How important is water flow?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Waterflow' started by Alan, 4 May 2007.

  1. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    These articles illustrate exactly how important water flow is in the reef aquarium, the life and well being of your corals literaly depend on it. The article argues that water flow is more important than lighting. long article in multiple parts but well worth the read.


    ''If you had to breathe (respire) as a coral breathes,this would be the equivalent of holding your lungs outside of your body, inside out, and just hoping that the wind would blow hard and long enough for you to be able to breathe''. Quote out of Advanced aquarist.

    Entire articles found here.
    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2006/6/aafeature2
    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2006/8/aafeature
    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2006/9/aafeature2
    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2006/11/aafeature
    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2007/1/aafeature
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2007
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  3. Copperband

    Copperband

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    Ok when you read this and it explains that chaotic water movement is better than a constant stream, how do you achive this without a wave maker? Would those plastic goodies that change water direction be a good bet?
     
  4. Alan

    Alan Thread Starter Admin MASA Contributor

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    One very effective way of doing this is to have 2 pumps opposite each other, on either end of the tank blowing directly towards each other.
     
  5. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    yes i noticed.this is the technique im implementing at the moment
     
  6. Copperband

    Copperband

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    doing the same thing but saw those revolving call it direction changers at Carl's and they seem pretty nifty
     
  7. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    you talking about the stuff phat has?
     
  8. Alan

    Alan Thread Starter Admin MASA Contributor

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    Anything that promotes random water flow is a good idea, i use a couple of cheap flip flop timers to switch my pumps on and off at either end of the tank.
     
  9. Copperband

    Copperband

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    yupp i think he sells it.
     
  10. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    off for how long alan?
     
  11. Alan

    Alan Thread Starter Admin MASA Contributor

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    Well it doesn't matter but generally at about 5 min intervals ie. the rigt side for 5min then the left side for 5min, so i always have water flow from one side.
     
  12. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    this is interestng.think im gonna implement this technique
     
  13. palmerc

    palmerc

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    Wouldn't this just be alternating linear current, and not really random turbulent current (unless you have other pumps providing water flow as well that are on all the time eg one inthe middle pumping from back of tank toward front)

    Clinton
     
  14. DragonReef

    DragonReef

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    Water flow is about getting water movement to all parts of the tank.

    Random turbulence can be achieved in many ways ranging from cheap timers to expensive controllers and speacialised rotating powerheads etc.
    Uni directional or linear flow is where water moves in the same dirction all the time creating a pattern. You will find that certain spots get good flow while other spots are dead, causing detritus and waste to build up.

    By altering the flow patterns and getting opposing waters streams to converge on alternating cycles you get the water to "boil" more. The constant changing and merging of current will create turbulence and helps to disperse flow to different parts of the tank.

    Even with fancy equipment it's difficult to achieve this and you will in most cases still find dead spots. Best thing is to play around with the placement of powerheads or other water moving devices until you get as much flow going to different parts of the tank.
    Also when designing the aquascape it's important to take these factors into consideration and plan it so that you can keep the reef structure as open as possible.
     
  15. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    nice info anthony!
     
  16. Craig

    Craig

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    Hi guys

    I think that this is the important thing to note - "random" flow tends to distribute water better in our tanks with relatively small, high velocity water nozzles.

    Laminar flow is generally considered inferior or "bad" in this hobby, but that's not necessarily the case. It is more likely to result in dead spots in our typical tank setups, but it is also more effective at moving large volumes of water.

    IMO, one can either design flow to suit the tank, or the tank to suit the flow - e.g. using wave makers vs gyre tanks - as long as there is sufficient flow distributed throughout the whole tank.
     
  17. phat

    phat

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    the idea of 2 pumps at either side of the tank just seems a bit primative, a scwd definately achieves better random flow than 2 powerheads on either corner, also two powerheads on either corner in small tank is just an eye sore unless they can be hidden
     
  18. DragonReef

    DragonReef

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    Hey Craig welcome to MASA :)
     
  19. Bob the (reef)builder

    Bob the (reef)builder

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    Laminar flow can be great and is often all we have from a normal pump.

    To help break it up, never point it straight at your reef, bounce it off the glass or off the surface or off each other. very simple timers that alternate between two pumps can be bought (or made by an electronics guy) for very little, and can result in beautiful random flow, and very happy healthy corals.
     
  20. 2balive

    2balive

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  21. abgg118

    abgg118 MASA Contributor

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    All of those links points to Parts 1, 3 and 4. Are there other parts (Part 2 at least)? I'm going to read this during the next few days ...

    Fixed now. Thanks
     
    Last edited: 30 May 2007
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