Flow issues, aesthetics and power head frustrations

Discussion in 'General Equipment, Hardware, Filtration' started by ShawnSaucier, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. ShawnSaucier

    ShawnSaucier Well-Known Member

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    My tank has been up for 4+ years and I’ve gone through 3 types of in tank flow systems. When I first built the tank(2013) I was running Tunze 6105 pumps x2. They were large bulbous eye sores and failed a month apart two years in. The flow was great but not ideal in my system. Placement was a pain due to the large size.

    So I switched to the Gyre system (x2) (2015) and 6 weeks in started having all the issues. Purchasing and replacing enough parts to easily pay for a third gyre, I laid them to rest. The flow pattern was amazing and if I had not had so many issues and costs to maintain they would probably be still on my system.

    Then came the MP40qd’s (x2)(2016). I had been avoiding these for the simple reason that it feels like you have to run them on the sides of the tank (L+R) to maximize the flow pattern and they are Omni directional. When placed in the L/R orientation it kills the view on the sides and you still have cords crossing the glass. My tank looked like it had ear buds on. Over the holidays I rescaped my system and moved the pumps to the back of the tank. Loved that they disappeared and opened up the sides again, but the flow has been ech.. as I have to turn them down so far to not cause a sand storm. Every other day I’m moving sand back into the front corners of the tank, trying to find corals that have been buried. I’m having a bit of a green Cyano outbreak. It could be due to the movement of the scape, but makes me feel like there is not enough flow. If I had been able to, I would have used 4 MP10’s along the back, but my glass is to thick at 3/4”. Today at 5:30 am, the clicking of a bad wetside woke me up from a dream. After my gyre experience, I had purchased a spare wetside unit just in case, so I had to find it half asleep and made the switch. Again, moving sand back to the corners.

    So here I am spinning the hamster wheel and trying to figure out what I need to do to sort my flow whoas.

    Adding a third MP40 (L/C/R) on the back wall, I could maybe reduce the flow a bit more on the two sides and maybe avoid burying rocks/corals. It would be tricky to get it back there as the tank is against a wall and 30” front to back. Also may lead to having to rescape a bit to accommodate the flow. But I fear that I may still be fighting the sand issues. I’ve looked at the Apex WAV system, which I had almost bought instead of the MP40’s. I held off because they were a new product( again fear after the gyre issues) and wanted to wait and see how they held up after some time in hobbyists tanks. Reading reviews seem to hint at failures happening around the 18 month mark.

    Another system I have been trying to research is the Panta Rhei Hydrowizard but it has been difficult to find info in English.

    Any help/advice would be appreciated. If you made it this far in my rant, thanks. And if you have tips on training diamond gobies to move sand back to my corners and keeping corals unburied please PM me
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2018
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  2. Tautog

    Tautog Valuable Member

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    First, get over the fact that the power heads are eye sores.
    A lot have gone bare bottom to avoid the sand, but I like it.
    I have my heads on the sides, center side panels about 6” from the top pointing towards the rear middle part of the tank. The biggest reason to do it this way is to push any debris to the front of the tank. Keep playing with them, but only a small amount each time you move them, and wait
     
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  3. ShawnSaucier

    ShawnSaucier Well-Known Member

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    What type of pumps?
     
  4. LobsterOfJustice

    LobsterOfJustice Active Member

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    Do you have a full tank shot of tank, as well as where it sits in the room? Also, sorry if I missed it but size is the tank, what flow pattern are you running on the MP40s?
     
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  5. ShawnSaucier

    ShawnSaucier Well-Known Member

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    Here is a picture before the pumps went to the back. Tank is 60”x30”x24”. I’m running multiple patterns throughout the day, short pulse, nutrient transport, lagoon, reef crest, gyre, sync and anti-sync. I’ve been trying to simulate in and out tides with NT in the early mornings and late evenings. Calmer waters at night. I was having issues getting a good wave going with the pumps on the side.

    F34AC500-3DF2-4075-853D-7ACC711F8B6C.jpeg
     
  6. mcarroll

    mcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    The mp40's are good for covering about 24" of space. At this tank size, two on the ends won't give you good flow in the middle. You definitely need at least three mp40's to flow that tank regardless of placement (asking them to reach out 30" from the back wall is asking a lot), so I'd relax until you can get a third unit (or more) into the tank....or until you can make a switch to something else.

    IMO, I'd sell out of your current pumps and move back to Tunze. Either 6105's again, or possible another combination of their AC or DC pumps. (e.g. The 5 year warranty on the Stream 3 seems like it would be ideal for your situation where powerheads seem to live a short life. ;) But seriously.)

    Whichever combo you go with, maybe consider mounting one (or more) of them in a Tunze Rock for location in/on/near your rocks rather than limiting yourself only to placement on the the walls.

    (FYI, your 6105's were still under warranty at 2 years and failure at that age is extremely unusual. Give that these pumps have a long track record in the hobby it seems like an awful coincidence that both of yours would go at once like that, like it could have been related to something local vs being "bad powerheads". Regardless, you ought to have been able to get them looked at under warranty at the very least....and maybe even replaced.)
     
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  7. LobsterOfJustice

    LobsterOfJustice Active Member

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    With how the tank is situated in the room, are the sides a major viewing pane? Is one more viewed than the other?

    It makes a big difference if you can make your powerheads work together instead of against each other. If you don’t want them cluttering up the sides, I would try one on the right side but mid level down, pushed all the way to the back wall. So this pump is pushing right to left across the back of the tank. If you don’t want the other pump on the left pane of the tank, I would put it on the back pane, on the left side. This will make the pumps work together to create a circular motion throughout the tank. Run them on long pulse modes to let the water movement really build on itself before changing to different patterns. It’s okay to use short pulses or quickly changing rates sometime throughout the day, but you will get more total flow letting the pumps run for several minutes at a time before altering their speed.
     
  8. Martyd

    Martyd Active Member

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    I like Tunze pumps for a lot of reasons, one of them being that I prefer the cords on the inside of he tank. Depending of the placement, especially with a black background, they blend in pretty well.

    [​IMG]the inside of the tank.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. ShawnSaucier

    ShawnSaucier Well-Known Member

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    Let’s just say that I decide to give Tunze a second chance. Maybe two Stream 3 units. With 3/4” glass I will need the magnet upgrades. Or can these be mounted in a wet scenario(on the overflow)? And then I would purchase the Smartcontroller to be able to monitor and control the flow patterns through out the day. Correct?
    How far below the waterline do these need to be to eliminate sucking in air? The units seem rather large, what type of heat issues are there? And how much control is available with this smart controller unit?
     
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  10. ca1ore

    ca1ore Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award CTARS Member Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor R2R TV Featured

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    Power heads are an eyesore - either inside the tank or outside. Agree that the Mp40 will struggle much beyond 24 inches. I found on my tank, MP60 on each end, dual MP40 on the back and a pair of WAV on the overflow (both sides of the magnet assembly are waterproof) to work well ..... plus no really fine sand .....

    IMG_0882.JPG
     
  11. ShawnSaucier

    ShawnSaucier Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful tank!
     
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  12. mehaffydr

    mehaffydr Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I completely agree about powerheads being an eye soar and my solution most likely will not work for you but throwing it out there anyway. I have a similar size tank at 60 x 36 x 24. I drilled the tank bottom and using Reeflo hammerhead gold pump I have a closed loop system with 5ea. 3/4” outlets all with lock line fittings and each one has its own valve this gives me total control of flow rate and direction. I have used this setup for years and it works great for me.
     
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  13. mcarroll

    mcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    … To the overflow, in a Tunze Rock, on the tank bottom. Just about anywhere. I would try to keep them closer to the bottom (or bottom of the side-glass, at least) for easier hiding.

    I believe at 3/4 inch you are technically at the borderline, but OK.

    Each powerhead comes with its own controller, so no further purchases necessary.

    The SmartController would probably be a good purchase all the way around if you're in the market for a controller.

    In general you are not limited to particular flow patterns or modes with Tunze. You set up the pattern as you see fit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  14. Airwarf

    Airwarf Member

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    Sorry a bit off topic... Is that what that noise is?!?

    This clicking has been driving me up the wall trying to figure out what was causing it. Does it happen randomly in groups of 3-5 clicks and then stop for a while? Every time I hear the clicking I would get close to the tank to try and diagnose the source but it would stop. If this noise is my MP40 It's done it since I got it (new).

    I'm in a similar boat with trying to fix flow. Keeping my eye on this thread.
     
  15. Cory

    Cory Valuable Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

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    I feel your pain. I too had first gen gyres. Awesome flow but poor quality. I hear the second gen has worked out all the issues. Id buy 2 of the biggest they got now. Currently i use 2x coral box qp16s on a 200 gallon. Flow is dispersed and they didnt break my bank. And they come with a decent controller. If money werent a concern id order 3x mp60 becaise i dont want electricity in the water anymore.
     
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  16. mcarroll

    mcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    How much do you have in there??
     
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  17. ShawnSaucier

    ShawnSaucier Well-Known Member

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    Mine was like a (gonna date myself) playing card in a bicycle wheel.
    Your clicks could be multiple things including something biological such as a pistol shrimp or mantis. Not saying that’s what it is, would have to hear it...
     
  18. ShawnSaucier

    ShawnSaucier Well-Known Member

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    Enough to help me do my hair in the morning...
     
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  19. ShawnSaucier

    ShawnSaucier Well-Known Member

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    Though to me the flow was the best I’ve had in my tank when I had one. The break downs were almost weekly. I’ll have to read up on second gen stuff.
     
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  20. ShawnSaucier

    ShawnSaucier Well-Known Member

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    So essentially with the unit as is, I can program multiple flow patterns through out the day, much like Ecotech? Does connecting to an Apex allow more control without purchasing the Smart controller?
     
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