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Improve water circulation?

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I have an AquaClear HOB filter for my 10 gallon. The output flow hits driftwood in the center. Not much water movement on the far right, far left sides of the tank. (see pic) How do I increase circulation without too much agitation?

I set up my tank 3 months ago and am still battling diatoms. BBA popped up 3 weeks ago. I started adding Excel 2 weeks ago to help with plant growth and algae.

pH: 7.4
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrites: 0 ppm
Nitrates: 5-20 ppm
GH: 4 drops (71ppm)
KH: 0-2 drops (<17-35ppm)

Ferts EI dosing: KNO3 2x/week, KH2PO4 2x/week, Flourish 1x/week.

Water source: TAP and RO blend 50/50 (50% wc/week)

Light: Finnex Stingray 6 hrs/day

Inhabitants: 2 ghost shrimp, 1 nerite snail. (I will get a betta, mystery snail, and more shrimps in a couple months.)


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98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Haha it's there just doesn't show very well by this angle of the picture. It's in the middle. The intake tube is transparent. The output flow shows right below the black handle.

What I don't like about the HOB is 1. floating plants don't work and 2. the output is too strong for a betta's liking. If I slow the output there isn't enough water circulation. There is a lot of detritus on the substrate despite 40-50% weekly wc. I'm getting a small mix of algae: BBA, diatoms (not true algae), BGA (only a couple pebbles I remove right away), and fine hair algae (forgot to unplug the filter as I siphoned the water. Stirred up junk on the substrate). I think the water quality isn't great because of rotting plant matter. (I'm not good with plants.) So I'm going to increase wc every other day until it looks better. When I set up the tank I aquascaped for esthetics, later realizing it's not the best layout for good plant growth or a good mix of plant species.

I'm considering switching to a sponge filter with airline, but does that work well with Excel based tanks? I thought airstones are not good for planted tanks with CO2 or Excel.
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