Plumbing Set Up - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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Plumbing Set Up

I currently have my fluval edge set up and I want to run my PH probe and heater inline. The pump is a fluval 206 and the plumbing is 1/2". Does anyone see any problems with the set up or have any suggestions (space saving)? Will this reduce the flow or be too hard on the filter?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 12:26 PM
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What's the ID on the Fluval 206 tubing? 1/2" plumbing sounds skinny. With a complex setup like that you want to oversize the plumbing to minimize flow reduction.

The T on the in-line heater needs to be as close to the top of the heater as possible. This means you need an bushing that's threaded on the inside for the Heyco cordgrip you have that fits directly into the T. The means allows for much more efficient heating of the water (otherwise the top part would be relatively stagnant)

Also, the heater should be inverted or turned on its side, or else air pockets can form on the upper part of the pipe, possibly dropping the waterline below the minimum of the heater and triggering the shutoff.


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Last edited by Chronados; 05-15-2014 at 03:50 PM. Reason: Edit
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 12:37 PM
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Very nice and tidy.

Beware that all those sharp bends will decrease flow.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 05:48 PM
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As Matsnork pointed out, those elbows will reduce your flow rate by adding head loss. I do not believe it will be too much for your filter to handle, because head loss is proportional to flow rate squared. You will have less flow, but your filter should be fine.

My main concern is the placement of the pH probe. The probe is after the CO2 reactor, which will cause the pH readings to be artificially low. It its similar in concept to central heating in your home: air coming from ducts is a bit hotter than the desired temperature in the house. Likewise, CO2 is a bit higher than what you will find in your tank. Thus the pH in your plumbing is lower than that of your tank.

I recommend moving the pH probe to either the inlet side of the filter, or at least before the CO2 reactor.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 06:07 PM
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I think there would be way too much flow loss due to the elbows. I think of water as flowing something like car traffic, they both have to slow at sharp corners and you have 7 sharp corners. This would not be good traffic design.
There might also be an issue with the heater location. When you remove the filter for cleaning, you will need to let the water out of the pipe setup on the right (from the can to the tank?) You have cutoffs to allow this. But when you drain the pipes, the water will drain away from around the heater. Then as water flows back into the canister and up through the pipes, air will be trapped around the heater. Trapped air will not let water come in. Like a glass turned over and pushed down into water? With this air trapped around the heater, it will be the same as operating the heater outside the tank and it will soon burn out. Also the instructions normally state that a heater should not be used horizontal. The heater controls are at the top and when laid horizontally, they don't sense the heat the same.
Sorry, but I would suggest more work needed.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 08:33 PM
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EDIT: Fixed errors in reported values. Thanks PlantedRich for pointing them out.

I have calculated that you will loose about 3.5 in of head due to your fittings at the ideal flow rate of your filter. Effectively, your filter will be pumping as if the top of the tank was 3.5 in higher than it already is.

DISCLAIMER: I am a student, not a professional engineer. I believe my calculations are correct, but may have missed details that a professional engineer would catch.

In general, smooth corners generate less head loss than sharp corners (including the branch of Tee fittings). If you can, try to incorporate sweep elbows into your design, though it will consume more space.

Seeing the amount of equipment you want to have inline, you may want to consider putting an external pump inline with your filter. This will combat your head loss.

By the way, good job with the unions. My first attempts at piping did not include them and I severely regretted it.

Last edited by KhanQueso; 05-16-2014 at 12:37 AM. Reason: Fix errors in reported information and streamline recomendations
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KhanQueso View Post
I rescind my previous statement about the plumbing being ok for your filter. I have calculated that you will loose about 2 ft 3 in of head due to your fittings at the ideal flow rate of your filter. Effectively, your filter will be pumping as if the top of the tank was 2 ft higher than it already is.

The biggest contributors are your Tee fittings that flow through the branch (combined they contribute 1.1 ft of head). It is actually more effective to use a 90 elbow before the fitting and allow the water to pass through the straight part of the Tee.

The other big contributors are your 90 elbows, which have a combined head loss of 9 inches.

Seeing the amount of equipment you want to have inline, you may want to consider putting an external pump inline with your filter. This will combat your head loss.

By the way, good job with the unions. My first attempts at piping did not include them and I severely regretted it.
To pin specifics on plumbing would make me guess that you are a student currently? No specs involved but you may need to rethink your figures on head loss on canisters.

Life is simple until you start doing the math!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
To pin specifics on plumbing would make me guess that you are a student currently?
Yup, you've hit the nail on the head. I'm a semester away from graduating with my BS.

Having looked over my calculations, I have noticed that I was off by a factor of 10 due to an error I made in friction considerations

And this is why we have design review. Thanks for pointing this out to me, I am not attempting to misinform.

I will update my previous post with new figures and a disclaimer.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2014, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies. The inside diameter of the fluval tubing is 1/2". With all the ideas now floating in my head I am going to come up with a new design. It is a good thing I asked before gluing it together
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2014, 04:30 PM
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You will lose to much flow rate on the 206 with that its on the weak side stock

125g,75g,50g,40g,27g,10g
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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What diameter of plumbing would be recommended? Also I have a Mag-Drive Pump Model 2 (250 gph) If I were to hook that into the system how would it affect the flow? Would it put too much stress on the canister?
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 06:55 PM
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I would have some doubt about adding a second pump. It would not stress the filter, however. Older pumps or motors use wire windings on things to get the current flow to make the magnetic field which moves the motor. When we overload them, the wires draw more current and get warm. As they warm, more current flows! So you can see that they can reach a critical point where the wire insulation melts and the motor "burns up".
Mag drive motors have no wires on the moving parts, only sections of magnet arranged to make it turn in time with the 60 cycle AC. The old positive/ negative attract and repel thing? It takes a lot of heat to melt the magnets so it is really not a worry when we "strain" or even stop a mag drive.
But then that brings up why I wonder at adding a second pump. Each pump will run in time with the 60 cycle so if one is bigger than the other will we gain much? The bigger will try to pump more water but the smaller will not want to run any faster and it is designed to pump the smaller amount of water. In a closed pipe, the water passing point "A" will be the same as what Passes "B". Seems a very small gain to add that much more to the trouble/expense.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 07:18 PM
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I'm wondering why so many shut off valves? You don't need them all.

Rich, some mag motors do have windings, brushes etc. however on the business end of the shaft is the magnet. In a high load situation the magnet will slip (well, between the magnet and the pump) but won't lock the rotor. I guarantee if you lock up the armature with the magnet on it it will burn baby burn. The only motor that really won't is a shaded pole motor. Supreme Aquamasters used them. So does your refrigerator fan. Lock the rotor and all they do is hummmmmm.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-20-2014, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
I'm wondering why so many shut off valves? You don't need them all.

Rich, some mag motors do have windings, brushes etc. however on the business end of the shaft is the magnet. In a high load situation the magnet will slip (well, between the magnet and the pump) but won't lock the rotor. I guarantee if you lock up the armature with the magnet on it it will burn baby burn. The only motor that really won't is a shaded pole motor. Supreme Aquamasters used them. So does your refrigerator fan. Lock the rotor and all they do is hummmmmm.
We are probably up against a definition problem if it has windings and brushes. If the core is a magnet I can't see what the brushes would carry current to? Sounds like you may be speaking of a cross between what I think of as a mag drive and a motor fully of the older type. Maybe I'm defining "mag drive" in too narrow fashion? Got any specific motor I could do some looking?
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-20-2014, 03:39 AM
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I just realized what you're referring to. The Whisper/Aquaclear type motors. When I think of mag drive I think of Gen X and Little Giant mag drive pumps.

http://www.marchpump.com/magnetic-drive/

BTW the mag drives you refer to do burn out. I've had to replace a number of "energizers"

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