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Balancing flow for plants and fish

Epiphyte

Member
Joined
15 Dec 2020
Messages
92
Location
Hemel Hempstead
Hi all,

New member here, long time lurker, learnt lots from this forum but haven't joined until now.

I'm really happy with my tank now, how it's looking, the layout and the plants and my next stage is buying the fish I really want. I was going for discus but my lifestyle won't suit there feeding habits, so I've decided to go for Angelfish to compliment my current stock of catfish and tetras. In addition I'll add some Boesemani Rainbow fish and perhaps some Kribensis.

My issue is I've been trying to aim for the magic 10x volume in flow, which in my case is 3500L/hr. I've got to around 2800L/hr currently (two filters and a surface skimmer) but some of the fish seem to be a little uncomfortable with such an amount of water moving around. I've got both filters set up on spray bars, facing along the water surface to get some surface agitation, where it then flows down the front glass and then into the tank, a fairly typical setup? How are others achieving high flow rates yet keeping fish that prefer lower flows (such as the Angels) happy?

Has anyone drilled the spray bar holes to be larger, therefore reducing flow velocity yet maintaining rate? Or other solutions to keep the fish and my plants happy?
 
Joined
20 Dec 2019
Messages
347
Location
South Carolina
You could do that, or just throttle it down some. It’s like the pirate code, they are more like guidelines rather than rules. If I had my pump on full blast as would be required by the 10x rule, my tank would be a swirling vortex. As long as CO2 and water is being distributed equally that’s all that matters.
 

Epiphyte

Member
Thread starter
Joined
15 Dec 2020
Messages
92
Location
Hemel Hempstead
You could do that, or just throttle it down some. It’s like the pirate code, they are more like guidelines rather than rules. If I had my pump on full blast as would be required by the 10x rule, my tank would be a swirling vortex. As long as CO2 and water is being distributed equally that’s all that matters.

Pirate code, I like that! Water distribution is reasonably good, I think I have a small deadspot behind a large log but I don't think it's significant as my plants in this area are growing very well.

I've done some quick maths and by increasing spray bar hole diameter from 3mm to 4mm I could see an approximate flow velocity reduction by about 2/3! This may solve my issues when it comes to flow, but would the reduction in velocity perhaps create worse distribution given the equal volume of water movement?

Or am I just over complicating things here 🥴


Thank you very much!
 

Driftless

Member
Joined
4 Jul 2020
Messages
108
Location
Chicago-area
On larger tanks I am firm believer in two filters for a number of reasons, one of which is to maintain good flow with inflow/outflow at opposite ends of the tank avoiding the need to blast the water from a single outflow
 
Joined
20 Dec 2019
Messages
347
Location
South Carolina
If your plants are okay then don’t over complicate. If you notice plants are suffering after reducing flow, then you know you need to increase it.
 

noobscaper

Member
Joined
30 Dec 2019
Messages
41
Location
Warsaw, Poland
I have the same problem too :(
My filter seems to strong for the angel (s/he never swims on the left side of the tank), but my amazon swords seem to be suffering from the lack of flow on the right.
I have no idea what to do pls halp
 

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