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Old 08-12-2004, 06:34 AM   #1
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Water Current?

Hello, I have two new small (common) clowns as of yesterday and I'm having difficulty discerning the proper water current for my setup:

55gal Saltwater
2 Month Cycling
30lbs LiveRock
3" Live Sandbed
Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate: 0
PH: 8.2
SG: 1.021
Hardware: 2 Profile Powerhead 601's (200gph each), placed in either rear corner of the tank, aiming upwards for surface disturbance. 1 Aqua Tech (30-60 Gal) filter. Proper heating. Proper lighting. 1 Red Sea Prizm Skimmer.

The sea life consists of: 10 hermits, 10 snails, brittle starfish, two long-tendril anenomes, lots of LR hitchhikers. This has been the setup for about two months now. Since I've added the clowns, I've noticed that they have definite struggle in the currents. I realize that clowns are lousy swimmers, and even on their good days they don't look graceful. There seems to be no dead spots current-wise, everything is receiving a nice flow - but that's the problem, the clowns seem to be constantly fighting, being almost tossed around by a current that didn't seem all that heavy until they were put in. It's not violent, but they're definitely working their tails off to stay in one place. My logical questions are for their health, their sleep, etc. Do I actually have the proper currents in this tank and their behavior is normal/healthy, or am I way out of purportion? Are these currents perhaps ideal for a larger fish, but not one so small? Thanks so much for any help/advice you can offer!

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Old 08-12-2004, 09:37 AM   #2
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From the sounds of your clown's behavior, they are swimming close to your powerheads. I've seen some clowns which LOVE to battle the strong jetstream of water. I'm sure that your whole tank does not have this strong water movement so when they get bored or sleepy, they will find an area in and around the LR to sleep in. I think you'll be fine. I have a 50 gallon tank with 4 powerheads (3 Maxijets at 230gph each), sometimes some of my fish get tossed around but they are not stupid to get abused, plus they only get tossed around when they swim in front of the powerhead.

If you're still worried, you can aim the output of the powerhead towards the tank walls to disperse the jetstream but I think you'll be fine.

The Tank

50 Gallon Acrylic Tank (36x15x20)
85lbs Fiji Live Rock
(4) Maxi-Jet 900 (230gph) *Awaiting 2 MJ1200s*


(1) 250W 10,000K Aqualine Aquamedic HQI Hanging Pendant
(5) LED Moonlights

Live Stock

(2) Pink Skunk Clownfishes
Goldstripped Maroon Clownfish
Yellow Eye Kole Tang
Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:43 AM   #3
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If anything your waterflow seems a bit low.. don't worry about the clowns, give them a couple days to settle in. Right now they are just excited
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Old 08-12-2004, 11:45 AM   #4
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I have a 20 gallon with 2x 200 gph powerheads and I think that's not enough current. The clowns will do fine with that current.
Brad C.
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Old 08-14-2004, 05:47 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the responses. It definitely clears up the issue. You guys are great! I do have one more question actually, although it's completley off topic from the water current issue. Figured I'd post it here as a response and hope I get an answer: the sandbed I have is a combination of "live reef sand" and crushed coral. It's an uneven surface, ranging from dunes 1" high to 4" high. Alot of tanks I see at several LFS have little to nothing for bottom substrate - glass with a few rocks, scattered gravel, etc. Would my tank be better off with just the liverock and a very thin layer of substrate, just randomly scattered substrate, just glass, or is the relatively deep sand bed I have going fine? My main concerns were for "dead spots", bacteria buildup, cleaning, etc. I can thoroughly enjoy the look either way, so it's not a cosmetic issue. Cleaning the sand is an issue due to how fine it is, so a more simplistic yet effective method would be great. Bottom line: if I CAN do well without my deep sand bed, how would I go about it, what would the tank require, and how much/what should I have in there in place of it, if anything? Any advice here would be awesome.
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