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Pasfur 02-10-2009 07:10 PM

Return pump suggestions?
Ok folks, I am less than 4 weeks away from having this 180 gallon tank in place. It will be pre drilled with 2 overflows.

This topic is for the return pump. I have a few pumps in mind from reading reviews, and want to know if anyone has any personal experience or any rumors that they can share.

For the record, remember who you are talking to. I like to keep it simple. I watch the dollar close when making these decisions and value is an important consideration.... especially for a banker in today's economy!

The options:

Quite One Aquarium Pumps
Quiet One Aquarium Pumps | Water Pumps | Water Pumps & Power Heads | Aquarium -

Aquatic Life Submersibles
Aquatic Life Submersible Pumps | Water Pumps | Water Pumps & Power Heads | Aquarium -

Mag Drive Pumps
Mag Drive Pumps

Other suggestions are appreciated. I would like to keep this cost in the $100 range if possible. I can always move this pump to my 54 bowfront and upgrade at a later date if deemed necessary.

conger 02-10-2009 09:03 PM

I don't know how helpful this will be, but I know that the Mag Drive 7 or 9.5 is one of the recommended pumps for use with the AquaC EV-180 protein skimmer (rated 60-200 gal)... that would seem kind of odd to use it as the main return pump in a 180 gallon system (it would barely drive a protein skimmer large enough for your tank, let alone the tank itself given the height it has to pump to return the water). Depends on how quickly you want the water cycling between your tank and sump I guess, if you wanted relatively low flow through your sump then it might be a good idea.

Looking at the links you provided, the Quiet One series seems pretty nice according to the product page anyways. You can get the most gph for the cost with that brand: the 5000 model gives you 1330 gph for $99, and 1506 gph for $20 more (compared to 950 gph with the MagDrive 9.5 @ $105). Plus, the Quiet One "claims" to actually cool the water, which seems pretty odd to me, but whatever :-D (maybe that's if you're using it to pump air with the pump under water, vs. pumping water with the pump outside of the sump in "air").

onefish2fish 02-10-2009 09:37 PM

you can find mag 9.5s cheaper then $105. i own 2 using one as my return. i also have a mag 24 feeding my skimmer which im planning on replacing with an external pump. the mags IMO are good pumps and sturdy too however they come at a cost, and honestly will heat my water a degree or two. in a 180 you prob. wont see this but in an 80 gal system with a 24 and 9.5 i do. i hear you can run mags external but im worried it will overheat or fail.

as far as i know most (if not all) external pumps are more energy efficient. the quiet one 5000 uses 110 watts while the 6000 uses 140 watts. i have not had personal experience with this brand but i havnt heard anything negative to date.

Kellsindell 02-10-2009 11:08 PM


Originally Posted by conger (Post 170430)
Plus, the Quiet One "claims" to actually cool the water, which seems pretty odd to me, but whatever :-D (maybe that's if you're using it to pump air with the pump under water, vs. pumping water with the pump outside of the sump in "air").

It claims to achieve this with the pump running cooler and not adding the heat to the tank as the mag pumps do.

They are both sound options, but i'd prefer going with an in-sump pump because if it has a leak anywhere it stays in the sump where as external... well you know.

SKAustin 02-13-2009 09:42 AM

Mark, Assuming that you are going with a reef ready tank with dual 700+gph overflows, you should be aiming for a return rating of 1200-1300 gph. Head height will also be a factor as well as the plumbing. Overall, I would recommend something like this:

Mag Drive 1800 Water Pump with 10 ft. Cord | Water Pumps | Water Pumps & Power Heads | Aquarium -

Mag Drive pumps come highly recommended, and this should match your needs at about a 4'-5' head.

Pasfur 02-13-2009 05:51 PM

Thanks everyone. Steve - I appreciate the experience. You are correct in your assumption and I will take your suggestion.

I may need some additional input from you all over the next few weeks. Sumps are not my area of expertise. I've never had a tank over 90 gallons at home, and never used anything other than an external overflow on a home aquarium. I've maintained a few dozen sump systems, but they were already set up when I arrived.

Please see my new thread, "Plumbing a Sump for Dummies".

SKAustin 02-13-2009 11:07 PM

Reef ready is, hands down, the best option. You'll never want to use another external overflow box again.

Kellsindell 02-19-2009 06:22 AM

i Second that. I've never used a RR and i'm ready to get rid of my external...

onefish2fish 02-19-2009 06:38 AM

i just used a company that gives you a kit for alittle under $100 that comes with over flow box, bulkheads, drill bit, basically what you need to "DIY RR" your tank. i havnt set it up to see water but so far im happy with it.
the reason i say all this is because buying a reef ready tank is about an extra $100 est.

my issue with them is that they take up alot of room and are hard to get down in there to clean. the overflow box i got is 1 foot long, 2 inches wide and 6 inches tall. it has two 1 1/2 inch holes and is rated 1200 gph, this seems like it will be more space friendly. again i havnt tested it out but IMO seems to be less space consuming. i guess if you want everything done and to be "plug and play" then RR is for sure the way to go.

Kellsindell 02-19-2009 06:41 AM

My glass is tempered so i don't think that's an option... or am i wrong cause if i am, then i know where to get everything real quick and get this going in my tank.

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