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

David Gaskins

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Red Sea Reefer 750XXL using a pair of RFG with adapter. Like the advantage of these other than slight shading in middle of tank.
David
 

Peter A

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i don’t use them because they can reduce flow to the point on not being beneficial. I would agree in the wild flow is predominately in one direction but our reef tanks with an occasional storm or changing tidal flows. But our reef tanks are closed system artificial recreations of the wild. There are other concerns we should account for.

Return nozzles and wave makers blast concentrated jets of water. In the wild the flow is much greater and more even so detritus and nutrients are more efficiently moved. Using these may help get those nutrients flowing and eliminate dead spots and graveyards for detritus in tanks. However the flow from return pumps may not be sufficient with the RFGs. That’s why many of us also use supplemental power heads and wave makers.

In my opinion longer durations are better. With an occasional increase to 100% to help clean up the dead spots.
 

Crabby48

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Use them now but not sure if I will use them on my new build. Will cross that bridge when I get there
 

Chessmanmark

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I recently got one for Christmas.

I like the concept and use it on my tank.

Here’s my personal experience.

The first one barely made contact with the Loc Line and would not stay on. It blew right off.

An extremely popular vendor wanted a picture. I took off my screen covers and put it on, holding my cell phone in my other hand. The nozzle blew off and as I tried to catch it I broke my Homewrecker.

Then the vendor suggested a different flow rate. It obviously was defective and I just wanted a replacement. After multiple back and forth e-mails with different employees questioning my problem they eventually replaced it. They did the right thing in the end but aggravated the hell out of me for over a week about it.

The new one snapped on properly and doesn’t blow off, however every time I turn off the return it “sags.” Once the return is turned back on it needs to be adjusted again.

I like the RFG, but it is something that needs to be fussed with regularly.

Make sure you read the directions. You need to rotate the nozzle so one of the fins is straight up. Also the nozzle needs to be parallel to the water and not angled down.

Once working properly it is a nice simple feature that contributes to random flow by the outlet.
 

Vivid Creative Aquatics

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I recently got one for Christmas.

I like the concept and use it on my tank.

Here’s my personal experience.

The first one barely made contact with the Loc Line and would not stay on. It blew right off.

An extremely popular vendor wanted a picture. I took off my screen covers and put it on, holding my cell phone in my other hand. The nozzle blew off and as I tried to catch it I broke my Homewrecker.

Then the vendor suggested a different flow rate. It obviously was defective and I just wanted a replacement. After multiple back and forth e-mails with different employees questioning my problem they eventually replaced it. They did the right thing in the end but aggravated the hell out of me for over a week about it.

The new one snapped on properly and doesn’t blow off, however every time I turn off the return it “sags.” Once the return is turned back on it needs to be adjusted again.

I like the RFG, but it is something that needs to be fussed with regularly.

Make sure you read the directions. You need to rotate the nozzle so one of the fins is straight up. Also the nozzle needs to be parallel to the water and not angled down.

Once working properly it is a nice simple feature that contributes to random flow by the outlet.
This sounds like it's possible you may not have actual Loc-Line brand modular hose. Especially the part where it snaps on but is loose enough to "sags" when the flow is off. The Snaploc brand of hose, which is common on Aqeon tanks and few other manufactures use this brand hose

if you would like, please send me a DM with a photo of he hose in your tank, I can usually tell what brand it is with a simple side-profile shot of the hose.
 

Aqua5926

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I never used one and like many things in this hobby feel it is un necessary and maybe even detrimental. I am not the God of random flow but I have been SCUBA almost since Cousteau invented the thing.
In most places in the sea the flow is in one direction except in very shallow water near the surf.
If you have dove in many places in the Caribbean, the flow goes one way. It certainly does not change every second. The tide in the tropics is very small so it hardly affects flow and if it did, like here in the North the water only changes direction every 6 hours so every 6 hours I reveres my powerheads. :rolleyes:

I think a stronger flow in one direction is better. I have powerheads on opposite ends of my 6' long tank and when the flow merges in the center of the tank it makes a random flow. The fish that like that, can live there if they like. I can see it being more valuable in a small tank or spawning tank.
Just my opinion of course (Sorry people who make the device)
What powerheads are you using in your 6ft tank?
 

Gup

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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
 

FishyFishFish

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I'm just starting up again and am currently cycling a Fluval Evo 13.5. I found some Q+As on the Vivid website, in a rather odd place under the 'What size loc-line do I have?', where someone else had already asked what size to use on this tank.

I was going to use twin 1/4" RFGs on the stock Fluval outlets but went with VCAs recommendation to use a single 1/2" RFG on genuine loc line. I am using a Sicce 0.5 pump with 185GPH and the 1/2" RFG is rated for a minimum of 120-150 GPH and optimal 300-450.

So far I'm really happy with it. It is definitely doing something as sometimes the water surface is smooth and at other times it is moderately turbulent. Time will tell what it will be like when stocked and with all of the rock work in, but so far so good.
 

ChapAZ

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I have been using them for several years... When I get home, I turn off auto top-off and crank up DC return pump for added random flow. I do believe it helps lift detritus from back corners of tank. Way better than regular laminar return nozzles. Big return for small investment IMO.
 

alorrick

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addicted to them compared to anything else they are exactly what the coral ordered
hydor 300GPH with dual 1/4"flow generators same as the EVO13.5 stock heads and let me say wow 1 year total growth is because of them and everything else done.
BUT let me say the spread and flow provided compared to just about any other option is exactly what was needed for the return pump
and with it go bigger GPH the flow isn't as direct as others so it throws far but like a sheet not stream corals love it
setting up a 3rd Evo with them this weekend for my younger brothers upgraded nightstand tank.
as for other random flow i have a discontinued icecap gyer 1k split in half giving a random gyre pulse occasionally around the tanks edges
with on the opposite side to the evos filtration side "it can fit there too but provides no flow and filters you lovely copods" a hang on the side fish acclimation holder that is 1 gallon and used as my refugium macro algae with 2 chempure brickets and any coral skeletons I collect "some are total experimental accidents the mothers where not hurt"
so far its a monster system able to house many would scream too many living things in one small box, but its not done yet. just needing a rescape and clean after nearly zero maintence method achieved.
"and a upgrade display tank size soon to follow possibly"
 
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Alex Cataldo

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I think that these are useful, but with how much turnover my systems have through the sump this thing might only make a few different flow patterns. Needless to say, on a smaller tank with SPS with less turnover this would be viable if you don’t have access to a 3D printer to print one for yourself.
 

Anchor

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I am using 3 of these between 2 connected tanks.. I use the Sicce 7.0 at 50% power and these work wonderfully. I dont have a printer nor know anyone who does, at least not off hand.. 2 in a 60 cube and one in a 40B and am very happy with how they perform.. I do lower them in the tank but have made sure I have enough room in my sump for shutoff backflow.. I could use check valves too.. the sucking air thing is annoying if you have them too close to the surface but that wasn't my reason for having them.. specifically the 40B.. lowered. I added a longer extension so I could have it sweep the length of the tank easier.. I tend to be more practical with my equipment use over how it looks in the tank lower on my list of reasons for using something.

For those that have access to a printer, more power to ya. For those of us that dont and can provide enough return flow they are a benefit if you need to randomize your flow without blowing a wad of money for more expensive powerheads.
 
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Paul B

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What powerheads are you using in your 6ft tank?
On one end of the tank I have one of those long skinny ones, I forgot what they are called but it is near the surface and it really pushes water almost to the other side of the tank. I can't even keep it on full force or some water will come out of the tank. I have 3 smaller ones, I know one is a Korilia, which I don't like because they need constant cleaning. The other two are very old powerheads. Maybe 25 or 30 years old.. One is in the back near the bottom and it blows water through a hole in the reef structure.
 

Rjramos

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Running a 1/2” one on a biocube 29 being pumped by a maxi jet 1200 ( 295gph). As mentioned, this is the max for this tank, but not for the RFG.I don’t see much effect here.
I have 2 others on a loc-tite wye on a 65 gal with a 1100gph pump. In this application the RFG’s work better.

Personally I like the eductor nozzles pictured below. A bit bulky, but the upwelling that takes place behind it, below it, in a corner is visibly amazing. I got 4 of these running with great water movement behind the nozzles. It adds volume to the stream from the tank itself without an additional pump. Great for corners where flow may be limited.

CC248A56-A30F-43B2-9D34-6093C473D9F4.png
 
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Palmetto Reefer

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I used the VCA's on my previous 135g build and was mostly satisfied with them in the early years but coralline would eventually stop them if they weren't "maintained" periodically. Admittedly I was lazy and didn't "maintain" them the way they probably should be maintained. Back in late summer 2020 I did a tank tear-down and rebuild on my 135g. I am now using two (2) MP40's on opposite sides of the tank (only had one previously), along with two (2) new 3/4" Sea Swirl random flow generators on my return lines on opposite sides of the tank. I have them mounted in the middle/center on each end of my 135g tank. The return nozzle oscillates 90 degrees total, or 45 degrees forward of center and 45 degrees back of center. I have each Sea Swirl running in opposition of the other so when the left side Sea Swirl is facing the front of the tank the right side Sea Swirl is facing the back of the tank. This, in combination with my MP40's really gets everything stirred up and "Random". It is definitely the best flow setup that I have had in the past 15+ years. I thought about adding VCA's onto my Sea Swirls but that was just too much nozzle hanging down in the tank.
 

Tomjohn537

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I am running 2 of these on the right side of my tank on a wye connector and really like them. I have them positioned to break the surface of the water but you can tell that it really is move water around. I have 2 more coming today for the left side of the tank. Along with 4 mp40's I have great flow on my Red Sea 750xxl
 

Vivid Creative Aquatics

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I have a Waterbox Mini Peninsula 25 and would be interested in trying one. Does anyone have a WBFK050 they no longer use and are willing to sell?

NJ shipping 07016. PM me if interested
probably not yet - these kits where just (quietly) released - in fact we haven't even officially announced them yet. But, since where here, here ar ethe detailss.

Up until now, you had to peace together one of our Waterbox adapters , Loc-Line parts and then choose the propper RFG nozzle to add an RFG to your Waterbox. Then you had to assembly the parts, which can be hard, because the smaller Loc-line is difficult to work with.

Now - you can just buy the flow kit that is fully assembled and ready to install for your Waterbox 10 and 15, or a kit that is mostly assembled and ready to install that includes the two possible adapters you will need for the Waterbox 20, 25 and larger

These will be availed at all of online retailers and at local fish stores shortly . In the meantime you can see them here:

VCA - Waterbox-Flow-Kits.jpg
RFG-for-Waterbox-Cube-Aquariums.jpg
WBfk050_3154.jpg
 
BRS

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

  • BIGGER

    Votes: 721 75.7%
  • smaller

    Votes: 182 19.1%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 50 5.2%

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