Does anyone out there use Sea Swirls? I was told they were a must have by one LFS, but today at Woody's, he said that he stopped carying them and told me not to waste my money. I'm setting up my first reef tank and want to do it right, but it seems like there is so much conflicting info that I don't know what to do. Also, what kind of water flow do you run? That's another one that people differ about.
There are probably as many ways to setup your tank as there are critters to put in it!!!!! Someone may have great success with something whereas others have nothing but troubles.
That said, i don't have any experience with SeaSwirls...sorry.
In my 10 gal nano i have 2 126 GPH powerheads up almost to the max and a whisper HOB filter toned down a bit. I like a lot of flow, that way food and other stuff you don't want settling in places stays suspended and gets eaten by fish or sucked up by the filter.
There is alot of people that use Sea Swirls.. It all depends on the person.. Me I would use them if I could afford them... As for flow I push about 20-30x turnover in my 55g tank.. Flow really depends on what all you want to keep in the tank.. With SPS usually the more flow the better to a point.. With SPS its not uncommon to see someone with 40-50X turnover.. With most LPS you usually want a lower flow with a min of about 10x turnover... Everyone has different ways of doing things and most all of them work... Its just a matter of who you ask.. My suggestion with the SEa Swirls is if you can afford them go for it...
I use a sea-swirl. The only reason is because I got a used one for free. I personally cant really afford to buy one with all the other money spent on the tank. I have the 1/2" model. I put a flared nozzel on the end of mine to minimize the velocity. It works pretty good. If I could afford them, I would probably go with two of the 3/4" models on my 100gal tank. I think they're nice but not POSITIVELY REQUIRED.
The sea swirls we have used in the past have worked well. They offer random flow and cover a large area with the minimum amount of gph. They also work well in conjunction with other "wave makers" like scwd and the natural wave timer, or the red sea wavemaster pro, at generating strong chaotic motion. This chaotic flow seems to help keep the tank clean, cuts down on dead spots, and simulates the natural ebb and flow of near shore currents. With multiple wave devices running out of sinc from each other, you will get random chaotic water movement. Just my opinion. I like em'.
I included a couple of pictures. The first is a 150 gal reef we put in a pharmacy. Here you see the 1" SS's ready for install in the end panes of the tank, facing each other. The second picture is the finished tank with SS's outlets just visable in the top ends. These two are splitting a 2500 gph pump and, with an scwd at each end pumping 1200gph, offer great random flow. [email protected]
I used 3 of them on a 150 and I thought they were great if not a little spendy. I would probably disagree with both of the folks you mentioned; they are by no means required (or even a "must have") but by no means a waste of money either. I have heard of them breaking down though (by several people) so that they don't rotate anymore and they'll have to be sent back to the mfr for repair. While I didn't have this problem, some have.
They are being given a real run for their money though in the new Ocean's Motion devices and Tunze Streams, both of which are very promising and *probably* more reliable.
the arm inside mine rusted so it doesnt rotate, but if i wasnt so lazy i could buy the parts at a hobby store (it is like a control arm on a model remote control car or something).
if you are not on a tight budget, you will be happy with them if you buy them. if you are trying to go minimal on your system, you can leave them out and you wont miss them (until you get your fist one and wonder why it took you so long).
take a tank like chewies, 3000 gph of closed loop and 1500ish gph through 2 3/4" seaswirls and he has all the flow he needs to keep just about anything.
when done my 75 will be similar, 30o0 gph cl and 2 1" ss on a 1200 gph return.
I got to say i wound'ent set up my own reef with out them. I run two one in each corner. I have had one motor die, but a quick e-mail to the maker and boom new motor and five minutes to switch them out.
I use 4 in my 150, 2x1/2inch, 2x 1inch. I had one break early on, but like stated above, $25 for a new motor and 10 minutes to repair and your back in business. Usually the break from user error, you CANNOT force them to turn, be very very careful to not turn them at all, only let the motor turn the unit.
Ive got about 2500-3000 GPH through the 4 units with no other flow source in the tank, I havent found any dead spots yet!