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Water movement

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Beckmola24

Hawkfish
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
1,112
Location
Columbus, OH
I know there's a thread about flow right now, but I didn't want to steal it. I have a 90 gallon acrylic that I am in the process of setting up. I have a Mag24 for my return. What other flow mechanisms would be reccomended? I am thinking about a wave maker, but I'd appreciate input on what would be the best way to handle this. How many powerheads and what outputs on them?? Or are there other ways... This is my first large tank. I only have 2 pwrheads in my 20 so I don't know what I'm dealing with here. :confused: Thanks for any input!
 

reedman

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
3,255
Location
Mukilteo, WA
Hey Becky,

personally I would recommend a closed loop system over the powerhead route. With a larger tank you will need many powerheads to get good flow and that will introduce more heat into the tank.

What do you plane to keep, coral wise?

If you are planning keep softies then you might be able to go with 4 to 6 maxijet 1200s on a wave timer. If you are going towards SPS, then I would strongly encourage you to look at some of the closed loop configs out there. The more flow you have the more you can keep detritus in suspension so that you can export more via skimming.

Give a little more info for the future vision of the tank and we'll give more advice.
 

Beckmola24

Hawkfish
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
1,112
Location
Columbus, OH
I am looking at keeping every type of coral. There is no specific type that I'm looking to keep, but there will deffinately be SPS in the tank. I have the lighting capacity to keep anything and everything. What types of closed loop configs are there? I would like to try and keep heat out of the tank since I probably won't be getting a chiller anytime soon. Won't the Mag24 provide a lot of flow?? It's rated for 2400GPH.
 

reedman

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
3,255
Location
Mukilteo, WA
A lot of flow is a relative measure Becky. I have an ampmaster 3000 on a 75 and I'd like more flow. It all depends on what you want. Do you plan to have a substrate? will you have any corals that don't like high flow? are you planning to have some of the tank with high flow and some with lower flow. If so, you will have detritus collect in the lower flow area.

I guess what I am saying is you can set up the flow almost anyway you like, but you have to plan for what results from that flow pattern.

Most people with CLS use a manifolt to distribute the output of the pump to multiple outputs in the tank. I use 1.5" PVC to a T-fitting, then I have 4 3/4" outputs at various locations along the back of my tank. I use loc-line in the tank so I can fine tune where my flow goes. You can add a SCWD to one of the outputs to increase the random flow in the tank. There are so many things you can do with flow, I have a hard time narrowing it down.
 

Beckmola24

Hawkfish
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
1,112
Location
Columbus, OH
I really need help... Are there any other ideas on what I could do? This is my first larg tank and I really don't know where to begin on the plumbing. I want to be able to house any types of corals and I would like a good strong flow. I will be having a shallow sand bed bottom. I would like to stay away from powerheads if possible due to heat... Thanks for your ideas!
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
7,670
Location
Columbia Falls, MT.
I goota go with reed on this one. Strong flow is one thing, strong random flow is another. Since your tank is acrylic, it ewould be easy to drill holes for closed loop systems. Sea swirls would be another idea to create random flow without putting heat into the tank.
There are probably a few threads on here that would describe different closed loops that you could do, besides just the return from your Mag24. HTH
 

LakeEd

Achilles
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
1,333
Location
Bremerton, WA
Becky,

What I'm reading here is there is no "Correct" flow for any tank. What mostly needs to influence your choice, is what you PLAN on keeping in your tank.

For instance;
Sea Anemone's enjoy a Medium to Low Flow, and don't appreciate being tossed around in a High Flow area much at all. In higher flow, they don't open as large, and may even continuously wander or even hide under and behind rocks, which deprives them of the expensive lighting you've provided that they also need to thrive.
SPS's are filter feeders, and have hundreds to thousands of little mouths to feed (their polyps), and the higher the water movement around those little mouths the more food they are able to filter from the water column, the happier they are.
Sand beds, while being a lovely white bottom for our colorful reefs, tend to be very small particles which can easily be stirred up by direct flow into them. This may cause much more cloudy water. If we desire the higher flow, then we need to think about having this flow coming from near the bottom, and pointing mainly upwards to help keep this "Sand Storm" effect from happening.
Bare Bottom tanks, while not quite as aesthetically pleasing to some as the white sand, doesn't have the "Sand Storm" effect, and having a higher flow helps any detritus from hiding in corners, allowing it to be exported more readily.

What does all this REALLY mean for you?

Look around… Decide what you want in this tank you own… Learn what water conditions those things “Thrive” best in, and compare them to one another. You may find you enjoy mostly SPS’s… so the higher flow the better. You may find your most favorite thing out there is a Pulsing Xenia… and then will want to ensure a medium to low flow rate to get the full enjoyment of its pulsing.

The more you know, the happier you AND your tank inhabitants will be!

Ed
 

ReefShack

sps junkie
Joined
Sep 2, 2003
Messages
45
Location
Snohomish, WA
Becky,

I'd have to agree with Ed on this one. Try to imagine what you want your reef to look like...sps or softies. I'd stay away from combining them, though it's been done many times with varying degrees of success. This will help dictate the type of water flow you need. I'm over in Snohomish so, if you'd like to drop by and see my setup, let me know. It might help give you some ideas if you want to keep sps.

Ron
 

Schottman

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
166
Location
Tacoma Washington
The amount of flow is not the only thing to consider as far as GPH but also how tightly packed your live rock is. The tighter the rock is packed the more the flow is stopped. I remember hearing about closed loop systems and my first thought was these tanks must look like whirlpools. But after having seen a 3000 gph pump on a 90 with loosly packed rock allowing maxiumum flow, I do not thoink it was over kill. I plan on using an ampmaster 3600 for a closed dloop on my 120 and a return pump somewhere around 1200-1600 gph.

HTH
Dave
 
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