I have a 29 gallon saltwater aquarium. I have been told I need 2 powerheads for my tank. My question is, is it necessary to have 2 powerheads? Will one do the job? I am starting with fish only and will eventually segue to a reef with corals. What would be the ideal amount of live rock for this sort of setup?

The answer depends on the size of the powerhead(s) you choose to use.

A single large powerhead is not the best choice since it would create too much force in a single area of your aquarium. Although with a single properly sized powerhead, you could get away with using just one.

A large number of reef aquarium hobbyists opt for multiple powerheads to provide flow throughout the tank so there aren't "dead spots" where food and detritus can accumulate.

You should consider the Hydor Koralia powerhead series for your setup. They produce gentle water movement at high flow rates and are extremely affordable. If you prefer a single pump due to space constraints or aesthetics, try the Hydor Koralia 3 or 4. If you can fit two, I suggest two model 2's or two model 3's or even one of each.

Most experienced hobbyists recommend 1-2 pounds of live rock per gallon of water. For your aquarium, aquascape your tank with 25-30 pounds and see how things look. Add or take away to your liking.

For more help starting and planning a tank, check out these articles in our knowledgebase:

  1. Items needed for a Marine Tank
  2. Items needed for a Reef Tank
  3. Setting up a Marine Tank

If you have any additional questions, don't hesitate to let us know.

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