Plumbing design help


New member
Hi everyone! I finally finished my tank stand/desk combo and I'm working on the plumbing now for my sump/refugium. I have a 40 breeder DT and a 20g tall sump. Here are my thoughts:

3 holes drilled in the bottom for a mid-back overflow. 2 1" drains with one as a full siphon about 3" below the overflow water level and one overflow. I can't recall the name of this specific design at the moment but it was very quiet. The 3rd hole will be a return line at 1.5".

Mag 3 return pump. The return line will be about 3.5' above the pump itself. Is the Mag 3 big enough? Will my plumbing support the flow?

I plan on a 3 chamber sump. First is drain/skimmer, second is refugium and 3rd bubble trap/return pump.

If anyone can help I would greatly appreciate it. General comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated as are links to articles and info on plumbing. I haven't been able to find a definitive "Use this plumbing for a 40 breeder" guide so I am going by what I have pieced together from random posts which is why I am seeking advice. Thanks in advance!


New member
Thanks! Is a mag 3 enough flow and is 2 1" drains too much? I'm worried the siphon will be too strong if the pipe is too big. Then again I should be able to put a ball valve on it to restrict the flow, right?


New member
A Mag3 will be fine, you could even bump up to a Mag5 if you wanted more sump flow.

The 1" drains will be fine. The valve will be mostly closed with the Mag3 or 5. A 1" drain under full siphon with the typical drop of 3-4 feet to most sumps from the display will handle well in excess of 1,500gph. This gives you room to expand in the future if necessary.

The Herbie design with (2) drain pipes and the Bean Animal design with (3) drain pipes both need a valve. You only need a valve on the full siphon pipe. The valve is used to adjust the water level in the overflow box. A word of advice do not use a ball valve. They are way to hard to dial in the precise control for one of these systems. A ball valve is good for on/off applications. Get a gate valve. This will eliminate a lot of hassle and making adjusting the drain a breeze.

Happy Reefing!:spin3:
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