Connecting reactor to return pipe?

Ecotech Marine


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Aug 16, 2020
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Canton, MI
Hello, I hope some of the experienced reefers in the forum can help me with a newbie question:
I recently bought a Dual BRS GFO and Carbon Reactor that comes with a Sicce Syncra 1.5 Pump.
I use a Neptune Cor15 for my return and 2 Vortechs for in-tank flow. The whole system is really silent. I can just hear the sound of the water movement when I direct the return outputs upwards to make more surface waves.
Unfortunately the pump is loud as hell and I can't cope with that.
Here are the 2 options I have considered and the implications I'm trying to assess:
  1. Use my return pump to drive the reactors by installing a T fitting to my return pipe. My sump can only handle 50% of the Cor15 capacity so I have capacity to spare.
    • Would this severely complicate the tuning of the return pump and drain?
    • I can see there is some loss of efficiency in the reactor as its output will be sent upstream to an earlier section of the sump. How bad would this be?
    • Any other concerns?
  2. Buy a small DC pump to drive the reactors
    • I would prefer to avoid spending too much in another DC pump. I already have a spare Cor20 I use for my water mixing station so I wouldn't benefit from having more spares.
    • I would prefer not to waste too much space in the sump
As you can see, I'm leaning to connecting the reactor to the return pipe but I'm worried I'm missing something. Any recommendations / observations will be greatly appreciated.
Top Shelf Aquatics


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Jan 3, 2018
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You can drive the flow through the reactors with the return pump if you have spare capacity as you suggest. It is a little less efficient, but for a small system like this, you could never justify the cost of another pump. It will be a little more complicated to tune with three flows (reactor/return/siphon drain), but once you have it set it should not be an overwhelming problem.


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Apr 14, 2017
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If you’ve never used gfo in the brs style reactor, it will slowly clog up over days to weeks with detritus. And then when you change the media, it will flow well again. If you connect it to your return pump flow, and you value your silent tank, you’ll have to continually make adjustments to your gate valve or pump strength to keep it quiet, as the reactor clogs.

I recommend you setup a second pump for all your reactors. The IM mighty jet is a small DC pump that is not too expensive. Good luck!

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