- You want to aim at turning over the tank water at least 6-10 times per hour. Many aquarists feel that you cannot have too much water movement, and now days striving for a 15-20 times per hour ratio is not unheard of. We feel this is not necessary for a fish-only tank, but is beneficial for a reef tank. You want to give the tank sufficient water movement and circulation, but not so much that the fish can't move against the currents, or the other tank inhabitants are getting battered by it.
- To help calculate the water flow rate of equipment, or what your total tank water volume turn over time per hour is, refer to our How To Determine GPH Water Flow Rates article.
- For small aquariums under 20 gallons, you can use one larger sized powerhead. Better yet, use two smaller ones at opposite ends of the aquarium.
- For medium and large sized aquariums you can use two, three, or more units at various and opposing positions around the aquarium.
- For Janet Brassard's Reef Tanks, she started out with one Hagen AquaClear 402 powerhead on her 20 gallon reef aquarium, and later added an additional one. For her 120 gallon reef tank she uses four Maxi-Jet 1200's placed in opposing positions around the tank, as well as at various heights, powered by an Ocean Motion Wavemaker.
- For the extra large, show sized aquariums, you can use as many as you feel it takes to get the water circulation you need.
For more perspective on how powerheads are used, cruise our Marine Tank Photo Resources to see how other saltwater aquarists have incorporated them in their aquarium set ups. Do you have input to share about powerhead usage? Post a message on our Saltwater Aquarium Forums.
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