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3 Questions!! Best PS and Return Pump to buy? And where to have the PS return flow...


Jul 15, 2007
Hello again!!

My tank is coming along nicely. Just about all set up, just a few more days and I'll begin cycling!!

I now need to buy a protein skimmer and return pump. I have searched the forums to try and find answers, but am quickly overwhelmed with the amount of threads and pages!

I purchased at Seaclone 150... but after further reading, it doesnt sound like it was such a hot purchase! Which protein skimmer would you suggest for a 50 gallon tank w/ 30 gallon sump?

Also, due to space constraints, I think I will need to have buy an "IN SUMP" protein skimmer.

Another concern is where the PS return flow should be. My sump has no baffles. And making some would end up raising the water level into the bioballs a lot more... (plus Im not sure how great my DIY skills are)...


Would it be best to put the return hose from the protein skimmer back into the bioballs? There is a little slot on the side of the wet/dry bioball section that I could stick a hose into and let it drip back into the sump again. Otherwise, was thinking of just having it flow underneath the eggcrate into a far corner as far from the return pump as possible. What do you guys think?

Also, Paradox suggested 600-700 gph return flow rate into the tank... would a Mag 9.5 be good brand? I did the calculations with the reef central calculator and it would give me about 649gph... (my overflow box says its rated up to 300 gallon tank).

Thanks again for your input, your help and time is always great appreciated!!

Not much time, but ASM skimmers are your most inexpensive bet. Euro Reef are good too. You could also look for used skimmers online.
How much room do you have in that sump? You will need enough room for the pump and the skimmer, which looks like it will be tight. Alternatives are to have pump or skimmer or both external. External pump would be the easiest for all you need to do is drill with a hole saw bit and add a bulkhead.

I used an asm skimmer on my 50 gallon setup and it worked great. however, asm doesnt make skimmers anymore. I believe they make octopus skimmers now. And the ASMs were good if you did a couple mods on them.

Mag pumps are good and often used. I think they are internal only though.

Having the return of the skimmer going back into the bio chamber would be nice, but not necessary. It can just drain back into the sump, which many people do.

Although this probably complicates things, but its probably possible to have the skimmer in the sump raised so the output is at or a little higher then the bio chamber.,Then you can have the plumbing from the overflow go directly into the skimmer first, and then output into the biochamber. This can be more efficient, but requires a good amount of work.
Okay, So here are the first complications so far...

I think I will need an EXTERNAL protein skimmer actually!! Doh!... didn't think my sump was that small! Although I did buy an ASM G3 PS and it is HUGE, so I have to take it back. I still have that SeaClone 150... Is the SeaClone really that bad??

I also bought a Rio Hyperflow 32HF pump... on the box it says 1300 gph at 6ft... I told the guy I thought that was pretty strong, I didnt want to blender my octopus, but he said it wouldnt be as strong, to go strong, add more exits, or return and scale down if needed. I couldnt find this type of pump on the ReefCentral calculator.

Anythoughts? I can always return it. Im not really that close to filling up the tank to see how strong the flow is... how will I know if too much is too much?

Also... having a hard time unscrewing the middle brace from my stand to even get the sump in there!! Its pretty tight and the screws are starting to strip!!

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