Aqua Lifter Pumps for Opae’ula Tank – UPDATE 3/12/17

Update 3/12/17 – The setup here didn’t work out. The pumps are positioned too low, reducing the flow. I moved the pump-prefilter unit so that it now sits on top of the tank. I’ll be posting photos or a video soon. In the meantime, see the video that demonstrates this placement modification on the 1.5g oblong tank.

This the is 18g (filled to 10g) tank with AquaLifter pumps attached to both UGF exhaust tubes.

This is the 18g (filled to 10g) tank with Tom Aqua Lifter Dosing-Circulation Pumps attached to both UGF exhaust tubes. The Aqualifter will pump water up to a height of 30″. The input tube passes through a prefilter (Tom Suction Filter for Aqua Lifter Aquarium Vacuum Pump) before it reaches the pump. This prefilter serves as an external mechanical filter for the tank, the first I’ve used in any of my tanks. It also keeps the pump from clogging.

This is the setup.

This is the setup. Tube1 pulls water from the tank to the prefilter. Tube2 pulls water from the prefilter to the pump. Tube3 pushes water from the pump back to the tank. The intake water from tube1 has been biologically filtered by the UG filter. The intake water from tube2 has been mechanically filtered by the prefilter. Thus, the output water from tube3 has been biologically and mechanically filtered. Caution: be sure to monitor the tube connections. There are 5 in the line-up — and 4 of those are potential leak points outside the tank. Two are on the prefilter, and 2 are on the pump. Make sure they’re secure. I keep these parts in a plastic container just in case there’s a leak. However, this precaution is minimal. If I don’t catch the leak in time, the water will overflow onto the counter and floor, draining the tank of water.

Views of the left and right return tubes.

Views of the left and right return tubes. The flow is rated at 3.5 gallons per hour, so it’s a trickle. With two pumps, one for each half of the UGF, the rate is approximately 7 gallons per hour. The theory is that this mechanical filter, added to the UG biological filter, will help to sustain the water quality. Also, the extremely slow flow rate may be ideal for opae’ula. Flow rate has been a problem with UG air filters and powerheads for my relatively small tanks. They’re too powerful and the agitation causes salt creep, a persistent problem in my 10-gallon tanks.

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