Circulation, surface agitation, gas exchange, and lids. - The Planted Tank Forum
 10Likes
  • 3 Post By Grobbins48
  • 1 Post By Freemananana
  • 4 Post By Greggz
  • 1 Post By Quint
  • 1 Post By lksdrinker
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
butchblack's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Waltham, Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 84
Circulation, surface agitation, gas exchange, and lids.

One of the things that I am quickly finding out is that the more you learn, the more questions you have. I now have questions on my basic setup. My filtration is outputting into a homemade spray bar that I have at the bottom of my tank. My logic was that as I'm using an inline heater and inline CO2 (reactor) that would keep the tank water from being warmer on top, it would aid circulation by convection, and that the CO2 would have a more even distribution. I'm now worried that it won't provide enough surface agitation for adequate gas exchange and that the circulation pattern will be inefficient. Should I consider moving the spray bar to the top of the tank and point the nozzles downward?

How good is the gas exchange in a tank with glass lids? Most information I have seen so far says that I should use a glass lid for a number of reasons. My concern is that there will not be enough air getting into the tank. Should this be a concern? Should I consider removing the plastic guard on the end of the lid glass to provide access to more air? How much space should I have between the water level and the lid?

How much circulation should I be looking for? I'm setting the tank up for angelfish, so I don't want too severe of a water flow to stress them or the plants. I'm aiming for a jungle look, so it will be heavily planted. What is too much and too little?

Is there anything else I should consider?

The real fountain of youth is being a musician
butchblack is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 10:12 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Grobbins48's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,506
Personally how I run my spray bars in on the top, pointed to the surface of the water to create agitation to aid in O2 exchange (I inject CO2 as well). I position them so they disrupt the water surface, but are not 'breaking' the water, if that makes sense. The spray bars line the back of the tank, so the water is hitting the front glass, pushing down the glass, and creating a circular flow. This has been working well for me for over a year now (see journal in my signature below if interested). I run surface skimmers as well on my intakes. I am not worried about CO2 gassing off.

I did run lids for a while, but have since removed them. I had no issues with the fish and O2 when the lids were on, and I was using the same setup described above.

I would say get the spray bars of the bottom, point them up for god O2 exchange, and play around with the overall flow and positioning to see what works for you, your tank, and your fish.

Hope this helps!



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Grobbins48 is online now  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 11:11 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Freemananana's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Tavares, FL
Posts: 2,932
You're worrying and thinking too much! Classic new user of the forum.

I have used lids extensively. My last 125g had greenhouse lids that were nearly water tight! No problems at all. As mentioned above, I do point my spray bar towards the surface of the water to create agitation, but not breaking the surface. You'll know it by sound. When running canisters, I used it as an alarm for topping off the tank. You'd hear the surface breaking isn't of just swirling. I like lids for the reason of evaporation. If you are injecting CO2, your plants will be making plenty of oxygen (most likely).

I would keep the lids, play with the aim of the spray bar, and aim for around 5x tank volume for flow. Many powerheads are super powerful and will put out way more flow than that. But around 5x tank volume in terms of flow from the filters should be plenty. Get the tank setup, make mistakes, correct them, try again. Rinse and repeat. I'd play with the tank for a couple weeks before adding fish, even if it is cycled. Getting your setup dialed in makes the transition to keeping your fish below water a lot easier!

Feel free to PM if you want to chat. I'm open to brainstorm ideas and I'm open to share what little experience I have in the hobby.
Ken Keating1 likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Freemananana is offline  
 
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
butchblack's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Waltham, Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freemananana View Post
You're worrying and thinking too much! Classic new user of the forum.

I have used lids extensively. My last 125g had greenhouse lids that were nearly watertight! No problems at all. As mentioned above, I do point my spray bar towards the surface of the water to create agitation, but not breaking the surface. You'll know it by sound. When running canisters, I used it as an alarm for topping off the tank. You'd hear the surface breaking isn't of just swirling. I like lids for the reason of evaporation. If you are injecting CO2, your plants will be making plenty of oxygen (most likely).

I would keep the lids, play with the aim of the spray bar, and aim for around 5x tank volume for flow. Many powerheads are super powerful and will put out way more flow than that. But around 5x tank volume in terms of flow from the filters should be plenty. Get the tank setup, make mistakes, correct them, try again. Rinse and repeat. I'd play with the tank for a couple of weeks before adding fish, even if it is cycled. Getting your setup dialed in makes the transition to keeping your fish below water a lot easier!

Feel free to PM if you want to chat. I'm open to brainstorm ideas and I'm open to sharing what little experience I have in the hobby.
Thanks, I may take you up on that offer. The last of my filtration is arriving in the next two days, so I can finish the plumbing. My current plan of attack is once I get the filtration and CO2 set up I'll order my carpeting plants (dwarf hairgrass mats) then fill the tank, and do a fishless cycle. I like your idea of waiting a couple of weeks after it cycles. That will give me a chance to dial in the CO2. My next quandary is do I finish planting then wait a couple more weeks before adding any fish, or do I add the fish with the second planting? The initial bioload will be small, 7 Cory cats.

And you're right. I'm a typical Gemini, I overthink everything (lol). My mother used to tell me all the time that I thought too much.

The real fountain of youth is being a musician
butchblack is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 12:20 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Freemananana's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Tavares, FL
Posts: 2,932
If you are doing a fishless cycle, just keep dosing ammonia after you have established bio media and do your additional planting. I know fish are exciting, but it is SO much easier to wait. Cory cats are awesome by the way. I loved every one I ever kept.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Freemananana is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 10:23 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: 67212
Posts: 1,416
Circulation should be pointed down back wall at subtrate. This pushes micro currents into substrate which carry gases to keep bio activity in substrate high as well as circulatiing ferts into substrate to make them available for CEC binding sites.

With those 2 canister Id put 160gph new one on spray down back wall. The 600 at 264gh Id split to 2 nozzles in top corners pushing 130gph around front of tank from both ends, these will make a down draft when they hit front glass creating a nice gentle current along front of tank keeping front half of substrate bed saturated with gases and nutrients. In tank thats 18 front to back you pretty much need to set up circulation patterns that cover front edge and back edge as well as end to end. If you set up circulation patterns properly substrate bed and plants are really all the bio filter a planted tank needs. Harder currents will be just in top corners or gently sweeping down glass at front and back, except for right in front of nozzles whole center area of tank will be nice calm current Angels will have no problem swimming in.



Glass is a pain to keep clean but it does slow down evaporation. A dirty piece of glass can easily rob you of 20% of light from reaching tank. That means scrubbing it clean weekly with oxalix acid etc..

1/2 under glass is fine for air gap. A 1 strip along back edge is plenty to allow proper gas exchange.

If you do need glass for jump protection these PVC gutter guards are dirt cheap, just cut down to 2 or so and mount to back edge of glass and cut out around plumbing going into tank. Jump protection but still allows tank to breath properly.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Amerimax-Sn...SABEgLf5fD_BwE

For return nozzles nothing beats these. Run flare nozzle vertical and youll get nice surface ripple at top for proper gas exchange and lower portion of jet will be pushing water down slightly and into glass making down draft along front. Just angle them about 5-8 in from corners.

Make sure to get right size your hosing. These are 5/8-3/4 hose model (probably what you need) , there also 3/4-1 sized ones.

https://www.amazon.com/Multipurpose-...&psc=1&refRID=

Input strainers mount just to inside of 2 nozzles in corners. With sweep down center back wall and other 2 nozzle making dual rotating currents in tank that area is where most debris will settle so you get optimal pickup of detritus with inputs there.
DaveKS is online now  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-18-2019, 01:13 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 4,421
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grobbins48 View Post
Personally how I run my spray bars in on the top, pointed to the surface of the water to create agitation to aid in O2 exchange (I inject CO2 as well). I position them so they disrupt the water surface, but are not 'breaking' the water, if that makes sense.
Exactly the same.

Surface ripple and good oxygen levels make for a healthy tank. When aimed at an angle at the surface, the flow rolls across the top of the tank, down the front glass, then across the substrate to the back.

Detritus and debris accumulates along the back edge of the tank and is easy to vacuum out.

Have not used lids in decades of fish keeping. Too much of a pain to keep clean.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
---
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
---
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Greggz is online now  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 01:45 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: PNW
Posts: 624
And thats the fun part (I think), about 100 different ways to skin a ...
butchblack likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Quint is online now  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 05:51 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
lksdrinker's Avatar
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: NY; LETS GO METS
Posts: 1,893
Do what works for you and your tank and your maintenance schedule. Most of the things you're talking about are relatively inconsequential in the grand scheme of keeping a tank. They can be interesting topics to debate, but I'd imagine people have successfully kept fish in just about every possible scenario that can be created with position of spray bar, amount of flow, lids/no lids, surface agitation, etc.

Unless this is a really really large tank the temp difference you might see from the top to bottom of the water column wont be too great no matter where you heater is, or the output, etc. Lids or no lids is mostly an aesthetic choice (and/or trying to keep evaporation to a minimum or keep other pets out of the tank). They're not air tight and shouldn't have too large of an effect on gas exchange. I suppose you want at least some sort of air gap between the water surface and the lid (although I've had the water touch the lid after a water change once in a while and had no ill effects for that first day or two under those conditions until enough water evaporated). You also want the surface of the water to break/be agitated but it doesn't have to be extreme.

You'll know how much is too much when your plants and fish are all blown to one side of the tank. Find a happy medium between that amount of flow and no flow and you should be in the ballpark.
butchblack likes this.

Rich's Fishes
Curator of an ever growing fishroom that currently houses 30 different tanks. Most full of at least water....some even have fish!
lksdrinker is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome