I plan on using powerheads so if someone can please let me know the size of two powerheads I need to run in my new 125 gallon tank, that is what I am really trying to find out. Make and model and how many powerheads for the under gravel jets. Thanks to all for your input.
If it was me personally, I wouldn't use a powerhead, but a submersible pump, and here I would choose a Danner Mag Drive Supreme. You just put it on the bottom of the tank, hide it behind a rock or a piece of wood, and plumb the UGJ system right onto the pump. You can turn the pump so that the intake points to the side or upward, and use the available sponge pre-filter.
It will be super quiet, because those pumps are very quiet to begin with, and when used submerged even more so. These pumps are also very energy efficient and super reliable - run virtually without wear and start after a power outage 100% of the time without a hitch.
Since you will have no head, ie the pump is right at the level of your jets, you can get away with one of the smaller and cheaper models. Heck, a Mag Drive 3 would probably do just fine, but if you want more current you could go for a 5 or 7. I wouldn't think you'd want any bigger or else you fish will think they got stuck in a tornado
Regarding jets. I'd go for 12-16 give or take a few, depending on how much in decoration you have and in how many nooks and crannies you want a jet to blast.
Personally I run a 21 jet system in my 240G with two Mag Drive 18 pumps, but I also use them to return the water from the sump to the tank, and there is considerable head, which eats up a lot of their power!
Petsolutions currently has Mag Drive pumps on special - they almost always do, and they usually offer a great price. Unfortunately they seems to out of stock of the excellent pre-filters, but I just did a quick search, and you can get them eg from That Pet Place. Unfortunately they want more for the pumps.
BTW - these pumps are sold for fish tanks, as well as ponds (under the Pondmaster name) with the only difference that the pond pumps have a longer power cord.
I just saw that tekjunky uses a Mag Drive 12 in a 125G and thought that maybe my pump recommendations were slightly undersized. If in doubt, I guess you could always get the larger pump, and regulate it down using a ball valve (hardware store, about $5) between the pump and the UGJ system.
fmueller what is the difference between the pump and the powerhead, i have a 55 gallon and use a 300gph penguin 1140 with 3 jets and it works great, i have it direct hooked to the T with a sponge filter...i'm looking to get sand and simply plan to put a 1/2 cover on the bottom of the sponge , because its right up against the substrate now. the only differance i see in the pumps is that they are available with much higher outputs.
Well, you could use a powerhead of course. It's just that I wouldn't
The main reason is that I have never used a powerhead for anything but aeration (with venturi feature), and I am not sure how easy it is to hook one up to a UGJ system. I know for sure that with a Mag Drive pump that's a piece of cake. I guess with the larger powerheads that should be no issue either. Mine are little Aquaclear 301, and I doubt they could even be used for a UGJ system, but I like them for what I use them for. By the end of the day, a powerhead is just a pump too, isn't it.
Since firebird68 inquired about a 125G, the higher output might be a plus though :wink:
Thanks for the discussion on this topic. You have now changed my mind and I will now go with the Mag Drive since it seems much easier to use and hide. You mentioned that Tekjunky uses a Mag Drive 12 but I am hoping that a Mag Drive 9.5 will work just as well as its cheaper and funds are tight.
Any thoughts Tekjunky?
Can you guys tell me if 8 jets will be enough?
Does the pump hook up directly to the UGF or do I need a flexible hose?
I use a Mag Drive 9.5 in my 75g with 6 jets. I have a closed loop system and this setup works great. The current from the jets keeps the tank much cleaner and the fish swim in the current all the time. Contrary to what some think, the flow coming from the jets doesn't blow the fish across the tank.
I have never used a submersible pump IN one of my tanks so i cant say anything about hooking one up to a USJ system, but i can say that I have used several powerheads in several different situations and they are very versatile and easy to setup. I have never had a Penguin not startup how its suposed to, and the 1140's kick out ALOT of water. One nice thing about using a powerhead is the ability to add a sponge prefilter so you are not just circulating debree all around the tank. (you may also be able to do this with a submersible filter)
Obviously, not all powerheads are setup to be used for what you are trying to do.. look around and see what best fits your situation.
As for number of jets, I have 6 in my 75 and dont really see where i could add more, but i have alot of rock. They do a great job keeping everything up off the sand and headed toward the filters.
Here are some pictures of mine in a 350g tank. It's set up in a header style useing 1" pvc and reduced down to 1/2" at each of the T's. Thier are 6 jets in each header and each line is being fed by a Cap 2200. I get a lot of water action and as far as I can tell no reduction in output in the jets down line. The whole system is hidden by my background.
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