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Return Pumps for the Aquarium, Which One?

April 16, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 146

Choosing the appropriate water pump or return pump for you aquarium will help your aquarium stay clean, while providing a healthy environment for your aquarium animals.

Most of the time we recommend that you turn over the total water volume in your aquarium roughly 5-7x. An easy way to figure out the correct flow rate is to multiply your systems volume by 5. So if you have a 60 gallon aquarium you would need to look for a pump that has a flow rate of around 300-500 Gallons per hour.

However keep in mind that the GPH (Gallon Per Hour) listing on pumps is the maximum flow rate. Meaning that if you have head pressure or elbow in the plumbing your will lose pressure progressively before the water arrives to its final destination. Generally speaking you should go for the next size up based on the calculation.

By using a larger pump than you calculated you can compensate for the loss of head pressure as well as sharp turns or elbows in your plumbing. Keep in mind that you can also use ball valves to adjust the amount of flow, an undersized pump will not be able to produce more flow than it was designed for. So it's always best to go with the larger version of your desired pump.

Types of Fish Tank Pumps

  • Internal Pumps - Internal pumps are simply placed inside your sump or wet dry filter, they are very easy to set up and require little modification or plumbing. These are the most suitable for most aquariums under 200 gallons.
  • External/High Pressure Pumps - External pumps are great for aquariums with little space inside the actual sump or for very large tanks requiring a pump that needs to compensate for loss of head pressure or very high GPH.

Some of our favorite brands for internal pumps are made by Reef Octopus, the Water blaster pumps are very low wattage, very low heat transfer and provide the consumer a piece of mind with a 3 year warranty.

Choosing the right pump the first time will prevent many headaches down the road and ensure the health of your animals. Always be sure to research the brand or model to be sure you are buying a quality pump that will last for at least a few years. Having a backup pump is highly recommended in case of a failure. is a leader in Fish Tank Pumps and Aquarium Lighting

Source: EzineArticles
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