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Re: Optimum current in planted tank

> Date: Wed, 6 Aug 1997 18:52:51 -0700
> From: "Frank I. Reiter" <FIR at istar_ca>
> Recently, I setup a pair of 120 gallon heavily planted tanks with a
> Fluval 403 filter on each one.  Continuing with the original plan,
> today I also added a Seastorm 240 fluidized bed filter to the output
> of the Fluvals.
> I was quite surprised to see the throughput of the filters drop quite
> drastically, I estimate by a factor of three or four,

Canister filters like Fluval, Eheim and Magnum are not designed to
pump against pressure.  Their powerhead-like "motors" are designed to
simply move water at a reasonable rate - the intake siphon takes care 
of the "head" (moving water from the filter back up to the tank). 

> What would you do, keep the fluidized bed filters for added bio
> filtration, or remove them in favour of more current?

Since you don't really need that much extra bio-filtration in a
planted tank, I would remove them. 

> and then realized that I really do not know how much current is
> good for my plants.

I can't give you an "inches per second" number, but if there is
movement around the plants, it's probably good enough.  Obviously,
plants can't chase food or wander off "to go to the bathroom", so the
water flow has to be such that it brings fresh nutrients to the leaves
and carries away waste material.