Truly Simulating Rain - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Truly Simulating Rain

So I've read a lot of info on simulating rain, especially for breeding purposes, but most of it is just adding in slightly cooler water after storms / etc with a water change.

I was curious if anyone had really tried simulating rain.

I was imagining a drip irrigation system or really small drilled holes in pvc mounted under the tank hood and attached to a pump or something to get lots of actual water droplets - not streams of water. This could be a handy auto tank filler too after you've established your evaporation rate.

Anyone ever tried something like this? The look and sound is more for my enjoyment than the fishies
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 07:24 PM
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LOL I was just thinking about something like this yesterday. I don't think I would actually do it, because of all the splashing and stuff. But I was looking at these GHL Controllers for a LED system I'm planning on building and they simulate random rainstorms w/lightning. I was thinking it would be cool if you rigged up a system like you talked about so that it would actually rain. The sound of rain drops combined with the lights dimming with an occasional lightning flash would be really cool! Just dreamin...


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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, there are some cool videos of simulated thunderstorms floating around. The splashing might be a problem but that depends on the amount of water, size of the raindrops and what your water level is. I think on a taller tank with the water a few inches below the top there would be minimal splashing out of the tank.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 07:35 PM
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Yea i was thinking the same, or in a paludarium/vivarium/riparium type setup it would be really cool.


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 08:52 PM
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I've seen it done a few years ago. Lost the website, but it was a fairly huge amazonian type tank. It was ran by a stand alone sort type computer which had variable control settings. Dimmers, nature seasons sounds, thunder strikes, wave makers, spray bars were all programmed to turn on and off to mimic all yearly seasons.

I remembered it was a Discus fish tank, a big one also. 180G+

She winks, Let's dance.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 06:30 PM
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sounds possible...but honestly, whats the point? you can breed fish fairly easily if you try

...and it doesnt really add anything to the tank except another layer of complication (like dimming switches...or LED lights...etc)

it is IMPOSSIBLE to find 1 person who regrets going pressurized

if you do it right, you can spend a lot of money in this hobby...of course, if you do it wrong - you'll spend A LOT more
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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The point isn't so much for breeding but to have an afternoon rainstorm inside your home anytime you want. Again, the look & sound is more for me, and if it helps with breeding or auto-filling it's a nice bonus.

Extra layers of complication, if done well (and with the help of automation), can help make your tank that much more unique and exciting. Plus I love DIY stuff. (I'm not knocking low-tech tanks as I have a couple - they're fun and can be unique too.)
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 07:17 PM
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You'd need an overflow drain too. It's like filling up a stopped sink.


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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, but depending on your evaporation rates (if you're going to use it as an auto-filler) the overflow would just be for emergencies. Would be a fun way to auto-dose too.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 01:39 AM
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I could see that working in more of a paludarium set up, but unless you add a clear box to the top of the tank there is not enough room for a rain storm to happen.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 01:54 AM
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Why not get some hydroponic misters and set them up in a schedule 40 DIY spray bar? It takes awhile for any real volume of water to pass through them, so If you take 5 or ten gallons out of your tank, you could run them for a half hour or more depending on water pressure. There are self tapping versions that can be screwed into a garden hose also, but they pass water more quickly, so you'd have to adjust pressure accordingly, or cycle water back out of the tank. A garden hose could hook right to your sink, so it would be easy to adjust flow.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 02:09 AM
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The only problem is the rain contraption would get in the way of your lights unless all of the spaying is from the sides but that would cause a lot of splash. It's best if the tank is half filled.


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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, the size and amount of splash is dependent on a lot of things, but a paludarium setup might make the most sense.

If you plumb it to the outflow on a canister filter (like 1/4" tubing) and attach a solenoid, you could eliminate both the need for the second pump and the problem of overflowing the tank.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 10:55 PM
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This thread reminds me of my trips to the grocery stores. I guess someone complained about not getting a notice before the sprinklers come on in the veggies section. People were getting wet while grabbing what they wanted. As a warning, they added a thunder before the rain comes down I guess. Its a good way to amuse the kids while your out shopping. Maybe check out your local grocery store for some inspiration.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 09:20 AM
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By working it in with your canister filter, I think you mean that when you want the rainstorm effect you would divert some or all the returning water from whatever spray bar you use to the mist/rain equipment.

This might work, but I would add an adjustable valve in there so that if the mist equipment cannot handle the volume of water moving through the canister some water would still pass through the regular canister outlet. This would avoid the canister leaking because of too high a pressure trying to force too much water through the tiny holes of the mist system.

Of course if you want a real 'gully washer' of a rain storm, just elevate the spray bar above the water level in the tank.
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