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Old 07-12-2015, 03:21 AM   #1
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General thought on reef keeping

So after so many dozens and dozens of encounters with customers and other saltwater aquarium owners I say with good confidence a vast majority of saltwater aquariums are under-powered in terms of water movement.

It is also not uncommon for customers to be quite amazed that they're being told they don't have enough flow. To our eyes a little pump looks like it's doing so much. We even sometimes think the fish have too much flow, as if that was really even possible for an ocean fish.. To some point yes, but typically just no...

Coral reefs, where these animals live, have water cranking through them at just incredible speeds. Just incredible. It may not look right to our eyes to see our tank on high blender mode but once you begin to acclimate your eyes and see the life respond positively to the water motion we begin to realize this is what is customary for them.

There are few few few times there is a tank where there can not have more flow...

Anyway... flow is very important and I just wanted to toss it out there..

Oh hey and also Chemipure does not work in saltwater... The resins do not work in sea water.
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Old 07-12-2015, 04:09 AM   #2
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Great topic and discussion.



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Old 07-12-2015, 08:21 AM   #3
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For an sps tank you can have plenty of chaotic flow, but many lps, like for instance bubble coral, frogspawn, hammer etc, will not tolerate high flow. So, for a mixed reef, I'd say placement is extremely important if you want to turn the vortechs all the way up.
Not only that but sporadic blasts of water will be tolerated by sps, but definitely not a constant pounding.
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Old 07-12-2015, 01:16 PM   #4
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Defiantly made me rethink about my flow. Thanks for the good write up.
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Old 07-12-2015, 01:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mr_X View Post
For an sps tank you can have plenty of chaotic flow, but many lps, like for instance bubble coral, frogspawn, hammer etc, will not tolerate high flow. So, for a mixed reef, I'd say placement is extremely important if you want to turn the vortechs all the way up.
Not only that but sporadic blasts of water will be tolerated by sps, but definitely not a constant pounding.
You'd be surprised at how much flow a mature euphyllia can withstand. Once they have about 6 heads they grow tightly together so they can support each other. They also inflate themselves depending on the direction of flow and how much they're getting. Most corals will adapt.

In terms of aquarium flow it may be true euphyllia can be placed incorrectly, but overall they should still get good flow. As long as you're not blasting a single or 2 headed euphyllia they will begin to grow their skeleton to support the flow accordingly.

My 20gal is mostly LPS and they have all grown to support the higher flows. Now they hardly move.

Even soft corals will grow to support the water flow their receiving.

And you could easily grow many SPS skeletons strong and sturdy to the point they could receive direct pounding of water flow. It's not typically most fragmented pieces are not used to this pounding but can completely grow the be able to.

As your coral reefs begin to encrust and grow you should consider adding more flow as well. As there is more coral there is more of a need to have water flow bringing the elements to them and around/past them.
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Old 07-12-2015, 03:27 PM   #6
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Yes and no. There is a limit to that. I could turn both of the mp40's I have in my 55 reef up to max and it wouldn't be pretty. It would kill off my hammers, duncans, and who knows what else. I don't think my acro or mushrooms would care that much, but when I added the second mp40 I did kill off one of the heads of a duncan colony because of the flow. Too much is just as bad as too little. It is a balancing act.
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:31 PM   #7
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I think in your instance the coral placement and angle of circulation pump was off. I would agree two MP40 on full blast is A LOT for a 55g but not too much with proper aquascape and angle. Point them towards the surface.

There is hardly ever never too much flow, just incorrect placement. Corals will grow their skeletons to support WHATEVER flow they're in. LPS just has to get big before it can protect it's longer polyps
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Old 07-12-2015, 11:38 PM   #8
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I have been in most all these environments back when I did underwater photography. X is pretty much right. Coral polyps will take root in areas where the light and flow are within the parameters of that type of polyp. Kind of like vegetation on dry land, these guys prosper based on the conditions they are in. Respiration and feeding are the main reasons flow is necessary as well as flipping the polyps around for photosynthesis. But acros will actually change their growth patterns to accommodate the flow they get. I have a big tabling acro that I have kind of sculpted over the years by using flow patterns. It's all fascinating.


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Old 07-13-2015, 03:27 AM   #9
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Hey all, just trying to learn more here.

Newly planted trees in a landscape, when tied down tightly to anchors will form poor root systems, but take off the ties (or loosen them so the tree can move back and forth in the wind) and watch the roots anchor that tree in and then the sway of the wind will actually strengthen and increase the size of a trees root system.

Though if you have a newly planted tree and it hasn't had time to start developing its roots down into the soil it will just tip over if it isn't at least tethered loosely.

So it seems that the roots will strengthen trees or corals depending upon the type of wind or flow; and maybe increasing the flow gradually might be beneficial to increase the Corals strength/create stronger growth...? (I know more about trees than coral or SW so far) .
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:41 AM   #10
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Hey all, just trying to learn more here.

Newly planted trees in a landscape, when tied down tightly to anchors will form poor root systems, but take off the ties (or loosen them so the tree can move back and forth in the wind) and watch the roots anchor that tree in and then the sway of the wind will actually strengthen and increase the size of a trees root system.

Though if you have a newly planted tree and it hasn't had time to start developing its roots down into the soil it will just tip over if it isn't at least tethered loosely.

So it seems that the roots will strengthen trees or corals depending upon the type of wind or flow; and maybe increasing the flow gradually might be beneficial to increase the Corals strength/create stronger growth...? (I know more about trees than coral or SW so far) .
Yeah straight up that's the best way. But plants don't necessarily require more flow whereas when corals do grow they will require this gradual increase
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