I know adding a inline pump/powerhead is bad in a canister filter...but? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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I know adding a inline pump/powerhead is bad in a canister filter...but?

I have read that is is not a good idea at all to add anything like an inline pump or external powerhead with inlets and outlets to a canister filter. The consequences seem to be harmful to explosive.

I bought a Zoo Med 501 for my 10 gallon and it probably wasn't the best choice. I can live with it if need be. I have an idea though, let me know how this sounds.

What if I take out the internal pump of the Zoo Med and put an external pump after the canister. Basically, the canister would just be a media box and the pump would create the water movement through it. I would even like to try to modify something to put inside but space is limited and I don't want leaks. The Zoo Med is rated at 79 GPH max. It seems it operates at less than that and it is basically new, not much besides media in the filter.

My AC 20 says it is rated at 100 GPH and seemed to have alot more flow. It is hard to tell due to the difference in design and the smaller outflow compared to my spray bar. I was using a AC 50 on the lowest setting which is a bit too much. It is 200 GPH max but again, I was on the lowest setting. I just wanted more media,

Basically, I would like to put some sort of 100-125 GPH pump or powerhead inside or outside of the filter, removing the original pump. Sort of like an enclosed sump in a way. Long post but is this safe? I can live with what I have but if I can do this simple upgrade, I would be much happier.

-Matt

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 08:21 PM
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Why would it be harmful to run a powerhead or pump on the outflow of a canister filter.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marrow View Post
Why would it be harmful to run a powerhead or pump on the outflow of a canister filter.
I am obviously not clear on this, hence the question. I am not talking about the outflow into the tank (ie-Spray Bar), I am talking about putting it from the outflow of the actual filter.

I have read a few things. First, lets just say you had a pump that is double what the canister puts out. People say that the canister's pump becomes a restriction and gets overdriven. Other people say it creates suction between the pump and the canister's pump as the bigger pump sucks more than the smaller pump does and creates issues. The last one is that the line is already pressurized so the second pump ends up pushing way more than its capacity which creates a lot of internal pressure in the second pump (kind of like using 2 turbo charges in series on an engine-Insane boost).

I am not really up on this, I have had turbo charged cars so that is the only thing I can really reference. I know that a lot of air pressure with restriction can cause things to pop off, or explode things. I don't know how significant this is with filters at the pressure they give out. I am also not speaking from any experience, just what I have read.

-Matt

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 09:19 PM
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Unless all pumps are all equal it don't sound like a good idea. If you are just going to run one pump on the inlet of the canister filter and leave all others off then you should be fine as long as the tubing can handle the water flow that you are putting out with the pump.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 09:25 PM
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People do it, but like Firestarter said, unless they flow rates are matched up,one or both of the pumps will operate inefficiently and or malfunction


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firestarter View Post
Unless all pumps are all equal it don't sound like a good idea.
The thing is, you see people doing this all the time with DIY canisters that are much weaker in construction (usually) than the filter I am working with. I am not trying to use the pump in my Zoo Med, I would plan to actually take the whole pump out and use something slightly stronger.

Not to be negative but I would like to hear from people who have concrete evidence as well. It is easy to say don't mess with something because it wasn't made to be messed with but that doesn't mean anything, alot of things can be safely messed with or modified. This may be a good or bad idea, I just want to know in more exact terms than what has been posted.

-Matt

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
I am not trying to use the pump in my Zoo Med, I would plan to actually take the whole pump out and use something slightly stronger.
So, couple of factors will decided what problems this could cause. Essentially what you are talking about doing is modding your Zoomed to be a pressure filter like on a pond system. There will be a maximum flow rate you can use on the zoo med before it causes problems for the pump. To determine this, you'll need to consider the largest source of constriction. Since the filter volume is large, and you can change the tubing, your largest source of constriction is the inlet/outtlet connections on the filter. Therefore, you'll need to make sure these can handle the flow rate of your pump in order to make sure it doesn't cause any problems for the pump. If the pump is overpowered, it'll cavitate, annoying you and ultimately shortening the lifespan of the pump.

I don't know what the I.D of the zoomed inlet/out is, so I can't help you further than that.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 10:02 PM
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I have a pump on the outflow of my eheim without issue. My main concern with a planted tank is mechanical filtration more then biological. I have run the eheim 2028 with the external pump and run just the external pump with out issue for three years. I can understand how forcing water into the container could cause problems but I really can not see the problems it will cause with the pump on the outflow. Within reasonable parameters of course, I am not throwing a 1/2 horsepower sump pump on it or anything. I would just throw the damn pump on the outflow and see if it works okay for a trial period. If it is not noisy and seems fine then dont worry about it. The possible calamities that could occur seem pretty low probabilty and low danger anyway. I would ditch the spray bar though why restrict flow when you dont have to.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 10:34 PM
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Why not just sell the zoo med on S&S and then buy the proper sized canister filter?

- Whiskeyfox


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmhart View Post
S

I don't know what the I.D of the zoomed inlet/out is, so I can't help you further than that.
Thanks for the info. The tubing is 1/2, I don't know the inside diameter. I can measure later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskeyfox View Post
Why not just sell the zoo med on S&S and then buy the proper sized canister filter?
I am thinking about doing that or getting another tank (I have wanted an ADA for awhile). I just figured that this would be possible. I bought the Zoo Med on impulse, it says up to a 30 gallon aquarium so I didn't think much of it. Honestly, it isn't that bad for a 10 gallon (with shrimp), I just thought if this was doable, why not.

-Matt

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 12:00 AM
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It sounds like a good experiment to try. I would try the pump on the outflow and let it "filter" water from a bucket or rubbermaid container, in an area that wouldn't be damaged by a leak. Let it run for a day or so. Use a HOB on the aquarium in the meantime. Half of the fun of this hobby is experimenting and DIYing.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 12:21 AM
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Eh, hook one up. I'd limit it to like 200gph though because the tubing size will restrict flow. Like you could hook up a bunch of horsepower and get a teeny increase. What's gonna happen? Really?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 12:45 AM
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I have an Iwaki MD-10L inline pre my XP1 for braking up co2 bubbles before they get to the canister. I have never had any issue and it increases output pretty significantly.


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