Table of contents:
- Mechanical filters
- Oscillating pumps
- Waveforms, or flow pumps
- Using reverse flow
- The current plays a really important role for corals
Video: Choosing Equipment For Setting Up A Current In A Reef Aquarium
For most of us, mechanical filters are great for setting up a current in an aquarium. They are inexpensive and capable of producing flux of varying strength. Their main disadvantage is that they are only capable of producing laminar flow.
Such a stream should not be directed directly at the corals, as the strong current can close the polyps, or in the worst case damage the coral tissue. Hagen, Aquarium Systems and Azoo produce the most typical mechanical filters. These are good filters, with the addition of electronics, that are capable of producing flow in more than one direction.
Sometimes, in order to properly distribute the flow energy from the filter, you need a PVC tube. Almost all mechanical filters are designed to attach such a tube to the filter spout where the water flows into your aquarium. To avoid problems with the pipes, you can adjust the diameter of the pipe to the diameter of the filter outlet. Otherwise, the force of the flow coming from the filter will simply tear off the spout.
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Once you have figured out the tube attachment, you can distribute the flow using T and V-shaped nozzles on the tube. With the help of this, we will achieve a more comfortable flow force for the corals, which will no longer be able to damage them, as well as evenly distribute the flow throughout the aquarium. You can also slightly reduce the power of the filter, this will extend its life.
Using this method, we can point-wise act on certain areas, prevent the accumulation of detritus, or direct them beyond rocks and stones, washing out organic pollution from there. However, we must not forget that in this way we can only get laminar flow, which will not affect some corals. In the case of stony corals, we can get the following picture: a part of the colony located in an area with a strong current, while another part of the colony, less prone to current, will take on another.
Oscillating pumps, also called Powersweep Powerheads, are relatively new to the market. This allows the flow to cover a wider area, that is, the flow is no longer directed towards the point of water. These pumps rotate so that the flow covers a large area. When several such devices are installed in the system, their flows overlap each other, thus forming vortices that can be found on a natural living reef. Such devices can be placed anywhere within the aquarium, so that the flow will sweep the entire aquarium, including the areas behind the rocks.
Waveforms, or flow pumps
Another way to get the right flow in your aquarium is to attach a waveform to a mechanical filter or oscillation pump. The waveform will randomly turn the filters on and off to simulate a natural wave, thus achieving the desired effect. The waveforms do not just randomly turn on the pumps, they turn them on gradually, with a soft start.
The advantage of a "soft start" is that it extends the life of the pump by taking some of the load off it when it is turned on. Additionally, this fade mimics the natural reef environment. However, some filters are not designed to work with such equipment, so check with your filter manufacturer before purchasing a waveform.
Using the combination of a mechanical filter and a wave former, you can create not only laminar and undulating flows in your aquarium, but also turbulence. To create turbulence, you need to direct the streams from the filters towards each other. By accidentally turning on the pumps, their flows will intersect, creating turbulence in your aquarium. As a result, we get laminar flows from filters, overlapping each other, thus forming waves, which colliding form vortexes resembling turbulent flows.
Using reverse flow
In addition to mechanical filters, backflow from the pump can be used to increase flow in small aquariums. This constant strong flow can be used in several ways.
For those who want to arrange the flow from wall to wall, like waves in a natural reef, you will need T-shaped splitters, they will divide the flow coming from the pump.
After installing the taps, electronic plugs should be installed at the ends of the T-shaped taps. The plugs can be programmed for a certain operating time, using a microprocessor, so that the flow passing through them alternates from one plug to another. The microprocessor will allow you to set the time between wave changes.
To achieve the wave effect, the streams must be directed to one another across the length of the aquarium. This method is suitable for people with an unlimited budget, since each plug-valve costs about $ 200, and the processor another 50.
An alternative to a direct flow pump is the Carlson Wave Device, named after its creator Bruce Carlson. In this system, a large, tall tank is placed above the aquarium. Three-quarters of the tank is at the top, a large-diameter pipe extends from there and further down, closer to the bottom. The pipe exits the tank and is then directed to the surface of the aquarium, using two corners of 45 degrees. The pipe is lowered 7-10 cm into the aquarium. Inside the large pipe is a smaller, rigid pipe leading to the top of the pipe and into the air.
This system works by gravity and creating a siphon. The water from the aquarium slowly flows into the tank, just like a mechanical filter. As soon as the water rises and reaches the top of the pipe in the tank, it begins to flow out into the outer pipe. As soon as the flow increases, the siphon pumps out water from the pipe until its level drops to the bottom of the pipe, then the siphon is broken and water flows out of the tank, and then the cycle repeats.
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The flow rate will depend on the size of the tank, the height of the tank above the tank and the diameter of the pipe entering the tank. To be sure that the siphon will break, make a small notch in the bottom of the pipe in the tank.
The current plays a really important role for corals
When adjusting the flow in your aquarium, do not overdo it, and always use reliable pumps and pumps. With simple planning and the right equipment, you can easily ensure that your aquarium has a flow that mimics that of a real living reef.
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