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How to get WATERFLOW in your tank...

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  • How to get WATERFLOW in your tank...

    I'll post everything regarding different flow generating devices in here. If anyone else can elaborate, add to, or correct me, please feel free to PM me and I'll update as needed...

    Return Pumps:
    I'll be brief on these:

    - Iwaki RLT (or RZT) pumps are typical examples of high pressure external (cannot be submersed in water) pumps that are good for moving water between a basement sump and upstairs tank.

    - A Sequence Dart is typically an example of a higher flow rate at a relatively lower pressure type of external pump that is best for when a sump and tank are both on the same level of your house.

    - MAG 12 is an example of an internal (totally submersable) pump

    - Essentially, the more plumbing you have and the greater the height you have to pump the water to, the less flow you get - with any pump.

    - Two similar pumps can be plumbed in parallel to nearly double total flow at the same pressure level.

    - Two similar pumps can be plumbed in series to nearly double total pressure at the same flow rate.

    Standard Poweheads:

    Maxijet, Marineland, Azoo, whatever...
    Various ways to mount these in your tanks. If you don't know about these, you are beyond my ability to help...

    Wide Flow Powerheads:

    - Tunze Stream pumps have an actual propeller. They come in standard plug-in (120ZV@60Hz) and electronic (with a transformer and controller). The electronic ones are great if you want that kind of control. If you don't care, then the SEIO or Korallia is probably a better deal. The "Deco Rock" mounts can be used to hide the pumps in your tank - I like them, but each deco-rock costs more than a SEIO, so you'd better know what you want. ...or just build it out of arag-o-crete (portland cement and aragonite sand).

    $170 to $400 each for up to 5280 gph

    Tunze now also makes "nanostreams" that are about the size of a tennis ball and include a magnetic mount.

    - The new kid on the block is the Hydor Korallia.

    - The Rio SEIO was the bang for the buck leader for the wide flow arena until the Korallia came out, but control is minimal. They can be used with "wavemaking" power switching devices on long cycles. These have a turbine shaped impeller.
    $70 max for 1500 gph

    RIO now sells a controller that can vary the speed of many of these pure AC electric pumps.

    - Vortech
    Essentially, a stream with the motor outside the tank and the propeller inside - magnetically coupled thru the glass.

    About the same price as an equivalent flow rated stream.

    - DIY "Stream" style pumps.
    Maxijet Powerhead + RC boat prop + a little PVC =

    $20 + your old maxijet + assembly time.

    - Wave2K uses a piston in a box to produce alternating wide flows at the top and bottom of your tank.
    Around $200 each

    Flow Switching:

    - Oceans Motions - 2-way, 4-way and 8-way switching of your main return pump(s)
    $350 and up

    - Wavemaker power strips - switch powerheads in your tank. Some people use X-10 devices to do this.
    $20 and up

    - Sea Swirl rotates and directs your output from your main return pump

    Near $200 MSRP

    - WavySea
    Rather than just rotating like a sea swirl, these are difitally controlled.

    Startign around $250.

    Surge Devices

    Dump buckets, Reverse Carlson Surge Devices, etc... Do a seach on the ReefCentral DIY section or OZREEF for a good review of the different types.,c...d,88/Itemid,4/

    Real Wave Makers:

    Not counting powerheads on a timed outlet, there are actual devices that create an oscillating wave in your tank.

    Tunze Wavebox - uses the natural standing wave resonance of your tank to create a standing wave.
    About $470

    ^takes time to load, but worth it

    OM Tsunami - Still in development, but what the Tunze does with natural resonance, the OM does with brute force (and can make some extremely large waves). Price unknown.
    Check This Video:
    http ://


    - Eductors & Penductors
    Work kind of like an underwater venturi with a pressure rated pump to multiply the flow by up to 5x your pump rating at a given pressure level.
    $25 each

    - Airlifts
    The same way undergravel filters move water, only with a high pressure air pump, you can move a lot of water. It's no good for use with a sump that's lower than the tank. It only works well when all your tanks top water level are within a few inches of each other, and requires low pressure plumbing to maximize flow. Also, a PITA to plumb. Essentailly, you airlift the water from the low tank into the higher tank, and gravity does the rest. Just be prepared to handle splashing and salt spray.
    I originally did this in my setup 3 years ago and with three 1" airlifts. I had to dialed mine down to around 1000 gph becase at 2000 gph there's too much spray.
    $$$ depends on your application. You can get a suitable air pump starting at $60 - more for a quieter pump.

    - Geyser pumps
    Airfts on steroids. A little too loud for the living room. Kinda like a reverse carlson surge meets an airlift pump. They guy who makes these for the sewage industry lives in Dublin, OH.


    So if I missed anything, or anyone else wants to add technical data, shoot me a PM...

    Correction Notes:
    [Thanks to RokleM for pointing out my generalization of Sequence pumps is no longer true since they now market the UNO series of high head pressure pumps. I corrected my example to specify the "Dart" model. Likewise, Iwaki makes some lower pressures - high flow pumps.]
    9 to 5 sounds like a good night in Buenos Aires to me!!!