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View Full Version : How should I configure my return? (picture attached)


torero500
12/11/2009, 05:51 PM
I recently got a drilled 40 breeder, except it's custom so it's an extra 4 inches taller. It's 36x18x20", or 56.1 gallons. The overflow is in the center of the tank, three sided and angled out, with teeth on the 3 sides for overflow. I've attached a crude picture.

Stagnant tanks have algae and nitrate problems, and I want decent flow through my corals and on the live rock to help keep them detrius free. I'll be keeping simpler soft corals and eventually some SPS.

At first I was going to use a vortech powerhead or maybe koralias, and just do a single return outlet and use a less powerful return pump from my 20 tall sump. The powerheads would do most of the circulation for the tank.

But another idea, one that would look alot more sleek and modern and avoid powerheads on the side of the tank, would be to use a much stronger return pump, like a Mag Drive 9 (950 gph before head loss) or an Eheim 1262 (900 gph) and split the return up near the top of the return pipe so that it has 3 flex tubing outlets...one out the front of the overflow box, one out the left side of the overflow box, and one out the right side of the overflow box, all just under the overflow teeth. I'll make the return outlets just long enough so that I can direct the flow where I want.

In this size tank, do you think that I'll get enough flow by using the 3 return outlets strategically angled? Or will it be insufficient and I should go with powerheads on the side?

I'm not a huge fan of the look of the powerheads on the sides of the tank. Red Sea Max makes a 250 model that is 66 gallon and alot of people have just used the two returns built into the back wall for circulation.

torero500
12/12/2009, 08:36 AM
Anyone with an idea on this?

bguile
12/12/2009, 08:43 AM
With that type of overflow, I think I would have the return split to return water pointing to opposite sides of the tank at the back of the overflow. That way the returns by themselves push water to the sides and front back down the overflow. As I've been told previously, you'll definitely want to use powerheads for other flow in the tank. Trying to get the return to do all your flow will just never work out particularly if you want a high flow rate.

JasonBJones
12/12/2009, 09:25 AM
I think it depends on what you want to keep in the tank. Softies, the 900gph return will be closer to 600 or so I would imagine by the time you get up there, so it would probably be sufficient (10x turnover). If you are wanting to keep SPS I think you will be forced to run more flow, but not through the sump.

If you want to keep it sleek you could try (if there is room) and mount a pump in the overflow box and drill it through the overflow box for inlet and outlet and make a closed loop while keeping it mostly hidden.

coralnut99
12/12/2009, 03:53 PM
I think it depends on what you want to keep in the tank. Softies, the 900gph return will be closer to 600 or so I would imagine by the time you get up there, so it would probably be sufficient (10x turnover). If you are wanting to keep SPS I think you will be forced to run more flow, but not through the sump.

If you want to keep it sleek you could try (if there is room) and mount a pump in the overflow box and drill it through the overflow box for inlet and outlet and make a closed loop while keeping it mostly hidden.

+1

It is possible to have too much flow thorugh your sump. If you want to add a refugium at some point, that's a critical issue.

torero500
12/12/2009, 04:15 PM
My sump is 3 chambered, and the middle is going to be a refugium to put cheato...I think that I will probably have to use a powerhead or two, because running the return as the whole circulation system just probably won't work as well as I'd like in the end.

But I'm still not quite sure how to configure the return...a dual return as mentioned above, one on each side of the overflow box would be good, then I could probably get away with much smaller powerheads on each side, koralia 1 or 2. My return pump wouldn't have to be so big or run so hard.