Flow in large tanks

prop-frags

SPS Slave
Premium Member
My current setup is a 180g SPS-dominated reef. I get flow from a CL, 4 tunzes, and my main return pump. I've spent the better part of 2 days reading through a lot of the threads in this forum to get ideas on a new build (300g), and in particular I wanted to explore the various options for flow in large tanks.

It seems that most of our setups use CLs. Some also use in-tank pumps as well. My experience is that in-tank pumps are more unsightly, require more maintenance, and limit aquascaping and coral placement because we can't put anything alive close to them. That said, I love my Tunzes - they generate flow like nobody's business; just have to live with the limitations.

We've seen all kinds of creative placement for CL outlets. Lot's of custom drilling, PVC running all over the place, outlets hidden in the sand, under rocks, along the back wall, etc. The only downside to the CL really is the extra noise under the stand, the added heat, and the occasional maintenance.

I've been using a penductor, too for my return from the sump. Great flow from from that thing, but it has some of those placement limitations, too. We can't put it too close to anything or it will rip the flesh off, or too close to the surface, without creating venturi. I solved this particular dilemma by pointing my penductor down behind my rock so that it avoided both issues.

My hope was to spur some discussion in this thread to capture the "state of the art" in our thinking around flow in large tanks. What works great? What in hindsight were mistakes to be avoided? What pros/cons/tradeoffs were involved in the choices we've made?
 

wildman6809

New member
i put a dart and oceans motion on a closed loop under my 280. this along with the return from the sump is all that i have for flow in my tank. i wish i could have a little more but i don't want the noise of a larger pump and i cant stand the look of power heads in the tank. my closed loop runs through the bottom of the tank. if it was built into the wall i would have done another one in the back of the tank but my tank sits up against the wall so that was not an option. over all i am happy with my tank and it is a mixed reef.
 

CoralHolic

New member
good subject as I am in the R and D on a 560g mixed tank and this is a huge worry for me. My sump will be remote but putting a CL isn't out of the question, but I would just like to have that will give me at least 20x and low on power.
 

Volcano1

New member
I have a duel wave box set up on my 96 x 30 x 24. Along with some other streams.
Love the water movement of the wave box, though some people don't like the looks.
Once it's there a while it gets coverd in coraline, and blends in prety well.
 

Plan>B

New member
I have a duel wave box set up on my 96 x 30 x 24. Along with some other streams.
Love the water movement of the wave box, though some people don't like the looks.
Once it's there a while it gets coverd in coraline, and blends in prety well.
I have bounced back and forth a few times on a wave box... I have never had one. you have some pics or even better yet a vid you can post?
 

HOB

New member
I have a duel wave box set up on my 96 x 30 x 24. Along with some other streams.
Love the water movement of the wave box, though some people don't like the looks.
Once it's there a while it gets coverd in coraline, and blends in prety well.

have a similar tank set up peninsula style and I ended up putting two wave boxes external to the tank on the covered side so you don't see them inside the tank. I supplemented them with 4 tunzes. I usually only run one wave box as I found out that both on at the same time splashes the water out of the tank as the waves reach 5+ inches. With the one wavebox, I get about a 2" wave and I love the look of all that movement as most of my corals are softies and LPS.
 

Plan>B

New member
have a similar tank set up peninsula style and I ended up putting two wave boxes external to the tank on the covered side so you don't see them inside the tank. I supplemented them with 4 tunzes. I usually only run one wave box as I found out that both on at the same time splashes the water out of the tank as the waves reach 5+ inches. With the one wavebox, I get about a 2" wave and I love the look of all that movement as most of my corals are softies and LPS.

have any tanks shots to share?
 

Volcano1

New member
Wish I could get that big a wave with 1. I only get about 3/4". I do have large corner overflows, so I know it knocks it down a little. new tank has coast to coast, so hope that will help.
 

username in use

Sciencing Daily
What about a decent sized surge devise, you can cut down on total turnover of the tank and let the surge every few minutes creat hard random flow and stir up any detritus that may have settled. I think on large tanks, they are extremely useful and usually overlooked.
 

HOB

New member
have any tanks shots to share?

I'll try to get some pictures up this weekend. Still in the process of covering up all the stuff that I want to hide so it should be easy to see the waveboxes. Then I have to figure out how to post pictures.
 

prop-frags

SPS Slave
Premium Member
Good input so far guys!
What about more details on the closed loops and main returns?
For mine, I'm using a DART under the stand, with all the CL bulkheads drilled in the back glass. I have two of the CL returns connected into a DIY PVC rock support. This works great for keeping detritus from accumulating under or behind the rock work, but asthetically....meh it could be better.

What are you guys doing with your CL designs? What had you wished you'd done?
 

Fitchguy

New member
I have a 450 96X36X30. I have a Reeflo Hammerhead Pump on a CL with Ocean Motions 4. And A sequence 4200 as a return pump, and I still feel I need more flow. I have two holes drilled in the bottom glass for the closed loop, and the rest run around the top ledge of the tank with multiple outlets( Calfo's Idea ) I am adding two Tunze 6100's as well.
 

prop-frags

SPS Slave
Premium Member
For those of you with CL...
I am leaning towards bottom drilling.
Would it be better to have a single 2" intake, or a couple smaller intakes, tee'd into a 2" for the Dart? What about the outlets - is it better to have only 1 or 2 bulkheads with distribution inside the tank, or more bulkheads with distribution outside the tank?
 

Fitchguy

New member
Well, I kind of have a combination of what you just said in my closed loop.
First: I have 1 2" Intake but i have a 2" Tee up from the bulkhead and then I have two pretty long strainers, making it less of a pull and not sucking up fish or other things.

Second: I have 2 holes drilled in the bottom of my tank, and then I run the rest of the closed loop over the top. This way, not making my tank swiss cheese and less sleepless nights and I can maniupate the over top part by adding or taking away outlets etc.
 

kvosstra

New member
is anyone using a false wall to hide waveboxes, vortechs, or tunzes?

I just took down my 180 as my wife and I are likely moving in the next 4-6 months - and I would like to set up a 300+ peninsula, but I cant stand the look of the waveboxes, tunzes, vortechs. I think the false wall is the way to go - I know a few people are using external waveboxes - I'm curious how people feel about these and whether they would do this again?

Would the external wavebox and return be sufficient for a mature SPS reef?
I also like the weir strategy - (the 1200 reef in Denver with 4 vortech's per side, is what I'm referencing here) - and whether this is the better way to go?

Certainly interested in folks thoughts, since I want a super clean looking peninsula in the next year or so, and I know that to do it correctly, I need to plan!

-Kyle
 

derrell

New member
i def want to tag along on this thread. i have a 180 but trying to build plans for a 350 pennisula but want to know th ebest way to get flow into the tank. i love the waveboxes, vortechs, etc but hate the look in the tank. so please keep up with the comments. tell us what you learned, would do differently or better, and wouldn't do.
 

davez104

New member
Check out my tank journal if you like closed loops - http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1736777

I've used two Panworld pressure pumps, each pumping through 4 outlets with eductors, all plumbed through the base. The tank is 4'8" long X 2'6" wide X 2' tall, near enough to 150gal. The only thing I wish I had done is to make the tank 3' wide, this would have given me enough room to place the outlets far enough back from the front glass that it would have been easier to hide them. I'll still be able to hide them, I just need to get a little creative with some rock pieces.

At peak flow, I think I have around about 120X tank volume turnover.

Dave.
 

plankton

Premium Member
Dave - You did a great job with your dual closed-loops. Do you plan to try to hide the penductors popping out of the sand?

Following along...

Scott
 

davez104

New member
Yeah Scott, I will try to hide them, I'm just a bit short on time till after Christmas. The plan is to hollow out some live rock pieces and sit them around the penductors, maybe grow some zoanthids or encrusting type montiporas on the rock.

Cheers,
Dave.
 
Top