Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
-   Beginner Saltwater Aquariums (
-   -   How many pumps do I need? (

angelleah1981 03-03-2008 11:23 PM

How many pumps do I need?
I purchased a 120 gallon tank and am wanting to purchase the pump and skimmer next. I want to do reef and fish with a sump that has macro algae and rock and maybe sand. I thought I had the pump figured out that I was going to get. ...around 1500 gph at 4 foot head height but then I saw where someone had said they had one pump hooked up for their return and ANOTHER ONE on the skimmer ! How many pumps do you have to have? I'm so confused. Please help. Also, I am very interested in getting a pump that uses low wattage and any suggestions would be fantastic. I have such a hard time googling it for some reason.

THERE ARE TWO overflows.

48X24X25 - From the top of the tank to the bottom of the stand is almost 54 inches.


Oh, and the reason I mentioned the skimmer is because that is part of the confusion. Someone said they needed to know what kind of skimmer I am getting before they can tell me what kind of pump to get. ?

bettababy 03-04-2008 12:57 AM

I will do my best to try to clear up some of your confusion. I need to ask my husband about pump size for what you are requesting, but I can explain the need for 2.
A skimmer is a piece of equipment all of its own, and needs a pump to function. The pump forces the air bubbles up into the skimmer, which seperates the proteins from the water and expells it into the cup in the form of a thick foam. Different skimmers use different types of pumps to do this, and some skimers are designed to work a little differently than others. Once we know what kind of skimmer you have, we then know what kind of pump it needs, and can relay this information to you.

Now, the other pump is going to run the sump system, providing flow and circulation in the tank, filtering the water as it cycles through. This will be a much larger and different type of pump. Some of these pumps are submersible, some are not. The key is in finding what works best for your situation. I haven't seen the photos yet, will share those with my husband before we comment on that.

Can I ask what animals you are planning to keep? Wasteload and current are important to consider when choosing a pump and/or filtration unit overall. This will also tell you how many powerheads you will need for inside the tank itself. Every tank is different. Every tank functions differently and at a different rate. When dealing with saltwater it's a good idea to choose the animals and then prepare for them instead of setting up and then finding something that will work with what you have. Your options will be much wider ranged, and you will then have the ability to allow yourself some leeway for changes in the future if your interests should expand. A good example would be starting with a fish only tank, using sand instead of crushed coral as substrate, working with a sump system (which is going to be the most effective filtration), and choosing lights that will support a wide range of easy corals. These simple things and choosing fish that are reef safe allows for the tank to morph into a reef if later you decide you want it, with very little to change.

Lots of planning, that's always the best way! I'll get back to you tomorrow night when Rob has had a chance to catch up here and can suggest pumps for you. I'll watch for your reply with the type/brand of skimmer so we can advise on that too.

bettababy 03-04-2008 12:59 AM

I just tried to view your photos but it says they have been moved or deleted. Can you post them here in the thread? If you have problems you can send them to me or one of the mods and we can post them for you. The pictures will help alot!

angelleah1981 03-04-2008 01:29 AM

Thank you for replying. I haven't read it yet....I'm about to go to bed. I am editing my post right now. I am adding more info and fixing the links. ...sorry. I added a few pics to photobucket and it CHANGED the numbers of my pics !! Can you believe that !? Now all my links are mest up. LOL. Thanks alot and g'night.

angelleah1981 03-06-2008 12:10 AM

Thank you so much for replying and being so nice. I actually cried tonight because I just don't understand why this has to be so complicated. What's really ridiculous is I have money and want to buy the next piece of equipment and I can't understand what to buy. sigh. This is the second emotional breakdown I've had over the aquarium. LOL....the first was over the actual tank ! and now this one is over the skimmer and the pump. ha ha. I want 2-6 Ocellaris Clownfish, one or 2 tangs, and I would love to have seahorses but I don't know if they would be ok with the tangs or not.....and also I would love to have 1-3 yellow faced jawfish but I think there may be a problem because I was wanting a sand bed and I think these fish need to have rock. I could put rock in just one section of the tank though. I thought since the tank is so big everyone could have their own little section. I might only end up getting 2-3 clownfish if there is a problem with the rest of my wants. I want anemones and later on difficult coral/animals.

Thank you so much for trying to help me. I feel like throwing in the towel. Although what you said makes a lot of sense. No one has asked me what animals I want to keep. ...go figure... :)

I don't know why those pics will not work anymore. I am just going to post the photobucket page where my husband puts his pics.
The photos I was trying to show you are the 3rd, 4th, and 5th pics. Don't pay attention to my freshwater fish below them. lol.
Thanks alot. (trying to smile)

angelleah1981 03-06-2008 12:14 AM

I forgot to mention the fact that I posted this same question in 10 other forums and I spend literally HOURS reading this stuff everyday and I get NOWHERE with it.

I would also love to have a racoon butterfly fish and/or a blue surgeon fish but I think I'm going to end up having to do another tank just for the seahorses because of the fish I want. ...but of course if I can't find these fish tank bred I don't want them at all. What I really want to add to all this is a Powder Blue Tang but I see that it is semi-aggressive and I might not be able to put it with the others. Some people say you can put tangs with clownfish and others say you cant.

Maybe even a beautiful Angel Fish. I saw one at an aquarium the other day and couldn't find the name for it but it was so beautiful. There are a couple that look similar on this website but it seems they must be all wild because of the availability. I could be wrong. I need to call and ask what kind it was.

I want a happy peaceful tank and I hope I don't have any fish picking on eachother. My freshwater cichlids are so mean to eachother and they're so scared ALL THE TIME. I kinda hate them and love them at the same time. lol. I want to love them but I hate their attitude. I don't ever want scared mean territorial fish again but I guess I might have to get over that. lol. It seems like all fish can be that way and they all have their own personalities. shrugs shoulders. ha ha.
Thanks you guys.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:35 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome