Sump and Return Pump GPH?

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Brooke24

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Your return pump can’t exceed the ability of the sump, however it would take a pretty big pump to overwhelm a sump.
Ok, thanks! Im about ready to set up a 90 Gallon reef, the tank and stand is up in my room but that confuses me! What gallons per hour do you recommend on a 90 for the pump?
 

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kind of depends on your overflow plumbing diameter and what gph it allows back into the sump without engaging the emergency overflow, ideally if you use a DC return pump you can simply adjust output to tune for sump level matched with your overflow capability for your plumbing.
While doing this ensure your return nozzles are shallow enough in your display that when the return pump stops( you will do this for feeding and test for power outage) the overflow and back siphon does not exceed your sump capacity or you will end up with a big mess to mop up.
 
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Brooke24

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About 450 gph after head loss (5x tank volume) would be what I would recommend, give or take.

Do you want a submersible pump or external pump?
I want a submersible pump; I’m just super, super confused on how to buy the correct fittings and everything for the pump. Like the fittings, and all that stuff
 
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kind of depends on your overflow plumbing diameter and what gph it allows back into the sump without engaging the emergency overflow, ideally if you use a DC return pump you can simply adjust output to tune for sump level matched with your overflow capability for your plumbing.
While doing this ensure your return nozzles are shallow enough in your display that when the return pump stops( you will do this for feeding and test for power outage) the overflow and back siphon does not exceed your sump capacity or you will end up with a big mess to mop up.
Yeah, I’m so lost about the overflow. I don’t have like a corner overflow or a visible overflow in my tank, so how the tank water reach the sump ?
 

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You will need to get an external overflow if your tank is not drilled


Sorry mate i am not much use to you regarding external o/f recommendations
 
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You will need to get an external overflow if your tank is not drilled


Sorry mate i am not much use to you regarding external o/f recommendations
I bought is used- I wonder how the other person did that
 

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well they may have used an external overflow too, or possibly did not use one at all and used Canister filtration. Has the sump been used that you can tell?
Load up some pics of what you have so everyone can get you the advice you need regarding the overflow, plenty of people here will be able to reference you sound advice and get you where you need to be.
No one is judging and i am sure everyone will support you with their best experience on the topic to get you started down the right path to success.
 
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well they may have used an external overflow too, or possibly did not use one at all and used Canister filtration. Has the sump been used that you can tell?
Load up some pics of what you have so everyone can get you the advice you need regarding the overflow, plenty of people here will be able to reference you sound advice and get you where you need to be.
No one is judging and i am sure everyone will support you with their best experience on the topic to get you started down the right path to success.
Oh, that makes sense, it came with a canister filter; I don’t want to use it though, as I want a sump so I’m buying one myself. I will do that, but with the sump and return pump I’m so confused on if I need to buy the return pump based on fittings.
 

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Buy a return pump that meets your requirements. We can walk you through the rest. It isn't as difficult as it seems. The pump sits in the sump, and you just use pvc or tubing to return to the display.

Are you going to drill the tank?
 
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Buy a return pump that meets your requirements. We can walk you through the rest. It isn't as difficult as it seems. The pump sits in the sump, and you just use pvc or tubing to return to the display.

Are you going to drill the tank?
I don’t think so, I think I’m just going to buy an external overflow box. I would have my dad drill it if I knew how much it would cost, or if he could even do it without breaking it...
 
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Buy a return pump that meets your requirements. We can walk you through the rest. It isn't as difficult as it seems. The pump sits in the sump, and you just use pvc or tubing to return to the display.

Are you going to drill the tank?
Since it’s a 90, what about the Hydor 500 gph return pump?
 

nereefpat

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Since it’s a 90, what about the Hydor 500 gph return pump?
After head loss, I don't think that pump will be big enough. Especially if you're going with a DC controllable pump, get something bigger. 500 gph DC pump after you pump up from around the sump and through some elbows will be really low.

Personally, I would get an Eheim 1260 or 1262. AC pumps handle head pressure better, and the flow would be higher from those two. Lots of choices though.
 
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After head loss, I don't think that pump will be big enough. Especially if you're going with a DC controllable pump, get something bigger. 500 gph DC pump after you pump up from around the sump and through some elbows will be really low.

Personally, I would get an Eheim 1260 or 1262. AC pumps handle head pressure better, and the flow would be higher from those two. Lots of choices though.
I’m only 16, haha I barely have any money. What about the hydor 750 gph?
 
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After head loss, I don't think that pump will be big enough. Especially if you're going with a DC controllable pump, get something bigger. 500 gph DC pump after you pump up from around the sump and through some elbows will be really low.

Personally, I would get an Eheim 1260 or 1262. AC pumps handle head pressure better, and the flow would be higher from those two. Lots of choices though.
Or a Lifegard 758 GPH?
 
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Yes, I like those better.
Yeah, the reviews on the lifegard aren’t great and it talked about overheating, which would take A LOT more time and effort than just snagging a hydor 750 GPH. I’m gonna go with the controllable 750 hydor.
 

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... What about the hydor 750 gph?
I am in the process of starting a 90-gallon reef tank as well (currently un-drilled but planning to drill). I am new to the marine hobby, but I am an engineer, so I have been planning my own plumbing.

One recommendation that seems common for returns from sumps is to buy a pump with higher capacity than you think you need to make sure you have enough to overcome head height and flow loss through plumbing. Usually, a pump will show a rating based on a head height of zero, which means your selected pump would pump 750 gph if you were just flowing the water right back into the sump. As you raise the height of the outlet above the pump, flow is reduced since it takes more power to lift the water.
I cannot find a flow chart for the Hydor pumps that shows the flow at specific head heights, but it will be lower than the listed gph by the time you lift the water 3-6 feet from the sump up to the display. I would guess the Hydor 750 would actually pump about 300-400 gph if the top of the display tank is about 4 feet above the pump in the sump (purely a guess based on my research).

One reason to buy a bigger pump is that you can reduce the flow up to the display tank until it is the desired flow rate. This can be done either with a control on output (which it looks like the Hydor pumps have) or with a split off the return line that dumps part of the flow back into the sump instead of up to the display and utilizes a gate valve to allow for adjustments in how much is bled off back into the sump. If you can run a pump at lower pressures than it is capable of producing, it will probably lengthen the life of the pump.

Another thing to consider is that it may be helpful to utilize more than one return pump in case one fails. This requires more understanding of plumbing, though, since each pump still needs to be checked for flow rate at head height since they cannot simply add to each other. I am planning to run two return pumps with independent return lines up into my display.

When considering overflows, over-the-top overflows seem like a simple solution to an un-drilled tank. The downside is that they require a siphon to continue. If the siphon is lost (either by the display tank running too low for the overflow until the return catches up or by loss of power on the return pump), you have to re-establish the siphon or the pump may burn itself up running dry or overflow the display. This is why drilling the glass is the better option for overflow control, since it is not dependent on a complete siphon. I plan to drill my tank, but there is a risk of breaking the glass on the tank while drilling. You would need a drill and a glass hole-cutting bit of the right size for your bulkheads as well as an appropriate overflow. Bulk Reef Supply stocks overflows that come with the appropriate glass hole-cutting bit. You need to make sure the overflow can handle the same flow as (or better if much more than) the return system to not restrict the flow and overflow the display tank. There are many videos of how to drill glass. Look it up if interested.

I can explain more about any of this if you have questions, but this may already be an overwhelming text wall, so I will leave it for now.
 
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