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Old 08/17/2007, 03:10 PM   #1
cartoonbear
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much less flow seems better

I have a 125 mixed reef. A few SPS, some leathers, LPS, at least a dozen different shroom kinds, tons of zoas, clams, and a few others. Normally the tank runs with 2 1200 Maxijets and 2 1100 SEIOs. The SEIOs are vertically 3/4s the way up the glass and horizontally centered and both pointed at the opposite front corner of the tank. The Maxijets were placed to help counter the flow of the SEIOs to make the flow more random and keep the flow from stirring sand.

After taking a trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific (Long Beach Aquarium in CA ) and looking at many LPS/Softie tanks around town I noticed that they have very little flow in comparison to my own and the corals looked much better/biggier/happier, and the tanks looked much clearer. I decided to give it a try a couple days ago.

I turned off the SEIOS and pointed the Maxijets so that the SPS would still get enough flow and the tank would still get enough oxygen. The water is more clear, all of the LPS looks bigger and puffier and still has clear movement. The leathers are also like this. The Clams also seem to like the drop of movement and the zoas aren't blowing around like crazy. and all of my mushrooms, from yumas to rhos, all have gotten much bigger. Even the RTN on one of my SPS has stopped (I had already lost a porties to flow even though it was placed far out of direct flow and what it was recieving seemed far from excessive).

What do you guys make of this? Should we really be putting so much flow in mixed tanks?


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Old 08/17/2007, 04:05 PM   #2
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nothing?


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Old 08/17/2007, 04:29 PM   #3
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It's only been an hour...


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Old 08/17/2007, 04:33 PM   #4
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Re: to public aquariums' reefs, look can be deceiving. Try coming back in a few weeks/months to see how those same corals are doing. Sometimes, they just pluck out dead corals and put in new ones. Could be less expensive than maintaining the aquarium properly.

The puffering up of LPS and softies indicate there're less flow. Your SPS might show the effect of low flow (more polyps extension)... but the longterm effect might not be so positive: tissue recession, undeserable algae growth, etc...


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Old 08/17/2007, 04:34 PM   #5
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Old 08/17/2007, 04:38 PM   #6
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I should have mentioned this, sry. The powerheads have been pointed in such a way to keep the SPS moving just as they were with the SEIOs running, so Im not too worried about them.

But is there negative effects that could come to the LPS and softies?


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Old 08/17/2007, 04:56 PM   #7
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I think softies like leathers, frogspawn and mushrooms like/prefer the lower flow.

My mushrooms are the biggest I have ever seen them to be and they are multiplying quickly, for over a year now.

I have a 75(low flow) that the softies thrive in, so does red slime algea. That same water in my 120G(high flow) is great for sps, and there is no algea problems. (the two tanks share the same sump) I have a large frogspawn in the sps tank that don't mind the higher flow, but some of the high flow is directed away by rockwork.

Zoas seem to do best underneath the output of a power head, but not in the direct path of the outflow stream.

Leathers and sps aren't supposed to be good together, perhaps the flow is directing leather 'chemicals' towards the sps causing problems and the lower flow changed that.


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Old 08/17/2007, 05:09 PM   #8
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I think you might be confusing laminar flow with low flow. To put it simply, laminar flow is where all of the water is moving steadily at more or less the same rate and in the same direction. This is the general kind of flow that we want. It moves the water so as to assist respiration and waste removal, but it doesn't jet the corals and cause high shear stress that can damage tissue. The opposite end of the spectrum would be turbulent flow where the water is moving in many different directions at varying rates. Turbulent flow is far less energy efficient for our purposes and it typically comes as a result of jetstreams, which is how you would describe the flow coming out of a powerhead for instance. Now when you see corals being violently beaten back and forth by turbulent/jetstream flow, you would tend to think that they are in a tank with a lot more flow than one in which the corals are resting gently. This is not necessarily the case. Just because the flow is high and violent in certain areas does not mean it is high in all areas. Turbulent flow will almost always create dead zones where there is little to no water movement (places for detritus to accumulate and foul the water). As I see it, there are two main reasons why we tend to have tanks with turbulent flow patterns than ones with nice laminar flow. First, good laminar flow is difficult to produce given the equipment we have to work with. Certain things help, such as using prop-pumps instead of the traditional powerheads and using eductors on return outlets. These tend to generate flow that has much less shear stress and won't beat down sessile inverts so much. However, they don't really eliminate the dead zones unless you have a tank that is set up just right for uniform flow, which most tanks are not. Such tanks do exist; they employ what is called a gyre design ( http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2007...earchterm=gyre ). This is not how most people want to set up their tanks. The second problem is that we desire random flow, which will help prevent accumulation of waste in specific areas. This is particularly important for SPS corals, which have difficulty eliminating wastes if all sides of them are not at least occasionally met with flow. Thing is, we see turbulent flow and think that it is random, which it is to an extent, but it still leads to dead zones. You really need some sort of switching mechanism that causes flow to go from one pattern to another. I think most of us tend to meet the problem left from turbulent flow by simply having more of it so that it can make up for its inefficiencies. This then leads to a greater likelihood that you'll put too much stress on a coral. At large public aquariums they use more suffisticated methods for generating flow than we have available to us (such as olloid wavemakers). We have to be creative and thoughtful to generate proper flow and not just a high-enough general flow rate.


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Old 08/17/2007, 05:21 PM   #9
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Ok, so from what I can see I should turn my SEIOs back on and just keep working with their placement


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Old 08/17/2007, 05:36 PM   #10
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Very good explanation. Part one through five of that piece is excellent reading.
Help me out with your idea of "some sort of switching mechanism that causes flow to go from one pattern to another". At the moment I use two two Tunze 6060's on the opposite ends of a 125. I have them set up in such a way that I have a gyre type current that goes in one direction only. The only thing I could think of for now is to run only one at a time on timers and have it switch directions but then I will be effectively cutting my gph in half. Or I could add two more but that just is not feasible right now. In about a year I will be switching to an 8x2x2 with a closed loop. What would be a good solution for the same basic problem?


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Old 08/17/2007, 05:38 PM   #11
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My response to this is so simple it's almost embarrassing but I would like to say it anyway. The good flow is really important and yet many corals do not do well with high flow. This is why placement can be critical. I have 2 tanks and the larger one has more flow than the smaller one. I put my bubble coral in the 58, the one with more flow, and it wouldn't expand. I moved it back into the 29 which has less flow and it's doing great--back to its huge size. However, the 29 gets more detritus in the sand beause of less flow which can be of concern w/out a good cleanup crew. Personally, I have not figured out to have good water movement everywhere w/out damaging some corals... Aninjaat's response is exellent and I agree that we need more sophisticated equipment to actually do this "correctly'.


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Old 08/17/2007, 05:52 PM   #12
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the aquarium of the pacific replaces 3500 fish and coral per day


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Old 08/17/2007, 05:55 PM   #13
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That sounds like a wikipedia stat to me. Sounds impressive though.


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125gal sump/cryptic fuge w/ 6" DSB
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Old 08/17/2007, 06:05 PM   #14
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virginiadiver69:
I wouldn't put 6060s on a timer. I believe it could ruin them--the ones made for a controller can be turned on and off because the voltage surge is regulated.
Like a thread talking about TUNZE nano-streams on timers, the pumps are supposed to be left off for 10-15 minutes between restarts.


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Old 08/17/2007, 06:55 PM   #15
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Most coral don't want or need flow blasting right at them but you should focus on what was said above and get some good, broad flow going across the whole tank, back and forth. You need a wavemaker or a good controller. You want broad flow to hit one side of the coral for a while and then switch and hit the other side of the coral for a while. This way, all sides of the coral can respirate evenly (release their built up oxygen), without having a dead spot on one side.

You also want to keep food and everything in suspension so the skimmer can remove as much as possible. Low flow equals an algae explosion eventually.


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Old 08/17/2007, 06:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by yellowlsayer13
the aquarium of the pacific replaces 3500 fish and coral per day
especially considering the size of the aquarium I really doubt the #s are that big, but the point is more than well taken. I was not making my decision purely on what they do, it was just an addition to a longer list of instances I had noticed.

The SEIOS are now running again, but I am having trouble getting them to a point where they are not bothering the coral.

Could you please elaborate on the idea of "one direction" please? Do you mean a circular motion?


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Old 08/17/2007, 07:11 PM   #17
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Timers would qualify as what I would consider "switching mechanisms." I used the generic term simply because there are so many different ways to changer flow patterns within a tank. Point is just having your pumps running constantly without changing direction or turning on/off is not ideal. You can run the non-variable speed Tunzes on timers, you just have to have the on/off cycles to be at least 20-30 minutes long.


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Old 08/17/2007, 07:17 PM   #18
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One direction flow could be simulated by creating a circuit current, as is the case with the gyre tanks. Such a flow pattern is much easier to acheive in a long tank rectangular or bullet tank versus a cube-type aquarium. For cube aquariums, I'm inclined to think something like a Sea Swirl or WavySea is the best solution. Although they don't really create a uni-directional flow, at least they work quite well at eliminating dead zones.


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Old 08/17/2007, 08:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by wrott
virginiadiver69:
I wouldn't put 6060s on a timer. I believe it could ruin them--the ones made for a controller can be turned on and off because the voltage surge is regulated.
Like a thread talking about TUNZE nano-streams on timers, the pumps are supposed to be left off for 10-15 minutes between restarts.
You are right. I was actually thinking of a 12 hr cycle though.


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Semi-aggressive mixed reef w/ shallow sand bed
96x30x27 310gal custom acrylic w/ ext. "fail safe" overflow
125gal sump/cryptic fuge w/ 6" DSB
3 400w Plus Rite 20k MH in Lumembrights
2 250w Plus Rite 20k MH in spider reflectors
VHO actinic supplementation
2 Tunze wave boxes
2 Tunze 6060 in Tunze Rocks
2 Tunze 6125
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Hammerhead return on OM 4 way
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Leviton power panel
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Old 08/17/2007, 08:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by cartoonbear

Could you please elaborate on the idea of "one direction" please? Do you mean a circular motion?
Read the article he highlighted, It is very informative. There are five parts and goes into great detail.


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Semi-aggressive mixed reef w/ shallow sand bed
96x30x27 310gal custom acrylic w/ ext. "fail safe" overflow
125gal sump/cryptic fuge w/ 6" DSB
3 400w Plus Rite 20k MH in Lumembrights
2 250w Plus Rite 20k MH in spider reflectors
VHO actinic supplementation
2 Tunze wave boxes
2 Tunze 6060 in Tunze Rocks
2 Tunze 6125
Reeflo 250 skimmer
Hammerhead return on OM 4 way
Aqua controller lll
Leviton power panel
Deltec Eco-Cooler
Randy's Two part
6.5 kw generator
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Old 08/17/2007, 09:23 PM   #21
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oops, don't see how I forgot about that, thx


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Old 08/17/2007, 10:29 PM   #22
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ok I get the idea, but I have hit a problem. I have an overflow in the center of the back wall on the tank...How could I arrange powerheads to make the circular motion with this barrier?

In the article there is a 180 gallon that looked like it had the same problem, but I could not tell if the overflow was in the actual center of the tank or on the back wall. And even if it was on the back wall I am unclear of exactly how to place the powerheads to get the desired motion.

Any advice?

Thanks


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Old 08/17/2007, 10:55 PM   #23
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With your setup, I would place two high flow prop-pumps (tunzes, koralias, or even SEIOs) in the front two corners and two lower flow pumps in the back two corners away from the back wall about the distance that the overflow juts out. Have all pumps oriented so they are parallel with the front and back panels of the tank. Have the pumps paired on two timers. You should put the pumps that are diagonally opposite each other on the same timer. Set the timers so that the pump pairs alternate every 25-45 minutes. You can have some overlap time in which all pumps are on at the same time. This is an easy setup that will do alot more for you than pumps oriented every which way.

In the end, aquascaping and the amount of live rock is what really makes a difference in terms of flow. Generally speaking, the more live rock, the more difficult to get good flow.


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Old 08/17/2007, 11:04 PM   #24
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ok cool, sounds good now i just need to get a timer. Now what would be the problem with running all of the pumps at the same time.

and just to make sure, should I just aim the powerheads exactly to the other side of the tank or should i aim them at the water surface at the other side ? or just keep the pumps close to the surface?

would this cause a problem with space between the powerhead and the back wall that is left there or would the circular flow cover that area too.

Thanks for the help, i am very interested to see how this will work.

I have a feeling that this may move polyps on corals that I cant remove and place somewhere else, that shouldn't move so much...ne suggestions for when I hit things like this?


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Old 08/18/2007, 08:47 AM   #25
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Running them all at the same time (without switching) doesn't provide for the mass movement of water. However, doing it occasionally might help stir things up. Aim the powerheads directly at the other side. There might be some tendency for detritus to accumulate in the back corners and near the overflow doing it like I mentioned, but at least you'll know where to clean.

Depending upon which corals you hit, it may or may not be a problem. Can you post a pic of your tank?


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