how necessary is a powerhead - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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how necessary is a powerhead

What are pros and cons of power head? I have a 55gal planted
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 09:09 PM
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Pros: extra circulation, use with a sponge as a mini filter, strong direct flow, agitate water surface, remove dead spots.

Cons: extra equipment in tank, direct straight flow, some are bulky, extra noise.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 09:21 PM
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Pros: extra circulation, use with a sponge as a mini filter, strong direct flow, agitate water surface, remove dead spots.

Cons: extra equipment in tank, direct straight flow, some are bulky, extra noise.
That pretty much sums it up. I like having powerheads in my tanks.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 09:32 PM
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how necessary is a powerhead

Koralia nanos will give you a wider flow, are small, and silent. Solves most of your cons.


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 09:38 PM
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More necessary if you have a HOB style filter as they don't create much water flow except right in front of the filter. Not quite as necessary with a canister style filter as you can place the outflow away from the intake to create more flow.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 09:53 PM
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Koralia nanos will give you a wider flow, are small, and silent. Solves most of your cons.
+1 to this... I have both a 240 and a 425 in my 55
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 09:59 PM
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how strong is the flow? Would this work on a 85 gallon tetra tank or is it over kill?
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 11:48 PM
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Koralias also move a lot of water for very little electricity compared to traditional powerheads, and especially filters. Good way to reduce utility bills. Or in some cases, excess water heating from equipment.

Shift, it would work. They come in a variety of flow rates. A Koralia Nano is working great in my 46G to supplement flow from a canister filter.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 11:53 PM
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how necessary is a powerhead

Thanks dark cobra. I'm getting an 84g tank with a fx5 canister. It's going to be filled with cpd's, rummy nose tetras and shrimp so I want to make sure I get enough flow with out disturbing the fish. What flow rate do you think would go best in that size tank given army's of nano fish?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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thanks! I have been looking at the koralia same!
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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+1 to this... I have both a 240 and a 425 in my 55
I was looking at the 425! you prefer using two?
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 12:06 AM
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Personally unless you have an odd shaped tank or maybe an HOB on a large tank I think powerheads are a really unnecessary All you need is a gentle flow around the tank. Tornado like flow rates are really only beneficial are startup since there is no bio-filter and your trying to get as much waste into the filter's mechanical/chemical media. I've successfully run many planted tanks with 1x turnover without any additional powerheads.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 12:12 AM
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 12:21 AM
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Shift, the usual guideline for flow (especially if you have CO2) is to have 10X the GPH as you have gallons of water.

An FX5 is rated at 600GPH with media, probably optimistic and based on new media with no clogging. Either a Koralia Nano 240 or 425 would be possibilities for your tank.

It depends on your tank setup as well. If you're planning dense plants filling much of the tank, go for the 425. Wide open spaces and low growing plants or carpets, the smaller one might be better to avoid disturbing the fish, especially since they'll have less places to get away from the flow and sleep.

There are also plenty of cheap Koralia clones on Ebay and such. I originally bought one rated 1,321GPH for my 46G, expecting it to significantly underperform its spec. It most certainly did not, and was far too much flow. The build quality seemed surprisingly good. No idea about longevity, as I now use it only for brief periods when doing the "One-Two Punch" treatment. For normal flow I'm using the Koralia Nano 240, and it's perfect for my densely planted but smaller 46G, which also has less flow from the canister. The clones don't seem to be available at this low a GPH.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 12:47 AM
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Unless you have large fish or a reef tank there is really no realistic guideline to have 10x flow in a PLANTED tank. You just need gentle flow. High turnover is so you can bring more waste into the filter if you are relying on mechanical/chemical. In a planted tank most have small fish and most of the filtration takes place in the tank other than at startup.
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