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water pump recommendations?

Discussion in 'Do-It-Yourself Projects & Hardware' started by Curious Canuck, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. Curious Canuck

    Curious Canuck New Member

    Nov 22, 2018
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    I'm building an auto water change system for my fish room (based on Rain Bird controllers and valves). I've gathered most of the parts I need except for water pumps. The DC pump recommended by my LFS looks great but it retails for more than $300 and I need a total of 4 pumps so I'm looking for alternatives that are working for other hobbyists (perhaps in use returning water from a sump to an aquarium).

    The pumps needs to satisfy the following:
    - able to pump water up 8' to the ceiling of my fish room and then another 15-25' to my racks
    - flow of about 100-150 gallons per hour (the system will only water change one rack at a time and a rack only contains 2-4 modestly sized tanks with a goal of 25-50% water changes in each)
    - variable flow control so I can fine tune flow into each tank (my system is not a drip top-up system, it is intended to make sizable water changes and I'm running PVC to each aquarium rather than just 1/4" flex line, I want the water changes to complete within 30 minutes)
    - if the pump is a submersed design, I need the flow controller to be separate rather than a dial on the pump because the pumps will be sitting at the bottom of sealed drums
    - I'm looking for reliable hardware, pump maintenance/replacement will be a pain because the drums will be sealed
    - if the flow controller is electronic, I don't want it to get goofed up if the power is interrupted, I'd like it to remember it's settings and keep on working without needing me to manually reset it
    - quiet and efficient would be nice but these pumps will only be on for about half an hour a day so it's not a big deal

    If you're using a pump that you like and would fit the bill I'd appreciate your recommendation. And it would be great if it costs less than $300...:)

  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

    Jan 26, 2008
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    Perth, WA
    Hi and welcome to the forum :)

    Any pump pushing 100-150gallons of water up 8 feet is going to cost you. The 8 foot head height is the issue. The water flowing 15-25ft to the racks is not an issue because once the water is up there it can gravity feed along the pipes.

    You want a bigger pump than stated because they never do the amount they say at the height.

    We used Platypus pond pumps in the early 1990s and they were good but might not be available anymore or where you live. But a pond shop would possibly have more choice than a pet shop, although they should both have access to the same supply lists.

    There is another option. Raise the water holding container so it is closer to the roof and the pump won't have to pump the water up as high. Alternatively put a water storage container on a stand and fill it with mains water, then let gravity drain water into your tanks. You might need building permission from the council if it is big and sits high up (8 foot up in the air).

    I use to have triple tier stands and used the top row of tanks for water holding and the bottom 2 rows of tanks for fish. I filled the top tanks with mains water, added dechlorinator and mineral salts for the fish that needed them, aerated well for a few days and then syphoned the water down into the lower tanks. No pumps or plumbing required, just a couple of hoses with taps on the end to drain water from the top tank into the tanks below.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Jeremy180

    Jeremy180 Member

    Oct 7, 2013
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    Agree with Colin on getting a pump rated slightly better than the minimum that you need, most equipment is rated for perfect world conditions, not real world.

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