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Plumbing a 58 gallon reeftank? (plumbing 4 dummies)

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Maxx

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Jul 31, 2003
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I had this posted on a another BBS, and wasnt getting much in the way of responses, so a friend suggested that I post here...Bonus points...I get to be the inaugural post to this forum!!

I have been reading up on the plumbing and I have a few questions.....
I have an iwaki md-20rxt, (not rxlt....I think mine is a previous model...) which is rated for a max capacity of 13.7 gals/min, or 822 gals/hour...no head height listed for that capacity...max head height 8.2 ft....This was being used on an old 125 FO tank, which has been torn down for many years, it will now be running a 58 gal sps/clam set up that I am slowly working on... I also have a 12 gallon sump which is an old wet/dry which will be holding live rock vs bioballs that came w/ it... I had been planning on drilling the tank and setting up an overflow, and three holes for return in/ about the center of the tank, up high. The two outer returns were to be plumbed w/ a sqwd for alternating current, and the middle was going to feed a sea swirl for random/chaotic current.

After doing a bunch of reading on this thread, I realized that my initial plan of running ALL my water, (10x plus turnover) through my sump was going to violent at best, I started thinking about closed loops... Now, I'm thinking that I want to run the return off a smaller pump and place it up high on the same line as my previous returns, have the previous returns on a closed loop powered by my iwaki, and set up a spray bar as well behind the rockwork for elimination of deadspots, and detritus removal....
I am thinking about powering the spray bar w/ a powerhead located inside the overflow box, which should prevent any critters from being sucked into the impeller...it would look like this...
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
I.........I.................<===()....()....()===>.................<==()..I
I.........I.........................closed loop.......................sump.....I
I.........I.................................................................return....I
I.........I...............................................................................I
I.........I...............................................................................I
I.........I...............................................................................I
I....[]=I================================.......I
I.........I....................spray bar............................................I
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
please disregard the ........, they indicate open space

First things first, my tanks right side wall will obviously not be deformed and mishapen like my image above suggests....
I'm just completely unable to draft on the computer....I am a former infantry marine, so lets all be happy I tied my shoes right today...

Questions:
What diameter should my overflow drain bulkhead be? Is the size of the bulkhead measured by its inner or outer diameter?
What size pump should I use for the sump return if I'm going for about 5x turnover....this sump will only hold live rock and my skimmer, and heater. I will be using a seperate refugium/dsb with a much slower flow rate for nitrate removal and macro growth...
I was thinking a Mag 5 or a Mag 7, (for the sump return), based on 58 gal tank, 12 gal sump, (partially filled= 8 gals)...means roughly 65 gals, 5x = 325 gals/hour. If I were to go w/ the mag 7 I could always throttle back if things got too strong. What size would I want the return bulkead to be from the sump w/ this configuration?
What size bulkheads would I use for the closed loop returns?
How/ where would I plumb the inlet for my closed loop? Should I do it off the overflow to the main sump, or should I drill a seperate hole in the tank for the closed loop?
Also, is the spray bar an extravegance or a necessity in your opinion?
Thanks in advance for the help folks
Nick
 

mojoreef

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Hey Maxx welcome to the board. I just love short quick questions :D
Ok lokking over your plumbing plan i see a couple of things I dont like. Instead of trying to explain, i drew up a plumbing plan for your tank, using what u got. So lets start from here and modify if we have to.
on the plan below. you have a mag 7 for a return from the sump, this goes to a 3/4 inch seaswirl (you place it where u want, center would be best). the output of the SS will be the syphon break if power goes out.

For a closed loop Drill a hole for a 1 Inch BH, place this BH (input for the pump) where it will be behind the rock work, but so you can still get to it to clean it from time to time. water goes to pump from here. Coming out of the pump it goes to a 1 inch TEE at the height that u want your spray bar. So one end of the tee you attach the pipe from the pump, the opening coming out the side attached to a 1 inch BH going into the tank, the top of the tee goes to your squid. I didnt put it on the drawing but put a 1 inch gate valve just above this tee (on the line to the squid) this way you can trottle back the water going to the squid and allow more going to the spray bar, plus every once and awhile you can stop water going to the squid and flush the spray bar.
Notes:
-Make sure the BH going to the CL pump has a screen on the inside of the tank.
=Make sure you use Unions and valves through out incase you need to do work and take some portion of either system off line.
=BH's for the squid should be the size of the output pipes.

Anyway take a peek and let me know what u think.



Mike
 

Maxx

Staff Housemonkey
Joined
Jul 31, 2003
Messages
2,935
Mojo,
Thanks for the warm welcome!
I really like the schematic you posted! I thought about going w/ a central overflow, but just didnt think it work, (don't ask me why, for some reason I just didnt...) this seems to be a much cleaner looking set up. Coupla (dumb) questions tho':
Is the spray bar going thru my overflow, or around it?
Will the closed loop set-up you've posted run more water thru the sqwd, or the spray bar? I've got the feeling that it will run more thru the sqwd, but just dbl checking....not really up on my hydrodynamics....but thats okay, I've seen pics of your tank, I KNOW you know what your talking about.... :)
Also, at a LFS yesterday, I asked what they thought about spraybars, and the guy liked 'em, but said that every 6 mos or so, he felt it necessary to shut them down and scrape, dig, auger out the encrusting coraline growth. Do you find this to be the case? Is there a way to set this up so its easy to do so? I know that if its a pain in the butt to do something, it quite often doesnt get done.

Anyway, thanks for your reply. Keep up the great work on this site, it looks great and I appreciate being invited over to the board.
Nick
 

mojoreef

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Nick It doesnt really matter if you go center or in a corner, center would probibly be better in your case.
Is the spray bar going thru my overflow, or around it?
around
Will the closed loop set-up you've posted run more water thru the sqwd, or the spray bar?
thats whyI suggested to put a gate valve just above the the tee. That way you could trottle it back. This would slow the water going to the sqid and increasde the water going to the spray bar.
he felt it necessary to shut them down and scrape, dig, auger out the encrusting coraline growth. Do you find this to be the case? Is there a way to set this up so its easy to do so? I know that if its a pain in the butt to do something, it quite often doesnt get done.
Well I have never really had one clog on me, But again with that valve you could stop water going to the sqid and flush the spray bar (with the full pressure of the pump) once and while. Do it every couple of weeks for a couple of minutes and it should stop anything from seriously growing.
On the overflow I would make it center, this will have leass chance for dead spots. Make it wide and just thick enough to house your plumbing.

Glad you like the site, tell your friends and post ofte, lol


glad it helps

Mike
 
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