When deciding on your aquariums powerhead there are 4 main things to focus on:
Ensuring you get the best from each of these four will build a foundation for the perfect aquarium.
Powerheads serve many useful functions to help simulate a natural aquatic life as well as several practical uses. Starting with the benefits to humans:
A problem every aquarium fan has faced, keeping your sand bed clean is accomplished by having adquate water flow in all the right places. This does not mean aim your powerhead directly at the sand. While direct contact with the sand bed would keep debris off the base of the tank, powerheads can cause sandstorms if positioned too aggressively. A close but not direct apporach is best, as this will sweep the sand until it settles in the perfect position. Anything higher such as left over food or wastes will be blown away until they reach your filtration.
Air stones actually do not insert air into the water, the disturbance of the surface is what gives your aquarium oxygen. By using powerheads you can cut out the need for any other form of surface disturbance as long as your powerhead moves the waters surface. While some owners may like the apperence of bubbles, they often are actually a bad thing to create in the tank. Housing any rocks, underwater decorations or any other surface underwater can trap both waste and air, creating pockets of unused space. Why is trapped air a problem? Without going too indepth about the nitrate cycle, the more water you have in your tank the more water you have to absorb the harmful chemicals created by waste. Any extra edge you can use against these toxins should be taken, and avoiding bubbles is one of them.
For those housing marine life, bubbles have an added negative side. The popping of bubbles at the surface sends the salt on the bubble flying, drastically increasing salt creep. If you have ever owned a saltwater tank, you know keeping salt creep down is always a plus. In addition any coral housed in an aquarium has specific flow rates in which you must abide in order to keep your coral alive and growing.
The main threat to fish is stress, and keeping them in a home like aquarium is key. While a few pond fish are ok with stagnent water, most fish are adapted to live in moving water. Water flow encourages swimming, something much needed in their enclosed area, giving your fish exercise and a sense of being in their natural habitat. Combined with decorations and rocks, waterflow gives the fish a reason to create a den and sleep there each night. Our clowns love to sleep behind the overflow box while in the freshwater our tetras hide behind the plants at night.
Waterflow reduces your fishes stress while also allowing a cleaner, safer, adn easier to maintain environment.