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it wouldn't hurt at all unless your blowing all y our plants off the substrate.
 
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IMO surface agitation is actually to be avoided as much as possible. For the same reason as above.

Tank water circulation is very important, though. It distributes the heat and circulates the water so that the oxygenated water from the surface is exchanged with oxygen-poor water in the bottom of the tank. This works to prevent water stratification.

You could use something like a Koralia pump or other water-moving device. I am using a Fluval U2 internal filter with no media.
 

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I thought I read that surface agitation is not recommended since it will eliminate built up CO2? I don't have much of any in mine but I'm also a noob. My plants are fine but no fish yet.
That said, I just moved my spray bar to the water level pointed 45 degrees down to try and get more oxygen in the tank when I noticed all my snails hanging out on the surface.

It's all about balance I suppose...
 

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If you have fish or inverts living in your tank, you need at the very minimum a ripple across the surface of the tank in order for enough O2 to diffuse into the water column. If your filter is strong enough, you probably won't need a powerhead if it is providing enough GPH, but like mentioned, it won't hurt unless your fish don't like the high current or your plants are getting push around everywhere.
 

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I use a power head mounted below the surface with a Venturi valve to bring in gas exchange. Virtually silent, cheap: AquaClear20. I do have it on top of a sponge filter (ie I'm not using a separate pump but a powerhead for the filter) as "insurance"- I feel more comfortable with some filtration.
 
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