Return Pump/ question


Reefing newb
Hi my name is Chris, just signed up today :). I am new to saltwater but I wanted to get my empty 75 gallon reef ready tank sitting in my living room ready for a FOWLR setup and transition down the road into a reef tank. I attached a picture below.
It has taken me close to 6 month to even start it but I built the stand and purchased 80 lbs of dry rock.

I am trying to figure out what type of return pump I should purchase. I was thinking of getting Eheim 1250 Universal Pump. for $104
  • Output: 320 GPH
  • Head Height: 6.5 ft.
  • Power Watt: 28W
  • Intake: 3/4"
Would this be enough for a 75 gallon aquarium or has anyone had any issues with this return pump? I was hoping for the return to also add water movement if possible.
I am also looking for some tips on avoiding overflow in case of a power outage and or if the pump fails. Since I live on the 5th floor my fear of this occurring worries me and my friend in the building will not be so happy :). Any extra steps I could take to avoid this?

In regards to equipment this is what I have so far

A new bubblemagnus protein skimmer
75 Reef ready tank plus stand
80 lbs dry rock
Ocean stream circulation pump picked up on ebay: 2 1600 gph
30 gallon aquarium that will be used as a sump. Would anyone suggest building a refu in the sump ?
RODI - to avoid using tap water.


  • Tank.jpg
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Hello, and welcome to the forums!

Here is a link to a previous discussion on how to plan for tank overflow/sump volume to prevent flooding.

Regarding the return pump, although the return and overflows produce some degree of water movement, generally you do not want the overflow/return flow to be too high as it leads to less than optimal performance of the sump.
You want the flow rate into the sump to match or be very close to your skimmer's capacity so that all the water flowing through the skimmer chamber are processed by the skimmer.
If the flow through the sump is too high, then a lot of the unprocessed water would just get pumped back into the display tank as the skimmer would not be able to keep up.
Hello and welcome Christian! First does your 75 have a built in overflow or are you using a hang on overflow? This to me is very important when it comes to return pumps, If you have a built in overflow disregard everything else I type!:)But if you have a hang on back overflow w/a u-tube, then id get a more powerful return pump and place a inline ball valve on your return line. Here's why. If you flow is to low, bubbles will build up in your u-tube, and over time they can build up and break the siphon! And we ALL know what happens then!:mad: Getting a larger pump gives you more control, with the inline ball valve you can control the flow through the u-tube, while everything is up and running observe the water flowing through the tube, if the bubbles pass through without stopping then its set at the right flow. But also what Rock said, try to eliminate bubble build up w/out turning your tank over to much. Finally, as long as the return line is as close to the surface as possible you shouldn't overflow from power outage, fill the sump to the level you need, then get everything running, and turn off everything(like a power outage) and see where your water level in your sump is and adjust accordingly. Hope this helps!:)