Generally Accepted GPH? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Generally Accepted GPH?

I had a 350 GPH pump in my BioCube 29 when I first set it up, but I noticed it was causing issues. When I set up the tank like 18 months ago, some of my male guppies were getting tattered fins. The tank was empty for a while, but when I aquascaped the tank again (a month ago or so) I added 9 neons and a couple guppy-endlers. I noticed they were all staying in the lower 1/3 of the tank.

I switched it out for an adjustable pump I had which does up to 260 GPH, but I set it in a bit above the middle setting which should be about 180 GPH. Since then I packed the tank with plants and I don't think I'm getting enough water flow.

Is 180 GPH right on target, or should I set it higher like 260?

PS: It probably has like 25 gallons of actual water in it since it has substrate and plants and stuff.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Any ideas?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 09:21 PM
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I believe the general rule of thumb is 10x your tank size so ya you want to set it up to 260

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 09:24 PM
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I currently have an aquaclear 50 on my 29 gallon which is rated at 200 gph and it's done fine for me quite a few years. It seems to be enough flow for that tank.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 09:42 PM
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I have 10x the filtration on my african cichlid tank. They are messy fish. On my 40b I have the fluval 306. Its 300gph. I like lots of filtration but if the eco system is running right you dont need as much. The amount of fish, plants and cleaning schedule are all factors. On my 10 gallon it has 80 gph. Its the girlfriends tank now but she is always cleaning it. It did house 7 blue neon tetra and 7 red tetra. Its always clear.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 09:44 PM
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I would like to add that with lower filtration you can add a circulation pump to move the water around if you are worried about flow.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! I'll turn it up and not have to worry as much. Gives me an excuse to fish the baby guppies out of the back, too.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynrem View Post
I believe the general rule of thumb is 10x your tank size so ya you want to set it up to 260

That's because most GPH rating is from an empty filter with little overhead pressure. In reality, is more like 5x.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 12:57 AM
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That GPH rule (10x) is total bunk in a planted tank. There is no real rule of thumb. Most of the filtration is in the tank anyway. Most don't have huge fish where they're trying to move large waste right to the filter. You really just need gentle flow throughout the tank. Increasing GPH doesn't make the bio-filtration any better. The only real advantage of a bigger filter is at startup when the bio-filter is immature/weak, but this can be rectified with water changes which you should be doing any way for both plant and fish health.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 01:45 AM
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+ 3/4 ^^

Flow, current, circulation - all have relationship to GPH but, arguably, are also slightly different concepts. The tank shape, size, planting density, fish species, co2 are other smaller, but important factors.

In short, I do not know 'the right' general answer. It's all part of the fun.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 02:16 AM
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+ 3/4 ^^

Flow, current, circulation - all have relationship to GPH but, arguably, are also slightly different concepts. The tank shape, size, planting density, fish species, co2 are other smaller, but important factors.

In short, I do not know 'the right' general answer. It's all part of the fun.

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That's a great way to look at things.

I honestly have never had a tank that had issues with less filtration. I guess if you overloaded it, you would more likely have issues, but in terms of shape, plant density, never had a problem. Most tanks are 2 to 5 foot rectangles. The water goes everywhere and it doesn't take much to move dissolved co2 and ferts. Not saying it's impossible, but I've never seen it.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 02:51 AM
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+ 7/8 ^^

An interesting and fun expetiment is to add a pinch of food coloring to your filter at the next maintenance.

Most of the fun is the WC later (Dad, why the water is pink?)

Not a bad school project, with a fast video camera. I wonder if there is anything on YouTube.

Edit: unfortunately, water goes where there is less resistance. I have been bitten a number of times when I let my high light 120-P go wild (which it does weekly). A corner 36g been a real pain for the last 7+ years. Re-arranging hardscape was, ahh, educational . The flow in my 24" cube ... I am not swimming there. All in good fun.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by OVT View Post
+ 7/8 ^^

An interesting and fun expetiment is to add a pinch of food coloring to your filter at the next maintenance.

Most of the fun is the WC later (Dad, why the water is pink?)

Not a bad school project, with a fast video camera. I wonder if there is anything on YouTube.

Edit: unfortunately, water goes where there is less resistance. I have been bitten a number of times when I let my high light 120-P go wild (which it does weekly). A corner 36g been a real pain for the last 7+ years. Re-arranging hardscape was, ahh, educational . The flow in my 24" cube ... I am not swimming there. All in good fun.

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I always did that with Seachem Flourish. I poured it into the spraybar which I usually have on the left pane and watch it spread around the tank very quickly. In most setups which are 2-4 ft rectangles I just can't see it not spreading around the tank. Even if it is slightly different from side to side it's not exact science. EI with a big 'E' for Estimative. You could see this illustrated in many of the ADA tanks where they have one filter and one lily pipe spreading co2 across 4 to 5 ft.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 03:01 PM
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I aim for 10x per the manufacturer's label (hear the laughing!)
I know I am getting more like 5-8x.

I use a combination of filter and power head (mostly Koralias rather than the older PH)
The Koralias have a much gentler outlet compared to the PH with a focused outlet. They still can make the water hit the other end of the tank, though.
My Clown Loaches like surfing in this water flow. But it is gentle enough that I had an Angelfish that liked to hang out just outside the main flow.

I have set up river tanks, where the flow is quite strong and along the length of the tank, but most of mine are more centrally set up, with the main flow from the upper back middle across the surface. Then a PH to get some flow behind rocks, driftwood or dense planting.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-24-2014, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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Meh, I turned it up and everything is fine. Thanks.
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