rsumner's Reefer 525 Obsession

rsumner

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So, I got a Red Sea Reefer 525 this past Christmas and my obsession with perfecting my plumbing has not ended. I've hard plumbed everything in addition to building a manifold. I thought I would share my successes and failures.

First, I'll show you the state of things prior to adding reactors and fuge lights:



I had some simple goals with this setup:
  • convert the ~5gal ATO into a chaeto fuge
  • run a single return pump
  • Apex flow sensors on everything
  • at least three manifold ports (carbon, gfo, and biopellet)
The net result is what you see above. This was my first attempt at plumbing much of anything and it shows in some of the craftsmanship. I'll provide some newer pics and progression of what I've been doing lately, but I wanted to share a few things that I've noticed/dislike/like thus far:
  • display is getting about 500ghp through the FS-100 flow sensor
  • i need to get install some support to hold the manifold in place (i'm reading having to drill anything into my cab through)
  • i was only able to squeeze 3 manifold ports into this design instead of my desired 4. more on this to come in a future post
  • fuge downpipe was super loud and flow was horrible with the way its pictured above. the pipe needed to be underwater and a gate valve installed to maintain siphon
  • i have absolutely no tumble of my chaeto in the fuge
  • dosing tubes on the left held-in by a Neptune magnet are flooded when the return goes off causing calcium and alk mix to run back into the line -- nasty!!
  • headloss to the Varios-8 (2700GPH) seems to be major with 500gph to the display, 200gph to biopellets, 50gph and 50gph to the fuge.
Needless-to-say, I'm having to rethink my design now so I can:

  • get one more manifold port after splitting my carbon and gfo into different reactors
  • reduce friction so I can cycle more water to/from the display
 
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rsumner

rsumner

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As I doodle on paper different return/manifold approaches, I'm convinced that having all of the manifold ports tee'd in equal weight from the main return is a better design vs having a single tee with the manifold ports off of that. I don't understand the fluid dynamics of this reasoning, but it seems to be the common approach by other reefers who have decades of more plumbing experience than me. (I welcome any technical backing/feedback from those who know why). And my definition of a "better design" is focused on the net-result of less friction so I can turn over more water through the pump.

The other side of my brain is starting to think I should just buy another return pump and separate my display and manifold/fuge with independent pumps, but I cringe at the fact that I got a much larger pump than I needed so I wouldn't need to do this. If I can get 1000gph to the display and about 800gph for my reactors and fuge, I would probably be happy. But, again, this is a "complex" I have.
 

SuncrestReef

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I love your annotated plumbing photo!

I managed to fit 3 reactors with gate valves and a UV sterilizer off a manifold in my Reefer 425 XL along with flow sensors on nearly everything, but I doubt I could have fit a 4th reactor with the limitations of hard PVC plumbing. Perhaps your Reefer 525 cabinet has more space? See post #29 in my build thread for a mock-up of my plumbing design as I was still assembling the Reefer cabinet:

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/s...eefer-xl-425-build.358990/page-2#post-4497937

Later, I found I had to modify my design slightly once I had the cabinet fully assembled, but it still fit in the final configuration as seen in post #41:

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/s...eefer-xl-425-build.358990/page-3#post-4558220

I supported all the plumbing from the ceiling of the cabinet using zip ties.

I will also be converting the ATO to a refugium for chaeto, but I'll be feeding it with a separate Neptune PMUP pump rather than from the main return pump.
 
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rsumner

rsumner

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Thanks, @SuncrestReef. Awesome minds think alike -- my latest drawings look very similar to yours where I have 3 tee's facing left so the reactors can hover over the pump section of the sump. I think the FS-100 flow sensor is almost 9" long, so by taking this route I'll have enough room for it to run the width of the sump before heading up to the display. I hadn't thought of using the PMUP to run the fuge. I'm only pumping about 50gph through my fuge right now and the PMUP is rated for 100gph at zero pressure. How did you anticipate plumbing it?

I spent a few hours reading https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/equivalent-pipe-length-method-d_804.html and completed the spreadsheet they provided using 1.25 Sched 40 PVC. I'm not sure how much pressure loss the Neptune Apex flow sensor will add, so if anyone knows those figures for the FS-100 and FS-200, I'd love to know. My current calculations leave me at only around 2.1ft of pressure loss (head pressure). I still need to add a few things, so I provided an liberal estimate of another 3ft of loss to account for the the flow sensor (not knowing what kind of meter/sensor it is prevents me from using industry specs), a ball valve, and the reduction to the Reefer's 3/4" return piping. With all of that being said, I should be safe in assuming that with the tee's turned off, I should only see about 5.1ft of pressure.

I couldn't find a head pressure/flow chart for the Varios-8 on Reef Octopus's site, but found it on BRS at https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/varios-8-controllable-dc-pump-2700-gph-reef-octopus.html. All in all, with the new design, I should hope to see approximately 1700gph after the head pressure. Final contradictory thought though is this doesn't account for the net-new head pressure that will come from the reactors themselves.
 

SuncrestReef

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Thanks, @SuncrestReef. Awesome minds think alike -- my latest drawings look very similar to yours where I have 3 tee's facing left so the reactors can hover over the pump section of the sump. I think the FS-100 flow sensor is almost 9" long, so by taking this route I'll have enough room for it to run the width of the sump before heading up to the display. I hadn't thought of using the PMUP to run the fuge. I'm only pumping about 50gph through my fuge right now and the PMUP is rated for 100gph at zero pressure. How did you anticipate plumbing it?

@rsumner: Sorry for the late reply to your question on my fuge plumbing. I posted a parts list and detailed pics of how I modified the Red Sea ATO reservoir to convert it to a refugium in post #82 of my build thread: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/s...eefer-xl-425-build.358990/page-5#post-4668633

The PMUP output going through a 2-port 3/8" manifold is just the perfect amount of flow to keep my chaeto rotating, as seen in this video:
 

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Awesome!
 
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rsumner

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So, it's been a while since I've posted to this thread, but my plumbing obsession continues. As I've become more knowledgable on the constraints the Reefer's return plumbing has on overall flow, I now know that I'll likely never get more than about 500GPH through the single 3/4" return line.

With that being said, I'm rebuilding my manifold again with the following assumptions:

  • single return pump (VarioS 8)
  • 1 1/4" Schedule 40 red PVC for as much of the vertical and horizontal runs as I can
  • 1 1/4" Schedule 40 white PVC fittings. I like the red and white look, I'll have less head pressure with schedule 40 vs 80, and the entire manifold will be much lighter (and cheaper)
  • Neptune Systems Flow Meters on everything
  • 5 Ports needed for the following:
    • Biopellet reactor (about 300GPH needed)
    • GFO reactor (about 40GPH needed)
    • GAC reactor (about 40GPH needed)
    • Calcium reactor (about 30GPH needed)
    • ATO converted refugium (about 40 GPH needed, but max out at 100GPH)
    • Accessory port for water changes and running UV temporarily during algae breakouts (would like to leave about 300GPH for this)

I have the layout complete and will be sharing some drawings and pics of my dry fitting as soon as I get all the PVC cuts complete and exactly the way I want.
 

SuncrestReef

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One word of advice on the flow meters: If you can, place the flow meter on the input pipe for your carbon & GFO reactors rather than on the output pipe. Some grains of GFO or carbon pellets can escape the reactors and get jammed in the flow sensor, causing it to read zero. This happens to me every time I replace my reactor media, so I need to take the flow meter apart to un-jam it. At some point I'm going to re-do my whole manifold, and this is one of the changes I'm going to make.
 
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rsumner

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One word of advice on the flow meters: If you can, place the flow meter on the input pipe for your carbon & GFO reactors rather than on the output pipe. ...

I noticed you mentioned that in your build thread a while back, so I definitely intend on taking that route this time around. It required a bit more consideration into the total space required to hang the reactors from the ceiling of the sump compartment, but I think I have it roughed-in to accommodate it. Pictures coming soon.

I think I'm also going to add an overflow box into my ATO-converted fuge this time and increase the diameter of the overflow PVC from 1/2" to 3/4" to help with the siphoning noise that I battled with while I was running it previously.
 
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rsumner

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The latest edition of my return manifold is dry fitted. Space was a major issue with trying to incorporate the UV into the return. Since I've converted to Avast Marine Spyglass reactors with their own Sicce Nano pumps integrated, I only needed to have a single bypass for my non-recirculating Reef Octopus Biopellet reactor. 1-1/4" down to the pump, but then it splits to 1" from there. I used two 1" Neptune flow meters since I'll probably push about 500+ GPH through the biopellets and the 1/2" flow meters max out at 250GPH.

 
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RCHAZARO

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Hello rsumer, i been reading your post since you started some months ago, i have the same 525 and the idea was to do something like you did, is possible to see pictures or video how everything is running, more important what did you do with the flow, are you still using only one pumps or you add more, i realized after bought the varios s8 that is not enough flow for chiller (tech 1000), algae scrubber, 3 reactors (GFO, Carbon, Biopellets), UV, Return , also the space
The new picture of your UV where do you installed? In the back of the tank? Or inside the cabinet ?
 
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rsumner

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Some corrections/comments from the Youtube video:

1. I used 1" ball valves and not 1/2" ball valves
2. 3-way Elbow came from Formufit

In addition, here's a quick snapshot of the current flow through to my display and the biopellets. I'm currently only running about 1/2 cup of Dr Tims Pearls. The VarioS-8 is running at 80%.



My hopes were to stick with 1-1/4" nearly everywhere in the manifold design to keep head pressure as minimal as possible (downgrading to 3/4" immediately before going back up to the return jet), however the tee's were simply too long to accommodate integrating the UV seamlessly to where it could fit in the cabinet. I would have also had to upgrade to 2" flow meters to prevent having to reduce from 1-1/4 to 1" just to get through the 1" flow meters.

Cranking up the return up beyond 80% will increase the noise levels, however I put silicon pads on any section of the manifold that would touch the cabinet to help with vibrations and I can say it has really helped.



I don't really have heat problems in my tank, so I'll post some A-B situations going up to 90% and 100%. I would like to see the biopellets at 300 and display as close to 500 as I can get it.
 
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rsumner

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Playing with the power settings on the Varios8 got me up to 460GPH at 90% and absolutely no better at 100%. I was playing around the the biopellet ball valve and realized I only need about 180GPH to keep this 1/2 of pellets suspended, so I'm running the pump at 70% and getting 430 to the display and 180 to the pellets.

I'm going to continue to play with things with the intent of trying to get that display over 470 to keep my UV rating between 30K and 45K EOL.
 

smithreefer

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So, I got a Red Sea Reefer 525 this past Christmas and my obsession with perfecting my plumbing has not ended. I've hard plumbed everything in addition to building a manifold. I thought I would share my successes and failures.

First, I'll show you the state of things prior to adding reactors and fuge lights:



I had some simple goals with this setup:
  • convert the ~5gal ATO into a chaeto fuge
  • run a single return pump
  • Apex flow sensors on everything
  • at least three manifold ports (carbon, gfo, and biopellet)
The net result is what you see above. This was my first attempt at plumbing much of anything and it shows in some of the craftsmanship. I'll provide some newer pics and progression of what I've been doing lately, but I wanted to share a few things that I've noticed/dislike/like thus far:
  • display is getting about 500ghp through the FS-100 flow sensor
  • i need to get install some support to hold the manifold in place (i'm reading having to drill anything into my cab through)
  • i was only able to squeeze 3 manifold ports into this design instead of my desired 4. more on this to come in a future post
  • fuge downpipe was super loud and flow was horrible with the way its pictured above. the pipe needed to be underwater and a gate valve installed to maintain siphon
  • i have absolutely no tumble of my chaeto in the fuge
  • dosing tubes on the left held-in by a Neptune magnet are flooded when the return goes off causing calcium and alk mix to run back into the line -- nasty!!
  • headloss to the Varios-8 (2700GPH) seems to be major with 500gph to the display, 200gph to biopellets, 50gph and 50gph to the fuge.
Needless-to-say, I'm having to rethink my design now so I can:

  • get one more manifold port after splitting my carbon and gfo into different reactors
  • reduce friction so I can cycle more water to/from the display
great setup bro can I get that fuge dimensions i want to make one for my sump.
 
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rsumner

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So, my next evolution begins. I'm starved for space in my sump area and want to move my fuge into a separate tank that I want to install in the right cabinet (dry side) of my Reefer (and I'll move all the equipment out into a separate side cabinet that I can easily make).

I've been looking at how the new Reefer 900 does their "split sump" and seems like exactly what I need, but I just cannot figure out how I want to do the plumbing so I can get all the flow that I want/need.

I've measured and I can easily fit a 20gallon cube in the right hand side of the cabinet, so now I just need to figure out what size holes to drill in the existing sump and in what configuration. How will I get water over there? Should I tee the main drain? Hrmmm...any thoughts out there?
 

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