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Old 09-18-2014, 03:10 PM   #1
TaylorDaughtry
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DIY Metal Filter Pipes


Hey!

I was looking into doing some DIY metal Filter Pipes (similar to these), and I was wondering if anyone had any experience? I have a friend that works at a certain large home improvement store that's helping me gather the parts and connectors needed to make these.

First: Let me explain why I think these are fantastic for aquariums, particularly for aquascaped tanks:
  • They're stronger than glass, so you don't have to worry about cracking or shattering the pipes
  • They're not clear, so you can't see the growth that eventually appears on the inside of any tubing
  • They look awesome in most tanks
  • They're much cheaper than glass pipes

Plus, I simply like the metal, minimal look that they provide:



I have the materials and tools to cut the intake slices into these tubes, and I've done work with metal before.

So, my question is this: Would anyone be interested in these, if I made some for you guys? I'd also greatly appreciate any input on connectors, lengths, and any other customizations that would be useful to you!

I've also searched around the web, and haven't found much about metal tubing, besides the one I linked earlier. Does anyone have any other links to references?

Thanks for reading!
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:27 PM   #2
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I'd definitely be interested in these depending on price. I've been looking for some of these but the only ones I've found are quite pricey. As for lengths, I would think most people would want "full length" pipes so the length outside of the tank could maybe match up to most common aquarium heights.
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:33 PM   #3
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Is the steel 316 stainless? That's pretty important, though 304 would be the only other alternative. Otherwise, rust.
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
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I love the look of the tank and admire your metal work and ability. I lack the skill and experience to do the job. But with that said, I should warn you a bit.
On mention of using stainless steel screws to hold driftwood, we often find a lot of paranoid thinking in the group. Since your fish seem still alive, I tend to think it is not a problem as you do seem to have quite a good grasp of the basics of fish and plant keeping.
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:47 PM   #5
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Years back if you mentioned that you had ANY metal in your tank it would produce looks that resemble what a person might have on their face were they to run into
a small animal on the road. Now days they have backed off on that as it pertains to Stainless Steel. Only long term use will prove one way or another if it's a good idea.
This is provided that what I'm looking at is solid SS steel and not chrome plated brass.
With no light on the inside it will not produce any algae there either. You can expect some mineral build up but not that would interfere/w flow for years.
My only real concern is that you at least duplicate the number and width of the slots
given that they will clog somewhat. The life of a pump motor is exactly relavent to
restrictions in the line.
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:04 PM   #6
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I have a steel outlet pipe that I got from a member here when he was still making them. I love it. It looks so clean in the tank, I never worry about working around it, and it never accumulates anything even on the outside of the pipe.

If you price it right, you'd probably sell alot of these.
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:09 PM   #7
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You really want 316 for this application. It is also known as marine grade, and is used for food processing. 304 and 18/8 will corrode faster.
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:36 PM   #8
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I can hand polish them to a mirror finish. I don't know if that would look better than a brushed look, but shiny! Oooh...
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:07 PM   #9
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Wish list: steel spray bar that matches finish with the stainless surface skimming pipes you see on the bay. Or interchangable heads from spray bar to jet would make it very versatile.

if you are real handy, a stainless steel hob overflow ala lifereef (with dual standard bulkead fittings) or maybe mame style plus the aforementioned return setup in matching finish.

I would prefer the lifereef style so that you can throttle back one drain to run a herbie style. Maybe go toothless and use a stainless steel mesh instead to work with the small fiah we typically see in planted tanks.

Real fancy would be 2 bulkeads with stainless lines down to the stand...dreams...
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandacory View Post
Wish list: steel spray bar that matches finish with the stainless surface skimming pipes you see on the bay. Or interchangable heads from spray bar to jet would make it very versatile.

if you are real handy, a stainless steel hob overflow ala lifereef (with dual standard bulkead fittings) or maybe mame style plus the aforementioned return setup in matching finish.

I would prefer the lifereef style so that you can throttle back one drain to run a herbie style. Maybe go toothless and use a stainless steel mesh instead to work with the small fiah we typically see in planted tanks.

Real fancy would be 2 bulkeads with stainless lines down to the stand...dreams...
If you can get me links to those references you're asking for, I can SEE what I can do. The spray bar bit sounds like a particularly fun challenge. (And it would be quite beautiful if it can work.)

UPDATE:
So, it looks like there's enough interest in these that I'll probably be making them. Are there any standard dimensions that most of you use? I'd prefer to start with the most common tube sizing first, so it'll fit most of everyone's stuff.

Clarification:
The steel will be SS 316 steel, which means it's fine for aquariums. (No rust.)
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:58 PM   #11
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Stainless steel surface skimmer Flea-bay.com/itm/Aquarium-Stainless-Steel-17MM-Inflow-Outflow-Surface-Skimmer-Pipes-DC09-02-/160873866990

Replace the first part of the address with the real thing. The end of the pipe looks like it is pointable/swappable, but I've never seen one in person so can't attest. its pricy, so its hard to justify ordering unseen. I like there mounting kit. I own a fluval g6 so i think it is the 19mm ones? If the link doesnt work, you can google. I've thought about buying one of those $12 toms surface skimmers and bringing it to a welding shop so they could use the float for parts. I also think the spray bar that came with an old cascade filter is about the best design because you can adjust the length in sensible increments, and turn and point it relative to the return j-tube.


Lifereef or eshopps for overflow design. You would need dual outputs so that you can throttle one. Check out eshopps pf1000 for an example. In fact, if you were serious I would order one and try mocking up a stainless copy.

the other option is mame. Just search mame overflow. It is slick but I think it would be much harder to build and not as quiet.
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Old 09-20-2014, 07:36 AM   #12
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Common ID tube sizing is 1/2" and 5/8", so the pipes should be 1/2" and 5/8" OD.

Not so sure on the length. It would look best if it were long enough to cover the entire height of the tank, so an 18" tank height should have at least an 18" long pipe.
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:20 PM   #13
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Hi, I'm interested in some as. I need a 13mm intake and a 9mm outflow. To fit my ADA 150 filter.
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Old 09-21-2014, 04:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandacory View Post
Wish list: steel spray bar that matches finish with the stainless surface skimming pipes you see on the bay. Or interchangable heads from spray bar to jet would make it very versatile.



if you are real handy, a stainless steel hob overflow ala lifereef (with dual standard bulkead fittings) or maybe mame style plus the aforementioned return setup in matching finish.



I would prefer the lifereef style so that you can throttle back one drain to run a herbie style. Maybe go toothless and use a stainless steel mesh instead to work with the small fiah we typically see in planted tanks.



Real fancy would be 2 bulkeads with stainless lines down to the stand...dreams...



Just for all you guys out tree that want the skimmer attachment. I have it and...


It sucks.


It doesn't float consistently and I have to constantly adjust the screw to balance out the suction for it to float. The only other way I've found to have it work most of the time was then off the bottom Intake and dedicate it all to skimming. Even then the float doesn't reach the surface and probably sucks in a lot of my shrimp.
I have to adjust it every few days or it will cause air bubbles etc.


I'm on the look out to trade or buy a normal intake and out a prefilter on it. Everywhere I tried to go in Asia won't sell them separately unless it's a pair.
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Old 09-21-2014, 04:37 PM   #15
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I bought the non-skimmer version of those pipes from [Ebay Link Removed] Very impressed with the quality. Alas, I cannot use them in my install after all so I'm selling them, for anyone interested.
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