View Full Version : [Fixed Thread] Plumbing Help!

09/24/2017, 03:11 PM
Hi Everyone!

I would just like to start off by saying how thankful I am for there being a community for such a cool hobby. I have been a long time diver and due to a recent concussion I have been land locked. With that being said I picked up an old 120 gallon tank and have had it resealed it.


I'm currently redoing the plumbing and I'm just awaiting a custom sump that a friend (acrylic manufacturer) is building.

In my tank I'm using the Maspect Gyre on the left side and plumbing the return from the right. I just wanted some more experienced opinion before I start drilling. I also want to note that I have a 1.5" nozzle head and won't be pointing it at the sand.


09/24/2017, 03:16 PM
Welcome to the forum. You will find a lot of people here who are scuba and reef tank lovers, both hobbies I enjoy myself as well.

This forum is filling with knowledge and experienced reefers so you have most definitely come to the right place. Ask away!

Two things I can help point out from your pictures:

1) Try to place your rocks on something. Rocks commonly have sharp edges and when you start to stack them on top of one another this can cause a single point of pressure that could crack and break your bottom panel of the tank. Many people here use "Egg crate". It's cheap, and you can buy it at Home Depot as see in the link below:



2) From your last picture you are holding your return loc-line at the very bottom of the overflow and tank. Bad idea. If your power ever fails, or you **** off your return pump for service, water changes, etc. Your entire display tank is going to siphon into your sump which could kill fish, corals and possibly leave you with a nice renovation bill depending on if your home to clean up the mess or not lol.

Try to place loc-line and return plumbing near the top of the overflow so minimal tank water will back-flow into your sump. You can read a little more here:


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09/24/2017, 03:39 PM
Thank you so much for your reply. Sorry about the other thread.

I was going back and forth on placing the rocks directly on the glass. I decided to place it directly on because it ave me the most stable structure and the glass is so thick I wasn't worried. I will be moving in a year and I'm saving up for a brand new tank with a center overflow so I wasn't worried about any scratches in the mean time.

I made sure to distribute the weight of some of the larger rocks into others so as not to localize pressure.


My only hesitance is that I got all of the rocks arranged in a manner in which they are locked tight (I moved the tank 1 foot to the right on the stand to tighten the bulkheads and not a single piece of rock moved)

I have also purchased a check valve for the return pump so as to mitigate the issue of back-flow during the chance that the pump fails. My issue is space in the overflow compartment.


I guess the highest I can install the return is


I just didn't wan't to create any resistance to the maspect gyre flow with it being installed on the other end. (maybe point the returns slightly down as long as they don't stir up the sand?)

Than you again for replying! :)

09/24/2017, 03:49 PM
I would not install your return that far down in the tank. Returns need to air lock when the pump shuts off, or you will flood your sump/floor. Don't trust or use check valves, imo.

09/24/2017, 03:54 PM
Hi Pat!

Thank you for the reply.

Even with the return placed higher it is still too low? I plan to clean the check valve every month as part of my maintenance and eventually switch it out from the flapper to a wye check valve.

09/24/2017, 03:55 PM
Thank you so much for your reply.

No problem at all.

Also, you might want to place 1.4" foam under the tank (between the wood stand and the bottom of the tank).

It helps to alleviate pressure and will allow the tank to settle being completely flat and level.

09/24/2017, 03:57 PM
Thank you again Shaginwagon!

That is a great idea! I was worried about it being level.

09/24/2017, 04:37 PM
Everything below that return line will be syphoned into the sump, so just keep that in mind. You can run the return over the back if you want. This would give you room for a Herbie style drain... something to think about.

Only put foam under the tank if it is the manufacturer's recommendation. Usually that is only for rimless tanks.