Powerhead Necessary? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 27 Old 06-17-2013, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Powerhead Necessary?

I currently own a 55 freshwater community tank. It has a mixture of barbs, tetras, guppies, a few cory, and a pleco. For the longest time I placed my Aquaclear 70 filter on the side of the tank and it worked wonderfully well, providing a nice visible current too.

Now, I have bought a hood with lights and have been forced to place the Aquaclear on the back of the aquarium. A few days later I have noticed areas where the water seemed to be still and undisturbed. Kind of like a dead spot, no apparent circulation. Mostly around the corners of the tank and it just feels as if the drop in circulation will allow food and other junk to hang out there.

Would a powerhead be recommended in order to aid the filter in properly cleaning the tank or is it really not necessary? I have no intentions of creating a river like environment, just want a good circulation so that my filter can do its job. I have water spirte and hornwort floating that seem to be the hangout spot. I don't want to inject a current that forces them out of there either.

If a powerhead is a good solution, could you also give me the names of some that are reliable and good bang for the buck.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 27 Old 06-18-2013, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealManny View Post
I currently own a 55 freshwater community tank. It has a mixture of barbs, tetras, guppies, a few cory, and a pleco. For the longest time I placed my Aquaclear 70 filter on the side of the tank and it worked wonderfully well, providing a nice visible current too.

Now, I have bought a hood with lights and have been forced to place the Aquaclear on the back of the aquarium. A few days later I have noticed areas where the water seemed to be still and undisturbed. Kind of like a dead spot, no apparent circulation. Mostly around the corners of the tank and it just feels as if the drop in circulation will allow food and other junk to hang out there.

Would a powerhead be recommended in order to aid the filter in properly cleaning the tank or is it really not necessary? I have no intentions of creating a river like environment, just want a good circulation so that my filter can do its job. I have water spirte and hornwort floating that seem to be the hangout spot. I don't want to inject a current that forces them out of there either.

If a powerhead is a good solution, could you also give me the names of some that are reliable and good bang for the buck.

Thanks in advance!
Koralia 2 Powerhead would be bout right size for 55 gal.
Aquaclear power head's are also good .Next size smaller than aquaclear 70.(can't remember what size it is )

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post #3 of 27 Old 06-19-2013, 08:13 AM
Food for thought: Just my opinion but I don't think there's anything wrong with having areas in the tank where the water is somewhat still. With the exception of rivers, look at bodies of water in nature (e.g. lakes and ponds) and you will always find very still areas.
I also find that while some fish enjoy more flow, many prefer the calm, still areas of the tank.
I'd suggest before running out and getting a power head, to run it the way it is for awhile, see what happens and then decide.

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Originally Posted by RealManny View Post
I currently own a 55 freshwater community tank. It has a mixture of barbs, tetras, guppies, a few cory, and a pleco. For the longest time I placed my Aquaclear 70 filter on the side of the tank and it worked wonderfully well, providing a nice visible current too.

Now, I have bought a hood with lights and have been forced to place the Aquaclear on the back of the aquarium. A few days later I have noticed areas where the water seemed to be still and undisturbed. Kind of like a dead spot, no apparent circulation. Mostly around the corners of the tank and it just feels as if the drop in circulation will allow food and other junk to hang out there.

Would a powerhead be recommended in order to aid the filter in properly cleaning the tank or is it really not necessary? I have no intentions of creating a river like environment, just want a good circulation so that my filter can do its job. I have water spirte and hornwort floating that seem to be the hangout spot. I don't want to inject a current that forces them out of there either.

If a powerhead is a good solution, could you also give me the names of some that are reliable and good bang for the buck.

Thanks in advance!
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post #4 of 27 Old 06-19-2013, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealManny View Post
I currently own a 55 freshwater community tank. It has a mixture of barbs, tetras, guppies, a few cory, and a pleco. For the longest time I placed my Aquaclear 70 filter on the side of the tank and it worked wonderfully well, providing a nice visible current too.

Now, I have bought a hood with lights and have been forced to place the Aquaclear on the back of the aquarium. A few days later I have noticed areas where the water seemed to be still and undisturbed. Kind of like a dead spot, no apparent circulation. Mostly around the corners of the tank and it just feels as if the drop in circulation will allow food and other junk to hang out there.

Would a powerhead be recommended in order to aid the filter in properly cleaning the tank or is it really not necessary? I have no intentions of creating a river like environment, just want a good circulation so that my filter can do its job. I have water spirte and hornwort floating that seem to be the hangout spot. I don't want to inject a current that forces them out of there either.

If a powerhead is a good solution, could you also give me the names of some that are reliable and good bang for the buck.

Thanks in advance!
I think adding a second filter will be more beneficial than adding a power head.

I like the power heads mentioned by 1077 - they can be placed anywhere and are much quieter than the penguins and aquaclears.


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post #5 of 27 Old 06-19-2013, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Well funny you mention that, I just noticed that I have a pregnant guppy. Originally I thought she was just big, but after reading on sizes and shapes....she's definitely prego. Under the new circumstances, I think the fry will prefer some still water by the plants versus being dragged around by the current.

So I guess for now I'll pass on the powerheads. I'm leaning towards the Koralia 2 though because it has more customizable options. Thanks for the help!
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post #6 of 27 Old 06-19-2013, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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I think adding a second filter will be more beneficial than adding a power head.

I like the power heads mentioned by 1077 - they can be placed anywhere and are much quieter than the penguins and aquaclears.


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Would I get another filter that is rated for a 55 gallon or a smaller size?
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post #7 of 27 Old 06-19-2013, 04:27 PM
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T'were me, I'd opt to replace the filter with a canister and include a spray bar to allow much more customizable water output distribution. I use a vertically mounted DIY bar in my tank with holes drilled to aim water where I want and to avoid it where I don't want and lots of them to provide very slow velocity currents.

Of course budget will dictate, somewhat.

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #8 of 27 Old 06-19-2013, 05:50 PM
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Hey JDM, do you think you could post a tutorial on how you made your spraybar? A lot of the tutorials on google are too complex for me and don't give much info.
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post #9 of 27 Old 06-19-2013, 06:49 PM
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Sure, I was going to when I did it but I ran but of time at that day.

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Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #10 of 27 Old 06-19-2013, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
Food for thought: Just my opinion but I don't think there's anything wrong with having areas in the tank where the water is somewhat still. With the exception of rivers, look at bodies of water in nature (e.g. lakes and ponds) and you will always find very still areas.
I also find that while some fish enjoy more flow, many prefer the calm, still areas of the tank.
I'd suggest before running out and getting a power head, to run it the way it is for awhile, see what happens and then decide.
I fail to see the benefit of close to stagnate pockets of water in a tank.

As for OP, you could go out and choose to spend additional money on an HOB as people have suggested. I personally don't see an cons to wanting to run a power head, but pay attention to the preferences of your fish. Don't buy something too strong if your fish won't like the flow.

You could go ahead and buy an inexpensive small sponge filter to attach to the power head and then you have added filtration that can be sunk in areas of low with the current pointed where necessary to complete your circuit of water flow.
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