Transfer pump

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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Oct 16, 2008
I'm building my saltwater tank. When I had my house built I had a washing machine type drain and water supply built behind a cabinet in my study. I have a 110 gal tank, with a built in overflow to a 25 gal sump underneath. I installed a RODI unit into the cabinet below and have designed an auto top off for evaporation.

I would like to build a manifold system to transfer water for water changes. I've got a pretty good design, what I need is a recommendation for a pump that will be mounted by itself then plumbed into the supply and the output manifold with valves going from RODI water to a saltwater mixing bucket , from the sump to the in wall drain, then from the saltwater mixing bucket to the sump.

So, I'm looking for a saltwater utility pump that can draw water out of a 5 gallon bucket.

Everything I've seen in the stores are centrifugal pumps and cannot draw water without an initial siphon, or unless they're submerged. Right now I'm simply moving a powerhead and tubing from bucket, to sump, to bucket. It works but it's kinda messy. And when I'm gone I'd like to make the system as easy as possible on the neighbor to operate.

Nothing expensive... it'll be used only for water changes.


Thanks for the move... I'll catch on,... eventually.

That is a tough one. Most pumps that have the ability to draw water up into the pump are going to need to be primed, which means you will have to fill the intake up to the pump and then turn it on. The only other option is an aqualifter pump and I'm not very familiar with them.
I use a maxi jet to refill my tank when I do PWCs.
Good luck. Keep us posted on how it turns out and post pics if you get a chance. This could be a good reference for someone else needing a similar solution.
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