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johnehr

Ignorant and Oblivious
Joined
Sep 19, 2004
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210
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Seattle
Right now I have a RIO 2500 as my return (I know its not a lot) and two hagen aquaclear powerheads (a 402 and a 802). I would like to get something that adds some random flow to my 60 gallon tank, but I don't know whats best. I don't have it drilled and don't have enough canopy room for a seaswirl. What should I do to upgrade my system? [Timers, specific models of powerheads, etc.]

I was looking at the reef fanatic wave creator with some maxi-jets. Is 3 maji-jet 1200s too much for my tank?
-
John

PS
I accidentally posted this under equipment for sale earlier... Mods please delete it. Sorry.
 

mattseattle

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Jul 15, 2003
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Seattle, WA
i have 2 maxi-jet 1200's, a seio m820, another powerhead that produces about 280 gph and 2 returns. so i don't think 3 maxi-jet's would even be close to too much for your tank. it sounds kinda low to me.....especially with a wavemaker.
 

Elmo18

Clownfish
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Aug 5, 2003
Messages
2,662
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Seattle
johnehr said:
Is 3 maji-jet 1200s too much for my tank?
-
John
Definitely not. However, almost all types of laminar flow hitting a single coral can be damaging. You can place them so that it creates a turbulence.

- Elmo
 

NaH2O

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Jan 25, 2004
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8,568
johnehr said:
PS
I accidentally posted this under equipment for sale earlier... Mods please delete it. Sorry.
No problem - done. I did bring over this post from Dylan.

Llarian said:
This seems a good thread to bring this up in. I've been contemplating Anthony's article here: http://wetwebmedia.com/pbh2oret.htm

I know its not switching flow, but anywhere you have a convergence of multiple water sources, you will get fairly random constant flow, compounded by the number of outlets converging. (At least by what little I remember of fluid dynamics)

So if you're not running an MBV and large external pump or something like that, I'm curious as to what the drawbacks of doing a mainfold + multiple-output system like Anthont describes in this article. Especially for a non-drilled glass tank like what I'm designing currently. (And like it sounds like you're asking about.)

-Dylan
 

Angelscrx

Import Fish
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
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1,103
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Ettrick, VA
You can add a SCWD (Switching Current Water Director) to your return line and split the return into your tank. Form a "T" if you will. What the SCWD does is it changes water flow from one side to the other without the use of electricity. I put one in my 55g and it works great. I want to upgrade the pump to get even more flow though. The higher the pump rating the quicker it switches and the more flow you get. It is a sweet set up. The SCWD runs pretty cheap too. I think Katchupoy has a pic in here somewhere. I got my idea from Ed Hahn.
 

johnehr

Ignorant and Oblivious
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Seattle
Can I use 3/4" tubing with a SCWD? I was thinking about getting one, but then I got lazy... I have a rio 2100 or 2500 (forgot which). I would think I would need to upgrade to a better in sump pump. Any suggestions?
 

mattseattle

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Messages
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Seattle, WA
yes, you can use a SCWD with 3/4" tubing.

I've read quite a few posts that say a SCWD uses 35% of the pumps output just to turn the wheel inside that alternates the ports so you have to get a pump 35% more powerful than what you want to pump. I'd go with a Mag Drive 7 or 9.5 most likely and put a ball valve on it in case you need to throttle it up or down.
 

reedman

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Mukilteo, WA
Your limited by how much your overflow can take in. You don't want to pump more up to the tank than is going to the sump. That's known as a flood. Alternately you could setup a closed loop system for flow with as big a pump as you want. Before you go into this though, here are a few questions for you:

1) What do you plan to keep in the tank (SPS, LPS, Softies, mixed, etc.)?
2) Do you have, or do plan to have, sand as a substrate? This will severely limit your flow in the lower part of the tank.
3) What kind of flow do you want and how much do you plan to spend? There are a multitude of products out there that can produce alternating currents, waves, laminar flow, etc.
4) Do you want to use powerheads or a large pump? Both have advantages and disadvantages.
 

johnehr

Ignorant and Oblivious
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Sep 19, 2004
Messages
210
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Seattle
Well, right now I have a bunch of smaller fish in a LOT of live rock (I need to take a recent picture...) I also have a lot of lps and softies (open brains, galaxy, xenia, tons of zoanthids, hydnophora). I dont have the lighting for any sps (just pc) because my hood is too short and I dont want to replace it.

I do have 1" coarse sand substrate. I already get a lot of suspended particles, but it doesn't really bother me that much.

The other day one of the covers on my powerheads fell off and I lost my green chromis. It was sad so I decided that my flow was pretty pathetic and needed an upgrade. The death of the chromis gives me budget because my girlfriend doesnt want me to lose any other fish (she's named each one).

In reality, Im just trying to get better flow. The 802 is really driving a lot of flow and I think I have some toilet bowl swirl action in part of the tank and some dead areas in others. If the flows are directed too much at one another, it digs a deep hole in my sandbed with the downflow.

What would you suggest? I don't plan on this tank being around for longer than 10-12 months. I want to upgrade to something much bigger (like 180-240 gallons) so I can get some of the fish that I really want (like tangs).

I would like to improve what I have for ~$200 if thats possible. I think that upgrading to a mag-12 with a SCWD (and removing the 802 powerhead at least) is one option. The other option is getting something like the reef fanatic wave controller and three maxi-jet 1200s to go along with my current return setup.
 

reedman

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Mukilteo, WA
If you are going to a big tank then I would start buying equipment for the larger tank now and using it where you can. I would get a larger external pump and setup a closed loop. You don't have to drill the tank, you can just go up and over the rim with the plumbing. With this setup you could leave your return pump the way it is, get a pump that is usefull later (with the bigger tank) and increase the flow while removing the PHs.

Alternately, you could get the wavemaker and 3 maxijet 1200s (best PH for this application) and that would get you nice random flow on a smaller budget. Downside to this is that when you go to the larger tank these will more than likely be relegated to that rubbermaid tub with all the other stuff that has no use in a bigger tank (ask anyone who has upgraded to a larger tank...they all have the box of old stuff they can't use anymore).

Since you mentioned the Mag 12, you could use that as your closed loop pump and plumb it up to a PVC manifold with 3 or 4 outlets in the tank. From there you can use loc-line to direct the flow within the tank exacly where you want/need it. If you really wanted you can add a SQWD to that setup and that would introduce even more random flow. The possibilities are endless.
 

johnehr

Ignorant and Oblivious
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How much work would it be to create a closed loop out of PVC and SQWDs without drilling? I live in an apartment and dont have a lot of cutting tools...
 

mattseattle

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I haven't done it based on your exact question. Here is a picture I found though of a PVC/SQWD hang on closed loop system. Maybe this could give you an idea of the cutting involved. It doesn't look like a whole lot.

johnehr said:
How much work would it be to create a closed loop out of PVC and SQWDs without drilling? I live in an apartment and dont have a lot of cutting tools...
 

reedman

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That's pretty much the jist of it (the pic Matt posted). It's really quite simple. So if you got a Mag 12 it has 3/4" fittings so you could run 3/4" PVC or flexible tubing from the pump to the SQWD then into the tank. At the tank you could add the barbed to thread fitting and intall loc-line so that you can direct the output where you want.

You could do the same thing replacing the SQWD with a 'T' fitting and just have the flow split between 2 outputs (not alternating) and see what it's like if you are restricted by budget and just add the SQWD later if you feel you need it.

The return line to the pump is simply some PVC formed into a J-tube with a strainer at on end and the pump at the other. Again 3/4" for the Mag 12 throughout. If you are at all concerned about suction at the intake end in the tank you can add a 'T' fitting and another strainer to half the suction level.
 

johnehr

Ignorant and Oblivious
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Sep 19, 2004
Messages
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Seattle
After looking at the picture of the closed loop, I dont know if I have enough room for it. Also my girlfriend will harass me about all the pvc eventhough algae will cover it... I'll keep you guys updated as to my decision. Thanks for the input.
 

reedman

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Just remember that most if not all of the PVC is outside of the tank. The only part inside are the outlets (and this is where I recomment the loc-line, which is black).
 

TonyMc

I am Mr. Magoo
Joined
Aug 8, 2004
Messages
82
Location
Rathdrum ID.
I just got the natural wavemaker and 3 maxi jet pump kit from Dr. Foster and Smith. The thing is awesome and pretty inexpensive. Also it's a snap to setup. Just set the pumps where you want them and plug them. Then all you have to do is adjust the speed to your liking.
 

johnehr

Ignorant and Oblivious
Joined
Sep 19, 2004
Messages
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Location
Seattle
thats not too bad... It comes with the unadjustable wave maker, but its only like $23 if you set the maxijet 1200's at $20... Hurm.
-
John
 
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