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Does This Flow Setup Work?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by csmith, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    3:10 PM
    To follow is a rough sketch of my plans for my 55 gallon. Everything is fairly close to scale. I'm looking for opinions on if this plan will work out basically. Also, input on my methods of flow dispersement (as in the hardware) is appreciated. For the powerheads I'm considering placing each a few inches lower than the previous one to ensure full, circular flow from top to bottom. I've also yet to decide where to place Co2 flow and how to diffuse it. I also only own 1 Koralia Nano, so the other two can be substituted with something else.

    Legend:
    Black - Perimeter of tank.
    Red - 2 inches from glass at substrate level I won't be using. I like the perimeter with a clean look. Could probably cut it back to 1 inch.
    Dark Green - Total flora thickness at substrate level. 6" in middle, 12"x18" outsides. Very rough estimate.
    Light Green - Carpeting plant.
    Blue - Powerheads with final depth of each TBD (3 Koralia Nanos claimed at 240 gph each, connected by a Ocean Pulse Wavemaker) / Filter spray bar(15 inches long with a claimed 260 gph coming from a Fluval 305) running just under the surface for surface agitation with slight angle down.
    Gray - Optional spray bar extension (15", not sure if it's worth using)
    Purple - Filter Intake.
    Orange - Heater.
    Yellow - Flow pattern.

    Thanks for any and all input.

    [​IMG]
     
    #1 csmith, Mar 26, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  2. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,

    Looks good. I have a Koralia #1 on my 55g and I am waiting for a Koralia #2. I will place them at opposite sites of the tank as you describe in your diagram. That should do it for me.
     
  3. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Your flow design is pretty decent. If you cut back to two koralias and then split your CO2 you can run a couple of powerheads with needle wheel mods. If you set them up front and back going across the tank, you'll be able to blow CO2 over your foreground nicely. From there you can time the koralias to aid the powerheads so that by the time the CO2 gets to the other side of the tank, the powerheads kick on and push the CO2 further. You'll get a nice whirlpool effect going that will hopefully penetrate your stems decently. Just reverse the angles of all koralias and powerheads every now and then and you'll find the deeper areas of your plants stay a bit cleaner.

    Figuring out flow always takes tinkering. Sometimes ideal angles get blocked by a few weak stems, or density causes problems in an area. That's how a new tank goes though; they're always more work at the start.

    You may want to skip out on the foreground plants in behind your tall stems; odds are you won't see them. You may also either want to shrink the size of your stem patches or remove the foreground in the parts between; getting a 1 inch strip of carpeting plant to grow between stems isn't easy.

    Since you don't have it running yet, now would be a good time to study layout aesthetics. I spent months tinkering with my last layout (largely because it took a while to get everything in one place), and I'm much happier for it. Work right into the fine details; substrate humps, rock piles and driftwood branches are all that stand in the way between a great aquarium and one that looks like a underwater version of someone's suburban garden.
     
  4. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    I thought about getting larger ones such as yours, but I was cautious due to the high flow coming out of one point and going one direction. Good to know it does work, though.
     
  5. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    Are you saying leave the two koralias on the left and right glass pointed at the angles and place the powerheads on the same glass panes as the koralias but pointing straight across the tank?

    I don't plan on planting the foreground plants between or behind the stems. I was more just covering open space because in time I'm sure the stuff will creep around the back, maybe even into the planted section of the stems. I'm contemplating laying a partition around the stems like I will be around the perimeter of the tank to keep the foreground stuff from finding the glass.

    Very good advice. I've come up with a ton of stuff recently I'll be doing differently than when I first began, such as having to come up with a solution to the extra flourite I'll have in the tank once I lay the potting soil under it. I came up with a sort of rolling effect for the gravel and elevated areas of gravel for the plants. It took me so long picking plants (which the list will be changing as well :eek:) that I put most of this other stuff on the backburner.



    Edit: Can you elaborate on the "needle wheel mod" idea? I was thinking it was the one where people were taking a hot needle and cutting holes into the impeller on their pumps, but it seems that's a different method.
     
    #5 csmith, Mar 27, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  6. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    Disregard my edit?

    Is the needle wheel mod placing holes in the existing impeller's blades?

    Also, would it be a bad idea to hook up the Koralia's to a non-koralia wavemaker? I've come across "why wouldn't it work, just do it" to "it'll break the powerhead because it doesn't power them down". I don't exactly have a "just try it" budget. :rolleyes: Anybody with experience here?
     
  7. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    For the koralia/powerhead thing what I mean is you have a koralia and power head on the left and right side of the tank, koralias over power heads. You set one powerhead towards the front/right corner, the other towards the back/left, and the koralias the opposite way. Run the koralia on each side at the opposite time as the power head on that side. You'll get a whirl pool effect where the koralias aid the powerheads once the CO2 crosses the tank. try to blow the CO2 in as low as you can without disturbing substrate, and even keep the koralias on a downward angle.

    I've been running my 50 gal for about 2 months now with both koralias and needle wheel modded powerheads. If you want a dedicated wave making system and money Cutting power should not damage an electric motor; there's nothing with combustion or compression, just polarity switching back and forth. Buying the wave timer for koralias is just silly IMO; they only take koralias.

    The needle wheel mod can be done by drilling impellers, buying after market, or adding nylon scour pads etc. to the top. Personally I just clip each impeller horizontally using some very fine scissors or a hobby knife/scalpel. Bend top set of new fins one way, the bottoms the other. From there, drill a hole in the intake cover near the impeller; fit it so your CO2 line is snug, but not a fight to replace. Depending on which way you place your powerhead, you may have to tilt it to get the air out after water changes. Here's the way Tom posted it:
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/5809-Needle-wheel-DIY-modifications?highlight=needle+wheel+powerheads
    I've used pumps as slow as 80gph, but 200gph seems to be perfect on a 50 gal with a 20 sec. timer.

    If you're going to do dual needle wheel running CO2, you may want to look at a 2 way manifold and double BC's. A T valve and a couple of flow/in line needle valves may also work as a cheaper option, but I'm not sure. I'm not exactly a CO2 hardware guy.
     
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