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Does a formula for amount of flow a tank should have exist?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AJ, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. AJ

    AJ Inactive User

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    Is there a guideline for how much flow you should have in your tank?  For example, "flow should = 2x tank size per hour" or something like that.  If so, what is it?  Is there such a thing as too much flow?  I know that you should have plenty of flow to make sure that it's tougher for algae to grow and to make sure that the nutrients in the water pass everything that needs them, but I'm guessing that there is a point at which you get too much flow.
    I have a nano tank and my flow is 495  between my pump in the filter area of the tank and my powerhead.  At roughly 10 gallons of water capacity, that's turning over the capacity of the tank about 50 times an hour.  What I run into is that things move around so much that I'm having to turn off the powerhead for the fish to be able to get the food when I feed them.  Should I leave the flow as is and just keep turning the powerhead off when feeding, take the powerhead out, or something else?
    Thanks for putting up with my noob questions.  I guarantee as I learn this stuff, they won't come nearly as frequently.  /DesktopModules/ActiveForums/themes/_default/emoticons/biggrin.gif
    --AJ
     
  2. IowaDiver Well-Known ReefKeeper

    536
    West Des Moines
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    It all depends on the fish and coral you have in your tank. SPS require very fast flow. Most LPS and softies can't handle much flow because of their soft tissue.\

    Fish like tangs like a strong flow. Smaller fish generally don't.

    What kind of food are you feeding? When i feed frozen mysis or flake it spreads throughout the tank and the fish just grab it from the water column as it passes by.

    The only thing I turn off is the return pump, so it keeps the food from going down into the sump.
    I don't have any experience with a nano tank but 400 gph seems like a lot of flow for a 10 gallon, is there a smaller size pump you could get, that had around 1 or 200 gph.
     
  3. AJ

    AJ Inactive User

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    Here's some additional details...I have a Maxi-Jet 900 in the filter area providing 230 GPH and a Hydor Koralia Nano providing 260 GPH.  On the filter pump, I have a water deflector so that I get veried water flow instead of a constant flow column (hopefully this pretty much eliminates any dead flow areas.).  I had been feeding New Life Spectrum Marine Formula food, but I switched to frozen mysis recently as they didn't seem to be able to eat the NLS granules very well...and on top of that, they float so they were quickly carried away by the surface skimmer.  I do have a sponge filter in the back, so any food that goes in there gets caught by the sponge.  Another point to add, my nano only has PCs for lighting...so that in and of itself may dictate what kind of livestock I can keep, thus dictating the flow.
    All that being said, what constitutes "strong flow" or "very fast flow"?  Do I just guage it by the way that the coral behaves?
    --AJ
     
  4. IowaDiver Well-Known ReefKeeper

    536
    West Des Moines
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    It doesn't matter much unless you have sps.

    If you have softies and they are practically blowing off the rock, then you have too much. Probably just enough water to give the soft coral some movement is enough.
     
  5. Lee

    Lee Experienced Reefkeeper

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    How do you have the pumps positioned? If you point them at the glass, that will help distribute the flow more evenly/randomly and won't be as harsh on the corals. If your fish are having a hard time catching food, then it is a good idea that you turn it off for feeding, just remember to plug it back in!
     
  6. Travis

    Travis Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    648
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    Make sure you are cleaning that sponge filter or it will quickly become a source of nitrates and hair algae.
     
  7. AJ

    AJ Inactive User

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    I don't have the filter pump or the powerhead directly pointed at anything...with the possible exception being when the rotating deflector turns.  I have a kenya tree in there now and I see movement, but it doesn't look like it's being blown over.  The ends are open most of the time and it seems to be growing nicely.
    As for the sponge, I clean it weekly with the 10% water change...every Friday.
    Thanks for the feedback guys.
    --AJ
     
  8. Duie

    Duie Inactive User

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    Fish only- 10x turnover
    Lps,shrooms,zoos,softies- 20x turnover
    Sps- 20-40x turnover.
    Basically like they said it depends on where the flow is.
    You just don't want any detritus settling on your corals.
     
  9. calebjk Well-Known ReefKeeper

    300
    Cedar Rapids IA
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    the only exception i've had to softies not needing a lot of direct flow is some zoas i have, they closed up and withered until i put a mj1200 on them with a hydor flow deflector, now they are spreading like crazy.
     
  10. Gered

    Gered Experienced Reefkeeper

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    I would say you should be fine Aaron. I have a MJ-1200 for my return which is split and then a Nano Koralia. I havent seen any problems with anything. For about a week I ran dual Nano Koralias but took the other because it was to much space being occupied. During that week though everything still seemed fine and fish had no problem with current.
     

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