Water Flow/ Surface Agitation With Floating Plants - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Water Flow/ Surface Agitation With Floating Plants


I've come across a question with my tank I don't know the answer too and I'm hoping someone out there does

How much flow / surface agitation should you have with floating plants?

Tank setup #1 (ref pic):
(Powerhead left side
Canister outflow right side)

Great water circulation
High water flow
surface agitation
Good CO2 distribution

Tank setup #2 (ref pic):
(Spray bar)

Low water circulation
No surface agitation
Not sure on CO2 distribution (guess is poor)


3 weeks ago I put 10 or so small frogbit in the tank to grow and over 3 days they just disappeared. I just bought some new frogbit in larger sizes as well as dwarf water lettuce. I've read that floating plants need low flow so I have just rigged up this DIY spray bar.There's now almost no surface agitation at all. I've also read that Angel fish & gouramis prefer low flow tanks and may be bothered by the power head and canister outflow if to strong. I'm running a Fluval 406 canister filter on full flow with both setups, but the spray bar greatly disperses the exit force of the flow. I also have 4 Lilypipes in every variation except the downward flow version (Haven't tried them though).

If I have no surface agitation will the fish have oxygen?
Will low currents reduce the circulation of the CO2/ effectiveness of the filter?
Should I just go back to my original setup? (I had tied the floating plants in place with fishing line successfully)

I also don't want to neglect the new plants that are growing and want to maximize their CO2.
Alternanthera reineckii Rosanervig
Ambulia (Limnophila sessiliflora)
Limnophila hippuridoides
Rotala rotundifolia

What do you think the best combination of flow/ filter parts/ powerheads is for my aquarium with the floating plants?

Thank you for your assistance and insight.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 08:50 AM
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Id go back to nozzle, get Y off canister, run one down by heater blowing down and across back glass left to right, then other top right blowing slightly right to left across front. Will give you rotating high/low current sweep that will pick debri and carry right over to you filter intake and make sure have proper water flow so plants and gravel bed (best and most important filter in your tank) perform optimally.

Then just hook a 6-7 oval floater ring around top right nozzle to keep floaters from getting pulled into rapids. That’s probably what happened to little frogbits, if they keep getting pulled into nozzle, pushed underwater and beat around they die. But setup floater ring and tank circulation right they’ll just float around tank in circle but never get pulled into rapids.

Here’s a little airline tubing floater keeping red root floaters out of my aquaclears current in little 7gal.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Great suggestions. Thanks @DaveKS. I wasn't even aware you could put a Y on your filter outtake to divide it. I'll take a browse around the hardware store this weekend and see what if I can rig that up.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 01:55 AM
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Make sure you use a Y if your dividing outside tank, T’s can slow your flow down to much. Like this just make sure you get size that matches your hose and hose clamps.

SCP 18231 Seachoice 18231 Y Fitting - Pipe-Hose Adapters

Here’s a pic from @Greggz showing proper way to splitoff from your canister.
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Last edited by DaveKS; 04-24-2019 at 07:15 PM. Reason: Added pic
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