Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
I think you are mixing up the flow, and will not get good circulation by aiming all the spray bars in different directions.
Set them up to all aim the same way.
If all the spray bars are lined up across the back-top, aimed at the front, then the intakes are near the bottom-back, perhaps one in each corner. This would give you the traditional water movement that is typical.
If all the outlets are concentrated at one end, and all the inlets at the other end you would have a river tank.
If you have any kind of water pump, some tubing and some Tees, set up a few arrangements in a smaller container (perhaps a plastic storage container, or another tank) then test the water movement like this:
Use a chopstick or shish-ka-bob skewer. Tie thread onto it in several locations. Leave several inches hanging. Then stick this skewer into the water flow in many areas and watch what the thread does.
Add some food coloring, or some fish food that sinks slowly (most flakes are OK, and large enough to see)
If the threads pretty much all flow in one direction, this is good. If the food coloring and fish food show a smooth flow, this is good.
If any of these show swirling, cross paths of water this will only get worse when you add hardscape and plants. Not a good way of setting up the water movement. You want a pretty strong flow going toward the filter inlets so the debris gets carried there. Most debris is heavier and has a tendency to fall out of the water column if there is any cross currents.
Get a pretty good idea of what is going on with the miniature set up, then, when you build the tank and it will hold water try this again with the actual filters you intend to use. Fine tune the placement by adding any sort of rock to represent the hardscape.
Once the plants are in you still might have to add a power head aimed at some hidden corner but it will be a small one.