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Looking for advice on two topics


Sep 4, 2022
Hey guys I finally have everything running with the best plumbing I can possibly do without drilling the tank I have it absolutely silent with a herbie overflow installed into my overflow box and the gate valve installed on the return line and drain line. My two questions are ...
1. My return pump is a DCP 5000 DC pump it is capable of 820 to 1350 gallons per hour I figure my tank is 72 gallons with a 25 gallon sump minus the live rock probably back down to 75 gallons I would think. Is the estimated turnover still a maximum of 10 times per hour meaning should I run my return pump at a very low setting? Currently I have it running at about 50% it does not seem like a super strong current.
2. The protein skimmer I'm going to be using is a skim's sm162 which is an internal / external recirculating skimmer as you can see in the picture I currently have a small pump in my tank running a media reactor with some activated carbon in it. Can I go from the small pump into the reactor and then from the reactor directly to the skimmer so I'm utilizing one pump to flow water through both items I'm unaware of how carbon will affect the protein skimmer itself but it would make less equipment and quieter system if I could use everything together or should I run a separate pump on the skimmer all together and only run carbon when needed.

Thanks for everybody's help so far I'm extremely happy with my crystal clear water.
I am just waiting on my nitrites to come down my ammonia is at zero but my nitrates and nitrites are still up


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Staff member
Feb 12, 2021
If it was me, since you are running herbie, I would leave a dedicated pump for return. Otherwise it's gonna be a PIA

Andrew D

Active member
Feb 27, 2021
I've always heard that the flow through the sump should be a fraction of your in-tank flow, to reduce noise and splash but also give whatever equipment you have in the sump time to do it's work properly. That said I think it's more a matter of personal taste and how many powerheads you want in the tank itself to supplement. I have a large tank with a sump that is probably undersized so have a fair bit of flow going through. As for your other question, I like the idea of fewer pumps but think you'd want the dirtiest water going into your skimmer for it to do it's work.


Staff member
Feb 15, 2021
Andrew, I totally agree with you, there is tons of recommendations of moving less flow threw the sump and let your tools do their work. Also keep in mind, more water, typically means less jumps in parameters, so big sumps are NICE!