My DC return pump failed ... and fish died ...

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Vincerama2, May 17, 2016.

  1. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    In the past 2 months, I see 1 issue of a WAV stalling and the user admitted to having magnetic sand. Honestly if you get sand all the way up to your flow pumps, you have way too much flow.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  2. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I have an extra Red Dragon 3 pump you can borrow till the COR comes out if you need it. It's 50w but should be enough for the 125. It is not apex controllable since the control box doesn't have 0-10v inputs.

    Who knows, maybe you'll like it so much you'll decide to buy it from me!
  3. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Isn't the Jebao a chinese knock off of another chinese pump? I'd venture to say that the same fascility makes all these pumps regardless of brand or color choice of the plastic housing.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  4. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    o.0 how much stuff do you hoard lol
  5. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Ermmmm, I plead the 5th.
    jonmos75 likes this.
  6. Corallus

    Corallus BAR Sponsorship Coordinator

    I came home to my jabao DC pump frozen up recently also. Fortunately, the vortecs kept the water aerated well enough (or it was off for a short enough time) it was not really an issue. Took it apart, soaked in vinegar, good as new. Until it froze up again two days later.

    Now I also have a Red Dragon 3 as a return pump, and I'll be keeping the jabao as a dire-emergency backup. It was unnecessarily expensive, but it seemed to be the best option available for what I wanted. Not difficult to get, they ship out of Florida. Their website is pretty outdated, but their customer support is outstanding.
  7. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Be careful about your soap box accusations there is reason why a huge number of dc pumps look identical and have the same looking control except for maybe colors, Jebao, Waveline, Reef Octopus, none of them put R&D into building or designing these pumps, they went to a factory in China that makes them and gave some specs they wanted them made as and got them as such, not even the Jebao ones are stealing designs, patents or anything else... at least on the return pumps now those Gyre knock offs might be another matter :)

    But seriously, theres a reason none of them look like Red Dragon pumps other than being DC in nature
    Coral reefer, HiFidelity and ltb420 like this.
  8. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Wave line
  9. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    I run two Vortech MP-40's in the main tank. You'd think $800 worth of powerheads is worth something.

    Is the tank super dirty? I didn't think it was, the fish ARE large, but it's a 180G tank with 5 clowns, two yellow tangs, one purple tang, one royal tang, two large damsels, a tiny wrasse and a candy hog. 13 fish in a 6 foot long 180.

    The MP-40s are very strong, in fact if I move them higher up on the tank wall, they tend to create a vortech that sucks water in from the surface.

    However, I guess the actual surface agitation was insufficient. I mean you can see the water is moving, but it's not "broken" if you understand what I'm saying. So maybe a gently moving surface just doesn't break the surface tension (or whatever) of the water/air interface enough.

    A lot of aerobic bacteria? I have no idea how you could tell or not. But the tank runs a skimmer (in the sump, which was cut off of course) so typically it's not really dirty, though the fish DO eat and poop alot.

    I'm convinced it's the surface tension/gas exchange thing. In tank flow will not help if the surface isn't broken. Putting the powerhead with air-venturi to dump bubbles into the tank had the half dead tang swimming again. Like opening a window in a sealed room with people in it.

    I do have other pumps and will either add one that is less powerful, but does cause more surface agitation OR a HOB water-fall type filter to avoid this.

    I don't know how long the pump was out, it was unfortunate that I came home 3 hours later than usual, it might have made a difference. But it seemed to be working int he morning, or at least I didn't detect that it was out (more reason for a high water sensor in the sump too).

    The Jaebo return had been running for about two years I think. I'd have to check my never-updated wifebane tank journal.

  10. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    There is a big difference between "Made in China" and "Chinese company."

    China, like most any place, CAN make very high quality products. (iPhone)
    Or China, USA, and anywhere else, can make very poor quality products. (Ford Pinto)
    It is all about the specific components, quality control, manufacturing process, and so on.
    Which mostly comes down to cost.
    So "Made in" is now more a political statement about labor, trade, and not quality.

    The company matters a lot though.
    If you have a brand name, and care about quality and service, you can afford the extra cost for quality.
    Which Apex and others hopefully do.
    If you are nobody, competing with other nobody's on cost, in a country with almost no regulation, you have no choice but to be cheap.
    Like Jaebo.

    In fact, the exact same factory, with the exact same DC pump design, can produce very different products.
    Lets say a high end company has a certain defect/tolerance specification on the impeller.
    Do the rejects get thrown out? Not always. Often they are simply used at a discount by cheaper companies
    contracting through the same factory.
    And little things like 1 cent capacitors seem like they would not matter, but MTBF (mean tome between failure) can
    be hugely different. Which over the years, matters a lot.
  11. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    Is there no ventilation in the room? 3 hours without a return pump but with 2 MP-40s running should be plenty to get the fish through an outage if it was only for that duration. I've got a smaller tank but have been out of the office without a return pump for 5+ hours before (turned off return for some maintenance and then had to run off to a meeting). Both my MP-10s were running and the tank didn't skip a beat. Granted that the office is a constant 75-77°F daily, but the doors were closed and the fish and corals didn't mind it at all.

    Maybe you might want to consider moving one of the MP-40s slightly higher up so that if there's a drop in water level then it starts to pull from the surface and produce the bubbles as it chops it up.
  12. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Not 3 hours without return pump. Unknown hours, could be up to 13, since I left home at 8:30ish and came home at 9-ish. I'm saying I normall come home at 6-7 so I could have saved them 3houres of suffering.
    The room is my dining room, I was making the comparison to being in a room with no windows, not that the tank is in a room with no windows. It's open to the whole house.
    All I know is that after replacing the pump, the fish are fine. The main tank was cooler than normal, around 75 but it has two heaters in it. The sump has an extra heater in it.
  13. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    The way I see it even with Apex control it can't detect a pump failure of the block is seized but Apex still detects power. Best solution is a sump water high trigger that alerts us. Even the best pumps may fail and having this detection could help tremendously.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    wpeterson likes this.
  14. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    When the flow monitoring module comes out, and depending on how they implement it, you would place a sensor in the return plumbing n 1 in the drain ( I would also put 1 in the emergency of my BA). That will tell you if the pump is working as it should.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    The big question is when that will be released.
  16. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I've had similar problems with a return pump failing and addressed it by adding a sump high water sensor/alarm and buying an extra return pump.

    I'd rather have two pumps than one pump that costs >2x, since it's easier to swap them for maintenance and problems.

    I'm impressed with folks who bought Red Dragon pumps, no doubt they are excellent, but you could buy 4x cheaper pumps for that price. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  17. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    Man, now I've got to go out and buy two Red Dragons.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  18. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    If they even last twice as long I'd be satisfied. Each failure is a chance something else bad is gonna happen to the tank.
  19. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    Jumping in on this thread really late because the DC pump on my skimmer has died(*) and I am feeling like I shouldn't just buy the Reef Octopus Varios 4s replacement without asking if there are cheaper identical pumps. It certainly seems that DC pumps aren't the panacea I had been sold. :(:(

    (*) The pump won't start by itself, I can sometimes start the pump by hand but it stutters and fairly quickly seizes. I am unsure whether this is a problem with the impeller, motor or controller.
  20. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    How long has the skimmer been running? What is your maintenance schedule like for it?

    @roostertech is this the same pump you have?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share This Page