drain but you can't put a big pump on a small drain.

Thanks eilisz - not sure what size holes - hoping somebody could recommend some exact fittings, etc. I was thinking of having each Mag 7 on a different return (700gph each, thought that would be plenty) and then whatever size overflow i need to keep up with that. By more flow, do you mean more water movement, or faster turnover? Should my return holes be smaller than the drain, so I can get some water pressure and a good current from the pumps? seems to me that 2 returns and 1 large drain would work better, because i'm relying on the returns for my water movement and isn't it advisable to have converging currents from opposite sides of the tank?
I can't tell you what size hole to drill. I don't know the specifics on flow vs. size. All I am saying is that if you size a drain based on 2 mag7's and then want more turnover or flow later on, you might not have enough drain.

You can plumb more returns later if needed. You can't drill more holes later on.
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