Return Pump Advise Needed Please

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Aquarium Advice Regular
Jun 22, 2008
Okay, this is a deep question for me. So, let me try to explain it the best way I can. So, here goes nothing.

- I have a 75gal tank with a overflow rated for 600GPH
- I have a 30gal sump tank
- I have a Quiet One 2200 return pump.
- The return water is running through approx. 7 to 8 feet of 1" hose
- It also passes through 4 x 90 degree elbow joints.
- From pump outlet to in-tank return outlet is approx. 4 to 5 feet vertical

I think that my tank will benefit from having the water filtered at the highest rate possible. So, I want to increase my filter turn-over rate. I'm thinking about upgrading my pump.

Does anyone have any opinions on what type of pump I should purchase that will give me the maximum flow rate or slightly over? I have had a great experience with Quiet One. So, I was thinking about the Quiet One models 4000HH, 5000 or 6000.

I'm sure there are other pumps and brands that are just as good if not better. So, I'm also looking for opinions on other pump brands that are as quiet and will give me the same type of great performance that I have gotten from my Quiet One 2200?

PS...I know that the overflow is rating for 600GPH. However, will going slightly over that rating really jeopardize my tank? I need as many opinions as possible.
Personally, I would never go over the overflow's max rating. Even though it might work well at first, you are risking a flood if there is any little obstruction (say a bit of algae buildup) or if your water level fluctuates a bit (with evaporation). With a HOB overflow, I like to have a large margin for error.

I use a Hydor pump at 750 gph. It had been reliable, but louder than I would like.
Thanks for your reply. However, this is not a "hang on the back" overflow. My overflow is actually built inside the tank. Does this make a difference in your opinion?
go to lowes and get a pond submersable pump... they have them all the way up to 3500gph... and quite nicely priced.. i ran one that pumped 500gph till it drained my sump.... it was extreamly quiet while it had water in it. now im running one thats 150-200 gph.. i cant hear it over the water and the air pump...
An internal overflow will be safer when overloaded, since the driving pressure will be increased as water backs up in the display & increase the capacity of the system. However, you really can't push it over the limit too much or you'll always be worrying about flooding.

There are ways to increase the capacity of an internal overflow. Depending on where the bottleneck is, you might: widen the raker teeth slots, increase the return line size or get rid of the elbows. However, unless you ahve a good reason for the increased flow, you might just as well stick with the capacity of the overflow & find a pump to match.
Increasing the teeth size will only help you get closer to the max gph. A 1" drain is a 1" drain.. The old saying you can't put 5 pounds of *cough cough* in a 1 pound bag remains. If you want more than 600 , get a bigger external overflow, drill another hole, widen the hole (drilling wise, non of which is an easy thing).
Ok........(Captain) I tried to do the calculations using that link. However, the model pump that I use is not on the list. I use a Quiet One 2200. Anyway, the purpose of this post was to see if I can push my flow rate to the max or a little over it.

I really want my filter system to be as efficient as possible. I plan on keeping some easy corals and maintain a small reef. So, filtration is very important to me. I have removed 2 of the 90 degree angles. I am also going to reduce the length of hose. I guess my question is how far past 600GPH can I push my internal overflow?
You can't. Now this is all an approximation.. but.

A 1" drain will drain approx 600 gallons per hour (gph). Using that approximation as fact, you can't change that. It's physics. You return pump is not sucking water down your drain pipe. Your return pump is pumping the water out of your sump. If your return is too powerful ; empty sump/burned out pump/possible display overflow. If it is not powerful enough ; possible sump overflow/big sucking sound in your overflow from not enough water in the display.

If you want more gph the you need... bigger drain holes, more drain holes.

Increasing the pipe size will not work either.. A 1" hole is a 1" hole even if you enlarge the pipe thru reverese reducers to 1 1/4, 1 1/2, etc

As always... IMO
I understand your point sincerely and I agree with you entirely. Physics is physics and that can't be changed. So, I guess my mission is to come as close to 600GPH without going over. I read the specs on my tank and overflow and got this information. The overflow is rated at 600GPH (utilizing a 2,400GPH rated pump at a 5 foot head)

With that said, I attempted to use the calculator with the Quiet One 3000 pump. However, I really don't understand it. I know it may be a pain in the butt, however could someone please break things down for me on how to proper use that calculator? I want to make sure that I'm doing things right. I don't want to overload my system while trying to maximize it's efficiency.

I guess the only parts of the calculator that I'm a little confused about are as follows:

1. Vertical Length
2. Horizontal Length
3. Pipe Diameter (My drain pipe is larger than my return pipe)
is this your pump ? Quiet One 2200 Water Pump: Aquarium Supplies - Aqua Buys

If so, it's rated at only 581 gph before head loss.

I still think a Mag9 does you well. And they are great pumps.

Vertical and horizontal length all act against the pump pushing the water. vertical because the pump is pushing water up against gravity, horizontal because of friction. Diameter matters because much like the drain there is a physical maximum that can be delivered based on the diameter. Elbows/ unions also count for head loss.

Think about blowing water through a straw or hose. Is it easier if the hose is short or longer? If it's str8 across or str8 up? If there are a bunch of turns or completely str8? If the hose is bigger or smaller?

Same basic concept.
CaptA is right on. I agree with everything he said.
I will also add the recommend flow rate thru a sump is 5-10x the tanks volume. Assuming you have live rock and sand in the tank, your total capacity (depending on how much water is in the sump) is maybe 70 gal. You only want between 350-700gph max thru your sump. More flow makes the sump less efficient if you have macro or chemical media down there.
Thank "ccCapt" my goal is to try to max my flow rate out right at 600GPH. I'm having a hard time finding the correct calculations though. How can I calculate the vertical and horizontal lengths when I'm using vinyl tubing? That's next to impossible unless you guys can clue me in on some trick to doing so.

I will also, look into that mag9 water pump. thanks "Ahab"
Over size and reduce the flow thru a valve on the return, would be my suggestion. Sooo.. size you pump at 0 and reduce thru the value.

I will tell you that IMO it reduces the pump life but not everyone is of that opinion I don't belief.

Always remember, 2 captains are better than one, or one and a first mate.
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