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idgy

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After much good advice on this forum, I'm almost ready to plumb my spray bar and sea swirl. If you take a look at the attached diagram it generally lays out how I want to build a closed loop. Here are a few questions:

1. Would you plumb it all with rigid pvc or use flexible tubing?

2. If I don't want to drill through the tank, is it ok to draw the water from just below the surface with something that hangs over the edge? Or perhaps I should take water from the built in overflow box?

3. Is there a special aquarium adhesive for the pvc or can I just use the kit they sell at Home Depot?

I think that's it. Thx again for all the amazing help!
 

Scooterman

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I was looking for a pic but I'll explain it. I'd Take your suction inside the main tank, go deep down & glue a pvc cap to the end. Then drill 1/4" or bigger holes all around the pipe going down. If your using all pvc then you need to buy pvc cleaner & glue, the cleaner is usually purple, it is a prep for the joints, then you glue them together, permanently so make a dry fitting of everything first. The flex spa hose is ok but difficult to work with, you will need experience in making those up, there nice to eliminate some of the restrictions but I can't say it is worth it. I don't know about using a spray bar & swirl, I'd think most of the flow will go towards the least path of restriction, good thing pvc pluming is cheap.
 

Scooterman

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I'm making one tomorrow hopefully, Thanks for the pic, that in general is what I'll need to do but larger in a tighter space lol.
 

idgy

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Wow! That is exactly the kind of pic I've been looking for. Thx. Now, can you tell me what's going on at the top where I circled in red and what that fitting is called that I circled at the bottom?

Thx again.
 

Scooterman

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Oh, guess:rolleyes: I left that out. The top is where you prime the loop, you will need to do this to get it started, you just fill the pvc with water then screw on the cap, you get all of these pieces at your local home center, the top will be threaded fittings. That bottom thingy is called a Union, if you need to clean or repair the pump you can unscrew it there and separate the pump from all of your plumbing. Print that picture out and take it with you, then when you need fittings and don't know what they called, either look for the part in the pvc plumbing section, they should have the names & sizes under each part bin or just point it out to someone that works in that department. :D Hey sometime the best way at learning is just doing it, like I said it is rather cheap to make & a good learning project, you need to be able to glue pvc to become a true reefer you know, Reefing hand book 101!
 

idgy

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May 21, 2004
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708
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NJ
Yeah, I finally actually read what you wrote on the page and you explained it very well. Now I'm a little concerned about my pump. I ordered a mag 12 to run both the 1/2" sea swirl and the spray bar that I've already built out of 1/2" pvc. But I read in your instructions that Mag says to double the outlet size and use that for plumbing. For a Mag 12 that would be 1 1/2". I'm wondering if it would be ok to use 1 1/2" for the suction and the return up to the point that I split it off to the sea swirl and spray bar. Then each would be 1/2". Or is doubling really necessary...or just a recommendation...

Ah...more to consider, huh?
 

Scooterman

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Well, I don't have any Mag experience but I know that would be one of my first choices for a submersible pump. From what your telling me they want you to open up the plumbing to lessen the restrictions, probably going smaller will make the pump work harder and make noise or more heat, something I've read about in these pumps but not sure if this was the problem. If I remember correctly the mag 12 pushes around 1200gph, if so you probably will want 1 1/2" outlets & maybe even 2" suctions, see what it says and go by that unless someone here has better experience with these pumps. I don't know if you should keep what you have and just tee off a second time with another 1/2" to an outlet or something of the sorts, the key here is to keep a total 1 1/2" all the way to the outlets. Typically you could reduce more from there but that is coming from larger pvc, 1/2" is as small as you would want to go. I think you may be ok with what you have but you may need to make bigger holes at the far end of your spray bar to ease up on the back pressure some, this you will need to experiment with, making sure you don't over bind the pump. It should run somewhat quietly & not excessively hot.

 

idgy

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May 21, 2004
Messages
708
Location
NJ
I modified my diagram. So take a look at this and tell me if you think it looks ok.

What I'm concerned about is that I have a Mag 12 and it is recommended that I use 1 1/2" PVC. That's no problem for the suction since I haven't built it yet.

However, I have already built my spray bar out of 1/2" PVC and purchased the 1/2" Sea Swirl.

I think I might be constricing the flow too much. Is it a rule that the TOTAL combined size of the return must be 1 1/2" in size or does each of the returns each have to be 1 1/2". I wouldn't mind re-making the spray bar out of 1" PVC.

Wadda ya think? And, THANKS!
 

Scooterman

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I like the ball valves, think I will basically do the same excluding where you go with yours after the pipe reaches the top, I'm just going to two outlets for now. Yours looks like a good plan. Well I went out to get the pace for my cl I'm making, I'm still not sure if I will use 2" on the suction line or 1.5" the manufacturer states either a 1.5" threaded or 2" slip on, being this will hang inside my tank If I can get away with the smaller pvc pipe I will, that 2" is really big lol.
 
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