should I use the spray bar? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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should I use the spray bar?

This may be a stupid question, but should I use the spray bar on my XP3, or just put the return under the water surface? I always thought that surface aggitation results in loss of CO2, which we are injecting to increase?

So, use the spray bar, yes or no.

And if I do use it, should it be above the water line, or below?

Thanks,
Chris
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 12:22 AM
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With the spray bar you could adjust it to point in a downward manor.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 12:54 AM
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use it vertically to blow the co2 bubbles around, with good surface agitation, this is assuming your using co2 injection via a diffuser.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdub1955 View Post
This may be a stupid question, but should I use the spray bar on my XP3, or just put the return under the water surface? I always thought that surface aggitation results in loss of CO2, which we are injecting to increase?

So, use the spray bar, yes or no.

And if I do use it, should it be above the water line, or below?

Thanks,
Chris
Your right, if you disturb the surface too much, it will result in loss of CO2. That doesn't mean though that you can't use a spray bar. Just position it under the surface and make sure the holes are pointing in a downward position.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 07:29 AM
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I would, just position it under the water.

Ehfipimp #273 ( Eheim Classic: 2260, 2217, Eheim Ecco: 2236, 2232 ) Fluval FX5

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 07:38 AM
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In addition to the good advice already given, I want to add that the notion of a "flat as glass" surface to your aquarium has been dismissed. Gas exchange still needs to happen, thus soft ripples are desirable. I do this by having my spray bar under the water with one part of it pointing almost horizontal to the water surface.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
 
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indiboi,

Just to be sure, some are saying position it vertical in the tank, top to bottom, rather than across the back correct. Is this what you are doing, vertical with the top spray shooting very close to the top fo the water?

Thanks,
Chris
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 11:56 AM
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I have an Eheim installation kit, it has three parts that can be swiveled, so I have the holes of one part of that pointing down, another diagonally, and one pointing straight out. The spray bar assembly itself is parallel to the top of the tank, it is not vertical. It's also on the side of the tank, thus directing the flow to the other side of the aquarium.

Spray bar positioning is more of a personal preference and desired goal. If I had the segment of my spray bar I currently have pointed straight out instead pointing at any kind of angle I would then be blowing stem plants flat... undesirable of course. I've also pointed all of the openings at the glass for a time period, it created a more even, though less intense, flow across the tank. So, experiment, what works for one person isn't necessarily the best choice for your setup.

I ordered a standard Eheim "shepherd's crook" outflow the other day for my Pro II, I want to give that a try instead of the spray bar. I like how the flow from my ECCO with that style of outflow behaves and I figure they're sort of functionally similar to how glass outflow pipes behave.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 02:26 PM
 
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Quote:
you could adjust it to point in a downward manor.
Quote:
Just position it under the surface and make sure the holes are pointing in a downward position.
Well, sure ... do it that way if you prefer dead fish.

I did it that way when I installed my first spraybar. The water surface was like glass, no agitation at all. Very cool, or so I thought. I mistakenly thought my plants could generate enough oxygen for the fish, but within three days I lost an SAE and two Boesmani rainbows. (The ONLY change in the tank over the previous month was the installation of the spraybar.)

Position your spraybar horizontally, a few inches under the surface. Point the holes very slightly upward, to get some surface agitation/oxygen exchange.

It doesn't take much agitation to oxygenate the water, and it certainly doesn't result in much CO2 loss if you do it right. I have it set up this way on a 90gal with pressurized CO2 and a pH controller as well as on a 36 bow with DIY CO2. Both tanks are healthy and stable, CO2 easily stays in the 30ppm range.

(Disclaimer: In neither tank do I inject my CO2 via the main filter/spraybar output. On the 90, I use a second canister filter to drive the CO2 reactor; on the 36 I use a Red Sea 500 reactor. In both cases, the CO2-rich water enters the tank about half way down the water column.)

If your CO2 enters the tank via the spraybar and you want to point the spraybar downward to get good mixing, make sure there's some other source of surface agitation - a powerhead or something like that.

Regards,
Mike

Last edited by UnusualSuspect; 02-01-2008 at 07:06 PM.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by UnusualSuspect View Post
Well, sure ... do it that way if you prefer dead fish.

I did it that way when I installed first my spraybar. The water surface was like glass, no agitation at all. Very cool, or so I thought. I mistakenly thought my plants could generate enough oxygen for the fish, but within three days I lost an SAE and two Boesmani rainbows. (The ONLY change in the tank over the previous month was the installation of the spraybar.)

Position your spraybar horizontally, a few inches under the surface. Point the holes very slightly upward, to get some surface agitation/oxygen exchange.

It doesn't take much agitation to oxygenate the water, and it certainly doesn't result in much CO2 loss if you do it right. I have it set up this way on a 90gal with pressurized CO2 and a pH controller as well as on a 36 bow with DIY CO2. Both tanks are healthy and stable, CO2 easily stays in the 30ppm range.

(Disclaimer: In neither tank do I inject my CO2 via the main filter/spraybar output. On the 90, I use a second canister filter to drive the CO2 reactor; on the 36 I use a Red Sea 500 reactor. In both cases, the CO2-rich water enters the tank about half way down the water column.)

If your CO2 enters the tank via the spray bar and you want to point the spray bar downward to get good mixing, make sure there's some other source of surface agitation - a powerhead or something like that.

Regards,
Mike
Although that I agree that some surface agitation in desirable it seems to me the reason your fish died was not because the spray bar was under the surface. Many people on this forum have their surface water completely still and their fish do not die. There had to be other things going on in your tank besides just that. Maybe too much CO2? Could be a lot of things.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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Although that I agree that some surface agitation in desirable it seems to me the reason your fish died was not because the spray bar was under the surface. Many people on this forum have their surface water completely still and their fish do not die. There had to be other things going on in your tank besides just that. Maybe too much CO2? Could be a lot of things.
It began two days after I installed the spray bar and stopped immediately after I re-oriented it to point slightly upward, restoring slight surface agitation.

As I said, NOTHING had changed in the tank for a month before I put in the spray bar. The fish that died had been quite healthy and vigorous. No other fish losses for maybe 6 months before, then three in two days right after making a change.

When you hear hoof-beats in Texas, you don't look for zebras.

Regards,
Mike
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 06:17 PM
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Well, I think what mcd19 was getting at was more of the idea that a lack of surface agitation alone is not enough to kill fish.

The more still the surface is, the higher the CO2 will be, thus if it was set for slight surface movement suddenly there'd be more CO2 than before. It also relates to stocking level, those with very few fish will have a different oxygen demand than those with many fish.

In your case it was likely one of those two situations that the spraybar placement exacerbated. Surface movement is a good thing, like I said before, that notion of glass smooth water has been dismissed -- unfortunately there are a lot of people and websites that still advocate it.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 06:39 PM
 
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The more still the surface is, the higher the CO2 will be, thus if it was set for slight surface movement suddenly there'd be more CO2 than before.
Aha ... you've cornered the zebra.

I have a pH controller. Within a narrow range, CO2 would be constant regardless of how fast it out-gases. (I say narrow range because there's a lag time between when the controller opens the solenoid and when the gas actually gets dissolved and distributed into the tank.)

My point here was that my original thought about the spraybar was the same as the OP's: to avoid loss of CO2 due to surface agitation. It caused me a big problem, and I was trying to pass along my experience.

CO2 is cheap, don't get yourself into trouble trying to conserve the tiny amount you'll lose at the surface given a reasonable amount of turbulence.

Regards,
Mike
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by indiboi View Post
Well, I think what mcd19 was getting at was more of the idea that a lack of surface agitation alone is not enough to kill fish.

The more still the surface is, the higher the CO2 will be, thus if it was set for slight surface movement suddenly there'd be more CO2 than before. It also relates to stocking level, those with very few fish will have a different oxygen demand than those with many fish.

In your case it was likely one of those two situations that the spraybar placement exacerbated. Surface movement is a good thing, like I said before, that notion of glass smooth water has been dismissed -- unfortunately there are a lot of people and websites that still advocate it.

We think a like.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 07:46 PM
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Another possibility is to use the spraybar under the surface but drill the holes out to reduce the water's velocity out of the bar. I replaced my XP's spraybar with a 3/4" PVC spraybar with more and larger holes, and positioned it slightly below the surface pointed horizontally. This provides the "sway" I want from my plants and only very slight surface movement.

On the "fish death" scenario, I had similar problems after changing the location of my spraybar and powerheads. Also added bioload in the form of more fish and plants, so not sure what the true cause was. I attributed it to low O2 levels at night, and now I run an airstone on a timer at night. On an hour after the lights go out and off 1/2 hour before lights-on. Respiration rate on my discus is much lower now in the mornings and pH is very stable.

Steve
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