Nellis Makes Acrylic Lillies - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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Nellis Makes Acrylic Lillies

I've been wanting to make these for a while now, and have had the material laying around for a while now. I couldn't get the silicone hose method to work, and wouldn't settle for sand grains stuck in the tubing, so some down-time, frustration and creative thinking led me to this idea: salt. If any salt remained partially embedded in the plastic it would easily dissolve. Here are the results:

Before: Ugly Rena Plumbing



After:



The first pair I made came out ok. I ended up keeping the return, but I really didn't like the way the intake looked. My girlfriend suggested I try to make the slotted ADA style intake, but I'd heard that they're extremely fragile. I had a bunch of left over plastic so I decided to give it a try:

Before:



After:



Much better. Here's what I did: Taped off one end of a tube with masking tape, filled the tube with iodized salt (was simply what was available), shook and packed it, topped it off to within an inch of the top. Then I taped off the second end, laid the tube on a flat, stainless workbench, put one end in a vice, and slowly heated it with a heat gun. I bent the tube around a 1" brass pipe to get a nice curve, slowly working different parts of the curve.

For the slotted intake I pinched off the end with pliers, leaving a small space for priming with an airline tube, and used a hack-saw to make tiny slits in the tubing. Seems to be working great so far. If only i can get the balansae to grow in around them they would be almost completely invisible. Next I'm going to make some for my nano cherry tank.

Thanks to the following for ideas and inspiration, and anyone else who i may have left out (sorry if I have).
curare, wasserpest and unirda
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 04:39 AM
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Looks nice. When are you going to start mass producing these?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 06:08 AM
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silicon tube, it's a winnner, trust me.

I'm just trying to find something cheaper that works without leaving gritty bits in my lillies.

And to be honest, I haven't had much time to play with that idea lately.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyN
Looks nice. When are you going to start mass producing these?
i already have... i was wondering what interest would be like in these if i started to make a bunch... right now i'm going to try to make mini lillies with 3/8" and 1/2"

curare: i tried silicone tubing. here's why i didn't like it: i had to sand the hose for about an hour before it would even look like it wanted to snake into the tube, then i had to use a lubricant that wouldn't prove too harmful when heated. also after making one pipe with the silicone it remained permanently bent and distorted. it wouldn't pull out of the second tube i made so i had to break it. maybe i'm using a different material? this stuff i bought under the name of 1/2 inch silicone (fuel) hose at Lowe's. it's black and has some sort of internal braid within the rubber.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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i also tried filling a tube with water to eliminate the salt's grainy look, but, unfortunately, the water heated pretty evenly with the acrylic, and the pressure punched a hole before i could even bend it. maybe if i filled it with frying oil or something? sounds like a recipe for a disaster.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 03:25 PM
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How much are you selling them for the 5/8 tubing ones?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 05:49 PM
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I may be interested in the one that fit Rena Filstar filter hose (like whatever size was in the pictures). Do you know about how much it would cost for a set? I would just make some myself, but I don't feel like spending money on a heat gun.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 05:53 PM
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I would be interested in a set for my Eheim 2026.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 08:07 PM
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what kind of pipe did you guys use and where did you source it?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-11-2006, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fshfanatic
I would be interested in a set for my Eheim 2026.
do you use 5/8" tubing? i might have enough left to make another pair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatguy
what kind of pipe did you guys use and where did you source it?
acrylic tubing from http://www.tapplastics.com/shop/product.php?pid=141&
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-11-2006, 02:31 PM
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"Frying oil?" "Recipe for disaster?" Was that a pun ?

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-11-2006, 04:31 PM
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I have a heat gun and I might try this sometime. Did you use the low or high setting on the gun when making them?


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-12-2006, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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definately low, and take your time heating them, if you heat them too fast they buble. also you want to go back and forth and slowly heat a larger area, but while concentrating more heat on the section you're bending. tricky... i suggest buying extra to have some practice tubes.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-12-2006, 04:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nellis
do you use 5/8" tubing? i might have enough left to make another pair.


acrylic tubing from http://www.tapplastics.com/shop/product.php?pid=141&
The inside diamater is 5/8" it is marketed as 16/22 mm. My tank is 36" deep though. I might be better off just doing it myself.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-13-2006, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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i like the overflows to barely squeeze into the top of the tank, like 1" head max. less visibility = mo betta.
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