Clear tubing/pipe and algae - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-27-2016, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Clear tubing/pipe and algae

As I begin assembling all the parts together for my tank build, I began wondering about algae in places like my spray bar that will use clear pipe. For those of you using clear pipe, is algae an issue? I want to ask now as perhaps I can assemble it in a way that it can be disassembled as necessary for cleaning.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-27-2016, 08:46 PM
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It may have algae and it will definitely develop a nice brown biofilm layer so if you want to keep them nice and clean you'll need to make it easy to remove them for regular cleaning.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-27-2016, 09:42 PM
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Mostly for me it is detritus built up in side the tubing. But nothing that will stop or really reduce flow to be noticeable. now if it is inside the tank and you have a clear spray bar or glass bell than it could be an issue depending on your lighting. I would get algae on my spray bar but it was easy to remove because it was on the outside. maybe someone with a glass bell or clear spray bar can comment better. But your really shouldn't worry about the tubing.

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Last edited by FuelingFire; 07-27-2016 at 09:44 PM. Reason: editing.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
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I guess I'm not too worried if the tubing behind the tank develops a film as that would seem a likely scenario. My only concern is accessing the inside of that spray bar. If I glue it (which most instructions say to do once you have it dialed in) there will be no way for me to access the inside. The only option would be to not glue it but instead just force the 1/2" pipe into the 1/2" elbow and hope it stays. Alternatively, I could glue the spray bar in but on the other end where there will be a clear pvc cap, I could just push it on and hope it stays. Honestly I'm not crazy about either idea. Part of the issue is that these are clear pvc fittings at $5 a piece that I have to mail away for. Otherwise perhaps there would be some other option similar to using a union or threaded adapter. Not so in this case though. Thoughts?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 02:13 PM
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I never had a clear spray bar, And when i was researching what i wanted as my out put on my 240 I came across a thread that briefly mentioned clear spray bars and why they aren't used. And it is for this very reason you thinking about, how to clean it. The only out put i know that comes standard as being clear is a lily pipe. But if you fixed on the spray bar i would either go with a non clear pipe to not worry about algae inside the bar, or you can not glue the end cap of the clear pipe, and just push it on really tight, and it should hold. how ever getting it off could be a challenge to. Honestly if you going to think about doing the union and all I would honestly not try to do a clear spray bar. It looks good on paper but it is one of those things it will bite you later on. their maybe others who have done it and can say more about it, But Again i wouldn't go the clear route. if you want clear I would seriously consider looking into a lily pipe. (Lily pipe is what i meant in my previous comment when i said bell).

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 04:23 PM
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As an alternate to glue, how about a simple pin? Put the parts together, drill a small hole through both and drop a small diameter pin. I like to use plastic as pins. Most any size pin plastic can be found in hobby shops that deal with model supplies. A hot surface like a stove burner can heat the pin to mash down into a "head. Drilling down from the top lets gravity hold the pin in place but still easy to remove. For PVC fittings. I like to sand the inner part so that the fit is somewhat loose.
But in my case, I no longer use spray bars in most cases as they do collect too much gunk that needs to be cleaned. I feel I get better circulation without the bar and less work!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 04:36 PM
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Get a ADA spring washer pipe cleaner. Its around $26 and I think someone on the sell section is selling one for cheaper. Do not get the cheap ebay stuff I did and ended up wasted money plus I broke a lily pipe with the cheap ebay stuff. The ADA washer is much more flexible and is well made.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 04:52 PM
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You don't need to glue any of the connections that are inside the tank. Makes removal much easier, and any clear piping components will need regular removal for cleaning.


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