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FAQs about Powerhead Applications in Marine Systems 

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Related FAQs: Powerheads 1, Powerheads 2, Rationale, Selection, Modification, Problems/Repair, By Manufacturer, Makes/Models: Aquarium Systems (Maxi-Jets, Visi-Jets), Hagen (AquaClear), Tunze, Other Models/Manufacturers, Wavemakers, Marine Circulation 1, Marine Circulation 2, Marine Circulation 3, Marine Circulation 4, Marine Circulation 5, AerationPumps, PlumbingMake Up Water Systems, Sumps RefugiumsGear Selection for Circulation, Pump ProblemsSurge Devices

Acanthurus nigricans (Linnaeus 1758) Whitecheek to science, Powder Brown Surgeonfish to aquarists.

Puffer proofing. Internal pump placement, use concerns       3/9/16
Mr. Bob and crew, Haha, I ain't finished bugging you yet about the puffer I plan to purchase ;)I did decide on which species to get. I am going to get a dog face puffer for my tank which is 150 g. 29 g refugium, and about 30
gallons in the sump.
<A good choice>
Will be the only fish.
<Mmm; I'd add more>
My question is... I can Not figure out the best way to puffer proof the power heads.
<Really just complete, and possibly enlarged intake screens. Some units these can be purchased for; others you have to fashion... Hide behind rock, drill and fit PVC etc., cover in large-cell foam...>
Omg! Too many horror stories about that! Some suggestions are sponges, but with their curious nature that sounds like an accident waiting to happen. I thought about lighting grate. I think people call it egg crate?
<Yes; another good choice>
I could build a little cage around my power heads?
<Yes; or maybe use more, smaller volume/suction pumps>
The squares look awful big. I dontbknowcwhat size the fish will be when I finally purchase it. I did find a product for crafts called Darice 7 plastic mesh. It is 7 squares per inch. I am waiting for an email back and hoping they will tell me what it is made of.
<Something chemically inert>
I know what it do with the cords.
<Set these underwater units just below the surface... with the cords out... this is the best placement... AT the air-water interface, for moving the most water...>
But can't figure out the safest for my power heads. Hee hee I had ordered some Hydor 3250 gph but whoa! What a sand storm, lol I tried some 1950 but not enough flow.
<Again; consider using multiple units>
I am considering the.. I think they are 2200 or something like that. Maybe once I build a safety over the power heads I can use the 3250's. I bought a wave maker and will start off with them at minute intervals just in case so
the little fellow could escape if needed. Maybe that should be 30 seconds?
<Shorter... 15 at most is what I'd use>
I am setting up a 40g qt. I bought a large sponge filter which is seeding in the sump. I bought a bio wheel 350 but have no place to put it on the 150 to seed. Can I cut some aquarium foam and put in the sump.
Sorry for the long post. I just thought you might be missing me..lmao!!HaVe A hApPy DaY :)Stace.
<And you. Bob Fenner>

Powerhead Perception      10/19/15
Just a quick question regarding the function of the Aqueon powerhead in my 65 gallon mixed reef tank. Does it function the same as the maxi jet powerhead?
The maxi jet seemed to have a strong suction
<Depending on which model/size you choose, either one or the other have more suction, volume discharge>
which would be counter intuitive to use with a roaming anemone.
<Yes; best to assure that the intake area/s of all are screened, enlarged, best done with careful rock placement>
Or is the design with the Aqueon different?
<Not different, both centrifugal; submersed>
Or is there an internal powerhead that doesn't inherently create such a suction effect?
<Mmm; there are other pump designs, but all have suction, pose a danger to Anemones>
I did try putting pantyhose over the maxi jet 1200 and it clogged on a daily basis. Also when using the maxi jet 1200 for water movement is it recommended to use with the propeller cover or the standard method with the attached airline tubing? Or does it matter?
<The air entrainment does matter in some cases... for some aid in aeration (not much); and looks>
I'm trying to place a powerhead at opposite ends of the tank to best mimic non-laminar flow. Do the Koralia(sp) powerheads operate the same way, with a strong suction?
Doing some experimenting and wanted to get an opinion before any more purchases.
<You may want to look into an aquarium or modification involving an "overflow tower" to deliver water to a sump/refugium outside the tank, using the returned water from the pump there, in place of powerheads and/or internal pumps. Bob Fenner>

Re: shifting sand!    7/2/13
Thank you for the link Bob,..I learned a lot!
<Ah, welcome Pam>
Re: shifting sand!    7/2/13

The learning "curve" continues.
Last night, after reading the link
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2007/1/aafeature , I reconfigured my powerheads.
Maybe they're too powerful? Or maybe I just need to tweak until (my desired effect!
Attached is a good illustration of the gyre affect on my "shifting sands "Maybe I should take out the Koralia power head?
I guess patience is key here (like I hear all the time!) to find what works best.
Thank for listening Bob!
<I actually like the effect of the "dunes" here... and unless it's bugging your livestock, would leave all as it is. BobF>

Re: shifting sand!      7/2/13
With YOUR stamp of approval Bob, I will plug back in,.. the Koralia~!!
<Arf arf! As a seal! B>

Blue Face Angel in a reef tank, comp.       8/6/12
Hi Friends,
Thanks for the whole lot of FAQs on the hobby !!
I have a not so quick question.
I had initially planned a SPS tank of 4’x4’x2’ but due to some design mistakes I had to rethink to make it Softy and some Zoanthid tank. I am in the middle of stocking the tank.
Some details regarding the tank
•       Circulation is by way of 2 EcoTech Vortech MP40W ES. Set in Async Mode.
<I'd leave these on continuously... in opposite corners, near the surface, spin the water in a gyre>
•       Lighting is using 4x Mazarra
•       Skimming is done using a Deltec TS 1060 inside the aquarium itself.
•       Filtration is by a Fluval G6 canister [will be no media. Just lots of Live Rock rubble as a substitute for a Pods refuge
<The discharge of this vertical, in the direction of the gyre>
•       Using 4x 11oz Chemipure Elite rotated every alternate month.
•       Around 100 Pounds live rock [Tonga branch type] in display and around 20 odd pounds in the canister.
•       4” DSB using CaribSea Fiji Pink fine aragonite.
•       Water change every month - 100liters.
Fish and Inverts
•       One yellow tail Anthias
<Social species... I'd add more>
•       Blue Tang
•       Yellow Tang x 3
•       Percula clown [pair]
•       Maroon clown [pair]
•       Blue Face Angel [I know this can be a turning point]
•       Skunk cleaner shrimp x 3
•       Peppermint shrimp x 2
•       Assorted 20 odd snails [mostly turbo]
•       Would a sea cucumber get torn off by the Angel?
<Might be; but if a small species, likely ignored>
Can I add the following without crowding?
1.      Psychedelic Mandarin [pair]
<Hard to keep fed here. See WWM re>
2.      Orchid Dottyback
3.      Royal Gamma
<2, 3 fight, but in this size, shape system likely fine>
4.      Some kind of Goby [please could you suggest any?]
<See the groups on WWM... Stocking/Selection FAQs>
5.      Wrasse - A pack of three?
6.      Any dither fish feasible?
<Ditto re the above 5, 6>
I need to decide quickly since I don't want the angel to become the big bossy and then add further fishes to upset the balance.
<It is the alpha animal here and will be>
•       Star Polyps
•       Small cluster of Zoanthid
•       Handful of Mushrooms including one giant mushroom of 4” diameter.
•       Pulsing Xenia
•       Toadstool Leather 6” diameter
•       Plate Coral
•       Unidentified coral similar to Moon coral but flat oriented instead of dome shaped.
•       Clam
•       Green Bubble tip Anemone [hosted by Maroon pair].
•       Montipora [flat table type structure] x 2
Any corals you would suggest that stand a good chance with the Blue Face Angel? Or is it just impossible?
<Just have to try, see... not most Acroporids>
I always wanted a Blue Face Angel and decided to take the risk with a 4"-5" specimen I saw at the LFS. It was quick to feed when I checked there and was alert and no body damage was seen as well. Since I know big Angels can pick on BTAs, I wanted some protection there and got 2 Maroon clowns [3"-4" and ~1.5"].
The bigger clown went straight for the BTA.  Initially the smaller Maroon Clown was not allowed even near the BTA but over last 2 days, he can be as close as 2"-4" nearby.
Does that mean I have a pair now?
<Likely so. Bob Fenner>
Re: Blue Face Angel in a reef tank, now more re aiming in-tank pumps, Anthiine stkg.      8/6/12

Hi Bob.
Thanks for the prompt response as usual :)
You suggested I leave the Vortechs running in sync mode facing each other.
<Mmm, no, not facing each other... but "shooting" along the side, placed near the top... pushing water in a clock or counter-clockwise fashion>
This is not possible because the tank is designed for viewing on 3 sides and top [rimless and low profile]
That is why I put the pumps on opposing mode in one side each to try and create a horizontal gyre [or similar]
Any way to improve this?
<Add another couple pumps>
The discharge from the canister [pod fuge] is just close to one of the Vortech. Should serve the purpose yes?
<Yes; if aimed in the same general direction>
Regarding the fish suggestion, I had initially added 7 of them. Dwindled to just the remaining one within 2-3 days.
Should I add more of them? How many if yes?
<I'd add more Pseudanthias... small (female or sexually undifferentiated), but healthy>
The Maroon Clowns have indeed become a pair as both of them now nest in the BTA. She does push him around a bit but I am guessing since he is allowed inside the BTA, the pair is made?
<Very likely so>
<And you, B>

Powerheads and Controller/Water flow 1/30/12
<James with you today, Carveth.>
First of all, thanks for being there for us. You're the first place I go to read up on stuff.
<You're welcome.>
Over the years, I'd buy an item, upgrade several times and end up spending more than if I bought the good stuff in the beginning.
<Happens to many.>
So in an effort not to do that yet again, I'd like your advice on powerheads and tank circulation in my new reef tank.
The bottom line is which of the following paths should I follow? A.) Stick with my current MaxiJets 900s. B.) Upgrade to Tunze 6025 standard powerheads. C.) Upgrade to a speed-controlled powerhead. D.) Buy a controller first. 
<I guess that all depends on your budget or what you are willing to spend.
Cost could exceed 500 bucks with a controller and associated equipment.>
I am rebuilding my 50 gallon reef tank, which is currently empty. The tank has a three foot long surface skimmer along the back wall. I am planning to convert from a Doors <Durso> to Herbie down tube to control the noise. Actual water held in the tank to bottom of this skimmer is 39 gallons. Learning from your web the importance of water volume, I have added a 40 gallon breeder as a sump. I will be able to maintain a 10.5' level in the sump which adds 27 gallons to the system, a 80-100% increase after you subtract volume due to rocks. Circulation from the sump is via an Eheim 1262 through a 5/8' ID vinyl tube with a 4.5 foot head discharging 247 gph (actual measurement).
It is discharged in the middle flowing toward the front of the tank just below the surface (so if pump shuts off, it will suck air and stop any siphon). Options:
A1.)  Most recently I have used two MaxiJet 900s (230 gph), one in the upper left corner drawing from the bottom of the tank though an attached PVC tube and discharging diagonally at the surface to the far corner. At that corner, six inches up from the bottom of the tank was the other MaxiJet facing along the bottom toward the opposite corner. Of course the rocks and diagonal orientation disrupts the flow.
A2.)  I thought of improving that by putting four MaxiJet 900's near the top, two on each side. I'd run one set on one end, turn them off, and then run the two at the other end at six hour intervals.
<Would be better at random intervals via a Wavemaker.>
This would give minimal on and off with associated clicking noises and the jet effect of both pumps is focused along the top, hitting the far end and hopefully merging as a single flow along the bottom. I was hoping to get a circular, rolling flow in the tank, clock-wise for six hours and counter-clockwise for six hours.
The flow changes but I guess it is still laminar flow?
Maybe forgetting the circular flow and having the powerheads aimed at each other for random flow would be better?
But, boy, four powerheads will not look pretty.
<Two of the newer MaxiJet 900 pumps using the propeller option with an inexpensive Wavemaker
would work good.  Take a look here.
B.)  An option is to upgrade to two Tunze standard 6025 (660 gph) powerheads. They have the flexibility of rotating the heads so I could position and adjust to deal with rock structures. Tunze has an awesome reputation of quality and customer service.
<Yes they do.>
One Tunze 6025 has the same flow rate as two MaxiJet 900s so I wouldn't have a tank full of pumps. Also the one Tunze 6025 uses 6 watts compared with 20 watts for the two MaxiJets which means less power consumption and I'm sure less heat.
<Yes, you get what you pay for.>
One thought was that if I used these now, I could use also with a controller later.
<The Tunze 6025 is not controllable.>
But maybe that is just crazy, for if I got a controller, one would only want speed-controlled powerheads? Also, is this yet another, unneeded intermediate step/expense on the way to eventual speed-controlled powerheads?
<Could be, need to do more homework.>
C.)  The new speed-controlled powerheads are all the rage. I have seen the examples of the standing waves they create. They look cool but are they largely hype?
<No, and if you are referring to the EcoTech MP line, they work great.>
Do they really do that much better job of nutrient
distribution and detritus removal than a random flow approach?
<Yes they do, I've experienced it myself.>
Is their flow similar to an optimal surge flow Anthony Calfo discusses in his article?
<They can be programmed several ways including surge or you can program a custom wave
which optimizes flow control for the size tank you have.>
My 36 inch wide tank is small enough that I assume I could get by with one Vortech MP10 (200-1200 gph) bouncing the flow off the far wall to create the wave.
<Yes, the MP10 should work fine.>
I've also thought of the Tunze Nanostream 6055 (264-1453 gph) or the new 6095 (wider flow but 520-2500 gph) with the Tunze 7092 controller. Tunze reputation is solid. What about the Vortech?
<I would rather go with the Vortech, everything is in one box.>
I've heard some have to run the Vortech MP10 at 60-70% to keep any noise down?
<There is some noise/hum but I never found it objectionable.>
 Maybe I could leave one MaxiJet in the other end set on a timer to come on a few times each day to change the flow and stir up detritus?
D.)  I have been thinking about getting a Neptune Apex controller for I am often away. The controller could perform some tasks while I was gone, helping to maintain a steady chemistry and I could monitor, and to some extent, control my tank's accessories through my computer and phone.  Getting a controller could effect how I decide on the powerheads.
<And be sure the powerheads you select are controllable and can be used with the Apex.>
If I were to buy the controller first, I guess I could always use my MaxiJets until some more money came in. What would be a good set-up with the controller?
<Best to contact Neptune on this.>
I know everyone has two pumps, one at each end. Added to the cost of the controller, two would be big bucks and I don't know if I really need on my small 36 inch, 50 gallon tank.
<Depends on your goals/needs.>
 I was thinking of one of the following: Tunze Nanostream 6055 or the new 6095 wide stream version, Vortech MP10, or the Tunze Nano Wavebox?
<The Wavebox works very well once tuned to your tank but does take up room.>
 Or since I have such a small tank, I should say skip ever getting speed-controlled powerheads and just buy a simpler and less expensive Apex Jr controller and put a couple of standard Tunze 6025 powerheads on with random flow and call it good.
<The new MaxiJet pumps and their Wavemaker linked above would be your best bet if you want to keep cost down.  I've used MaxiJets for many years and have found them to be very reliable.>
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Return pump size   12/13/09
Good afternoon,
<Hello Bobby.>
I'm in the process of slowly building a reef tank. I have a 75g that will be my display tank and I have a 55g that is my sump/fuge. I'm planning on putting on a 1500 gph overflow kit from www.glass-holes.com.
<Oh nice, lol. I am part owner there!>
I'm trying to figure what return pump to get, this pump not only return water up to the DT but it will be T off to drive the fuge, of course I will have valves on the lines. I want to keep a small number of soft corals, but my reef be made up mostly with combination of LPS and SPS along with a clam or 2. I want to have on the turnover to be between 30-40. So I'm at lost on the return pump, because I want plenty of flow thru the overflow so it would be quiet.
<These can be quiet at low flows too. Don't concern yourself about flow for that reason!>
I know I need a return pump that is submersible. Since I'm planning on having SPS my lighting is gonna be 8x54w T5HO. I think why I'm having a hard time figure the return pump is I'm having trouble figuring the headroom. I know for vertical height 1 foot = 1 foot but when it comes to horizontal and using 45 degree and 90 degree elbows I don't know how to figure those into the headroom.
<Check out this chart, you can actually sit down and figure out frictional loss here: http://www.plumbingsupply.com/flowchart.html.>
Also which is better to use on the elbows on the return 45's or 90's or combination.
<Not a huge difference, though the 45s do come out a little ahead.>
I know I'm gonna run 2 powerheads that push 1200gph each and been thinking 2 that does around 200 or 400 gph each to have the flow in the tank for acropora (the type of SPS I want).
Future Reefer,
<From what you describe I would look into Eheim, Tunze or Oceanrunner models here. Quiet, efficient and reliable! Scott V.>

Re: return pump size 12/16/2009
Thanks Scott, it was very useful.
I do have 1 question. Had this idea last night with powerheads. I was thinking of using timers where the 2 most
strong gph powerheads like Koralia 4's run during the day time hours and say either 2 Koralia 1's or 2's run at night. I know in the wild the ocean current is as strong at night time like it is during the day. Could this be effective and not only energy efficient in my case.
<This works for a while, though there really is not anything to be gained IMO. The downside is that startup is the wearing phase on these pumps, being turned on daily does shorten the lifespan.>

Water Flow for 38 Gallon -- 12/08/09
Good morning crew.
<<Greetings Jeff>>
Hope all is well.
<<Fine at the moment, thanks>>
Hopefully I haven't missed this on your site as I have tried reading as much as I can.
I found some information about it but I'm still confused. I have a 38 gallon tank and 2 Koralia Nano's pointing at the surface across the top front of the tank for agitation and 1 Koralia 3 aimed from the top back right corner to the bottom left front corner (when looking at the tank). The Koralia 3 is rated at
850gph. Should I add another of these on the other side of the tank to create a more random flow or will that be too much?
<<This depends on your livestock, but likely you have sufficient flow as is>>
Should I add something less powerful on the other side?
<<If adding another pump I might consider making 'both' a bit smaller than the 850gph unit, considering the size of your tank>>
Do you have a recommendation of how I can better aim my power heads?
<<I like to position mine to push water across the top of the tank from one side to the other>>
Right now it's just a FOWLR tank but I've just ordered new lighting so I will soon be starting to add corals.
<<Do study/research these to determine the best type and volume of flow for them. Start here and continue among the associated links (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/circmarart.htm)>>
Tank is close to 6 months old 40 lbs of live rock. Ph 8.1, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20. I'm working to bring the nitrates down.
<<Mmm, yes'¦I suggest 5ppm or less before introducing the corals>>
I just added 10 pounds more of live rock and increased the flow to help stop food and debris from settling in the tank.
<<Always good>>
<<Quite welcome'¦ EricR>>

Re Powerheads/Selection... placement 10/2/09
Or should i just look at Koralia 4 (2) Where is it best to position in tank? One at either corner?
<Joe, glad you wrote back as I mistakenly deleted your email and could not get back with you regarding the Hydor Magnums. Here is the reply I received from Jeremy at Premium Aquatics regarding your query if you haven't seen it on the dailies.
"Hey James,
They are very nice pumps, and have had a great track record. The downside to them however is that they are fairly large, and take up some space.
They still need to be ran on either Hydor's controller, or the GHL Profilux controller. <<referring to use with a wavemaker>>
Premium Aquatics, Inc.
317-895-9395 fax"
As far as pump placement, that will be experimental, can depend on your rockwork, etc. Initially, I would put them in opposite corners, one near the surface and one at mid-water level. May/will have to experiment until you observe flow/coral movement to your liking. James (Salty Dog)>

Water Movement for Debris -01/11/09 Hello Crew, Hope all is going well. I have read that a strong enough filter in an aquarium will provide proper water movement to keep the debris stirred up in the water column to be drawn in to the filter. But just as a backup, if I used 2 powerheads to do this how would I position them to get the max effect on the substrate? And in a 75 gallon tank would one powerhead be enough with a sand bottom. Thanks for all your help. James <For this I would suggest something that's come to be called "blasting." Every once in awhile you take a powerhead (in your hand) and "blast" the rocks (and to a lesser extent the surface of your sand bed). This will stir up debris much more effectively. I have done this many times myself and think it is a really good way to get debris into circulation. It will cloud up your water for about a day or so, but it is a good method for "cleaning" up the rock and everything. Best, Sara M.>

Re: Water Movement for Debris 01/13/09 Hello Sara and thanks for the info. I have another question please on a similar topic. I have read and been told that it is crucial that a filter on an aquarium circulate the volume of water in the tank by at least 4 times per hour but preferably more. If I added a powerhead or 2 does the gallons per hour those put out count, or is the recommended ratings just apply to the filters itself? Thanks again. James <This is going to be mostly a matter of opinion. In the case of reef aquariums, IMO, yes, the powerheads do "count" because they push water around the live rock, which is a form of filtration. However, they might not "count" as much because they're not pushing the water through a protein skimmer or any "actual" filter. I'm sorry if this isn't very helpful of an answer, but it's really a judgment call on your part. If your nutrients are high, or if you otherwise think you need more filtration, then the powerheads might help, but likely not as much as adding a protein skimmer or other form of filtration. Best, Sara M.>

Water movement 12/07/08 75 gallon, 80# of live rock, 1 tomato clown, 2 striped damsels, 1 rusty angelfish, 1 coral beauty, several Turbos and 5 or 6 small crabs. And after this last water change I notice what looks to be a small brittle starfish clinging to a snail spewing white matter??? <Likely a reproductive event...> I have been reading up on water movement and want to had more too my 75 gal tank(FOWLR so far) I have some dead spots and they have generated quite a bit of Cyanobacteria. I have been trying to keep on top of cleaning it out when I can. I read that when using a Tunze or Koralia stream powerheads that a person should not exceed 15x(gph) the volume of the tank. Is that correct? <Mmm, no... or not necessarily... Unless such currents are literally ripping animals off their base, there can't be practically too much circulation> If so, should I get two and then face them towards each other at each end of the tank, or would one create enough movement? <I'd aim one or two near the surface, "blowing" across the top, either along one wall, or toward the distal end... this will result in the most flow, least laminar effect/s. Bob Fenner>

Nano Powerheads and discus filters! (RMF, would you do the marine half of the question?)    12/3/08 NOW for my second question: I had a 10 gallon tank lying around, and some of my corals in my BioCube 29 were getting kinda big, and I had just gotten a CPR Bak Pak SR3 for the middle chamber, so I had around 10 pounds of live rock that was back there that were doing nothing too. SO, I made a frag tank. I have a small hood with two 20 watt Coralife 50/50 compact fluorescents in it (4 watts per gallon= great for soft corals, no?), <Is likely fine> and I took out the filter media from an old 20 gallon filter and put live rock rubble in it. <Good> SO I've got some green Ricordea, some xenia, and some various mushrooms and polyps in there along with 2 scarlet hermits and an Astrea snail to keep it clean. I'm using a Micro-Jet pump to circulate the water What I'm wondering is: Can I get a Koralia Nano powerhead for this setup? <Mmm, yes, you could> AND what are some fish you would recommend? <Mmm, possibly some of the more hardy gobies, blennies, Cardinalfishes...> I thought about the various gobies, and I'll probably get one of those, but I want some sort of active fish as well. Firefish will jump, because I had to lift the hood several inches over the surface to prevent heat (I compensated by placing reflectors behind the light so it still covers the tank). I was thinking maybe an Onyx clown or a Six Lined Wrasse. <The Clown would be better> Possibly a Royal Gramma. <A jumper also> And, lastly, I would like to get a clam for either of my saltwater (be it the BioCube 29 with 2 36 watt bulbs, one actinic and one 10000k, or the 10 gallon with 2 20 watt 50/50s.) What do you think? <Could be done... with care given to (weekly) testing for biomineral, alkalinity content... see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/tridacselfaqs.htm and the linked files above please> Thanks! -Wes Thanks! <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Water Movement 9/23/08 Hi Crew, <Hello Sam.> I have a 6 year old 10 gallon setup with live rock and sand, a penguin mini filter, 65w PC's, Candycane corals and some fish (more than you would approve). <'¦You said it!> I began having Cyano problems a few months ago. It started, I think, by my not changing the bulbs in time. <Or finally seeing the consequence of overstocking, as you say it.> It has improved but it is still there. When I do a cleanup it now takes a week till it is bad instead of overnight. I cut down feeding to once a day and I keep the lights off 2 days a week every once and a while. I have a small power head (rated 130gph) that faces the length of the tank. Would it be a good or bad idea to place it in mid tank facing the width. <It may help, but there are likely other fueling factors here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm.> It would probably hit the glass and divide itself in both direction which would probably be a lot more movement all around than what I have now. I know you guys think it is never too much movement so I am not sure why I am asking. <There can be too much, specifically of the laminar type: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/circmarart.htm. Again, not likely the culprit, other factors here. > But I haven't emailed you for a while. Thanks Sam <Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: High Nitrate, now powerhead use  7/30/08 Sorry to bother you again, but I have another question. <OK> I have a 40 gallon tank with 40 lbs of live rock and some LPS and softy corals. What is the ideal powerhead size and placement for this tank? <One at each end, opposing one another.> I have a LifeTech AP 1500 in there now (trying to increase water flow per our last conversation). Problem is if I put it on one end of the tank and face it towards the other it seems to make a whirlpool effect and my Clown looks like he is having a hard time with it, so I put it at the top in the center of my back glass and aimed it towards the front. <You will actually want to add another, one on each end, with the flows colliding in the middle to provide a somewhat non laminar, random flow. This powerhead is actually only 290 gph or so, your clown can handle it.> I know this is not optimal but it seems to work a little better. Is this powerhead too large for my tank, will the strong flow stress out my fish? <Nope.> I have 1 Clown and 1 Banggai Cardinal. Thanks, Devin Haney <The article below will give you much insight on this aspect of your tank, important for your livestock and eliminating your detritus buildup in the tank. Welcome, Scott V.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/circmarart.htm

Sea hares and powerheads 06/05/2008 Hi, I bought a sea hare once, it was amazing for eating algae, however it died 1 week later as it got stuck in the powerhead SEIO110. I've heard all sea slugs have this problem with powerheads. Now I have another algae problem, nitrates are 0 and phosphates are 0, it all started because I didn't change the bulbs, I did know, however algae does not die. People have told me that the rocks probably have some phosphates and the algae is consuming it all and so that's why there's no reading. However I want to buy a new sea hare as I know it can solve the problem quickly, however I'm wondering what options do I have to avoid it being killed by the powerhead. Is there some mod I can do to the SEIO so that the sea slug won't look after it, can I just turn it off until the sea hares eats all the algae maybe 3-4 weeks?. Its a 175gal and the other circulation I have is the return pump and a Tunze wavebox. <<The easiest solution is to cover powerhead / filter apertures with coarse foam, and secure with elastic bands or zip ties for the duration of the stay...Thanks, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Powerhead placement reading  - 05/31/08 Hello everyone, I have a 75 gallon tank that I'm trying to figure out placement of power heads. <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/pwrhdapfaqs.htm> I have 80 lbs. of live rock, built into a straight wall of rock from left to right, in the middle of the tank. I have several softies, a maroon clown, three green Chromis, a Firefish, <Are social animals> a Sixline wrasse, a serpent starfish, three feather dusters and various snails and hermit crabs. It's evenly distributed, and the wall comes up a little over half way up the tank. I have two Hydor stage 4 powerheads, one stage 3, and a Maxijet 1200. I have a Remora Pro protein skimmer all the way over to the right of the tank. That is the only filtration for the tank, so there is no other surface movement than the Remora, so I keep the stage 3, up in the right corner of the tank, pointing up to help ripple the surface of the water, I was told that will help with the oxygen in the tank. I have the other three powerheads on the back of the tank, points to the front pane of the tank. I know it's hard to determine placement of powerheads without seeing the tank, just wondering if you could give me some pointers. I have tried reading up on the website, but there seems to be too many variables that come into play. I thought telling you my situation would be my best bet. Thanks Marc <See where you're referred above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Powerhead placement reading  6/1/08 I did read your FAQs before writing the email. I couldn't find anyone that had a similar situation. I wasn't looking for exact placement, as much as just some rules of thumb. <...? These are there... I've written them...> Or just a rough estimate of where I might place them. If you could help me it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Marc <From the corners in the upper back, crossing toward the middle front... Bob Fenner>

Powerhead Positioning and Pulsing -- 04/10/08 Hi guys. <<Hiya, Larry>> The site and FAQs are indispensible! <<Glad you think so!>> 90 gallon tank -- 48x18. Aquascaping is sort of a lagoon style -- basically the rocks form a shallow C-shape with the open end of the "c" facing front. Mixed reef, predominantly LPS. I just upgraded to two Tunze 9055s on a multi-controller. <<I do love Tunze's Stream pumps>> As you know, these pumps can be set to about 450 to 1400 gph. The controller can pulse the pumps from 30 to 100 percent and also alternate them (either turning one on at a time or keeping one at a constant 30 percent at any one time, but switching back and forth with the other pulsing). <<Indeed>> My only other water flow is my return pump (about 450 to 500 gph), which comes through a sea swirl. Complicating matters a bit, the SeaSwirl is off-center because I have an acrylic tank and have to work with the openings. <<Mmm, yes'¦I too have an acrylic tank and don't care for the restricted openings/access. Though in hind-sight this could have been alleviated somewhat with more money spent>> The Swirl is about 1/3 the way across the tank, with the 90 degree rotating output about 7 inches from the back wall. How would you set up the 6055s and the controller? <<Likely facing from opposing ends>> I have them now in back rear pointed toward front center, slightly downward on an interval. There seems to be some build up on the sand bed (1.5"). <<Pointing them slightly 'up' will help with this'¦though do expect some sand movement regardless, with healthy vigorous flow rates>> I also wonder whether this is enough flow -- with the interval only one pump at a time is working, so basically I have 450 to 1400 gph pulsing on each side, one at a time, plus the return. <<If you have stocked your lagoon with 'lagoonal critters' then it is probably enough'¦but setting the controller to 'interval 2' will give a bit more flow as you know>> I have two Hydor Koralia's in my garage that I could also use, but if there's a way to make just the three devices work -- the two Tunzes and the SeaSwirl return -- I'd prefer to avoid the clutter. <<If your corals are responding positively, and the flow is sufficient to avoid 'dead' areas, then hold off on the additional powerheads>> Thanks! Larry <<Happy to help. EricR>> Set-Up/Power Head Positioning/Flow Rate 4/14/08 Hi Crew. <Hi Larry> First question to FAQ after many years of using your excellent site. I accidentally, originally sent this directly to Bob (freshman mistake). Sorry. Here it is again. 90 gallon tank -- 48x18. Aquascaping is sort of a lagoon style -- basically the rocks form a shallow C-shape with the open end of the "c" facing front. Mixed reef, predominantly LPS. I just upgraded to two Tunze 6055s on a multi-controller. As you know, these pumps can be set to about 450 to 1400 gph. The controller can pulse the pumps from 30 to 100 percent and also alternate them (either turning one on at a time or keeping one at a constant 30 percent at any one time, but switching back and forth with the other pulsing). My only other water flow is my return pump (about 450 to 500 gph), which comes through a Sea Swirl. Complicating matters a bit, the Sea Swirl is off center because I have an acrylic tank and have to work with the openings. The swirl is about 1/3 the way across the tank, with the 90 degree rotating output about 7 inches from the back wall. How would you set up the 6055s and the controller? I have them now in back rear pointed toward front center, slightly downward on an interval. There seems to be some poop build up on the sand bed(1.5"); seems more of it should be getting driven up into the water column for removal. I also wonder whether this is enough flow -- with the interval only one pump at a time is working, so basically I have 450 to 1400 gph pulsing on each side, one at a time, plus the return. I think I'm going to use some pvc or something to get the rock up out of the sand and re-aquascape, but that's a big project and might be a while. I have two Hydor Koralia's in my garage that I could also use, but if there's a way to make just the three devices work -- the two Tunzes and the Sea Swirl return -- I'd prefer to avoid the clutter. Any suggestions for setting the controller or setting up the SS and 6055s would be much appreciated. <Geez, why all the question marks, not necessary unless needed. You have more than enough flow with what you have now. If it were me, I'd alternate the Tunze pumps and as far as flow rate adjustment and cycle time, that's going to be something you will have to experiment with. You may want to experiment with putting the pumps closer to the sand bed to keep the bottom stirred up. Every tank is different and positioning of the pumps will vary, depending on how the rock work is set up and pump location.> Thanks! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Larry

Re: Set-Up/Power Head Positioning/Flow Rate 4/15/08 Thanks James/Salty. <You're welcome Larry.> Others have complained about the question marks -- it's AOL, not me. <Crazy!> Drives me crazy. Not sure how to make it stop. <Mmm, might want to try removing AOL and reload.> Finally bit the bullet this weekend and drained the tank to put the rock work up on some pvc shelves with egg crate. I think it will help with my detritus issue. Everyone made it ok. <Good to hear.> Thanks for the advice. I really appreciate the help. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Larry

Koralia Power Heads'¦Are Mine Working Correctly? Do I Need More? -- 02/29/08 Hi all. <<Howdy Matthew>> You have been a huge help to me as a beginner already, <<Great!>> but I have one more question. <<Okay>> I have a 55 gallon tank with some mushrooms, polyps, and a leather coral along with about 50lbs of live rock and two tank raised clownfish. I have an AquaC Remora protein skimmer and two Hydor Koralia 1 (400ghp each) power heads. <<All good gear>> Even though the Koralia's state that they are 400 gph each, it does not seem to be moving that much water. <<Mmm, the 'stream' generated is more diffuse/is wider than a comparable 'traditional' powerhead so it doesn't 'feel' as strong even though it is 'moving' just as much water. You can be confident these units are doing what you have employed them to do'¦and with better results/less chance of damaging livestock than with a traditional powerhead>> I have a power filter that I can run as well if I have to without any media in it. <<Up to you'¦but if used, I would suggest at least adding some chemical media to the filter for its added benefit to the system>> Also I have two Aquaclear 30 power heads that I can hook up, but then I will have a lot of equipment that I do not want in the tank. <<I see>> Is my circulation enough with only the two Koralia #1's and the protein skimmer, or do you think I should hook up the other powerheads and power filter. <<Were this me, I would likely add another Koralia pump'¦but'¦what are your tank inhabitants telling you? The condition/health/reactions of your livestock is your best measurement of the system and its needs>> Thanks in advance. Matthew Diethorn <<Happy to assist. Eric Russell>>

Power Head placement and Myth? Nitrates... PLEASE HELP 01/24/2008 Hello there, <<Hello Ashley, Andrew here>> I currently have a 65 gallon tank with 2 types of filtration a Rena Xp3 filter and a Tom's Wet/Dry Filter. I also have a 5 gallon refugium powered by a Maxi-jet 400 and 3 other power heads (600 Maxi-jet and 2 Hydor Koralia 1's). <<All for the refugium? Or the display tank??>> Recently I purchased a fish that wasn't what I was told. After research I realized I had to get the fish out of my tank. To do so I had to take my live rocks and Corals out. Once everything was accomplished and I caught the fish. I put everything back in. Then all of a sudden it was like my system crashed. I had to give my friend my corals to keep until I got my tank back in order and lost some fish. I now have gotten my tank relatively back on track. My PH, Ammonia, Nitrite and Salinity are all great; however I can't seem to get my nitrates down. <<This will be due to the major disturbance of the system as a whole>> I have done routine water changes the latest dong a 40 gallon change. And I also added 100 gallons worth of Nitrate sponge. <<Give the system time to settle, keep up with water changes, it should return to normal given time>> Everything I read seems to contradict each other. One say to do frequent water changes- which I've done but has no long term fix, it only offers a quick fix. <<It is a quick fix solution, however, if there is a source in the tank which is generating high nitrates, that source needs to be discovered and rectified>> Another says to much water changes kills the bacteria in your tank that eat the nitrates - which is making me thinking about buying a bottle of liquefied bacteria and dumping it all in my tank. <<Please don't go dumping bottled bacteria in your system. The bacteria will generate itself again. Patience is the key here>> And now I just read that excellent water circulation stirs everything around so much that it kills Nitrates so to speak. <<Water circulation itself will not kill off nitrates, only filtration and adequate bacteria levels>> It talks about the "Turn Rate of a Tank", how can you find the rate for a 65 gallon tank? Currently right now after I totaled all my GPH everything in my tank combined I put out 1862 GPH. Is that good a good amount of rate? <<Water turn over with the reef tank is very important as it keep detrius, food etc suspended in the water column to enable it to be removed via filtration. Actual circulation within the a reef tank is on average 25 x the gallonage of the tank. In this scenario, with a 65 gallon tank, your required circulation per hour should "AT LEAST" 1625 GPH (65 gallons X 25 = 1625 gph). Your combined rate of flow in the tank is adequate in my opinion. On tanks which are heavily dominated by SPS coral, people do tend to higher into regions of 40 and 50 x water circulation per hour>> If it is true that the circulation can lower nitrate levels, what type of placement of the power heads would you suggest working with 3 power heads, a surface skimmer and an output filter tube aprox.24 inches. Even if it's not true what you suggest to establish a good current for a reef tank? <<Powerhead placement is always a difficult one to comment on as every tank is different. All your after achieving is disruptive flow with surface water agitation to aid in gas exchange. Most tend to place powerheads opposite each other on the ends of the tank aim in the general direction of the middle. Its a matter of playing with placement, monitoring the system for dead spots and adjusting as necessary>> I do a lot of researching but when I can't come to a resolution or unsure, you're the place I turn to. <<We all try our best here>> I truly do enjoy reading your Q & A's. I must say after reading and going on a lot of sites, this is the one I keep coming back to. Seriously thank you for everything you provide to us hobbyist both beginner and experienced. Ashley Sadowski <<and thank you for being part of the marine community. Hope the above helps A Nixon>>

Powerheads and waste settling 01/13/2008 Hi there! <<Hello, Andrew here>> I'll get right to point...I have 29 gallon, overflow box, sump w/bioballs rated up to 75 gallon, Mag 5 pump running back to tank, getting ev-120 skimmer. Every 3 days I'm getting my arm wet trying to kick up waste particles that have settled on sand/ live rock. Do I need powerheads to keep this stuff suspended? <<Yes you do. Adequate flow is required for all waste particles etc to be removed either by natural filtration or skimming>> When it's all suspended will it travel to top of tank where overflow will suck it out? <<some will>> What's a good submersible powerhead? <<Hydor Koralia 2 powerhead would be great. This will give you about 600GPH water circulation. These are a good powerhead as the give a wide dispersed flow> Any such thing as too much flow thru tank? <<Certainly, different tank inhabitants all require different amounts of flow>> I think I'm already running equipment that's borderline too big for my tank. What's the rule? <<There are no real set rules as each tank, layout, setup is different>> <<Thanks for the questions, A Nixon>>

Tunze Help Por Favor 12/25/07 I'm attaching a pic of my 90 gal Bowfront which has two Tunze 6000 streams. Per your and others suggestions, the streams are mounted at the top rear of the tank and point to the center front. <A generality that can usually provide a turbulent flow.> Circulation is great, but I have an issue where the sand in the center front of the tank is pushed up and away leaving a crater in the center. <This can happen, especially with a bowfront.> Is there a better way to position these streams so this doesn't happen? <Perhaps in the middle of the sides, aimed at each other. It may take some experimenting on your part, tweaking here and there, but you will find a good balance. You may even need turn them down slightly if you have the multicontroller.> Lisa
<Welcome, good luck, Scott V.>

Too Much Water flow or Just too Linear?  -- 04/16/07 Hello, <Hi.> I have a 36 gallon aquarium with 45 pounds of live rock, and an SEIO 620 power head. <Okay.> This power head is awfully strong looking, and was wondering if  it is too strong for my tank. <Will create a lot of turbid flow, and it does depend on what you are keeping but generally it is rather difficult o have to much water movement.> My fish swim by and they get pushed pretty far. <...Playing I the current nothing to be concerned about really, unless there is not where fro the to flee to rest.> I  don't think my angel is stressed, but my goby sits on top of the power head  usually, where he can see the entire tank, but he still moves around the tank,  but I believe tends to avoid the open area. <Normal behavior...even in the wild.> Could this power head also prevent  coralline algae from growing on my rocks? <No, think about a "real" reef, the water movement is much stronger, what you have, what we all have, is nothing compared to this.> The power head is on the left side of  the tank and makes the flow at the very center. Also, there is a lot of  Coralline growing on the right side glass of my tank. I know the more circulation the better, but is this one individually too strong? <Perhaps the flow is to linear, try deflecting it my aiming it at a wall, rock-structure or another powerhead.> Should I move it too a different spot? <If you wish...try the above as well.> I was thinking of adding a 2nd to place on the opposite  side of the tank, but less strong. <That would be okay, aim them at each other; offset.> I am looking to upgrading my lighting and  creating a reef, but I must plan out everything before I get it done. <Yes patience is good.> Thanks, <Welcome.> Joe <**AJ**> Placement of Multiple Maxijets (Powerheads) 3-4-07 I have 3 maxi jet 900's in my 75 gal FOWLR. Where should I place them?? <On opposing sides of the aquarium, differing levels...in the general direction of each other to create turbulent flow patterns. Adam J> Powerheads SUCK! 1/16/07 Hello! <Hi!>   I'm a new fish mom and I've already got an injured baby!  I have 2 small domino damselfish (about an inch long each) and yesterday one of them got sucked into the powerhead!   <Ow...> I don't know how long it was in there but my guess is a couple hours.   <Owww...> So when I turned the powerhead off (they often would take cover in a cave when the powerhead was turned on and would come out when I turned it off) I expected it to come from it's hiding place but instead it came from the powerhead!  So now it's a little bent with a little bulge on the side that was being held by the powerhead and the other side is a little caved in. It can swim around but it's weak and its dorsal fins seem to be paralyzed as well as the base of its tail. The base of the tail and dorsal fins are also white which I assume is scale damage from the suction. I'm hoping the paralysis is temporary and movement will come back once its recovered from the shock.   <Time will tell, but protecting the inlet from fish-ingestion would be a wise move, eh?> This morning the side that was a bit caved in appears to have puffed out a little more than it was yesterday, but it seems that the fins have deteriorated a bit.  Will the fins rejuvenate?   <Heal? Yes. Grow back, 50/50... or 70/30 no/yes.> Will it recover or is it going to die?  What's the best thing I can do for it? <Protect it from the powerhead...? Seriously, any fish will benefit anytime from vitamins like what you find in Selcon or Vita-chem. Other than that, you and your fish have learned a lesson, and you will live to utilize it. Your Domino is tough, and may survive, too. HTH - Graham T.>

Power head positioning  1/8/06 Quick question guys, <Sure.> I installed a Red Sea WaveMaster pro and put in a DSB 5 inches deep of sugar fine in my 55 gallon tank. <Okay.> It is so cool, the whole tank has really come alive and never had clearer water and better readings in the 4 years of learning this hobby. Once cycled I will start with some simple corals. <Sounds good.> The one little problem I'm having is I have 3, Maxi-Jet 1200 powerheads on the wavemaker with 1 each pointed to the middle from opposite rear corners of the tank and one running low behind the 60 lbs of live rock. Is that the best positioning? I would stager them a little more, maybe point them more directly at each other to create some turbulence rather than linear flow.> I seem to get a mini tornado in the front of the tank and its blowing sand around and moving it to the corners of the tank, should I stagger them or shoot them to opposite corners? Just wondering to get the best flow. <See above> Thanks, I owe a lot of fun in this hobby to you guys. <Thank you for such kind words.> Jeff <Adam Jackson.>

Tunzes In The Night (Night Mode For Streams)   4/18/06 Hi Mr. Fenner! <Scott F. in for Bob today!> A short one today. I have two Tunze Stream 6100 with a Multicontroller in my 90 gal. You sure know about the optional "night mode" gadget on the controller (flow a bit slower at night for simulating supposedly natural calmer sea at night because of high tide...). In another way one could argue that night is when you need more circulation to avoid CO2 buildup. So I would like your opinion on this. Is it really beneficial in the slightest to use that night-mode? Thanks! Have a nice day! Dominique <Hi Dominique! I am a big fan and user of Streams, myself. However, I have never utilized the "Night Mode" that the 7095 controller offers. I do like the "moon light", however! I personally have not seen any advantage to the night mode. I agree with your assertion that there is a greater buildup of CO2 at night, anyways. However, my real reason for not using the "Night Mode" is related to the reliability of the pumps. In my experience, unless you are absolutely vigilant about maintenance, regularly shutting down the pumps or throttling them into the Night Mode or Feeding Modes means more of a chance for calcium and gunk (that's a technical term, of course!) that may have built up in the impellor to prevent a re-start to the faster pulse modes. That means you'll have a higher likelihood of hearing that dreaded alarm go off, signaling another vinegar soak! No big deal, really, but annoying nonetheless. Another issue I have with the "Night Mode" is that, unless you are very careful about where you are aiming the Stream, you can end up with a simple laminar flow blasting away (even though it's at a lower speed) at your coral tissue all night. Just a thought. Anyways, end the end it's your call about this mode of operation, but I have never used this mode and have enjoyed great success with these pumps. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.>

Adding a Tunze Turbelle 6060 to my 125 gal reef  - 09/14/06 Hello Guys and Gals, I would like to add a Tunze 6060 to my reef but I am not sure how to place it for optimum performance. Water flow is currently generated from 2 Fluval 802 powerheads set up at either sides of the back wall and with a slight angle so I could bank the flow off the front of the glass. <This is best... at an angle downward...> I also have  a 1500 gph pump in my sump that is my return. I am not sure where to place the Tunze. I only purchased 1 for 137.00 dollars. (These babies are not cheap).. Let me know where I should place this given my current config...See ya <Very good powerhead/submersible pumps. Enjoy. Bob Fenner>

Re: power heads placement Hi Craig, Man! you're pretty popular nowadays (letter from a David). I read the FAQ ( what's his problem? lol). <Hey Jun! Yes, that's me, ever popular!> Now here's my situation, I added 2 MaxiJet 1200 in my 90 gal tank (only using a Mag 7 for return pump prior). My question is where would be the best placement for these powerheads. I am adding this pumps to help me battle Cyano (increase water flow, and use of RO water). Right now, they (MaxiJet) are position on each side of the tank facing each other and the output (return flow) from my Mag 7 facing the front of the tank (hope this make sense). Do you have any suggestions on how to position these powerheads? I really do appreciate you and the whole WWM crew for all the help you have given us (aquarist/hobbyist). For sure, without you guy's help, my tank will be a lot worse than it is now ......LOL.   Jun <Opposing them, perhaps at slightly different levels is good, but you may want to focus some of the flow directly onto or into the areas containing the Cyano to help battle it with the increased circulation. The 1200's are also good for about 295 gph, which combined would be roughly 600 gph. For your 90, even with the Mag 7 return, you could use from 10-20X turnover, depending on your inhabitants, so you could easily add two more MaxiJets (say opposing in the back and lower, and the other two higher in the front, or in back pointing to the front. I have mine in the back corners pointing at the front glass at an angle that gives added circulation to a gorgonian and slightly less to a Tubipora musica next to it, ending with a gentle current for a hammer, an anemone and some Actinodiscus. You will likely have to experiment with placement to get it right for everything concerned. Keep an eye on those LPS corals with soft tissues and hard skeletons, too much current will damage them. I hope this gives you an idea of what you want!  Have Fun! Craig>

Pumps and plumbing Hi guys do have quick question.  After doing some research I am thinking about buying a CSL velocity T4 pump.  Have you heard anything about or seen these pumps in action?  Good/Bad. <I have no personal experience with this pump but everything that I have ever heard was good. When I get my next tank, I plan to get a T4> Last few things.  I have decided that I will go with using some powerheads in my 75 gal, mostly soft coral display.  I want to plumb my return from sump to tank this way.  I want to run 1" return going to 3/4" pvc spray bar Acros the entire back of tank.  The flow or drilled holes will alternate flow going down towards the front middle and straight across the top.  Use the power heads on the sides flowing towards each other and another powerhead at the bottom behind the LR.  See any problems or anything that can be done better?   <Sounds great to me!> Do have one last thing.  What do you think of the Zoo Med power sweep rotating power heads are they good or bad.   <They are pure trash and a total waste of money. The sweeping action will stop in about 2 weeks. Yes I have personal experience with these. David Dowless> Thanks Bryan

Intake sponge filter on powerhead as bio-filter I have decided to add a "quick filter" to one of my 802 powerheads in the tank, I will not clean this and it should provide the needed biological boost, would you agree?.... <Should add capacity, after a couple weeks to cycle....it will produce nitrates over time (the product of it's bio-capacity). Have fun!  Craig>

Powerhead placement 10/13/03 Hey! I have read through the Marine Circulation pages, but am still leery bout my powerhead placement.   <ahhh... OK> I have a 55 gallon FOWLR tank with a 2-3" sandbed and about 70 lbs of live rock. I basically put the live rock in the center of the tank - some of the pieces were so large that there is approximately 1" of clearance with the tank walls. <the sand is not deep enough and the distance off the wall is not very generous either IMO> Basic livestock is ~20 turbo & Trochus snails, ~15 red/blue legged hermits, 2 Oc. Clowns, 3 damsels, one Court Jester Goby, 2 Cleaner Skunk Shrimp.  I have just added the beginner coral pak from Drs. F&S.  I have a Amiracle sump rated for 150 gallon tank.  Right now, I am using the CAP2200 that came with the sump and claims to be moving 495 gph. I also have a DolphinDP270 that moves about 100 gph. With losses, I figure I am moving about 475 gph.  Your advice is to move about 10x, so I am a little shy.  I have some Maxi 900 PH and a RedSea Wavemaster Pro that I would like to add.  What is your suggestion on PH placement? Thanks, Paul <experiment until you find yourself producing random turbulent flow that leaves few if any dead spots in the tank for detritus accumulation. We have no way of telling you where that is re: rockscape and other outlet placement dynamics... a truly hands-on determination by you. Anthony>

Goin' With The Flow... Hi Scott <Hi there!> I have my two powerheads in my tank at the top of each  corner, each of them pumping 1100l per hour I have the facing each other causing a deflection, or are they fine this way or should I move them lower or maybe keep one on top and one at the bottom? <Try facing hem towards each other, so that a chaotic flow is established...> Thanks, Ziad <Any time. Regards, Scott F>

Playing With Powerheads!  I read up on your info on powerheads and bought two AquaClear #402 powerheads that pump 270 GPH and put each in the back corners directing the water to the front center in my 55 gal. tank. When I turned them on, the fish all took cover under the live rock and it looked like a hurricane was in there!! What did I do wrong?  <Well, nothing, actually. You're simply seeing the results of lots of flow directed at a relatively confined area. Better than if they are directed right into a coral or sessile invert>  They aren't hooked up to an undergravel filter, 'cause I don't have one, is that why there was so much force?  <Well, there is no "head pressure">  I turned one off and the fish seem more comfortable...they came out all covered with sand. I notice that you can put a bio-ball in the intake...will that slow down the flow a little?  <I'd be concerned about doing that, because a little piece of bioball can get sucked into the impeller, and- well, you get the idea>  Thanks Susanne R  <My pleasure, Susanne. Just play around with the orientation of the powerheads, and your animals will enjoy the benefits of increased flow. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Anemone caught in powerhead. Well even after placing sponges on all intakes, my Rose BTA found a very small intake on a little pump I had. << It is just a matter of time until they find it.  Don't you just hate that?  I've had the same thing happen. >> I was able to get it out and it survived.  It is still inflated and still has it's foot and color is good.  The issue is I don't see it's mouth and think it may have been torn in the accident.  Will it regenerate? << I think so.  I find that anemones do recover from this. >> It has been almost a week and although it looks healthy, I am concerned that it has not eaten. << Well they like light as well.  So in some ways it may be eating.  Most people only feed their anemones weekly.  Actually that is the good hobbyists, most people never feed their anemones anything other than light. >> Any help you can give me would be very much appreciated!! << Give it time, keep the pump intakes covered. >> <<  Blundell  >>

Circulation Clarity Hi crew, <Scott F. your Crew member tonight!> Who might be looking at this question today? Awesome, I know everybody there is more than fully capable of easing my mind and I thank you. I am trying to understand something about powerhead placement and what one is trying to achieve. I have a 38 gallon tank with two Maxijet 1200 running. I have them positioned opposing each other, so I believe I have random turbulent flow. The surface of the water is nicely agitated. My question is about how to tell if I have them positioned right so I have no dead spots. how would I know for sure? <Well, one of my favorite ways is to throw in a pinch of frozen food and see "where it goes". A very easy way to observe your flow patterns.> Would I see slight movement of the sand in all areas? <That depends upon where the flow is directed. If you have powerheads bouncing flow off of the front glass, you will probably see some disruption of sand. Otherwise, a more reliable method is the one I described above> Or am I mainly concerned about moving the water and try to leave the sand still? <That is my goal!> To me-I feel more comfortable when I see the sand gently moving a little, but the sand eventually settles and finds a home to sit still so its hard to see if the flow is still there. <Well, if sand is moving and settling- you've definitely got some flow in there. It may simply be randomized, swirling around in different areas, broken up by rockwork, etc.> I really don't like to have to move the powerhead nozzles all the time to know for sure. I really don't want to get involved with a wavemaker for this small tank and I believe that I have enough circulation in there with 15+ turnover per hour with just the powerheads alone. I attached a little diagram showing the layout of the PH's. Have I got it more or less correct? <As long as you don't have laminar flow blasting the tissue off of corals, you're on the right track!> The main reason for asking this is that I have some Diatoms building up on the sand and glass, and with the Aqua-C remora skimmer going (which right now is only producing white-ish foam not the dark coffee colored stuff yet as the tank is quite young) <Give it time and some adjusting- it will pull dark colored skimmate even in a relatively "clean" tank...> and I want to make as extremely hard as I can to give the diatoms and blue-green algae a loosing battle. Hope you can help and thank you. Cheers Mike <The diatoms are generally caused by silicate in your source water. This can best be addressed by pre-treating your source water with an RO/DI unit with a high silicate rejection membrane. Circulation will definitely help with other forms of nuisance algae, but there is simply no substitute for high water quality, both with source water and in the system. You have a great approach here- get in the habit of performing good, routine maintenance procedures: Keep the skimmer well adjusted, clean, and productive, make regular water changes with quality source water, etc. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Tank Drilling Question, Tunze Adaptation Thank you for your reply. <Surely> The holes in the top of the tank will only be large enough for the mechanism the Tunze powerhead will hang from and the cord.  <Form follows function!> What type of hole saw do I use to make the hole and do I measure and just drill like I normally would, say for example like a doorknob? <I would call the retailer you purchased the tank from, and see what bit they've had success with.  They have likely had a bit of trial and error, if you know what I mean.  The important part is to go nice and slow.  I have used a Dremel for this in the past.> The tank currently has 1" of crushed see shells and about 50 lbs. of "Reef Bones".  Can I add the deep sand bed over the current substrate and use the "Reef Bones" as a base for the live rock? <You can mix the sands to provide a diversity, but I'd probably remove a good amount.  Larger particles tend to trap debris, which becomes a problem once it starts to be processed.> The tank has an acrylic canopy so I thought about using 2, 175w metal halides (55k) and 2, 96w actinic PC's.  My taste in corals tends to be of the soft variety but I do like the elegance coral and some other hard corals.  Will this lighting setup be ample? <Yes, a nice choice for the animals kept.> Also using the bulbs I've described will the lighting have a blue tint as that is what I prefer. <All about preference!> Thank You for all your help and Merry Christmas to you and all the Wet Web Media staff. <And a happy new year! Ryan>

Creating Chaos! (Oriented Sea Swirls For Optimum Water Motion) Dear Crew, <Scott F. your Crew Member tonight> Thanks for your help in advance, I find your website incredibly helpful. <Thanks for the kind words! We're proud to deliver WWM to you every day!> I did check the FAQ's but could not find my answer. I have 3-3/4" sea swirls on a 150 gallon tank. The outlet fittings have the ability to point up or down apprx. 30 degrees. Should they be placed up for the oxygen exchange or am I getting enough of that when the water travels through the trapezoid and into the sump, or downward for better circulation through out the reef. I would really appreciate your opinion....Thanks Steve  <Good question, Steve. I am a big fan of Sea Swirls myself, and really like them. My thinking is that the oxygen exchange will take place in the water's journey into the sump, as you surmise. I'd prefer to orient the outlets of the 'Swirls down into the water column, to create random currents. Observe the swirls for a while, to make sure that they don't kick up too much sand in the process. As long as you are getting good air/water interchange at the surface, the Sea Swirls will do the rest. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Powerheads Hi all, <Hello, how are you?> I have a new 50 gallon tank, and just started adding fish. I added two small clowns. The problem is that they keep on getting "blown" all over the place by the currents that are generated by the powerheads. I have four Powerheads on the tank one 900 two 400 and one 500. Is it normal for them to keep getting caught up in the currents? please help I hate to see them get pushed around. <The amount of power heads for that tank seems to be too much. If you have sufficient filtration, two powerheads should be enough. Good Luck. MikeB.> 

Re: Sumpless Closed Loop Manifold, powerhead use 07/01/05 Bob, <Yes> Thanks for the reply. I've decided to go with an internal powerhead. After reading many FAQs and other forum threads, I've purchased a Tunze Stream. I went with the 6060, which cannot use a controller, to vary output. I'm amazed it can move more than 5 times the volume of water using less electricity than the Maxi Jet 1200's. <A very nice product> I've directed the pump to partially reflect off the front pane of my 75 aquarium. I'm hoping this will spread the flow in multiple directions. <Should> Should I run this pump 24/7 or power it off at night and run just a few maxi jets and the return pump at night? Thanks, Glenn <I'd leave all running continuously. Bob Fenner>

Water flow in the Reef Tank - 10/24/05 I just wanted to say thank you, to everyone. <I'll say 'You're Welcome!' for everyone, Hello Aaron.> I purchased 2 Tunze stream pumps (6000's) and the multi-controller and I noticed a huge improvement in water quality.  <Yes water flow is important and the Tunze streams definitely are first class in delivering it.>  Now, I'm wondering if I should buy 2 more, or if they are strong enough for a 180 gallon tank?  <Depends on the livestock, for SPS you could definitely benefit from one or two more. Personally I'm a HUGE fan of lots of water flow in any kind of tank.>  I'm using a Little Giant with a manifold that splits the return, it's a LifeReef system, I believe the pump is rated at 1400 gph at 0 head, split and traveling from the sump, I probably see 300-400 on each side. If I added 2 more Tunze pumps (is it ton-ze or toonz?)...  <The latter I believe but don't quote me on it.>  would that be too much?  <I don't think so, though if you have a DSB it may be difficult to maintain with all this flow.>  I think the 6000's are 1850 gph at max flow, but the controller pulses them, which seems to be more beneficial, am I wrong here?  <No, turbulent water flow is better than linear water flow.>  If they run full blast all the time it makes swimming a bit problematic for the fishes.  <Yes but they will adjust. Even with all that water flow its nothing compared to the 'real' reef.>  I do keep some varieties of SPS corals, and they seem ok- I was just wondering if adding 2 more pumps would be too much? See, I figure if one pump is on at a time, and it pulses between 60 and 100% every 2 second, then after about 15 seconds the other pump comes on, I know it's not 1850x2 but it's really not just 1850 either is it, because a huge volume of water is moving towards the opposing pump as it switches on- ok,  <Having pumps face opposite each other is fine, it makes the water flow less "predictable' and more turbulent, a good thing.>  I'll stop, sorry, is 2 more too many?  <I don't think so.>  Thanks and have a good one! <You too!.> Thanks, <You're welcome.> Aaron
<Adam J.> 

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