Looking to setup a 500+ gallon freshwater sump tank

AquaJohn

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Oct 11, 2018
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Whoa! Nice! What equipment are you running? It looks like you’re using a submersible pump
 

AquaJohn

Black Skirt Tetra
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Oct 11, 2018
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I have two Mag-Drive 9.5 pumps as returns.
how many gallons is that pushing? Is that enough flow? my current FX6 canister is rated at 925gph. Could I use the pump on it as a return or is that not a good idea?
 

aotechs

Jack Dempsey
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Nov 17, 2015
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how many gallons is that pushing? Is that enough flow? my current FX6 canister is rated at 925gph. Could I use the pump on it as a return or is that not a good idea?
I estimate flow to be in the ~1200 gph range. I'll probably upgrade when one fails.

You cannot submerge the FX6 pump. It must remain attached to the canister unless you get creative. You could have the canister intake in the sump and send the return up to the tank if you wanted to go that route.

A 500 gallon tank needs an efficient sump, doesn't have to be large, but doesn't hurt either. If you want to rely on an FX6, you will need at least two.
 

phreeflow

Aimara
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Nov 19, 2007
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If you like canisters, they make some large ones like the Fluval Fx-6 or Eheim 2260...my personal favorite. You should use 2 or 3 of them. But nothing beats the versatility of a sump.

Like someone said above, if you use a Herbie or Bean Animal style overflow, it should be pretty quiet. There’s lots of great return pumps but I like the Ecotech M1 or L1 pumps...they are DC pumps with variable output control and many different flow patterns. They are solid pumps.

Also, it’s one thing to put a 125 gallon tank along a supporting wall and across a bunch of floor joists but 500 gallon with a 125 gallon sump, rocks, and gravel is a different beast. You should consult an engineer and support the floor.

Lastly, with a tank that sized, I’d go for an acrylic tank and a steel stand. Acrylic is way lighter than glass and a steel stand is better for obvious reasons. Please update with pics
 

AquaJohn

Black Skirt Tetra
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Oct 11, 2018
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I estimate flow to be in the ~1200 gph range. I'll probably upgrade when one fails.

You cannot submerge the FX6 pump. It must remain attached to the canister unless you get creative. You could have the canister intake in the sump and send the return up to the tank if you wanted to go that route.

A 500 gallon tank needs an efficient sump, doesn't have to be large, but doesn't hurt either. If you want to rely on an FX6, you will need at least two.
Yeah, I wasn’t planning to submerge it, but intake from sump and send to return. I only mentioned it bc that is what I am using on my 125g. After researching tho, it makes sense to get a new pump. The FX6 isn’t going to offer enough flow for a 600 gal aquarium. With the sump, this could potentially be 600-800 gallons of water. I think I need something that can push in the 2400-3200 gph at least.
 

AquaJohn

Black Skirt Tetra
MFK Member
Oct 11, 2018
52
23
13
42
If you like canisters, they make some large ones like the Fluval Fx-6 or Eheim 2260...my personal favorite. You should use 2 or 3 of them. But nothing beats the versatility of a sump.

Like someone said above, if you use a Herbie or Bean Animal style overflow, it should be pretty quiet. There’s lots of great return pumps but I like the Ecotech M1 or L1 pumps...they are DC pumps with variable output control and many different flow patterns. They are solid pumps.

Also, it’s one thing to put a 125 gallon tank along a supporting wall and across a bunch of floor joists but 500 gallon with a 125 gallon sump, rocks, and gravel is a different beast. You should consult an engineer and support the floor.

Lastly, with a tank that sized, I’d go for an acrylic tank and a steel stand. Acrylic is way lighter than glass and a steel stand is better for obvious reasons. Please update with pics
Yes, I am looking into the Herbie or Bean Animal. There’s a lot I don’t know tho. This is the first time I’ve done this and I’m def no plumber! I looked at Ecotech. Their pumps do look awesome! The Vectra L1 looks nice. But I might actually need a little more headroom. Does EcoTech offer anything with more flow?
I know what you mean about the weight. It is something I’m going to have to address before I set this up.
As for the Acrylic vs glass argument, there are pros and cons to both. The weight is def an issue. To be honest, that is really the only legitimate reason many companies are going acrylic. Long term tho, a nice glass aquarium will last longer and is a lot more affordable. So I’m still on the fence about it. This project is not going to be cheap but glass is def cheaper. As for the stand, I know I can build a solid Oak stand with lots of support. Some of the steel stands get pricey quickly. It’s more of an industrial look. Why is steel better? My personal preference is a nice oak stand with a matching canopy. It shows a lot better for this setting. They are nice pieces of furniture.
 
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aldiaz33

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Check out the link in my sig for some ideas.
If I was starting from scratch, I would have gone with external overflows and I would run a Beananimal or Herbie so that it's as quiet as possible (as others have mentioned).
For your return pump, I would recommend running two Laguna Max-Flo pumps. The model you get depends on how much turnover you want (for that size tank, you could run two 1350s, 2000s, 2400s or 2900s.) Running two provides you with some insurance/redundancy in case one of them fails, the other will keep your system going.
I would not recommend Mag Drives. They are solid/reliable pumps, but they are really inefficient power hogs.
Lagunas are some of the most efficient pumps on the market. For something that will be running 24/7 for as long as you have the tank setup, you will want to use the most efficient equipment possible to keep your monthly power bills low.
I disagree with you that most large tanks are made of acrylic just because they weigh less. Strength of the seams (welded/chemically bonded, vs relying on a silicone to hold it together) and superior strength of acrylic itself over glass are the bigger advantages.
Good luck with your setup.
Please create a build thread so that we can tag along.
 

narayanang76

Piranha
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Feb 1, 2016
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Yes, I am looking into the Herbie or Bean Animal. There’s a lot I don’t know tho. This is the first time I’ve done this and I’m def no plumber! I looked at Ecotech. Their pumps do look awesome! The Vectra L1 looks nice. But I might actually need a little more headroom. Does EcoTech offer anything with more flow?
I know what you mean about the weight. It is something I’m going to have to address before I set this up.
Around one year back, I was going through the same, building my 220G, with my first time into sump, and zero knowledge on overflows, pumps etc, leave alone BeanAnimal. So I must tell you, it will look like lots of unknowns, but its not that difficult.

To make things easy try to find readily available overflows that support either Herbie or BeanAnimal system. ESHOPPS is one option, as what I know. Holes needed on the tank, based on the available box. Rest of all information is readily available, and lots of help too.

And reg the pump, along with the capacity, see the noise levels for the pump too, since noise is one criteria. when you go for a silent system, and then pump is noisy, you know what i mean. I run a EHiem submersible pump in my sump, its decently silent.
 

AquaJohn

Black Skirt Tetra
MFK Member
Oct 11, 2018
52
23
13
42
Check out the link in my sig for some ideas.
If I was starting from scratch, I would have gone with external overflows and I would run a Beananimal or Herbie so that it's as quiet as possible (as others have mentioned).
For your return pump, I would recommend running two Laguna Max-Flo pumps. The model you get depends on how much turnover you want (for that size tank, you could run two 1350s, 2000s, 2400s or 2900s.) Running two provides you with some insurance/redundancy in case one of them fails, the other will keep your system going.
I would not recommend Mag Drives. They are solid/reliable pumps, but they are really inefficient power hogs.
Lagunas are some of the most efficient pumps on the market. For something that will be running 24/7 for as long as you have the tank setup, you will want to use the most efficient equipment possible to keep your monthly power bills low.
I disagree with you that most large tanks are made of acrylic just because they weigh less. Strength of the seams (welded/chemically bonded, vs relying on a silicone to hold it together) and superior strength of acrylic itself over glass are the bigger advantages.
Good luck with your setup.
Please create a build thread so that we can tag along.
Wow! You’ve got an awesome setup, Man! But aren’t the Laguna pumps for ponds? Do they work well for aquarium use? They look huge in the pics I saw so I’m wondering if space will be an issue?
As far as the glass vs acrylic debate, yeah, there are advantages to both. I just meant that from a business perspective, the reason many of the custom tank makers for large aquariums are pushing acrylic has more to do with their bottom line ( cheaper to ship and set up).
The plumbing part makes me nervous bc of my lack of experience in that area. I’m taking my time and trying to do it right. That being said, my Bala’s probably aren’t going to stop growing anytime soon.
 
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