How many gallons per hour for return pumps?

Discussion in 'General Reef Discussion' started by capman, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. capman

    capman I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,440
    Likes Received:
    119
    Fishies collected:
    16,451
    So, I will soon be setting up two new systems in the lab:

    1. A roughly 350 gallon tank, plus sumps, etc.

    2. A six tank system (plus sumps) consisting of three roughly 90 gallon tanks, and three roughly 60 gallon tanks - so, total gallons of tanks (not counting sumps) = approx 450 gallons total.

    Multiple people have convinced me to go with external pumps, and I plan to have two, redundant, identical Japanese Iwaki pumps on each system, each pump on a separate circuit to guard agains total loss of flow if a breaker or GFCI trips.

    I'm thinking of going with the roughly 1500 GPH model of Iwaki pump - two of these per system.

    What are your thoughts on this flow rate?

    Is this enough flow?

    Or is this more than you would use?

    And why?

    (I'm guessing this is more GPH per system than what many folks here might use, but I like a lot of flow from return pumps.)

    Thanks.
     
  2. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,440
    Likes Received:
    119
    Fishies collected:
    16,451
    Incidentally, each of the smaller 6 tanks will have two of Custom Aquarium's H2Overflows (each of which has a 1200GPH capacity). So, since the flow from the pumps will be split among these tanks, there should be plenty of drain capacity.

    The big tank will have two of Custom Aquarium's "Stealth Box" units, each with two H2Overflows, for a total of 4 overflows, or up to 4800 GPH drain capacity.

    (Yes, my new aquarium room will be the department of redundancy department, in multiple ways.)
     
  3. nubbs

    nubbs Junior Member
    TCMAS Supporter

    Joined:
    May 1, 2015
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    North saint paul
    Fishies collected:
    1,519
    Before you decide please think about what other things you would like these pumps to run. Are you going to have the feed things like: uv steralizers, carbon reactors, gfo reactors, calcium reactors, bio pellets, refugium, settling tank, ATS, ect.

    My advice would be to figure that all first then your flow and add 20 percent if the type of pump you decide on can handle restriction on the output side.

    Personally I am a fan of little Giant pumps (I got lucky at a auction and picked up a bunch) however I will say their customer support has been awsome.

    Jason/Nubbs

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
  4. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,440
    Likes Received:
    119
    Fishies collected:
    16,451
    Good points.

    I think the skimmer on the big tank will run off a separate pump.

    I guess I'm thinking the chillers will too, though it would be nice to minimize number of pumps.

    And I already have some lightly used variable flow rate DC pumps for use with the ATS units.

    I need to think about what else....

    Thanks.
     
  5. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,440
    Likes Received:
    119
    Fishies collected:
    16,451
    One issue:

    I suspect larger pumps have a lot more noise potential. Some of the reviews for the 1500 GFH Iwaki on the BRS site comment on the noise, whereas the smaller Iwakis I think are pretty quiet as these things go.

    These pumps will be in a back room (right behind the display tanks, which will face the teaching lab space), but I don't know how good sound insulation is going to be between this room and the teaching lab. Noise is in issue in a teaching lab, and I don't want to be recreating the problematic level of noise we have currently in our lab in our old building.
     
  6. Oahu

    Oahu Senior Member
    TCMAS Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Champlin, MN
    Fishies collected:
    609
    I've always gone with 10X turnover of the display tank. My 90 mixed reef right now I am running a Tam/RIO 2500 which is pushing roughly 925gph flow. The pump is near silent.
     
  7. marty9876

    marty9876 Banned
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    195
    Location:
    TCMAS
    Fishies collected:
    14,797
    I'd challenge you to think about this a little differently. With larger tanks, or systems once you go multiple tanks, it's not really about X turn over rate anymore. Assuming you are using power heads and alike for required internal tank flow, I.e. not dependent on the return for all internal tank water movement, you really need to think about things in terms of life support. 1-3x tank turn over is way more than enough for quality live support.

    Think about large tanks of 1000's of gallons, or retail/wholesale systems, they don't follow the typical hobbiest recommendations in the slightest. To me the decision making process is pick something reliable, you understand how to service, and will keep the noise down for the most part.
     
  8. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,440
    Likes Received:
    119
    Fishies collected:
    16,451
    This makes sense, Marty, and is how I've been leaning as I've been thinking about this further after making my first post on this in this thread.

    There will be two tanks where I might like return pumps to provide all internal water movement:

    - The tank I'll be devoting to large anemones (here though flow generating pumps like Vortechs can be shielded to protect anemones from being sucked into them, I guess)

    - The Cassiopea jellyfish (upside down jellyfish) tank - I won't be wanting strong flow here though anyway.
    Otherwise most flow will be generated inside the tanks.

    -----

    I guess, as you suggested, I really should be thinking more about noise. I have reliability covered by planning to go with Iwaki pumps.

    ----

    I guess the question I don't know the answer to at this point is how loud the various sizes of Iwaki pumps are.

    I'm sure one can reasonably assume the larger the pump the more noise potential it is going to have. I did run a modest sized Japanese made Iwaki for a long time some years back (about 15 years ago) - I remember it was not particularly loud.

    If anyone has anything to say about the noise from the various sizes of Iwaki pumps, please share.
     
  9. marty9876

    marty9876 Banned
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    195
    Location:
    TCMAS
    Fishies collected:
    14,797
  10. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,440
    Likes Received:
    119
    Fishies collected:
    16,451
    Cool. That would be really helpful if it is not too hard for you to do. I could then compare this to decibel readings on my existing noisy systems to get some perspective for comparison. I don't know how accurate the readings are with my phone app, but they probably will get me in the ballpark.
     
  11. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,440
    Likes Received:
    119
    Fishies collected:
    16,451
  12. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,440
    Likes Received:
    119
    Fishies collected:
    16,451
  13. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
    Staff Member BOD Lifetime Member Event Committee

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,064
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Lynd, MN, United States
    Fishies collected:
    17,432
    For what it's worth I agree with Marty but went a different way. My objective was no pumps in the tank and rely on the return solely.

    I had one of the 2100gph Iwaki's on my 210gal and most would consider my tank on average a high flow for softies set up. The noise was loud compared to the ultra silent pumps put there but under the cabinet in my waiting room no one noticed.

    As for flow I wish I went bigger. Was pumping to ~7' tank height and modified the overflows so they could handle considerably more then the normal Marineland overflows (used on virtually all their tank sizes). Most of the standard overflows simply cannot handle much flow without alterations. Apologies I don't know if yours are custom.

    One potential drawback to high flowing returns is if the sump design isn't good and your skimmer spills alot of bubbles you may end up with more micro bubbles in the tank.

    Also, some noise isn't a bad thing because you can hear it working. My new pumps are SILENT and I have to rely on my Apex or the water height in my overflow boxes to know there is a problem.
     
    #13 RSnodgrass, Oct 28, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
  14. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,440
    Likes Received:
    119
    Fishies collected:
    16,451
    Thanks.

    What are your new pumps? DC pumps of some sort?

    I was going to go with DC pumps, but a number of different folks made strong arguments for externals, based on (1) reliability (I think possibly you talked about this in a previous thread of mine), and (2) apparently mineral deposits tend to be worse on DC pumps (due to the magnetic fields being the same constantly, I was told).

    Your point about the noise not being all bad makes sense. If a student caretaker walks in the room and things are silent (or quieter than normal) this would be an immediate indication something is wrong. I just worry about too much sound spilling out into the teaching lab, where the noise can be a real problem. We are going to have a door of some sort between our support space and the teaching lab, but I think it is probably going to end up being a fairly lightweight thing, and I'm al little worried that our sound isolation will not be as good as I'd like.
     
  15. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,440
    Likes Received:
    119
    Fishies collected:
    16,451
    Regarding keeping pumps out of the tanks: Indeed, that is something I want to do in some of our tanks (anemone tank and jellyfish tank), so like you, I'm leaning toward larger pumps than might otherwise be necessary. Some of my tanks really don't need to be (and in some cases should not be) high flow tanks regardless.

    I'm hoping Marty will be able to post some sound readings from his pumps, as that, I think, might pretty much be what settles this for me.
     
  16. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
    Staff Member BOD Lifetime Member Event Committee

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,064
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Lynd, MN, United States
    Fishies collected:
    17,432
    I did go with a pair of DC's... VarioS 8's. There is an experiment I'm trying out with them that will go unreported if it's an obvious failure. (which it might be)

    I previously looked at a hammer or barracuda or something that was notable quieter then my Iwaki. I believe Marty and AsianReef (Brian) run them or had.
     
  17. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,440
    Likes Received:
    119
    Fishies collected:
    16,451
    Did you have the Iwaki's with the American made motors or the Japanese ones? The latter are supposed to be quieter.
     
  18. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
    Staff Member BOD Lifetime Member Event Committee

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,064
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Lynd, MN, United States
    Fishies collected:
    17,432
    Bill I'd like to update my opinion on pumps, listen to Marty. I would not buy a *edit* VarioS DC pump unless for a skimmer or closed loop.
     
    #18 RSnodgrass, Oct 29, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  19. Jonty

    Jonty I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,871
    Likes Received:
    83
    Fishies collected:
    14,506
    I have been through a slew of pumps over the last few years and I can recommend the Red Dragon DC pumps and the Sicce HF series submersible pumps. I just pulled my 230W Red Dragon this weekend after 24 months of continuous use and it looked brand new there was no calcification that is referred to earlier in the thread.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. KJoFan

    KJoFan Senior Member
    TCMAS Member TCMAS Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,367
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Okabena, MN
    Fishies collected:
    12,331
    Can you expand on this? I’m following along while I contemplate a return pump upgrade down the road.

    The VarioS was one I was strongly considering.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

Share This Page