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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The system I bought, the sump under the tank is configured with
plastic flex tubing vinyl from the return pump to the return of the tank, which then goes into PVC return. Same with the overflow, inside the tank it PVC plastic type pipe, but under the tank it plastic tubing that goes into the sump. My question is should I switch all the tubing out and put in PVC instead?

Thanks
 

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Do you mean to switch from vinyl (ice maker type) tubing to typical PVC flexible aquarium tubing? If the tubing came from a pet store, it is probably PVC tubing anyway.

PVC is just a big long polymer made out of vinyl. If you're worried about vinyl not being rated for potable water, then it's probably worth your peace of mind to swap it out. It's not uncommon for hobbyists to use the semi flexible vinyl for water lines in ponds and aquariums though.

I don't use vinyl tubing because it isn't as soft and often gives trouble at aquarium type fittings over time due to stretch and side load. On the upside though, it almost never kinks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you mean to switch from vinyl (ice maker type) tubing to typical PVC flexible aquarium tubing? If the tubing came from a pet store, it is probably PVC tubing anyway.

PVC is just a big long polymer made out of vinyl. If you're worried about vinyl not being rated for potable water, then it's probably worth your peace of mind to swap it out. It's not uncommon for hobbyists to use the semi flexible vinyl for water lines in ponds and aquariums though.

I don't use vinyl tubing because it isn't as soft and often gives trouble at aquarium type fittings over time due to stretch and side load. On the upside though, it almost never kinks.
I just looked at it and you are correct it PVC tubing, it clear and it very flexiable, most pictures I have seen online of sumps seem to have the white PVC tubing that not flexiable. Going to be setting up the new tank this week and want it done right the first time.
 

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Flexible tubing might not transfer vibration like rigid pipe will. I hate the stuff with cross ribs as it cracks easily and currently do have mostly rigid pipe for the return. There is a short section of regular aquarium type tubing in there now because I couldn't figure out how to join it up properly. No ribs on it!
 

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My choice for such installations is rigid PVC pipe and fitting for most of the work, and flexible PVC pipe, also know as spa-flex, for those places where you need a gradual curve or the pipe must flex a little. Since it will not flex as much as tubing, you may also have to install unions into the design, especially on a pump.

Unlike regular tubing, pipe will not grow algae inside it because it's dark in there.
 

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You can get opaque PVC tubing if algae is a concern. Many hydroponic set ups use it for that very reason.

There's a trade off though. The opaque pipe just fills up with heterotrophic muck instead. You can't see it though, which is a good or bad thing depending on how you "look" at it.:icon_smil
 
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