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Ws looking through the article database and found this article on an undergravel water return manifold:

http://www.plantedtank.net/articles/DIY-UnderSubstrate-Water-Return-Manifold/12/

This looked really interesting. The plants I am considering for my tank will all be epiphytic plants (moss, Java fern, anubias) and will not be buried in the sand. I am considering using Tahitian Moon Sand ( I have some left over from previous projects) or maybe 3M Colorquartz in T or S grade depending on what I can find. I don't think I will be introducing any fauna that like to dig as I am thinking of mostly tetras w/ RCS and ottos for algae. Will this work for me? Tank size is standard 45 or 50 gallon depending on what I can find. Most of the concerns with UGF and under gravel returns seem to focus on root growth into the manifold. Since I won't be planting in the substrate, thats not going to be an issue.

Still in the deisgn phases right now so I have ample time to change my mind but this seems like an great way to introduce water back into the tank w/o having a big bulky spraybar sitting in the tank.

Any opinions appreciated.

-Charlie
 

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It looks to be a lot more trouble than it would be worth to me. If you are trying to get away from the bulky appearance of spraybars and such, consider using lily pipes. I found some knock-offs on ebay that are pretty thick glass and look very nice and clean. JMHO
 
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