Cleaning intake/outake tubes... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Cleaning intake/outake tubes...

Anybody have any tips on cleaning the insides of old plastic intake-outflow tubes? I've heard mentioned "long" wire brushes? I'm guessing they can be found at a hardware store, but these are some old tubes and I'm wondering if just getting new ones is more economical? I'm thinking the "cheap" route here.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 02:16 AM
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If you have a cleaning brush already then take a piece of string longer than the hose you want to clean and tie one end to the brush and the other end to a nut or washer , something with a little weight . Drop the nut in the tube and get it out the other end . Pull the brush through , repeat as many times as needed .

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by leeed222 View Post
Anybody have any tips on cleaning the insides of old plastic intake-outflow tubes? I've heard mentioned "long" wire brushes? I'm guessing they can be found at a hardware store, but these are some old tubes and I'm wondering if just getting new ones is more economical? I'm thinking the "cheap" route here.
For tubes green aqua (YouTube channel) uses an oase aquarium spiral brush.

https://www.amazon.com/OASE-Indoor-A.../dp/B07J4WJYYT
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 04:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeed222 View Post
Anybody have any tips on cleaning the insides of old plastic intake-outflow tubes? I've heard mentioned "long" wire brushes? I'm guessing they can be found at a hardware store, but these are some old tubes and I'm wondering if just getting new ones is more economical? I'm thinking the "cheap" route here.
Suppose it depends.. Doubt if it's more "economical" though than a brush and possibly some bleach..


As to brushes.. Pretty much gave up on the spring type.

My current fav is the monofilament type that you pull through rather than push.
Those also don't last long but you can substitute a bit of cloth where the one or 2 bristles remain.
$5 on evil bay..

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 06:05 AM
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Those spiral brushes are great tools and eBay has a variety of them. The brush tool works best when it is matched to the diameter of the pipe or hose. As the diameter gets smaller and the material more delicate then you have to be more careful. For example, thin diameter 1/2 inch glass filter pipes or smaller. I havenít bought the ADA brushes yet. I just take a piece of filter sponge barely larger than the diameter of air line tubing; I tie the sponge to monofilament fishing line; then I thread the fishing line through the airline tubing. You use the airline tubing to push the sponge through the smallest tube, then pull the brush out using the tag end of the fishing line, It works for even a glass lilly pipe as small as the exhaust of an Eheim 2011 filter.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 01:24 PM
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I use the ADA spring brushes which are made with a spring and a brush on the end. There are three sizes

https://aquaforestaquarium.com/produ...-spring-washer



They just came out with a dual size model.

https://aquaforestaquarium.com/produ...pipe-brush-duo

They are great tools and I use them to clean out the Lilly pipes and hoses.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 02:32 AM
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I probably will order the ADA brush, maybe when AFA gets in more Amazonia light, i will order them both at the same time. By any chance Ed have you used the S size for a 12mm glass intake tube?
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 08:21 AM
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Yes t have the small one I use on my super jet 150 when I clean the intake Lilly pipe. I do that once a month generally. I have all 3 sizes. Will start next week setup my ADA 120 p. It has. Super jet 1200 on it so will be using the bigger brush I am sure.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 08:56 AM
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Almost $30 for a brush that you can get for under $10 at a hardware store or on Evilbay with free shipping, Seriously?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 01:19 PM
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So the actually have spring brushes at a hardware store. I donít think so.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 03:44 PM
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I hear what you are saying about the price of the ADA brushes, I have used a couple of generic spring coil type brushes and for plastic tubes and rubber hoses they are fine, but when I am pushing my 1/2 inch brush through my 1/2 inch glass intake tube, I have to exert more and more pressure to get the brush past the bend in the tube. The economy lily pipes have thin glass walls, so I hold my breath when I am pushing the brush through, that the glass doesnít break in my hands.

It would be easier with the intake tubes if they made them two piece, so that you could remove the strainer from the tube by unscrewing it, then you could push the brush through both ends of the tube(like one can do with the exhaust pipe)which would eliminate the problem and aesthetically the pipes would still look nice.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 04:55 PM
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Couldnít make a two piece glass pipe at a price that most would pay for.
I use tools for a living I have sockets that cost 100 dollars each. So buying a tool made for a task is something I have no problem with. The spring brush does the task it is made to do. Many try to use tools not made to do a task and they spend more time fighting the tool. Then performing the task.
Glass Lilly pipes are not cheap. An in most cases you just can not run up to your local LFS and pick one up in a hurry if you break one. I know I have broken one using a. Cheap brush so I bought the ADA set.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 05:04 PM
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Maybe not in a hardware store, but here are some that I recently bought, on the big A, that work great for $6 and $7:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 08:19 PM
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Yes I have used those just donít up long term. Been doing this hobby for 57 years.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 10:16 PM
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I use one of the brushes you pull for tubing and plastic pieces. I also use an ADA spring brush for glass, and sometimes plastic if the bends are tight, it doesn't clean as well but is far more delicate. I think a $5 brush, be it a pull one or a spring one will work great.

-Matt

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