Readers Questions: How do I stop a powerful filter disturbing my substrate

Dave couldnt get a eheim powerball but been advised aqua one 102f is next best thing for my 64l tank ive put it just under the water level kept other filter in coz of keeping bacteria levels up turned it on and omg cant tell u how its kicking up the sand etc. Ive turned it off at mo cant see the fish …. will it be ok shall i just run it to see how it clears it says suitable for up to 70l


Just ignoring the specifics for a minute and looking at the main problem there are several ways you can address the issue of a powerful filter disturbing the substrate in your tank.

Rule of thumb here is to point the water jets or outlet from the filter towards the surface.  Now in most externals this is easy, use a spraybar on the output and twist it so its pointing up and across the tank kinda diagonally, don’t point it directly so it’ll come out of the surface otherwise you’re going to get very wet.  Put the outlet and one end and have it spraying full length of the tank.

With internal filters its a little more difficult not every filter comes with a spraybar.  The thing to remember here is that filters don’t have to be upright to work! By that I mean you can have your filter horizontal across one end of the tank or on a diagonal which should give you a measure of targeting to  get the filter outlet aiming away from the bottom.  Some filters also come with left right horizontal adjustment on their outlet, once the filter is on its size suddenly left right becomes vertical up down so you can really target the water flow up wards.

Other usually more expensive (though not a requirement by any means) internal filters come with a flow rate adjuster so you can turn the flow down an example of this would be the TetraTek IN range of internal filters.

aqua one 102f

In this specific case the Aqua One 102F comes with a spraybar attachment instead of an outlet simply turn it so the jets are pointing slightly upwards and along the length of the tank and you should be fine with no more disturbance in the substrate.  Now there is a little caveat to that if the tank isn’t very wide the spraybar may still be too powerful as by decreasing the size of the output holes it increases the speed of the water flow!

You can change the output again to the wide open end making sure to use the venturi pipe (letting in air via the venturi also slows the flow down) as above lay the filter horizontal and use the twist action of the output to point it upwards and across the tank.  Don’t be afraid to lay the filter near the bottom of the tank either there’s no rule that says the output needs to be at the top!

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