Water Circulation - 72 Gallon Bow
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Old 11-14-2014, 10:46 PM   #1
DirtDevilDTOM
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Water Circulation - 72 Gallon Bow


Hi everyone,

First post - long time lurker...

Back in March of this year I converted my fish only tank into a planted tank expecting to just dabble with a few plants here and there. Then I started tinkering, added lighting, tried DIY CO2, adding plants that need more CO2, having algae issues, you know the drill... I finally realized that I need to move towards a pressurized CO2 and am expecting to do that in the next month.

Before I do this, I need to get my water flow figured out. I don't want to go overkill but I don't want to have a lack of flow.

WHAT I HAVE NOW
Right now, I am running 2 600 GPH circulating pumps on each side of the tank, angled down and towards the substrate.

I have the intake for my canister filter (Fluval 406) towards the middle of the tank on the right side and the outflow is in the middle on the left side. In addition to this, I am running a HOB filter (Emperor 500) which is on the left side. This filter is mainly for the biowheels and mechanical filtration and I also tucked some peat in there.

I also have a heater I am using in the tank. My pic has a shot of the current setup.

ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT I AM ADDING
When I move towards pressured CO2, I will be using a CO2 reactor (Istamax) ran by a separate water pump (Marineland Maxi-Jet 1200) I plan to put in the left back corner of the tank. This puts out 295GPH as a powerhead I believe.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?
All of these pumps makes me think that I will have WAY too much circulation in there. My plants are swaying all over as it is. Is what I have setup now even too much?

Do I even need the aquatop circulating pumps? If I need all this flow, how should it be positioned?

I appreciate all suggestions, thanks!
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:04 AM   #2
caique
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I would say if you have a 72 gallon your turnover should be around 720gph. Looks like you have somewhere in the 1900 gph range, I would think that is a bit overkill, you also don't have many plants to slow the current down.

My 75 has a fx5 that goes through a bunch of plumbing (reactor and inline heater) which slows it down considerably I may at most put out somewhere in the 500 gph range, I also run a Koralia 550 power head from 7 am to 1030 pm so max for this tank is 1050. This tank is a jungle and all inhabitants are very happy, rummynose and such.
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Old 11-15-2014, 01:34 PM   #3
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Wow that's a lot of water movement. I have a 75 and have a turn over rate of about 500 gallons and hour. It will diffidently have a effect on what kind of fish will live in the tank. Just wondering why you need that much water movement. I would think your plants would always be moving and maybe stressing some of the more slower growing plants.

If your running a 406 and hob that should be a enough for that tank. That should be around 500 gallon an hour and that should be well enough but I would keep those extra pumps you may need them as your plants grow.
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:08 PM   #4
DirtDevilDTOM
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AWEsome, thanks this is good information and confirms what I was thinking. I see all these beautiful tanks on here and rarely are there ever pumps all over the place. The plants are not blowing all over, right now a few leaves on my crypts are horizontal from the current.

The folks at my LFS reccomended a HUGE flow with a planted tank and it never seemed quite right but I ate it up anyway. Oh well, you learn and move on.

So, I think I will drop one of the circulating pumps and maybe both. Im thinking I might need one still to get the current from the left to the right side of the tank?

I wish I could drop the emperor 400 and rely soley on the canister but I think the 406 would be a tad underpowered. I wish I would have went with the FX5.

Below is a quick drawing I did of what I am thinking of changing everything to. Its still probably too much turnover, but I don't know if I can get it down much further?

Emperor 400 (filter) = 400 GPH
MaxiJet1200 (as pump for CO2 reactor) = 295 GPH
Fluval 406 (filter) = 383 GPH
Aquatop CPS-3 (circulating pump) = 660GPH

Total Max Turnover = 1738 GPH

I'm thinking this will be reduced due to a few factors: CO2 reactor inline, UV inline and Fluvals from what I hear tend to be lower than the advertised rates.

Does this sound right? Is this still too much?

Thanks for the great responses. That tank is beautiful!!
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:27 PM   #5
Kathyy
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I'd try one powerhead at right on the back of the tank near the top and move the canister outflow as high as you can to try to get a circular flow through the tank. Water moves fast at the surface, hits front glass and goes down to the bottom of the tank moving back to the filter intakes more slowly but still surely.

I have a 6' long tank with both overflow and returns on one end of the tank. Only about 5x tank volume in GPH and I can see the plants at the far end of the tank moving a bit. When I put in soaked dry food it moves away from the returns then down then across the bottom of the tank. Sure didn't think this would work but it seems to.
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Old 11-17-2014, 02:31 AM   #6
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Makes sense, I moved the pump to the top corner and aimed it towards the front. How much surface agitation should it be creating? Curious if I should aim the pump towards the top a bit, keep it level or slightly downward?

I can get a nice circle going around the tank for sure but it should be interesting to see if the HOB outflow interrupts it. Should I completely ditch the HOB? A few people have told me the Fluval 406 should be plenty, and a few have said it was underpowered so I have been a little nervous to get rid of it outright.

Also, if the pumps create a little more surface agitation how much of an impact will this have on the CO2 I plan to be putting in via the reactor? Since the reactor should allow for more absorption into the water, will surface agitation have an impact on this at all?

I ordered a 10 lb CO2 tank, regulator from GLA and an ISTA reactor yesterday so I'll probably be changing all this around sometime next weekend if all comes in. Excited to really bring this tank to the next level and plant it up.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:49 PM   #7
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You got a good plan with the drawing you posted. I'm running a 206 on a 40 gallon so I think as long as your bio load isn't to great the 406 should do the job. It has enough water flow and should be over 5 times change over for the tank per hour.

It looks to me like you don't have many fish in the tank are your plans to for more?
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:18 PM   #8
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I would love to just drop the HOB so this is encouraging. The pic is deceiving as far as fish count, they are all camera shy.

I have:

2x Clown Loach
4x Boesemani Rainbowfish
4x Denison Barb
3x Emperor Tetra
1x Cory
1x Panda Garra
1x Balzani Cichlid
1x Yoyo Loach

I've had the yoyo about 8 years and he loves to knock plants around since he is about 6" long (he's a beast) but we are pretty attached to him. The balzani is great with everything except for when I tried to do a carpet plant - not going to happen since he likes to dig. The clowns will eat certain plants - yet, they won't touch my MTS - go figure. I think all of these guys put out the most waste.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:34 PM   #9
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Wow that's a great mix of fish.

As far as the water movement the loachs probably love that much water flow. Your going to get some people to jump you about having one cory they like to be kept in groups. But you have pretty good group of bottom dweller's and I bet that yoyo loach is pretty cool 8 years is great you are doing good job he's lucky he found you. I doubt he would have live that long in the wild.

By the way I live downstate from you by Peoria.
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Old 11-17-2014, 05:45 PM   #10
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The loaches have been around a long time, prior to the plants going in. My first yoyo suicided himself via jumping the tank so I netted the tops since then. All the loaches used to love the currents and do loops in them although these days they have dug a cave and rarely come out.

There used to be 4 corys but I think I got a bit aggressive with moving the gravel around when making some major changes and must have stirred up something nasty. I lost a whole bunch of fish within a week including the 3 corys. I have everything under control for the most part now so I will be adding them back in soon.

Trying to get back to basics before I add in all the equipment for CO2 so that I can just add everything and not move stuff around too much. Planning where all the hoses and pumps and whatnot need to get put so I can measure twice and cut once. Still a little overwhelmed with CO2 type stuff but I'll leave that for another day and another thread.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:57 PM   #11
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So I spent a little time moving things around and I came up with a layout that I think will work, based on the circular method described earlier with a few adjustments.

I dropped both of the aquatop pumps as I was thinking they weren't really needed.

In the image, the circles labeled with "I"s are the inputs and the "O"s are the outputs.

Fluval & Inline UV Sterilizer - 383 GPH (sure it will be less but basing off of max filter flow)
Emperor 400 HOB: 400GPH (getting good flow from this)
Marineland 1200 Pump (through ISTA C)2 reactor): 295 GPH

Combined, this is about 1,078 GPH at max flow. Realistically, maybe more like 800 GPH? So about an 11X turnover rate?

Does this sound right? Would my flow distribute the CO2 evenly?

I watched a piece of water wistera leaf flow around in there for like an hour last night and it looks like it was all over the tank without settling anywhere. It did spend a good amount of time on the left side of the tank but eventually made it to the right but I haven't added the CO2 pump yet either.
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:25 AM   #12
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Still to much flow realistically it would be very hard to get good par down at the substrate. I usually see alot of people with 5-6x turn over rate with a planted tank. Also you want gentle flow not current that is another factor to good plant growth. Also co2 is gassed out faster with strong currents instead of gental flowlook at most show tanks they are gental flow with good volume of turn over at about 4-7x
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Old 11-21-2014, 05:06 AM   #13
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Getting closer though!

I think PAR at the substrate is going to be tough regardless of the circulation since the leds have a 120 degree beam and the tank is 20" deep. That is something I am just going to have to deal with.

If I ditched the Emperor 400, I would be pretty much there. Would the circulation plan I have work if I took that out of the equation by my diagram?

I want to get rid of it for a few reasons:
  • It would be quieter.
  • One less thing hanging off the back making it look nicer.
  • Less flow, less surface agitation (I would still try to create some with the other outflows)

I'm just a little worried that the 406 won't be enough filtration. I like the fact that I have oxygenated bacterial filtration via the biowheel. I also have some filter floss in there as well as a sack of peat and I threw a purigen bag on the other side. So, in addition to this I am adding the extra flow.

In the 406, I have large foam filtration at bottom, seachem matrix, a few polishing pads, a bag of fluval clearmax, more peat and another purigen bag.

So... based on this, is the HOB beneficial to me or is it totally unnecessary? I don't know why, but I'm leary of ditching it. I'd love to though. And that would probably get me to where I want to be based on what everyone is reccommending.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-21-2014, 05:23 AM   #14
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Well i used to run a 350 penguin on my 40b Coral frag so i under stand where you are coming from and i really dont know if the 406 would hold it up alot but what i would do like i did with my penguin on a 36x24x18 i have at my paralyzed cousin's house for him is i ran tje co2 line into the intake and it works better than a glass diffuser ditch the power head and keep the 406 and that should be enough.
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Old 11-21-2014, 05:24 AM   #15
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Or run a sponge filter and ditch the emperor
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