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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My tank has been set up for 40 days now, and I’m about to set it up with pressurized CO2. But I foresee a problem — dead zones where CO2 won’t go.

Presumably because I have a large piece of driftwood in the center of my tank, I don’t see much/any water movement on the left side of the driftwood (AquaClear 30 HOB is installed in the right back corner; see photo).

I’d really like to get some better water circulation in the tank. I’ve looked into nano power heads, but even the smallest ones I’ve seen (Hydor Koralia Nano 240) seem like they will create too much movement for my 60P tank. Am I wrong — will that unit work for me? Are there any better alternatives for a 17 gal tank?

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Also - anyone have any experience with the Jebao SLW wavemakers? Might the SLW-5, SLW-10, or SLW-20 work for my tank?
 

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I'm not a big power head fan. I find it hard to believe that you won't get enough water movement in a 2-ft tank to deliver dissolved ferts and co2. I did have the Hydor Nano 240 on my 3-footer and ended up removing it since I didn't notice anything different with/without it. If you have a dark liquid fert like Flourish Comp you could pour some in right in front the the HOB return and see where it goes.

That's a nice rimless tank, you could complete the look with a canister filter and lily pipes. That setup would have the water going across the front hitting the side and flowing back across the tank. You could also move your HOB to the side if that's possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks @Asteroid. I am certainly no expert, but it sure looks like there’s little/no flow on the left side, especially mid- and back-of-tank. There’s a blank spot there now created by a Vallisneria that died soon after planting. Not saying that flow was the cause of death, but when it was in there I could see zero movement of leaves etc. So while I’d be happy to not add any other equipment to my tank, it seems likely that there isn’t enough water movement throughout the tank.

I once had a canister filter that flooded my hardwood floor, so I’m gun-shy and sticking with the HOB for now at least. (Yes I know it’s not common for canisters to flood, but I was one of the ”lucky” ones who had that experience.). And the light risers would prevent me from moving the HOB from the back wall to a side wall — tank is just 12” deep at short sides and the AC 30 is too wide to fit on either side of the risers. So though that would help, it’s not really an option. Hence my research into the idea of a very small powerhead or wave maker or something ...
 

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I would try the mini-powerhead. I have a powerhead in my 180 and it makes a huge difference in circulation and the plants next to it definitely grow quicker.

Another thought, have you considered adding a second aquaclear 30 to the other side of the tank where you don't have much water movement?

Another option you might want to consider is the cheap $10 fountain pumps. They move a fair amount of water when submerged with no head and can also be dialed back. They are much more discrete than a powerhead.

Amazon.com: Hygger Ultra Quiet 53GPH (200L/H, 3W) Submersible Mini Water Pump Comes with 2 Nozzles, for Aquariums, Fish Tank, Fountain, Hydroponics, Max Lift Height 1.7ft ,120V/60HZ, Power Cord 6ft: Home Improvement

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PH38TMF/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

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75g, 33L, 2g and play tanks
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I might go with a canister as well. They give you more directional control over the flow of water. Maybe even a little spray bar. I have a spray bar in my 75 which also has a big ass rock in the middle. I ended up with a spray bar that points down slightly then drilled in a few of my own wholes for water agitation on top. Anyway, this ended up creating a mild whirlpool current in my tank except for one corner, But I kinda did that on purpose. One day I want to add some shrimp to that tank and they will need a place to start from; hoping that corner will do for them.

From your photo it looks like you have more clearance than I do behind the stump in the middle of that tank, my rock is only an inch or so away from the back. So I think with a canister you will get some good circulation. and for a 17 gal, you can get something small(probably$100 or less brand new). or whatever size and find a used one. replacement o-rings are pretty cheap on some of those canister systems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to you both for the help. I’m still trying to figure this out so I appreciate it.

@Oughtsix, I’ve not thought about adding another HOB or a cheap fountain pump, but I will. I am strongly considering getting the Jebao SLW-5. It looks relatively small and seems to offer adjustable flow rates and patterns, as well as a wide dispersal field to hopefully get water moving throughout the tank. Can’t find many reviews of it online, though people do seem to like the bigger SLW units (SLW-10, 20, etc.). Wish it was free, and really would prefer not to add any more equipment in the tank, but it seems like a fair option.

@Aaronious, I’m trying to stay away from canisters, but I’m sure it would be a good option if I was so inclined. I do have a little wiggle room between the back of tank and back of driftwood – not a lot, but some.

If anyone knows anything about the Jebao SLW-5, especially whether it will create too much turbulence/flow in my 17 gallon tank, I’d love to have your thoughts.
 
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