Poll: Laminar Flow vs. Turbulent Flow

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by dbl, Dec 4, 2017.

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  1. Laminar

    68 vote(s)
    9.7%
  2. Turbulent

    269 vote(s)
    38.3%
  3. I don't really know

    167 vote(s)
    23.8%
  4. A Combination of Laminar & Trubulent

    199 vote(s)
    28.3%
  1. dbl

    dbl It Takes Less Energy to be Nice Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    We often talk about lighting in aquaria - this light or light type vs. another. But the concept of flow isn't discussed as often with the exception of "What's the Best Power Head?". So let's talk about water flow. I'm by no means an expert but it can be argued that water flow is at least as important as lighting to the health of our corals.

    So I'm curious how your current water flow pattern is set up now. Is it more of a laminar flow or do you have it designed to try to get a turbulent flow? Many things play in to this like the size of the aquarium, the nature of the rock work and coral placement, and obviously the quantity, power and types of flow generators (power heads, gyres, etc) you use. So let's start with where we are now and maybe through this discussion, we'll learn what we "should" be looking for.

    Let's discuss.
     
    Bob Escher, Cary, Jamie7907 and 3 others like this.
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  2. joshbridges

    joshbridges Member

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    whats the difference between luminar and turbulent flow ?
     
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  3. DSC reef

    DSC reef Coral wasted R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Used to have more turbulent flow with standard power heads creating random currents. Upgraded to a gyre and the tank literally woke up.
     
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  4. Katrina71

    Katrina71 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Perfect timing. I'm about to change mine up. Curious to see what experienced reefers have to say about their experience and preference.
     
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  5. joshbridges

    joshbridges Member

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    guessing you don't know the answer ?? why even make a poll if youre gonna ignore people
     
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  6. Ergodyne

    Ergodyne Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I get got about 1075 GPH of movement in a 20 gallon.
    I’m a fan and rough waters.
     
  7. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    With all the acanthurus tangs, turbulent!
     
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  8. dbl

    dbl It Takes Less Energy to be Nice Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Basically, a laminar flow is described as a more unidirectional flow - meaning the flow created by your power head(s) is primarily flowing in one direction. The flow can and likely will be "disrupted" by rock work, corals, etc. and redirected if you will.

    A turbulent flow is a random flow in multiple directions, typically accomplished with multiple power heads, programming of power heads, oscillating nozzles, etc.
     
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  9. Charterreefer

    Charterreefer Active Member

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    An ocean is usually random turbulent flow. A lagoon might be somewhat laminar flow. It would depend on what you are trying to replicate I would think.
     
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  10. Crabs Mcjones

    Crabs Mcjones Moderator With Training Wheels Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    I'd say turbulent. I have a pair of MP10's in short pulse mode synced facing each other, so its a wave, but the water goes in all sorts of directions.
     
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  11. DSC reef

    DSC reef Coral wasted R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Calm down a bit, just search the question if your that impatient. Laminar meaning more across the tank evenly distributed, turbulent meaning a bunch flow from all different areas colliding.
     
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  12. Katrina71

    Katrina71 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I see you just joined. Hi! Give people a bit to answer. They will. You'll be amazed at the knowledge lurking behind those avatars.:)
     
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  13. Ghxst

    Ghxst Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    In Hydrology (my field) and Enginering Both terms are associated with a Reynolds #. Both refer to the flow of a current and the energy in that current (usually single stream ie, in a pipe, stream, out of a pump).

    I have turbulent flow in one of my tanks that only has one return inlet and points in one direction. It’s classified as turbulent because of the energy and movement of the flow, not because there are multiple pumps or anything else. Another tank has laminar flow from an mp40, there is lots of water being moved but the flow is soft and does not have high energy or disturbances in its stream.

    I can’t answer the poll as is from what I know because my tanks have both types of flow.
     
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  14. ReeferMaddness843

    ReeferMaddness843 Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    80 gallon shallow with 2xgyre (150 and 250 on 250 controller at 70%max random flow) and 2 jabeo wp-25 on S1-else.
    Pretty random and turbulent I’d say.
     
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  15. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I have spots of both in the tank.
    Ime , many corals actually like a Laminar flow. Shrooms being one of Them.
    And curiosly , some of my acros are doing amazingly well in those laminar spots to.

    For those that don't know , the three types of flow are turbulent , laminar and surge.
     
  16. Robin Haselden

    Robin Haselden Turtle R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I have a 35g cube(20"×20"×20"), with a Sicce 3.0 return and 2 Jebao SW4 power heads. The return pump is about 500gpm at is head pressure thru a single 3" fan nozzle. It does all my surface agitation. The two SW4 power heads are rated at 1056gph each. They are on opposite sides of the aquarium, not pointed at each other, and on max power and random flow pattern, not linked together.

    I would say I have very few spots with laminar flow, very top at the return and one spot on the sand in the front right corner, and everything else is pretty strong, turbulent flow.
     
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  17. Ghxst

    Ghxst Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Salty- is there a reef guide for flow you can point me too? I’m only familiar with the terms Limnologist use. They seem to be different.
     
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  18. kyleinpdx

    kyleinpdx Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Ever heard of google homeboy?

    If you are capable of registering and creating the above post I have no reason to believe a copy/paste into google is outside your ability.

    Some people have things to do other than wait around for you to ask easily answerable questions. It had been 10 minutes.
     
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  19. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Here's one.
    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2007/1/aafeature

    IMO putting those three basic descriptions in ones mind in Reefing simplifies the matter greatly.
    Sometimes we make things harder than they really are.
     
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  20. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam Well-Known Member

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    I was just going to say the complete opposite lol, that the ocean currents usually provide laminar flow. I'm now curious if I'm missing something. What makes you say random turbulent flow? :)
     
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