Another quick question (flow rate, velocity, and circulation) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Another quick question (flow rate, velocity, and circulation)

Maybe someone can help me understand. I was just watching one of dustins latest video on the pink dolphin while he is sitting in front of his main tank.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is5hpt5uMt0

I am watching the surface of his tank and the plants on the left side (almost 50% of the tank) barely moving at all. Does it look like his tank has appropriate amount of flow / circulation?

Why I ask is I would like my flow / circulation to be a lot calmer like how dustin's is, I feel my pearls and other fish would greatly appreciate a more calm tank. With that said my tank currently has a lot more surface agitation and more water movement. I only use my filter with spray bar to achieve this.

Also, just to confirm, as I change the velocity of the water coming from the output my flow rate would not drop right? Its still the rated "300+gph" right?

I have some ideas on how to slow down the output velocity but my question is how is this going to affect my plants and debris in the tank? I have alot of bottom dwellers / feeders, I know they are constantly kicking stuff up and around. Would that be enough to keep things moving and eventually make its way to the input?

I have been hesitant to try it out for myself as I don't want to cause an algae bloom or have all my plants start to do poorly. I imagine since his tank has been this way for a long time with good success I could try and mimic the amount of circulation and will likely be okay, thoughts?

Bump: once the lights come on at noon I will make a short video with my current setup so you guys can see how much movement I do have and such. Ultimately I would like my movement to be as close to stagnant as possible without causing issues while still maintaining a good amount of turnover that I have now.

Maybe this whole thing is all about trial and error...

75 Gallon Low Tech w/ Green Terror Pair
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 01:36 PM
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If you want to decrease velocity you could enlarge the holes of the spray bar. It won't affect the rate, but yes it could affect circulation. The circulation issue (if it manifests) could be dealt with a smart placement of a low flow power head.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Instead of drilling larger holes in my spray bar I was thinking about stuffing the spray bar with fine filter floss. it will polish water and create resistance. Or I was thinking of removing the spray bar all together and just have the 90 degree elbow putting out water.

Either way I have ideas for slowing it down.

What are some signs I should watch out for (in terms of not enough circulation)? what do you think would be the first thing to happen? since my tank is low tech no co2 or excel, would less circulation be worse in my tank vs a high tech?

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 01:56 PM
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I think floss in the spray bar will just get pushed to the end and compacted. Stuff like that will reduce capacity along with velocity. If you could find a piece of thinwall or something the same size as your spray bar you could test out larger holes before actually committing to drilling out your real one.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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oh yeah good point. I guess I could try and see how it goes. Just now I took off the spray bar completely and leaving the tank run like this for a bit. Going to see how it looks once the light comes on and I can watch plants and fish better.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipraposo1982 View Post
Instead of drilling larger holes in my spray bar I was thinking about stuffing the spray bar with fine filter floss. it will polish water and create resistance. Or I was thinking of removing the spray bar all together and just have the 90 degree elbow putting out water.

Either way I have ideas for slowing it down.

What are some signs I should watch out for (in terms of not enough circulation)? what do you think would be the first thing to happen? since my tank is low tech no co2 or excel, would less circulation be worse in my tank vs a high tech?

Stuffing it with floss will affect rate. Slowing it down affects rate. Rate being the GPH capacity of the filter. The way to reduce velocity is to decrease restriction. You could DIY a spray bar using a slightly larger diameter tubing for the bar and slightly larger holes. Eliminating the SB and opting for a 90deg elbow could work though I have to say that I have one and am getting ready to go to a DIY SB for flow concerns.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherLandDescendant View Post
Eliminating the SB and opting for a 90deg elbow could work though I have to say that I have one and am getting ready to go to a DIY SB for flow concerns.
Same here, keep the spray bar, I actually put a diy one on because i had TOO much agitation with just an elbow and it wasn't distributed well enough (one side of the tank was a torrent, the other side was pretty still) and the fish weren't very happy. I recommend either a longer spray bar with more holes in it to spread out your flow (mine is the entire length of my back glass on a 25g) or enlarge the holes in your current one to slow down the spray a bit... same amount of water, just move it more slowly and direct it where you want it better.

The holes on a spray bar don't have to be evenly distributed either, if you want more water movement at one end of the tank than the other put more holes on that side, no movement (to create a calm area on the surface) just don't drill holes there


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 02:24 PM
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Adding more media to the filter can reduce flow.
Lowering the spray bar will reduce surface agitation.
I run two eheim 2217's and a koralia powerhead pushing another 200 gph in my 80 gal.
But the Gph rating of the ehiem's slows considerably when packed with media and by month's end (dirty) which is when I clean the media.

I like good surface agitation to help equalize CO2 /O2 exchange and to prevent protein film that otherwise appears.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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I am going to try without the spray bar for a bit, if that doesn't go well I will open up my holes on my spray bar that I have now.

What is happening with your tank that is making you concerned? poor plant growth? fish not happy? tank getting dirty?

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 02:36 PM
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I went from the spray bar to the elbow. To make up for any lost velocity, I added a prop style powerhead to the same side of the tank as the filters intake and outflow, about two inches below the water surface. This pulls water towards the filter intake and facilitates flow towards the filter.

On the other end of the tank I use the EHEIM skim350 surface skimmer to provide a low flow powerhead.

The change provided ruffly the same flow and reduced the turbulence in the tank.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 04:13 PM
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you can always drill few holes on the backside of the spray bar to spray against the back wall of the tank.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 04:35 PM
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IME, what made the spray bar nice was the velocity acted to draw water from along the substrate, and up under the SB.
A prop style powerhead was placed to recreate that upsweeping of water towards the filter intake after removing the SB.

To remove the film and provide a low flow powerhead at the other end of the tank, the skim 350.
YMMV, larger planted tanks are better off using a sump, IMHO. What I think is key is reducing turbulence w/out sacrificing flow.


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Last edited by tug; 02-02-2015 at 04:42 PM. Reason: that last part.
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