Duckbill or spraybar? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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Duckbill or spraybar?

I'm fixing to do a substrate change and some aquascaping to an established 55g planted tank (from play sand to black diamond). I am running a Fluval 406 with a homemade spray bar. It is a 10" with large holes running from one side to the other. Lately as the tank has matured (plants grown) I have started to have some recurring algae issues and I am thinking lack of adequate flow throughout the tank could be the cause. I built the homemade bar due to reading hatchet fish prefer a flow from one side to the other, but am thinking to keep proper flow now with taller plants the only way to achieve that is with a duckbill such as I had previously. Yet after looking at many planted tanks I see most using spray bars. I want to keep good flow but without a current tearing through the tank. Just curious as to how most people achieve this, with a duck bill or a spray bar. Also the spray bars online I see are only about a foot long. If I go with a spray bar would i be better off going homemade and longer? How about intake placement if so?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 05:09 AM
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I'm new but have you considered a few circulation pumps? I use the Hydor Nano with some success. My tank is much smaller, though.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't thought of that, though I'm trying to keep everything as simple as possible (the less equipment the better). That was one of the reasons for switching from two HOB filters to a single canister. Yet if nothing else seems to work I might have to go that route. Thanks for the suggestion!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 07:15 PM
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I like the outflow jets (duckbill). Especially if you can adjust the flow whenever you want - but if you're having a circulation problem even with a duckbill you'll probably want a nano power head (just put some plants around it, not restricting the flow, to conceal it).
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 07:23 PM
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I use a spray bar that runs the full length of my tank plus two koralia nano's (one top, one bottom) that push water towards the filter intake (well, currently just one since I broke the impeller on one of them taking it apart to clean it and need to get a replacement).

The spray bar does a good job of (gently) circulating water through the tank, the powerheads mostly help with pushing any debris towards the intake. They produce a fairly gentle current as well - my fish don't seem to have any problems swimming against it. I have them running on a wave timer so they aren't running constantly.

Item # 180489727574 on ebay is the spray bar I have. I considered DIY but I don't think I could have done it any cheaper. I used all but 2 sections of the spray bar in my 55g and it runs the entire length of the back. One of the elbows it came with fit the rubber end of the original ribbed fluval hose perfectly. I have a 306 so it should also work fine with your 406
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