Fluval Canister Filter Spray bar
So I'm thinking of ordering Fluval External Canister Filter Spray Bar Kit A-235 (a spray bar) to help with film on the top of the water but also have an easier flow for my plants.
What's the best position and direction of this attachment? I just upgraded to a normal 55g (from my 55g tall) so I'm looking to make some changes.
Definately pointing to the water surface for freshwater and plants.
So should I then position it length-wise just below the surface and have it pointing up?
You may have to fiddle with it a bit. I find that when the holes are directed straight into the end glass (and the spraybar should be placed along the end wall of a tank, just below the surface, and at the end opposite to the filter intake if possible) you can get a slight flow across the surface but the main flow goes down the wall. You do not want the holes directly across the surface because this will be too much surface disturbance (for planted tanks) and inadequate movement down through the tank.
Fish species also have a bearing, and floating plants of course.
I have it pointed toward the water surface but not completely if that makes sense. Just enough to break the surface but my plants don't reach the top of the tank yet. What Byron said makes good sense.
Byron, what effect does surface disturbance have on a planted tank?
If I'm not mistaken, it disrupts the gaseous exchange between O2 and CO2. Plants need the CO2 and give off the O2. So when the surface is agitated, more O2 is added, or maybe it's that the CO2 is "released" due to the agitation.
Just my basic understanding but I'm sure Byron will correct any false aspects and add a lot more professional insight :)
yeah - surface agitation evidently is not very helpful for the plants but i've always had luck with bubbles and plants, i put a stone near the roots of a plant and the plant grows like crazy for the weeks i leave it there.
You could get the contraption that takes air and puts CO2 in the water, although i have no idea how good those are at actually putting CO2 in the water.
Byron told me to shut off surface agitation at night (i think) and if i must have it, use it during the day. I'm thinking of putting the air pumps and lights on a timer circuit to achieve that end on my larger tank.
As others have correctly pointed out, surface disturbance drives CO2 out of the water before plants can fully use it; it also brings more oxygen into the water, which can also be detrimental to plants. [I explain this more in my article "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" at the head of the Aquarium Plants section.] Assimilation of CO2 from the water through the leaves of aquatic plants takes longer than it does in air, about 4 times longer, so driving the CO2 out is only removing valuable nutrients for the plants.
As for airstones, they should not be used night or day in planted tanks. If you add CO2 via diffusion during the day, an airstone at night can help to dissipate excess CO2, but that is another matter entirely.
I have a little movement at the surface from my hob filter, should I be concerned about the little movement it is creating?
Here are videos of my surface water movement.
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