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I'm trying to understand what might be optimal circulation conditions.

Is there optimal placement for your c02 diffusion ? I've seen some aquariums that baffle me where plants might be blocking the circulation. Does it matter ?

I've also run into threads where people are talking about breaking the surface film with circulation. Can someone elaborate on that ? Why is it bad ?

And one last thing. I've also run into threads mentioning having power heads to aid in circulation. How necessary is this and what should the placement be ?

Thanks everyone. I'm trying to soak everything up.
 

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Circulation is very important. The nutrients in the water column need to be circulated throughout the tank to reach each plant. CO2 also needs good circulation to reach each plant. If you notice any dead zones (areas with little to no water movement) within your tank, you probably need to modify your filter's outlet or add a powerhead to create movement more evenly in your tank.

Trust me, if you're using medium-high lighting, CO2, and you are dosing fertilizers, you'll quickly notice if you don't have good circulation as those areas will become algae havens.

I hope this is of some help!

Charlie
 

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Here is a good post on CO2 distribution http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1785738&postcount=160

Breaking surface film with circulation is just having the filter outflow so that it disrupts the waters surface to get rid of the gunk that will build up over time. This is nothing you really have to deal with if you are using a H.O.B. filter. As far as I know the surface film is mainly just unattractive and gross. If you have fish that breath through labyrinth organs like a betta then the film can get too thick so that they have trouble getting air also.
 

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Quite a bit of gas exchange happens at the surface. The more gunked up the surface is the less gas exchange happens. Oxygen for the fish is the easiest, most obvious benefit to keeping the surface clean.
 

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If there is a surface film the exchange of oxygen is limited which isn't good for the critters in the tank. Oxygen is limited enough in the warm water aquariums most of us have as warm water holds less than cooler water.
 
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