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Re: spray bars - best way to aim them

Joe Reiter said, in part:
> My question is how to properly aim this spray bar in a heavily
> planted 
> tank.  . . .
> Alternatively, would it be better for me to remove the spray bar and 
> hook up a different type of output?  It seems that with the right
> type 
> of output I could aim it a bit better so that it wouldn't agitate the
> plants so much.

You might get a dozen different answers but this ought to cover some of
the basics.

Any setup that gives good steady circulation (how else can the plants
get nutrients from the water) without surface turbulence should be
fine.  Surface turbulence tends to shed CO2 quickly.  So by all means,
don't point the spray bar upwards or straight out at the surface. 
After that, you decide how much movement you want on your plants.

You can point the spray bar straight down along the glass.  This will
minimize below surface turbulence to the plants and probably generate a
good circular current in the aquarium -- down one side, along the
bottom, back up at the other side, then across.

Some put the spray bar(s) down near gravel level, pointing forward,
pointing backward, pointing both ways -- this ensures that the water
starts at the bottom and passes by the plants before it reaches the
surface and sheds some CO2.

You can remove the spray bar and just point the return tube towards the
front on the opposite side of the tank from the intake.  Depending on
what's in front of the tube, this might reduce or increase plant

You can add another spray bar and put them both at the back of the tank
pointing forward.  This will spread out the return flow and soften the
sub-currents from the spray bar openings while maintaining the overall
water flow current.

All of these can work and one of them might turn out best for you.  But
probably all of them will work out just fine.  Don't be afraid to
experiment with this easily changeable aspect of the aquarium.

Good luck,
Scott H.

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