Return Line Advise

AI Hydra

jc75

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Knoxville
Hello everyone, I need to drill return lines in a new tank and locked in indecision. It is a 75 gallon tank with prodigy L overflow installed and most likely a cor-20 return pump. The pump can run at 1 1/4”. Even though the loc line is only 3/4” should I run 1 1/4” pipe and drill for a 1 1/4” bulkhead? Use 3/4” bulkhead and reduce before the bulkhead? Or just stick to 3/4” for everything. I can’t decide what size hole to drill or size plumbing to run. Looking to gain wisdom from others experience to make the right decision.
Also another question I have is should I drill for another bulkhead on the other side of the aquarium and plug it to have for future options in case I need it?
 
Click to watch best scape method in 5 easy steps!

Saltyreef

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Messages
4,547
Reaction score
4,119
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Bay Area, Ca
Whatever size exits the return pump, id stick with that.
Example, my vectra has a .75" discharge oriface.
I stuck with 3/4 the whole way.

Id also vote no for the extra hole.
Plan what you want first, then execute the plan.
 

Rob.bucek

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Messages
2,524
Reaction score
5,218
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Eau Claire
Are you using bullheads in your sump? 1 1/4 bullheads (abs) are all but non-existent and while you can get cpvc in that size they are expensive. For only a 75 gallon using 1" will get you plenty of turnover for what you need imo. You can even drill the tank for 1" and get a reducer for the loc line at that point. Keeps it simple, at your side tank anything larger is overkill.
 

thatmanMIKEson

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Messages
588
Reaction score
399
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
florida
Whatever size exits the return pump, id stick with that.
Example, my vectra has a .75" discharge oriface.
I stuck with 3/4 the whole way.

Id also vote no for the extra hole.
Plan what you want first, then execute the plan.
That may not be the case. Its all about water volume in pipes, I'd put 8" and reduce at the very last point to 3/4 if you could..(obviously you can't do 8" but you get it)
 

CKinLA

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
68
Reaction score
75
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
New Orleans, La
I’ve got a 120 and the bulkheads were only 3/4; I wish they were bigger but I don’t think that it is necessary with two.

I ran 1-1/4” plumbing from the pump to the bulkhead then 3/4“ from the bulkhead into the tank to fit lockline and unions in the overflow. I run two return pumps for redundancy and they are dialed way back. I can run one full speed and it pumps more than my normal flow through both lines, which is why I don’t think larger than 3/4” bulkhead is necessary.

I went with 1-1/4“ under the stand to reduce friction loss. Again with two pumps and how far I have them dialed back, I could have gotten away with smaller plumbing. With one pump moving all of the water, 3/4” may have been too small (don’t know for sure). Originally, I was planning on external pumps with more 90s in the line, which was another reason I went with 1-1/4”, but I couldn’t fit them the way I wanted.

Biggest downside with 1-1/4“ is the cost of fittings (primarily if going with sch 80) and the size of fittings.

I‘d say go with bigger plumbing and reduce the bulkhead to 3/4” or 1” if you don’t want to go 1-1/4”. A 1-1/4” bulkhead is pretty large; my returns are only 1” (with 1.5” plumbing). Also if you use tubing instead if hard plumbing that’ll save you some friction loss too.

I’d drill two holes unless there is a downside or you know you’ll never use it. Just gives you more options in the future. Easy to drill now but not so much later.

Plumbing for a 120 as I was setting t up.
EDBDD025-40A1-4A36-9326-020F62B9C4E7.jpeg
 
Fritz
AI Hydra

ARE YOU PROUD OR EMBARRASSED OF YOUR REEF TANK?

  • Proud

    Votes: 12 75.0%
  • Embarrassed

    Votes: 1 6.3%
  • Neither proud or embarrassed

    Votes: 3 18.8%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
Premium Algae Scrubbers from Turbo's Aquatics!
Top