Aquarium Setup • Secondhand 75 Reef Ready Plumbing

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Secondhand 75 Reef Ready Plumbing

Postby sirdrault » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:38 am

Hi guys,

Recently purchased a standard 75 gallon tank drilled with a 1.5" bulkhead behind the center-right weir (near the base of the tank) and two 1" bulkheads along the back top corners (one on the left and one on the right) (all drilled out the back of the tank; bottom panel is tempered). I'm assuming whoever drilled it designed it for both of those top holes to be return lines and only the one drain line? I'm planning on running a reasonably large sized sump (40 breeder or even 55) under the tank (if I convince myself my floor can handle the extra weight) and was only planning on using a single return pump. Any advice on how best to use the available 3 holes? Can I use one as a back-up drain? Should I split the return pump and send half the flow to each corner? Should I buy two smaller pumps and split the sump? Do I need to be concerned about only having a single standpipe draining the tank? What kind of turnover can a single 1.5" drain line handle?

Thanks in advance; it's my first time really working with a sump system.
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:43 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

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Re: Secondhand 75 Reef Ready Plumbing

Postby ken31cay » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:33 am

I think I'm seeing what you're saying regarding your setup. Both my tanks are drilled at the back bottom corners and tank has overflows for the returns, so I've never dealt with a tank with bulkheads all at the back wall.

Return pump(s): I'd recommend using one pump and split the plumbing to the returns, get the other pump and keep as a ready backup. This is what I do for both my tanks. My 180gal has a 1600gph pump and my 450gal has a 3100gph variable speed pump which I run at ~85% capacity.

1.5" drain: can you find out what capacity pump the previous owner was using? Otherwise I suppose I would get a variable speed pump that you can set to a proper flow. I use the EcoSmart Vectra L1 return pump which, when you also get their $100 reeflink device (links pump to smartphone/computer app) you can use their calibrate utility which makes it easy to set the pump's optimum speed for the tank. If I set my pump too fast my tank would overflow but on the other hand I want a fast enough flow in my tank to move the waste to my filter.

Hope this helps.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal Labeotropheus Trewavasae Chilumba & Kenyi
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:19 pm
Location: Cayman Islands

Re: Secondhand 75 Reef Ready Plumbing

Postby gsubioguy » Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:15 am

For safety's sake I'd recommend a utilizing a modified Herbie overflow with a DC pump into a single bulkhead.

Don't want to "mansplain" but some great write ups on overflow designs here:

A 1" pipe can flow >900 gph @ full siphon so barring getting a massive (read: too big) pump you won't need to worry about drains not handling the pump.
Current: 120g (setting up)
Past: 75g, 55g, 2 20g & 10g (funny how one turns into "I can probably fit one more")
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