Should I consider a closed loop?

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Radman73

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This is wordy, please bear with me!

I have a 220gal(6x2x2.5) tank that I'm setting up. Slowly.

It came with corner overflows and I am not a fan of how much real estate they take up. I ordered a 22" modular marine overflow. I made it 22" so I can install it on the back or either end depending on how I setup the tank in the room it's going into.

Now, as normal, each overflow has 2 pre-drilled holes in it. I've had several ideas on how to handle depending on whether the sump and fuge get located in the stand or I go with the original plan to make them remote in the garage.

My original plan was to put in threadxslip bulkheads, and put a small threaded cap in the tank, glue in a short down pipe to a ball valve, and then either have another short and capped down pipe or just run them all to a 5gal bucket so I know if they develop a slow leak. This would also always give me flexibility should I change my mind in the future.

But, is it wasting those holes? I know closed loops have sort of fallen out of favor but I'm wondering if I might be better off buying a Vectra for a closed loop vs a WAV starter set or a couple of more MP40's. And would 2 suctions and 2 returns offer enough varied flow? Just not familiar with closed loops and most of what I read is from 10 years ago.

I'm wide open to thoughts, suggestions, and ideas.
 
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i wouldnt run a closed loop. Too many cool pumps out there. Gyre, vortec, jebao, wavebox, etcetera. But closed loops are definitely less of an eyesore if you install them correctly. What if you dont install them, you cant do it without draining the tank later? I guess more flow cant hurt.
 

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I love love love my closed loop. I wouldn't do it any other way. I hate seeing pumps in the tank. They really stick out visually for me.
 

mfinn

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I don't know why you think closed loops aren't any good, or as you said" fallen out of favor."
It's not a popularity contest, at least not for me.
I love my closed loop. It's a very efficient way of moving water inside the tank.
With a closed loop you remove all the pumps and power cords out of the tank.

I started out using a Reeflo Dart/Snapper pump on my closed loop, but replaced it with a Vectra L1.
Moves a ton of water and is totally silent.
 
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Fin

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I use a closed loop with an OceansMotions 4 way valve with a ReeFlo Dart pump on a 140. The valve drum that I use fires two of the four outlets at once and constantly cycles through the two sets of returns. The 4 way has been running constantly for 10 years with no maintenance. Highly reliable piece of equipment.
 
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Radman73

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I don't know why you think closed loops aren't any good, or as you said" fallen out of favor."
It's not a popularity contest, at least not for me.
I love my closed loop. It's a very efficient way of moving water inside the tank.
With a closed loop you remove all the pumps and power cords out of the tank.

I started out using a Reeflo Dart/Snapper pump on my closed loop, but replaced it with a Vectra L1.
Moves a ton of water and is totally silent.

Didn't say they weren't any good lol! If I thought that I wouldn't even ask. They have seemed to have fallen out of favor though. Haven't read too many build threads with CL's being considered.

I just don't know enough about them. I do like the idea of a cleaner look but am concerned about how to direct the flow. I don't think the bottom glass of my tank is tempered(I'll check to be sure) so it's easy enough to drill more holes.

But the L1 is, what, 3100gph? A single MP40 is more than that. Could a single L1 really be as effective as a pair of Apex WAV's?
 

mfinn

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Didn't say they weren't any good lol! If I thought that I wouldn't even ask. They have seemed to have fallen out of favor though. Haven't read too many build threads with CL's being considered.

I just don't know enough about them. I do like the idea of a cleaner look but am concerned about how to direct the flow. I don't think the bottom glass of my tank is tempered(I'll check to be sure) so it's easy enough to drill more holes.

But the L1 is, what, 3100gph? A single MP40 is more than that. Could a single L1 really be as effective as a pair of Apex WAV's?

It is 3100gph, but it is providing flow for 8 different ways in my tank. Where a single powerhead is putting all that flow in one place.
I had my closed lop bulkheads on the back wall of my tank, and is completely hidden.

But you keep saying fallen out of favor. It's a proven system.
 

mfinn

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All I'm saying is don't discount one way because the only new builds you current see are not using a closed loop.
Consider everything and use the way you find works best for your build.

I resisted using a closed loop on my 2 previous builds. But this one I did it, and I'm very happy I did.
It works for me.

Good luck with your new build.

And to answer part of your question on the amount of holes for a closed loop, I went with one 1-1/2" suction bulkhead and four 1" return bulkheads with 2 way locline y's on the inside that give flow in 8 different directions.
 

Fin

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One thing I like about closed loops is having the ability to hide outputs. This is how I concealed my two front bottom returns in the sand bed. They are covered with GSPs now and you can't even tell they are returns.

ReturnInSand2.jpg


GSP.jpg


Also, you can combine closed loops with other types of flow. I added a MP-40 with a back-up battery for water movement in the event of a power failure. Helps spread out the directional flow from the closed loop returns.
 
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It's funny how people's experiences differ. The one big mistake I made on my 210g was installing an Oceans Motions. I actually have it turned off, so now there's flow coming from only 2 of the 4 outlets until I get down there and remove the drum. I planned the tank with the oceans motions and it's going to be a huge mess to change it out. If it worked beautifully, it would be an awesome piece of equipment. Mine since day one has had nothing but problems.

There's 5 holes to my closed loop. I also have a sump on a different pump.
 

Lionfish Lair

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I missed the part about you wanting a remote sump.... I have one too. It's in a shed outside of my house. love. Love. LOVE!!!!!!!
 

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It's funny how people's experiences differ. The one big mistake I made on my 210g was installing an Oceans Motions. I actually have it turned off, so now there's flow coming from only 2 of the 4 outlets until I get down there and remove the drum. I planned the tank with the oceans motions and it's going to be a huge mess to change it out. If it worked beautifully, it would be an awesome piece of equipment. Mine since day one has had nothing but problems.

There's 5 holes to my closed loop. I also have a sump on a different pump.
Wow! I have had the exact opposite experience. Mine has functioned flawlessly for 10 years now. Why will it be a mess to change the drum? Did you not put valves to shut off the water flow when you installed it? Mine is simple to take apart. I took it down once just to see if it needed cleaning inside. It didn't, so I have left it alone.

Interesting that you have had problems with yours. Did you maybe get sand in it? Did you ever call Paul at OM? He is very helpful.
 

Lionfish Lair

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It's "simple" to take apart, but I haven't figured out a replacement for totally removing it. It was the heartbeat of the closed loop, so I'm not sure how to utilize the closed loop without it. There's no sand and I've been through all of the troubleshooting procedures. I was happy to see that the company came back 'round again and was hoping for a second shot at a solution. I think I started a thread on here. I'm going to find it and tag you, so you can hear the noise. We probably bought them at the same time when they first came out.

I say "simple" because I still have to climb under the tank stand to deal with it and that in itself, sucks. the thing is set up with all of the valves for pump/equipment maintenance.
 

rossco

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I miss my old closed loop. There was certainly less maintenance vs. my vortechs. Here is how it was set up with a Oceans Motions Super Squirt. The whole thing was removable via unions and ball valve unions. To remove the returns the water level needed to be dropped below the return holes. The blue tape squares are where I plumbed the sump return lines to, hadn't drilled them when I took this picture. The pump I used was a Super Dart. I do think Vortechs are quieter.

 
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Radman73

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All I'm saying is don't discount one way because the only new builds you current see are not using a closed loop.
Consider everything and use the way you find works best for your build.

I resisted using a closed loop on my 2 previous builds. But this one I did it, and I'm very happy I did.
It works for me.

Good luck with your new build.

And to answer part of your question on the amount of holes for a closed loop, I went with one 1-1/2" suction bulkhead and four 1" return bulkheads with 2 way locline y's on the inside that give flow in 8 different directions.

Thank you or the responses everyone!

Not discounting at all. It's why I'm asking. It actually makes more sense to me to use the bottom holes for CL vs just capping them off. As much as I love MP's it would be nice to have the sides clear.

Where do people generally but the suction? In the pic above it looks like it's about 1/4 to 1/3 up?
 

Breadman03

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It is 3100gph, but it is providing flow for 8 different ways in my tank. Where a single powerhead is putting all that flow in one place.
I had my closed lop bulkheads on the back wall of my tank, and is completely hidden.

But you keep saying fallen out of favor. It's a proven system.

Closed loops have fallen out of favor for several reasons. Powerheads use less electricity for a given flow rate, can be moved at will, and require are less likely to leak water from the tank. Closed loops ruled when powerheads were lame.

In today's world, I think powerheads are a better choice in general, but there are a few factors that would make a CL superior choice.
 

rossco

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Closed loops have fallen out of favor for several reasons. Powerheads use less electricity for a given flow rate, can be moved at will, and require are less likely to leak water from the tank. Closed loops ruled when powerheads were lame.

In today's world, I think powerheads are a better choice in general, but there are a few factors that would make a CL superior choice.

I honestly agree with this. Also in the OP's case, to utilize the existing corner holes there would have to be some internal plumbing which would be hard to hide. In this case, I would silicone a patch over the holes and use Vortechs or something similar.
 

mfinn

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Closed loops have fallen out of favor for several reasons. Powerheads use less electricity for a given flow rate, can be moved at will, and require are less likely to leak water from the tank. Closed loops ruled when powerheads were lame.

In today's world, I think powerheads are a better choice in general, but there are a few factors that would make a CL superior choice.
I guess it could be true, as long as you don't mind plastic pumps and cords in the tank.
But to me and a lot of others keeping all that out of the tank is more important than what the current crop of new pumps.
I really like the new MP40QD because it is totally silent, but it still is a visible pump inside the tank.

But whatever anyone's choice is, more power to you and I mean this when I say, enjoy your new builds.
 
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mfinn

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Where do people generally but the suction? In the pic above it looks like it's about 1/4 to 1/3 up?

When I planned my closed loop, I knew it would be a bigger hole, and that I was going to use a pvc tee directly off the bulkhead with a strainer on each side. This was a lot of pvc that I wanted to keep hidden so IMO it was important to keep it fairly low in the tank. Mine is about 1/4 of the way up on the back wall.

I helped a friend plan and plumb a bottom drilled 275 gallon tank and we used a Hammerhead for the closed loop with required a 2" suction bulkhead.
It has the same pvc tee with strainers on each side. To keep this mas of pvc hidden it's about 1/4 of the way from the back wall and right in the middle.
 
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