Please help if there is a solution with my sump

FreshSaltyGuy

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Hello, I am currently cycling my 220 gal display tank that will be a mixed reef tank with a 75gal sump down below with 3 acrylic baffles for it. I have attached 2 pics. One is when power is off that is the max it drains back. The other is when it's running the pump at 45 out of 100. 2 things happen, the baffle after skimmer creates a 3-4" loud waterfall and the adjustable gate is all the way down. The other as you can see is not much water gets over to pump. The last baffle is raised about 3" from the bottom for water to go under. I'm not having any bubble issues just low water at pump and loud falls. My pump a Jebao MDP-15000 is currently running at 45 out of 100%. Even if I turn the pump lower or higher the levels are the same and when turned higher the waterfall obviously gets louder.
I have to slow the pump all the way down to 30 out of 100 ten it's dead silent. But isn't that too slow? The pump max shows 3,962 gph but in reality probably closer to 3,400 gph so at 30% power that is 1,020 gph turn over right? That puts me at a turn over of my tank between 3-4 timer per hour correct so I'm ok then keeping it low?
I've read several sites online say 75-80 time turnover on mixed reef tanks is this true?

PXL_20231019_214641390.jpg PXL_20231019_214345969.jpg 16977539447907433471821914752294.jpg
 
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MarineandReef Jaron

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The first thing I would do is turn off all of the power let things settle and then fill the sump as high as you can comfortably. It looks like you can add an inch or two to the sump. Then plug everything in and mark the water level. This is the true highest water level point.

Getting the water level a little higher will help a bit. if you still get some noise from the water crashing then I would try to fill the space between the baffles with something to break up the water I like the CPR biobale but you could also use a sponge or really just about anything.

 
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FreshSaltyGuy

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So I can go higher. That first pic you see is everything off. I'm nervous to go any higher lol. I did mark the tank already but tough to see my markings in pic.
How about turnover rate. I know there is no agreement on this but I have seen high turnover rates for mixed reef and I've seen people do 3-5 x. So just looking for opinions.
 
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FreshSaltyGuy

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What does pump return section look like for everyone if you have bagfles? Low like mine?
I'm low to the point where if I turn on my skimmer it takes so much water away that the pump starts to run a little dry.
 

PotatoPig

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Could you show a sketch indicating the heights of each baffle? It’s tough to tell from the pictures exactly how you’ve got it set up before the pump.

If you want to overall raise the water level in the sump while maintaining buffer against max capacity you could raise the return line in the tank so it doesn’t siphon down so much, allowing more volume in the system and a higher sump operating level.
 
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FreshSaltyGuy

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Could you show a sketch indicating the heights of each baffle? It’s tough to tell from the pictures exactly how you’ve got it set up before the pump.

If you want to overall raise the water level in the sump while maintaining buffer against max capacity you could raise the return line in the tank so it doesn’t siphon down so much, allowing more volume in the system and a higher sump operating level.
Does this help? Drains go into Fuge first no baffle. The First baffle on left is 12" high water goes into Skimmer, then there is an adjustable baffle from 8"-16", then 2.5" gap between that baffle and the last one which is raised up to have a 3" gap where water goes under and to the pump. I didn't want to create a full over under over bubble trap because I wanted the space and don't have issues with micro bubbles.
On the return line those are plumbed over the back. Yes raising them a little more would help, but they currently sit 2" below water line and I really don't want to create a whole new set of returns because I have 4 of them in total lol.
How high does your water get in your sump when you turn off pump?
 
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FreshSaltyGuy

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Turn over rate doesn't all need to go through the sump. Consider lowering flow through sump and then using power heads in the tank to achieve the flow you need.
Ahhh ok that's what I wanted to hear. So when you hear people say 75-80 time turn over for reef tank they are using the GPH of the power heads in that calculation right?
 

PotatoPig

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Ahhh ok that's what I wanted to hear. So when you hear people say 75-80 time turn over for reef tank they are using the GPH of the power heads in that calculation right?
Absolutely. The vast majority of your flow should come from power heads in the DT.

Turnover for a sump can be in the ~3-5 range, maybe approaching 10 for a very high turnover through the sump.
 
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FreshSaltyGuy

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Absolutely. The vast majority of your flow should come from power heads in the DT.

Turnover for a sump can be in the ~3-5 range, maybe approaching 10 for a very high turnover through the sump.
Ok great! I'm about 4-5 x right now, but I do wish my return pump area had deeper water. Thank you!!
 

twentyleagues

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I agree most of the 75-80 is from power heads/wave makers. I usually shoot for 4-6x from return pump. Really any more then that will reduce efficiency of things like skimmers and other reactors and filtration elements. ( give the water some time in the filter to get filtered)
 
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FreshSaltyGuy

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I would raise it to within 1in of spilling over and then plug everything back in and mark the water level.
Oh wow 1" so that is normal? Lol I figured everyone left plenty of room but maybe not. I was thinking of making my first baffle shorter from 12" to 10" tall and that would give me more water in pump??
 

MarineandReef Jaron

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Oh wow 1" so that is normal? Lol I figured everyone left plenty of room but maybe not. I was thinking of making my first baffle shorter from 12" to 10" tall and that would give me more water in pump??
To be clear. Turn everything off and look at your sump. If there is still some room once everything has settled you can add more water to the sump. Once you have the sump as full as can be plug everything back in and see where the water settles. Mark this point and never fill above it.
 

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Generally reducing your return pump speed should raise the water level in the pump section.

Also, when you turn the return pump off how far down does the water level in the display get. Do you have something preventing water from siphoning back from your return nozzle? I’m curious if you have more water draining into your sump than there has to be.
 
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exnisstech

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How about turnover rate.
I've had a fair amount of success with a mixed reef and have two other tanks heavy with growing sps frags and I'll be honest I couldn't even guess what my turnover rate is or even how much my pumps and power heads are capable of delivering. I guess maybe I should know but I've never seen a need. :thinking-face: I watch things in the tank and see how they react to the flow then increase or decrease as needed. My tell that I use to know if I I have it right is when I flood the tank with food and it blows everywhere. If the fish have to chase it around the tank to eat I consider the flow good :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:
 
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FreshSaltyGuy

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To be clear. Turn everything off and look at your sump. If there is still some room once everything has settled you can add more water to the sump. Once you have the sump as full as can be plug everything back in and see where the water settles. Mark this point and never fill above it.
Gotcha so this is my water level in sump with all power off. It is about 3" from the very top rim.
 

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