Using a return pump primarily for flow

Discussion in 'General Equipment, Hardware, Filtration' started by Tangina20, Dec 25, 2018.

  1. Tangina20

    Tangina20 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I have had a 40 breeder for a few months and coming from having nanos, sumps and plumbing are fairly new to me. I bought a used quiet one 4000(1022 gph) cut back with a valve and have a split return nozzle for my flow.

    I came across some forums saying to never use your return pump as a primary source of flow and to use Powerheads, is this true? And if it is, why? I have no clue how much flow I have going in my tank I’m just basing it off of if the corals are looking happy or not with the flow they are getting.

    Below are pictures of my sump layout and return nozzle.

    A413BBFE-090C-408E-8306-9568661F4346.png

    10C1D431-C31A-4E49-B174-A5860DA9B388.jpeg
     
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  2. jsker

    jsker Reefing is all about the adventure Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Back in the day, that was the only flow. It all really depends on your system and how much flow you would like. Bigger system require more water movement the smaller system in different areas.:)
     
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  3. garbled

    garbled Active Member Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    The problem with using a return as your primary flow, is you can't easily size it up for different types of corals. Let's take your 40g breeder as an example.

    For SPS, you might want 8-10x tank volume in flow. Now, that means you need a, lets say 4000GPH pump for your return, with pumping losses, that should get you 8x. Now you need an overflow and standpipe that can handle 4000GPH, this should be fun, I'm not sure offhand, but I'd guess in the range of 3" pipe diameter. The overflow would probably take up 40% of your tank. Then you'd probably need 2-4 1" loc-line outputs strung all around the tank. It quickly gets ridiculous.

    Or you could put in a 2500GPH Koralia in the display, and get roughly in the same zone with way less chance of a massive tank-emptying flood.

    Now if you are doing some low flow corals, maybe the return you have is good enough, not sure. But you probably want a bit more movement anyhow, so it's just easier to toss a powerhead in there.
     
  4. GlassMunky

    GlassMunky Active Member

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    Judging by your photo it looks like your tank is mainly LPS and zoanthids, so the flow rate you have now might be fine.

    Another reason people say use powerheads is in case your return pump fails, you still have water movement in the tank until you can replace the return pump
     
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  5. JumboShrimp

    JumboShrimp Well-Known Member

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    1B0583B0-0B09-48EC-A120-50B5BC585069.png

    @garbled had a nice explanation. I would only add that your small return pipes might by OK for breaking up the surface, but probably won’t push much flow deeper into the tank. If you really want to splurge and have some fun, and have an iPhone, I use this small Aquamai in each of my nano tanks. The flow combinations are incredible. Best wishes!
     
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  6. Blue Spot Octopus

    Blue Spot Octopus Well-Known Member

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    Another reason your sump is a like a automatic car wash the faster your car goes through the less contact time. Budget get two Tunze 6015. They last a long time and you get great C/S and get parts as well.
     
  7. Tangina20

    Tangina20 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks for all of the great advice! I think I’m going to end up grabbing a powerhead!
     
  8. Tangina20

    Tangina20 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    That makes a lot of sense, I have a 1.5 inch overflow and that’s still not enough for the amount of water going through I’ve been trying to find a way to silence it but I think you just solved that problem!
     
  9. Tangina20

    Tangina20 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Would you recommend this over the jaebo??
     
  10. JumboShrimp

    JumboShrimp Well-Known Member

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    I have a great Jebao return pump, but have never tried their wavemakers/powerheads. But I can’t say enough good things about the Aqamai, ‘provided’ we’re talking about a 20 gallon tank— maybe a 30. Two placed at each ends of a 30, with intersecting settings, would be a coral’s dream!
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
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  11. Tangina20

    Tangina20 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I’ll have to look in to it thank you! Do you think one would be good enough and put it on the opposite side of the return??
     
  12. Salt1972

    Salt1972 Active Member R2R Supporter

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    We've used (2) Jebao PP8 wave makers for 15 months and recently added their CP-150 gyre type pump. We also use a Jebao DSC2000 for our refugium, a DCT6000 in our mixing station, and a DP4 doser. One of the PP8's failed at 10 months, but Amazon replaced it without issue. For the price, we're very happy with Jebao.
     
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  13. Ariel V Rosa

    Ariel V Rosa Active Member R2R Supporter

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    If you are looking to splurge and break crack the wallet open go ecotech of sicce, if you want a moderate budget go with pumps linked above or current USA, Jebao, several, Hydor. If you want to keep the buget down you really dont need a wave maker just get two Hydor Coralia pumps on opposite ends of the tank foe cheap. They are not controllable but g8ve you the random movement of water you need. Also, if you plan on getting a wave maker type that has control, size the pump to your tank, the last thing you want is a sand storm in your tanks. Some of these pumps will aquascape the tank for you if sized wrong and set wrong.

    On my small tank I use the small current pumps with the controller and RFG return nozzles from vivid crative aquatics.

    On my larget tank I use two larger pumps and three RFG nozzles with and internal closed loop system.
     
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  14. JumboShrimp

    JumboShrimp Well-Known Member

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    Given the photo of your tank, I’d say one would be fine; I never have my set on full in my nano tank— more like 60%, max.
     
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  15. Tangina20

    Tangina20 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Is there anything out there like the vortech that had the wiring externally or is that only unique to them? And what is the benefit of a wave maker other than it simulates ocean effects??
     
  16. Ariel V Rosa

    Ariel V Rosa Active Member R2R Supporter

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    AI nero, but that places you in the same price braket as the Ecotechs. Ot many do the wet side dry side method as its hard to warranty two seperate objects. Wave makers do move than simulate ocean effects, some corals use the waters random movements as part if thuer metabolic process. I have ine coral in my tank that will not stand up unless it is hit with pulsing waves. If it is hit with a constant stream it will swell up but not stand up. So wave makers provide assistance un moving fluids and food in some corals. Check out the current eflux pumps they are great you can control two in any mode you want and a third in stream mode.
     
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