Plumbing on a 240 gallon

dinger28

New member
Hello all! I am "new" to the saltwater hobby (about a year with a fowlr 55 gallon) and have just bought a 240 gallon tank. I am in the process of purchasing the equipment and had a couple of questions about the plumbing. I bought the tank on craigslist and it had 2 holes in the upper center of the tank and that's it. Could I just use 1 hole for the overflow and the other one for the return? I didn't know if one hole would be enough for the overflow and mag 12/18...(haven't decided yet) pump that I want to use. I also have a 55 gallon sump under the tank. This will also be a FOWLR tank. Thanks so much! Your help is VERY MUCH appreciated!

ALSO, IT DIDN'T COME WITH AN OVERFLOW BOX, SO WOULD I HAVE TO PURCHASE ONE OR COULD I JUST LEAVE IT OPEN WITH A "NETTING" ON IT?
 

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GroktheCube

New member
I'd strongly recommend using a siphon and an overflow for drains, and plumbing the return over the back of the tank.

You can either build an overflow box out of glass, order a pre-made acrylic one from bulk reef supply, or build an acrylic box. Surface skimming is one of the most important jobs of an overflow, and a box greatly enhances that.

You also might want to took at pumps other than the mag. They aren't all that efficient in terms of electricity or heat, require large 1.5" piping, and are not that quiet. Just my opinion.
 

dinger28

New member
So you would put an overflow box over both holes and have them drain down into the sump? I didn't want to have to go over the back with the return, but if you think that is the best idea than maybe I will. Also, what other pump would you recommend for a 240? I'm thinking of getting 2 powerheads that will put out about 1300gph each. Thanks!
 

Mtwreef

New member
If you use both bulkheads if one gets clogged you won't have a flood that's a good thing in my book If you don't want your returns over the top than why don't you drill a couple more holes
 

cap032

New member
Personally, I like slower flow through the sump. You dont need any more flow through the sump than your skimmer can process. Find out your skimmers gph and get a return pump that somewhat matches it. You will use less than half the electricity of a large Mag pump to boot! Get the water movement in your display with good powerheads. They will make much more impact than the return would anyway. I would still incorporate 2 drains into system for safety and definately make or buy an overflow box.
 

andycook

Shai Dorsai!
I agree with this. Don't make your return pump also be your tank circulation pump. You will save electricity. They make some really good powerheads to kick up the flow in the tank.

Personally, I like slower flow through the sump. You dont need any more flow through the sump than your skimmer can process. Find out your skimmers gph and get a return pump that somewhat matches it. You will use less than half the electricity of a large Mag pump to boot! Get the water movement in your display with good powerheads. They will make much more impact than the return would anyway. I would still incorporate 2 drains into system for safety and definately make or buy an overflow box.
 

dinger28

New member
Also, I'm going to have to go up and over the tank with my returns. I was thinking about getting a Mag 7 or 9.5 and making a T to have the water flow up both pipes and over the tank. Can someone let me know if that is the best way to do it? I would love to have 2 more holes in my tank, but unfortunately do not and am not going to risk drilling them. Thanks!

Matt
 

andycook

Shai Dorsai!
Use the head calculator to see how much flow you will get with that pump.

Is 3200gph the turnover you want in your tank? 3200/220 = ~15x turnover. I usually shoot for 20x or more

Do you think a Mag 7 would be enough and have maybe 2 powerheads that do 1600gph each? Thanks!
 

cap032

New member
Do you think a Mag 7 would be enough and have maybe 2 powerheads that do 1600gph each? Thanks!

I think a Mag 7 would be fine. I tried a 9.5 on my 125 and didnt like it. I ended up going with a Sicce Syncra 3.0 which is flow adjustable. I even have it dialed back a bit. I love the pump compared to a Mag. Its much quieter, adjustable, puts less heat in the water, and uses a lot less power. Unless you are going to use Vortech or Tunze powerheads, I would recommend more than 2 in a tank that large. Even with Vortech or Tunzes, a lot of reefers with tanks that large use more than 2. The more movement, the less detritus accumulation. Powerheads are much more efficient and better at creating movement than a return pump.
 
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GroktheCube

New member
Also, I'm going to have to go up and over the tank with my returns. I was thinking about getting a Mag 7 or 9.5 and making a T to have the water flow up both pipes and over the tank. Can someone let me know if that is the best way to do it? I would love to have 2 more holes in my tank, but unfortunately do not and am not going to risk drilling them. Thanks!

Matt

I might look at Sicce pumps for the return. I use them for things like WCs, and to feed my fuge. Quiet, versatile, and power efficient. The Eheim "universal" pumps are reliable, efficient and silent pumps that have a long history of success. I'm using a 1262 for my 120.

You could also look at an external and/or very efficient DC pumps.

I'm using two Tunze 6045 and one Tunze 6095 in my 120, and I'm considering one of those Jebo WP 40 pumps. I'd probably get more than just two pumps. Getting turbulent flow throughout the tank is important. Having the output streams of various pumps collide at various points is a good way to do that.
 

dinger28

New member
I'm going to have 4 powerheads with the equivalent of 5800gph flow throughout the tank which doesn't even include the return pump. With the return pump I should be getting around 6500 gph in the entire tank. That good enough for a 240 you think?
 

cap032

New member
I'm going to have 4 powerheads with the equivalent of 5800gph flow throughout the tank which doesn't even include the return pump. With the return pump I should be getting around 6500 gph in the entire tank. That good enough for a 240 you think?

You should be pretty good there, but you could still go less than 700gph from the return. The slower the flow through the sump, the quieter it will be. For reference, my skimmer can process about 350gph and I dialed in my return pump at about the same. The difference between noise and splashing from a Mag 9.5 was night and day. Not to mention the noise difference between the pumps themselves. Btw, what powerheads are you looking at?
 

cap032

New member
Koralias. Think I will go for a Mag 5 then. Thanks so much for the help. I will post pics soon!

As suggested, just check the head loss calculator to make sure the Mag 5 will provide you with enough flow to at least match your skimmer. If it wont and you are solid with using a Mag pump, you could get the 7 and T off the return along with a valve so that you can redirect some of the flow back in the return pump section of your sump. If you are going to DIY a sump you could even set up the sections as Skimmer-Return-Fuge, and redirect some of the return flow to the fuge section. As you can tell, you have a lot of decisions left! lol Best of luck, looking forward to the pics.
 

dinger28

New member
It says with the mag 5 head loss (have app. 3 ft) it will be 358gph and the pump for my skimmer is 350gph. Hopefully that's not cutting it to close, but I just bought the mag 5 pump on ebay, so I'll be able to test it out next week and see. Thanks!
 

dinger28

New member
Sump design?

Sump design?

I will have a picture of my sump that I will put on later, but here is the basic layout.

55 gallon sump with....

all media on the left side (12 inches across)
one return pump right next to the media
skimmer next to the return pump
other return pump next to the skimmer towards the right of tank
live rock scattered throughout

Suggestions??
 
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