Wavemaker: where to place a wavemaker in the tank

Wavemaker in an aquarium is a great tool with numerous benefits. It does the same work as the bubbler or air stone and much more.

Benefits of Wavemakers

Oxygenating water

As the bubbles rise to the top of your aquarium, they are not oxygenating your water. Only when they reach the surface and the bubbles pop and break the surface tension is when the transfer of oxygen happens. So, wavemaker is going to help oxygenate your water just like those bubbles and if possible even more by constantly breaking a large portion of the surface tension.

Calming Aggression

A wavemaker can also help to calm the aggression in aggressive fishes like in African Cichlids. The flow and pressure of the wavemaker keep the fishes preoccupied and not so focused on each other.

Maintains the circular water flow

The wavemaker can create a circular pattern of water flow in your tank to avoid any dead spots, kind of creating a vortex in your tank if your wavemaker is placed correctly.

Where to place a wavemaker

Determining which side of the tank is best for your wavemaker depends on which side of the tank your filter intake is on.

One wavemaker with one filter

So, let's start with the assumption that you only have one wavemaker and one filter. The first thing you want to do is make sure that you position it high enough in the tank so that when you angle it upwards it can break the surface tension and create waves. This surface agitation is going to allow the transfer of oxygen into the water. 

Let's say you are looking at the tank and your filter intake is placed at the left side of the tank. Now, since the intake strainer is at the bottom of the tank and it is already said that a wavemaker's best position is gonna be on the top of the tank to create a surface aggregation therefore your wavemaker is also going to go on the left side of the tank along with your filter intake.

As water is pushed across the top of your tank from left to right. It is returned to the wavemaker from the bottom of your tank so what is coming back to the wavemaker along the bottom from right to left is also going to hit your filter intake that is one the bottom left side.

This would make sure that all the water is in a continuous circular motion in the tank and it is going to help carry the detritus along the bottom towards the intake.

Your filters' outputs at the top of your tank should also be facing the same direction as your wavemaker to help push that top tank water over to the right side.

Two wavemakers with one filter

If you have two wavemakers, they should also be placed strategically. The second wavemaker is going to go on the right side of your tank but thing time along the bottom. So, using the same logic as before, as the water gets pushed across the top towards the right side it is going to catch the second wavemaker and that wavemaker is going to push it across the bottom back towards the left.

Furthermore, this bottom wavemaker is going to help push any detritus that is laying on the top of your substrate towards the left side where your filter intakes are placed.

Two wavemakers with two filter

If you have two filters with intakes on both sides, then it doesn't really matter which way you put your wavemakers as long as one one one side is at the top and the other on the other side is at the bottom. This way you can continue that circular motion in your tank. Also, make sure that those filters' outputs are pushing the same directions as the top wavemaker.

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