Reef Discussion

Susan Bates

Member
Jan 18, 2015
880
117
Pump
Hi need some advise please, I am putting a stronger pump on my tank.... thinking it needs more water movement, it is a 400lt ... 4 foot x 2 foot tank i have 3600 pump and replacing it with a 5000, is this going to cause any problems??
 

jart

Member
Apr 10, 2015
207
106
Hi need some advise please, I am putting a stronger pump on my tank.... thinking it needs more water movement, it is a 400lt ... 4 foot x 2 foot tank i have 3600 pump and replacing it with a 5000, is this going to cause any problems??
Hi Susan,

I am by no means an expert, but from what I have read it seems most people suggest sizing one's return pump to match one's skimmer (to optimise its efficiency), then leave the primary responsibility for water movement to your wave makers.

If your current 3600 return pump is working well, you may consider putting the upgrade money into a new wavemaker instead?

J
 

Susan Bates

Member
Jan 18, 2015
880
117
Hi Susan,

I am by no means an expert, but from what I have read it seems most people suggest sizing one's return pump to match one's skimmer (to optimise its efficiency), then leave the primary responsibility for water movement to your wave makers.

If your current 3600 return pump is working well, you may consider putting the upgrade money into a new wavemaker instead?

J
I have 4 good wave makers and a great skimmer, do you know how to test the water flow though the tank, I have read something about, but not sure
 

jart

Member
Apr 10, 2015
207
106
A few thoughts from a far-from-expert:

1. Are your wave makers adjustable - ie. you can dial strength up/down, can pulse them or randomise them? If so, from what I have read and been told, I would have thought that 4 quality wave makers would be enough for a 4ft tank?

2. I have wavemakers on my 3ft cube tank. Had the pleasure of meeting a fellow reefer last year, NiCD, who gave me some quick tips to tweak the direction and position of my existing wave makers to improve my overall flow characteristics and gas exchange - amazing the result! All my tank denizens were much happier as a result.

Maybe someone knowledgeable on the forum or where you are locally could have a look at your current wave maker positioning and overall setup and offer some advice before you invest in a new pump?

3. I stumbled across one way last year to check the water flow in my tank. Was doing a water change and forgot to turn off my return pump. Water level in the sump dropped and the pump started pumping a mix of water and bubbles into the DT. Just before I switched it off I saw that the millions of bubbles were showing me the general water flow in my tank. Ended up leaving it on for a minute or two to watch the bubbles. Could work for you, but I am sure there muxlst be better ways.
 

Susan Bates

Member
Jan 18, 2015
880
117
A few thoughts from a far-from-expert:

1. Are your wave makers adjustable - ie. you can dial strength up/down, can pulse them or randomise them? If so, from what I have read and been told, I would have thought that 4 quality wave makers would be enough for a 4ft tank?

2. I have wavemakers on my 3ft cube tank. Had the pleasure of meeting a fellow reefer last year, NiCD, who gave me some quick tips to tweak the direction and position of my existing wave makers to improve my overall flow characteristics and gas exchange - amazing the result! All my tank denizens were much happier as a result.

Maybe someone knowledgeable on the forum or where you are locally could have a look at your current wave maker positioning and overall setup and offer some advice before you invest in a new pump?

3. I stumbled across one way last year to check the water flow in my tank. Was doing a water change and forgot to turn off my return pump. Water level in the sump dropped and the pump started pumping a mix of water and bubbles into the DT. Just before I switched it off I saw that the millions of bubbles were showing me the general water flow in my tank. Ended up leaving it on for a minute or two to watch the bubbles. Could work for you, but I am sure there muxlst be better ways.
Thanks for your advise, yes my wave makers are adjustable,there use to be people at the lfs to help but not any more, not sure what you mean by the bubbles
 

jart

Member
Apr 10, 2015
207
106
not sure what you mean by the bubbles
You may never have had it happen to you, but if you lower the water in the return chamber of your sump down so that the pump is partially exposed it will start blowing millions of tiny air bubbles into your display tank. Not normally something that is desirable, lol.

However, for your purposes, it could be a free way to see what sort of flow patterns your existing 4 wavemakers are producing. The bubbles end up in the water column of your DT and are then blown around by the wavemakers and you can "see" the flow.

The main downside is that while most of the bubbles will pop and disappear from your DT after a while, many will remain and settle on your sandbed or rockwork etc. Fairly easy to hit them with a turkey blaster to get rid of them, but can be annoying.

One other suggestion - draw two rough diagrams of your tank and post them here for advice. One diagram from above showing tank dimensions and wavemaker placement and basic direction. One diagram from the front showing the same.
 

Susan Bates

Member
Jan 18, 2015
880
117
You may never have had it happen to you, but if you lower the water in the return chamber of your sump down so that the pump is partially exposed it will start blowing millions of tiny air bubbles into your display tank. Not normally something that is desirable, lol.

However, for your purposes, it could be a free way to see what sort of flow patterns your existing 4 wavemakers are producing. The bubbles end up in the water column of your DT and are then blown around by the wavemakers and you can "see" the flow.

The main downside is that while most of the bubbles will pop and disappear from your DT after a while, many will remain and settle on your sandbed or rockwork etc. Fairly easy to hit them with a turkey blaster to get rid of them, but can be annoying.

One other suggestion - draw two rough diagrams of your tank and post them here for advice. One diagram from above showing tank dimensions and wavemaker placement and basic direction. One diagram from the front showing the same.
Thanks Again,I have put larger pump in, to see what happens, when i first turn it on i get lots of bubbles, but then they stop, will do diagram
 

jart

Member
Apr 10, 2015
207
106
Hi Susan, Did upgrading to the larger return pump have the effect that you were hoping for re: flow? J
 

Susan Bates

Member
Jan 18, 2015
880
117
Hi Susan, Did upgrading to the larger return pump have the effect that you were hoping for re: flow? J
Hi so far the only thing i have noticed is i am get more stuff in the sock, so i am hoping it will improve algae and nitrates in time
 

ReeferRob

Solidarité
Oct 22, 2014
2,661
931
Bel Air
The only issue I would see is if the return (overflow) to the pump weren't large enough. Moving more water through the sump is OK as long as your skimmer can take the pollution out of the water in a timely manner. jart hit the nail on the head, you want the correct dwell time in the sump to allow the skimmer to remove waste.
 

Susan Bates

Member
Jan 18, 2015
880
117
The only issue I would see is if the return (overflow) to the pump weren't large enough. Moving more water through the sump is OK as long as your skimmer can take the pollution out of the water in a timely manner. jart hit the nail on the head, you want the correct dwell time in the sump to allow the skimmer to remove waste.
thanks for that
 

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