River Tank - Ideas?

AndEEss

As I move further into fishkeeping, I'm finding more and more ideas for what I want to do in terms of future projects.

One of the best ideas I've seen lately is a "river" tank that has a current or flow from one side of the tank to the other along the long axis.

For my next project, I think I want to build a tank with a power head, manifold and sponge filter in conjunction with a canister filter whose inlet and outlet are at opposite ends of the tank. I.e., canister outlet + power head on one end, sponge filter + canister inlet on the other end. Two different sources of filtration AND current.

So, I'm looking for any inspiration from anyone who has done something similar. Any links, pictures, guides, etc. would be great.

And, naturally, I have questions.

First and foremost, what kind of flow rate should I be looking at? I plan on having river-dwelling fish, such as cory cats, but not anything that requires a crazy flow rate (such as hillstream loaches). I can do the basic math, converting tank dimensions into volume (CF), GPH into cubic feet per hour, and calculating the number of complete cycles through the tank and thus the water speed.

As an example: Using a 48x12x16 tank, I get (nominally) 4 cubic feet of water after substrate, rocks, wood and a bit of space at the top. Let's say that the power head + cannister filter move 300gph; that's 39 cubic feet per hour, which works out to cycling the tank through 9.75 times per hour. To me, that seems very slow, but I have no frame of reference for this. Is it too slow? Too fast?
 

SouthAmericanCichlids

Well I got a water pump meant for ponds that pumps 500 gallons per hour and at its lowest setting it stirs up the sand at the other end of my 4 ft. tank, so I think you'll be fine as far as flow goes.
 
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AndEEss

I guess I should clarify:

How much flow is too much, and how much flow is not enough?

I'm not trying to build a tank where I have to continually move sand from one end of the tank to the other because it's getting blown around.
 
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SouthAmericanCichlids

I think around 300 gph would be good, especially if you can adjust the flow as you could lower it. But if not you could create a spray bar, look up diy spray bar on yt for a tutorial. It probably only costs a few dollars, if you already have a drill that is.
 
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