Multiple Return Pumps, Manifold


New member
Hey everyone,

I set up a very large, multiple tank system in my basement for farming corals. I need 4600GPH and I could either go with a Reeflo external pump for $315 or I could go with three smaller pumps for $150...half the price. Although the electricity will be steeper for the three pump setup, this doesn't matter since all of my electric is solar. My question is, What are the pros and cons for having three pumps tied together in a manifold vs. one large pump. An immediate pro I can see is redundancy. For instance, say a pump burns out, I still have 2/3 going strong to keep the circulation going. Whereas if I had one pump and it burns out, I have no circulation at all. I think that this setup would be ok if you plumbed them together in a larger diameter pipe, thus reducing the pressure of pushing water against each other. Let me know your thoughts!



New member
I believe it is perfectly fine and possible to run multiple pumps together like that but I've always heard it done in series or true parallel with completely separate plumbing. What you show above is a little strange and something I've never seen before.

So for instance, in your case above, you need to run check valves. Otherwise, when one pump dies, water will just flow up into your manifold, and then most it will just flow down via the path of least resistance and back into your sump. I would rethink this entirely. I would either go with one pump and run airlifts in each system in case of pump failure. Or I would run three completely separate return lines that are independent of one another. Lastly, I might just consider plumbing a the pumps in series, thus if one pump dies, the other will just run water through the dead pump and no big deal.



New member
What pump does 1500 gph for $50 each, Just out of curiosity? I don't think 3 pumps in series would give 4500 gph. I think if you installed on a manifold it would work but it would be best to install check valves to prevent back flow. Check valves can fail but with 3 pumps I think it would be ok.
For a true opinion you need to draw up the system and what you are trying to do in detail


New member

I'm looking at the pumps on's way cheaper haha

I have 3 of the WP 1000,s from Aquatraders they have been awesome pumps solid and reliable. For the money a great deal. I am replacing them with a Reeflo however but I will be keeping my 3 pumps. Oh one more thing they pump like mad.