Powerhead Flow Help for 60g Cube

iannarelli

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Hi everyone. I am setting up a 60 gallon cube (build thread) which will be my first reef tank, and one of the last pieces of the puzzle is figuring out the flow. The tank will have two 3/4 returns with RFGs on either side of a central overflow box, being supplied by a Sicce Syncra 7 SDC return pump. The return flow will be limited by the UV, so somewhere in the 250 GPH range. I might be able to crank it up a little more, I just need to sit down and check the dwell time calculation to make sure. That leaves the powerheads the job of making sure I have enough flow in the tank itself. And I'm not sure what I should do, so any help would be greatly appreciated! I have a short list but am not confident what size/model/quantity/GPH I need for a mixed reef in a 2'x2'x2' cube. I've been looking at the following options:
  • EcoTech Vortech... MP10? MP40? I really like the different programs you can run and obviously the cords being out of the tank is great.
  • Aqua Illumination Nero. Again, not sure if I need the 3 or the 5... Their form factor is definitely a plus, I just wish they could be programmed similarly to the Vortechs.
  • Reef Octopus Octo Pulse 2+ or 4+.
  • Octo Pulse 2 w/ Hydros Wave Engine LE. Seems like this might offer similar programming to the Vortechs?
  • Gyres. Maxspect Gyre XF330 Cloud Edition is appealing for the controllability. If I were to go with Neros, I'd consider the new AI Orbit. Not sure if a gyre would be overkill or not?
  • Wavermaker + Gyre combo from the above options.
  • Any other options you all think would be better!
Thanks!
 

Mr. Mojo Rising

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I've got 2 icecap gyres in my 40 breeder controlled by the wave engine, they provide excellent flow in my tank, I'll always suggest gyres.
 

X-37B

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One Tunze powerhead attatched to a Sea Sweep is another option to look at.
I run 2 on my new system.
20240430_135424.jpg
 
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iannarelli

iannarelli

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I had a 60g cube years ago. I used two MP10s. An MP40 would be too much flow. A gyre or two (if you are doing SPS) would also be a good choice.
I've got 2 icecap gyres in my 40 breeder controlled by the wave engine, they provide excellent flow in my tank, I'll always suggest gyres.
I've always been intrigued by the gyre pumps. What corals you have in your cube? Did you also add a gyre or were the two MP10's sufficient? Perhaps I can add a gyre later on, once I get some SPS corals. If I can ask one more question, how did you have the MP10s arranged in your tank?
 
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iannarelli

iannarelli

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I've got 2 icecap gyres in my 40 breeder controlled by the wave engine, they provide excellent flow in my tank, I'll always suggest gyres.
Do you have them set up on opposite ends? A 40 breeder is quite a bit longer than a 60 cube... do you think two would be overkill?
 

Arkayology

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I've always been intrigued by the gyre pumps. What corals you have in your cube? Did you also add a gyre or were the two MP10's sufficient? Perhaps I can add a gyre later on, once I get some SPS corals. If I can ask one more question, how did you have the MP10s arranged in your tank?
I had mainly SPS with some zoas at the time. I had the MP10s placed on the back of the tank - one on each side. I never really had to go higher than 60% on them to get good flow. My 60g cube was around before the gyre was released but I had one on a 24x24x16 tank. The gyre and one mp10 was excellent flow for that tank.
 

X-37B

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Hmmm, hadn't even considered these, will have to check them out!
Yes do check them out. Many do not even know they exist. One would work well in your cube.
Nothing attatched to the glass and the only cord runs through the sweep.
 

GARRIGA

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One Tunze powerhead attatched to a Sea Sweep is another option to look at.
I run 2 on my new system.
20240430_135424.jpg
Aside from the flow discussion. Likely this layout. I'm personally fond of recreating something akin to a rock flat then let everything grow above and between yet allowing hides around and within the rock work. Very nice
 

X-37B

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Aside from the flow discussion. Likely this layout. I'm personally fond of recreating something akin to a rock flat then let everything grow above and between yet allowing hides around and within the rock work. Very nice
Thanks. There are alot of hiding places under my scape. Highest point is 7.5". Once covered in corals in a couple years you wont see the rock. Just like my old 120.
20220106_131923.jpg
 

GARRIGA

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Thanks. There are alot of hiding places under my scape. Highest point is 7.5". Once covered in corals in a couple years you wont see the rock. Just like my old 120.
20220106_131923.jpg
That's the look I'm seeking. Only variation being I'm hoping to keep fewer individual colonies and going for larger single colonies.
 

GARRIGA

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As far the UV being a hindrance to maximizing flow. An option would be to run a manifold and reduce what feeds the UV then join both flows and have tank single return meet flow needs. Second option is bigger UV. Guessing sale of existing might net same cost as getting more pumps. I hate cluttering the display with anything other than it's intended inhabitants. As well as more cords underneath. More anything means more maintenance and things that can go wrong although having a small wave maker helps should main filtration fail.
 
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iannarelli

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I had mainly SPS with some zoas at the time. I had the MP10s placed on the back of the tank - one on each side. I never really had to go higher than 60% on them to get good flow. My 60g cube was around before the gyre was released but I had one on a 24x24x16 tank. The gyre and one mp10 was excellent flow for that tank.
So I've been going down power head rabbit holes on and off throughout the day. The tank I'm getting will have 10mm thick glass, which is *technically* 0.5mm more than what the MP10's are rated for. Anecdotal experience seems to be mixed on whether the magnets will be robust enough to withstand accidental bumps to either the wet side or dry side.
On the other hand, it seems that the MP40, and the Nero 5 for that matter, can't be cranked down low enough to not rip the flesh off of corals in a 2'x2' footprint.
 
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iannarelli

iannarelli

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As far the UV being a hindrance to maximizing flow. An option would be to run a manifold and reduce what feeds the UV then join both flows and have tank single return meet flow needs. Second option is bigger UV. Guessing sale of existing might net same cost as getting more pumps. I hate cluttering the display with anything other than it's intended inhabitants. As well as more cords underneath. More anything means more maintenance and things that can go wrong although having a small wave maker helps should main filtration fail.
Are you suggesting trying to get the flow only from the two returns? Or just maximizing the flow out of the returns to limit the amount of supplementary pump I would need in the DT?

Regarding the UV and or manifold. Not sure I have room for a bigger UV. My tank is in the living room and I would prefer something that fits in my stand. I thought about a manifold, but the overwhelming advice I saw when looking into plumbing the UV was to have all the water returning to the tank pass through it, or creating an indpendent closed loop in the DT. I also didn't want to corwd the sump area with a manifold I may not take full advantage of down the road. My plumbing would make it easy to add one after the fact though!

Anyway, I think the flow I mentioned above is somewhat conservative. The unit I got is a TMC Vecton Titan 850, which I know isn't a very popular brand on the forums (especially in the States). However, Reef Builders seemed to like it, and it seems to pack a punch for its form factor. Per the specs, it can take more flow, but obviously that will decrease dwell time and the effectiveness of the sterilization.
1715651377604.png

Having said that, the retailer that I purchased from has a very long page about UV Sterilization, which includes the below chart:
1715651785572.png

They claim (as does the manufacturer) that the Titan is ~30% more effective than the other "Category A", so call it 13-19.5 GPH per watt, or 325 to 487.5 GPH for Level 2 Sterilization. If I decide I am happy with Level One, I can even increase the flow from the returns even more.
 

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I'm running 2 nero 5 pumps one on the back midway down and one on the right panel slightly higher seems to work well for me in my 60 cube.
 

TheFishKeeper

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So I've been going down power head rabbit holes on and off throughout the day. The tank I'm getting will have 10mm thick glass, which is *technically* 0.5mm more than what the MP10's are rated for. Anecdotal experience seems to be mixed on whether the magnets will be robust enough to withstand accidental bumps to either the wet side or dry side.
On the other hand, it seems that the MP40, and the Nero 5 for that matter, can't be cranked down low enough to not rip the flesh off of corals in a 2'x2' footprint.
I also have 10 mm glass on my 60 gallon cube tank. I started with the Nero 3’s but the magnets weren’t strong enough for the 10mm glass. I ended up with two Maxspect 330 gyres and they’ve worked out wonderfully.

One other thing, the gyres can be placed very close to the surface of the water, that’s where they’re intended to be. When they’re that far up on the glass, they aren’t that obvious and they don’t obscure the view much. Also the wire, then quickly can be brought out of the tank and run on the outside, it’s not nearly as foul looking as I thought it was going to be
 
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iannarelli

iannarelli

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I also have 10 mm glass on my 60 gallon cube tank. I started with the Nero 3’s but the magnets weren’t strong enough for the 10mm glass. I ended up with two Maxspect 330 gyres and they’ve worked out wonderfully.

One other thing, the gyres can be placed very close to the surface of the water, that’s where they’re intended to be. When they’re that far up on the glass, they aren’t that obvious and they don’t obscure the view much. Also the wire, then quickly can be brought out of the tank and run on the outside, it’s not nearly as foul looking as I thought it was going to be
Thanks for replying! I wound up going with two OctoPulse 2's on the back glass and one 330 gyre on the top of the left-hand side. Seems like I have pretty good circulation with no dead spots for now. I agree the gyre isn't as big an eyesore as I thought either.
 

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