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C'est la vie
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Great topic!

IMO, flow should be created mostly by powerheads.

Flow serves may purposes, to carry zoo and phytoplankton to our critters, keep algae and slime coats from building up, and to suspend as much detritus as possible so it can be removed by means of skimmer or other means.

As far as emulating tides, I feel like the closer we can get within reason to the natural environment the better. This becomes an issue for those of us who are relatively poor. Equipment such *** the EcoTech Vortech PH's are fantastic if you can afford them. Since I fall into the category of "financially challenged" college kids, I use multiple (3 right now) powerheads on individual timers. I have them cycle on and off every 15 min and abut 4 or 5 min each cycle they all will overlap so the flow is stronger. This helps to create alternating currents and more of a random flow in my tank.
 

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I like the idea of tidal flows. I use a SCWD and it works great for that waving back and forth motion. I have added two power heads recently pointing to opposite sides of the tank from the back middle to get more flow in the tank. When the SCWD changes direction, the power heads create a little under tow. Seems to be working out well as my critters appear more happy.
 

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CLS, Sump returns, HOB filters/Skimmers/FREDs, Powerheads, wave generators...


I like the Idea of a CLS running out of the Overflow, And I plan on getting rid of most of the powerheads in my tank, in the last two weeks I lost both of my small dart fish to the powerhead on the wave maker. guess the fish got too close when it came on, and got sucked in a little.

the other thing is, for a Fish only tank tidal flow is not needed, but it is enjoyed by the fish, also some corals don't need tidal flow, but it can cause some growth affects that could be undesirable, like an anemone that has longer tentacles on one side, or bold spots on rocks where velocity is too high for some corals to grow into the flow.

you can keep detritus suspended with a static flow, but some corals, fish enjoy the randomness of flow. random flow also keeps more of the deeper rock surfaces clean as well IMO...
 

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I think of the water level rising and falling at certain times of the day. I have only seen 1 setup that did something like that and it was pretty complicated, but it can be done.

I think realistically for our tanks, having flow alternating from "incoming" to "outgoing" is pretty good. If we have the timers set, or a wave maker, to have flow going one direction for part of the day and another direction the other part of the day that would be a good setup. Even though the water level would remain the same, the change of direction would simulate the change of direction of water as the tides are changing.
 

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lets discuss "tidal" flow for a bit.

what is thought of when you see the term "tidal" flow when it is in the context of our glass boxes?

G~
when I think Tidal Flow for an aquarium (our glass box) I think of a surge device...

Ocean tidal flow is much different, and in a small tank (even a 1000g) it would be hard to impossible IMO to even get close, to the "natural" tidal flow, since it is not just flow, but much more...
 

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I just mean havening the "sucking" end of the CLS in the overflow to protect the critters.
Got ya, thats what I was thinking just wanted to make sure. Sounds like a good plan. Im hoping to have my next tank drilled with a C2C overflow so a CLS should fit in there nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
interesting answers on the tidal flow question. i would have thought the common answer would have been flow coming from only one direction.

Nate_bro- i think a surge device replicates wave action, not necessarily tidal flow.

in nature what does the flow do?

G~
 

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The flow in nature does a few different things:

1. Brings organics in the form of foam to the shore and estuary areas, but more importantly away from the reef.
2. Carries zoo and phytoplankton to and from shore, in essence feeding the critters caught in the middle of the changing direction of flow.
3. The alternating directions of flow help to remove any sort of toxin or waterborne pathogen from a given area.
 

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interesting answers on the tidal flow question. i would have thought the common answer would have been flow coming from only one direction.

Nate_bro- i think a surge device replicates wave action, not necessarily tidal flow.

in nature what does the flow do?

G~
in the comment
when I think Tidal Flow for an aquarium (our glass box) I think of a surge device...
that's what comes to mind for me, not from ocean experience, but from a hobby point of thinking.

I know from surfing the biggest tidal flow change other then the water level, are wave patterns and swell size.

I never paid attention to what the tides themselves brought in...

the ocean is always bringing things to shore in high tides and low tides, trash, sand, shells, kelp are brought to shore. unless there is a rip tide, which in that case as the waves make deposits on the shore, the objects are moved along the shore line toward the rip current, then they are taken out to sea, and sometimes brought back to shore again.

like I said, I have observed lots of wave activities, but not so much tidal affects, I'm looking foreword to it!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
in the food thread. i found this article. just reading the Abstract will be fine. i found it quite interesting that it confirmed something that Spanky had been saying, but went against what the sand people say as a benefit to DSB's. i am not trying to get into that debate again. i am just pointing out that it looks like the incoming tides are primary food suppliers for the reef and the outgoing tides are primarily waste export for the reef.

if this is the case how would this change the way we should think about the flow in our systems? or how the flows should be utilized.

G~
 

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in the food thread. i found this article. just reading the Abstract will be fine. i found it quite interesting that it confirmed something that Spanky had been saying, but went against what the sand people say as a benefit to DSB's. i am not trying to get into that debate again. i am just pointing out that it looks like the incoming tides are primary food suppliers for the reef and the outgoing tides are primarily waste export for the reef.

if this is the case how would this change the way we should think about the flow in our systems? or how the flows should be utilized.

G~
maybe.....



???


going from that point of view/thinking I can see from Jerels setup that the whole point of the system was designed to get waste out of the tank. I didn't see any wave makers, flow diverters, timers, or any special flow settings for particular corals. I may have missed something, but I didn't see anything besides enductors or 90' fittings on the returns.
 

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Controllers can have a feeding setup where pumps are shut off for about 20 minutes to allow the inhabitants time to feed without the food being pulled into the filter. This implies that some of the flow in the display should be left on to deliver food to the immobile invertebrates.
 
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