Random Flow Generators: How many of you use them?

BRS

How many of you are using or have used a VCA Random Flow Generator?

  • I currently am using them

    Votes: 222 36.4%
  • I have used them in the past

    Votes: 42 6.9%
  • I have never used them

    Votes: 235 38.5%
  • I am just now learning about them

    Votes: 92 15.1%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 19 3.1%

  • Total voters
    610

ryshark

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1. I have them and even went with a larger return pump than I would have, without them. I don't notice them doing much.
2. My powerheads create random flow.
 

ca1ore

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I've used various educators/penductors on my closed loop for years. I am now using the RFG ones. Not observably better than any I have used before since they all work off the same principle, but they work fine. The only major issue is sucking in air, so if you keep your main return close to the surface for back siphon reasons, these may not be a good option. On my closed loop, air vortex is not a problem.
 

littlefishy

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I use the Sicce 1.0. I guess the additional flow helps as I can water the polyps move.
I use the Sicce 1.0 as well, on my Nuvo 10. Replaced the IM spinstream with an RFG and was amazed at what happened. At the time I had red gracilaria filling most of the tank, and the randomness of the water movement was greater than the spinstream. It was still in same direction of course, but the tendency to collect debris in corners was really minimized compared to the stock pump and spinstream.
I suppose it is specific to this small of a tank with this powerful of a pump. It might not make that much difference, if any, in a large tank, compared to powerheads.
 

NeonRabbit221B

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I use the Sicce 1.0 as well, on my Nuvo 10. Replaced the IM spinstream with an RFG and was amazed at what happened. At the time I had red gracilaria filling most of the tank, and the randomness of the water movement was greater than the spinstream. It was still in same direction of course, but the tendency to collect debris in corners was really minimized compared to the stock pump and spinstream.
I suppose it is specific to this small of a tank with this powerful of a pump. It might not make that much difference, if any, in a large tank, compared to powerheads.
I think you are right. I think these are a fantastic equipment upgrade for nano tanks with higher rated pumps. My back chambers are 80% mechanical filtration so a high output pump paired with these RFG and I keep my tank clear of additional wave makers and powerheads. I don't run these on my 40B as the flow through my return is less than what is suggested by the original designer.
 

BaysEndReef

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So... A couple of things that have been covered by others that I can confirm. A couple of hours ago, I printed a second RFG for my frag tank. I have been running a single RFG for months. I wanted to split the flow from my return, so I decided to print a second one and a piece of Y loc-line. Everything fit perfectly. The "randomness" works just as the design intended. In order to get the intended randomness, I had to adjust the flow from my return pumps to the max setting. Splitting flow and creating turbulence requires more water pressure. This made my ATO go crazy and my salinity to be slightly off. I knew what would happen before I did it, but I also knew it would not affect much due to the size of my system. Just be mindful that you need more flow for RFGs. You need even more flow for multiple RFGs. Once the flow level is met, they do work.

As for livestock, my zoa-dominant frag tank loves the random flow. The smaller fish seem to not stick to one corner. The tang still runs things and hasn't skipped a beat. I have less detritus that settles in dead spots. I have seen less nuisance algae growing on the few rocks I have for filtration. The random flow also gives me the surface movement that I lacked before.

Overall, I could not recommend placing a RFG on your tank because it is a preference that is based on your specific tank and the needs of that tank. Not all tanks will benefit from the random flow generated by these devices.

Edit: My original RFG came from VCA. It is a true VCA product. I have swapped out the original product and the replica I printed. Both do the same thing. A name does not change how a plastic design with specific angles operates.
 
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AquaRaider44

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I was one of the first people to have the VCA RPGs and loved them. I then bought a 3d printer for other reasons and decided to try a couple of the fake ones on Thingiverse and the results are not the same. The VCA RFG does much better at creating a random flow pattern as well as maximizing flow rates with my dc return pump. I agree that the knockoff ones may work but honestly, it's worth the $ to get the VCA ones as they work better. I am super cheap and reefing on a budget but this is the one thing that's worth spending more where you actually get more.
 

Greybeard

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Wow :D. @PaulB. Scuba since 1943? I thought I was getting old... got my PADI license in 1981 :)

I'm on the no, thanks side on the RFG. Printed a pair some time back. I'm running about 7x tank volume through the sump, about 1000gph. In my experience, that's a fairly high sump turnover, but it's not really enough pressure through my return lines to make much difference. 8GPM through a 3/4" nozzle? Eh. Add it to the pair of Tunze 6155's mounted just below the return lines, capable of running at something north of 60GPM and, well, blue on black.

Since we're talking about random flow, I'd have to side with Paul B. Shallow ocean flows, outside of breaking surf areas anyway, never seemed very random to me.

I've long thought that today's wave pumps, while nearly ideal in that they can push a TON of water, don't have nearly slow enough cycles for my tastes. I've got my Tunze's plugged into my Apex. 2 minute ramp up, 20%-60%, opposing side ramping down same rate, over the same time, then swap. Much slower cycle than any of the wave pumps I'm aware of do out of the box. Add in a 5 minute period twice a day where both pumps run at full blast... keeps detritus from settling out. I'm quite happy with flow.
 

AdamB

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I have the innovative marine spin stream nozzle on my 89 galling deep blue tank. Very pleased moving flow around . Complimenting my 2 eflux wave makers
 

Vivid Creative Aquatics

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Thanks @revhtree for the shutout today, and for making the Random Flow Generator® the subject of today pole. It was a little unexpected and a nice surprise.

I would encourage anyone interested in seeing a Random Flow Generator in action and how they might interact in their tank to visit the Random Flow Generator showoff thread here on route to reef. There are a lot of great examples of people using RFG

The RFG nozzle, if deployed properly, really does have a significant effect on water flow. Check out this video

And this video

We love seeing all the comments here, both positive and negative, and we encourage people to ask questions. In fact I'm here to answer any questions you may have. Obviously, we'd love to see a Random Flow Generator in every reef tank in the hobby, but we understand that may not be possible. But, our hope is that by answering any of your questions it can help you decide if your aquarium could benefit from a Random Flow Generator.

I should also note that we do make a whole family of adapters and fittings that allow you to attach an RFG nozzle to just about every tank on the market . You will also find the RFG Nozzle and many of the our fittings at all the major online retailers and possibly even your local fish store.

again, anybody has any questions at all please don't hesitate to ask .

Antonio….
 

ChristianReefer

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These Random Flow Generators from Vivid Creative Aquatics are so affordable and effective I thought they deserved a QOTD feature! Plus we can talk about other ways to get random flow!

What are they? This is from the VCA website: "The Random Flow Generator® Nozzle. by Vivid Creative Aquatics can dramatically change the way water moves around your aquarium. With the RFG Nozzle you can produce a more natural flow pattern while also simplifying your flow solution. The RFG has not moving parts, which means it is reliable and durable in the harsh environmental conditions inside your reef tanks."

So let's talk about them and your experience!

1. How many of you are using or have used a VCA Random Flow Generator and what are your thoughts on them?

2. What other ways have you been able to accomplish "random flow" in your reef aquarium?

RFG075_2-pack.jpg
Love this product. Just be careful when removing can break or crack. Mine is cracked but still working fine. Just have to be careful when moving the tip so that it does not come off.
 

Jax15

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This is helpful information. My waterbox had come with a few of these as optional nozzles. I never installed them but have been meaning to. The thing is, powerheads are so adjustable these days that you can already accomplish excellent flow patterns. I'll give it a shot anyway - on one side of my return "T," a neon green sinulara leather coral has grown so tall that it's getting blasted by the regular return jet. I'm thinking random flow on that side might be more gentle.
 

Steve Erekson

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I feel like "random flow" is a strange term in this hobby as it kind of implies that just a standard return nozzle or a standard powerhead isn't random. While the flow in a tank can be predominantly in one direction it is absolutely still turbulent and therefore I'd classify it as random.
 

Jax15

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Oh one more thing - on my old nano IM20, I used the IM spin stream. I freaking loved that thing... moving parts required periodic cleaning for it to keep working, but it was so cool to watch it spin around all day, pure hydro power. I was a fan.
 

Vivid Creative Aquatics

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is this the thing that cuts your flow in half and then doubles it?
To be fair, anything you add to your return line will reduce flow to some extent. If you stay without our Suggested flow ratings (each RFG has them) then you can expect to see about 5% at the lower end to around 15% throughput loss.

With that said , the RFG does love high flow, and we encourage you to test the limits. Heres a vidoe of our 3/4in RG with a suggest optimal flow of 550-600 GPH at around 900 GPH

 
BRS

BIG TANKS VERSUS SMALLER TANKS...WHICH DO YOU PREFER?

  • BIGGER

    Votes: 715 75.6%
  • smaller

    Votes: 181 19.1%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 50 5.3%

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