High Tide Aquatics

Return line questions

FreahSaltyGuy

Supporting Member
Hey all first off thank you to everyone here and part of this great club who has helped me along the way especially Arvin who I bug ALL THE TIME :) lol. So I'm designing the plumbing. The pump I bought is the Jebao MDP Smart DC Pump MDP-20000 and I used the difference in $$ to buy other stuff like my Octo 220-S skimmer that I got from Jessica. So hopefully it will be great I've had good luck with Jebao pumps in my other tank so we will see.
On that note with this pump supports PVC adapters: 2" & 1-1/2" so I decided to do 1 1/2" PVC.

My question is this I'm still on the fence about drilling the back for returns as I'd had to ruin the tank, so I was thinking of coming up and over as my dual returns have 2 - 1.5" hole in them so I'll be plumbing those as 1" Herbie Overflows. So on with the return line being 1.5" then I split at the back of tank with a 1.5" Tee, should I go with 2 - 1" lines then to 3/4" locline with Random flow Gens or should I go 1" lines then up to another 1" Tee on each side and split that into 3/4" or 1" lines so that I have 4 return lines going over the top and user 3/4" locline with all 8 that I would have? Hopefully I explained that well lol. If not please see attached bad drawing :)

Please help with best practice/design for this tank which is 180 gallon - 72" x 24" x 24"

Thank you!
 

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2 seperate herbie drains is not gonna work right I don’t think. Maybe it will tho. I think that’s what you meant.
I would do two 1” returns over the back, not drill, and not use loc line even. Just get it into the tank and call it good.
You should have plenty of flow from in tank pumps.
 
drill baby drill! I hate the look of over the top plumbing.

If you only have two herbies and no open emergency drain, you’re opening yourself to overflowing your display tank. I’d use at least one of the 1.5” drains and a fully opening emergency drain.
 
If it were mine. I would remove those over flows. Put in some ghost or a coast to coast over flow. I have a big one in my aquarium. Bugs the crap out of me. Takes up so much real estate.
As for returns. Drill or up and over. Either way is fine.
Oh emergency drain is a must.
 
Pardon my confusion
But doesn’t each overflow have drain and return?
Why would you drill that tank if there are holes for bulkheads already?
Yes each overflow has 2 holes that are 1.5" usually used for 1 drain and 1 return in each, however since I'm doing a herbie overflow I need both holes and I was going to do 2 herbie one in each overflow then the return lines over the top so I don't have to drill.
 
drill baby drill! I hate the look of over the top plumbing.

If you only have two herbies and no open emergency drain, you’re opening yourself to overflowing your display tank. I’d use at least one of the 1.5” drains and a fully opening emergency drain.
Doesn't a herbie overflow allow for that? I'm totally confused now LOL sorry. But isn't the 2nd pipe on a herbie that is just at the top of the water line considered the emergency ? Thank you
 
2 seperate herbie drains is not gonna work right I don’t think. Maybe it will tho. I think that’s what you meant.
I would do two 1” returns over the back, not drill, and not use loc line even. Just get it into the tank and call it good.
You should have plenty of flow from in tank pumps.
Not sure I follow you here. If I don't use locline, then are you saying the way just pours over the top into the tank? Would it be good to use Locline with the random flow nozzles? Can you also expand on what you mean by you don't think the dual herbies will work ? Thank you
 
2 seperate herbie drains is not gonna work right I don’t think. Maybe it will tho. I think that’s what you meant.
I would do two 1” returns over the back, not drill, and not use loc line even. Just get it into the tank and call it good.
You should have plenty of flow from in tank pumps.
I plumbed your old 225 as dual Herbie. As long as flow is tuned right (aka set return gph within reason of what two 1in pvcs can max flow after factoring loss from length/bends) you keep both overflow boxes water level just under the emergency drains (standing 6in higher than main drains but 1in under the bottom of the weirs) via gate valves.

It does require checking often at the beginning and learning how to tune each gate as changing one does slightly change the other but I don't find it bad at all and I can get this to run much quieter than my old durso plumbing in my 45 gal (I can't stand the gurgling and noise that comes with durso stand pipes and I would not enjoy running a tank with low enough turnover to keep a durso setup quiet)
 
Doesn't a herbie overflow allow for that? I'm totally confused now LOL sorry. But isn't the 2nd pipe on a herbie that is just at the top of the water line considered the emergency ? Thank you

Herbie overflows are flow limited (usually with a gate valve) and adjusted so that a full siphon is achieved and thus no air enters the pipes. This keeps it silent, but restricts flow. If one of your herbie drains gets blocked (e.g., with a snail, bubble algae, etc.), the other herbie drain will not take on more flow because it’s restricted by the valve. Without an emergency overflow, a single blocked herbie drain will lead to you display overflowing. An emergency drain will be non-restricted and and large enough to handle flow from your return pipe.

If you convert those other drains (the non-herbie) to return lines, you will not have an emergency overflow.

Maybe I’m misinterpreting what your are trying to do.
 
Herbie overflows are flow limited (usually with a gate valve) and adjusted so that a full siphon is achieved and thus no air enters the pipes. This keeps it silent, but restricts flow. If one of your herbie drains gets blocked (e.g., with a snail, bubble algae, etc.), the other herbie drain will not take on more flow because it’s restricted by the valve. Without an emergency overflow, a single blocked herbie drain will lead to you display overflowing. An emergency drain will be non-restricted and and large enough to handle flow from your return pipe.

If you convert those other drains (the non-herbie) to return lines, you will not have an emergency overflow.

Maybe I’m misinterpreting what your are trying to do.
Maybe I suck at explaining this lol. So apologize for this. @Arvin R understands what I'm doing as he has tried it. see attached file. I'm basically trying to do Herbie Overflows in each of the overflows. So since a herbie has 1 emergency overflow I will have 2 since I am doing a herbie in each overflow.

1694988349517.png
 
Just run the return lines up and over the back side of the tank
Keep it simple

Just my $0.02
I agree with you on this, but my bigger question on the return is what size pipe, does my drawing I originally attached make sense? or should I go bigger pipe? Also, I'm fine going over the top, should I use Locline or if not what do I do with the return that goes in?
 
Maybe I suck at explaining this lol. So apologize for this. @Arvin R understands what I'm doing as he has tried it. see attached file. I'm basically trying to do Herbie Overflows in each of the overflows. So since a herbie has 1 emergency overflow I will have 2 since I am doing a herbie in each overflow.

View attachment 49757

Yes this would be fine then. For returns, it’s your preference if you go over the top or drill. If it was me, I’d drill because I’m not a fan of seeing plumbing.

The only thing I’d worry about is that it would be difficult to quiet trying to balance both full siphons. i would imagine it would require quite a bit of fine tuning.
 
Herbie overflows are flow limited (usually with a gate valve) and adjusted so that a full siphon is achieved and thus no air enters the pipes. This keeps it silent, but restricts flow. If one of your herbie drains gets blocked (e.g., with a snail, bubble algae, etc.), the other herbie drain will not take on more flow because it’s restricted by the valve. Without an emergency overflow, a single blocked herbie drain will lead to you display overflowing. An emergency drain will be non-restricted and and large enough to handle flow from your return pipe.

If you convert those other drains (the non-herbie) to return lines, you will not have an emergency overflow.

Maybe I’m misinterpreting what your are trying to do.
He's going to use both holes in each overflow for drains. So each overflow box will have 1 full siphon and 1 emergency. exactly how my 225g is plumbed. Then for return lines either over the top or drilled. (I vote drilled)
 
I agree with you on this, but my bigger question on the return is what size pipe, does my drawing I originally attached make sense? or should I go bigger pipe? Also, I'm fine going over the top, should I use Locline or if not what do I do with the return that goes in?

You could feed that with 3/4” pvc and probably be fine. 3/4” under pressure can deliver around 2100 gph. If it was me, I’d probably use 1” for the return just for the sake of ease of installation. Bigger plumbing, harder to install/route. 1” will get you around 3500 gph.
 
You could feed that with 3/4” pvc and probably be fine. 3/4” under pressure can deliver around 2100 gph. If it was me, I’d probably use 1” for the return just for the sake of ease of installation. Bigger plumbing, harder to install/route. 1” will get you around 3500 gph.
Forgot to add is the 2100gph achievable with Sch 40 pipe?
 
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