Neither was I, but let's not loose focus, there must be a reason why that is the most popular shape, and why other companies mimic it.
Except...noone is has the exact same angles and outlet shapes as ADA except for VIV. Aquaticmagic, Cal Aqua, Borneowild, etc, all have different shapes and designs. As for VIV, they clearly stated they are trying to compete with ADA on price, while staying as close to ADA quality and spec as possible (if not surpassing them, per their website). Why would they change the design if they are trying to compete on a cost basis?
I disagree, when working with a specific layout you can find a pretty close shape to optimal, the Lily is basically a generalized shape that most of the time you can't go wrong with picking. Only when you want something specialized do you look into different shapes.
I highlighted the key point. And aren't you just proving my point? If "the lily is basically a generalized shape that most of the time you can't go wrong with picking", what makes ADA lilies so special compared to Aquaticmagic or Cal Aqua's lily shape? How do you optimize a generalized shape?
As for flow characteristics, a single rock in an iwagumi setup will completely throw off your flow patterns depending on placement. This isn't a stream. Water doesn't just flow around it and keep going in the same direction.
That is true, but that is also why it comes in different sizes like P-1, or P-3, different sizes for different tanks, you pick the size that suits your setup best, which is pretty common sense, much like choosing the right amount of substrate or filter size.
Without having all of the various sizes in front of me to measure the outlet angle, I don't have a complete argument against this. If you have some different sizes, I'd actually be really interested to know if the angle changes between the different sizes or if it's just the opening size. I will point out:
P2 and P4 lily pipes have the same recommended filter flow rate and the same input diameter. Yet the one with a bigger opening (meaning gentler flow) is recommended for a bigger tank (almost twice as long). That seems odd to me.
Well in the first place, Reef tanks don't rely on any one return pipe for flow, they use specialized pumps like wavemakers or a closed loop with multiple outflows
Where did I say reef tanks rely on a single return pipe for flow? Pretty sure most of those pumps and wavemakers have adjustable nozzles for their output like I said. My point was that the reason they have adjustable nozzles is because rocks and corals greatly affect how water flows around the tank and how detritus collects. Thus, there's no "optimal" setup, and the manufacturer makes it adjustable for that reason. The same applies to planted tanks with regards to plant, driftwood, and rock placement. To a lesser degree (like I said) for sure, but it's certainly not apples and oranges. Maybe clementines to oranges
Even distribution of flow in a planted tank ensures even CO2 distribution and that debris does not collect.
About the aeration, yes but if you are talking about a typical output like on an Eheim filter, it can't really be adjusted. Have you ever used any type of Lily Pipe before? I ask because then you would know that you can adjust how much surface breakage you want. It can be adjusted to very little to quite a bit.
I've used Aqmagic pipes in the past before, but stopped because I am far too clumsy when it comes to cleaning them. I don't see your point with this though. I can do the same thing on a spray bar. There's nothing magical about the shape of the lily pipe. It creates agitation if you want it to but there's a million ways to do that with an outlet.
I don't really think they are being secretive, in all of their magazines, videos and other material, they always explain how and why they designed their products a certain way. To label that secretive or a marketing thing is not really an accurate view, more of an uninformed one.
This is fair, I went a little overboard with my rant, my apologies. My point on their angles and outlets shapes not being proprietary still stands though. I will say though, that Tom Barr is fairly outspoken about how Amano always dodges his scientific questions
Ok, I'm really out this time. Had to clarify some points and retract some of my more ranty stuff, heh.