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Poormans Wavemaker

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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 06 2007 at 10:15am
It doesn't really make waves, it changes the direction of the current. It works best in a smaller tank, like 100 gal or less. The Maxijet powerhead can be switched on and off without causing damage.
 
Jon Finch showed me this many years ago. Simply cut off the nozzle and plug it into a timer. The cool thing is that almost every time it restarts, the impeller will spin the opposite direction. A clockwise spin causes water to shoot off to the right and a counterclockwise spin sends water ~90 degrees to the left. It's a strong stream that changes the flow in the tank. I have it run for 6 hours then turn off for 15 minutes then back on. A 6 hour cycle changes the flow 4 times/day just like the tides and causes everything to grow better.Big%20smile
 
 

<Edit>
Not sure if I explained this, but this device causes the water to flow in alternating directions so that detritus cannot settle in any one spot for long. Smile
Another thing I do that I believe assists this effect is to place the large rock up off the sand. The resulting flow over the Oolitic Sand seems to enhance Alk and Ca levels too.
Crushed coral sand had to be placed in some areas to keep the Oolitic from blowing away. I just took some pics that I will post ASAP.Smile
This tank has 2 strong powerheads that cannot be seen. They are on continuously, pushing water from each bottom back corner so that it "boils" in the top center. The two streams not only move water from bottom to top, but they send turbulent swirling water down the front center of the tank creating various vortices. These changing vortices seem to also influence water flow in other parts of the tank as the swirls wiggle from side to side.Big smile
 


Edited by Mark Peterson - January 15 2009 at 9:39am
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Adam Blundell View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2007 at 11:10am
This reminds me... there is a well known speaker advocating a system of unidirectional flow.  He really feels like you should junk your random flow systems and just push all the water one way for an hour.  Then push it all back the other way for an hour.
 
Very compelling arguements, and I certainly see his reasoning.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jfinch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2007 at 11:50am
I know it's probably hearsay, but I don't think direction really matters all that much.  Just keep the water moving and your coral will be fine.  Random water movement benefits the eyes looking into the tank more then the tank itself.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jeffras Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2007 at 1:29pm
I agree with Jon, Maybe it is because I have never heard any compelling arguments to run a wavemaker or seen any problems with my non-wavemaker setup. I have never heard anyone say "Get a wavemaker to fix problem X".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chris.rogers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2007 at 4:08pm
So, would a larger impeller push more water or does a faster moving impeller push more water?  Is it possible to maxi-jet mod this somehow, but with a large impeller rather than a boat propeller?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote reptoreef Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2007 at 4:52pm
There are more mods to increase flow with this design... drill small holes in the bottom of the shroud circulare to the intake screen... that will increase flow in and therefore will increase the outflow. Another mod would be a larger prop with more fins. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ewaldsreef Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2007 at 5:22pm
I first saw this at Marks house. I use it with 2 1200 maxi jets on one of my frag tanks and it works really well. With the two pumps it makes the current that much more random.
Contact me for professional aquarium maintenance and localy grown coral frags. [URL=http://www.aquatitranquility.com][/URL]

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2007 at 8:00pm
Originally posted by jeffras jeffras wrote:

I agree with Jon, Maybe it is because I have never heard any compelling arguments to run a wavemaker or seen any problems with my non-wavemaker setup. I have never heard anyone say "Get a wavemaker to fix problem X".
 
Really?  I think Lee Goldman has done a great job, and just about everybody is ga-ga over Jake Adams...
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jeffras Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2007 at 9:11pm
So, Out of all of those articles there is very little mention of wavemakers. And once he starts talking about wavemakers he points out how they are poorly designed? He takes it one step in the opposite direction of wavemakers when he talks about the gyre. How can you obtain that type of water movement with a wave maker?

A google search for "Lee Goldman" wavemaker pulls no hits so I have not seen any of his research.

I am still not convinced.  (I am not saying that flow is not important, just that IMO the benefit of a wavemaker is not worth the money)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ewaldsreef Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2007 at 9:31pm
Just from personal experance I am convinced that random current is benificial. I have noticed a big differance in color and growth. I do agree that more importand then random current is enough current itself. Without proper water flow corals just don't do as well.
Contact me for professional aquarium maintenance and localy grown coral frags. [URL=http://www.aquatitranquility.com][/URL]

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2007 at 10:21pm
Jeff-
Exactly!  Both these guys are against wavemakers.  They are more on the lines of pushing all the water one way.  Not the common hobbyist method of chaos and random movement.  Both would prefer you simply move all the water along.
Only thing better than that is moving all the water along... and then moving it all back.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cody Pearce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2007 at 10:54pm

So then they think something like a wavebox is the best thing?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2007 at 8:13am

"Poormans Gyre Changer"Wink "Maxijet Current Oscillator" Ermm

I don't know what to call it, but I know it made a difference in my little frag tank and now in my new 55 at a fraction of the cost of the commercially produced wave equipment. Another coral grower, Bruce Ewald, has now added his endorsement.Thumbs%20Up
 
We aren't on the lecture circuit and we don't publish papers but each of us ordinary hobbyists finds simple ways to improve our little part of the Ocean, the "Interconnected Reef", as LeRoy Headlee (www.garf.org) calls it. Keep up the good work everyone.Clap


Edited by Mark Peterson - November 07 2007 at 8:16am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Corey Price Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2007 at 8:40am
I love the gyre idea.  I'm considering that in combination with a low-velocity powerhead such as a Vortech.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jfinch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2007 at 9:58am

Great articles Adam.  I like his methods and reasoning.  He'd be a good speaker for a club meeting.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2007 at 10:30am
Originally posted by jfinch jfinch wrote:

He'd be a good speaker for a club meeting.

 
Wink
Adam


Edited by Adam Blundell - November 07 2007 at 10:30am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jhamb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2007 at 11:26am
Ok I just got done reading the first article in those links that Adam posted and it got me thinking. Now since there are corals that enjoy and seem to better thrive in lower flow enviroments does this mean that the coral such as mushrooms naturally have a lower concentration of substances there for needing a higer concentration of substances in the water? which if i am understanding it correctly would occur in a lower flow enviroment. 


Which would make other corals such as SPS have naturally a higher concentration of substances needing more flow to better exchange the rate of substances because higher flow=lower substances and lower substances= better rate of exchange in higher concentration of substance corals because if the water around the coral has slow moving higher concentrations that makes the exchange more difficult for higher CS corals

Does this sound right or make any sense to anyone?


Edited by Jhamb - November 07 2007 at 11:41am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2007 at 11:40am

In my mind, here is why water flow is important.

Fish swim to get food, corals can't.  Therefore the food has to come to them.
 
Now there a host of other reasons why others argue for important flow but they typically receive much less attention...
1) gas exchange
2) heat removal
3) spawning
4) distribution of light over the tissue
5) removal of mucous
6) etc....
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jhamb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2007 at 11:44am
Yeah but it basically boils down to all of those mentioned above which would occur better in higher flow conditions.

But my question is that for some of the corals that need slower flow and seem to thrive better why and how do they do it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2007 at 11:54am
Well take a mushroom for example.  (Although not technically a coral it works in this example)
 
It is flat.  Therefore it catches food that falls on it... not food that blows by it.  So it needs slow flow for food to fall on it and remain their long enough to be collected and ingested.
So if in deep water away from fast currents, it probably receives less light.  Therefore it doesn't overheat tissue in doesn't need to rid that energy.  Plus, it would have to adapt to lower light levels for photosynthesis (more accurately it would have to adapt to the repercussions of zooxanthellae photosynthesis).
Many acros catch food flying by them.  Sometimes the flow is so high the polyp can't face forward but instead is pushed back by the current.  These polyps grab food "backhanded" as the plankton swirls by them.  They also have small polyps to avoid getting torn apart by hight flow.  They also form mucous nets to protect them at low tide when they are out of the water... but then they need high flow to blow off those nets.
 
Unfortunately with all the varieties of corals and invertebrates out there, I can't pin down what I think is best for water flow.  I changed my mind every few months on this.  Currently, I think pushing all the water one way for a time (30 seconds to 4 hours) and then pushing it all back the other way is best.
 
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