powerheads and flow
Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources » Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks » Beginner Saltwater Aquariums » Saltwater Aquarium Equipment » powerheads and flow

powerheads and flow

This is a discussion on powerheads and flow within the Saltwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums category; --> I have a 90 gal tank. FOWLR. 48W x 24H x 18D My powerheads (2- 850 gph), overflow box and returns from filters are ...

Check out these saltwater fish profiles
Panther Grouper
Panther Grouper
Fire Goby
Fire Goby
Reply
Old 04-07-2008, 01:49 PM   #1
 
powerheads and flow

I have a 90 gal tank. FOWLR. 48W x 24H x 18D
My powerheads (2- 850 gph), overflow box and returns from filters are on one side of the tank (18D). I dont want anything on the other sides so you can see the tank from the 3 other sides. Is like a wall divider...
My question is: how much volume of water should I have in a setup like this? since all the water is going to one side at all times...
thank you.[/u]
pescao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2008, 03:58 PM   #2
 
bettababy's Avatar
 
Re: powerheads and flow

Quote:
Originally Posted by pescao
I have a 90 gal tank. FOWLR. 48W x 24H x 18D
My powerheads (2- 850 gph), overflow box and returns from filters are on one side of the tank (18D). I dont want anything on the other sides so you can see the tank from the 3 other sides. Is like a wall divider...
My question is: how much volume of water should I have in a setup like this? since all the water is going to one side at all times...
thank you.[/u]
That's a dangerous way to set things up. You won't get proper circulation that way and you won't get proper filtration that way either. Everything is on one end, so you're going to only have filtration happening in the water on that one end. That will make for a very stagnant environment on the other end, which will cause a lot of water quality issues over time.
I would strongly suggest moving a powerhead to the other end of the tank. If you don't wish to see it, then try using rocks stacked around it to help hide it from view. That size of a tank is too long to pull that off without issues.

Take a look at your design set up as it is now. Clean filtered water is pouring back into the tank at the same place that the intake is sucking it up. How is the dirty water from the other end of the tank making it to the intake of the filter??

Aquarium keeping is a wonderful hobby when the animal's needs are met. Unfortunately there are some people out there who think they are around for our entertainment only. Realilty says that we can't make them conform to everything we want for our pleasure... or ease of care. They are what they are... and things work the way they work... while there is no one single way to keep an aquarium healthy, there are specific things that don't work. Your situation is one of those specifics that don't work.

The other danger in your situation is going to be with cyano bacteria growth (otherwise known as red slime). The major contributor to red slime is lack of circulation. The only way to resolve that problem is to be sure there is circulation covering the entire tank. Another issue is going to be too much circulation on one end... which can cause problems for the fish when it comes to swimming.

As for volume, the tank should be topped off all the time. Volume of water will depend on how much has been displaced by live rock and substrate. With an overflow, if the tank isn't full all the time, you won't get any filtration, which will make for a deadly mess quite soon.

Does that answer your questions?
bettababy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2008, 10:10 AM   #3
 
Aquarium keeping is a wonderful hobby when the animal's needs are met. Unfortunately there are some people out there who think they are around for our entertainment only. Realilty says that we can't make them conform to everything we want for our pleasure... or ease of care. They are what they are... and things work the way they work... while there is no one single way to keep an aquarium healthy, there are specific things that don't work. Your situation is one of those specifics that don't work.

Thanks for the kind words...

maybe you take a look at this site:
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/20...totm/index.php

My situation may work...
pescao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2008, 01:04 PM   #4
 
bettababy's Avatar
 
After looking and reading at the link you posted, I see a number of problems, and he openly admits that he's having some issues and is constantly changing things, and planning more changes still.
I also saw something in one of his photos that I would never suggest to anyone.... it's a strip outlet mounted directly above the water in the sump. Can we say fire hazard?

You might also want to email this guy and find out how much money he has invested... and how much he's lost. A clown trigger in a reef tank??? Hello... according to him he found out the hard way! I would love to talk to this guy and find out what problems and challenges he has had along the way and how he's managing to get circulation through the entire tank, enough to keep it healthy.

I guess all I can say is good luck if you're trying to replicate this. Let us know how much money you spend and how many animals you lose in the process. After 2 yrs this guy is still tweaking his! I still call it a recipe for disaster. Also, his equipment list is extensive... so if you want to spend 10's of thousands of dollars to do this... again, good luck!
bettababy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2008, 02:04 PM   #5
 
let me explain better. my mistake.
the tank is up and running for about 8 months now.
i have a canister to remove water from the bottom of the tank, and the overflow box to remove water from the top, which goes to a sump and there is a protein skimmer.
the returns are pvc tubes with holes located at the other side of the tank from the overflow box. in other words, overflow and suction pipe from canister on the left, return clean water on the right. one of the pvc like tubes came with the eheim the other is a diy.
you dont see the returns (pvc tubes) because they are above water level. you just see the water movement.

i have 3 fish: yellow tang, blue hippo tang and a majwestic angel. 2 clean shrimp, 5 crabs, 20 cerenit snails, 5 turbo snails. and a few more others that I dont remember the name.

you are right, there is cyano in there, but those turbo snails are pigs... and i have a lot more coraline then cyano

you are right, maybe the fish gets sick from swimming in one direction, but I have a wavemaker that keeps switching the powerheads from one to the other, this may help a little.

my question in powerheads and water movement was because im planning to get a ecotech vortech pump, and from reading reviews I heard people using only this pump in a 90 gal tank like mine.
here is a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWRtivBi8Ko
also because i want wave motion to move water in all areas.
Would this be enough though?

oh, my nitrates are around 40 ppm. maybe with more motion will come down a little.
pescao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2008, 02:11 PM   #6
 
bettababy's Avatar
 
I have done some more checking...
If you wish to mimic something like you saw in that link it will require a lot of expense and plumbing on your part... as I had last stated.

You would need to mimic the basement set up with the overflow, and provide a large enough drain pipe and strong enough pump, add enough and strong enough power heads, and run cords under the sand bed.

I have consulted with others who have set up things like this in the past, and have been told that it is not only a lot of work, but can be very challenging to keep it running and healthy, and gets expensive fast.
I was told to expect to spend somewhere around $7,000 - $10,000 to create that in ia 90 gallon tank (minus the animals) and make it work long term, and to expect to do a lot of maintenance to keep it looking good.

Not impossible, but not practical, and very risky. The fish mixed into that tank may or may not work out long term, and that also means the corals are at risk.

There are too many ways to set up a tank as a wall divider and still keep equipment on both sides and well hidden. The better way to do that set up is going to be in hiding power heads in the rock structure, running cords under the substrate, to get powerheads on both ends.

I showed that link to my husband, he said the reason that guy is probably making it work is because he's maintaining it all the time and using monster equipment run from his basement sump. He also said it may be a temporary thing, primarily because the animals are not a good mix together. He said that building it into the house using the sump set up in the basement was about the only way to pull it off, and again, he also agreed a lot of work and a lot of money involved. He did not suggest this to anyone who isn't experienced in keeping a marine tank and already has a good feel for the challenges. He agreed it's not the most practical way or safest way to do that.
bettababy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2008, 02:25 PM   #7
 
well lets see.
ill post something when a get the vortech.
thanks
pescao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2008, 02:47 PM   #8
 
bettababy's Avatar
 
I sent the link for the Vortech to someone who knows more about them than I do... my husband. He is the first person I ask about that sort of equipment because he knows the long term issues they all bring. I found out about 2 yrs ago that I didn't always agree with his opinions, but for most part he is pretty accurate. He is a fan of the Seio (not sure I spelled it right) pumps, and had me add them to a reef tank account I was setting up. I call them a waste of money and I prefer a few of the others much better. I had nothing but issues with them, both in durability and in effectiveness. There were 2 in a 92 gallon corner bow, along with canister filter and UV. With weekly water changes, (which is all the guy wanted to pay for) and very low stocking level, it was difficult to keep more than a few damsels alive in that tank long term. It was plagued by cyano no matter where the powerheads were placed.

I apologize if my first response sounded a bit harsh, but I am all about the animals and their needs... and those kinds of systems just don't tend to provide adequetly for the animals. The average person does not have the time to dedicate to making something like that work, and anyone without at least a few years of experience in the marine hobby is going to find it very difficult to keep something like that healthy, looking good, and stable.
I have more than 10 yrs of experience in marine fish keeping, and as many yrs in formal education of it, combined with my husband's bacherlor's degree in aquic biology/itchyology, and we have aquariums everywhere you look in our home. I work from home, so have more time on my hands than the average person now days, and even I wouldn't be able to keep up with something like you're describing. The risks for appearances sake simply aren't worth it.

Now, with that said, it would make it a whole lot easier if you're willing to add power heads to the other end of the tank. Would it be practical then? Yes. Would it work out well for the animals? Again, yes.

In your current situation, this would not work. You would have to replumb the tank to run a large enough sump witih a large enough pump. You would need to add a good sized protein skimmer, and work with either something like the powerhead in your last link, or powerheads at both ends of the tank, and at all levels (upper and lower). I would expect it to take a couple of months to properly get them positioned for maximum effect. A canister filter is not going to be sufficient enough to run a tank of that size, especially when filtering all on one end. It isn't strong enough, regardless of size, there isn't enough biological filtration possible in it, and circulation in a canister filter is very very low, even with the big ones.

It sounds as if you're suffering from a lack of filtration and circulation, and while the snails are working to control your current cyano growth, cyano reproducing the way it does, there will come a time soon enough when they simply can't control it. Cyano smothers coraline, so you actually take steps backwards until the problem is fixed. Cyano growth is primarily caused by lack of circulation, and nitrate levels will only contribute to that. A nitrate level of 40 tells me that there are waste issues in your tank, and more maintenance and more filtration is needed.

I just heard back from my husband about the pump you posted the link to. He said he spoke to the owner of the company only a week ago, and they are said to be one of the best on the market. He said 1 of those should work in a 90 gallon, as they can be adjusted for gph.

You still will need more filtration to work with it though, so you might want to seriously consider converting to a sump system anyways. It doesn't have to be as massive as you saw on that first link if you provide proper circulation and are willing to do enough maintenance. Because of your water params now, after so long, I would strongly consider adding a good protein skimmer to your mix of equipment.

Again, I have to say, your idea is going to get expensive, but it sounds as if you need to do something differently anyways. The question is going to be in how much time and money you wish to invest.
bettababy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2008, 03:57 PM   #9
 
Thank you very much for the long responce.

It did bother me to hear that from you because i take care of my fish. I spend a good amount of money and time with them.
I clean the system, (filters and vacuum top layer of sand), 10 gal water change and check nitrates and ph every week. I actually enjoy doing this...

i tried with powerheads in the rocks, but they where getting stuck with sand... i took them out.
then modified the returns with the pvcs, this help because the nitrates came down.
i added the wavemaker to see if it works better and not much of a change.

now is time for a better powerhead, i like the vortech for many reasons but the main is that is going to be outside the tank. I dont want something like that seio in my tank, that thing is huge!!!
like you said, this isnt gona be cheap, that vortech is about $400.
but im willing to spend the money to see if the nitrates come down.
If not, then i guess ill put that powerhead on the other side.

once again, thank you for your responce, and be sure that I will be back with more questions for you guys...
pescao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2008, 12:52 AM   #10
 
bettababy's Avatar
 
I was not trying to imply that you weren't caring for your fish. What I was getting at was that your info makes it clear that there are problems that need to be fixed, and your idea for the wall divider with no circulation on one end was not a good idea considering what you have currently... unless you wanted to spend a lot of money to create it.

I'm glad to hear you're getting the power head, but please don't forget to add more filtration, too. The powerhead will help to rid you of the cyano issue, but it won't decrease your nitrate level by much. One canister filter is not enough filtration for what you are running/keeping. Hang on filters, sump, or refugium are going to be needed... something more for filtration. I am assuming that ammonia and nitrite are both at 0. This means you have enough nitrifying bacteria to handle the current waste load under the current conditions, but you don't have enough denitrifying bacteria anywhere.

When you're not set up to cater to denitrifying bacteria, then more water changes and better filtration to take the nitrate out is needed. That includes filter media that will absorb nitrates. There are a number of good products on the market. Carbon is useful, nitrate absorber is another good one... and purapad is also excellent. Of the 3 I listed, purapad would do you the most good. Add a piece to your filter and change it about every 2 wks. 10% water change once/wk isn't cutting it... nor is that canister filter, and as the fish grow the problem will only grow with them.

Best of luck to you, let us know if you need more help.
bettababy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
powerheads for a 30 gal sw walkytalky Saltwater Aquarium Equipment 4 10-29-2008 05:24 PM
Do I need powerheads devong Saltwater Aquarium Equipment 16 10-18-2008 01:19 AM
TOP 10 Best Powerheads... aasu03 Saltwater Aquarium Equipment 2 01-24-2008 10:18 PM
Difference between good water flow and splashing water flow? jkastner19 Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 3 08-27-2007 03:25 PM
Powerheads? Firefighter337 Freshwater Aquarium Equipment 4 01-14-2007 01:58 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:29 AM.