What is the right amount of flow? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-12-2017, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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What is the right amount of flow?

It seems you can't have enough flow in a planted tank as it'll improve water flow / CO2 distribution and minimise the buildup of detritus - so my question is how much flow do you have / how do you provide flow, without turning your tank into a high energy environment that would stress out it's inhabitants?

I for example run an Eheim Pro 3 350 on my 30 gallon, but despite this filter being 'over-rated' for my tank I feel my flow is underwhelming so i'm torn between adding a Jebao RW4 / Vortech MP10 for increasing flow, adding an Eheim 2213 external or replacing the 350 with either an Eheim 600 or Fluval FX5.

I'd appreciate any input with thoughts / opinions / your tanks and equipment specs for flow
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-12-2017, 05:11 PM
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Flow pattern plays a big factor in how much is too much. Generally, you want to see movement everywhere, no still areas. Some can achieve this with an appropriately sized filter, others need larger filters (best for heavier bio loads) and or powerheads to reach that goal. My 60 gallon cube has a total volume turnover of around 11.5x per hour and Ive been pleased with how it works with my current scape. I use powerheads in most of my tanks as my scapes would otherwise create dead zones. My 15 gallon column did great with 30x per hour turnover, all while not stressing my tetras, fish ,shrimp, or 20 species of plants including carpet sp... playing with water flow patterns in your tank is an art form in itself and what you decide on will be ultimately determined by what you wish to keep.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-12-2017, 07:30 PM
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Varies too much to list what changes the answer but part of it is what you have in the tank. You certainly want less for fry than adults in many cases but even that changes if you have some species. I certainly want more for a large group of something tough like swords than I might want for a bunch of Java fern trailing off wood.
Like your first sentence, I want enough to move debris and CO2 but not so much that fish are stressed.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 05:58 PM
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I find that whenever I have a plant that's nearly in the direct path of a decent current in my tank, it is the quickest to develop algae. It's like they get a direct hit of all the nutrients and hair algae especially starts to show up quickly. So I'm always extra diligent about where I place a circulation fan or point the filter output. I'm constantly trying to figure out optimal circulation vs algae growth on the taller plants.

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