Proper lighting and water filtration are definitely two of the most important aspects of our aquarium environments when it comes to coral growth and health, but there’s another that’s often overlooked that may even have a greater impact. Water flow can make or break a reef aquarium. Too little flow and the tank becomes an unhealthy and unstable environment for the delicate animals we house. Detritus settles in low flow areas, where it breaks down into harmful organic compounds. On the flip side, too strong of a water current can blow corals around and cause tissue damage. Naturally, there’s a sweet spot in the amount and type of water flow that’s perfect for your reef aquarium, and it takes experimenting and careful observation to find it. To find the happy zone for water flow, tinker around with different brands of pumps (they all move water slightly differently) and different amounts. Look for spots in the sand where detritus accumulates, and try to eliminate it. The goal is to keep all of that junk suspended so that it can be removed via your protein skimmer or other filtration device.