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Go29
04/18/2016, 10:52 AM
Well first off want to say thanks again to Scott for helping me pick out my new skimmer, can't wait to set up the new tank to get it fired up. Anyways back to the reason for this post....

Looking for a return pump for the new build that I'm still collecting equipment for. I am stuck between the red dragon RD3 pumps and the ecotech vectra pumps. Obviously realize this is RE forum, but looking for recommendation on RD3 pump over the vectra. Tank this will be used in will be a 70 gallon custom tank, with 20 long sump. Pump will only be used for simple return (no manifold, no reactors run off it etc). Due to this I have minimal head loss (around 5 ft) Questions I have that will help me choose are:

1. Would the 50w be "strong" enough for my tank based on stats above
(basically mean will this be plenty powerful enough for sump on my size system)

2. How hard is this pump to connect to plumbing, i.e. fittings that are included or need to purchase extra

3. any options to run this off a battery backup (curious if this is even a smart practice, i like the idea of having automatic battery backup for my vortec pumps but trying to decide if its worth it on your return pump)

4. I am OCD with my equipment (cleaning, soaking in vinegar etc) thus Im curious what should I expect as a average "lifespan" on the RD3 pumps.

I like that fact that RE build there products with the best of the best when it comes to materials (titanium) and trust that they are high quality, I'm just trying to justify cost here to make sure I am happy with my purchase. Thanks in advance for any information you can provide.

slief
04/18/2016, 12:21 PM
Well first off want to say thanks again to Scott for helping me pick out my new skimmer, can't wait to set up the new tank to get it fired up. Anyways back to the reason for this post....

Looking for a return pump for the new build that I'm still collecting equipment for. I am stuck between the red dragon RD3 pumps and the ecotech vectra pumps. Obviously realize this is RE forum, but looking for recommendation on RD3 pump over the vectra. Tank this will be used in will be a 70 gallon custom tank, with 20 long sump. Pump will only be used for simple return (no manifold, no reactors run off it etc). Due to this I have minimal head loss (around 5 ft) Questions I have that will help me choose are:

1. Would the 50w be "strong" enough for my tank based on stats above
(basically mean will this be plenty powerful enough for sump on my size system)

2. How hard is this pump to connect to plumbing, i.e. fittings that are included or need to purchase extra

3. any options to run this off a battery backup (curious if this is even a smart practice, i like the idea of having automatic battery backup for my vortec pumps but trying to decide if its worth it on your return pump)

4. I am OCD with my equipment (cleaning, soaking in vinegar etc) thus Im curious what should I expect as a average "lifespan" on the RD3 pumps.

I like that fact that RE build there products with the best of the best when it comes to materials (titanium) and trust that they are high quality, I'm just trying to justify cost here to make sure I am happy with my purchase. Thanks in advance for any information you can provide.

1. Would the 50w be "strong" enough for my tank based on stats above
(basically mean will this be plenty powerful enough for sump on my size system)

Since the RD3 50 is adjustable, you can reduce the flow as needed and reduce the power consumption. It will also have enough power to feed a manifold for things like media reactors. As such, I don't think it's too large at all.

2. How hard is this pump to connect to plumbing, i.e. fittings that are included or need to purchase extra

It's very simple. Unlike the Vectra that has some adapters, the RD3 has standard female imperial bushings with a union style fitting for quick removal. You just glue in the fitting of your choice using standard PVC cement. The inlet side is 1.25" and the output is 3/4" both have standard female slip fittings with union fittings that thread onto the pumps volute.

3. any options to run this off a battery backup (curious if this is even a smart practice, i like the idea of having automatic battery backup for my vortec pumps but trying to decide if its worth it on your return pump)

You could connect them to an AC style computer UPS but there is no DC Voltage inputs on these pumps. Whether it's worth it is up to you. I don't run a UPS on my pumps. If I did, I would be more concerned about general flow from power heads than my return pump. As such, the return pump would be the last thing I would put on a UPS. My Tunze's would be the first thing next to my Apex and DSL Router. :thumbsup:

4. I am OCD with my equipment (cleaning, soaking in vinegar etc) thus Im curious what should I expect as a average "lifespan" on the RD3 pumps.

Like you, I am also OCD about pump maintenance. That said, these RD3 pumps use a much more powerful motor than the competitors blocks and also have a much heavier impeller/magnet combo. As a result, these pumps are much more tolerant of buildup inside the motor than any of the competitors DC pumps. I would expect several years or more. Especially if you take care of your pump. We have customers with the standard Red Dragon AC style pumps that have been using them in excess of 10 years. The RD3 is even better constructed and more robust so I would expect several years or more out of these pumps.

As a point of interest, the Vectra uses a Chinese made BLDC block with an Ecotech power supply and controller. The RD3's are 100% German made and engineered. They are quieter at any speed. In fact, these pumps are pretty much dead silent. They are much heavier than the competitors pumps and higher quality in EVERY regard. I have a friend who has two Vectra M1's. They are nice little pumps but they aren't as quiet as I would have expect at high flow and they aren't anywhere near as well constructed as the RD3s. The RD3 also has the controller and power supply integrated into a single metal enclosure that is very robust. It's not a little plastic enclosure like the other pumps on the market. The RD3's also run cooler than the competitors. These pumps can be run both internal and external and are also very easy to service.

Go29
04/18/2016, 01:39 PM
Thanks for the answers Scott!

If you had to guess on the 50w RD3, what percent (guess controllers look like you ramp them up or down via watt?) would I be running it at to get around 300 gph AFTER head loss if return is plumbed such that I have around 5 feet head pressure?

Realize this will be a rough estimate but I'm just curious, I don't have the tank or sump here yet as they are still being made, but like i mentioned it will be a 20 gallon sump directly underneath the tank. I have a separate reactor with pump already built in, so will just be utilizing the pump for return only.

Also not to throw more questions at you, but curious what do you consider to be adequate flow through a sump? Sump will contain just my bubble king DC 150 and the avast marine spyglass reactor to run rox carbon.

Thanks again for all your help, hopefully I can snag a RD3 50w if it will fit my needs, that way I can blame both the skimmer and return pump on you to the GF and she can be mad at you instead of me ;) haha

slief
04/18/2016, 01:52 PM
Thanks for the answers Scott!

If you had to guess on the 50w RD3, what percent (guess controllers look like you ramp them up or down via watt?) would I be running it at to get around 300 gph AFTER head loss if return is plumbed such that I have around 5 feet head pressure?

Realize this will be a rough estimate but I'm just curious, I don't have the tank or sump here yet as they are still being made, but like i mentioned it will be a 20 gallon sump directly underneath the tank. I have a separate reactor with pump already built in, so will just be utilizing the pump for return only.

Also not to throw more questions at you, but curious what do you consider to be adequate flow through a sump? Sump will contain just my bubble king DC 150 and the avast marine spyglass reactor to run rox carbon.

Thanks again for all your help, hopefully I can snag a RD3 50w if it will fit my needs, that way I can blame both the skimmer and return pump on you to the GF and she can be mad at you instead of me ;) haha

It ramps up in 1 watt increments if I am not mistaken but its been a while since I played with the flow version of the RD3 50 so if it turns out to be 2 watt increments, don't be mad at me! I actually have one on my desk for LA Fish Guy Jim Stime but we won't be installing that on his tank for a few weeks.

As for flow. 300 GPH at a 6' head (I figured in minimal friction loss) I would estimate 30-35% power. This is a rough guess figuring the max flow at the 6' head and dividing it by 3 to get to 300 GPH. My guess is that you will have more friction loss than you think which is why I added 1' of extra head. I know you were figuring 5' with head loss but the elbows, barbed fittings, loc-line if you are using it all add up. At the end of the day, you will be sipping power and the pump will be more than sufficient.

As for turnover though the sump, generally, anywhere from 5-10x turnover (display size) through the sump is what I suggest but drain plumbing has much to do with what is best from one tank to the next. I run around 9-10x through my sump. It just depends on what your overflow setup can handle. In my case, my overflow can handle several thousand gallons an hour. I also don't run a durso or anything like that. My water just overflows into the overflow and crashes into the bottom where the bulkheads are. For me its about maximum aeration from the waterfall effect and getting as much of the waste of the display and into my filter socks. As such, in my case, the more flow the better. If you run a durso or bean animal, adjusting the flow to meet the capabilities of the drain plumbing and or creating full siphon requires fine tuning of the flow and because of that, every tank can be different. That is one area that the RD3 is a real blessing with it's very fine control over flow. One other thing is that the RD3 is true to it's wattage. I have compared the displayed wattage to a Kill-A-Watt reading on the RD3's and they are spot on. Other DC pumps don't factor in the controller power consumption so even though the claim a max of 80 watts (Vectra as an example), the max is actually about 90 watts consumption as the controller consumes an additional 10 watts.

Go29
04/18/2016, 02:33 PM
Do you think the 80w version would be too powerful for my specific setup? I ask as I just noticed the 80w version has the "purging" to prevent calcium build up and would love to have any features that will allow the pump to have as long of life as possible. Also any need for intake screen at all, as this pump will be run as a "in sump" installation. Thanks again for your help Scott

slief
04/18/2016, 04:22 PM
Do you think the 80w version would be too powerful for my specific setup? I ask as I just noticed the 80w version has the "purging" to prevent calcium build up and would love to have any features that will allow the pump to have as long of life as possible. Also any need for intake screen at all, as this pump will be run as a "in sump" installation. Thanks again for your help Scott

Yea, the 80w would be too much in my opinion. The AKB that you are talking about is used on the larger pumps because of increased heat in the impeller cavity. It's a method of keeping the inside of the magnet cavity and magnet itself running cooler which in turn reduces calcium buildup. If it was needed on the 50w flow pump, it would be there since these are no corners cut kind of pumps. The AKB isn't on the 50w because it's not needed. FWIW, I've been running the RD50 skimmer pump which is the same block with the primary differences being in the impeller and there has never even been a hint of calcium buildup in the block. Granted, I clean my pump every 3-4 months but I can tell you from experience, it's a non issue on the RD3 50 and not needed.

Go29
04/19/2016, 10:58 AM
Well my wallet is less than thrilled but Im excited to say I have a new return pump on the way as well :) This build will now include a DC 150 and the RD3 50W for return. Im excited, and can't wait to get my tank delivered so I can play around with them. I won't be able to make it to this years reefapalooza in orlando but planning on scheduling a trip next year so hopefully I can run into some of you RE guys and meet ya. Thanks again for your help with my equipment selection, I will be starting a build thread on here and or R 2 R (won't let me type it) once tank is here and plan to give you guys a shout out for all your help... should be a fun build :)

slief
04/19/2016, 12:18 PM
Well my wallet is less than thrilled but Im excited to say I have a new return pump on the way as well :) This build will now include a DC 150 and the RD3 50W for return. Im excited, and can't wait to get my tank delivered so I can play around with them. I won't be able to make it to this years reefapalooza in orlando but planning on scheduling a trip next year so hopefully I can run into some of you RE guys and meet ya. Thanks again for your help with my equipment selection, I will be starting a build thread on here and or R 2 R (won't let me type it) once tank is here and plan to give you guys a shout out for all your help... should be a fun build :)

You will love the quality of both! Keep us posted!