What is a good waterfall pump? - Dendroboard
Dendroboard

Go Back   Dendroboard > Vivariums > Parts & Construction
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read Advertise

Support Our Sponsors
No Threads to Display.

facebook

Like Tree8Likes
  • 4 Post By Dane
  • 2 Post By jgragg
  • 1 Post By Socratic Monologue
  • 1 Post By davecalk

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2020, 08:41 PM
Xue Xue is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 34
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default What is a good waterfall pump?

I've built several vivariums but have not had one with a waterfall so I'm setting up one now. I have a 40 gallon and a 12x12x18 Zoomed and starting with the 12x12x18 first. I'd like feedback on pumps for each. Not too powerful but something that'll feature a normal natural flow. Thanks.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2020, 09:50 PM
Dane's Avatar
Mod
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,514
Thanks: 151
Thanked 238 Times in 182 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

I've used the small Rio pumps in vivs for low head height water features. They work fine, but need to be isolated from any potential debris. A 12 x 12 x 18 is waaay too small to appropriately house both dart frogs and a waterfall.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2020, 10:26 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 527
Thanks: 0
Thanked 72 Times in 71 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

Quote:
A 12 x 12 x 18 is waaay too small to appropriately house both dart frogs and a waterfall.
Pay heed. If you will just explode if you cannot build a waterfall Right Now - look to your 40. Or get something else. Forget the mini viv for a water feature. Just forget it. Well, maybe a drip wall. Ha ha.

Eventually, see this: https://www.sicce.com/en/products/mu...ra-silent.html

I've got several of these. Love 'em. The performance chart at the linked website shows head on the Y axis, in meters. Model numbers correspond to colored lines and numbers: e.g., the 2.0 model will do 2.0 meters, straight pipe; I run output from each of my 2.0's up to about 4.5 feet, up hose with some bends. I have to restrict or split their output flow to not have "splash mountain" in their vivs.

These are not the cheapest pumps, but they are quiet little troupers. "Won't die on you" is an desirable attribute in a pump...as is "can't hear it from the damn basement".

Good luck!
Socratic Monologue and Stiles like this.
Reply With Quote
 
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2020, 11:53 PM
kblack3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Loomis, CA
Posts: 318
Thanks: 25
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

I used the smallest Hydor cause it takes the least amount of water to function. Works great. But ran out of room for plants and kept buying so now it is only for fun briefly once a month cause I have plants up and down the rock.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________
American Dad Living the American Dream
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2020, 03:33 PM
Xue Xue is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 34
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

Thanks for the replies. Well, I guess it's a no go for the 12x12. I'll just set that up the usual way.

For the 40 or generally, what is a good GPH/LPH for that pump? And, if I do want to try a drip wall on the 12x12 what would work? Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2020, 06:27 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 527
Thanks: 0
Thanked 72 Times in 71 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

Quote:
1) For the 40 or generally, what is a good GPH/LPH for that pump?
2) And, if I do want to try a drip wall on the 12x12 what would work? Thanks.
The first question could get exceedingly complicated. It might have to, or it might not have to. Answering a couple of questions yourself, might help begin to discriminate:

- what's your system water volume?
- are there any water quality objectives here, or do you merely seek moving water? filth is fine? or do you want sparkle?

I'm guessing filth would be bad, which suggests some need for filtration, which suggests some rules-of-thumb turnover rates. Pick a rate.

This rate, combined with system volume, and also head, will get you to pump size. That's how my mind works, anyway. It's not a beautiful mind. Ha ha ha. Surely others could shine more light on your issue.

Honestly though - I'm not gonna spend much more time on this, because I don't think this is what you ought to do yet. Read on.

The second question is much easier IMO. Any little piece of shit water-pusher will serve. Go cheap or go home. Ha ha. Now, this doesn't mean there's no details to work out, or choices to decide from. Some considerations:

- is the purpose of this drip wall simply to have some moving water to look at ("waterfall lite"), or is it more to water plants? put enough (duration, volume, flow rate etc) water on it, and you'll quickly run out of plant options ("got algae?")
- where is your water reservoir going to be? are you just going to have the tiny little volume beneath the false bottom, or will you be draining into...something else? Somewhere else? How far under the tank?

My drip walls are about moss, mostly. My moss is growing mostly on cracked-cork mosaics - not on the cork, but atop the LFS stuffed between the cork pieces. Moss species that like it drier are free to try establishing on moister areas of the cork. The LFS is a great moisture buffer - as long as I briefly soak it every day, the moss kicks ass. Soak it, then let it dry quite a bit. Not perpetually sopping wet! (Maybe I'm not running proper drip walls? Hmm. Ha ha ha. Moss walls then.)

So anyway - I run my little pumps 2x/day, just for 3-4 minutes apiece (using an off the shelf electronic timer).
  • I use tiny little pumps.
  • I use airline tubing for distribution lines, with holes melted with heated sewing needles spaced every cm or so along the stretches I want water coming out.pushing water through airline hose, emptying out of pinholes. Not spraying, just drip-drip-dripping.
  • Consequently the through-put water volume is miniscule. I just drain into dump buckets, and suck out of a fresh reservoir. No filtration, no recirc.
  • Honestly I'm probably applying a few ounces to the drip walls a day. The moss sponges up nearly all of it. I hardly ever have to dump my drain buckets. I top off my reservoirs on Saturdays. Usually I add maybe a pint to a quart - that's my consumptive use. Tiny. So sweet.

My advice is to make yourself a drip wall or five or ten BEFORE ever trying a waterfall or stream. Many of the foundational principles apply to both situations. One route (drip wall) is cheap and totally inconsequential. The other (waterfall) costs more cash and hours, and Mother of God you can make a mess. A mess of a viv, a mess of a house or apartment. So start small, and learn from first-hand experience.

I (and others, I'm sure) don't expect to be done already with you here - if you have more questions just ask. But please also do your research, here and elsewhere.

Good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2020, 07:09 PM
Xue Xue is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 34
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

And here I'm thinking all you had to do was find an appropriate GPH pump and go to town with it.

Scratch that for now.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2020, 07:45 PM
Kmc Kmc is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 504
Thanks: 46
Thanked 23 Times in 23 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

I have found lamp dimmers to be very practical helpers with pumps. The Slide type.

You will happy to have the ability to Control Your Flow. Different height and structural realities make finding the perfect pump kinda hard. Water flow is so wildly subjective per contact influences.

Wherever I may need to apply finesse i find a dimmer such a worthy sidekick. Simple outlet cord, no predictions needed, just observed mechanics.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2020, 08:19 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 28
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

I bought the same size exo terra and I ALSO wanted a water feature. as soon as i started setting up my viv, i realized a couple things.

1. I screwed up, i shouldve bought something bigger. as small as the frogs are and it seems like it would be more than enough, it just isnt!

2. IMPOSSIBLE to put a waterfall, or anything like that.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2020, 08:20 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 28
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

if anyone can give me any tips on what else i need, PLEASE im ALL EARS!

this is my 1st ever build!
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2020, 08:21 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 28
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

https://i.imgur.com/AkbUY3A.jpg
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 03-06-2020, 02:44 AM
Xue Xue is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 34
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

I've built several with the biggest being 55 gallons and what I do is not put big plants in them. I like a natural landscaped look and not one that's cluttered and overgrown. The fit makes even a small 12x12x12 look natural and not have "small" issues. I'm just getting back into this and dusting off my old tanks that I still have, plus I got this new Zoomed tank so I'm getting that itch again. Just never done one with a water feature so I thought I might go cute with it this round.
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 03-06-2020, 02:51 AM
Socratic Monologue's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Central WI
Posts: 1,716
Thanks: 76
Thanked 220 Times in 209 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xue View Post
I've built several with the biggest being 55 gallons and what I do is not put big plants in them. I like a natural landscaped look and not one that's cluttered and overgrown. The fit makes even a small 12x12x12 look natural and not have "small" issues. I'm just getting back into this and dusting off my old tanks that I still have, plus I got this new Zoomed tank so I'm getting that itch again. Just never done one with a water feature so I thought I might go cute with it this round.
I'll bet a well-designed 12 x 12 x 12 could look really nice. There simply aren't any vertebrates that could be housed in there, though, and most people want to house animals.

We need a 'plant-only terrarium' subforum here.
Encyclia likes this.
__________________
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd.

- Whitman
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 03-07-2020, 05:09 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 30
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

I agree that a waterfall in the small enclosure is a no go. For the 40, you should try using a small external canister filter to power the waterfall. Most waterfalls turn into an icky mess in short order from accumulated gunk if you just use a pump. The canister filter will power your waterfall and filter the water as well.

I have a waterfall in my 75 gallon viv that has been up for about 2 years. I use a Zoo Med Nano 10 Canister Filter that I bought from Amazon for $48. The canister contains a sponge filter and carbon to keep the water clean. It is in my cabinet below the tank and provides enough head pressure to pump the water 4 feet from the floor of the cabinet to the waterfall outlet in my rockwork background. The water runs down the background into a small pond with the filter intake at the bottom.
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 03-08-2020, 06:26 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 527
Thanks: 0
Thanked 72 Times in 71 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

Quote:
For the 40, you should try using a small external canister filter to power the waterfall. Most waterfalls turn into an icky mess in short order from accumulated gunk if you just use a pump. The canister filter will power your waterfall and filter the water as well.
@ Xue - he's right. Canister is a good option. Do that math I suggested to find an appropriate size.

It's easy as hell to buy way too much canister filter. OTOH one that's easy to maintain, a reliable brand, and a bit too large is not going to make you unhappy. Whereas one that's perfectly sized, a drippy wrestling match to get into, and that might conk out at any minute (most likely when you're out of town for a week) IS going to make you unhappy.

The way I've rigged my canister-driven waterfalls is to drain the tank into a sump. Have the canister suck out of the sump. On the hose from the outlet side of the canister, you can install either 1) a gated wye (a "splitter" with control valves on each of its two outlets) or 2) a normal tee, with an inline ball valve after the tee, on the line running to the sump. The purpose of this split is to regulate how much of the overall canister output flow goes to the waterfall, versus just back into the sump. Basically you just operate the flow wide open, and then crank back the amount going to the sump (and is instead going up to the waterfall) until the waterfall is doing exactly what you want.

This splitter setup will permit you to have an overpowered canister, if that's what you already have or that's what your research leads you to. You don't want to grossly overshoot the mark, or else you'll have water coming out of every connection, you won't be able to get your hose clamps tight enough. But I find a little excess power is better than forcing an underpowered little machine to beat itself to death.

Some canisters come with weird hose sizes. This can make it a PITA to find connector fittings and extra hose. Read the fish forums about what features make for easy maintenance etc. And remember, for any pump you want to throttle back, either get one with a throttle, or restrict the outlet flow. Never choke a pump on its intake side. Finally, a good canister will last a long time. One that's a little big now might be perfect for a bigger tank later. So don't be afraid to go a little big. Personally, I've got more undersized stuff sitting around in boxes, than I do oversized stuff.

Quote:
And here I'm thinking all you had to do was find an appropriate GPH pump and go to town with it.
That is basically how many of us learned. It has its pros and cons. Learning hurts, but it sticks with you. Ha ha.

Good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 03-09-2020, 07:58 PM
Xue Xue is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 34
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

All points noted.

About half way done with the 12x12. Waiting on a few plants and possibly rearranging if it doesn't look right. I had forgotten how long it took for stuff on order.
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2020, 12:03 AM
davecalk's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Portland, Or.
Posts: 513
Thanks: 10
Thanked 93 Times in 49 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

I know this is late from when you posted the question, but two things.

1. To answer your question, another source for pumps would be to look at pumps that are designed for tile cutters, which are designed to keep Dimond blades cool. The pumps are designed are to be used long term, are are designed to handle a lot of crap in the water with little impact to the pump.

2. You said this is your first build. That leads to a second bit of advice. While waterfalls are "cool" visually and they sound cool, you would better serve your frogs and their care by building the tank without a waterfall. I have built many tanks both with and without a waterfall and building a waterfall into to your first tank often creates more problems than you likely have the experience for. Most of the time with a first time build your frogs would benefit from not building a tank with waterfalls.

We have never seen or heard a frog complain that they didn't have a waterfall in their tank, but we have regularly hear from folk begging for help to solve frog problems and tank problems that are related to waterfalls and tanks that are poorly designed and poorly built because of them. These problems usually start when someone builds their very first tank with a pretty waterfall but the builder doesn't have the experience needed to build a great home / tank for their frogs.

Sorry for the late reply.

Just my opinion.
Socratic Monologue likes this.
__________________
Dave
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2020, 12:58 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 194
Thanks: 3
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Default Re: What is a good waterfall pump?

In my opinion, the biggest concern with a water feature is the quality of the water. Buy an aquarium filter with an adjustable valve on the discharge side. You can extend the tubing with a visit to your local hardware store.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 03:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.