Flow and surface agitation - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by vacko000 View Post
In the ADA gallery, they bring the lilly pipes up to the water surface when the lights are off, and put them down when the lights turn on. So they can have surface aggitation and gas exchange.
I don't know if I understand your point. I do that too at night. How is that related to flow and dispersion co2/ferts during the day?

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Originally Posted by vacko000 View Post
I think that they use both in line diffusers with in tank diffusers, or external reactors
I really doubt that on their normal size tanks 1 to 4 foot. I don't even thing they sell in-line diffusers/reactors. Also doesn't address why they would do that and put the diffuser behind the mouth of the lily pipe and have bubbles reach the surface.

I'm just showing the ADA stuff to show what they do. My actual experience is that you don't need powerheads nor other methods to disperse co2/ferts in most tanks with normal filtration.
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 07:36 PM
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In a 36x18 footprint tank thats only 16” tall (14” actual water column depth with substrate) would get rid of powerhead and just buy couple Y and branch off to three 115-120gph outputs from your canister. As pointed out above it not about gph But about even distribution all around tank with no dead spots. In that size planted tank there is no need for any single output to be over 150gph.

Set it up like this and you’ll have a nice gentle breeze of a current all around tank that will have all your plants front and back lightly wiggling in a current and even gas and nutrient distribution all around tank and to substrate bed. None of the outputs is to strong for any fish or plant. Will help make sure excess detritus is kept in mention so your canister will pick it up.





Just a few plumbing parts needed and some hose, be sure to match ID of your current hose and use clamps on all fittings.

2 of these of right size

https://www.amazon.com/SEACHOICE-50-18231-Y-FITTING-3/dp/B0002UEP8Q/ref=asc_df_B0002UEP8Q/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312177424933&hvpos=1o4&hvne tw=g&hvrand=9038987763393304515&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hv qmt=&hvdev=t&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9024238& hvtargid=pla-567234975809&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=64958377347&h vpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=312177424933&hvpos=1o4&hvnet w=g&hvrand=9038987763393304515&hvqmt=&hvdev=t&hvdv cmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9024238&hvtargid=pla-567234975809

And 2 of these of right size, love these flared nozzles, they can point in any direction and fan water spray out

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018J3RHEQ/ref=twister_B018J3RHDC?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
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Last edited by DaveKS; 01-25-2020 at 07:49 PM. Reason: Content
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 10:43 PM
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Not to say any method described here is bad, but results speak for themselves so there isn't really any essential method presented here. I've never had an issue with a single lily pipe or spraybar on a regular sized tank. Whether it be high/low tech, densely or sparsely planted.

... or maybe I'm just lucky
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 11:26 PM
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All of the above certainly work. I prefer to see all parts of every plant moving a little bit as a sign that circulation is good. I have a canister and use a spray bar. Although I would prefer to have the spraybar placed at the top in either the back or the sides, as others do, I don't like the fact that the output stream will push, albeit gently, the stems away as the stems reach the top, as mine do. So, I have placed my spraybar in the front (hidden by the tank border) so that the output flows directly down the front glass causing the same flow pattern as is delivered by having the spraybar in the back, but with higher flow, now, down the front and across the substrate surface.

I also use a skimmer, placed in the back, to increase gas exchange (I've measured O2 levels at 6ppm without it and at over 12ppm with it, using the Salifert kit). I use a pump-type skimmer and this provides extra surface rippling with a counter-flow pattern to the main spraybar pattern to cause some flow turbulence. I would prefer to use a Fluval-type skimmer that attaches to the filter intake, but I found that these really gum-up the filter since they will suck in a lot of food. The stand-alone skimmers can be put on a timer to be shut off during normal feeding times.

There is also a trick you can use to help identify circulation strength and dead spots. Credit to goes to someone long ago (whom I no longer remember). I take a thin rod, long enough to reach the bottom of my tank, and tie thread (large enough to see) to it at about 1/2 inch intervals along the bottom ~3 inches of the rod. The strings are cut to about 1 inch lengths. You can then put this into any point in the tank and see them 'wave in the wind' depending upon strength of circulation in that area.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 12:14 AM
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I'll weigh in on what has worked for me.
HOB filter or canister with just an output, no spraybar + 2 powerheads on either end of the tank, one at the bottom front and the other at the top back.
It works, no dead spots that I could identify.

However after setting up my canister filter with a spraybar along the width of the tank (front to back) that makes the flow go along the length of the tank, the plants are responding much better to the Co2 output which is just a 3/4" pvc 90 shooting out in front of the spraybar from my reactor, the plants are pearling at least 50% more simply from adding a spraybar to the output of the canister filter.
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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 01:19 AM
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I do not use canister filters or any devices that have external plumbing for fear of leak. My CO2 reactor is internal driven by a power head and my filtration are exclusively HOBs, 3 for my 125g and 2 for my 75g. I believe multiple filters with multiple intake locations provide better filtration than with one big filter. HOBs provide front to back circulation with good surface breaking so there is no need for skimmer, but lacking longitudinal current. So I attach a circulation pump at the long end of the tank to provide longitudinal cross flow.

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There is also a trick you can use to help identify circulation strength and dead spots. Credit to goes to someone long ago (whom I no longer remember). I take a thin rod, long enough to reach the bottom of my tank, and tie thread (large enough to see) to it at about 1/2 inch intervals along the bottom ~3 inches of the rod. The strings are cut to about 1 inch lengths. You can then put this into any point in the tank and see them 'wave in the wind' depending upon strength of circulation in that area.
Great idea. I’ll never know how good the circulation is until I test it out and make adjustment as needed.
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post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 01:45 AM
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That sounds like telltales on on sails. Even on modern raceboats, we still use little pieces of fabric or yarn to visualize flow over the sails to optimize lift.

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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-31-2020, 01:57 AM
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This is just my own personal experience in my 55 that has some big pieces of driftwood in it...but once I added additional flow with a small powerhead, a lot of algae issues disappeared.
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post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-31-2020, 04:56 AM
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@Tiger15 how do you like that setup in your 125 with the flow coming from the side? I have been thinking about moving my spraybar to the side in my 40B instead of running the length of the back with flow going up and forward toward front of tank.

Dont know why but the flow from left to right just seems more natural in my mind. Nothing necessarily natural about our tanks but .....


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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-31-2020, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint View Post
@Tiger15 how do you like that setup in your 125 with the flow coming from the side? I have been thinking about moving my spraybar to the side in my 40B instead of running the length of the back with flow going up and forward toward front of tank.

Dont know why but the flow from left to right just seems more natural in my mind. Nothing necessarily natural about our tanks but .....
The decision in my case is straightforward. My HOBs provide front to back circulation only, so I need a pump on the side to provide longitudinal cross flow. If my tank were topless, I could place one filter on the side and one on the back (HOB and HOS) to provide cross flow and won’t need a circulation pump on the end.
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