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Re: Flow

> Can you qualify "lots of current" in your tank.

1/2 tank volume or more per hour but how it's distributed is important in
big tanks. Some of my tanks have 1 1/2 to 2x tank volume per hour also.
These are smaller tanks like a 20 gallon with a HOT magnum(250GPH).
Bigger tanks like yours can get away with less flow to tank ratio IMO.
You could run a 125 or so with what you have. At least that would not be a
bad set up IMO. 

Try using a spray bar all along the lower back edge(where you cannot see
anything anyway) shooting out towards the front of your tank. This will
spread the current out nice and evenly and if you have a sump (which you do
with a LG pump) this will return the semi filtered CO2 enriched water from
the bottom up. The water will travel up through the plants slowly releasing
the CO2 and bringing fresh nutrients to the leaves of your plants in a very
efficient manner. The most nutrient/CO2 poor is at the surface before it
goes down the surface skimmer. This way you lose the least amount of CO2 and
the entire plant gets all the nutrients ground up. No dead spots since it's
a nice gentle even vertical flow pattern spread across the entire bottom.
This also pushes all the mulm up front so you can vac it out easily. High
mulm tanks might not like this part since it would be visible up in the
front. I like it since it forces me to clean the darn tank. Nothing helps
like a good water change.

In a 90 gallon from 3 years ago I used a rio 2100 at 4 foot of head in this
manner. Some 250 GPH or so and a good fish load at that.
>I run a Little Giant2
> wide open plus a Magnum 350 for a Co2 reactor and minimal filtration.
> I still think I could use more as there are spots where mulm collects
> on the plant leaves.

Even with 2x tank volume mulm can build up.
A method that one can do is to try use plants to hide the mulm , like
hairgrass or gloss etc. Then vac the plant mat later lightly without pulling
it up and this will remove the excess mulm without being such an eyesore.

Many folks squawk about not doing maintenance and water changes. No way
around it and have a nice perfectly clean tank. Some just do not want to
accept it. You do without a little while but eventually it'll get you.

It amazes me the lengths folks will go to to avoid water changes and
pruning. If we did that and kept the CO2 up that would remove most of
everyone's problems. Nutrient additions would be the only thing left then.

In some cases this low maintenance can happen but these are slower growing
tanks, little CO2, light bio load etc. Most folks can't settle for that kind
of set up. They want a perfect garden and lots of fish.

 Once every few days you could use a turkey baster or your hands etc to
flush away the mulm or set up a wave pump/powerhead etc to come on once an
hour etc. It's very hard to get the mulm uptake into the a surface skimmer.
The weekly vac is your best method for removal. You can play with flow set
ups to push your mulm somewhere less visible but accessible.

But mulm build up is not due so much to circulation issues. That is a plant
choice/water change/vac issue mainly. Some animals/plants produce more mulm
than others.    
Perhaps this helps and gives some new ideas. I think adding another pump or
more power may not be the best solution for you though. Perhaps adding a
different canister with its intake down near the bottom of the tank where
all the mulm accumulates might be better. Add a sponge prefilter to the
intake and get an easy to clean filter. Water changes are easier than filter
cleanings IMO. 
Tom Barr 

> Keith and Lisa                          o