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Old 02-09-2010, 01:42 PM   #1
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Powerhead Operation

Just wanted to see what everyone recommends for levels of operating a powerhead in marine tanks. I have a 1500 Powerhead and only a small 55Gallon tank. I have turned it down so it isnt too much for the fish or inverts. I have heard its best to have these things on a timer which i am going to do, so that it mimics more of the oceanic waves vs having constant water flow. How does everyone attack this ? Constant, timed, how long is it timed etc.?
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:53 PM   #2
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Can you be more specific? What brand/model # is a 1500 powerhead?
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:08 PM   #3
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SEIO Super Flow Pump M1500 (1500 Gallon Per Hour). I know its overkill, i got it so i'll be all set when i upgrade tanks, but its throttled down so the fish dont mind it. Just wondering, keep it on all day or what?
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:43 PM   #4
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The wave makers are basically power strips with timers switching different sockets on and off in 1-2 minute intervals (sometimes faster). The general rule of thumb is that your pumps should be pumping 10-30 times your current water volume so with a 55 gal the heads should be pushing 550-1650 gph depending on the live stock in the tank.

Best bet is to get 2 PH's and point them at each other and towards the surface to agitate the water. As the timer switches them on and off it simulates the push/pull of the ocean. In my setup I have two Hydor Koralia 3 PH's rated for 850gph each and my fish love swimming with the alternating currents, I also use the third timed socket to point a maxijet900 to flow behind my rockwork to eliminate dead zones.
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:01 PM   #5
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Depending on what kind of corals you have or plan on getting, that's not too much flow and in fact 1 powerhead is usally not a good way to create random flow. It's best to have 2 on opposite sides of the tank and point them at each other.

Also, those are not meant to be run on a regular wavemaker or timer. Constant on/off will destroy them. They are made to run on a Seio Controller.
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:20 PM   #6
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Okay great thanks guys, I'll need to purchase an additional powerhead. So is it only the SEIO that is sensitive to timed circuits? Is there a model / brand that is safe to switch on and off with the timers?
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:49 PM   #7
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Most power heads aren't meant to be used on wave makers. My LFS however, has had 2 Koralias on a controller for over 2 years without issue. Their are many companies which have a controllable version of their power heads. They are often more expensive though.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:14 PM   #8
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MaxiJets are fine to use with timers or wavemakers....and they are cheap.

Maxi-Jet 900 Powerhead / MP 900 + Algae Free Sure Flow 1600 Maxi-Jet Upgrade Kit
Maxi-Jet 1200 Powerhead / MP 1200 + Algae Free Sure Flow 1600 Maxi-Jet Upgrade Kit
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Old 02-10-2010, 05:32 PM   #9
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+1 for the MJs (MaxiJets) though I found that a MJ1200 in a bare bottom 30 is too much flow (bicolor pseudochromis kept getting stuck to the intake screen).
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