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Why is there a common trend to grossly oversize return pumps on a new build.

Palegic

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We have seen statistically that (or maybe we havent) that 2x turnover through the sump is generally more than adequate and pretty close to what WWC uses in their methods. Why do I so commonly see new tank builds sizing their return pumps to be able to handle 25x-50x? Granted you loose some flow in the plumbing and maybe for a DC pump you don't want it maxed out 100% of the time. The old 10x sump turnover rule is archaic when return flow was used to make up a large portion of total turnover, before we had high end power heads capable of insane flow and adjustability. Turning over your tank so many times will just strip your reef of nutrients needed to grow.

Maybe you want to run additional equipment off a manifold? IMO thats just reducing the amount of redundancy in your reef and increasing the chances of equipment failure when your not around.
 

ca1ore

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I don't think I have ever seen a build that had 25-50X flow (unless you are conflating return and powerhead pumps). 10-15X maybe. I also don't think there is any data to support a particular flow rate over any other flow rate. I also see no merit to the argument that higher turnover 'strips' nutrients from the system. I've been keeping reef tanks since about 1988, and have never exceeded about 5x. Tunze have made adjustable powerheads for a very long time.

Hmmn, I think I basically disagreed with everything you said LOL.
 
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Barnabie Mejia

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personally I have an oversized pump for controllability and ease of running my manifold off it. I do have an exact pump for a back up redundancy, and when I got a good deal on them both for $60, I couldn't say no. if it were to fail when im not around I would still have to swap it out when I get back to the tank, and even if I did have them both hooked up to the tank at the same time for a back up I don't run automated controls (APEX) on my tank, so I would still be screwed until I get home to flip the back up switch. as far as turnover, I do have a moderate turnover rate, but it seems to be working out good on my tank.
 
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Palegic

Palegic

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I don't think I have ever seen a build that had 25-50X flow (unless you are conflating return and powerhead pumps). 10-15X maybe. I also don't think there is any data to support a particular flow rate over any other flow rate. I also see no merit to the argument that higher turnover 'strips' nutrients from the system. I've been keeping reef tanks since about 1988, and have never exceeded about 5x. Tunze have made adjustable powerheads for a very long time.

Hmmn, I think I basically diaagreed with everything you said LOL.
LOL, no... maybe but makes sense.

For some reason I just feel like I have been seeing many builds with Eg. pumps capable of 2500 gph in 100g and smaller tanks. Definitely not confusing in tank turnover with sump turnover. In tank between 50x to 75x...100x maximum is an acceptable starting point in my opinion.

I just think many others are confused about sump turnover and whats needed vs achieving just a arbitrary high rate of turnover.
 
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Palegic

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personally I have an oversized pump for controllability and ease of running my manifold off it. I do have an exact pump for a back up redundancy, and when I got a good deal on them both for $60, I couldn't say no. if it were to fail when im not around I would still have to swap it out when I get back to the tank, and even if I did have them both hooked up to the tank at the same time for a back up I don't run automated controls (APEX) on my tank, so I would still be screwed until I get home to flip the back up switch. as far as turnover, I do have a moderate turnover rate, but it seems to be working out good on my tank.
Glad it works well for you!

Question 1 for you would be do you know what the exact turnover is in your sump? Without actually measuring it...having a manifold operating other equipment makes it tough to calculate accurately.

Question 2 is did you know that high turnover in a sump could be stripping beneficial nutrients from your corals and impeding growth even if you are satisfied with how your tank is operating?
 
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Palegic

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Because they know in their mind that they will be getting a bigger tank :)
Thats the response I was looking for! lol as that would be the smartest reason to oversize your equipment. Otherwise I feel like its a kind of a waste of power, generates more heat, and noise...especially if not DC.
 

Bleigh

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Because they know in their mind that they will be getting a bigger tank :)

(Hey friend)

This is why I did it! I have a 60 gallon cube with a 1650 gph pump. I knew I would be upgrading, which I am currently planning. As a result, I have bought larger than was needed on everything so I wouldn't have to start over from scratch. I also have a manifold that runs a few things. The pump runs at a lower power because I do not have to use all of its potential.
 

Nifkin747

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I think most people believe the 25-50x turnover in their tank but it is return pump and powerheads, not just return. I think most people's return is somewhere in the 5-10x area. Im not sure you could truly get 50x turnover with just return pumps with only 1 or 2 drains in your tank. As for the nutrients in your tank, it really depends on countless factors specific to your tank. How many fish, corals, etc? How much is fed? How often are water changes done? Some tanks, especially new tanks, could probably use a bit more filtration. Old tanks with established colonies uptake quite a bit of nutrients so mechanical filtration isn't needed quite as much. Just my $0.02.
 

Jax15

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I have an oversized DC return pump. Here's why I went this route:
  1. Running it at lower % means it runs quieter, and prob longer run lifetime
  2. I added a manifold, but didn't use the ports right away. Knew over time I'd want more power as added more gadgets on the same pump
  3. Why the heck not? rather have the power and not need it, than be maxed out all the time :)
Guess depends on budget also.
 

Barnabie Mejia

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Glad it works well for you!

Question 1 for you would be do you know what the exact turnover is in your sump? Without actually measuring it...having a manifold operating other equipment makes it tough to calculate accurately.

Question 2 is did you know that high turnover in a sump could be stripping beneficial nutrients from your corals and impeding growth even if you are satisfied with how your tank is operating?
1.) - no I don't know what the exact number is in the sump, but i'm sure with a little help from my boys we could get a fairly close number.

2.) - I can't say that I have heard that, but I am open to reading some studies on it. I think that statement is very blanketed, because there are many people that have different sump setups than others. for example, I just run a filter sock, skimmer and filter floss..... no macroalgae or refugium. so to say that I will be stripping my tank, would have to be dependent on how my sump is arranged and the exact turnover rate, in my mind at least. nutrient control can be had a number of different ways, from alternating days that you are running filter socks or skimming wetter or drier.... etc
 
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Palegic

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(Hey friend)

This is why I did it! I have a 60 gallon cube with a 1650 gph pump. I knew I would be upgrading, which I am currently planning. As a result, I have bought larger than was needed on everything so I wouldn't have to start over from scratch. I also have a manifold that runs a few things. The pump runs at a lower power because I do not have to use all of its potential.
Hey! Makes sense when you make the decision logically lol vs just follow other builds unknowingly. Bigger not always better
 
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Palegic

Palegic

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I have an oversized DC return pump. Here's why I went this route:
  1. Running it at lower % means it runs quieter, and prob longer run lifetime
  2. I added a manifold, but didn't use the ports right away. Knew over time I'd want more power as added more gadgets on the same pump
  3. Why the heck not? rather have the power and not need it, than be maxed out all the time :)
Guess depends on budget also.
Well you loose redundancy by running equipment off a manifold from the return pump and it makes it more difficult to measure the flow through your sump.

I half heartedly agree about having more power than needed. Running a pump capable of 25-50x just seems like an excessive amount and possibly shows that some people may not understand how little sump turnover they need for success.
 
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Palegic

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Everyone I know of tries to get a certain amount of flow through their filtration based on tank volume not sump volume.
My tank would determine what size plumbing, size of pump, size of sump etc...
You lost me. Yeah, say 100 gallon system volume with a 2500gph return pump would be 25x and largely unnecessary. Your specific tank might need more or less based on specifics but 2x is more than adequate. Running a 1000gph return pump would give you more than enough adjustability.

Not exactly sure where the mention of sump volume comes into play.
 

EMeyer

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I dont know where the notion that low flow through the sump is beneficial came from, but I don't buy it for a second. The more flow the better, within reason.
 
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Palegic

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I think it is because most people who run these "oversized" pumps understand that there is a huge discrepancy between the dream figures posted in flow charts and actual flow into the display tank.
I agree. "oversized" is beneficial when speaking in terms of loss due to head, and bends, as well as figures possibly not being accurate. 20% would cover this no problem.
 
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Palegic

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I dont know where the notion that low flow through the sump is beneficial came from, but I don't buy it for a second. The more flow the better, within reason.
Where? It depends totally on your setup but if your running filter media, and socks, your stripping your tank of nutrients prior to being used by corals. Ask WWC who runs around 2-3x return system.
 

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