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Old 11-17-2007, 02:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Water Current and Plants

I have a 29 gallon El Natural tank with an AquaClear 20 powerhead. The only plants in the tank are narrow-leaf anacharis, Hygrophila polysperma and giant hygrophila. I've noticed that the plants which are directly in the path of the current coming out of the powerhead are much healthier looking and are growing much more quickly than the plants in calmer water. Is this a coincidence, or do these plants grow better with a strong current blowing over them? Should I turn the powerhead to blow directly over all of the plants?

Here is a picture of my tank. You can see that the plants are much fuller and better looking near the powerhead.


For reference, here is a picture of my tank immediately after planting:
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water Current and Plants

I'm of the opinion that more flow is a good thing. It helps to pass the nutrients in the water column over the leaves of the plants for increased absorbtion.
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Old 11-17-2007, 07:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water Current and Plants

I agree too. Circulation is an important element in a planted tank. It is important to have enough. I think current will help almost every plant, except for maybe something that is real delicate and could be damaged in a stronger current.

If you can get circulation/current moving across all of your plants, they all will do better. They all should gently sway back and forth in the tank. Then you will know your circulation/current is sufficient.

Having the powerhead blow across all of them would work, like you ask.

-Mike B-
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water Current and Plants

A good water current is beneficial because it brings a constant supply of nutrients to all of the leaves, never allowing the water at any leaf to be deficient in any nutrient. This is very noticeable when you set up a tank with good water flow throughout the tank, and the plants grow so big and full that they restrict the current. Then problems start, like BBA, for example. But, once you prune the plants back to restore the good water flow, the problems go away. I'm not sure how one can get a full lush growth of plants throughout the tank and still keep the water flow going. I haven't succeeded at that yet.
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Old 11-18-2007, 04:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Water Current and Plants

Thanks for the replies. I aimed the powerhead straight across the back of the tank, but the current was forcing the giant hygro at the opposite end right up against the glass. I put it back where it used to be (in the back corner aimed diagonally towards the front), but I played with the angle until all of the plants started to move a bit. I noticed some brown diatoms on the plants that were getting less current before. I rubbed them off and hopefully the current will keep the diatoms from returning.

Last edited by MadChemist; 11-19-2007 at 06:28 AM..
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Old 11-18-2007, 10:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water Current and Plants

Sounds like you found a good angle to place your powerhead.

-Mike B-
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