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Re-thinking flow in my tank.


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  1. #1

    Default Re-thinking flow in my tank.

    Hi folks... I am having second thoughts about the flow in my tank. The setup has been running since Jan 2005, so obviously it doesnt work

    Tank is a 6 foot long 130 gal (24" high, 18" front to back). There's a pair of corner overflows; the return is an iwaki 30.

    I've used several pumps for flow over the years. Currently using just a single Tunze 6105 controlled by the Apex. In the past I have used a pair of 6080 streams, as well as a controlled 6100 paired with a Maxi-mod 1200.

    All the combos seem to move a lot of water. However, my sps, which grow well, their polyp extension does't seem to be that great.

    The iwaki is relatively quiet, but I have come to think that there is a lot of vibration in the tank. Fish seem to hide unless the pumps are off when I have put the Apex in feed mode.

    Sometimes I think the setup would be better with no sump, some big streams, and a good HOT skimmer. Or a little Quiet One pump for the return to just trickle the water back in.

    Open to thoughts...
    Last edited by pjr; 01-15-2012 at 05:51 PM.
    Detroit's oldest large LED tank! Est'd Jan 2005, went LED June 2009. 6' wide 130g reef, Sunbrite T10 LED tubes (3xGen 3 and 1xGen 1), mostly SPS, but chalices, other LPS, and a few softies too.
    http://pjr-reef.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    binford4000 - Reefkeeper
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    I recently made the switch from the tunzes to the vortech's.I have noticed a huge change in flow patterns and fish behavior.They really do make a diffrence and my sps has even better extension also.The wider flow patern also does a great job of getting the detrius off the gravel and out of the nooks and cranny's of the rock scape.Hate to admit it but they're worth the money.I wouldn't recomend looseing the sump or changeing your return pump.To many benifts to them to warrant the change,sounds more like better internal flow will help you achieve what your looking for,

  3. #3
    CalmSeasQuest - Reefkeeper
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    Pat,

    If there is enough vibration present that your fish react, it might be posing a problem for your corals as well (I can't imagine it would be good for any part of the tank.) I think I'd try to isolate and eliminate the vibration. A rubber mat below the pump and short section of flexible line between the pump and hard plumbing would probably help (assuming the return pump is the source.)

    As for flow, I too prefer the wider flow patterns of the Vortechs, but they can be a bit louder at higher power settings. As I recall your tank was beautiful - I don't think I'd change much.
    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw
    Likes AJ :) liked this post

  4. #4

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    Thx guys! My plumbing is 100% pvc.... Maybe that adds to the vibration....
    Detroit's oldest large LED tank! Est'd Jan 2005, went LED June 2009. 6' wide 130g reef, Sunbrite T10 LED tubes (3xGen 3 and 1xGen 1), mostly SPS, but chalices, other LPS, and a few softies too.
    http://pjr-reef.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    binford4000 - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjr View Post
    Thx guys! My plumbing is 100% pvc.... Maybe that adds to the vibration....
    when I first plumed the new 150 I got allot of vibration from my external pump(genx 40 now is a blue line 50hd) it drove me nuts and the clowns looked like they we're going flip out from the buzzing. I added a section of spa flex from the pump head and put a rubber mouse pad under the pump.Ahhh silence at last.I really mean that too,all my equipment is in the family room and exposed( no pretty cabinet) you can see and get to all my pumps and skimmer and fuge without haveing to move anything so quiet operation is a must !!! good luck

  6. #6

    Default

    There's a part of me that just wants to go to a smaller return pump, although it is reverse logic. In other words, let the return pump do what it is supposed to do -- return water from the sump -- and not be a supplement to flow. My Iwaki 30, even throttled down a bit, is ultra strong and pushes a pair of jets into the tank. I'd almost want it to trickle in... and let Tunze/Vortech provide FLOW to the tank.
    Detroit's oldest large LED tank! Est'd Jan 2005, went LED June 2009. 6' wide 130g reef, Sunbrite T10 LED tubes (3xGen 3 and 1xGen 1), mostly SPS, but chalices, other LPS, and a few softies too.
    http://pjr-reef.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    binford4000 - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjr View Post
    There's a part of me that just wants to go to a smaller return pump, although it is reverse logic. In other words, let the return pump do what it is supposed to do -- return water from the sump -- and not be a supplement to flow. My Iwaki 30, even throttled down a bit, is ultra strong and pushes a pair of jets into the tank. I'd almost want it to trickle in... and let Tunze/Vortech provide FLOW to the tank.
    I don't see the logic in reduceing the turnover rate of the water column.It seams you would see a decline in water quality?? Would you increase water changes to make up for this ?? Your tank looked great last time I saw ya and you had fantastic growth also.Why fix whats not broke?? I understand reduceing the noise,I must be missing something here Patrick-- Good luck

  8. #8
    slapshot - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by binford4000 View Post
    I don't see the logic in reduceing the turnover rate of the water column.It seams you would see a decline in water quality?? Would you increase water changes to make up for this ?? Your tank looked great last time I saw ya and you had fantastic growth also.Why fix whats not broke?? I understand reduceing the noise,I must be missing something here Patrick-- Good luck
    You can change the growth pattern of SPS with less flow. They tend to grow more open and longer. Depending on the space you are trying to fill that can be a big help.

    As far as the flow through the tank a slower flow provides a greater feeding time.

  9. #9
    binford4000 - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapshot View Post
    You can change the growth pattern of SPS with less flow. They tend to grow more open and longer. Depending on the space you are trying to fill that can be a big help.

    As far as the flow through the tank a slower flow provides a greater feeding time.
    Good points.But shutting down pumps during feeding would achieve the samething wouldn't it? I agree with you that less flow will allow sps to grow thinner and span out farther to fill space but the reduced turn over would also make water quality for sps harder to achieve IMO
    Last edited by binford4000; 01-17-2012 at 07:42 AM.

  10. #10

    Default

    All valid points.... good to have the conversation with you all than just talking to myself

    The tank is doing fine (assuming that I don't overdose my alk again); just trying to make some improvements. Some ideas are more pondering than anything. Somewhere in my mind I think the ideal tank is one that is undrilled and unsumped, getting all its from from Tunze/Vortech. Not really likely, but I can dream

    This tank overall is pretty quiet, but I really feel the vibration when I hold the PVC on the return; it could be bothering the fish and coral. I think some soft plumbing will help. The Iwaki is very quiet too, but maybe something like an Eheim 1262 will be better to reduce vibration. I still think my polyp extension should be better -- could the interior vibration be the cause?

    I have moved the returns a bit to help with the water flow; we'll see what happens with that. I think the tank returns were fighting directly with the stream of the big Tunze.

    Thought that maybe a bigger skimmer would be a worthwile exercise, but my Nitrates are very low, generally below 5 ppm.
    Detroit's oldest large LED tank! Est'd Jan 2005, went LED June 2009. 6' wide 130g reef, Sunbrite T10 LED tubes (3xGen 3 and 1xGen 1), mostly SPS, but chalices, other LPS, and a few softies too.
    http://pjr-reef.blogspot.com/

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