DIY acrylic lilly pipes - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Curare's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Fremantle, Western Australia
Posts: 376
Send a message via MSN to Curare
DIY acrylic lilly pipes

I've always hated the look of the in/out pipes in my 10 gal, even green eheim pipe still looks wrong, and lets face it, a large proportion of our hobby has to do with aesthetics.



I'm a big beleiver in the three C's.

Conceal conceal and conceal.

So I set about making my own ADA style lilly pipes.

These are made from 1/2" clear acrylic tube, and heat bent into shape.
For these sizes I tried sand packing but the problem is that the sand likes to imbed itself in the the acrylic.

but ultimately I didn't loose any area through the bends.

here they are.



The upline is just plugged with a peice of clear scrap and drilled to suit, but don't push too hard with that drill!



The flared outlet was just a nice peice of artistry, I don't think it helps much



they were designed to fit snugly together and they bend around each other, and also drop off the back of my desk so you don't see all the pipe connections. Thats also why they're a mile long.



Tune in later to see what happens when they go into the tank!


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Like drops of fertiliser into the tank, so are the days of our CO2...
Curare is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 12:37 AM
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (192/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,609
AWESOME.

Where does one get inexpensive 1/2 - 3/4in clear acrylic tubes???

(instead of sand, try metal springs!)


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Wasserpest is offline  
post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 01:20 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Fremont, CA
Posts: 2,622
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
AWESOME.

Where does one get inexpensive 1/2 - 3/4in clear acrylic tubes???

(instead of sand, try metal springs!)
TAP Plastics.

http://www.tapplastics.com/shop/product.php?pid=141&

óBill

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
bharada is offline  
 
post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Curare's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Fremantle, Western Australia
Posts: 376
Send a message via MSN to Curare
I did consider the coil spring method of bending the pipes but I chose not to, for one simple reason, if I mess it up I can pretty much kiss my pipe and and my coil bender goodbye as they will be forever bound in a metal/plastic union.

I went for the sand, cos it was easy and I knew that if I messed it up I can still pour the sand out again!


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Like drops of fertiliser into the tank, so are the days of our CO2...
Curare is offline  
post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 02:37 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Fremont, CA
Posts: 2,622
I tried using a curtain rod spring but the coils are too spread out and the spring wasn't flexible enough. It ended up threading the inside of the tube.

If you use a coarse sand you'll have little sticking to the inside of the acrylic. I was able to get the bend successfully, but you're right about the drilling. The first hole cracked the piece in two.

óBill

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
bharada is offline  
post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Curare's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Fremantle, Western Australia
Posts: 376
Send a message via MSN to Curare
hehehe, well the boss has gone out for a few hours, so it's time to add some more stuff to the tank!

Now you saw what the tank looked like before, so I ripped the top off it and got to fitting things.

Here's where the pipes wil be going down, you can already see what I'm trying to do.



And here it is in action during a water change, BEHOLD IT WORKS!



And here is the final install, neat enough and looks whole lot better



And the kids checking out the handiwork...



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Like drops of fertiliser into the tank, so are the days of our CO2...
Curare is offline  
post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 12:08 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
tazcrash69's Avatar
 
PTrader: (22/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Hawthorne, NJ
Posts: 3,207
Looks good. Not sure I'm up to trying that myself yet, but they do look good.

Walter

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
or my
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.
Proud former member of:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


--May the floor under your tank always be dry, and your glass clear!!!
tazcrash69 is offline  
post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 03:43 PM
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (192/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,609
Looks great Curare. Actually, looks like my next project. After CO2 manifold. And new canopy. And auto water change. And...

Bill ... thanks for the link!


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Wasserpest is offline  
post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Curare's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Fremantle, Western Australia
Posts: 376
Send a message via MSN to Curare
No worries,

In fact I was so suicidally unhappy with those bends I set out to find a better way.

....and I did, more on that later...


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Like drops of fertiliser into the tank, so are the days of our CO2...
Curare is offline  
post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 12:04 AM
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (192/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,609
Suspense... eating me alive.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Wasserpest is offline  
post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Curare's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Fremantle, Western Australia
Posts: 376
Send a message via MSN to Curare
hehehe, how do you keep an idiot in suspense?


I'll tell you later.


ROFL

Don't worry WP, I'll show you what I used on my 3gal nano, and that's real hard work! It's Ø9mm tubes!


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Like drops of fertiliser into the tank, so are the days of our CO2...
Curare is offline  
post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 01:43 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,205
That's just cruel...I think you should tell him NOW!

Seriously, is it difficult to bend these things? What do you heat them with? Newbie wants details!!!!
Mori is offline  
post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 03:41 PM
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (192/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,609
Get in line Mori!!

(Acrylic pipes are on order...)


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Wasserpest is offline  
post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 05:01 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,205
They seem inexpensive...so do the polycarbonate tubes at that vendor. Is acrylic better? Seens the polycarb might be easier to work with...
Mori is offline  
post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Curare's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Fremantle, Western Australia
Posts: 376
Send a message via MSN to Curare
Sorry about the long wait peeps, I've been trying desparately to get my pics uploaded and only found some time today, so I can start with the re-learnin!!

If you can find polycarbonate at a good price it might be worth trying, I think you'll need more heat but in the end, once it's bent it's bent!!


you do use heat to bend them, and if you do it right, all will come out relatively well, around 300-340˚ works nice and quickly.

Here's my secret weapon.



It's a peice of silicon tube, it's flexible, doesn't stick to plastic, and keeps its roundness when bent.

I attached it to a peice of wire (press fit) and put it up the tube



I'd then set it in the position I want it to be in (you can see the black mark for where the bent centre should be) and then I heat up an area 2-3 times the diamter, so, say for 3/8" tubing I was doing about an inch, but for 3/4, youd be looking for at least 2 1/2" minimum.



Heat it by rolling the tube and making sure you have even heat, (wear a heatproof glove on one hand at least!) when it all goes soft, and starts to bend under it's own weight, put it in the position you want it, and wait till it cools.

you should have a nice bend if you got it right.


then, slooowly pull out the silicon tube, and you should have a nice clean bend.

Silicon tube is used in model aircraft as fuel tube and exhaust couplers, I fly planes so I have a stupid supply of this, and the thing is, you can do it again, and again, and again!!!


So there you go,

Oh and to see the final piping run, this is what I did.



here's the intake tube.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Like drops of fertiliser into the tank, so are the days of our CO2...
Curare is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome