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Re: water current


Like Jeff, I too have recently used Aquaballs for both filtering and as
a circulation pump.  I like them very much.

Eheim has also recently introduced what they call an "Installation Set".
It is intended for use with canister filters to get water out of the
tank, to the canister, and back again through a spray bar.  The neat
thing I found about this is that they offer a very flexible way to get
good circulation throughout the tank.  

They are made in about 4" long sections of rigid injected plastic with
o-rings at one end for water tight connections.  Some sections have 4
holes for use as a spray bar section and some are solid for use on the
suction side.  They also have 90º elbows, end caps, ends with a hose
fitting for 1/2" tubing (their 12/16 I think), and a spray nozzle.  And
of course, they have suction cups with clips for the extension sections.
Besides all of these pieces slipping on to each other for a very
customizable spray bar setup, they also slip directly onto the Aquaball
outlet.  There are no 'tees'.  All sections have a 'female' end to adapt
to previous pieces or the Aquaball pump so there is no easy way to go
from a 1/2" or 5/8" flexible tube to this stuff.  If you do not need to
get in and out of the tank, Hawaiian Marine (US Eheim distributor) sells
all of this stuff individually.

I made a run from an Aquaball across the back and to the far end of my
tank that interspersed spray bar sections with solid sections.  This
made for extremely good circulation throughout the tank without a strong
current anywhere.  One thing I like about this is you can pretty much
control where the current is by where you put a spray bar section.  One
caveat, if you use a lot of spray bar sections it takes a strong pump to
get the flow to the far end.  Also the obvious, the flow is strongest at
the first spray bar section and gets weaker at each additional spray bar
section.  Maintenance is very easy.  With the completely rigid tubing it
only takes two clips to hold it in place - connected to the Aquaball it
really could be done with one as the Aquaball really anchors one end.
Just pop the spray bar assembly out of the clip(s), pop the Aquaball out
of its clip and the whole thing lifts out of the tank for cleaning.

I know this is not what they were designed for but I have a pretty
overgrown tank (too many things to do around the house and not enough
time for trimming).  Since doing this it seems that the overall health
of plants from one end to the other is better even though they are
occasionally neglected - I do get the ferts and food in regularly but
everything else suffers from time to time.  I also noticed that with a
larger than necessary pump (bought one to get the far end of the spray
bar flowing) throttled back to an appropriate flow rate for normal
operation, I can turn it up temporarily to help clean debris from ground
cover (spray bars are pointed at a slight angle off straight down) or
provide some quick filtering after tank maintenance stirs things up.  

I recently switched to a canister filter on this tank with about twice
the flow capacity the tank really needs.  I run the cannister's pump at
about 45-55% of its maximum flow and turn it up to full just before
maintenance or planting to get the junk out of the hairgrass (or
whenever I want to clean up the water a little).  I turn it back up
again for a while afterwards.  This tank has always had pretty clear
water but it is much clearer now, and stays that way more than it used
to.  The flow change is not that noticeable to the fish - none are
'jumping' sideways as they swim under the spray bars as they did
swimming through a single filter return outlet or a smaller spray bar.

Naturally you could probably make a lot of this stuff with some rigid
tubing, some flexible tubing, a drill and a little time.  I kind of like
the Eheim stuff.  Like all the rest of their products I have used they
are made well, work well and look like they are built to last.  Not that
either would be difficult, but I do think the rigid construction makes
maintenance easier.

If you are worried about circulation, this puts the water pretty much
wherever you want it.


> Date: Mon, 19 May 2003 21:01:35 -0400
> From: "Jeff Vamos" <jbvamos at patmedia_net>
> Subject: Re: water current
> Arthur asked:
> Anyone running powerheads in their tanks just for
> added circulation? I am thinking of buying a zoo med rotating power
> I bought the new aquaball powerhead that eheim came out with. I'm
using it
> in my 125 for some extra circulation. This thing is great! It's 100%
> this was one of my main concerns. You'll swear that it's not
> also great to be able to adjust the output to whatever direction you
> I'm thinking about getting another one for the same tank. The only
> is that it might be a little bit bulky for smaller tanks.
> Jeff Vamos
> jbvamos at patmedia_net