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Discussion Starter #1
I have been wondering how to measure the water flow in my tank? Also how to tell how much flow is enough or not. I know that to much or to little are both not wanted. So anyone with ideas please let me know. I love DIY stuff and am willing to try whatever.
 

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What do you mean by "flow"? Are you talking water turnover, as in how many times your total volume goes thru your filter, or do you mean strength of current in the tank. They are both related, of course, but IMO (and in the general consensus), you cannot have too much filtration. Although, you can have too much current...depending on what type of fish you keep and what their preferences are.
 

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I don't know any way to measure the flow in the tank, but you can judge if it is enough by looking at all of the plant leaves to see if all of them are always moving in the current. They should be.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK I am talking about current in the tank. So what I am getting is that my current should be stronger. There is always stuff building up on my leaves and I can only keep it looking clean for about a day after water changes. The water looks clean and there is no visible particles thus my current question.
What works better, in tank power heads vs. spray bars for current
 

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I'm using one of the Hydor Koralia powerheads for water circulation. It works very well, giving high flow rate, but not a blast of high speed water. I think for water circulation you need a powerhead or filter or pump that moves a lot of water per hour, but not in the form of high velocity jets.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have three Ottos who always look fat and happy. How can I tell if it is diatom algae? As for the flow issue I might get a Koralia or I was thinking of trying something like what TEX-GAL was thinking about with her 100+gal. tank. Just put a large spray bar across the back and power it with a pump and canister filter. I am not sure. The big question is how to get flow into all areas of the tank.
 

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I have three Ottos who always look fat and happy. How can I tell if it is diatom algae? As for the flow issue I might get a Koralia or I was thinking of trying something like what TEX-GAL was thinking about with her 100+gal. tank. Just put a large spray bar across the back and power it with a pump and canister filter. I am not sure. The big question is how to get flow into all areas of the tank.
THAT is the real question. I have my system well under way. Got a huge powerhead to run my huge spraybar. I'll hook my CO2 directly to that. My husband is making me a large CO2 reactor. I want to be able to have a quick reaction time for my CO2, like Allstate - there when you need it! I will keep my koralia on hand in the case that my plant growth will require additional flow. We'll see how it works.
 

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Personally I think flow is very overated. I have setup many tanks long-term (years) with as little as one turnover per hour and have had zero issues. I currently have a 46g with an eheim 2213 for about 18 months with no issues. The most important thing IMO is light and the organic waste content in the water. Why do some tanks with no filter have great growing plants and no algae and why does algae grow right on the return of some filters. Don't pay attention to the manufacturers of filters stating that you don't have to clean your filters for six months, etc. They are not thinking of planted tanks with hight light. If you maintenance your tank correctly, don't overstock and use organic removal products you will have far less issues than simply increasing flow with. On the growing side of things, I can't imagine how much flow you need to move dissolved ferts and co2 around a tank that is usually only a few feet. It just isn't necessary. And yes there such a thing as too much flow. If you have too much flow over a specified amount of media the efficiency of biofiltration is actually reduced.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
While I agree with what you say about maintenance. I am not trying to increase gph but circulation in all areas of the tank without filling the tank with power heads. The idea then is that the organic waste will stop building up in certain areas (the corners) of the tank but go into the filters.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes I have plecos 3 and wood. I don't think that it is driftwood though.My lfs calls it African root wood. Don't really know what type of wood it is. I have had it in my tanks for years now and it was never a problem before. I have been wanting to go to my parents property and get some mansanita branches to use in the future. I like the way it grows.
 

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I get Pleco poop in slow areas
and I have had diatom algae make my plants look "dirty" but the otos fixed that.
that's about all I can offer you. good luck.
 

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I think this is a very difficult issue. I hear what Houseofcards says and agree that you have to remove the organic wastes. That's what I try to do with my water changes. On the other hand - just recently I have had a small outbreak of BBA - just in the dead areas of my tank. Why? Is it because the CO2 and nutrients didn't get there? Is it because the organic waste collected there? I guess I'm still trying to figure it out.
 

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I think this is a very difficult issue. I hear what Houseofcards says and agree that you have to remove the organic wastes. That's what I try to do with my water changes. On the other hand - just recently I have had a small outbreak of BBA - just in the dead areas of my tank. Why? Is it because the CO2 and nutrients didn't get there? Is it because the organic waste collected there? I guess I'm still trying to figure it out.
Your right it is a difficult issue not necessarily to pinpoint, but because everyone has a different organic load in their tank. I really doubt even if you increase flow you are moving that much waste into the filter. It settles in the substrate. Now in a fish only tank the waste is tougher to deal with because you don't have the plants, thus the need for hugh powerful filtration, but in a planted tank the plants help out tremendously with the process. I have never found any rhym or reason to where BBA grows. I've seen a grow on the holes of a spray bar - Isn't there flow there? I've seen it grow inside a ceramic diffusor - Isn't there co2 there? And by the way, there aren't hugh piles of organic waste accumulating there. BBA hates clean water - period.
 
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