DIY Spray Bar help? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Spray Bar help?

I have ready many posts on how to build a spray bar, it simple enough, my question is what size PVC to use?

My canister filter is Filstar XP3, those hose is 5/8 id I was thinking of using 3/4 PVC, but wondering if that to large, and should use 1/2 inch? I plan to run it the entire length of the back of my tank which is 4ft. Either way I will need to get some type of hose barb for 5/8 id hose as that what the hose is on the canister.

Thank you in advance for any advice.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 03:49 PM
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I made a DIY spray bar for my 75 gallon tank but I don't recommend using 3/4 pvc and running it 48" long. Mine is 1/2" pvc and about 24" long. Even at two feet, there was a huge difference in water movement throughout the tank. I'm probably going to have to add a submersible power head at some point to ensure proper water circulation.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kseanm247 View Post
I made a DIY spray bar for my 75 gallon tank but I don't recommend using 3/4 pvc and running it 48" long. Mine is 1/2" pvc and about 24" long. Even at two feet, there was a huge difference in water movement throughout the tank. I'm probably going to have to add a submersible power head at some point to ensure proper water circulation.

Thanks for the info.

I was thinking 1/2 as well since my hose is 5/8 I will need 2 spray bars since I have 2 filters. Do you think it would be best to run one on the right or left side of the tank or just run 2 on the back wall ?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 03:58 PM
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I echo kseanm247' comment. I also had a 24" long spray bar hanging of a Fluval 305. The water movement was really bad. If this is your only method of water movement, I wouldn't go more than 12".

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by depech View Post
I echo kseanm247' comment. I also had a 24" long spray bar hanging of a Fluval 305. The water movement was really bad. If this is your only method of water movement, I wouldn't go more than 12".
That good to know. I am wondering maybe if I should just make 2 spray bars 18" one for the right and left. I do have 2 power heads I plan to put in the tank as well.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 05:07 PM
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I made mine out of CPVC. PVC is spec'ed according to the inside diameter of the pipe. Thus, a 3/4" PVC pipe wont fit into a 3/4" hose.

CPVC is measured according to it's outside diameter and a 3/4" CPVC pipe fits nicely into the end of a 3/4" hose, which is what I did.

I made mine the entire length of the tank with the holes angled upward. The water then circulates along the top, hits the front, goes down the front, back along the bottom, and then up along the back.

I also only glued the joints that hang outside the tank. This allows me to partially disassemble it for cleaning, and since the spray bars arent glued, they can be rotated and pointed in any direction you want.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 07:41 PM
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As long as the spraybar inside diameter is at least equal to the inside diameter of the return side, it is fine. Using 1/2" PVC, schedule 40 CPVC works nice, it would be close to the same inside diameter of a 5/8" hose at 0.622 inches. Also, if you come close to matching the overall area of the holes in the spraybar to the area of the pump return outlet on the filter, the result will be an even flow rate out of the holes lowering the possibility of restricting flow or getting uneven flow rates from some holes.

Two spraybars may work, just watch that they don't cancel out each others flow in certain areas.

Here is a couple threads that have the calculations if you are interested in trying it out. The calculations in post #7 of the first link worked nicely when I built mine.

DIY Spraybar question

Hoppy's posts in this one a very helpful as well.
what size piping for a river tank manifold
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 07:51 PM
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I have an XP3 and I used a half inch and have about 30 holes In it and it works great
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 08:16 PM
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Use plastic tubing that is the same size as your filter hose
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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I picked up 1/2 PVC, I felt like the CPVC was to small. So for the end cap, do I use a cap to slide over the 1/2 PVC or do I want a plug that slides inside of the PVC? I picked up both. I don't plan to glue it so I can clean it.

Since I have 2 filters I will need to spray bars, the question is do I make 1 for the back of the tank and one for the side or should I put 2 on the back of the tank? That part has be a bit confused.

Thank you everyone so much for the input.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 12:16 AM
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The cap would be easier to remove, but the plug would be less noticeable in the tank. I always put a cap on the end of mine. I would put both spray bars on the back of the tank pointed forward.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 08:58 PM
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Re: DIY Spray Bar help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by planted-tank View Post
I picked up 1/2 PVC, I felt like the CPVC was to small. So for the end cap, do I use a cap to slide over the 1/2 PVC or do I want a plug that slides inside of the PVC? I picked up both. I don't plan to glue it so I can clean it.

Since I have 2 filters I will need to spray bars, the question is do I make 1 for the back of the tank and one for the side or should I put 2 on the back of the tank? That part has be a bit confused.

Thank you everyone so much for the input.
I would put both on the back. Filter 1 outlet on the right inlet on left. Filter 2 opposite. This will ensure the water passes through both filters. Also you can move them around to see how the flow hits your scape. You may find you need to make slight adjustments. Also not all filters are made the same. And what media you have will greatly affect flow. PVC pipe is fairly cheap for a 10' stick. Try different lengths with different hole size, quantity, and spacing to see what works best for your particular setup.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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So I decided to make each spray bar 32", just need to figure out how many holes and what size. I am thinking about 20 holes 1.5 inches apart.

Will that work? If so what size hole?

Thanks
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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Re: DIY Spray Bar help?

Still trying to figure out hole size.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 01:38 AM
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DIY Spray Bar help?

Try it and find out. Start small and slowly step up the whole size to lower the flow until its where you want it
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