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Hello again!

I'm still waiting for the plants to get started. Meanwhile I wonder what kind of water circulation device would be best. I'd like to keep pearl gouramies and other fish from calm waters. I worry about stressing them with too much or too turbulent a current. What would you recommend for a 260L / 69gallon natural planted tank in this case?

Cheers!

Marianne
 

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If this is for filtration as well as water movement, then for slow movement in that size tank a Rena Filstar XP3 with the spray bar would be one choice.
Large media chamber, and you can install your choice of media.
Plenty of water movement, so the water will get filtered.
The spray bar is adjustable. Set it so the surface gets a pretty good ripple, and you will get the maximum oxygen in the water. When this spray bar is set at the top, middle back of the tank and aimed forward it provides really good water movement, but it is not too much for calm water fish. There are calmer areas where the fish can get out of the flow, if they want.

If you do not need the filtration, just water movement, then look into the Koralia product line. I am running the Koralia 4 on several tanks. This is an older model, I do not know if it is available any more. 1200 gph or something. The water is not one narrow strong blast, but is spread out. My Angelfish hangs out about a foot in front of one of these, and just above the flow. On the other hand, my Clown Loaches will 'surf' directly in the flow. I have these on several tanks that are 4' long, and the water movement is noticeable at the other end of the tank. On my 6' tank the water movement does not quite reach all the way across.
These are not filters, but can be set up in a DIY mattenfilter sort of project, sort of like a sponge filter.
 

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At around $150 the XP3 is a rather expensive choice for just water movement. Koralias are nicely made, the maxi-jets are good also and both of those should run you around $30-40

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Most power heads have a rather narrow outlet, so the water coming out is in a strong blast, and this can be too much for many fish. However, the intake of most power heads can be easily adapted to sponge filters, undergravel filters, river tank manifolds and other things, so they are useful in those ways. If there is no cover over the intake the fish can get caught, and a lot of debris gets trapped pretty fast.

The Koralia product line, and similar items, have a more general sort of intake and outlet, and the force of the water is spread out over a larger area. The intake area is large, so it takes a lot longer for debris to cause problems, and most healthy fish can swim away from it without getting trapped.

There are many sizes of the Koralia series, and some people will use more than one, usually the smaller ones, aimed at different areas of the tank to improve the water movement without sending the fish for their surfboards.
They are economical to run, too, moving more water for less watts of power than most other power heads. They are not so easily adapted for use as a filter, though.

Ask what sorts of things your LFS can order. Ask them about the Koralia product line, or similar products.
 
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