How important is water flow?

Alan

Admin
Joined
4 May 2007
Posts
5,974
Reaction score
124
Location
KZN
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:
Joined
7 May 2007
Posts
842
Reaction score
3
Location
Jo'kwane
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?
 

Alan

Admin
Joined
4 May 2007
Posts
5,974
Reaction score
124
Location
KZN
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.
 
Joined
7 May 2007
Posts
842
Reaction score
3
Location
Jo'kwane
doing the same thing but saw those revolving call it direction changers at Carl's and they seem pretty nifty
 

Alan

Admin
Joined
4 May 2007
Posts
5,974
Reaction score
124
Location
KZN
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.
 

Alan

Admin
Joined
4 May 2007
Posts
5,974
Reaction score
124
Location
KZN
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.
 
Joined
12 May 2007
Posts
642
Reaction score
7
Location
Edenvale, Johannesburg
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.

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
 
Joined
4 May 2007
Posts
2,600
Reaction score
2
Location
Durban, ZA
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.
 
Joined
16 May 2007
Posts
101
Reaction score
1
Location
Sandton
Hi guys

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.
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.
 
Joined
6 May 2007
Posts
745
Reaction score
2
Location
the slums
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
 
Joined
4 May 2007
Posts
2,600
Reaction score
2
Location
Durban, ZA
Hey Craig welcome to MASA :)
 
Joined
7 May 2007
Posts
1,781
Reaction score
33
Location
Joburg
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.
 
Joined
6 May 2007
Posts
2,179
Reaction score
39
Location
Camps Bay, Cape Town
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.

Here is the final article in the series:

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2006/6/aafeature2
 
Joined
7 May 2007
Posts
487
Reaction score
8
Location
Die Wilgers, Pretoria
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:

Top