View Full Version : Water Flow

05-27-2003, 08:27 AM
My question is one I have been arguing/debating with my pal Richard. We both have success in our tanks and both keep cichlids. The debate is over water flow from our filters. We both have AC 500’s on our 55 gal tanks. Now most authors I have read recommend over filtering for Cichlids and I have followed this. The bigger the filter the faster the water flow. I have at times used power heads to move water in dead spots in the tank so waste does not build up. My friend turns down the flow and has a very calm and slow water flow. He does not clean his sponges well and does all that he can to slow the flow (sponge on intake 2 inside filter…etc.). I like the high water turn over, air agitation and use the power head. I have a better setup for my Cichlids I think. The other difference is I also have more rockwork than he does. So the debate goes on. I am looking for other opinions on this topic, Hopefully to convince him to turn up the flow. Or… should I turn down my water flow. What do you recommend and why? Cheers..... Tony.

05-27-2003, 08:37 AM
If it works for him, then leave him alone. Personally tho, I have a 55 gallon with two fluval 204's, two aquaclear 402 powerheads and a Fluval in-tank filter. My fish love the current, often times they just swim against it. My tanks cycles between 2 and 3 times as much as it needs to and haven't had a problem with disease in years.

But, that's just my opinion. I'm not a fan of people who try to force their views on others. We had a heated debate about another subject (you can find it if you look) I believe in presenting two working and reputable methods of thought and letting the fish-keeper decide for themselves... others prefer to dictate.

Keep an open mind, you learn more that way.


05-27-2003, 08:53 AM
Personally I think there is merit to both. I am like you, if I can see a wake that is big enough to water ski on the top of the tank I am happy. I believe it is filtering properly. The oxgenation,is linked to the water flow and amount of water that runs through the filter. I always think if a prefiltered powerfilter is not blowing water at full bore it is not working properly.

This is especially true in filtration like ac's where the beneficial bacteria is not strong enough to be self supporting and needs quite a bit of movement and oxygen to thrive and work properly.
Dead spots unless you are extremely diligent in water changes and vaccuming are just problems waiting to happen. This is more true in a heavily decorated tank.

Having said that slower water flow seems to work more effectively in large filtration systems like sumps and trickle filters. These are essentially self supporting biosystems that will filter an incredible amount of water through major mechanical, and bilogical filtration. These can be replicated, but never dupliated in a powerfilter.

In answer to your question I think for an african tank you are doing it correct. But that is my opinion and I am very interested to see how others respond.

Perhaps someone can move this over to equipment and filtrtation portion for some more ideas.

05-27-2003, 11:46 AM
i would keep doing what you are doing.

FishoPhile J
05-27-2003, 12:02 PM
there is more to gain by overfiltering than you risk to loose by underfiltering (if nothing else, it keeps the cleanings down), but i've seen happy cichlids in a 55 with only a whisper trickle filter and a weak ugf (with only one ghetto rigged powerhead). . . Darwin would be proud.

05-27-2003, 12:54 PM
You guys should see whose water turns first (i.e. test nitrate growth)...........