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Current in planted tank... How?

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by ryankan1, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. ryankan1

    ryankan1 Junior Poster

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    Hi,

    I'm kinda new in the planted tank scene, or even new to the hobby itself. I've only gotten myself a 1ft tank to start, and made some mistakes, killed some plants and now still going at it. I did buy another tank which is 2ft (15g), pressurized Co2 and a 2213 but I didn't want to start it till I get my 1ft tank in a better shape.

    I've been reading up a lot in this forum, and after going through the whole EI and dual Venturi reactor thread, on top of numerous other thread, it seems like the consensus is that stronger current is beneficial to a planted tank, to spread nutrients and Co2 alike to the entire tank.

    I have some Anubias afzelii, Asian Ambulia, and japanese hairgrass as foreground on ADA AS Malaysa powder version.

    My question is that, the plants being 'soft stemmed' and the substrate being powdery (it's not entirely covered with the JHG yet.. they grew slowwww), how do I add in more current? As it is, I am running the AquaClear 200 HOB and I can't even let it rip at full flow as it'll cause:

    a) soil erosion below the waterfall
    b) my plants will bow under the waterfall ... I reckon if I get some horizontal current going, the whole tank will have lopsided plants :(

    Any help?

    Aquarium picture attached.

    Regards
    Ryan
     
  2. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    well first off, with the HOB your going to off gas a lot of co2. Also with a tank that small there is not much you can do as far as pumps go because they will push stuff all over the place. I would say the nano koralia but it may do the same, but if you did get it and it was too much flow, you could use it on the 2ft tank for sure.
     
  3. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    You might be able to get a small powerhead. Something like a Hagen mini 404 and crank it down until you get the movement you want without the tornado effect. Aim it halfway across the front or back glass to spread out the flow a bit. You can probably also place a bio block ( sponge ) on the outflow of the HOB filter. That might cut down a bit on the outgassing. You might then be able to crank up the flow a bit more on that as well.

    You could also try one of those tank dividers with all the holes in them. Put the output of the powerhead on that side and that would diffuse the flow a bit and give you more of an end to end kind of flow vs. a whirlpool type flow. Visually it would probably be pretty ugly though, but it's something you could try.

    -
    S
     
  4. ryankan1

    ryankan1 Junior Poster

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    Thanks for all the ideas thus far!

    Anyway, how do I put a piece of the sponge on the outflow of my HOB? Do you mean at the end of the waterfall level or still within the 'cartridge' inside. I have a piece of sponge and 2 levels of bio balls (took out the activated carbon layer).

    ---
    Ryan
     
  5. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I was thinking at the end of the waterfall. You might be able to cut one to fit very closely or if it's thin enough just lay it down the length of the waterfall by stuffing it in at the top and leave the bottom just touching the water.
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    A bit off topic, but, the bunch of what looks like a Rotala on the left, seems to be encased in mineral wool. It will do much better if you get rid of the mineral wool, split the bunch up into individual plants, and plant them about a half inch to an inch apart.

    You can have quite a lot of water current in even a small tank, if you don't get it as a small diameter jet of water. You can put one of the little "paddle" type deflectors on the powerhead outlet, so the flow is spread out a lot. You still get the same gph of flow, but not so concentrated that it knocks down the plants. Also, if you direct it along the rear glass it tends to start a circular flow in the tank, which is good too.
     
  7. ryankan1

    ryankan1 Junior Poster

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    Hi Vaughn,

    Yep those are left there just to hold them for when I start my new tank. I've since decided against that and have planted them near the back. When you talk about those "paddle" type deflector, I have no idea what it is. Do you have a link to something remotely like it? I am also pretty good with the tools so if it's not available commercially I can make it out of a diagram or something ...

    Also, a little off topic too... Are any of you able to identify this plant in my tank? I've attached the image below. It has all these little thin string like roots spawning from everywhere along the stem. What am I supposed to do with them?

    Finally, the second image is of another plant, that, hopefully someone can identify as well. It's been growing well until recently and all the new growth seems to NOT 'stand' but instead limps down :( Any idea why? (this image is the one with the black rock)

    Many thanks! :)

    Ryan

    plant2.jpg

    plant1.jpg
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    [​IMG] About the roots on the stem plants: all stem plants grow roots at the nodes where the leaves connect. You can ignore them, trim them, or hide them with lower growing plants in front of them.
     
  9. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    Is this tank co2 injected? If not, lots of surface current is good and will actually help replenish co2. If it doesn't blow too much around and uproot things, that is.
     
  10. ryankan1

    ryankan1 Junior Poster

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    Yup it's running on a DIY yeast mixture, but the diffusing method is a block of wood, and is not producing fine bubbles at all ... I get medium sized bubbles that floats right up to the surface anyway, but my 4dKh drop checker registers a green VERY close to yellow, so I guess it's sufficient given the size of the small tank?

    Ryan

    p/s- I just started my larger tank with 2213 and will never go back to HOBs :p
     
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