location of filter?
This may be a silly question, but does the location - (back, side, corner, middle) - of a HOB filter have any significance to the health or behavior of fish - water flow pattern; fish territories, etc?
Yes and no. Depends if you have fish which are normally found in calm waters or if you have plants. You do not want your plants to look like they are in a storm. Just a little movement in their leaves is plenty.
I think a gentle circulation of water throughout the aquarium promotes the greatest health by eliminating stagnant areas and thermal gradients. However, as mentioned, too much flow creates physical difficulty and stress fro fish accustomed to calmer waters. It's a bit of a crap shoot because sometimes folks think that because a particular species is native to rivers, they must prefer fast currents...however the fish they have may have been tank raised with little/no current at all.
I would generally look to have a filter with moderate flow located as close to center of the tank as possible in order to create modest circulation throughout the tank.
Hope this helps,
Another aspect of this is the habitat of the fish. Fish from ponds, lakes, swamps and flooded forest would prefer no water current or very little. That has been mentioned already by others, so i will only add that depending upon the fish you may want to baffle the filter flow somewhat. [This is my main objection to HOB filters, the current.]
But fish that come from streams and rivers expect a water flow in one direction, and this is best achieved from left to right or right to left. This is where the aquarium length helps. With a canister filter one can have the filter intake at one end and the outflow at the other, and create a current down the tank length. I find some fish almost always face into this; it is natural. The force of the flow can be adjusted by various means. Another benefit of this method (from one side to the other lengthwise) is that of complete water circulation. Fewer chances of "dead spots" which are more of a concern in larger tanks for obvious reasons.
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