IceCap 3K Alternating Gyre Mode
O ne of the 3Ks most unique features and which sets this pump apart from other pumps in the market is its ability to run in reverse. This is like having two pumps in one.
Not only can you have your pump create it’s signature gyre as it runs, but you can actually have the pump switch to reverse mode and then create the gyre the in the opposite direction.
Running the 3K in Alternate Mode allows our tank flow to more closely resemble that of nature. This creates an environment of happy fish and healthy growing corals without the need of having multiple power heads all running at the same time.
Before we start, we will need a few things. We will need a spare set of propellers and directional cages that are not included with the 3K pump but can be easily purchased at coralvue.com.
The first step in setting up Alternating Gyre Mode is to install the correct propellers and directional cages.
By default, the 3K comes with propellers A and B installed.
If you play close attention to the propellers, you will notice that the blades are angled. When installed, both propellers A and B have all blades facing the same direction.
When installed, both propellers A and B have all blades facing the same direction. This allows the entire length of the pump to grab large amounts of water and move it forward to create the linear flow and create the iconic gyre flow.
By removing one of the propellers from the 3K and replacing it with your additional set, we can now two propellers with blades angled in opposite direction. Your gyre will now be running on either two A propellers or two B propellers.
Because of the angle of the blades, now half of the gyre will be able to fully grab water and move it forward and the other half will create turbulence. BUT, when the 3K runs in the opposite direction… yes, you guessed it!!!!
The other propeller will now be able to fully grab water and move it and the propeller on the opposite end of the gyre will now just create turbulence.
Now you have a pump that can efficiently cycle water in both directions. You now have two pumps in one!
After configuring the propellers, we now need to install the directional cages.
Make sure that the cages match the propeller you are using. If you are using two A propellers, then you should be installing two A directional cages. If you are using two B propellers, make sure that you install two B directional cages.
If you are using two B propellers, make sure that you install two B directional cages.
To program the gyre in Alternating mode, please check out IceCap 3K 101 where we show you a step-by-step programming guide for each of the 3K’s controllable modes.
Once we have configured the pump, it is time to mount it in our aquarium.
There are many locations where the pump can be installed to run alternating gyre mode. You can run the pump horizontally at the top end of the tank or run it vertically on the back end of the tank.
Before making the final decision as to where the pump will be mounted, we need to access one very important part of our reef tank… the sandbed. Having a tank with sandbed or bare bottom will dictate the directional speed.
If you have a sandbed, you will need to test the 3K at different speeds to make sure that you don’t end up with a sandstorm. If you have a bare bottom tank, then the sky is the limit!
When mounting the 3K, pay close attention to the directional cages. Make sure that the intake is rotated AWAY from the aquarium glass or overflow to prevent restricting the intake of water.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Alternating Gyre Mode.
How do I differentiate between propeller A and propeller B?
Each propeller is labeled with an A or B. You can also identify between the two when looking at the propellers, if the blades are facing you and the white shaft attached to the propeller is on the left, then you are looking at Propeller A.
If the blades are facing you and the white shaft attached to the propeller is on the right, then you are holding Propeller B.
I am running my 3K in Alternating Gyre Mode but it does not move any water when running at 100% reverse. What’s going on?
Make sure that you have installed all propellers and cages of the same letter. Either a set of two A’s or a set of two B’s is required.
I am running my pump in alternating gyre mode and it keeps drawing air from the water surface. How do I fix it?
First, make sure that the pump is fully submerged. If you are running the 3K horizontally, make sure that the water intake is not too close to the water surface when drawing water from the top. If you are running the gyre vertically, make sure that the water intake is not up against the panel but instead, facing away from it.
I am running the alternating gyre more and I am having a hard time keeping my sand in place. What now?
Reduce the speed of the 3K, change the direction of the flow cages or move it to a different location.
If you would like to learn more about the IceCap 3K Pump including detailed specs and beautiful high quality pictures, head on over to Coralvue.com.
If you have any questions or issues with the product, don’t hesitate to visit our support portal at coralvue.com/support. Our friendly support reps are eager to help you with any questions or issues you may have.
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