Originally Posted by nokturnalkid
I like using the Lee's brand pond tubing, its the black stuff. It's a bit more flexible than most other stuff and won't kink. Most lfs should carry that or even look at a pond supply store.
+1 on the Lee's tubing. But honestly, it's the same stuff you're calling garbage. HD and Lowe's don't carry much in the way of black tubing since they don't stock it for aquarium and pond use. The black tubing will keep nuisance algae from building up in the tube and that's the key. Vynil tubing that sold in rolled up lengths is always kinked and can be a real PITA to work with. It just needs to be dunked in a pot of hot water until it's soft and pliable. Then you can slip it over barbs and it tightens up after it's cooled, around slight bends and it will conform nicely with some patience as it cools.
What the box stores stock is really intended to simply move water in a temporary fashion, and the clear tubing helps the process by being able to see what's moving through the tubing. It's also used as a level for jobs like setting deck piers, etc.