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HI, I'm a little unclear about the proper use of a power head. I get the flow part. But I read some posts that claim the benefit of increased oxygenation (and increased CO2 also) from the increased surface agitation. But isn't surface agitation bad, for offgassing CO2? I am planning a low-tech non-CO2 (maybe DIY) 75 gal. What is the best use of a powerhead in that situation? Thanks for any advice!
 

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I'm running a power head now(MaxiJet 1200). PH is on the short side near top, aiming across and slightly down, Does a good job with circulation with no surface agitation. I am using the flat diffuser.
 

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Good timing. I have a similar question. I decided that increased flow was a good next project. I bought the smallest SEIO propeller powerhead because they rotate almost 180, so it seemed ideal to mount to the back wall and turn anywhere into the 48" x 18" tank.

My tank is now pretty thick with plants. I mounted it in high in the left third of the back wall, angled down and into the middle of the tank. Seemed perfect.

When I turned on the powerhead it was like a Hurricane in the tank....plants bending in the wind, fish tumbling out of control...

Well, not quote that bad, but It seemed like too much. A lesser pump wouldn't seem to add enough flow to do much though. So I thought I'd ask, how do many of you use powerheads.

My goal was to add enough flow to move detritus out from within thick plants and maybe stir up the surface of the substrate a bit.

Thanks
 

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I use a Zoomed Powersweep in my tank. In my opinion, in the low tech planted tank, it is best to not use the tubing to introduce oxygen into the water. I have read in these forums that some people do hook up their co2 line to the powerhead to evenly distribute and I can see how that would work pretty darn well. For your low tech application, set the powerhead far enough below the waterline to make sure there is no surface agitation. Your setup would benefit from the increased water movement but you need to keep your natural co2 in the tank. I hope I answered your question as I have a tendancy to like hearing myself ramble uselessly for hours on end.:icon_redf
 

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For a non-CO2 tank I'd think surface agitation would help keep CO2 levels in equilibrium with the surrounding air. So I'd say it would be good. Then again that might depend on the fish load.

SteveU
 

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I am a newbie at planted tanks but I have kept reef tanks before and reefs are all about water flow.

A power head is the worst thing to use for circulation. You see with a regular powerhead(aquaclear, penguin,maxijet etc) the flow is very concentrated and abrasive. You need a propeler pump. A pump that has the propeller in the front. Hydor Koralia(good bang for dollar), Vorteh(expensive) they spread the flow out, wide. Water movement with little concentration.

Example I have a nano reef that is 24 gallons. I have 600-700 gph and fish are not fighting currents and could use a bit more.
 

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This is how my Powerheads are set up, but this is a larger tank. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/equipment/98714-co2-distribution.html
But after trying different powerheads what I did find is the Penguins & the Maxijet seem to deliver more head pressure than the Hydor comparing same GPH.
Also when using a Powerhead with a diffuser beneath it to blow Co2 across the tank a very high % of the Co2 leaving the diffuser is easily directed into the Penguin & maxijet powerheads in particular fitted With the tapered filter/intake. As for the Hydor I did't think the transfer of Co2 was as efficient & with the lower head pressure did'nt blow the gas bubbles very far @ all. Again this was my findings on a heavily planted 120gal & taking this into consideration, the Hydor may work very well on smaller tanks.
I have found a limited amount of surface movement is beneficial on Co2 tanks as it stops that nasty slick forming on the surface.
 

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I use a MJ 1200 in a 40g breeder as a CO2 mister, love it. Flow isn't too much either. My sub-adult plecos, believe it or not, sit IN the output and hang there for hours. Goofballs.

If I had a smaller Koralia that would be my choice. They won't blow stuff all over the place but still provide the flow you need/want. Their flow is WIDE!
 

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In my 90 I have 4 Rio 50s. I use the 90° elbows and have them pointing straight down. Two in the back next to my heaters to aid in dispersing heated water throughout the tank and two up front to provide flow over my foreground. They work great and I get good bottom flow.

For a low tech you can use the diffusor to add O2 and CO2. I would keep the diffusor closed somewhat at first then open it up a little at a time to try and dial in the right amount of surface aggitation and to help keep the spray of off your lighting.
 
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