Need more water movement? How would you add flow to a mid-sized tank?

How would you add flow to a mid-sized tank? (choose all that apply)

  • Standard wired powerhead.

    Votes: 60 28.6%
  • Gyre pump.

    Votes: 84 40.0%
  • AI Nero (thin footprint) pump

    Votes: 51 24.3%
  • VorTech propeller pump (no wires in tank).

    Votes: 64 30.5%
  • Random flow generator on return line.

    Votes: 42 20.0%
  • Other.

    Votes: 14 6.7%

  • Total voters
    210

Peace River

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Need more water movement? How would you add flow to a mid-sized tank?

There are many possible flow solutions depending on your tank and its inhabitants. While the Ecotech MP series in-tank pumps are popular and keep wires from coming out of the tank, the AI Nero line also receives a lot of attention because of its sleek form factor. The traditional powerhead continues to be a common choice, and the gyre pumps have gained traction because of their ability to effectively move water. Another approach is adding a random flow generator to the end of the return line to create more flow and agitation in the water column. Considering all these options and more, how would you add flow to a mid-sized tank? Please share your thoughts and tips for right sizing the flow in your tank!

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Photo by @that Reef Guy


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“The goal of Tidal Gardens is to offer the highest quality corals to those seeking a piece of that world without destroying it. We hope to instill a deep appreciation for the natural reefs and help develop a self-sustaining hobby that no longer requires the collection of fish and corals.” TidalGardensBanner3.jpeg
 

Hooz

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I employ a combination of all of the above in my various tanks. Upgraded return pumps and random flow generators are standard fare in my house, beyond that, it really depends on the tank.

I used to have Neros and MP10s (and Tunze and Hygger and Aqamai and ... ), but I've since swapped most everything over to Jebaos for various reasons. Some because I needed lower flow than I could get with the AI/Ecotech offerings, and some just for cost reasons. Two of my tanks now run gyres only for flow, one runs tiny a "Nero-style" Jebao powerhead and one is return pump (and RFG) only.
 

vanguard

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I use three neptune wav pumps on the back of my tank. I'd consider the ecotech but I'm not sure it's going to be simple and reliable to use with neptune apex integration.

I like the ecotech pumps and they really do move water well. However, they can be a bit overrated. That "sleek no wire" look is paid for by having a huge wart on the outside of the tank.

MP40s don't really shine until you put them on the back of the tank where you can hide that wart on the outside of the tank. Even then, I can't put the wet side in my overflow like I do with my WAV's magnet.

I like the idea of mounting a gyre to the underside of a eurobrace but I haven't tried it.
 

vlangel

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My tank (56 gallon column) is tall for its size so flow can be tricky. I also have a basement sump so with the 10 plus feet of head pressure I only get 400 gph from the return nozzle. I have a nano turbelle 6045 set a max output directly behind a large tableling coral skeleton to keep detritus from settling in it. Some flow still escapes around it on the right side of the tank. I have used a both a tradition wired powerhead and a gyre on the upper left side of the tank for additional flow. The gyre is my favorite for control and flow but I have to constantly tinker with it and buy bushings. That is a pain so right now I just have a clunky wired powerhead in that area.
 

BZOFIQ

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I prefer wires in the tank so Tunze or RO OctoPulse for me. Tunze just runs forever and I have been pretty happy with OctoPulse too.
 

TheWB

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I'm getting ready to upgrade to a larger AIO that will have 48" x 22" x 17" display area. I will have a RFG on the return pump which will be on the right side of the display. I will also have two Nero 3's (already have) and a Nero 5 along the back of the filter wall spaced roughly 12" apart, mostly out of sight behind the scape, and then either a Nero 7 or a Gyre on the left side aimed across the front panel or top of the tank, depending on which pump I choose. There should be minimal visible wires in the tank from the two main viewing positions. I think this layout will give me lots of flow options.
 

shwareefer

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As usual without context ( SPS or non-SPS) a generalized answer is impossible. I see a lot of votes for gyres but my experience has been they are too powerful to add flow (I keep LPS). However they would be fine as the starting point and then choose one of the other options to add flow if necessary. Semantics sure, but that's the way I see the question.
 

vlangel

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My tank (56 gallon column) is tall for its size so flow can be tricky. I also have a basement sump so with the 10 plus feet of head pressure I only get 400 gph from the return nozzle. I have a nano turbelle 6045 set a max output directly behind a large tableling coral skeleton to keep detritus from settling in it. Some flow still escapes around it on the right side of the tank. I have used a both a tradition wired powerhead and a gyre on the upper left side of the tank for additional flow. The gyre is my favorite for control and flow but I have to constantly tinker with it and buy bushings. That is a pain so right now I just have a clunky wired powerhead in that area.
As usual without context ( SPS or non-SPS) a generalized answer is impossible. I see a lot of votes for gyres but my experience has been they are too powerful to add flow (I keep LPS). However they would be fine as the starting point and then choose one of the other options to add flow if necessary. Semantics sure, but that's the way I see the question.
My tank is predominantly softies and LPS with lots of macroalgae and a fair amount of rock. It's a crowded tank at this point so that cuts down the flow a lot, but the gyre placed high helps get flow to the bottom of the tank which was what I liked.
IMG_20230310_164951298.jpg
 

sfin52

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I think controllable is key. Change direction and power of the flow helps.
 

Ef4life

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I won’t use ecotech because the “dry” side should be waterproof and be able to be submerged in a tank like in an aio to be the ultimate in pump/cord concealment. Instead you have this giant goiter on the outside of your tank and wires taped to the side so when it falls off it don’t crash down and break.

I use typical propeller pumps, slim magnet on the outside glass, cords are pretty much not visible in the tank, black or other color background to hide the cords going down the back.

I want to try a gyre, in my 40b it would be ideal to raise it up higher towards the water level to not distract from the short side view which is one of my favorite views but has a pump right near the middle.

I’ve not been impressed with the Nero style Pump I do have. Small Jebao one, it moves water but doesn’t have the strength to carry detritus up And out of the display and it’s only in a 10g tank
 

steveschuerger

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I use 2 Nero 3s on the right plus a mid level Jebao on the opposite side in my SR60. All my pumps including the returns are on pulse mode.
IMG_2864.jpeg
 

Zach B

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If pricing wasn't an issue I would go Vortech as it matches my existing setup. However, there are absolutely much more affordable alternatives for flow. It all comes down to budget & preference :) Good topic!
 

Vivid Creative Aquatics

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Obviously, the Random Flow Generator® ;-)

Of course, I am bias, but to be fair, there isn't a power head or wired wave maker in the building, and we have 5 thriving reef tanks running in ourt fornt lobby - Each one is flowed by just the Random Flow Generator

here's the current list, form smallest to largest - i would say the Tideline is the only "Mid-Sized' tank, in our current selection, however.

- 5-Gallon FLuval Spec V - Single 1/4n RFG

- 10-gallon Waterbox Cube - Single 1/2in RFG

- 15-gallon Innovative Marine Fusion Nuvo - Dual 1/4in RFG with a Slip-Fit-Drop Adapter

- the Big 134-galon Mixed reef cube. two 1in RFGs on a closed loop with two, 1/2in RFGs on the returns

- Plus a 30-gallon Tideline as a frag tank (A single 3/4in RFG with a 2530 Multidpater.)

1698878774205.png
 

thomas_neil

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I'm planning an 8' build but have been getting some of the equipment. I'm doing half the tank sps and the other half lps and softies. For sps side I just picked up a Maxspect Jump 4k and have an mp 60. For the LPS side I just plan on using my other MP60 set on a lower setting. Gyre will be set full blast on the very top of the tank and MP60s will be used to create the alternating current.
 

Welcoming coral to your home!!! How do you add coral to your tank?

  • Move the coral from the bag and place it directly into the display tank.

    Votes: 14 10.1%
  • Dip process before placing the coral into the display tank.

    Votes: 89 64.5%
  • Acclimate before placing the coral into the display tank.

    Votes: 19 13.8%
  • Move the coral from the bag and place it directly into the quarantine tank.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Dip process before placing the coral into the quarantine tank.

    Votes: 9 6.5%
  • Acclimate before placing the coral into the quarantine tank.

    Votes: 3 2.2%
  • Other.

    Votes: 4 2.9%
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