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Old 05-17-2014, 02:04 PM   #1
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optimal filter setup for heavily planted tank. Help please.

I had posted about doing a proper clean-up on the filter and I got it done this morning. It seem to have taken a fair bit of time but I literally went through every piece and fully cleaned it out. Here was the process, let me know if you think this is a good method. Keep in mind it was REALLY dirty, I was very shocked. A lot of brown in the filter pads and in the hoses and stuff.

1. setup 2 buckets with clean treated tap water, same temp as tank.
2. removed the 4 trays and rinsed them in the buckets and keep them submerged in the second bucket.
3. the main blue course filter was rinsed in the same treated water from the bucket, then kept submerged in bucket 2 with the media
4. the fine filter was a huge mess and I couldn't clean it by just swishing it in a bucket. Decided to run this one under the tap and I got it perfectly clean.
5. used new clean treated tap water to fill canister and began putting back all the trays.
6. When I tore the filter down I noticed 2 fine pads which in all videos and manual only shows 1 being used with 1 course. I decided not to put back the second one and only use 1 fine and 1 course.
7. cleans all hoses and fittings used a clean toothbrush
8. made a diy hose cleaning tool using a fishing weight, some heavy fishing line, and a new j cloth (dish cloth). Worked amazingly.

filter is like new, but now I notice a huge increase in flow, plants are swaying alot more now.

This brings me to my main question, how should I setup in the inlet and outlet for the filter in the tank? The way I have it configured now is the spray bar is on the left side at the top, the holes are pointed on a angle towards the surface. I did this to avoid pushing my stem plants too much. The inlet is on the opposite side in the far back corner of the tank. Sucks water up from the bottom of the tank right above the substrate.

Is this is the best way to set things up? Should the spray bar be pointed in another direction? Should the inlet and outlet be on the same side? one on top pushing water out and one on bottom sucking water in?

I find that pointing the spray back in other directions causes my plants to buckle too much and I don't quite like it. I am trying to get the best flow in the tank but not push the plants an excess amount.

Please help.
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:11 PM   #2
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Sounds good. I have most of the pieces on my spray bar pointed diagonally downward, the one piece toward the back pointed towards the surface - tank is 24" high so it's not really affecting my plants.

Also, there's no problem having extra filter pads in your canister. I have mesh before and after each stage in mine.

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Old 05-17-2014, 05:10 PM   #3
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this is going to sound silly but I never even considered having the different sections of the spray bar pointing in different directions...

is it normal to have the inlet and the outlet on separate ends?

I will have to play around with the config and try to optimize the flow in the tank. trying to avoid dead spots to cut down on algae growth (not the only thing I am doing to control algae).
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:27 AM   #4
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I think you are on the right track with experimenting with different inlet and spray bar positions and observing water flow patterns and debris accumulation.
What I think would be ideal would be the inlet and spray bar be on the same side of the tank and the spray bar directing flow along the surface away from the inlet. This would promote flow across the surface of the tank and minimize plant disruption (unless there are floating plants). The water would hit the opposite wall, travel down, hit the bottom and flow along the substrate until it gets back to the filter inlet. One giant circular pattern. Of course this is theoretical and would probably occur only in an empty tank. Plants and other decor would disrupt pattern this of course.
Best of luck and post updates on what works out for your tank.
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Old 05-18-2014, 12:50 PM   #5
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I just bought a hydor koralia 425 power head.

I am going to take your advice about the spray and inlet on the same side and put the power head on the opposite end aiming low to push the water back along the bottom hoping to move the debris towards the inlet.
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