How to improve water circulation and flow in your aquarium




March 31, 2016

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Have you ever noticed this? Your plants are growing well, except in 1 specific spot in your aquarium. For some reason it seems like your aquarium plants just don’t want to grow in that particular spot. They look pale, the leaves have some BBA here and there, the stems are stretched, … That one spot almost ruins your entire aquascape. Annoying, isn’t it? Well, you’re probably suffering from a “dead spot”.

What is a “dead spot” and what are the consequences for your aquarium?

A dead spot is basically a spot in your aquarium where the flow is a lot less than elsewhere.

As a result, the plants in that spot find it much harder to get the necessary nutrients and CO2, as they are swept away by the current. In other words: they get far fewer “vitamins” which causes them to grow worse and get algae. The result looks like this: beautiful plant growth everywhere in your tank, but then 1 or 2 plants that are clearly doing worse in 1 specific spot. Quite an eyesore.

How to improve water circulation and flow in your aquarium | PlantedBox

Remove dead spots with good water flow in your aquarium

So we know dead spots are bad and that we need to fix them. The best method to get rid of them is by improving the water flow in your aquarium. But why is good water flow in your aquarium important?

Well, without proper water flow and circulation you would get a buildup of waste and debris in specific parts of your aquarium which could lead to algae. Water flow is also important to distribute oxygen, heat and nutrients throughout the aquarium. So in other words: good water flow is not only important to get rid of dead spots but also plays a super important role for healthy plants, fish and general tank health as a whole.

Improve the flow in your aquarium and prevent dead spots

First of all, I recommend that you replace or rinse out the filter wool pads of your aquarium filter. And while you’re at it: clean your aquarium, remove the dirt from the filter hoses and clean the important filter parts. Next, you can use 1 of these two methods to improve the flow in your aquarium and remove the dead spots:

  1. If you have a filter outlet that you can easily change position, try positioning the outlet towards the dead spot.
  2. If that doesn’t help or isn’t possible, then I recommend installing an additional flow pump. A “wave pump” is great as they provide a deep, wide flow in your tank.

Here is a nice video of someone successfully using 2 aquarium pumps for extra flow:

Dead spot gone. Flow improved. What now?

Now you need to trim away the bad leaves here and there, add enough fertiliser and CO2 and … just wait and see. After about two weeks you should already see results! Be sure to check out my article on flow direction in your aquarium and additional tips on water circulation. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below and I will help you out!

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