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I have 3 tanks in the works all with pads of some sort (Nymphaea alba, Brasenia, & Pondweed) so I can not have surface agitation (which is bad anyway for de-carbonizing/releasing CO2). How would you go about this while maintaining healthy circulation?

The traditional glass lily pipe seems to flutter the water surface I need flow under the pads, would you recommend a round doughnut shape or maybe a snail?
 

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There are different sized lily pipes. The one I use it is more narrow shaped and makes not even a slight ripple. I also have a Koralia nano power head for added flow. You don't want to much though. Take a look at different sites that sell lily pipes and find one that will work with your size tank. I also have a lily pipe that is more circular rather then narrow which also never gave me a surface ripple or anything. :)
 

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Check out violet pipes. They angle more downward than lily and don't disrupt the surface.

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