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BPB'S 90 GALLON SPS DOMINANT

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Christmas present to myself. Not sure if I should throw them on the tank now, or let them stay brand new for the 150 gallon? What do y’all think. My flow situation presently is ok, but I wouldn’t mind more. What do y’all think?


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I would save it if you already have enough flow.  Mine requires monthly cleaning and they are not the most fun pumps to clean ....

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I love these things. I have two XF-250s as my primary flow (one on each side of the tank). Like jolt mentioned they require cleaning or flow output strength reduces considerably. I hate cleaning these. To the point where I've stopped. It's been 9 months since my last cleaning. Instead what I do is just increase flow. Pre cleaning, 40% is too strong. Now they're both sitting at variable flow rates between 70% and 100% and it's the perfect amount for my tank.

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Do you guys find that simply swapping the cages and rotors isn’t sufficient. Do you need to take out the impeller shaft and scrub thst too?


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I clean everything, it has 4 bearings that I use pipe cleaners on.  Don't know what happens if you clean less than everything, but the bearings make a huge difference

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On 12/1/2018 at 9:01 AM, jolt said:

I clean everything, it has 4 bearings that I use pipe cleaners on.  Don't know what happens if you clean less than everything, but the bearings make a huge difference

Agree. I feel if you clean only the bearings, you will restore 80% of the slowdown.

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I ran a 230 on my 150 gallon for a couple years and eventually retired it.  Cleaning is really difficult and they need to be cleaned often.  Makes for a brutal maintenance experience and sucks the fun out of owning a reef tank.  Looks like other people have had better luck but I hated this pump long term.  Never considered selling it because I didn’t want to pass the frustration onto someone else.

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I get a lot of coralline buildup on both my gyres and my traditional style powerheads.  All I do is fill a 5-gallon bucket with warm water and white vinegar and drop one in the bucket while the other stays in the tank.  4-5 hour later I disassemble the cages and rotors and take a toothbrush to them and rinse.  Takes 15 min.  Then I repeat for the other side with a fresh bucket of solution.   Once every six months or so I pull the shaft (which is a pain in the rear-end) and clean inside.

I'm not sure what you guys are referring to as bearings.  A gyre has four bushings to hold the rotors in place. . . is that what you mean?  Maybe I'm missing something that I should be doing?

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Does the vinegar help break everything up before you scrub it with a toothbrush? 

Yeah I'm not sure about bearings in water...seems like a bad combination!

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Does the grye have bearing or bushings? If they are bearings, are they delrin or rubber?

inquiring minds want to know

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I don’t get much coralline in my tank honestly. My Powerheads seem to always get a lot of your standard algae buildup on them. I have to clean my jebaos monthly or they drop about 30-40% flow. I am hoping swapping the cages and rotors out will do enough for monthly maintenance with a full shaft removal and cleaning of the bushings every few months. The gen 3 gyres look like they’re coming with a light shield to keep algae from building up on the cages


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7 hours ago, Reefpuck said:

Does the vinegar help break everything up before you scrub it with a toothbrush? 

Yeah I'm not sure about bearings in water...seems like a bad combination!

One to two cups of vinegar in the bucket turns it into a mushy sludge that can be brushed off with almost no effort.  It also loosens any film algae on the blades of the rotors.

The only bad thing about cleaning the gyres to me is trying to remove that spoked motor bushing that holds the magnetic shaft.  I have a difficult time with that part.  I don't seem to get much for buildup in there anyway.

One tip - when you put the gyre in the bucket make sure the flow side is pointing towards the bottom of the bucket and not up. 🙂 I just let it run its normal flow pattern so the other one still in the tank continues to provide water movement.

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12 hours ago, Sierra Bravo said:

Then I repeat for the other side with a fresh bucket of solution. 

Curious as to why you use fresh vinegar?  I don't believe you are changing the chemical composition or "using up" the cleaning properties of the vinegar.  I keep a small bucket of vinegar (1gal) for pretty much the same purpose - to dunk my powerheads in while cleaning.  I keep the same bucket (sealed up) for probably 18-24 months before dumping and refilling w/ new vinegar. 

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4 hours ago, BobcatReefer said:

Curious as to why you use fresh vinegar?  I don't believe you are changing the chemical composition or "using up" the cleaning properties of the vinegar.  I keep a small bucket of vinegar (1gal) for pretty much the same purpose - to dunk my powerheads in while cleaning.  I keep the same bucket (sealed up) for probably 18-24 months before dumping and refilling w/ new vinegar. 

I don't have a valid scientific reason.  I was under the impression that the more coralline that was dissolved the acidity of the solution was lowered and therefore it's effectiveness.  It may have been in my head, but when I reused the same bucket of solution it's seemed to take longer to scrub it off if left for the same period.  I may be completely off target with that logic. 

As inexpensive as vinegar is, since I'm only using a few cups per bucket as opposed to straight vinegar it wasn't that big of a deal to use fresh.

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5 hours ago, BobcatReefer said:

Curious as to why you use fresh vinegar?  I don't believe you are changing the chemical composition or "using up" the cleaning properties of the vinegar.  I keep a small bucket of vinegar (1gal) for pretty much the same purpose - to dunk my powerheads in while cleaning.  I keep the same bucket (sealed up) for probably 18-24 months before dumping and refilling w/ new vinegar. 

I am with Sierra Bravo on this. All the organics that are killed off will end up in the solution. There is no telling what you will end up with it sealed for months of letting it ferment. As cheap as vinegar is I would toss the solution after each use. I usually end up with lots of little critters including serpent stars after dipping my MP10's. I try to get the serpant stars out but sometimes they hide where I don't see them until it is too late. I usually find a container that what ever I am trying to clean will just fit allowing me to use the least amount possible.

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5 hours ago, BobcatReefer said:

Curious as to why you use fresh vinegar?  I don't believe you are changing the chemical composition or "using up" the cleaning properties of the vinegar.  I keep a small bucket of vinegar (1gal) for pretty much the same purpose - to dunk my powerheads in while cleaning.  I keep the same bucket (sealed up) for probably 18-24 months before dumping and refilling w/ new vinegar. 

I just find that after cleaning there is a lot of gunk and particulates in the water, since I scrub the pumps with a stiff bristle brush.  I want to get rid of it and start fresh for the next cleaning.  

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Fair enough on all accounts.  My assumption on the vinegar vs coraline was that the vinegar is stronger (that's why we use it) and 1gal vs <1gram shouldn't use up much, chemically.  Granted, I am not a chemist, and I only have 2 med, 1 sm powerhead.

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As the calcium carbonate in the coralline algae is dissolved by the vinegar, it's "acid power" diminishes. How much it diminishes is a function of the strengh of the acid (vinegar is a weak acid) and the solubility of the CaCO3 in the coralline algae. It doesn't take a lot of carbonate to totally deaden the dissolution power. 

 I'm not a chemist but I did get a graduate degree with chemistry partially in the title.

Strong acids are a different story. I used to clean out groundwater remediation systems with straight up hydrochloric acid (aka muriatic acid for pool work and concrete etching), which was in retrospect pretty dangerous/stupid, and to stabilize the water we were making we would add boxes of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). It would really only fiz after the first box, which is the production of CO2 from breaking down the NaHCO3 by HCl. However the pH was low until we added many, many boxes. 

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I’ve been using muriatic acid to clean my pumps for years. I do about a 1:10 mixture. Stings the nostrils.


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As the calcium carbonate in the coralline algae is dissolved by the vinegar, it's "acid power" diminishes. How much it diminishes is a function of the strengh of the acid (vinegar is a weak acid) and the solubility of the CaCO3 in the coralline algae. It doesn't take a lot of carbonate to totally deaden the dissolution power. 

 I'm not a chemist but I did get a graduate degree with chemistry partially in the title.

Strong acids are a different story. I used to clean out groundwater remediation systems with straight up hydrochloric acid (aka muriatic acid for pool work and concrete etching), which was in retrospect pretty dangerous/stupid, and to stabilize the water we were making we would add boxes of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). It would really only fiz after the first box, which is the production of CO2 from breaking down the NaHCO3 by HCl. However the pH was low until we added many, many boxes. 

Don’t worry, that’s what we would do too when we did well rehabs and had tanks of waste water full of acid. A couple boxes of baking soda here and there and once it stopped bubbling I would call it good enough for government work

But I do the same thing with vinegar, once the dissolving power diminishes I replace the solution with a fresh vinegar water bath.

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I’ve been using muriatic acid to clean my pumps for years. I do about a 1:10 mixture. Stings the nostrils.


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“Stings the nostrils”. Haha


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