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To Bar or not to Bar

Jan 9, 2023
99
111
Dallas ,Tx
No it’s not about him 😂


I wanted to start this thread for folks to chime in on their preferences regarding spray bars .

I currently have SS Lilly’s . However since seeing Ryan C’s new tank build I have noticed a lot of folks are using spray bars .

I am handy by definition so things like this intrigue me and I would like to know more . Although as usual it will inevitably cause me to have to change something I’ve already done 😂. Such if the joy of advancing forward lol .

Well ,… tell me why you like or dislike them and I’ll tell you how 90 degree elbows are the devil lol


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I've been considering it to reduce flow in some areas that get a bit blasted by my returns. However, I've grown quite fond of these random flow generators: RFG-Flex Series - Random Flow Generator Nozzles | Vivid Creative Aquatics

They are not ideal for my center overflow but I still like them over the ultra-high pressure blade that came with my tank's factory return lines.

They produce periodic surface agitation at the perfect rate. Being periodic, it creates additional drama with the light shimmering effect.
 
I've been considering it to reduce flow in some areas that get a bit blasted by my returns. However, I've grown quite fond of these random flow generators: RFG-Flex Series - Random Flow Generator Nozzles | Vivid Creative Aquatics

They are not ideal for my center overflow but I still like them over the ultra-high pressure blade that came with my tank's factory return lines.

They produce periodic surface agitation at the perfect rate. Being periodic, it creates additional drama with the light shimmering effect.
Oh awesome I’ve been wondering if anyone created some random flow generators similar to the old Tunze units.

I’ll check those out!
 
My setup is basically all DIY using PVC. With that said, I have a couple of different spray bars - one with all the holes aligned and some others with varying amounts of aligned holes along with some holes pointed down to add a little additional flow to dead areas.
right now I am basically running an open ended 90 degree fitting which does generate a pretty decent surface ripple across the 4' long tank.
In looking at your setup with the 2 outputs along the back, I would think you get a pretty decent flow towards the front glass which then swirls down and back towards the inlets. Not sure if you would gain too much with duel spray bars.
 
My setup is basically all DIY using PVC. With that said, I have a couple of different spray bars - one with all the holes aligned and some others with varying amounts of aligned holes along with some holes pointed down to add a little additional flow to dead areas.
right now I am basically running an open ended 90 degree fitting which does generate a pretty decent surface ripple across the 4' long tank.
In looking at your setup with the 2 outputs along the back, I would think you get a pretty decent flow towards the front glass which then swirls down and back towards the inlets. Not sure if you would gain too much with duel spray bars.
Yeah I’ve got pretty decent flow , in addition to the two outputs that are currently Jet pipes I have two crystal skim 600’s that are set on timers to run all night and from 12-3 during the day before lights on . This keeps the tank as quiet as possible during viewing hours . The down flow at both back corners really helps keep those areas from being stagnant

However plants can be blown around with my jet pipes for sure , maybe a spray bar will keep them from laying over and keep them pretty and upright in all areas
 
Oh I wanted to add my filters are (2) Oase 600s

I’ve heard this may be a little weak for spray bars
Would not think they would be to weak for a spraybar. Just have to size the individual spraybar appropriately.
For me, I have a Fluval FX4 on a standard 75g tank. The pump on the FX4 is rated at 700gph. Each of your filters are rated at 350gph. So, basically your 2 filters flow about as much as my 1 filter.
Honestly, if you did a DIY spraybar, I could see running the output of you 2 filters into a 3/4" or 1" PVC Tee. Then route that up and over the back of the aquarium into another Tee with the outputs of the tee your spraybars.
 
However plants can be blown around with my jet pipes for sure , maybe a spray bar will keep them from laying over and keep them pretty and upright in all areas
I think many times people misunderstand what "good flow" means. It's not creating high energy concentrated flow with plants waving around barely able to stay rooted in the soil. Many plants hate that type of flow......and most algae loves it.

In my opinion good flow is a gentle wide laminar flow......with a purpose.

In my tank I have used spray bars for years. They are aimed up at about 45* to the surface, so it creates constant surface agitation, which creates good oxygen levels (which you want!). The water flows across the top of the tank, down the front glass, then back across the substrate to the rear of the tank. This keeps the substrate clean and keeps most of the detritus build up back along the back glass. Makes it easy to vacuum it up when those large background plants are out for trimming.

Years ago I actually drilled out the holes in my spray bars to make the flow even more gentle. It didn't change the amount of flow, it just changed the velocity of the flow. And the tank responded positively and was just a hair easier to manage.

I see people read about needing good flow and soon they have a bunch of powerheads blowing plants around creating a swirling vortex. This is NOT good flow, and again most plants do not like it.

It's interesting that most of the rest of the world only rely on filter flow, and this idea of needing "high" flow is mostly an American thing.

 
I think many times people misunderstand what "good flow" means. It's not creating high energy concentrated flow with plants waving around barely able to stay rooted in the soil. Many plants hate that type of flow......and most algae loves it.

In my opinion good flow is a gentle wide laminar flow......with a purpose.

In my tank I have used spray bars for years. They are aimed up at about 45* to the surface, so it creates constant surface agitation, which creates good oxygen levels (which you want!). The water flows across the top of the tank, down the front glass, then back across the substrate to the rear of the tank. This keeps the substrate clean and keeps most of the detritus build up back along the back glass. Makes it easy to vacuum it up when those large background plants are out for trimming.

Years ago I actually drilled out the holes in my spray bars to make the flow even more gentle. It didn't change the amount of flow, it just changed the velocity of the flow. And the tank responded positively and was just a hair easier to manage.

I see people read about needing good flow and soon they have a bunch of powerheads blowing plants around creating a swirling vortex. This is NOT good flow, and again most plants do not like it.

It's interesting that most of the rest of the world only rely on filter flow, and this idea of needing "high" flow is mostly an American thing.

Thank you for that explanation I did not realize how algae would like the high flow areas but that makes sense I do have algae growing in the high flow areas

So do the spray bars consist of nothing more than 5/8 Barb and various PVC fittings to allow them to distribute the flow?

And what is used to attach the spray bars is there a hard mounted design?
 
In my case, yes on the hose barb. The fittings outside the tank are all glued. The actual spraybar is pressure fit into the pvc elbow/tee.
For me, the assembly is just sitting on the top of the tank - no special hangers or supports.

The white supply line with the elbow is removable. Can be rotated or replaced with various spraybar designs or ???
 

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Ok so I’ll be designing this for sure

What size holes are recommended?? Round holes correct ? 1/8” ? I’m lost on this

We need a good build thread on this , I’ll do it however I want it to be in a way that all agree is effective.
 
I think many times people misunderstand what "good flow" means. It's not creating high energy concentrated flow with plants waving around barely able to stay rooted in the soil. Many plants hate that type of flow......and most algae loves it.

In my opinion good flow is a gentle wide laminar flow......with a purpose.

In my tank I have used spray bars for years. They are aimed up at about 45* to the surface, so it creates constant surface agitation, which creates good oxygen levels (which you want!). The water flows across the top of the tank, down the front glass, then back across the substrate to the rear of the tank. This keeps the substrate clean and keeps most of the detritus build up back along the back glass. Makes it easy to vacuum it up when those large background plants are out for trimming.

Years ago I actually drilled out the holes in my spray bars to make the flow even more gentle. It didn't change the amount of flow, it just changed the velocity of the flow. And the tank responded positively and was just a hair easier to manage.

I see people read about needing good flow and soon they have a bunch of powerheads blowing plants around creating a swirling vortex. This is NOT good flow, and again most plants do not like it.

It's interesting that most of the rest of the world only rely on filter flow, and this idea of needing "high" flow is mostly an American thing.

These look like pretty large holes … how does it hang in the tank ?

Thanks
Casey
 
These look like pretty large holes … how does it hang in the tank ?

Thanks
Casey
My spray bars are the original ones that came with my Rena XP filters, so I didn't have to engineer anything.

They hang about 1" below the water line. I'll measure the holes later.

What size holes you would need depends on how much flow your filters have and how many holes in the spray bar. The way mine were originally drilled created too much intensity. I drilled them out to make the flow more gentle and wider.
 
Ok so I’ll be designing this for sure

What size holes are recommended?? Round holes correct ?
Yeah, round holes are the easiest. I did slots on the return simply because I wanted to use it as a skimmer.
Size - that is always an interesting question. My thought is - the cross section area of all the holes should be at least as big as the cross section of the hose leading to the spray bar. Sounds easy - right?
I think you said 5/8" hose? that would be 0.625" dia. Cross section area would be 0.3066 sq.in. (3.14*r2)
If you used a 1/8" drill bit you would need 25 holes - probably too many.
If you used a 5/32" drill bit you would need 16 holes - still a lot
If you use a 3/16" drill bit you would need at least 11 holes. - This sounds more realistic.
If you use a 7/32" drill bit you would be at 8 holes - probably more realistic.
Guess it depends on what tools you have and how long the spray bar will be.

Now, remembering you have 2 filters, each with a 5/8" hose...
If you use a 1/4" drill bit you would need 6.25 holes each or roughly 13 holes to accommodate both filters.
Hope this helps
 

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Also to make them black are folks using krylon fusion spray paint ? I’ve used that before way back in my reefing days …

Yep, i used that stuff as well awhile back when I sprayed my green Eheim bar black to match the background. I could see the customizing of the spar bars as an advantage, but since I went to open-tops I only use lily pipes and haven't seen an issue using them. Putting the return front left there are generally no tall plants that would get in the way and the flow whips around the front glass and around the back of the tank. What are you noticing that makes you want to change it up?
 
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