Advice on Return Pump for Basement Sump

Hair Algae Wizard

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Hi,

Looking for some advice on a return pump for my tank. Sump will be in the basement, with display tank on the 1st floor. The total pipe length will be about 26 feet, with 7 feet of vertical lift to the horizontal pipe, then another 6 feet vertical into the display tank. Total system volume is about 200g, and looking for a flow of around 3,000GPH. Is this doable?

Thanks!
 

JoshH

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Absolutely doable, what your budget is like will depend on an AC or DC pump. Any particular reason you want to go with 15 times turnover rate?
 
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Hair Algae Wizard

Hair Algae Wizard

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Absolutely doable, what your budget is like will depend on an AC or DC pump. Any particular reason you want to go with 15 times turnover rate?
Thanks, I can go lower with regards to turnover, at around 10X for sure. Tank will be SPS dominate, so looking for lots of flow. My budget is flexible, but prefer a pump that won't be a power hog, and cost a fortune in electric. I'm torn between basement sump or under the tank, but basement makes water changes much easier!
 

Flippers4pups

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Look for a Ac pressure rated pump such as a Panworld or Iwaki. Dc pumps going that far will not hold up long term.

I run a Panworld ps150 from my basement to the DT upstairs.

You only need around 3x-5x turnover, anymore is just wasting electricity.
 

Flippers4pups

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Thanks, I can go lower with regards to turnover, at around 10X for sure. Tank will be SPS dominate, so looking for lots of flow. My budget is flexible, but prefer a pump that won't be a power hog, and cost a fortune in electric. I'm torn between basement sump or under the tank, but basement makes water changes much easier!
You need that flow in the DT. 20x-30x the DT volume an hour is a good place to start. Each wavemakers gph added up to achieve the 20x-30x. Not the return pump.
 

JoshH

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Thanks, I can go lower with regards to turnover, at around 10X for sure. Tank will be SPS dominate, so looking for lots of flow. My budget is flexible, but prefer a pump that won't be a power hog, and cost a fortune in electric. I'm torn between basement sump or under the tank, but basement makes water changes much easier!
Flow in your tank should be delivered by other means such as powerheads or closed loop. I think as mentioned above 3-5x turnover is plenty and that while I feel DC pumps can last a long term if you get the higher end pumps, AC is still the way to go. There are a myriad of advantages to a basement setup and it's why I'm doing it on my new build.
 

ca1ore

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I’ve been running a basement sump for decades, with similar head pressures, and prefer either Iwaki or PanWorld. Neither brands will give you 3,000 gph, but as others have noted, it’s unecessary in the return anyhow. Plus you’ll have trouble finding an overflow to handle that kind of flow. If you must go to 3,000, then you’re taking something like Reeflo or an ampmaster, both of which are expensive to buy and to run. I personally prefer amp master, though have not run one for a very long time. I currently use the PanWorld on my 450 and get a net of about 1,500 gph which is more than enough.
 

ca1ore

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Thanks guys, I have a Vectra L2, think it would do the trick?
Against basement head pressures .... not a chance. It’s a nice pump, I use one on a closed loop but it’s crap against pressure.
 
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Flippers4pups

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Against basement head pressures .... not a chance. It’s a nice pump, I use one on a closed loop but it’s crap against pressure.
I would agree. Just not designed for those pressures needed.
 

TaylorPilot

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I’ve been running a basement sump for decades, with similar head pressures, and prefer either Iwaki or PanWorld. Neither brands will give you 3,000 gph, but as others have noted, it’s unecessary in the return anyhow. Plus you’ll have trouble finding an overflow to handle that kind of flow. If you must go to 3,000, then you’re taking something like Reeflo or an ampmaster, both of which are expensive to buy and to run. I personally prefer amp master, though have not run one for a very long time. I currently use the PanWorld on my 450 and get a net of about 1,500 gph which is more than enough.
Those would be my vote. They are as reliable as they come. The only downside is that they are pretty loud, but they are made to push pressure. These large volute DC pumps produce impressive numbers at zero head, but fall on their face when you put any back pressure on them. They funny part is that they would be awesome for a close loop, but no one runs them anymore. I thought for sure when they became popular that the CL would make a resurgence, but it never happened. Now everyone is using them for return pumps, which IMHO is not really what they are suited for.
 

JoshH

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Those would be my vote. They are as reliable as they come. The only downside is that they are pretty loud, but they are made to push pressure. These large volute DC pumps produce impressive numbers at zero head, but fall on their face when you put any back pressure on them. They funny part is that they would be awesome for a close loop, but no one runs them anymore. I thought for sure when they became popular that the CL would make a resurgence, but it never happened. Now everyone is using them for return pumps, which IMHO is not really what they are suited for.
I'll be more than likely using an M2 for my Closed loop setup, I've been talking with a few others who are going the closed loop route with there builds as well so maybe it's gaining a little traction. I think these flow adjustable DC pumps are a fantastic option for Closed loops and why I'm going with one. But I agree as a return pump, there really is no use for a lot of the features they offer..
 

ca1ore

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Well I’m apparently a dinosaur (an odd analogy, if you think about it) because I’ve continued to run closed loops. Varaible/rampable DC pumps are awesome. Quiet, economical, lots of flow ....

Tried my L1 from the basement .... nothing close to 1,000 .... probably more like 500. Just not designed for it.
 
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soffutt

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Pumps can't pull water just push it. If you have never drilled glass before it is really pretty easy. Would make your scenario much easier as well. Also I agree with the majority that external
Thanks guys. The sump that came with my tank is glass, and does not have a bulkhead. I prefer not to attempt drilling one. Can I just plumb the pump into the sump by going over the side via PVC without issue?
AC pumps are great for this situation.
 

SPR1968

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Take a look at the Abyzz A200 or A400 they are solid German pieces of equipment and have a 10 year warranty and one of them will be more than adequate for what you need.

But, there expensive unfortunately

And the10 x turnover is a bit high and I think is an old recommendation. I would go 3-5 x otherwise the water will be flying through the sump
 

foxt

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Take a look at the Abyzz A200 or A400 they are solid German pieces of equipment and have a 10 year warranty and one of them will be more than adequate for what you need.

But, there expensive unfortunately

And the10 x turnover is a bit high and I think is an old recommendation. I would go 3-5 x otherwise the water will be flying through the sump
I have an Abyzz 400 pushing 1200gph from my 120g basement sump to my 220g, upstairs. It runs at about 75%. Pricey, yes. But flawless after three years.

With my flow rate and large sump, water doesn’t really fly through the sump. I live in NY, and in winter, that flow rate allows me to keep the heaters in the sump and maintain tank temp upstairs. With a 6ft long tank, split returns, and a coast to coast overflow , 1200gph actually seems almost too little.
 
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