Water flow and Powerheads

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Aquarium Advice Activist
Aug 1, 2005
I have a 72gallon reef tank and was wondering if I had too much water current. This is what I have in terms of pumps now:

2 Maxijet 1200 each pumping almost 300gph
1 eheim aquaball powerhead pumping 170gph
1 cap-2200 pumping 800gph in the sump.

In total this is 1570gph. This is more than 20x my water volume. I've been told different things about water flow and wanted to see what everyone thought.

Also, where should the powerheads be placed? Close to the top, staggered, etc?

The reason I bring this up is because when I shut the powerheads off to feed, my clown (who normally does not stray from the colt coral he has taken residence in) begins to explore other parts of the tank.

The cap 2200 is a return pump? I see no problem with that much flow. I would have at least one PH breaking the water surface. As far as the others it depends on LR placement etc in your tank. Try to place them so current is random. Like pointed at each other or at the glass.
Couple questions:
1. Do you think it is strange that my false percula clown doesn't stray from the Colt Coral unless the powerheads are off?

2. What exactly do you mean by breaking the water surface? Does that mean that the pump should make the water surface ripple slightly or that the nozzle should be just under the water surface causing a lot of water rippling and turbulence?

I tried pointing the powerheads at each other but that ended up creating dead spots and a cyano problem. I would characterize the flow as being more circular now. I know that is not what everyone recommends but it leaves me without a cyano issue. Hopefully that's okay.
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