how much surface agitation do i really need / want?! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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how much surface agitation do i really need / want?!

75g tank, i have a spray bar from my eheim pro 3 2075 and also have a power head from hydor the 425 nano. i use the nano on the opposite end of my tank for the lower half to add flow and kick up debris from settling.

tank is really planted and i don't run c02 or excel.

how much agitation do i want for the surface. should the whole thing be rippling? or just a slight ripple on one half or even less than that?

75 Gallon Low Tech w/ Green Terror Pair
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 02:49 AM
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Im not going to have any on my 180 but Im going to have co2
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 02:53 AM
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I adjust my surface agitation in each tank (2 have bettas so have to keep more gentle) but generally just get enough movement to prevent bio film build up on the surface (oil slick look). If you have fish from high oxygenated water/strong current areas (many pleco breeds are) jack it up as much as you can without agitating substrate, blowing away fish, or blowing plants loose.
In general I set up the filter and kneel down to look at the surface from 'under water' perspective and look for a tiny bit of water movement opposite the filter (if multiples used, just watch for dead spots, a piece of plant debris floating on top helps show flow).

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 04:39 PM
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If you aren't running CO2 then have as much as you like, and at least as much as you need to eliminate the surface scum. When your lights are on and the plants are taking in CO2 then since your only source of it is from the air, surface agitation is a good thing.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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ty steve

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 10:54 PM
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How do you plan on the fish breathing? You need some movement for oxygen exchange, especially when using co2.

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Im not going to have any on my 180 but Im going to have co2
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 11:06 PM
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I wanted to add to this conversation. Hopefully someone can correct my thinking if it is wrong.

I had been told in the past that surface agitation reduces CO2 water column levels by allowing it to escape and is therefore undesirable in a planted tank? I don't believe that to be true, however it would be nice to have some validation on my thoughts.

Also, how do floating plants or tall plants come into play with circulation - do the massive roots block adequate flow and decrease agitation too much?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 04:06 AM
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How do you plan on the fish breathing? You need some movement for oxygen exchange, especially when using co2.
did you know that plants produce o2,,,, amazing right!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 04:24 AM
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With DIY CO2 you could have too much surface ripple, since you can't increase the CO2 bubble rate, the amount of CO2 in the water will decrease. With pressurized CO2, you can always increase the bubble rate to compensate for the loss of CO2 from having lots of surface ripple. Surface ripple increases the surface area of the water, so it increases the amount of O2 dissolved into the water from the air. Having more O2 dissolved in the water is always good for the fish, since it makes it easier for them to live with the CO2 in the water. Growing plants do supply some O2, but most of it in the water comes from the air-water interface.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 04:25 AM
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 04:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Jon View Post
I wanted to add to this conversation. Hopefully someone can correct my thinking if it is wrong.

I had been told in the past that surface agitation reduces CO2 water column levels by allowing it to escape and is therefore undesirable in a planted tank? I don't believe that to be true, however it would be nice to have some validation on my thoughts.

Also, how do floating plants or tall plants come into play with circulation - do the massive roots block adequate flow and decrease agitation too much?
Surface agitation only results in CO2 loss on tanks where CO2 is being injected. CO2 outgassing is a non-issue on tanks that are not injected.

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did you know that plants produce o2,,,, amazing right!
Only during the day. Plants absorb O2 and release CO2 at night/in the absence of light.

This can be a major issue for people running high levels of CO2 with pressurized tanks. Tons of threads on here with people waking up in the morning with a tank full of dead CO2-poisoned fish. It's why I personally always recommend people with pressurized CO2 setups running an airstone on a timer set to come on when the lights go off.





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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
With DIY CO2 you could have too much surface ripple, since you can't increase the CO2 bubble rate, the amount of CO2 in the water will decrease. With pressurized CO2, you can always increase the bubble rate to compensate for the loss of CO2 from having lots of surface ripple. Surface ripple increases the surface area of the water, so it increases the amount of O2 dissolved into the water from the air. Having more O2 dissolved in the water is always good for the fish, since it makes it easier for them to live with the CO2 in the water. Growing plants do supply some O2, but most of it in the water comes from the air-water interface.
im a very lowly status for planted tanks so forgive me if im wrong but cant you add more yeast and more sugar to a larger container (maby a 3 liter soda bottle) to compensate for the co2 loss? I know this wouldn't be as precise as pressurized but I guise it helps right?
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 04:37 AM
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Quote:
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did you know that plants produce o2,,,, amazing right!

Let us know how that works out for ya, all wise one.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 12:47 PM
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New to fresh water setup. Don't you have to have an air stone in the tank or is using a canister filter along with power heads enough to supply the tank?
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 02:43 PM
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I notice a big difference in my fish's activity level between the CO2 being on and the air stone coming on after it.
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