Everyone has issues at some point in their aquarium when they need to improve water movement. In fact, a common question I get asked is how can I do better than what I am? You see, by limiting the amount of water flow in your planted tank, you quite literally limit the nutrients available and that’s the last thing that plants want. The more nutrients they have, the better they grow and look. Think about it for a moment, you’ve put some lovely rocks in, maybe some big plants, some foreground one’s too but you haven’t given the thought of Improving your aquarium water circulation at all. You’re hoping your existing filter will do the job right? Or maybe you’ve already been smart and already bought a circulation pump (good on you). But sometimes, you just need to tweak things…
I have always been a big advocate of circulation pumps and to be honest, Hydor seem to have the market wrapped up. Their range of pumps is great, they run quiet and do a super job on distributing water and pushing fertilisers and CO2 around a tank. But, there’s always a way to Improving your aquarium water circulation and once again, Hydor have come up trumps. They have a product called the
This little device fits onto the end of their circulation pumps, and as your pump pushes out water, the Rotating Water Deflector turns around slowly. The benefit of this is that it distributes the water on a 360 degree basis, which means dead spots are avoided! Quite superb really. You can also fit it onto other filters outlets etc so it’s versatile too. Like the sound of it? Check the vid below:
To get the most out of your circulation pump and to make your water flow in the correct direction, point it in the same direction as your filter outlet. Let’s assume that your filter is on the right and points left. If you had a circulation pump you would position it on the right side so it also points left (same direction as the filter). Positioning it anywhere else or in some cases the opposite end, will cause negative flow and effectively stop most of the circulation.
Below I illustrate just what I mean. Essentially you want to increase the current around your aquarium so more water is moved and less dead spots remain. The better your water circulation the more fertilisers and CO2 are moved around, the better your plants grow.
Marine guys twigged this a long time ago, and now it’s our turn.
If you have any questions, please let me know. Ask via Twitter or Facebook preferably as others will see your question which is beneficial for all 🙂
This is something that I discuss with customers time and time again but in all honesty a lot of hobbyists don’t realise how important it really is. Water circulation in a planted aquarium is really important.
Picture this – your aquarium is heavily planted, you infuse CO2, add excellent fertilisers like AE Design Aqua Nourish and Aqua Nourish+. You have good lighting and perform regular large water changes but…you only have one filter pushing around the water, CO2 and fertilisers. And for some reason you have algae – anyone been in this situation?
The reason you have algae is insufficient water distribution. Whilst you get full marks for everything else, in a planted tank that is CO2 infused, you have to get everything right otherwise, algae grows. If you only have one filter pushing water around and you probably have wood/rocks so there will be quite a few dead spots or certainly areas that don’t get much if any water flow due to the deflection they cause. Water flow is the life blood of the system – it carries nutrients and CO2 to the plants and if circulation isn’t up to scrath, your plants don’t get what they need and algae responds. When diffusing CO2 into your tank, you literally have to see the bubbles everywhere and if they’re not in every nook and cranny, you can bet the plants will be struggling in that area.
Water circulation pumps don’t need to be particularly large, in fact some are quite small and powerful. Let me introduce you to Hydor Pico Evo Mag 650. This amazing tiny piece of equipment moves 650L of water per hour and it’s only 4.5x3x6cm which means that it can sit in your tank and barely takes up any space. It contains a magnetic suction cup so you place it anywhere and the idea is to direct it towards the areas in your tank, which don’t get enough water movement. If you have foreground plants, you would need to direct this onto them – in fact this is one reason so many struggle with them. Because they are at the bottom of the tank, they don’t get much water movement and therefore not much CO2 and fertilisers. By pointing a Hydor Pico Evo Mag 650 towards them, it will push the necessary water, fertilsers and CO2 onto your foreground plants forcing them to sway in the current (perfect!).