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I remember 25 years ago when I was active keeping fish, the undergravel filter was the "must have" filter. There was also a controversy over whether to use a power head on the up tubes. One school was to maximize the flow, but the general consensus was to just use the air stone lift to slow the flow thru the gravel. This thought was that it took time for the bacteria to break down the waste products.

What is the "modern" thought on flow rates for a biological filter for optimum effectiveness? I am thinking a filter dedicated to biological filtration.
 

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Biofiltration doesn't need a high flow rate, but will work fine with one. Optimum biofiltration relies on many things besides flow rate. I don't think, or at least in my experience, that flow rate is a major factor at all. Just stay in a good range for the fish and the nitrifying bacteria will thrive, all other condtions like well oxegenated water and surface area being met. Today's filter dedicated to biofiltration would probably be a wet/dry. A good turnover for the tank in the 6-8X range. The flow rate can vary depending on the volume of water. A 6-8X turnover for a 90 gallon tank is going to be a lot less than the same for a 300 gallon tank. But both biofiltration systems would perform very well.
 
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