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best circulation/flow setup

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by lynette, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. lynette

    lynette New Member

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    Hi everyone
    I have a 120cmx50cmx50cm rectangular 300 litre tank which i'm planning to attempt my first aquascape on, but need some advice regarding optimum circulatio/flow setup for the tank I have. I have read so much on this subject, but the advice on my UK forum is so contradictory, & has only served to confuse me more.

    I have a Fluval 406 external filter, a Koralia 3200L/PH wavemaker/powerhead. I have the inlet and outlet hoses both on same side of tank at the rear. The water from the outlet pipe pushes water down the length of the tank towards the koralia. This is positioned to then continue the flow in the same direction, down the whole front length of tank. Then the flow is taken up by the intakke hose.

    Iunderstand the importance of 10x water turnover, but an additional filter is out of the question at the moment, so bought the koralia in the hope it might help. The plan is to go for a triangular shaped slope moun to left of tank with a lot of redmoor roots as focal point, and there will be a smaller seperate mound on right side of tank that will act as a secondary lesser focal point with a small redmoor root and rocks. The two mounds will both be heavily planted but with mostly low growing plants and lots of moss on hardscape. I am not planning to carpet the substrate.

    Will the circulation I have be adequate do you think? The other forum is pro spray bar, but I've read these reduce the outfow, and can lessen the flow around the tank. I do have a full length spraybar if needed. I have no idea if I should be using it or not. Some say no, others say you shouldn't run a planted tank without one. I'm just looking to make the best of the equipment I have.

    Would a smartwave controller on koralia make any difference to having koralia on without? Would the smartwave give a different flow effect in the tank? It's an extra £56 if needed, so don't want to waste money on one if it's not gonna make a significant difference. If there is any other additional equipment that you feel I may need that will assist what I already have them I'm completely open to suggestions.

    I apologise for the length of post, I would be so grateful for any help anyone can offer. The more I read, the more it confuses. You all seem a highly professional bunch of people, whose opinions I would value greatly. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
     
  2. lynette

    lynette New Member

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    Its ok don't need help now, have figured the Best. configuration myself
     
  3. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    sorry we weren't able to help.


    My suggestion in case you are interested, is to have all components of flow working together. The outlet pushes and the inlet pulls. Have them next to each other so the water that flows back along the bottom of the tank picks up detritus and brings it to the outlet. I would suggest you either place your koralia with your outlet or in the opposite back corner. I should mention your outflow should be on the front long panel. This is because it will not quickly be interrupted by the opposite panel and generally the front is more open allowing for good water flow.

    You have enough flow if you can visually see the water moving in all parts of the tank. If you have locations where the water is settling then you lack flow.

    A wave controller is not necessary. Constant flow is best in a freshwater planted setup.

    Spray bars can work, but do reduce flow, they also do not work in the same push pull manner meaning you don't get the most of out of the energy in the moving water. With push and pull the water has momentum, creating greater flow with less energy. The other component of good flow is to have a wide broad flow instead of a small high volume flow pushing everything. This is why lily pipes are nice (besides the aesthetics). They broaden the flow. You can have 200 gph, but there are multiple ways of getting it. You can move a smaller volume of water faster or you can move more water slower. You want to move more water slower. Either way you are moving the same volume in the same amount of time, one is just better than the other.

    I have a 90 cm tank with an eheim pro 2075 and an ecotech pump (the best pump available since it provides good broad flow). I can see the water moving through all parts of the tank and the leaves of my stem plants gently swaying in the return current.

    Scape design is also an important factor. I couldn't grow stems in good form directly opposite of the outflow and pump. It would push them down, so when planting it is important to consider where the bulk of the force is going and if the planting will look best in that location.
     
    keithgh likes this.

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