Neptune Aquatics

Flow Questions for experienced acropora keepers

MichaelB

Supporting Member
1.What are signs acros don't have enough flow?
2. How can you determine sufficent flow?
3. Can improper flow cause corals to brown out?
4. How important is flow compared to Lighting and Parameters for sps?
5. Based on information below if you were in my situation what would your actions be?
6. What’s your basic trouble shooting strategy when something seems off with some of your sps?

Not long ago, I was running 3 cheaper wave makers, i removed 2 and went with a single mp10.

1 hygger mini wave maker 2600 gph
2 hydor koralia 425 gph.

I had the hygger and one hydor side by side (mp10 placed where they were), with the other hydor on the oppsite side of tank(still there).

When I first installed the mp10 I turned it to around 70% and anemones seemed like they wanted to come off the rock so I turned it down to 55% where it's been since than. I picked the pre installed reef crest flow pattern for no piticular reason.

My levels did get a little wacky for 3 weeks recently to be trasparent. Over the last week I was able to get them back how they originally were by getting back to daily dosing.

Notable Observations:
* 1 coral (the adam bomb) browned out on me.
* 2 others looked unhappy but didn't brown.
* nothing died, yet none of them look as happy they were before swaping the wavemakers (1st) and levels getting outta wack(more recent).

** Many of the others stop extending tenticals. (Still haven't extended, I only see sweeping tenticals when feeding different than regular tenticals)
** sps growth had halted completely. (I'm seeing new growth on some acros after dosing daily again)

There is no critical issue here. I just keep going back and forth in my head wondering what’s not dialed in correctly to get polyp extension and coloration.

The big thing making me wonder is 2 acros (Burning Bush- the other is not named but has to be same class of acro as BB different color but same polyp type and growth pattern) are the closest to the mp10. Those two acros are the only ones showing their regular waving tenticals.

All the hammers, torches, frogspawn anemones, and leathers (to a lesser degree) have good waving motions with current flow.
 
Last edited:
If you are running a dedicated SPS tank I am of the opinion that you cant have enough flow and it should be variable if possible. You see the signs of not enough flow already. Growth rates increase drastically with nmore flow.
 
Polyp extension = happy.
When in doubt, water change!

I don’t recall how big your tank is but an MP10 is good for about 20-30g in my view. Anything bigger and you’ll want multiple, an MP40, or multiple MP40s. My tanks in the 80-120 range have done well with a strong return pump plus an MP40 on each side - Variable not directly at each other.

Also:
Water Quality - Lighting - Flow

They’re all important but flow probably has the widest range of tolerance. Can’t reiterate water changes enough - We like to micromanage but good old fashioned water changes with RODI work wonders!
 
Last edited:
Polyp extension = happy.
When in doubt, water change!

I don’t recall how big your tank is but an MP10 is good for about 20-30g in my view. Anything bigger and you’ll want multiple, an MP40, or multiple MP40s. My tanks in the 80-120 range have done well with a strong return pump plus an MP40 on each side - Variable not directly at each other.
I change 5 gallons ever week, minus rock and calcium reactor media as my substrate, probably have 20-25 gallons of actual water in the tank. Do you think larger weekly water changes would help?
 
I change 5 gallons ever week, minus rock and calcium reactor media as my substrate, probably have 20-25 gallons of actual water in the tank. Do you think larger weekly water changes would help?

That should be plenty. Any sources of trapped fish crap/food?
 
Bare bottom. Circular motion 1/2 day. Other half day opposite direction.
Or static wave motion.
Crashing flow cancels out flow.

You have me kinda trying to picture setting something like this up.

I only have the 1 mp10, the other crappy ones I have are direct flow only. The hygger has some random patterns built in but very complex to set it up with no real time type function to do say half a day and killing power ( using timer) to it would wipe programming so sadly I can't think of a practical way to do it with current Equipment.

Is what your suggesting something easier to do with 2 mp10s on opposing sides of the tank?

If so I should consider this for the new tank I have 1 mp 40 for it now, nothing for the other side.

Lastly is there a different preset pattern you would recommend me try out?
I just picked one when I set it up. It wasn't chosen out of any logic or reason.
 
Last edited:
That should be plenty. Any sources of trapped fish crap/food?

I had issues with protein skimmer not running 24 hrs a day. Adjusted it and its been skimmer around the clock now. I don't feed alot and no real visible detritus.

My little cube is packed to the gills with sps and euphyllia. So I imagine they consume alot of calc/Alk, more details are on my tank journal. I've been trying to dial in dosing amounts last few months. To get better stability. I'm getting close where it should with maybe just a few more tweaks to dosing amounts. Main focus right now is dosing more Mag to get it in range. Alk and calc are currently holding stable.
 
I change 5 gallons ever week, minus rock and calcium reactor media as my substrate, probably have 20-25 gallons of actual water in the tank. Do you think larger weekly water changes would help?
Consider measuring alk daily and watch how it drops, that will help you gauge how much water to change and when.

Edit, you are already dosing, then what are you trying to dilute or replenish with the water changes. Measure that and change based on that parameter movement.
 
Also, are your anemones reaching? That’s an easy sign of not enough light.
No reaching i've had it for almost 3 years and it just split the first time last month. Both halfs are so close hard to tell its two. They haven't moved off the rock they are on since I've had it. I get about 250 par where nems are. Sps ranges from 250-280. For 2 hrs a day only time I run white channels sps par ranges 300-360). I could of course have more light no doubt, but I think it’s sufficent.

The adam bomb coral was brown when i first got it. I got it, green slimer and a cali cali tort they were all equally brown. I managed to color them all up. Than the adam bomb turned brown again. The green slimer and cali cali tort still have color and I see active new growth on them.
The 2 green ones are slimer right cali cali left. 2 brown ones are adam bomb.

I see the smallest hints of green starting to show on one of the adam bombs.
 

Attachments

  • 20240531_095700.jpg
    20240531_095700.jpg
    107.1 KB · Views: 39
  • 20240531_095557.jpg
    20240531_095557.jpg
    85.2 KB · Views: 34
  • 20240531_095540.jpg
    20240531_095540.jpg
    66.9 KB · Views: 44
Agree with most of what is posted above. It's good to see the type of polyp extension and motion that you want. But also why strong direct constant flow is bad too for colony shaping and why you want to place the pumps high on the tank without drawing a vortex of air and aimed correctly.

Abe is the SPS master:
 
If you’re having a hard time “seeing” the flow in the tank and how strong it is you can always pick up a small bottle of RedSea AB+. The neon yellow helps show exactly where the water is being pushed around.
 
No reaching i've had it for almost 3 years and it just split the first time last month. Both halfs are so close hard to tell its two. They haven't moved off the rock they are on since I've had it. I get about 250 par where nems are. Sps ranges from 250-280. For 2 hrs a day only time I run white channels sps par ranges 300-360). I could of course have more light no doubt, but I think it’s sufficent.

The adam bomb coral was brown when i first got it. I got it, green slimer and a cali cali tort they were all equally brown. I managed to color them all up. Than the adam bomb turned brown again. The green slimer and cali cali tort still have color and I see active new growth on them.
The 2 green ones are slimer right cali cali left. 2 brown ones are adam bomb.

I see the smallest hints of green starting to show on one of the adam bombs.
I imagine your acro color problems are directly correlated with your nutrient problems of a couple months. PO4 of 1.4ppm will do that.

I will not pretend to be a coral master, but I can say that if you’ve ever been snorkeling or diving, you will know that on the reefs where Acropora live, the water is MOVING. At speeds that would be ridiculous to consider in home aquaria. Flow is important.
 
If you’re having a hard time “seeing” the flow in the tank and how strong it is you can always pick up a small bottle of RedSea AB+. The neon yellow helps show exactly where the water is being pushed around.
I will look into it. My return pump has two nozels one a fan other Is the random flow 3d printed one plenty of ways they could be adjusted. Fan is pointed towards surface, random pointed towards mp10

The mp10 has a lot more power, and flow patterns potential I'm most likely not fully using. I haven't fooled with it much not really knowing what I’m doing with it beyond basics.

I will try to take some videos later if nothing else I can show them at the swap if there is time. Challenging to post videos here.

There are many options I could do even with existing flow. I just don't know what I need to do or how/where to adjust it. Lack if experience on this subject here.
 
I imagine your acro color problems are directly correlated with your nutrient problems of a couple months. PO4 of 1.4ppm will do that.

I will not pretend to be a coral master, but I can say that if you’ve ever been snorkeling or diving, you will know that on the reefs where Acropora live, the water is MOVING. At speeds that would be ridiculous to consider in home aquaria. Flow is important.
I would agree if they never colored up, my p04 was higher when I colored them up. It's coming down now. But only thing that changed was wave makers and calcium alk and mag dropping.
Asking about the flow here, because vidoes I seen and just thinking back to any major changes made with tank. Again things are improving, this is only me trying to make things even more ideal.
 
Agree with most of what is posted above. It's good to see the type of polyp extension and motion that you want. But also why strong direct constant flow is bad too for colony shaping and why you want to place the pumps high on the tank without drawing a vortex of air and aimed correctly.

Abe is the SPS master:
I'll try to get some videos (not sure if i can get videos uploaded here but can show at swap worst case) I'll get pictures of where I have wave makers and returns postioned

Thanks ill check out the video. Ive been watching sps ones for a few days now. I haven't found as many useful ones related to flow. Most i've seen are about lights,calcium-alkalinity -magnesium, and feeding them.
 
Back
Top