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Discussion Starter #1
The top shelf in my new fish room is 10 feet long and 2.5 feet wide and I can fit a 15" high aquarium there. I think I will make a river aquarium. Have most of the plants and decor in the mid ground and make the water swirl round them. Suggestions and criticism invited. :welcome:
 

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That sounds interesting. That will be quite heavy. You'll have to have short plants. How will you make the water "swirl around them"? Do you just mean you'll have a current that will move the leaves?
 

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essabee, are you thinking of making the decor in the mid-ground tall enough that the water will make a complete circuit around the tank? Or are you thinking of a one-way river as per the link to Loaches?

Either way, 10 long (if the tank is one way, full length of the shelf) or longer (if it makes a loop) will need additional pumps (or at least water outlets) along the length of the run, as well as the main pumping intake and outlet(s).

10' x 2.5' x 1.25' is 234 American gallons. To make a hillstream type river you will be looking at around 4000 gph water movement. I would do this with a sump and a large pump, with several outlets spaced around the tank, perhaps the intake manifold in the central rock/driftwood pile (for a circular system)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Those of you who are familiar with my planted tank layouts, know that I am one of the few (and we are an endangered species) who still persist with UGF. For those of you who are un-familiar with my set-ups I will simply explain here that about 6” of the fore-ground, immediately behind the glass is a partitioned-off portion of the substrate which is packed in my unique style to form the intake of the UGF. The actual intake is a slitted pipe (very like a spray-bar) which is connected to power-heads at the rear of the aquarium.

Now if I have 4-5 power-heads at the rear each directing its out-flow sidewise in the same direction, I think we might get a good movement going in one direction, especially if I keep a 6” wide channel free from tall vegetation. A few tall flat stones strategically placed could confine most of the flow in this clear channel and that could make the water in the entire channel to move like a stream. A densely planted mid-ground (the rippled portion) would keep the water in the front insulated from the motion of the water in the channel behind it.

Now the movement of the water along the front is what is worrying me. It is totally dependant upon the commotion I have created in the rear and lacks a motive force of its own. Besides that the intake of the UGF is going to have a killing effect on the flow. 10 feet is a long distance, where you are depending on passive forces. I think I might be forced to design a few well directed jets of water all along the front channel to keep the motion going. That might mean more power-heads with their out-put camouflaged as stone decorations in the front channel.

I am still planning so suggestions please.
 

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I remember seeing a long time ago a set up that included a pump with the output directed through PVC pipe under the substrate. Wherever an outlet was needed the pipe Teed, and the actual outlet itself was 1/2" PVC that had been pinched to provide a stronger, more 'point source' sort of flow. This concept was being used in an African Cichild tank, and the jets of water were under the rock structure to keep it clean inside.
Sounds like you need something like this in the front section of your tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have no doubt I can get a strong flow in the rear channel. Once that is done the kinetic energy with the current will require to be neutralised by the resistances of the sides and the inertia in the front channel, this would result in a slow flow along the front channel due to the reaction. The central planted area will have eddy current between the plants, decor and what have we. That's invited as it will keep the water there homogeneous. We cannot have this portion solid. I expect this portion to act as the greatest retardant to the flow.

To offset this I am toying with the idea of having a sub-substrate perimeter of pipe around this portion with jets of water spewing out at a tangent to the perimeter. This would reduce the retardation from the plants etc. and keep the flow going.
 

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I have no doubt I can get a strong flow in the rear channel. Once that is done the kinetic energy with the current will require to be neutralised by the resistances of the sides and the inertia in the front channel, this would result in a slow flow along the front channel due to the reaction. The central planted area will have eddy current between the plants, decor and what have we. That's invited as it will keep the water there homogeneous. We cannot have this portion solid. I expect this portion to act as the greatest retardant to the flow.

To offset this I am toying with the idea of having a sub-substrate perimeter of pipe around this portion with jets of water spewing out at a tangent to the perimeter. This would reduce the retardation from the plants etc. and keep the flow going.
Yeah what he said.....:D
 

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Based on your attached diagram, how do you intend to make the water angle at the corners rather than shooting straight at the sides? Even if it were to "curve" the corner of these tanks, it would slow the flow down a lot, so much to the point that once the water reaches the middle of the front it seems like it would stop. The right corner of the front is going to be a deadzone. Just my 2 cents.
 

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"...sub-substrate perimeter of pipe around this portion with jets of water spewing out at a tangent to the perimeter..."


Exactly! For this large a tank I would run at least a 1" mainline, then Tee it off to 1/2" jets. Might be worthwhile if there was another one of these in front of the central island that added some more flow parallel to that island, too.
 

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The right corner of the front is going to be a deadzone. Just my 2 cents.
I wonder if putting the intake holes only on the right side of the tank would help fix that? If you're running four power heads off of that intake, it'd have a pretty strong draw.

Scouter
 

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With the jet outlets at the bottom and the PHs at the top that ought to really keep the water moving. Yes, there will be some turbulence at the corners, but short of going with very rounded corners I do not see how to change that. I think your layout will work.
Any dead zones would be inside the rock pile, but since your intake system is in this area I think your set up is a good one, with minimal dead zones.
Will you be taking water for the jets from under the plates, too? Have you thought about pipe and pump sizing?
 
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