Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
In answer to the original question, I do not see why it would not work to use the material of the intake and drill it to make a vertical spray bar.
I have had soft thin wall vinyl tubing collapse when used on the intake (suction) side of a canister filter, and had some collapse like yours has done when it is bent, even on the outlet side of the filter.
However, I have not had that problem with a hard pipe, even thin wall pipe collapse either using it as intake or outlet. I think the pressures we deal with are not enough to be a problem.
If you want to set it up, drill what you think are enough holes (diameter and quantity) and run a test. See how hard the water is blasting out of them. If you feel you need to ease the strength of that blasting water, then either drill more holes, or enlarge the holes. Or both, of course.
A weakly attached plug at the end of the pipe would provide a safety outlet. If the pump is trying to force more water through too-few holes, the end cap will blow off. Then you know you need more holes, or larger holes.