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AZRippster
09/14/2017, 08:19 AM
Iím currently in the process of a rebuild on my 450G tank. A couple of the upgrades were a Red Dragon 3 Speedy 150 Watt for the main systemís return pump and a Red Dragon 3 Mini Speedy 50 Watt for the LifeReef VS3-36 Skimmer. I had previously been running Iwaki for these services. The main reason for the change was due to the heat transfer of the Iwakiís. The RD3 Speedy 150 Watt is doing a fine job and very close to the performance of the Iwaki MD70RLT, however the RD3 Mini Speedy 50 is simply pathetic. Itís rated for twice the output of the Iwaki MD40RLT (and more than twice the cost), yet canít even fill the skimmer body. The line from the RD3 Mini to the Skimmerís venture intake is about 20Ē, yet it canít even drive with enough force to fractionate. I was wondering if anyone else has had an issue with the performance of a Red Dragon 3 Mini Speedy 50 Watt, or do you think I may have just gotten a lemon and need to return it?

Thanks!

mcgyvr
09/14/2017, 08:37 AM
RLT is a pressure rated pump..
Red dragon is not..

Thats your difference..

baseline GPH is not the only performance factor..

Of course you could have gotten a lemon but you can't do an apples to apples comparison just based on zero head GPH..

AZRippster
09/14/2017, 08:44 AM
Understood, but that's why I was hoping that doubling the output would compensate and at 20", well you get my point. Jeff (owner of LifeReef) has even stated folks have used Jabeo DC pumps to successfully push his skimmers. I wasn't ready to go down that path, so I opted for a Red Dragon.

Vinny Kreyling
09/14/2017, 09:47 AM
Contact Scott for his opinion on the Royal Exclusive thread here.
Slief on RC

mcgyvr
09/14/2017, 10:30 AM
Understood, but that's why I was hoping that doubling the output would compensate and at 20", well you get my point. Jeff (owner of LifeReef) has even stated folks have used Jabeo DC pumps to successfully push his skimmers. I wasn't ready to go down that path, so I opted for a Red Dragon.

well.. good try... next.. ;)

AZRippster
09/14/2017, 10:55 AM
Yeah, no kidding, nothing like making a $700 mistake... Ugh

Maybe I can use it to run my manifold. Hopefully there isn't too much head pressure with that.

LQT
09/14/2017, 12:09 PM
That 50w RD Speedy 3 is only rated for 1320 gph. I think it's just way too underpowered for your VS3-36. Jeff runs a Mag 18 on his SVS2-24. Although not pressure rated, on the big Lifereef thread, I've read about people having a lot of success using an AC Fluval SP6 (uses an Askoll motor block) on the 36 inchers.

mcgyvr
09/14/2017, 12:09 PM
Yeah, no kidding, nothing like making a $700 mistake... Ugh

Maybe I can use it to run my manifold. Hopefully there isn't too much head pressure with that.

return it...

AZRippster
09/14/2017, 12:22 PM
That 50w RD Speedy 3 is only rated for 1320 gph. I think it's just way too underpowered for your VS3-36. Jeff runs a Mag 18 on his SVS2-24. Although not pressure rated, on the big Lifereef thread, I've read about people having a lot of success using an AC Fluval SP6 (uses an Askoll motor block) on the 36 inchers.

I'll check into that. I've been running the the Iwaki MD40RLT which is 700ish GPH and it worked great. Pressure rated though. Jeff told me it didn't mater if it was pressure rated, he said the RLXT would be fine. Not sure what a hit on it would be, but the heat problem would still be there.

AZRippster
09/14/2017, 12:25 PM
return it...

Luke is super cool at Premium Aquatics, but I'm unsure if he would take it back now. I purchased it in July but just now put it into service. The other crappy thing is that the Red Dragon only ship with slip fittings, so I have it permanently connected to male adapters. Cheese ball if you ask me. For the price of the pump, they should come with both slip and thread.

mcgyvr
09/14/2017, 01:37 PM
yep.. you sol..
I'm sure you can find another use for it..

slief
09/14/2017, 02:53 PM
The RD3 50 is a flow rated pump that doesn't do well with head pressure. It has a max cut off of 12'. It's designed for smaller systems as well as feeding media reactors.

While the VS36 is a venturi skimmer, I suspect the venturi valve is creating more head pressure than you realize. It's not just the 20" height to the venturi valve. The valve itself creates a fair amount of head pressure/friction loss as do the fittings going into the skimmer which is likely why they recommend the pumps they do as opposed to other pumps that have higher flow and less power consumption. Having built mezzei based skimmers in the past, this is something I often encountered. The pumps pressure output needs to match the valve. The same goes with Beckett skimmers but venturi based ones are generally a bit more forgiving.

The recommended pumps for that skimmer are pumps that deal with higher pressures exceedingly well in that they don't fall off as fast as the pressure increases.

The Blueline 30HD-X is a 90w pump rated at 1100 GPH and has a max head 13'.
The Blueline 40HD-X is a 120w pump rated at 1270 GPH and has a max head of 13'
The Iwaki MD40RLT is rated at 750GPH at 4' but has a Max Head of 21.3'!
The RD3 50 is a 50w pump rated at 1320 GPH and has a max head of about 12' but it is more sensitive to friction and head loss and it drops off faster than the above pumps as the pressure increases.

Now, your Iwaki is a pressure rated pump and the Magdrive 18 that they recommend with the internal skimmer is effectively a pressure rated pump. The specs on the blue lines above are based on the non pressure rated pump but as I said above, they do deal with head and friction loss better than the RD3 50 would.


Interestingly, the MAG 18 (recommended for the internal version) produces 575GPH at 15' of head. It also draws 150 watts. You can't really expect a 50w pump to generate comparable flow to any of those pumps when you start to factor in head/friction loss. The only pump that would be comparable to any of those that are recommended by Life Reef would be the RD3 80 but its not pressure rated either and while the flow numbers of the RD3 50 at 0' would lead you to think otherwise, in the end, you may have brought a knife to a gun fight and may be judging the RD3 50 unfairly simply because the application it's being used in may require a different pump.

One thing that stuck out at me is that you mentioned the RD3 50 can't fill the skimmer body. Are you talking about filling it with water? If so, it's not supposed to fill it with water without closing the gate valve on the skimmer itself and going from the Iwaki MD40RLT to the RD3 50, you are going to need to close the valve substantially more with the RD3 50. The RD3 50 also isn't going to generate the same amount of air via the venturi as the Iwaki will due to the pressure the Iwaki will generate past the venturi valve.

As a result of your comments, I reached out directly to Life Reef and I just spoke to them. He and I both agree that the RD3 50 may not be the correct choice for that skimmer but it really is going to come down to the amount of bubbles being generated within the body. It sounded like he was also going to be updating the specs on the website to reflect 1800GPH minimum for that sized skimmer. Send me your phone number so we can chat. Ideally, I would like to do a facetime with you so I can see what the bubbles look like inside the skimmer. He also suggested you send him an email with some pictures showing the bubbles inside the body. I can give you his email if you don't have it.


By the way, Luke reached out to me on your behalf and I sent you an email immediately and that was before I saw this thread.

slief
09/14/2017, 03:02 PM
Luke is super cool at Premium Aquatics, but I'm unsure if he would take it back now. I purchased it in July but just now put it into service. The other crappy thing is that the Red Dragon only ship with slip fittings, so I have it permanently connected to male adapters. Cheese ball if you ask me. For the price of the pump, they should come with both slip and thread.

Most people that hard plumb these pumps appreciate the fact that it has union fittings right on the pump and also like the fact that they can plumb directly into the included bushings without having to add additional fittings which is what would happen if these pumps solely supported threaded fittings. . If you needed to thread it, you could remove those unions and thread directly to the pump but they are likely BSP and not imperial threads. Others prefer to use silicone or vinyl tubing and as such appreciate the fact that these German made pump include US sized imperial union fittings that accept standard slip/barb fittings. The other upside to the unions on these pumps is that it makes maintenance a breeze. You just unscrew the union from the pump and pull the pump out.

Also keep in mind that threaded fittings tend to create a bit more friction loss on the pump itself. The bushings we use line up perfectly with the intake and output so as to have a nice transition there with minimal turbulence or impact on flow. If threaded fittings were used, something would have to be sacrificed. You would either have smaller intake and output to accommodate a female threaded fitting which would impact maximum flow or you would be eliminating that union fitting on the pump itself. To date, this is the first request I have seen for a threaded fitting on one of these pumps so I suspect that having a threaded fitting there would be like cutting our nose to spite our face.

AZRippster
09/14/2017, 04:36 PM
Hello Scott,

Thanks for the reply in the Royal Exclusiv forum. As far as the RD3 80, when I was looking to buy in July, I couldnít find where the RD3 80 was in stock. That situation remains and now I donít even see it on the Royal Exclusiv US website.

Iím going to have to stick by my feelings on ďincludingĒ threaded versions of the union inserts on the RD3 pumps. As Iím sure youíre the same, I have a shelf full of pumps Iíve accumulated through the years that end up in different applications as the need arises. Donít get me wrong, I really like having the union connections on the pump, it makes things really nice, but being locked into cementing a slip solution locks you into using that pump in that application forever. That is unless out the gate you cement in a slip to thread converter fitting. Iíve purchased pumps that include both Slip and Threaded options whereby giving the end user the ďchoiceĒ of going with what best fits their needs. Iím sure including a threaded solution would only add a couple bucks to the overall price of the unit. If the threads add a smidgeon of drag to the overhead, itís the end userís call. From an engineering perspective, the flexibility of choice would be nice and allow for the ease of re-use down the road.

slief
09/14/2017, 07:20 PM
Hello Scott,

Thanks for the reply in the Royal Exclusiv forum. As far as the RD3 80, when I was looking to buy in July, I couldn’t find where the RD3 80 was in stock. That situation remains and now I don’t even see it on the Royal Exclusiv US website.

I’m going to have to stick by my feelings on “including” threaded versions of the union inserts on the RD3 pumps. As I’m sure you’re the same, I have a shelf full of pumps I’ve accumulated through the years that end up in different applications as the need arises. Don’t get me wrong, I really like having the union connections on the pump, it makes things really nice, but being locked into cementing a slip solution locks you into using that pump in that application forever. That is unless out the gate you cement in a slip to thread converter fitting. I’ve purchased pumps that include both Slip and Threaded options whereby giving the end user the “choice” of going with what best fits their needs. I’m sure including a threaded solution would only add a couple bucks to the overall price of the unit. If the threads add a smidgeon of drag to the overhead, it’s the end user’s call. From an engineering perspective, the flexibility of choice would be nice and allow for the ease of re-use down the road.

I completely understand where you are coming from. Reality is that you do have a choice. A male slip to female threaded bushing accomplishes the same thing and gives you exactly what you are after. While not perfect, it's an option. Keep in mind, this really isn't about money. There is nothing cheap about these pumps. It's about performance of a pump and reducing the input diameter or output diameter of a pump connections even one size can have a substantial impact on flow. Especially in smaller pump like the RD3. If you saw the test beds that Royal Exclusiv Germany uses for flow and pressure testing, you would realize they take performance serious. Everything about the design of the RD3's is about maximizing flow. On the RD3 150 and 230 for example, every volute is hand ported to maximize flow. When these pumps are designed, they use some very high end flow and pressure test equipment to validate the flow numbers. One thing I can tell you with the utmost certainty is that RE Germany does not inflate or estimate flow numbers. In fact, they are conservative.

There is also something else to consider. Royal Exclusiv has used the same union style fittings from the same manufacturer for more than a decade on a wide range of pumps including the standard Red Dragon flow pumps, RD3 skimmer pumps, RD3 flow pumps, RD4 Flow pumps (only available in 220v). The good thing is, there are always have bushings in stock in our Ft. Myers warehouse. If somebody decided to change their plumbing down the line, we have the needed parts. The other good thing is that when one model is phased out, the same connections can be used for the next model of the same size. This held true going from the Red Dragon AC pumps to the RD3's. While it may not be perfect for all, it satisfies the needs of 99%.

This is the flow test setup at the factory. This is a no expense spared testing setup. They take flow VERY seriously and design these pumps based on what will work best right down the fittings.

RD3 230 being flow tested.
<iframe width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pmlBluVqh2I?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

RD3 150 being flow tested. All pumps go through the same testing process to validate their specs.
<iframe width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/om5cFGmUUmQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

AZRippster
09/14/2017, 08:44 PM
I must say, I'm very happy with the RD3 150 so far. So how do I go about ordering replacement Imperial Slip Fittings for the RD3 Mini 50 Watt? I looked on the RE US website and could not find them.

slief
09/14/2017, 09:11 PM
I must say, I'm very happy with the RD3 150 so far. So how do I go about ordering replacement Imperial Slip Fittings for the RD3 Mini 50 Watt? I looked on the RE US website and could not find them.

http://royalexclusiv.com/Accessories/screw-connection/collar-O-0-75-25-mm::890.html