Setting up proper flow in a new reef tank

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Lavey29

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Hi everyone, another new guy question here. I am new to the hobby with my first tank set up and running for several months now. The tank is the Red Sea XL300 and for flow I have 2 MP40s, one is on the left side wall and one is on the right side of the back wall. I wanted to try and keep the right side of the tank open and free of visual cables. I just put my first few corals in the tank and I noticed that the corals in the mid level seem to sway back and forth really nicely with my MP40s set at 35% reef crest and the back wall on anti sync 65% slave mode (about 23% actual). However, the plate coral on the bottom of the tank seems to get much harsher flow and it is all primarily one direction right to left. There is no back and forth swaying motion. I also note that left over food seems to circulate well on the bottom right to left in kind of a circular motion around the tank.

I am guessing this is not good flow for the bottom plate coral but why is the middle portion of the tank flow so balanced and the bottom portion so one directional? Would I be better having the MP40s across from each other on the sides rather then my current offset configuration? Thanks for any suggestions....
 
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Living Reef Orlando

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Hi everyone, another new guy question here. I am new to the hobby with my first tank set up and running for several months now. The tank is the Red Sea XL300 and for flow I have 2 MP40s, one is on the left side wall and one is on the right side of the back wall. I wanted to try and keep the right side of the tank open and free of visual cables. I just put my first few corals in the tank and I noticed that the corals in the mid level seem to sway back and forth really nicely with my MP40s set at 35% reef crest and the back wall on anti sync 65% slave mode (about 23% actual). However, the plate coral on the bottom of the tank seems to get much harsher flow and it is all primarily one direction right to left. There is no back and forth swaying motion. I also note that left over food seems to circulate well on the bottom right to left in kind of a circular motion around the tank.

I am guessing this is not good flow for the bottom plate coral but why is the middle portion of the tank flow so balanced and the bottom portion so one directional? Would I be better having the MP40s across from each other on the sides rather then my current offset configuration? Thanks for any suggestions....

I would suggest having the MPs facing each other for most random flow and to prevent that piling up in that corner. It should displace more evenly as well. What about your returns? where are those facing?
 
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Lavey29

Lavey29

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I would suggest having the MPs facing each other for most random flow and to prevent that piling up in that corner. It should displace more evenly as well. What about your returns? where are those facing?

The return is a Y pipe in the middle and facing slightly down below the water line. I am running the Vectra M2 pump at 35% which is 700GPH or about 10x my water volume through the sump.
 

Living Reef Orlando

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The return is a Y pipe in the middle and facing slightly down below the water line. I am running the Vectra M2 pump at 35% which is 700GPH or about 10x my water volume through the sump.
Sounds pretty good so far - try facing the MPs and see how that works!
 
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Lavey29

Lavey29

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Sounds pretty good so far - try facing the MPs and see how that works!

It's wierd, I watch the food float around in all types of directions in random flow patterns until it hits the bottom then it is one direction, right to left and front to back in a rectangle pattern like the tank making its way around the back if the tank and then coming out the other side and repeating the pattern.
 
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Do you have the MP40s now facing each other, running random reef crest mode? That is what I do. Still moves a lot of sand but more flow is better than less. I also have 2 gyres in the back on my RSR 525. It takes a while to dial in but my goal is max flow without too much sand movement. I still shovel sand around once per week or so.
 
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Lavey29

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Do you have the MP40s now facing each other, running random reef crest mode? That is what I do. Still moves a lot of sand but more flow is better than less. I also have 2 gyres in the back on my RSR 525. It takes a while to dial in but my goal is max flow without too much sand movement. I still shovel sand around once per week or so.

Yes, I put them across from each other now slightly offset. I am running different intensities of lagoon mode now. Seems better for LPS and soft corals. The only negative with the MP40 is they are one directional. You can't adjust their flow unless the rocks or glass bounce it in different directions to get that random flow all around the tank. The fish seem to like it much better. Will be some weeks to see how the corals react to it.
 
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