Ideal overflow/return placement?

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Bamzam

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I'm about to drill a tank for the first time...what's the ideal placement for an external overflow and return on a 36"x12"x12" tank? Center overflow with dual returns? Or corner overflow with a return and wavemaker on the opposite side?

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Timfish

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I use tank location in the room and dominate position it's liekly to be viewed from as variable in designing the aquascaping which in turn helps decide where to place the overflow so it's easily hidden by the aquascaping. Like with this system below, since it would be seen from almost every angle I chose to place the overflow in the middle front to back and at the 1/3rd mark away from the stairs coming down. That let me make an island for the mangrove and a reef slope on the end where the stairs come down wigh a channel between the stairs and the island.


With this system since it's only seen from the mostly front but can be viewed from each end I went with a center overflow.

 
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Bamzam

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I use tank location in the room and dominate position it's liekly to be viewed from as variable in designing the aquascaping which in turn helps decide where to place the overflow so it's easily hidden by the aquascaping. Like with this system below, since it would be seen from almost every angle I chose to place the overflow in the middle front to back and at the 1/3rd mark away from the stairs coming down. That let me make an island for the mangrove and a reef slope on the end where the stairs come down wigh a channel between the stairs and the island.


With this system since it's only seen from the mostly front but can be viewed from each end I went with a center overflow.


Good point. I have it on top of a wet bar, so it will be mainly center viewed. I'm going to put a black background though so the overflow should blend in pretty well. I'm mainly trying to get the most flow with the least equipment in tank. I got a nero 3, but if its not needed with certain placement I can sell it. The external overflow is a fiji 600 gph and I'm using a varios 2 return. The tank is so long/narrow though, dunno if I'll end up needing wavemakers regardless
 

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I prefer a center overflow so that neither side is obstructed by an ugly box. The return can be on either side or even coming from the inside of the overflow. IMHO, it really doesn't matter too much because you'll end up with at least 2 (or more) power heads anyway to provide the randomized flow that is so important for both coral health and to prevent dead spots.

My 120DT is set up that way, with a pair of gyre 250s on either side of the overflow, a pair of Koralia 1500gph PH's in the back corners facing out, and a pair of Koralia 850's on the sides as far back as I can get them blowing behind the rocks.

I painted the back of the tank black so that they all more or less disappear into it.
 
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