Help Water Flow Dilemma Between Plants/fish

gray_matter16

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tldr; increase water flow for plant's sake? Or decrease water flow for betta's sake?

I have a 75 gallon planted tank stocked with fish and invertebrates. See below

Plants: vallisneria americana, amazon swords, hygrophila difformis, rotala indica, and monte carlo.

Fish: 1 betta, 12 cardinal tetras.

Inverts: several nerites, 2 amano shrimp.

I just moved all these from a 30 gallon, into this 75 gallon. Everything in the 30 gallon was healthy and happy. Meaning, I'm not looking for advice if the plants will work together or if the fish will cohabitate. I know they do fine together. What I'm wondering is about water flow so that all the plants get access to the nutrients and co2. The 30 gallon was much smaller so the water flow from my SunSun 302 was just enough to move the water around nicely, but not so much to exhaust my betta. I'm using the 302, plus a cascade 1000 I already had for the 75 gallon.

The dilemma is this: I can cap the end of my spray bar and get great back-to-front water flow that gently rolls over all the plants. I have no doubt this flow would allow access for all the plants to the ferts and co2. This flow though, seems too strong for my betta. After a few hours of keeping an eye on him, he seemed exhausted, allowing the water to push him around instead of happily swimming around the tank like in the 30 gallon. On the other hand, I can cap the end of the spray bar with a directional attachment which allows water out the end of the bar. This weakens the flow quite a bit, to the point that it barely can push the water from one end to the other, let alone push it down and through the bottom. But this flow (which I currently have) seems a lot better suited for my betta. He's much more active and attentive.

I'm worried for my plants if the flow isn't strong enough to give them access to the nutrients I'm providing- in which case algae could capitalize on the unused nutrients. But I'm also worried for my betta, that the strong flow would exhaust him to death. Are there any options that can split the difference? I'm hoping to find a solution for this setup, meaning not using more tanks or completely re-doing or re-scaping the 75 gallon.
 

Heron

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If you place your decor in the right places you can create areas of stillish water in a tank with a higher flow. That means your Betta can have somewhere to hide from the flow
 

aussieJJDude

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Consider putting some sponge over the output of the spray bar to diffuse the flow? If needed, you could always do like a 1/3 -1/2 uncovered in one section so you still have some good flow.


If your up for the challenge, could also drill some larger holes in the spray bar, to reduce turbulence?
 

gray_matter16

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Consider putting some sponge over the output of the spray bar to diffuse the flow? If needed, you could always do like a 1/3 -1/2 uncovered in one section so you still have some good flow.


If your up for the challenge, could also drill some larger holes in the spray bar, to reduce turbulence?

Yeah, I like this. I was thinking about capping the spray bar, and then drilling more holes, maybe at 90 degrees to where the current holes are so I can have a flow that goes out and straight down. What I didn't think about was leaving it uncapped, and then blocking some holes- which might increase some of the holes outputs. thanks aussie
 

angelcraze

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Would pointing the holes against the tank wall help to cut out direct flow? I had mine pointed toward the wall and down a bit. The water swirls around the perimeter leaving the middle more still.
 

gray_matter16

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What I actually ended up doing was drilling three small holes in the cap. This creates a good current for the plants, but not too strong for the betta. It releases the extra pressure out the cap holes. Thanks for the inspiration!
 
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