KNOW YOUR FLOW: How do you know when you have enough or too much water flow?

How do you feel about the flow in your tank?

  • Pretty close to perfect

    Votes: 214 33.2%
  • Not enough flow

    Votes: 126 19.6%
  • Too much flow

    Votes: 25 3.9%
  • I have no idea

    Votes: 267 41.5%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 12 1.9%

  • Total voters
    644

revhtree

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Water flow is one of the most important aspects of keeping a successful saltwater aquarium reef tank. Which pumps should I use, where should I place the power heads, what's a good flow pattern and so on are very common questions when it comes to flow. But what can we learn about our flow by the "signs" the inhabitants of the aquarium might tell us? What about our substrate or even the algae? What can they teach us?

1. How do you know when you don't have enough flow? What "signs" can you look for?

2. How do you know when you have too much flow? What "signs" can you look for?


 
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TheDuude

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This is a very tough one to answer as every tank is different.

I run two Gyres and tend to vary the flow rates every couple days to try and keep from having the same flow all the time. I try to get as much flow as possible without upsetting my corals but also use my Apex to give the tank brief periods of calm throughout the day.

I think a lot of tanks are limited by the chosen substrate as fine sands tend to get blown around pretty easily. I have a crushed coral substrate so this is no issue for me.
 

Johniejumbo

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This is good timing for me. I just got another wave maker for my tank and I’m not real sure if I really need it. Everything seems pretty happy as it is. I just feel that a bit more flow on one side of my tank would be good for the sps I just put there. I suppose if I add it in and the puffer gets blown about like a ballon I’ll know it’s too much flow.
 

sp1187

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1. not enough = total dead spot. no movement at all. cyano/algae breakouts.

2. to much = substrate not staying put. corals not opening.
salt creep at the top of the tank.

I'm running two Maxspect Gyre 230's mounted vertical on the back glass, facing the front glass, one right corner, one left corner.

return pump is a SICCE SYNCRA DC 9.0. return line is rear left corner pointing at the front right corner.

running in Tidal mode so the currents are ever changing.
 
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Kayden Hutchings

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Just got my tank full today and messing around with flow. I plan on the long run to definitely get 2 Nero 5 pumps but for now one is doing the job fairly well. I just don’t have the turbulent center like I want. It’s all bouncing off the side glass and making dead spots so I dropped a koralia in there to get rid of those for a bit. But for now the salt is mixing well and I’m happy. I just feel like 2 Nero 5s will be perfect for my tank!
 

BullyBee

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This is good timing for me. I just got another wave maker for my tank and I’m not real sure if I really need it. Everything seems pretty happy as it is. I just feel that a bit more flow on one side of my tank would be good for the sps I just put there. I suppose if I add it in and the puffer gets blown about like a ballon I’ll know it’s too much flow.
how does the puffer do with the corals? Do they eat a lot of them?
 

applejuicewhopper

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As close to perfect as I can get it. I upgraded from a Hydor Koralia to a larger Jebao. From now on I'm only using AC power heads to mix my salt. Can't beat the controllability of DC power heads.
 

jp5785

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I have a innovative marine 25 lagoon with two spin stream and a Nero 5. The Nero is on random at no more than 5% and my return pump powering the spin stream is at the lowest setting my frogspawn is not opening fully and all my parameters are on point. I think it’s too much flow so I just ordered two 1/2 inch loc line split adapters and two more flared nozzles to see if I can spread the flow more evenly and use my Nero to give random flow through out the tank. Hopefully this will work will update in a week when I get my stuff from BRS. Any feed back would be great thanks.
 

ReefLab

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Moved my mp40s from the back of the tank to the sides and I have way better flow.
I just push it to the most flow the euphyllia can handle.
I also do night mode with 50% flow (thanks to legacy support on Mobius *woot woot*)
 
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Perfect timing. I have a 35 gallon hexagon...one flow head that is suction cup to wall and continually falls down...looking upgrade but also add a power head for a total of 2. I have a HOB filter that creates down flow. And an HOB protein skimmer that really doesn’t create much flow. I seem to have build up on one side of my tank. What are some good and reasonably priced controllable power heads with magnet position holders?

38AB23D3-1543-46E0-B25B-91297DF724D8.jpeg
 

Johniejumbo

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how does the puffer do with the corals? Do they eat a lot of them?
It’s a Valentini puffer. Only time it bothers the coral is when I feed them. It tries to snake the meaty bits out of the hairy mushrooms and Duncan corals. Doesn’t try that with the flower anemones or hammer coral. Shows no interest in the sps or the zoas either. Other than brutalizing small inverts it’s a model citizen.
 

anth

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1. not enough = total dead spot. no movement at all. cyano/algae breakouts.

2. to much = substrate not staying put. corals not opening.
salt creep at the top of the tank.

I'm running to Maxspect Gyre 230's mounted vertical on the back glass, facing the front glass, one right corner, one left corner.

return pump is a SICCE SYNCRA DC 9.0. return line is rear left corner pointing at the front right corner.

running in Tidal mode so the currents are ever changing.
hi
Could i just ask, what diameter return pipe do you use with your syncra and is it a little loud?
Mine seems to have a pretty loud hum.
Using 1” return pipe.
 

Is your current reef tank the BEST reef aquarium you've ever had?

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    Votes: 25 17.4%
  • It's a tie

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