Flow Where U Want With No Wires or Powerheads Killing Your View

Ecotech Marine

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Hello all,

Having powerheads in your tank to create random flows or to push water around is great, but has many pitfalls especially if your looking for majority soft coral type tanks that require much less flow. Too many powerheads can add heat to your tank, then theres the additional wires, additional outlets needed, electricity cost, and invaluable viewing space that can be taken up as well. You also run the risk of having dead spots in your aquarium ny trying to keep your rockwork and softies out of direct flow. Here I will be discussing the ability to get direct lighter flow exactly where you want it without having powerheads all over.
A little about me. I have been back in the hobby roughly 1 month after a 10 yr hiatus. I started out about 17 yrs ago with my first 75 gal FOWLR. After 5 years I had 3 FOWLR tanks with aporox 300 gallons taking up 1 bedroom in a 2 bedroom apartment. Work got in the way and was sending me to different offices around the US every 9 months or so. It became too much and unfair to my fish and inverts. I broke down and sold off everything and waited until a promotion firmly planted me bak in NY for the long term.
Upon getting back into the hobby I made these same mistakes mentioned above. I bought several powerheads and a gyre thinking it would be adequate for softies. To my surprise the flow was way too much and fit more for SPS. Now I went back to the drawing board and posted about my situation and was reccomend RFG's from Vivid Aquarium Aquatics.
Upon purchasing I came up with the idea of using loc line and RFG's to create four multiple outflows stemming from each of my two sump return lines. I have 1 return creating surface agitation, 1 flowing around the right side of the tank, 1 flowing into the back rockwork, and another along the substrate in the rear keeping water flowing through the rockwork to prevent detritus build up. I get about equal distribution out of each outflow which was surprising to me. It took a few hours and some patience but this is the best pinpoint flow I have ever had. Best part is I can still put softies in the path of the direct flow without worry since it is diminished. I will only have the redsea reefwave gyre and the return pumps simplifying my setup tremendously. Over time the loc line will be covered in coralline and all will blend in.
In summary, for half the price of many wavemaker systems I was able to use loc line, splitters, and RFG's to give pinpoint flow while keeping my glass clear of wires and powerheads. I hope this gives people more options.

20200506_140847.jpg 20200506_140847.jpg
 
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Character85

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I see them from the side but in my mostly blue and UV lit tank u can barely see them against the black backdrop. Eventually ill get star polyps growing along the back to hide them further.
 
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The thought did occur to me, however being an AIO the rear sump seems to maintains the water level when the rear sump reaches the skimmer chamber height about 1.5 in from top of tank.
 
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aren't you now in a position for a large amount of water back siphoning which would overflow your sump?
This is an important safety tip for those that do not have AIO tanks. If you have an AIO this type of return setup will cause a lot of water to back siphon, however it should not be large enough to overflow the sump as it will back siphon to your overflow level. For people who have cabinet sumps or the sump is much liwer than return hoses, I think that may cause an overflow issue unless an airhole is drilled somewhere to break the siphon. I have a Redsea E-Max 260 and do not have a problem. I eould believe other similar AIO tanks will be fine as well.
 

wheels 45

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Hello all,

Having powerheads in your tank to create random flows or to push water around is great, but has many pitfalls especially if your looking for majority soft coral type tanks that require much less flow. Too many powerheads can add heat to your tank, then theres the additional wires, additional outlets needed, electricity cost, and invaluable viewing space that can be taken up as well. You also run the risk of having dead spots in your aquarium ny trying to keep your rockwork and softies out of direct flow. Here I will be discussing the ability to get direct lighter flow exactly where you want it without having powerheads all over.
A little about me. I have been back in the hobby roughly 1 month after a 10 yr hiatus. I started out about 17 yrs ago with my first 75 gal FOWLR. After 5 years I had 3 FOWLR tanks with aporox 300 gallons taking up 1 bedroom in a 2 bedroom apartment. Work got in the way and was sending me to different offices around the US every 9 months or so. It became too much and unfair to my fish and inverts. I broke down and sold off everything and waited until a promotion firmly planted me bak in NY for the long term.
Upon getting back into the hobby I made these same mistakes mentioned above. I bought several powerheads and a gyre thinking it would be adequate for softies. To my surprise the flow was way too much and fit more for SPS. Now I went back to the drawing board and posted about my situation and was reccomend RFG's from Vivid Aquarium Aquatics.
Upon purchasing I came up with the idea of using loc line and RFG's to create four multiple outflows stemming from each of my two sump return lines. I have 1 return creating surface agitation, 1 flowing around the right side of the tank, 1 flowing into the back rockwork, and another along the substrate in the rear keeping water flowing through the rockwork to prevent detritus build up. I get about equal distribution out of each outflow which was surprising to me. It took a few hours and some patience but this is the best pinpoint flow I have ever had. Best part is I can still put softies in the path of the direct flow without worry since it is diminished. I will only have the redsea reefwave gyre and the return pumps simplifying my setup tremendously. Over time the loc line will be covered in coralline and all will blend in.
In summary, for half the price of many wavemaker systems I was able to use loc line, splitters, and RFG's to give pinpoint flow while keeping my glass clear of wires and powerheads. I hope this gives people more options.

20200506_140847.jpg 20200506_140847.jpg
Looks great! I was thinking of buying a RFG from my LFS. I never thought of using loc line though. I might just try it on my 32 gallon biocube. It has been running for 18 months.
 

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I love LocLine, lots of people on here hate it because it robs flow...get a bigger return pump is all that means imo. But the back siphon to my sump was unreal. While waiting on the new 4k Gyre I was positioning the loclines randomly to move detritus...I forgot I hadn't put in a siphon break (1/8 hole right under water line) and power went out and I instantantly had 30 or more gallons on the floor....rookie mistake, from someone that does installs for others...I felt foolish. But yeah, your AIO should be great either way!
 

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Any change you can take a pic with white light on? Im having trouble seeing it. How much loc line did you use? I thought about doing something similiar but wasnt sure how much loc line I could reasonably use.
 
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Any change you can take a pic with white light on? Im having trouble seeing it. How much loc line did you use? I thought about doing something similiar but wasnt sure how much loc line I could reasonably use.

For both returns I used about 40 regular 1/2" pieces with 6 y joint splitters in total. 1 splitter for each main return nozzle (2 return nozzles) and 1 splitter for each of the 4 lines created from the main returns. I also used a few 1/2" 90 degree turns in tight places and 8 RFG's (1 for each line. I worked it out that I had 4 lines from each return.

2 lines for surface agitation (1L 1R)
2 lines mid lvl each side of tank (1L 1R)
4 lines back rockwork high & lo (2L 2R)

Sorry about the bad pics. My lighting is based in blue spectrum and my phone camera is shot. Ill take pics tomorro midday with more white light.
 

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Simple, elegant solution... get a bow front and put 2 MP40s on the back. Set them bad boys to AntiSync and you are golden. Perfect flow and in a year you cant even see them hiding under a shell of coraline. I wouldnt have it any other way! I suppose one could get away with one of them fancy gyres of they have a canopy that covers the top couple inches.
 
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Simple, elegant solution... get a bow front and put 2 MP40s on the back. Set them bad boys to AntiSync and you are golden. Perfect flow and in a year you cant even see them hiding under a shell of coraline. I wouldnt have it any other way! I suppose one could get away with one of them fancy gyres of they have a canopy that covers the top couple inches.
Close to what I started with in the tank but I wanted to be creative with something more elaborate. The problem I had was with the stock pumps. They gave me too much flow as it was. The stock pumps were 1100 gph each. Even with GFR's there was still too much flow. I dropped it back to 750 gph pumps and couldnt really go lower than that because the pumps wouldn't b able to keep up with the drainage. So I increased outflows to unilaterally disperse that flow. With a Y joint from each side then just got crazy and kept adding as an experiment. I honestly dont need the gyre. I just keep it to give the tank that pulsating wave look.
 
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What is an RFG
Random Flow Generator.


An RFG stands for Random Flow Generator. It is a fancy term for a special nozzle that snaps onto loc line and has adaotors to fit onto your existing return pump nozzle. It has a design thst forces water from your return pump in all different directions cresting a very random dispersal of flow. They are an inexpensive way to add movement and flow from your ecisting return pump. I posted a link above to Vivid Aquarium Aquatics who makes the particular models I have. The spiral grille lines force the water in a spiral pattern in all directions.

15888560944635309989127220911577.jpg 15888561445977152673371082325002.jpg
 
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Any change you can take a pic with white light on? Im having trouble seeing it. How much loc line did you use? I thought about doing something similiar but wasnt sure how much loc line I could reasonably use.
Heres some new pics in daylight. I maxed the contrast so is easier to see.

20200507_131745.jpg 20200507_131739.jpg 20200507_131752.jpg 20200507_131739.jpg 20200507_131745.jpg 20200507_131752.jpg
 

ca1ore

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Hmmn, seems like a throwback to the closed loop days (together with educators/penductors) - just not a big fan of locline 'arms' in the tank. I personally prefer a few judiciously placed powerheads … vortech has no wires in the tank and can be mounted on the rear panel (though not AIO obviously) or you can use one of the newer, low profile pumps like the Nero 5 or RPM.
 
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Hmmn, seems like a throwback to the closed loop days (together with educators/penductors)

Exactly what I was going for. Plus I love the fact the flow is so evenly dispursed I can literally place any softy anywhere in the tank even in line of direct flow.
 

epatrick70

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Hello all,

Having powerheads in your tank to create random flows or to push water around is great, but has many pitfalls especially if your looking for majority soft coral type tanks that require much less flow. Too many powerheads can add heat to your tank, then theres the additional wires, additional outlets needed, electricity cost, and invaluable viewing space that can be taken up as well. You also run the risk of having dead spots in your aquarium ny trying to keep your rockwork and softies out of direct flow. Here I will be discussing the ability to get direct lighter flow exactly where you want it without having powerheads all over.
A little about me. I have been back in the hobby roughly 1 month after a 10 yr hiatus. I started out about 17 yrs ago with my first 75 gal FOWLR. After 5 years I had 3 FOWLR tanks with aporox 300 gallons taking up 1 bedroom in a 2 bedroom apartment. Work got in the way and was sending me to different offices around the US every 9 months or so. It became too much and unfair to my fish and inverts. I broke down and sold off everything and waited until a promotion firmly planted me bak in NY for the long term.
Upon getting back into the hobby I made these same mistakes mentioned above. I bought several powerheads and a gyre thinking it would be adequate for softies. To my surprise the flow was way too much and fit more for SPS. Now I went back to the drawing board and posted about my situation and was reccomend RFG's from Vivid Aquarium Aquatics.
Upon purchasing I came up with the idea of using loc line and RFG's to create four multiple outflows stemming from each of my two sump return lines. I have 1 return creating surface agitation, 1 flowing around the right side of the tank, 1 flowing into the back rockwork, and another along the substrate in the rear keeping water flowing through the rockwork to prevent detritus build up. I get about equal distribution out of each outflow which was surprising to me. It took a few hours and some patience but this is the best pinpoint flow I have ever had. Best part is I can still put softies in the path of the direct flow without worry since it is diminished. I will only have the redsea reefwave gyre and the return pumps simplifying my setup tremendously. Over time the loc line will be covered in coralline and all will blend in.
In summary, for half the price of many wavemaker systems I was able to use loc line, splitters, and RFG's to give pinpoint flow while keeping my glass clear of wires and powerheads. I hope this gives people more options.

20200506_140847.jpg 20200506_140847.jpg
What’s an RFG?
 
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