View Full Version : Return Pump On or Off During Feeding

12-11-2014, 07:11 PM
Hi, I'm not too sure how to start a poll.
How many of you turn off your returns when feeding your tanks? The main reason I am asking is that I turn ours off for almost an hour (I know, too long), when feeding the tanks, rather than waste food to the sump. I have also noticed that our skimmers take a long time to fill up,running a Euro Reef 135 on the 120 gal & a BM Nac6 on the 80 gal. Is it better to leave the return on when feeding? We are not running socks.

12-11-2014, 08:18 PM
I voted no. That also includes powerheads/wavemakers

1: We are trying to create our own little oceans in our homes and fish are constantly on the hunt for food and I'm sure they don't wait for currents to stop to eat. They can work for their food.
2: I must not have chose my livestock wisely or have far too much flow if they can't capture food.
3: My sump fills up too high from the overflow draining in to it which affects the skimmer and will cause an overflow of collection cup.
4: My return pump is in the basement and I'm too lazy to walk downstairs to unplug.
5: I think the start/stop might cause added wear on thd pump.

ReEf BoSs
12-11-2014, 08:30 PM
I voted turn off. Thats only if its easy, don't bother unplugging the power cord if you don't have a switch.

12-11-2014, 08:44 PM
Personally I don't turn the return pump off I don't thing many will. If anything Ppl just turn off their power heads. I personally don't turn off anything even thou I have it set up on my apex to turn off my power heads with the "feed function" this allows the food not to blow around as much and not get trapped I. Rocks so that the fish get more food faster.

It all comes down to what you prefer. I am sure you will get a mix of do's and do not's so try it both ways and .... Go with the flow so to speak

12-11-2014, 08:50 PM
Usually don't but I've been target feeding a specific fish so I do turn off the return, not the powerheads though but I find with the return being at the top of the water column the food just moves too fast for him. If he was ok, it would be business as usual and all pumps on.

12-11-2014, 11:01 PM
I turn off return pump just so I don't lose food into the sump at the beginning. Turned off with feed mode on the Apex. Otherwise, i leave other pumps on.

12-12-2014, 12:00 AM
I have my Apex programmed to turn off the return pump and the power heads. The power heads get turned on 10 minutes before the return pump to give the fish a chance to clean up the uneaten food before it ends up in the sump. It also gets all the small bits of food moving around for the zoas to catch.

12-12-2014, 12:25 AM
I leave all my pumps running at feeding time. I don't just dump all the food in at once though, I just put in a little at a time so the food doesn't go over the overflow. It takes a little longer to feed this way but then again it's the only direct interaction I get with my finned friends.

12-12-2014, 12:46 AM
Don't turn off anything, I prefer the food to blow around all over the tank.

12-12-2014, 01:28 AM
I turn off everything possible to target feed corals.

12-12-2014, 02:04 AM
Ok, I'll have to try leaving them on & feeding small amounts, my biggest concern is the food going into the sump & being wasted.

12-12-2014, 02:31 AM
When I'm surface feeding flakes the return has to go off. Otherwise I put the food into the water and turn my vortech up to constant 100% and blow it all around as hard as I can. My guppies have to work for their keep.

12-12-2014, 03:37 AM
I voted No and for many of the same reasons as Bill
If they can't catch it in my tank, they sure as hell would have died in the ocean
I programmed a standby into my RKE for feeding, and that was a pain in the tookus in itself. But I don't use it ...
I just don't like the pumps being turned off and on every day, nevermind if one of them doesn't restart correctly

Food into the overflow be dammed :biggrin: I have a serpent star in my sump and he seems to like it being right next to the sock hanger num num num :wink:

The Guy
12-12-2014, 04:51 AM
I don't turn anything off, I let them work for their food and they do. It's like a mad flurry of fish grabbing everything that goes in.

12-12-2014, 04:56 AM
If you set things up properly (IMO), the flow rate going through the overflow shouldn't be that high anyway compared to the flow in your tank. So, turning off your return pump shouldn't make much of a difference in how hard the fish have to work to get food.

Currently I'm fish only, so I don't bother to turn anything off, but when I feed corals, I usually turn in-tank flow down to a minimum for ten minutes or so. I actually just programmed a few feed modes for my apex to do this, one for 10 mins and one for 20. Otherwise, food goes in and the fish are on their own. The only exception to this is when feeding particularly oily foods, amino acids etc; I've created a third feed mode to turn only the skimmer off for a few hours.

12-12-2014, 05:01 AM
I don't feed my corals ...
The fish do it for me (poop)

12-12-2014, 05:07 AM
I don't feed my corals ...
The fish do it for me (poop)

While it's absolutely true that most corals don't NEED to be fed anything directly, some do, and most will benefit from some additional feeding, whether it be dissolved organics, plankton, or larger morsels.

12-12-2014, 08:29 PM
I have never turned off my return pump for feeding.

there was a period of time when I did hit the "feed-pause" button on my controller to stop the powerheads for 5 minutes. I eventually got (more) lazier and stopped using that button.. so no, I don't turn off any pumps or powerheads anymore. The fish don't seem to mind. I feed pellets on an auto feeder as well as frozen in the evenings. Food goes EVERYWHERE !! :lol: