Large Tank Owners and Reeflo Pumps FYI

Gerryd

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Hey,

Well Reeflo recommends that I do the following:

1. Increase the intake plumbing where possible to 2".
2. Increase the single merged outlet from 1" to 1.5".

So for #1 I can use 2" inside the weirs and beneath the tank. Only will be 1" at the bulkheads.

This should be relatively simple and should increase the volume going to the intake.

As far as #2, I will modify so that the 3 legs are merged into TWO outlets at 1.5" instead of a single 1".

I will then direct one of these outlets to each of the 3/4 returns.

This should also be pretty simple. The two outlets should help along with the larger diameter hose.

Well, drawing up the parts list now and then off to the store........

Oh well, more lessons learned............
 

Gerryd

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Hey all,

I was able to add another 1" outlet and than ran each outlet to a tank return directly.

I could not fit 1.5" pvc so 1" it is and will remain :D

Flow is improved by about 40-50% as far as I can tell.

My temp is also about 4-6 F LOWER with the new pump so am very happy about that.

I also removed about 8-10' of 3/4 line and some doubling back, looping, merging, splitting, etc. MUCH less friction.....

Much simpler design. I guess I was trying to balance the flow evenly to each output, but caused a bottleneck at the same time :eek:

The input/outputs are now as follows:

c02 input 90 elbow===outlet T===bio input T===outlet T===mech input 90 elbow

So each outlet is fed from one side by an elbow and the other side of the outlet is fed by the middle input T.

This seems optimal as far as feeding the outlets somewhat evenly from the 3 inputs.

Now to see if it can power my venturi as well as the pan world.

It is quieter and runs much cooler so far................

I think the temp may fall further with the new outlet.

The PSI on all 3 legs with all valves open is about 5-6 and doesn't move much as I close the venturi valve. So much better it seems.

If the venturi performance suffers too much, I will replace with a large reactor or two.

But mist seems good right now so time will tell.

I have removed my koralia IV for now.

I am starting with a new bubble rate and will adjust slowly over the next couple of weeks. Is about 5-10 bps right now.

I like this pump so far just for the noise and temp issues alone..........

I didn't like the temps at 85-86 all the time........

I feel it forces the fish metabolism to higher levels and may stress them long term......

Thanks for all advice/help and for listening.

I think I am going to take a sabbatical from plumbing changes for a bit and enjoy my tank LOL

Tremendous learning experience over the last 6 months with all the changes from sump and wet/dry to closed loop mutliple canister.....

Hope this helps someone else...........
 

JDowns

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Glad to see you got your pump flowing better.

Having the pump work less to pull water has always improved flow from past experiences, larger piping or dual inputs helped improve performance in past setups. This also helps with temps since the pump is working optimally.

Hopefully your set now....:D I experience the same temperature drop, these pumps perform very well for heat transfer issues.
 

Gerryd

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J,

Glad to see you got your pump flowing better.

Thanks, it has been a struggle at times lol

Yes, I remember you mentioning the temp drop as well.

I am tempted (not really) to swap back the pan world to see how it would do with the new outlet config, but won't..........

Would love to drill new 2" inlets and 1" outlets, but that will be ordered with my next tank lol

I LOVE how quiet this pump is. I can't get over that......................

Have a good one!
 

Gerryd

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Update after 6 weeks:

C02 mist is FANTASTIC with the new outlet and pump. Much improved and with a MUCH reduced bubble rate.

Pump is VERY VERY QUIET. Still can't get over that.......

Temps are still about 4 deg F LOWER than before.

Handles the load very well for all 3 legs and still with good flow to the tank.

Am thinking of adding a CPR overflow and merging that flow with that from the existing builtin wiers since I can't expand to 2" intake pipe.

That may get me ever better flow than I have now...

Thoughts?
 

Tom Barr

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I went the other way, I removed the pumps and went back to low pressure and high efficiency Rena canisters for the 180.

I had this discussion with a client for a long time on his 450 Gal, we ended up using 6 x Ehiems, but it's 3x larger also...........

You are limited by that intake and going a small Wet/dry might help.
Get some items out of the tank, make them easier to use mess with etc.
Surface skimming is nice, CPR lose very little CO2.

Constant water level is good too.

I was thinking of doing this for my 180 and add a small one, plenty of space now I have just 2 x XP3's under there, then add the needle wheel fed into the return pump instead of the powerhead for the needle wheel in the tank.

But then I need an Overflow and return pipe and another pump:rolleyes:

The Rena's x 2(700gph) and the needle wheel (350gph)+ the maxi jet with the Sure Flow adapter(2000gph), I still maintain high flow, the flow through the filter is not critical, CO2 is independent of fiter clogging, but the filter is DEAD Quiet.

Energy is a mere 60w+12W +15W for over 3000gph, so less than 90 w.

I'll say this too: cleaning and removing the Rena filter is MUCH easier to service than an OC or NC filter.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

JDowns

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Glad to hear Gerry. I too absolutely love this series of pumps. Tons of flow, very quiet, and low heat transfer make for a great pump. Nice that the mazzie is working better. I want to fiddle with different CO2 myself but hate to risk algae as a result, that and I lack the overall time to dedicate to that right now.

Tom:

Not sure how the maintenance is easier on the Rena's. I find the NC very easy to maintain. Swap cartridges, hose the old one good with a power nozzle, soak in Filter cleaner overnight, rinse, ready for the next change. I found the Rena XP3 I had to be a pain in comparision. But I guess each individual will guage different routines differently.

I prefer the larger pump myself for one main reason, well make that two. No equipment in the tank, and with ball valves on each outlet dialing in a specific flow pattern is very easy. I found myself switching to a large spade on each of the four outlets. Allowed for slightly more flow but at a wider and slower pace. Seemed to ballance out the extremes and minimums in flow to much more stable and consistant flow pattern throughout the tank.

Trade off here is watt usage. But with my electrical plan I'm way way under my allowed usage before my fixed monthly rate would ever increase, so that wasn't an issue in my case.

All in all its nice to see though the wide variation in setup types in respect to filtration/circulation. There really is numerous paths one can take in setups with larger tanks. Key really is good husbandry, and consistant CO2.
 

Gerryd

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Hey all,

Well I have all the parts I need to redo my plumbing config again lol It's been 6 months after all....

This time I hope to do it correctly. I wanted to get done last time and it has cost me. Pay me now or pay me later, and I am now paying both times... I will take pics of parts, before, and after and will make a thread or blog about it.

Maybe it will help someone else avoid the same mistakes I did.

More details to come. I will be doing it Saturday if all goes as planned. Hardware and LFS will both be open in case :)

I have a good idea in my head, in Word and Excel (lol) how it will go, but have enough components and such to be very flexible as I build it. Best laid plans and all that........lol

I am laying out the parts now to ensure I have everything I need and to make it easy to disconnect, change, and maintain....Looks good so far I think I have it all.

Outlet

1. Blackfin 3600.
2. 2" outlet and elbow to slip union to 2" cone distributor. Cone has 5 1" outlets.
3. Outlet #1 - NC 533 mech
4. Outlet #2 - NC 547 bio
5. Outlet #3 - Mazzei and bypass assembly
6. Outlet #4 - outlet directly to tank.
7. Outlet #5 - capped for now

Outlet 1,2, and 3 are merged and sent out to twin outlets, one to each end of the tank. You can see this in the pics. I may change this be we'll see.

This will flow 2" up to the distributor. Than 1" all the way through each leg and to each outlet.

Inlet

1. Blackfin 3600.
2. 2" inlet and T to slip union to 2" cone distributor. Cone has 5 1" intakes. The other side of the T will support a 1" drain assembly to remove all water in the intake pipe.
3. Intake #1 - from left bulkhead
4. Intake #2 - from right bulkhead
5. Intake #3 - capped for now - cpr overflow or direct siphon
6. Intake #4 - capped for now - cpr overflow (twin intake model?) or direct siphon
7. Intake #5 - capped for now

This will allow EACH 1" drain to flow to a SINGLE larger 2" pipe. The cone will face up (like a chimney) and the intakes will drain downwards...so gravity fed from the wiers all the way down.

I expect the performance to really improve as the intake flow should double in capacity based on the way they are now and the new 1" outlet should also help a lot. I may change the current 3 leg to 2 outlet config to be 3 outlets but we will see. I have enough parts (as you will see) to do just about anything.

Final placement will really be based on fit and to ensure I can GET TO IT ALL. Remember the the NC mech needs regular cleaning and I want to ensure I can access or maintain everthing. I want to think about draining the intake and outlet if needed, etc. Ball valves and true unions all over. Lots of flex and different elbows, 45, 90, sweeps. I also hope to tie things out of the way and really do a nice job.

I expect it will take about 6-8 hours including lunch, rest, stretching, first aid, fire dept, etc.

Here is a link that will eventually have the scrapbook :) You can see the current lousy setup on the inlet and the outlet. I think you can 'see' the improvements that will be made.

I will have to readjust all the flow again and readjust the mazzei, but will be well worth it I think.

http://s248.photobucket.com/albums/gg182/gerrydirish/Parallel_3_Legs/

You can see all the new parts I have... Unions and ball valves galore. Easy $200 for all the PVC parts and flex..........I can return anything I don't use. but most will be used, just a few spares in case....

Appreciate any thoughts.
 
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shoggoth43

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LOL, I know the feeling.

-We can do it the easy way and get it done. Then we can go back and do it the hard way since the easy way which SHOULD have worked didn't. Or you can just do it the hard way to start with and be done with it the first time.

I just ordered my wet dry and pump. The pump has WAY more flow than I need but I'll be running 1" from the pump and then splitting the output to the tank via a 1" manifold which will then feed at least two 3/4" loclines and possibly 4 of them. On those I may run a few of the locline eductor assemblies. The other leg will go to a reactor which will feed back into a T right at the pump intake. I'll probably make the reactor like Tom's dual venturi design with a lot of recirculation and some possible misting action.

Just some ideas as to what I'm up to. For what you're up to, would a larger manifold idea get you anything? I think you could get slightly more flow if you got all of your legs rejoined back into a 2" pipe and then split that off into your return legs. Maybe you're already doing that but it wasn't clear above. An alternative could be to just run a return off each of the legs without rejoining them. Each outlet could then potentially be a full 1" return back to the tank and then split that up to a dual 3/4" locline or similar. Ideally as long as you end up with at least the same sq. inches as a 2" diameter pipe from the pump you should have the max possible flow.

-
S
 

Gerryd

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Well,

After 10 hours I had liftoff!

Took longer than I thought and had to make some concessions to the real world and the amount of space under the stand :) When I tackle building my stand it will be wider than the tank is. Just 6" or so but will help a lot with the 3 legs. It is pretty tights for 3 legs in a 22" space. The cans are a good size and the mazzie assembly is also large. Plus, the pump itself is huge, and 2" unions and such are large..

The disassemble went well and the written plan I spent so much time on made things real easy. It was the assemble that took the most time. Many components and PVC parts to route an join together.

All that said, I am pretty happy so far. The flow is much better and I can tell the intakes/wiers are flowing much faster than before. The new outlet provide a nice surface ripple, so it may be adios to the Koralie II that currently serves this function. I removed the Koralia IV as well so we'll see how that works. The bigger model was for general and subsrate directed flow.

Next step is to add a CPR overflow to get more intake flow. Now that I have 3 unused and empty input ports! I have to close all my outlet valves >= 50% or the wiers get sucked dry lol

Using all 5 intake and outlet ports of 1" size will just about equal what I would get if I used 2" pipe all around in terms of water flow and volume.

Once the new intake(s) are added, the output flow will also increase.

Only thing I could NOT do was get a ball valve PRIOR to the NC 547 bio-canister. There is still one AFT but this is the first time in six months I even had to remove it, so not to worried.

I rinsed it out and it was very clean...I added a NEW cartridge to the NC 533 mech-canister as a bonus for a job well done :)

I have to spend some more time balancing the flows..and I will need to check the Mazzei operation for a few days and see how that is.

So far, so good.

Now that I understand things better in terms of pipe size, flow, volume, and velocity, I can't believe they sell tanks this size (180) with only 1" intakes and 3/4 outlets for pre-drilled. Should have been 2" inlet and at least 1" out.

Pics later.
 
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Gerryd

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Hey,

Here are a couple of pics of the new plumbing and all the stuff under the cabinet if anyone has an interest.....

View attachment 1198View attachment 1199View attachment 1200View attachment 1201

You can see the cone distributors used on the intake and outlet to bridge the 2" to 1" gap....

You can see the 3 empty intakes and 1 unused outlet that is capped and laying across the NC 547 bio unit. The new outlet runs right next to it and comes up the back of the tank. I swapped to clear flex for the back of the tank portion. This is now used for surface agitation.

I gained some room, some flow, I improved my DIY skills a bit. I left as much of the system in place as possible and only swapped out what I needed...You can see all the new stuff with the purple primer that I got all over... felt like a kid with finger paint when I was done.

Flex hose, unions, and ball valves are the bomb. I had 20' of 1" flex hose and have only 6' left.

Next step is to add a CPR CS102 and connect it to 2 of the available intake ports. I doubt I will use the final intake port. I will hook up the CPR for easy disconnect when I want. I will have to mount on the end of the tank, as there is not enough room at the back of the tank.... I have a couple inches, but the room is small and the tank large, so......

Then add the final outlet back to the tank for basic flow and water movement. That should double my flow I hope and get me a little closer to my goal of optimal flow. This should allow me to dump both of the in tank Hydors for good. I am also hoping to avoid buying the vortech mp40....

That project should be a breeze in comparison as the config was built with the future mods in mind........Planning, planning, planning...

The mazzei mist seems to be even finer than before....I will have to watch the co2 for a few weeks to ensure all is well or if it needs adjustment. I can compare pearling now to what I had prior to the change to guage where I am.

I did have a heavy cloudiness after the system was running for several hours and lasted for about a day. Almost gone now. I attribute this to two possibilities:

1. The system was not running for 11 hours. I assume I lost some of my bacteria colony during this period. I did rinse out the bio canister with tank water once or twice.
2. Maybe some of the new plumbing? Lots of new PVC.

I noticed that lots of brown debris came out of when the pump was first really blowing and I was adjusting the flows. Cleaned out the pipes well.

It did get something stuck in the mazzei as it was not producing mist. I smacked it a few times and sent ALL the flow to that leg and it dislodged and starting sucking and hissing once again! I remember this occurred the LAST time I made a major plumbing change. Redid the flow and all seems well.

That is something about the mazzei, well mine anyway. When it is producing mist and working well. it makes a distinct hissing sound and it differs when the c02 is fed to it or not. I can now recognize that sound, I guess like a parent penguin and a chick. If no sound, something is wrong.

No fish loss or anything. I just feel every one of my 49 years :) The plants that laid over took a day or so to straighten up, but all seems normal now.

Thanks for all of the help.
 
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shoggoth43

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Wow. It's one thing to know academically about using the 2" piping. It's another to actually SEE how much space that takes up. Massive. I almost feel like I'm cheating with my "little" submersible pump in the sump design and a koralia or MP20 idea.

How long did you wait before putting the PVC into service after gluing it together? How did you flush it out?

I can see how your existing overflows keep the bubbles out as you just have to keep them filled, but I'm not sure how you'll be able to do the same with the CPR overflow so I suspect you'll be doing some tinkering with that but it would be great if it's just a drop in place kind of deal and it's just that simple.

-
S
 

billb

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Hi Gerry,

I just replaced two pumps (Iwaki 40 series and a Velocity T3) with a new Reeflo Snapper 18. This provided an opportunity to put two Ocean Clears inline and drive my Mazzei on a separate loop - and save electricity since the pump is so efficient!. The question I have for you is - how noisy is your blackfin 3600? The new snapper looks just like your pump and mine is louder than expected. My tank is in the garage here in San Diego, so it isn't a huge issue but I saw that you have yours in the house. Mine would be too noisy. Any advice?
 

Gerryd

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S,

yes, the 2" is huge and takes up a lot of space.

I would say the min of cure time was about an hour and many parts much more if they were glued first.

As far as flushing, I sent all flow along each leg and placed a net over the outlets and caught most of the debris.,,,,

I am always concerned about new PVC and glue, but has never been an issue yet and I have done this mutliple times.

If you look at the intake assembly, the CPR would plug into two of those empty ports. I am thinking that it will be plug and play. I have overflows now, why should the CPR behave differently?

I will expect the worst of course, but think it should be simple.

Bilb,

Maybe I am used to it now, but is pretty quiet. I sit next to it on the couch and the TV is at the other end of the room and I can hear it just fine. Not as quiet as the mag drives, but is okay for me.

No guests have ever mentioned any noise....

Hope this helps.
 

JDowns

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Looks great Gerry. The improved intakes should help the pump be more effecient on the output side. One thing that often gets overlooked is that most of the pumps we deal with are intended to push water not pull it, so friction loss on the intake side can greatly reduce a pumps effeciency. Simple things like intake pipe size and force of gravity (water/weight pressure) can and do effect any pump. Glad to see you got it sorted out now.

Bilb.

It may take a few weeks for the pump to burn in. Reeflo told me to expect at least a week for the bearings to burn in, after that it should start to quiet down. Make sure you aren't hearing resonance, if you are, insulate any contacts from piping to the stand, walls, and tank. One issue I had with my pump at first was the screws to the fan shroud were not tight enough, and this caused a slight rattle. You may also want to insulate the pump from whatever it is attached to. I attached my pump to a .75" board and the bottom of the board is lined with heavy felt, this buffered the pump from the base of the stand.
 

shoggoth43

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I was thinking your existing overflows have fully submegerd outlets at the bottom. The new CPR will likely not have as large a reservoir and is more likely to suck air. Maybe it won't be a problem and I'm overthinking it. I guess you'll be the first to know. :)

-
S

Gerryd;47032 said:
S,

yes, the 2" is huge and takes up a lot of space.

I would say the min of cure time was about an hour and many parts much more if they were glued first.

As far as flushing, I sent all flow along each leg and placed a net over the outlets and caught most of the debris.,,,,

I am always concerned about new PVC and glue, but has never been an issue yet and I have done this mutliple times.

If you look at the intake assembly, the CPR would plug into two of those empty ports. I am thinking that it will be plug and play. I have overflows now, why should the CPR behave differently?

I will expect the worst of course, but think it should be simple.

Bilb,

Maybe I am used to it now, but is pretty quiet. I sit next to it on the couch and the TV is at the other end of the room and I can hear it just fine. Not as quiet as the mag drives, but is okay for me.

No guests have ever mentioned any noise....

Hope this helps.
 

Gerryd

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S,

Well, the intake inside each wier is about hafway up, so certainly more water covering the intake (and more gravity) than the CPR model fer sure.

But, I was thinking that since I have an excellent closed system now, and by using ball valves with the CPR intakes, I can control the INTAKE flow when I first set it up. I can slowly increase this flow (on either of the 2 new inlets) and see what happens. Adjust, monitor, repeat!

As the intakes increase, I will also open up the outlet valves correspondingly.

Theoretically, as long as I don't lose the siphon on the CPR, it should be a non-issue. I will have more water in the new pipes, but should not overflow when the pump is off.

If the siphon DOES break, the loss of intake flow will force more water into the tank by overpowering the wiers. I might get away with this depending on how MUCH extra water the new intakes hold. I have some error room in my tank, but not a whole lot.

I will get one of those aqua lifter pumps that draw air from the siphon 24/7....

Than again, we are talking about 6' of 1" flex pvc plus whatever the CPR holds. So. I may get away with it.

Or, I could just use ONE of the twin intakes and just cap the other one off. Or, I could try one input at
 

Gerryd

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Hey all,

Just to prove I guess that I am NOT resistant to change :)

A history of major plumbing changes in the last 18-24 months.

Original setup: 1 large twin intake sump powered by twin 500 gph mag drives.

Upgrades? :)

1. Replaced twin 500 with mag drive 1800 gph model.
2. Added mazzei loop.
3. Replaced mag1800 with pan world pump.
4. Replaced 1" intake with 1.5"
5. Replaced 1.5" intake with 2" intake.
6. Removed sump and went closed loop.
7. Added NC mech 533 canister in parallel with new mazzei bypass assembly.
8. Replaced pan world with blackfin pump.
9. Added NC bio 547 in a third parallel leg.
10. Added a second 1" outlet.
11. Current config.

And that is just what I remember and not counting the many smaller mods along the way.....

Later,
 

shoggoth43

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I'm not sure how the balancing will work out in practice which was more the part that kept tripping me up. OTOH, as long as the full capacity of the overflow box and associated piping does not exceed the empty space of your in tank wiers you can't possibly have a flood at that point so it's all good. :) I got my new pump yesterday, but it's loud unfortunately so I'm back to square 1 on my project. :(

-
S
 

Gerryd

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S,

The more I think about it, I am going to use your earlier suggestion and create a direct 1" siphon instead of the overflow.

I can create one easy enough, I think I have the parts :)

Just need to start the siphon in it once and should be good to go. With the intake about mid-water or lower, plenty of gravity to keep it going....

I would just need to adjust the flow for the additional input.

If that works, I can add 1 or 2 others which will give me 5x1" intake. That is very close to a 2" pipe.

I would then add an additional outlet as well.

I think this is even easier to try and less expensive.

I will try it this weekend (or sooner) and let you know.

Sorry to hear of your troubles. Can you contact the mfg?
 
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