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Old 09-13-2010, 05:51 PM   #21
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Silly question here, but just a thought. The reef system I maintain for a customer, a 120 acrylic w/single overflow at the end, has return jets and 2 Koralia 3's and I am installing a 3rd soon.

Just off the top of my head, I came up with a low-cost way to have the flow modified throughout the day - put them on timers with random settings. You can buy the Brinks timers from Wal-mart for $6-$7 a piece, and then just flip the tabs up and down differently on each one for each powerhead and presto - cheap solution to fixed flow! They only have intervals of 15 minutes so it's not perfect. Is there another (cheap) way of doing the same thing with a controller of some kind?

Maybe I'll try it and maybe I won't. Maybe I'm not thinking it through but it seems like it would work to me.
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:54 PM   #22
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I do that with my one little nano, the only problem I have encountered is the small koralia nanos don't like to be turned on and off that much, sometimes they don't start. If the pumps can handle it, i think you will have more success. I wouldn't make it completely random though, have at least 2 running at all times to get proper nutrient export.
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:05 PM   #23
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ok...but can you at least agree that you can keep an equally healthy sps tank with or without vortechs? my stance that you can do this with budget power heads is true, is it not?
Ya, that's why I mentioned earlier that I think the scwd works nice to create alternating flow. I'm not big on laminar flow. I think you can only get random flow with constant poweheads to an extent.
Most the best tanks I have seen have controllable powerheads. Coincidence? Maybe. Lots of stuff is subjective in this hobby.
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:19 PM   #24
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I don't have the experience either of you do in this, but I would imagine both can be equally as healthy, but varying levels of "success". As an extreme, not true example, both tanks never lose a coral, everything is very healthy, but the growth rates and possible color on one tank are much better.

There isn't much concrete data on the exact sweet spot for SPS growth and color, but most data points to high light, and high random crazy flow, which is better achieved using wavemakers. I have seen some really nice tanks which cite a 90x+ turnover rate and varying levels of directional flow.

Really not meaning to bash anyones methods or saying if you don't use vortechs, you aren't successful. Thats obviously absurd, im just playing the extreme ends devils advocate here.

JM .02
Good points made, I can't keep up with my responses and read new posts on the blackberry. Way too slow.
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:24 PM   #25
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Mr. X. I had korallas and tried to put them on a wavemaker, didn't work so good. I shimmed 1/4" air tubing to put in front of the impellar and that worked 75% of the time. 1/4th of the time the Koralla froze up and caused the tank to heat up 3 or 4 degrees. Now the 12 volt korallas corrected this problem, but you have to buy the 12v koralla and the wavemaker. When you look at all of these obtions the Vortech is not really that expensive and you don't have to deal with a first year pump combo like the koralla. I know what you are saying and there are many ways to get to China, but the Vortech is a sound obtion.
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:37 PM   #26
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a wave maker? you didn't need that. just run them constantly. the corals will be fine. only you will know the difference.
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:44 PM   #27
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Just to toss my $.02 in there. I've never owned a VorTech and my corals looked amazing and were growing out of the tank. I was using powerheads and a scwd. I like using very low wattage powerheads and that is one of the reasons the VorTech appeals to me so much. Low power consumption.

X, yes you can keep a healthy thriving reef on a budget. All the bells and whistles are there for hobbyist to add or not add. Personal preference in the equipment is always going to win out over what you or I think they need or don't need.

If you can afford the Jag and like the way it rides get it. If you want to save a few bucks and just need to get from a to b then pick up that Kia.

Watch any documentary on a natural reef and you will see random and chaotic flow, IMO that is what you should attempt to achieve in your reef tank.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:41 PM   #28
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Well said Ziggy. And not only do Vortechs use lower wattage, the motors are not in the water. So there is no heat transfer into the tank. This is big for me because I can't bring myself to spend so much on a chiller. So I add fans and keep the watts in the water down.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:03 PM   #29
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Also the unit will not ground out to your tank and give you one heck of a shock...Koralla is going that way with their new units. 12v dc, this also correct the problem of reversing the rotation of the pump.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:40 PM   #30
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Actually... the new Koralias (the Evos) are still 110/220V. It's their controllable ones that are 12V and that's nothing to do with safety.

The old Korlias (non-Evos) were definitely not for wavemaker use with repeated on/off cycles. The new Koralias are designed differently and will not break under that type of use like the old ones did.
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