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So I moved my lily pipe from the back towards the front and noticed something cool. The co2 distribution from the diffuser on the other side of the tank is just as good, and by looking at the way the bubbles move I can see that the "whirlpool" type of flow makes water flow faster on the BACK glass of the tank and before, when I had the outflow in towards the back, the flow was strongest on the front glass and the waters pretty much went OVER the stems in the back, hit the other side of the tank and swirled around and flowed back, giving the foreground much more flow than the background. Before, the majority of the co2 bubbles were above my HC foreground, and now the majority of them are flowing through the leaves and amongst the stems of my background plants.

It seems to me that Amano chooses to place the intake towards the front pane of glass for the above reasons. Putting it towards the front gives much more flow in the back of the tank, making water flow through the stems and distributing co2 and nutrients and preventing detritus build up MUCH better when the outflow is placed toward the front rather than towards the back.

Placing the outflow of the lily pipe in the dead center doesn't create this "whirlpool effect" that I have noticed. It does not make a "double 'U'" pattern, only a single "U".

I just thought this was interesting. I am keeping my lily pipe towards the front. It works much better if you have stem plants in the back.
 

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One more observation about good flow and (pretty surprising) plant health:

In this tank:
http://www.aquatic-plants.org/gallery/javafern55

I had a lot of Java Fern. Apaprently. It was really dense - like hard cabbage leaves stuck together. You can see the exceptional health of the plant.

What is interesting for this discussion is that in that tank I had a spraybar running along the bottom of the tank. It was in the back shooting water forward. When I took the Java Fern out of the tank I was pretty shocked to find out that all the leaves on the back of the tank were fresh green. There was no difference between the leaves close to the light and the leaves living in complete 24/7 darkness in the back of the Java Fern bush and close to the bottom.

I attribute that to the fact that those leaves were the closest to the spray bar. Also the flow went under the Java Fern bush and up. Basically engulfing the entire plant as a sheet. On top of that the excess P really made the Fern happy. But it does appear that the perfect flow probably had to do a lot with the plant's exceptional health, especially where there was constant darkness.

The tank on the pictures is 4' long. The Java Fern taken out of the tank was placed on a 6' table. It stretched 6' long and it was about 8" thick laying sideways. That's A LOT of plant. And every single leaf was as green and beautiful as on the last picture:

http://www.aquatic-plants.org/gallery/javafern55/DSCN3516_1

--Nikolay
 

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JustLikeAPill,

Do you mean that placing the flow dead center on the side glass did NOT create the whirlpool effect? Or it DID create the effect?

"...Placing the outflow of the lily pipe in the dead center does create this "whirlpool effect" that I have noticed. It does not make a "double 'U'" pattern, only a single "U"...."

--Nikolay
 

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wow nice that was a nice tank just use the java fern.. how much java fern did you start with, and how fast did it grow? did you have t12 t10 t8 or t5 lighting normal or high out put? I guess when it says 2wpg to 4wpg it was t12? also when you say "P" you mean potassium right ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
JustLikeAPill,

That's great info, thanks for sharing your observation. Do you have a camera capable of taking video? I'd be interested in seeing some fish food moving around in your aquarium.

Regards,
Phil
 

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I have an ipod that records video, I can play with it today and see how it works. If it's crappy I can read the instructions on my sony cybershot and see if that works better.

I don't actually own any fish food since I have no fish. Maybe I can turn down the flow and use food coloring to show where the water moves?
 

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Hey Phil & All,
Really loving this thread. last week I started to increase flow through an eheim cannister filter on a 55 gal tank. I did so by changing out the media to lava rock that was purchased at the home depot.
I left the lower tier of old media & plan on removing the balance this weekend with more lava rock. I have already notice increase flow & the tank is clearer but still not crystal clear. I purchased some polishing cloth at the LFS (24 X 36). I am going to cut it to probably three times the diameter of the cannister,wad it up & stick in the top of the filter. I have been fighting algea...lol what a surprise <g>!

I also took Joey's suggestion and moved my already cut in half spray bar, the one furnished with the filter & moved it from the rear of tank to the side of the tank , the side with the inlet&with the end cap on the spray bar.
This time I pointed it up a bit so it rippled the water a bit. Then I took a Koralia (think its a #1, I had a #2 but it was way to strong) & relocated it to the opposite side (about 5" from the water syurface pointing to the mid point of the tanks length. The result is much nicer, no more stems a blowing in the wind. I am thinking about down sizing the koralia as it is is sucking in some of the plant leaves due to its size.

I will take video with some fish food flying around so you can see the pattern. It is definetly an improvement. As a ::SIDE BAR:: maybe I'll get some sgae advice on my annoying *^$%&&^%$ algea. Notice I take ownership...LOL

Great Thread
 

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I have a sony cyber shot the one that cost about 300 bucks- makes a great video compared to the 100 dollar version.
I'll post it later - off to get some otto's

later gang
 

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I tried taking video with food coloring since I don't have food, but it didn't turn out and my tank is blue.

The good news is that anyone can look at the flow themselves just by moving the lily pipe back to front, front to the back, to the center and experiment a little bit.
 

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I expect layers of water moving with different speeds to color differently.

Could I ask you to add purple, orange, yellow, and neon green food coloring to the tank too. So we can track the movement really, really precisely?

--Nikolay
 

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wow nice that was a nice tank just use the java fern.. how much java fern did you start with, and how fast did it grow? did you have t12 t10 t8 or t5 lighting normal or high out put? I guess when it says 2wpg to 4wpg it was t12? also when you say "P" you mean potassium right ?
Started with about 10 leaves of JF. Grew to that monstrosity in about 3 months.

Bulbs were Power Compacts, the tank existed in 2002.

P is for Phosphorus (K is Potasium).

--Nikolay
 

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wow that fast. so 10 leafs grow to a 6 foot long table worth in 3 months, with you just using high light and phosphotus dozing, any other dosing?
 

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Doesn't sound right but I guess it really grew that fast. I remember that I ordered the plants online from aquariumplants.com. You don't get "a Tex_Gal sized portion" when you order plants online.

The Java Fern was part of an order of about 10 plant species. It all came in a box the size of 2 shoe boxes. So the Java Fern must have been no more than 10 leaves.

The first month I had the tank setup with "chat" - gravel used under roads, you can see mountains of it around every road construction site. The chat released tons of Ca and some plants grew 6-8" in about 8 hours. The water was milky from the Calcium and a thick dirty looking foam was on the surface at all times - flocculation basically. So I guess the Java Fern grew super fast too. I tore down the tank after a month - after someone told me how CO2 makes the Ca from the substrate disolve into the water.

Anyway, back to flow now. After 6 days without changing water in my big tank, feeding the fish very heavily, and seeing abot 5 gallons of evaporation (it's very dry now in Dallas) I finally start to see some Cladophora creeping up. The Bolbitis has been growing very well with all that flow + I guess a little dirtier water. BBA does not even try to come back.

I'm still to organize my flow to form the "U" along the front glass that we all agree is probably a special kind of pattern that works wonders. But so far just increased flow has made a big change to my big overstocked tank with only 1 kind of plant in it.

--Nikolay
 

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"First off, I'd like to say how cool it is to have someone who works in the fluid dynamics field in on this discussion! :whoo:"

Thanks Phil. I actually just work in sales for a major tech company. We have a division specialized in data center design and optimization. Fluid dynamics modeling is one component of what they do. I sell that service among everythin else, so I know a little about it, but I'm a real lightweight, not expert for sure.

Your comments make sense...the flowand pressures created by our equipment would make everything else irrelevant in scale.

Any thoughts on use of wave makers to create an occasional surge to and a wave of turbulence through a tank. I hate the look of waves lapping back and forth in a planted tank, but use of occasional pulses of a large volume of water as an alternative to elaborate outflows seems interesting.
 

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Tex Guy!

Wonderful information!

I see that you or someone else has been converting the metric units into Imperial. To figure out the ratio of flow suggested by ADA to the size of the tank. For everyone that has not followed this discussion closely - when using their proprietary filters ADA suggests pretty low ratio of tank volume to filter flow. That is because of 2 reasons:

1. They use special pumps that do not easily reduce the flow if the filter media clogs up.
2. They place the inflow and ouflow pipe in a special, very precise way, that makes the water in the tank move very well.


And if someone missed that - note that in the filter they DO NOT use any mechanical filtration. No coarse of fine filter pads. Never. Biofiltraton rules according to ADA. Of course - and reasonably at that (the biofilter is not established yet) - Activated Carbon is used in the first 1-2 months of the tank life.

This wonderful information that Tex Guy posted has no explanations why. I think that in the last few months we here have discussed and understood quite a bit and can now follow ADA's advice with great understanding. Someone asked me just yesterday if the last few years of hanging out on forums has lead me to any kind of better understanding of this hobby. I think we will all agree - with this thread and a few others we have indeed learned something.

I personally really feel that I'm now capable of starting a tank and keeping it clean every single time. My desire to learn to do that dates back to about 2003. At some point I had lost hope that I will ever know. I saw a few people that were as obseesed as I was about finding "Amano's secret" just disappear from the hobby because it seemed so frustrating. I hope that everybody reading this thread appreciates the infomation that we all finally pieced together. As Luis Navarro and Jeff Senske always said - "There is no secret." It's all common sense really. And it is not Amano's single handed research and experience. One just needs to be open to look and find the knowledge.

--Nikolay
 

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Actually the Bio Rio that Amano uses is REALLY good at capturing debris, even the silt when aquasoil is stirred up. I replaced all my media with Bio Rio for that reason. It compacts and catches a lot of debris but does slow down the flow a bit.

I only use Bio Rio (and purigen on top) in my ecco. I do have a coarse filter pad on bottom but that is only so the bio rio doesn't fall through the bottom tray (it's pretty small.)
 
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