View Full Version : Let's talk about Circulation and Flow

01-25-2005, 06:02 AM
What do you run?

Obviously, sps dominant tanks required a substantial amount of flow due to the inherent nature of these types of corals.

Describe you flow methods and amount.

I have my Little Giant 3mdqxc (sump returned) throttled 1/4 the way back and it still makes a substantial impact on my in tank current; I have two maxijets 1200s on a diy wave timer; it's on for 20 seconds while the other one on the other side is off and the repeat cycle continues. The nozzle on the right side MJ is cut off to allow the pump to discahrge in either direction upon the pump being energized due to the magnet's rotation changing every so often upon start up. This was a recent addition and I hope the extra mj plus the wavetimer will eliminate some deadspots.


01-25-2005, 10:13 AM
My current 200 gallon has:

Tunze Stream 6100 with controller (3000 gph)
- about 2 ft from the right side pointing to the left side
- pushes water across the whole tank
- the controller cycles it between 30% and 100% flow like waves
- pushes all organic surface film to the left side of the tank
- Tunze Deco rock mount has a Monti Cap and coralline on it.

Rio SEIO 820 (820 gph)
- in the dead spot behind the Tunze

Some old powerhead that runs about 200 gph
- on the left side of the tank
- breaks up organic surface film

The 200 is currently sumpless and skimmerless as it's in transition to the 400 gallon - which will have:
- 4 x Tunze Stream 6100 with controller for a max of 12000 gph
- main returns running up to 2000 gph

My favorite is the Tunze 6100 because of the adjustable flow rates and pulsing patterns (using the multi pump controller), but they are expensive. The "deco rock" mounts are a pretty penny too, but once stuff starts growing on them, they are hard to distinguish from LR and do a good job hiding the pumps to the casual observer. I love having people over and asking them to find the 3000 gph pump in my tank... I usually have to point it out to them.

The Rio SEIO has been great so far. I've had mine for over 6 months and no issues. Lots of mounting options. These are a great option if you don't want the on-the-fly variable flow control of the Tunze. The SEIOs actually cost less than the Tunze "deco rock" mounts!!

01-25-2005, 08:45 PM
those tunze's sound incredible...but also expensive. I'd love to have a small one for my 65...more natural. I'm probably going to cut the nozzle off the other maxijet tomorrow to allow for a wider span of flow...

What are those Rios everyone has been talking about--what is special with them compared to maxijets?

C'mon everyone--list your flow and wavemaking techniques!

01-25-2005, 08:53 PM
I love using spray bars via the return. The SCWD is a great device as well. Cheap and effective. On my FOWLR I have a power head conected to a spray bar alon the bottom to stir up and cheap debris nitrates from settling. The fish also do a good job of this. On the reef tank my main return is via a spray bar made from pvc with wholes drilled in it. This alows the flow to be returned in a wave across the tank. The PVC is ugly at first but coraline quickly blends it in. I have about 4-5 power heads all maxi-jets hidden through out the tank as well. I do however, only keep softies and LPS.

01-25-2005, 08:53 PM
Hey Todd-

I heard that when you mod the MaxiJet like that it will alternate flow every other time you turn it on if you use a wavemaker...

01-25-2005, 09:06 PM

yes, it does change rotation almost every time it energizes...you don't notice it when it's not cut off 9the nozzle) because all the flow is directed out the nozzle...

Once again...how does the seio work? Is the output sort of like the Tunze--a large flow without a pinpoint nozzle result? Is it more wave-like then a standard power head? How do you think it would work on a wavemaker?


01-25-2005, 11:24 PM
Right now I have the following on my 90 gallon

600GPH return from the sump
2x 620GPH Rio Seio (Love them!)
2x 300GPH 1200 MaxiJets.

Total?? 2440GPH

My SPS seem to love it, especially the Millipora

01-26-2005, 07:57 AM
well i did research on the seios and i ordered one last night for my 65. I'll remove one MJ and keep the other on the repeat cycle timer by itself so it is variable. I'm exited about the Seio...wish I would have known about them before...do you have a pictuire of hour you guys mounted the seios?

01-26-2005, 09:37 AM
You are going to like them Todd, I have a link to my thread back when I got mine. Plan for some setup time. They come with a ton of different mounting options. It too me forever to get mine the way I wanted them.


01-26-2005, 09:43 AM
If I remember, Miller has his mounted without the flow diverter, so it kinda looks like a Tunze with a 2" wide hole.

For mine, I have it hanging like a standard powerhead in the corner with the diverter in place. I'll try to get a picture tonight.

The big difference is that without the diverter it creates a kind of hollow cone of flow where the center of the cone is relatively still. When I tried it and put my hand in the flow it felt like one of those tornadoes you see on TV where there are 5 or 6 mini-twisters rotating together around a hollow area. Very turbulent, but still a fairly large and dispursed flow.

I'm using the diverter because I wanted to direct the flow toward the water surface to create agitation over a large surface area in the dead spot behind my Tunze. Still a wide and dispursed flow, but not as turbulent.

01-26-2005, 09:48 AM
That's a good point Sean

I like the turbulence because it is not such a directional flow. The polyps on my SPS seems to wave eraticly instead of being washed to one side.

01-26-2005, 10:29 AM
It's interresting... I've been reading a few threads in the RC SPS Keepers forum and they rank the factors affecting coral color like this:
1) Water Quality
2) Water Flow
3) Lighting

Granted, most of these are Zeovit guys, so what they mean by water quality is not simply nutrient poor, but nearly pure saltwater with extremely low phosphate and nitrate.

When you get to those low nutrinet levels a long with running carbon, some interresting things happen. With that exceptionally clear water and surface aggitation from high flow, a lot more light gets into the tank. The photo-transmissive quality of the water shyrockets and allows a lot more blue light (which can be filtered out by the yellow tint that many captive reefs have).

Some of these guys running Zeovit and carbon are now trading in their 400W SE lights for less wattage DE lights. One guy even dropped down to 150 watters!!

I just got Tyree's new CD presentation on how light affects coral, and it's very fascinating. He goes into the wavelengths that effect photosynthesis and the wavelengths that excite flourescing and non-flourescing pigments in the corals. He also shows how you can identify which pigments are in each of your corals. The really cool one was pigment grafting between corals.

Anyway - back on topic - they rated water flow as a more important factor that light...

01-26-2005, 01:30 PM
Crap--just wrote a long post but accidently backspaced and lost it...

anyhow, I have beenperusing thru some of these zeofit posts and have been curious about it but i don't have the desire to spend the $$$ on the stuff although the concept of a nutrient free tank sounds somewhat enticing.

What Tyree CD are you talking about, Sean? Sounds like something I'd be interested in...is there a link to it or can you burn a copy of it? Anything by Tyree is worth reading and I've been yearning for something else to read besides the outdated stuff...


01-26-2005, 02:19 PM
"Biological Light Requirements of Photosynthetic Coral" it's on his site: http://www.dynamicecomorphology.com

I wouldn't burn it. He self - publishes the CDROMs and they seem to warp when they heat up (about 20 minutes in) - enough to cause the laser to stop reading the disc. It took me 4 days to watch two 60 minute discs (both of his new ones). I can't imagine getting a PC to read it all at once. I tried copying it to my Hard Drive just so I could watch it uninterrupted and it crapped out.

He's coming to the GCAS on Feb 20th to give his "Multi Zonal Environmental Gradient Filtration" talk. I was hoping that if he gets in on Saturday he could come to my house for our meeting on the 19th and give his Light talk to us. I can set up my projector in my living room and we can all sit on the floor.

We'll see if his schedule works out. If that happens we need to work out a deal with GCAS since they're footing the bill for his flight out here.

If we're lucky he might bring some frags!!! Purple Monster here I come!!!

The funny thing about his setup is that he utilizes used radium's - like 1 year old lamps. Most people pitch them ater 6 months!!!