HOB Filter Flow
I have an AquaClear 30 on a 10g tank. It does 150 GPH, with a control that goes contiguously from minimum to maximum. I have been trying to get water flow at the far end of the tank, and there is some, but not much. I have the control just a little shy of middle, and the flow in front of the filter looks ok to me. I guess there would still be flow down at the end if I put the filter control down to minimum.
My question is, is there an advantage to putting the filter on low?
The advantage is your fish will be happier, the vast majority do not like a strong current. You have a filter designed for a 30 gallon tank on a 10 gallon tank so that would be pretty strong.
A simple sponge filter, which operates just on the water movement caused by bubbles as they rise to the surface is more than sufficient to ensure a 10 gallon tank has even heat distribution and nutrients are spread throughout the tank.
I agree. And as you posted in the plants section, I would just add that some plants are more affected by fast water movement than others, but I think this would have to be fairly extreme. I have had large sword plants fail due to being in the direct flow of water from the canister.
My HOB, the AquaClear 30, has a variable, controlled flow, and at the maximum setting does 150 gph, which should be good if I upgrade to a 30g. On the medium and the low settings I don't get overmuch water flow.
In addition, you might imagine that I have a lot of 3D structure in the 10g tank which breaks up the water flow and creates slower spots where my fish can hang out. I have a good amount of plants.
For 10-30 Gallon Aquariums
I'm not using filters in any of my 10 gallons.. It's always better to have too little than too much.
I have a AquaClear 30 on my 20 long, but I stuffed filter wool into the intake to slow it to a trickle. (I'd guess I have it down to 5-10 gallons per hour)
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I'm concerned about the plants, you know, moving O2 away and CO2 towards, plus ferts. I may be too high - I'm around the middle of the flow control switch, but the darn HOB is doing it's laundry machine thing down at its end of the tank and I'm concerned that the whole tank get movement. I watch the leaves.
The fish do have to flap their fins once in a while to stay in the same place where they like to hide out under the filter among the planted Water Sprite, so maybe I'll have to take the flow down a few notches - it will just reduce the flow but the flow will still be there.
Most of the fish we keep are from lakes, swamps, and very large slow-moving rivers. The higher the water disturbance at the surface, the less co2 for the plants. Eventually, i'm going to upgrade to a submersible pump powered sponge filter. I think horizontal flow might be beneficial, but the up-down flow from airstones and HOBs do more harm then good (as far as co2 goes).
As far as I can tell, the best setup is to have a little current, but keep the surface as still as possible.
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I'm thinking that the best place for my filter is in the exact center of the top of the back glass. I notice that there's some slight surface water movement going around to the left and right of the main filter flow. I wanted to put the intake tube on an extension down to the other end but I'm not sure about how the water in between would do. I guess it would be alright. I'd use plumbing plastic hot water tubing.
Keep in mind water is very "fluid" and equalizes fast. Don't worry about the flow. I have several large 1 gallon jars that I use to grow out plants- no artificial movement whatsoever, no fish, no heater and the plants grow fine in nothing but stale water (waterchange every few months) and an enriched substrate.
In the wild, light heats up the substrate, and causes a mild upflow. With an electronic submersible heater placed horizontally close to the substrate, you get enough current for most aquariums.
IMO, Treat the filter as a filter, and the flow will take care of itself. Just run the filter as low as you can and still have a clean tank. (but turn it down slowly over time, don't turn it down suddenly).
As for the tubing, go for it if you want. I'd use an acrylic flexible rubber tubing used for drinking water. Pretty easy to find it in black. The end can be anchored to the back of the tank with a suction cup a couple inches from the substrate. While you're at it, buy a sponge and put it over the intake.
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