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Optimum current in planted tank

>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, and I spent some time
>pondering whether the added biological filtration as worth the reduced
>water flow, and then realized that I really do not know how much current is
>good for my plants.


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

That's an easy one.  Unless you plan on stocking your tank _very_ heavily,
in which case you are going to have nitrate/phosphate (read algae) problems
without large and frequent water changes, you don't need much of any
dedicated bacterial filtration (remember, plants are "biological" too) on
heavily planted tanks.

As far as how much water movement is necessary or acceptable, you want
enough that there is constant circulation around the leaves, but not so
much that it blows the plants around.  It depends on the particular species
how much they can take.  Vals can take a _lot_.  The other thing to keep in
mind is that you want the water movement below the surface so that it does
not unnecessarily drive off CO2.
Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association