Water Circulation in a Planted Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Water Circulation in a Planted Tank

I've searched this forum as well as others and haven't been able to find any answers to the few questions I have...

First, I know that equipment choices and placement play a key role in having good water circulation. ?#1 Does using a filter rated for higher GPH on a smaller tank always result in "better circulation" or is it possible to have dead spots? I understand that hardscape and how heavily planted the tank is also play a role. ?#2 Is there an ideal filter placement for say a HOB filter to help promote better water circulation? I've seen tank set ups with HOB's offset to either the left or right side, but have also seen some placed directly down the center of the tank. I've considered running my AC50 alongside an AC30 on opposite sides (My 20g tank is currently setup with the AC50 in the center), but since the filter intakes are both on the left side, I'm concerned that the circulation from the right side would create a whirlpool effect where the 2 currents meet in the center of the tank.

Has anyone ever put thought into this?


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 09:41 PM
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I like to see all my plants at least swaying a bit. If 1 HOB, I offset with powerhead. If 2 HOB I place them on opposite sides of the tank. With canister it depends on the spraybar, but I still like a powerhead opposite output.

All of this is of course tank size/shape/aquascape dependent. You just gotta see what working for you. Again, my only "rule" is I like to see all my plants move, even if it's just barely.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 10:17 PM
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You are probably always going to have some dead spots no matter what you do, and if the flow rate is too strong your plants are going to be bent over. Its particularly hard to deal with when you have tall stem plants. Water circulation is good because it helps to keep the water oxygenated, keep a more uniform temp. and carries nutrients around the tank, but its impossible to do it across the whole tank without having a wirlpool vortex with bent over plants and over worked fish. Just try and find a happy medium and over all it should be fine. I try to keep a gentle flow just below the water surface facing outward, not downward. Downward flow will stir up the substrate.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 12:13 AM
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Both Daximus and Robert H have given good, accurate advice.
I find that my 2 AC 110 HOB's runnning at opposite ends of the tank at medium strength and slightly offset, on my 75 gal planted discus tank seem to have the best effect, both for the fish and the plants.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 01:41 AM
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well this answers my question on where to place my power head
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 04:30 PM
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wouldnt having them opposing eachother create turbulent water where the currents meet?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 05:18 PM
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No problem at all, assuming the filter size/strength is in reasonable relationship to the size/length of the tank.
(Example of a no-no: 2 AC 70's on a 20 gal tall - now that would create unwanted turbulence - lol.)
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 05:46 PM
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i point my spray bar and power head towards front glass to go lengthwise the tank. by the time it makes it around to the back. the stems absorb all the flow. my more relaxed fishies chill back there when they don't feel like being active

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 07:04 PM
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everyone's advice is spot on, its all on the layout ext ext. what you should aim for is a high turnover rate with a low current*more outlets = less current* this is why a spray bar or anything with multiple outlets works better as it doesnt create as much turbulence

if u still have dead spots you can place a power-head of some kind an just have it come on every so often to stir up the collected materials for the filter to pick up, one of those options would work best for ya.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HypnoticAquatic View Post
if u still have dead spots you can place a power-head of some kind an just have it come on every so often to stir up the collected materials for the filter to pick up, one of those options would work best for ya.

It's outside the budget of most hobbyists, but I'm starting to see more and more FW planted tanks with these. I have a love/hate relationship with mine (cost, noise, unsightliness), but it is unquestionably effective.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 10:17 PM
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From what I see, people say Vortech MP's are definitely worth the cost. But this is mostly from SW keepers that like to create waves of flow instead of a uniform power of flow. My dream Powerhead is an mp10 in my 95G.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 10:45 PM
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I use 2x mp40s on my 1600 litre in addition to three large external filters. Imo the possessed are well worth the investment.


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