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Thread: Utility Pump or Sump Pump?

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    Registered Member DiscusDrew's Avatar
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    Default Utility Pump or Sump Pump?

    So I recently purchased a Utility pump to transfer water from my aging barrels to my aquariums. The difference being for those that dont know is that instead of tossing my pump into the bucket, I use a hose and move it from bucket to bucket as I change my water. I prefer to use this over a sump pump so this was a personal choice but I have one concern if someone could help ease my mind Id greatly appreciate it. Every utility pump (for the most part) requires one Tbsp of mineral or vegetable oil (food grade) to be added through the intake like every time you use the pump. Now, I run about 5-10 gallons of water through my system before ever adding water to the aquarium but still, some of this oil by nature will make it into the aquarium. I have not noticed any adverse behavior in the fish but is this ok? Or do I need to look at getting a different pump that is oil free? Recommendations and list of potential problems if any?

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    Registered Member DiscusDrew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utility Pump or Sump Pump?

    Nobody? Ugh, I really kind of need some help here guys, I have 7 discus in one tank, it appears to be having issues, it is usually the first tank I fill. Everyone seems fine except one Pigeon Blood seems to be eating very little and kind of flashing his gills in a way. I havent seen it before and he seems to be spitting out most of the food he attempts to put down. He is usually my most "social" discus in that tank. I just need to know if it could potentially be adverse effects of the vegetable or mineral oil I use to lubricate the pump. Anybody?

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    Homesteader Orange Crush's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utility Pump or Sump Pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscusDrew View Post
    Nobody? Ugh, I really kind of need some help here guys, I have 7 discus in one tank, it appears to be having issues, it is usually the first tank I fill. Everyone seems fine except one Pigeon Blood seems to be eating very little and kind of flashing his gills in a way. I havent seen it before and he seems to be spitting out most of the food he attempts to put down. He is usually my most "social" discus in that tank. I just need to know if it could potentially be adverse effects of the vegetable or mineral oil I use to lubricate the pump. Anybody?
    If it is only one then it might be something else entirely like a disease. Why don't you start a new thread in the disease section. Just copy and paste the disease questionaire and answer the questions. hth
    OC
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    Registered Member DerekFF's Avatar
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    I never heard of utility pumps needing oil

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    Yea niether did I... But I just bought one that does and I returned it.

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    Registered Member DiscusDrew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utility Pump or Sump Pump?

    Hmmm maybe I should consider that instead of my current one, so there are utility pumps that dont need oil then? Or maybe just to be safe I should just get a sump pump, but I hate to waste this 85 dollar machine.

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    Homesteader Orange Crush's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utility Pump or Sump Pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscusDrew View Post
    Everyone seems fine except one Pigeon Blood seems to be eating very little and kind of flashing his gills in a way. I havent seen it before and he seems to be spitting out most of the food he attempts to put down. He is usually my most "social" discus in that tank.
    This concerns me. I really think you should start a thread in the disease section just to rule anything else out rather than assume it is the oil in your pump. It may be just the oil but then I would think that most if not all of the fish would be affected.
    OC
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    Registered Member DerekFF's Avatar
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    I also doubt the oil is the culprit, however i dont think it can be good for long term tank health as it will accumulate on things over time. Eheim hobby pumps dont use oil

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    Registered Member zchauvin's Avatar
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    Idk what needs oil?? A utility is just a pump... There is already grease ect inside the pump on the moving parts. Any kind of mag drive pumps are utility pumps and require no oil.
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    -Zach

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    Registered Member DiscusDrew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utility Pump or Sump Pump?

    I posted in the disease section, would appreciate your inputs.

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    Registered Member Darrell Ward's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utility Pump or Sump Pump?

    I always used cheap pumps to transfer water until my 240 gal. tank got busted moving it to the new house. Now I need to pump water up a set of stairs to the tanks, and the cheap pumps don't work so well for this. Since I no longer used the 2 Eheim pumps for the sump of the 240, I hooked one up to my water hose, and man, what a difference! It's like night and day! I will no longer use cheapo pumps to transfer water, ever! If you can't afford to buy an Eheim, save up for it, it's well worth the expense. They simply out perform other pumps that are rated about the same, hands down, and are energy sippers besides.
    Darrell

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    Registered Member DiscusDrew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utility Pump or Sump Pump?

    Well I traded in the pump and bought a 100 dollar craftsman professional sump pump, it is very quiet (not that thats critical for me but its nice) and performs just fine without any need for oils. That said, is it ok to leave the sump in the aging barrel when its not in use? Just curious, I dont mind taking it out but I have two big dogs one with a lot of fur so the more I take in and out wet items the more hair makes it into the tank ultimately so I try to minimize exposure period. Thoughts?

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    Registered Member lipadj46's Avatar
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    If you look at hidro point utility pumps they are designed in such a way that they don't need oil, don't need to be primed and wont burn out the impeller if run dry. The down side is its only 400 gph but of works great for my 75 and was fairly cheap
    --Don--

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    Registered Member DerekFF's Avatar
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    Yeah eheim hobby pumps are epic. But to answer the question yes you can leave pumps in the water barrels

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    Gold Member aalbina's Avatar
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    Yes - I leave my clean water sump pump in my aging barrel. I use to worry about it but I've never had an issue. I'm also climbing stairs and crossing the house. I use a utility pump to empty my tanks and it does require a bit of Vaseline on the rubber impeller ( it's self priming ) every few weeks. Since is outgoing water I don' have the same issue as you.


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