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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Morning all!

So I am looking into increasing flow in my tank... As you can see in the photo I have the output flow pushing to the right of the thank and then I have a powerhead pushing the water to the left but pointing upwards to get surface agitation.. I am looking for more of a circular movement to try capture all the aquarium to get some flow.. What are your opinions and what should I change to get things working better?

Reason why I am doing this is that I am starting to get some algae and dead spots so would like to get some more flow moving..



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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
any why are some really nice aquariums they dont even have extra flow and just have of their filters?
 

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Powerheads and wave makers. I used to use wave makers a lot in my fowlr tanks to help with dead spots. I've used powerheads in my walstad's for flow issues.

Most algae issues are more due to imbalances in ferts then flow issues. Flow issues can contribute to dead zones but spot treating those areas can help.

Is it possible there's excess dead or dying plant matter or a build up of decaying food or organics collecting in there? You may be able to get away with focusing on those areas during water changes to remove this.
 

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Fwiw, I have found good flow to be a critical differentiator between my successful and not-so-successful high tech tanks.

I would recommend a spraybar along the back creating a nice uniform flow. Back to front, down the glass, and along the substrate into your scape.

Mmmmm yes. Loves me some good flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Fwiw, I have found good flow to be a critical differentiator between my successful and not-so-successful high tech tanks.

I would recommend a spraybar along the back creating a nice uniform flow. Back to front, down the glass, and along the substrate into your scape.

Mmmmm yes. Loves me some good flow.
Do you have this on your tank? If so any photos?
 

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Get a more powerful canister. I do not like the look of the spraybars.
To each his own. I will say though that high flow is not the same as good flow. A spraybar is one way to get good flow. Certainly not the only way though!
 

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To each his own. I will say though that high flow is not the same as good flow. A spraybar is one way to get good flow. Certainly not the only way though!
IMO people go a little too crazy on getting pricey oversized filters without truly understanding the purpose and utility of proper adequate flow. Glad to see your comments on this as it backs up how I've felt and methods I've used for success. As starting to question my sanity on my filtration choices reading up on here.
 

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Over the years, I’ve played with various spraybars, powerheads and pumps (Hydor Koralia), which all work with correct directional tuning. In recent years, I’ve settled upon one spraybar that traverses the entire length (30 inches) of my tank. However, I place it in the very front of the tank, pointing down so that it sweeps the glass front, then across the substrate from front to back and up the rear of the tank.

The benefits that I find to this are:
  • With stems that reach the top, I don’t have them constantly pushed toward either the front or sides.
  • Unimpeded flow until the bottom back half of the tank is reached (main plant locations) which provides more uniform whole-tank circulation.
  • The substrate is swept with stronger circulation.
  • Aesthetically, there are no pumps, powerheads or obvious HOB-type returns in the tank.

I don’t use this for gas exchange purposes, but the water surface clearly is moving toward the front of the tank. My primary engine for gas exchange is a small, inexpensive, surface skimmer, which dramatically maximizes O2 levels (by about 50%), as indicated by a Salifert O2 test kit.

To do this spraybar, I use a small aluminum bar that sits on the top of the rim and holds the spray bar to it with small ties. The spraybar is made up of segments that insert into one another (see Amazon). In my case, I have an opaque border on the rim that completely hides the sparaybar, but the spraybar would only impact a clear rim by about ¾”.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks all for your comments!

The spray bar sounds great , but that means that I need a cannister which I dot have space for. My current powerhead I believe is a bit over powered so might get a less powerful one.. From the photo I posted above how do you think I should modify it to get the best possible circulation ?
 

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I think a 45 degree angle is the best..it sweeps over the substrate and keeps it cleanest. BUT!..the problem is if you have tall background plants? That angle will cause them to lean forward,shading the plants under them. If you don't have tall grassy plants or tall stems plants,then stick with the 45 degree's and preferably at both back corners of the aquarium.
I did notice that Amano brought that up on a Sumida video..where he tells the helper he wants the flow along the back because he does not want plants leaning forward. How true.
 

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It might have been the front come to think of it...but for sure he wanted the return flow to go along the length of the tanks front glass. I've learned that sage advice I gave you,but also I had to break that rule when my tallest C.balansae got in the 30" range..so I had to redirect the flow along the back of the tank- leaning left or right doesn't matter much then. But,I now have to work a bit harder on getting detritus that settles in a tank with a circular pattern.
Its one of the Sumida ADA youtube vids and Amano gets kind of angry at the kid for both the direction and also because he used 3" pipe ( strong jet flow) instead of a I think 6" that made a more calm return.
If I find it later I will post.
 

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Reason why I am doing this is that I am starting to get some algae and dead spots so would like to get some more flow moving..
I can't think of a single time I've seen increasing flow solve an algae problem. Most often it's the opposite, too much or too highly concentrated flow causing algae.

Right now your flow pattern is poor. You have your two flow sources aimed right at each other.

IMO flow is often misunderstood. People hear they need good flow and think that means plants waving around. It doesn't. You want a wide gentle laminar flow that creates a flow pattern that has purpose.

If you seek out the best planted tanks in the world, you would be surprised that most every one relies only on filter flow. You don't see extra power heads and plants waving around.

Like some others have mentioned, spray bars are excellent at producing wide gentle flow. In my tank I have spray bars aimed at an angle up to the water surface. This creates good surface ripple and oxygen levels. The flow goes across the front of the tank, down the front glass, across the substrate then back to the rear of the tank. Almost all detritus ends up along the back edge of the tank and is easy to vacuum up during a water change.

Now as to the algae you mentioned, it likely has a different cause. But that is an entirely different conversation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah I think its due to dosing Iron.. as soon as I started the staghorn appeared..

Yes its very true! I never could understand that the nicest tanks have no powerheads at all... i moved the powehead to point to the middle of the tank but still pointing up for surface agitation but not sure it thats gooe enough... do you have a pic of your setup?
 

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Yeah I think its due to dosing Iron.. as soon as I started the staghorn appeared..

Yes its very true! I never could understand that the nicest tanks have no powerheads at all... i moved the powehead to point to the middle of the tank but still pointing up for surface agitation but not sure it thats gooe enough... do you have a pic of your setup?
The spray bars are painted black and disappear into the black background. They are about 1" below the surface angled up at about 45*. The constant surface ripple (oxygen) is great for the both the fish and plants.

04-25-2021.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Omg wow thats amazing! Well done!! Beautiful tank! Do you have a closeup of the spray bar? Also is it connected to the outflow or seperate?
 
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