Positioning of Powerheads / Help with Flow


New member
Hey Everyone,

So I am debating where to put my powerheads. I have a 33g reef tank with 2 aquaclear 802 heads. Right now I have one about 1/3 of the way from the the top facing the front-middle and one on the bottom facing along the back wall. My main concern is that I dont have any current breaking the surface - I dont have any accessories to direct the current from these either. There is a disturbing amount of crap that sits n the surface out of reach of my skimmer. I recently put 2 clowns in the tank (about 1inch each) and I had to turn down the flow from the pump facing the front as they couldnt keep up and were being thrown around. I've been debating getting a third powerhead to aim at the surface but it seems that I have more then enough potential flow with those two powerheads (400 g/hr each). Here are my questions.

1. Is there anyway to place these powerheads so as to have good flow around the tank while breaking the surface?

1a. Do you think I really need the big filters on the input of these powerheads, if not that really opens up alot of places that I can put them

2. Has anyone made a directional device for this type of powerhead and how'd ya do it? OR do you know where I can find that part? I have looked online without success.

Thanks for your help.




COMAS Rocks!
I would aim one at the surface definatly. You have to remember that when water is being pushed out from the powerhead that it will displace the water in it's path. So even aimed up at the surface, it will help generate flow in the tank. May wind up having to add a third later, but I can tell ya that having a nice flow towards the bottom of the tank will do crap for ya when there is no surface movement and all the fish and inverts suffocate from the lack of oxygen exchange.

As for the prefilters, personally I'd leave them on as they serve a vital role in mechanical filtration.

Does the skimmer not do much for surface movemnt? I know if I kill all the powerheads in my tank, my seaclone still pushes enough to move the surface some. And it's a little bitty crappy skimmer.

From the picture posted, it really doesn't look that bad.


I would add maxi-jet 1200 with a hydo rotator in the back to get alternating currents. This way you could keep your 802's where they are and just add one additional powerhead with a rotating return.


Team RC
I think you could get good surface agitation with the powerheads at either side facing in towards each other. Aim them towards the water surface a bit.


COMAS Rocks!
Yup, mimic is right on there, I've only got 1 powerhead in one of my many tanks that is pointed into open water, the rest are pointed at a rock structure or the glass to break the current around.