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Eheim 2260 - Custom Intake & Spray Bar

Stitch

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21 Aug 2012
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Dubai
Hi,

The standard fittings for my eheim 2260 do not fit too well on my tank so i'm thinking of DIYing a new PVC Intake and Spray Bar Outflow.

I'm going to use the tubes that came with the filter and put both into 2-way tap connectors. What is then the best way to connect the tubes to the PVC fittings?

Should I push them onto these and then tighten with the metal clamp and screw? Would I need to use teflon tape or cement on this joint?:
BH-100-PVCSocketValve.jpg


Also, what size PVC tubing should I use?
Intake = 25/34mm - Is 3/4" PVC ok?
Outflow = 16/22mm - Is 1/2" PVC ok?

Finally, the spray bar will be along the top of the back wall spraying water straight towards front glass. Would it matter too much if my intake was also close to the top of the tank instead of towards the bottom?
 

james3200

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Stitch

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Hi, haven't started yet, just getting all the bits together and planning.

Thanks for the tip on the hose fitting. I'll keep a look out for those.

The filter will be underneath the tank in the left side cabinet. Given the choice which assembly should be the longest? The Intake or the Spray Bar?

Ideally I'd like to run one from the left side of the tank and one from the right side, as the tank has some prebuilt groves to accommodate a PVC pipe on each side. But the tank is 1.5m long so would this have an impact on the pump performance?

Is it crucial to keep both of these as short as possible?

Cheers.
 

james3200

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I am no filter or flow expert but I would imagine the spray bar would need to be shortest to maximise pressure. You don't want a too long intake though as it can make it awkward to prime. Personally I would have the 2260 on one side with in/outlet on same side, and another filter on other side of the tank like a 2217 with an inline heater/ co2 reactor. You could also have another reactor on 2260 side to get very good co2 distribution. On my 2260 i have 2 hydor external heaters and aqua medic reactor and I'm happy with the flow and have no flow related issues but that is probably down to 4 koralia pumps strategically placed within the tank!
 

ceg4048

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Stitch said:
...The standard fittings for my eheim 2260 do not fit too well on my tank so i'm thinking of DIYing a new PVC Intake and Spray Bar Outflow.

I'm going to use the tubes that came with the filter and put both into 2-way tap connectors. What is then the best way to connect the tubes to the PVC fittings?

Should I push them onto these and then tighten with the metal clamp and screw? Would I need to use teflon tape or cement on this joint?

Also, what size PVC tubing should I use?
Intake = 25/34mm - Is 3/4" PVC ok?
Outflow = 16/22mm - Is 1/2" PVC ok?
Hi,
You really don't need to worry too much as long as the tube OD is large enough to have a good friction fit against the filter hose. I'm not sure if the 2260 comes with 16/22mm hoses, but whatever size hosing you are using, just get PVC pipes with a slightly larger (1mm) OD then the ID of the hose to ensure a snug fit. What you want to avoid is pipes have a smaller ID the the ID of the the hose, otherwise this will severely restrict flow and thus defeat your purpose.

Stitch said:
Finally, the spray bar will be along the top of the back wall spraying water straight towards front glass. Would it matter too much if my intake was also close to the top of the tank instead of towards the bottom?
It doesn't really matter where the intake pipes are. Obviously, you'd like to have the intake in a position that captures the most dirt, but at the end of the day, whether it is high or low won't make too much of a difference.

Stitch said:
The filter will be underneath the tank in the left side cabinet. Given the choice which assembly should be the longest? The Intake or the Spray Bar?

Ideally I'd like to run one from the left side of the tank and one from the right side, as the tank has some prebuilt groves to accommodate a PVC pipe on each side. But the tank is 1.5m long so would this have an impact on the pump performance?

Is it crucial to keep both of these as short as possible?
The intake length is not really a concern and won't make a difference in practical terms. The ID will make a difference though, so keep this stock.

The effectiveness of the spraybar flow patterns is maximized when it's length is maximized, so that it covers as large a span along the back as possible. Again, the total surface area of all the holes combined should be at least equal to the surface area of the pipe ID. So, figure out how many holes you want, and their spacing, and calculate the surface area of the ID (A=pi*R**2) and then divide that value by your number of holes. The radius of each hole will then be [Square root of A/pi].

That's just the baseline calculation You may need to experiment with number of holes and hole sizes to either maintain the flow velocity, or, if the velocity is too strong, then enlarge the holes. The 2260 has plenty of muscle to run a 4 foot bar. Longer bar runs might be problematic but experiment and see how it goes. PVC is cheap, so get a few and try different configurations. The jets should reach the front glass with plenty of force.

Cheers,
 

Stitch

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Clive,

Thanks for the detailed reply.

Noted your points on the intake and I'll try and position it to capture dirt. 3/4" PVC fits snug to the 25/34mm tube so this is sorted.

I'm still struggling a bit with the outflow. I have 2 options:

1) Use the standard tube (16/22mm) and connect to a clear acrylic tube for the spray bar. The trouble is the ID of the acrylic tube is 11mm whereas the ID of the standard tube is 14mm. Would a meter long spray bar cause problems, being 3mm thinner, even if I drill holes based on 14mm?

2) I can try and connect the 16/22mm tube to 1/2" PVC. The problem is that the only hose tail fittings available that snuggly fit the tube are metal for 1/2" PVC:
SSAdaptor-Hosetail-to-BSPT-male_2.jpg

Are these ok to use? I'm guessing they would rust over time?
If I do connect to 1/2" PVC then again would I drill holes based on the stock 14mm rather than the 17mm ID of the PVC?

Thanks
 

ceg4048

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Hi mate,
A 14mm diameter tube has a cross sectional area of 154 square mm, whereas an 11mm tube has a cross sectional area of 95 square mm. Mass flow rate in a tube is directly proportional to the cross sectional area, so that's a 38% drop in the flow rate. The frictional losses due to tube length is miniscule compared to the loss due to choking.

I wouldn't worry too much about the metal hose tail as long as it is stainless steel. In any case, I guess I must be confused. Isn't 1/2 inch equal to 13mm? Is the 16/22mm tubing that you want to use also PVC or is it just the Eheim plastic tubing? If it is, then just use any plastic with a 16mm ID even if the wall thickness is thin and you can then slip the Eheim tube over it by running hot water over the end to make it more pliable. I have used the Fluval spraybar set which comes in packs of two and includes a simple flexible rubber coupling to join the two sections. I think that's a much easier solution. Let me know if I've misinterpreted something.
fluval_spray_bar1.jpg


Cheers,
 

Stitch

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I'm trying to see if I can source the Fluval Spray Bar kit here but looks doubtful.

Failing that i'm probably going to have to go with the PVC spray bar. I'm as confused as you. It turns out 1/2" PVC isn't 1/2 inch. See here (http://www.all-about-pipe.com/pvc-pipe-dimensions.html). 1/2" has OD of 0.840 (21.3mm) and an ID of 0.622 (15.8mm).

I guess this closer matches the ID of the eheim outflow tube (16/22mm). Should I drill holes based on the 16mm cross sectional area (200 square mm)?

Oh, and the metal hose tails are GI Steel. I cannot find stainless steel.

Thanks
 

ceg4048

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OK, well it's only the real measurements that counts. Like I mentioned, you can just run hot water over the end of the Eheim tube to soften it and then slip it over the end of the 1/2 inch PVC. Worst case, if the OD is still too big then just use some sandpaper to reduce it a bit.

If the steel isn't stainless then it will be less corrosion resistant but this may not be a big deal depending on how fast it corrodes.

Cheers,
 

Stitch

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Thanks for the help and advice. I did a little test today and the 16/22mm tube did in fact stretch with hot water and slid on with some vegetable oil. So i'll give the hose tails a complete miss and relax a bit.



I've cut and cemented the PVC today for the Intake, Outflow + Spray Bar. Spray bar tube won't be cemented in case I have to turn or tilt it once installed.

What do you think of the following:

Spray Bar is 1.3m long
I'm going with 33 holes spaced at 1.5 inch

18mm diameter of the 1/2 PVC = 9 * 9 * 3.14 = 254.34 (square mm)
254.34 / 33 holes = 7.707
7.707 / 3.14 = 2.4544 (radius squared)
square root = 1.5666 (radius of small)
1.5666 * 2 = 3.1332

So i'll start with 33 holes at 1.5 inch apart and around 3mm in size. Adjustments can be made after installation and working.

Anyway, i'd welcome any comments as I'll be drilling the holes tomorrow and then spray painting Black. May try and actually install a week on Saturday once paint fully set.

Welcome any input.

Cheers.
 

ceg4048

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Hi mate,
Yeah that looks good. Theoretically you only need to use the 16mm ID as your reference (can't recall what I told you before) because that is the smaller of the cross sectional area and that will be the limiter of the flow anyway. But that doesn't really matter all that much. It's a good starting point so go for it and see if the jets shoot across the tank and hit the front glass with force. If not then you'll have to use fewer holes, slightly larger and spaced more far apart. Be sure to actually measure the flow rate by having the jets squirt into a plastic bag stretched across the bar to capture it all for an arbitrary amount of time, then figure out the flow rate. It should be around 50% the pump rating.

Cheers,
 

Stitch

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Hey Clive,

Thanks for all your help. It took a bit of time but I finally got the spray bar installed yesterday. Sadly it was too difficult on my own to physically measure the output flow due to the 1.3m spray bar. How important is this? I can try and talk the wife into helping at some point.

I can confirm the tank looks like a washing machine now! :D Water is hitting the front glass and then travelling downwards. All of the plants are moving and swaying. Some plants at the front actually got uprooted with the flow and I'm a little worried about the fish as they're not used to it.

Here is a video of the spray bar during the water change hitting the front glass.
It's hard to tell but it looks like the flow is coming out slightly faster at the far end of the spray bar. Could this be due to the holes not being big enough? Or is it expected with a spray bar this big?
Can you see the flow closest to the camera isn't quite as consistent as the flow at the far end of the spray bar?


What are your thoughts on this surface movement? Too much? If so, should I angle the spray down slightly?



Finally, is it a good idea to have the CO2 diffuser directly below the intake? It looks like most of the bubbles are getting sucked up but I have no idea if they will be able to get through the filter and back into the tank ok. Would a tight wall of sponges and fine filter cause blockages / inconsistency in the CO2?


darren636 - You'll be pleased to know I grew a pair and ripped out the internal juwel filter at the time of install rather than running both for a few months.

Cheers again guys.
 

ceg4048

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Hi Stitch,
That surface movement looks perfect to me. There is no splashing or gurgling or bubbling. Those are the motions that are responsible for accelerating the off-gassing of the CO2. If you find that you don't like the action of the water movement, then you have to reduce the velocity of the water spewing out from the bar, so as you mentioned, you can enlarge the holes to slow the jets. As you can see, the more motion you have the more debris is kept in suspension for the intake pipes to pull, so the tank gets better cleaning. Many people like a more sedate scenary though so, yes, just make bigger holes. Remember I mentioned that this was just the start of the spraybar design and then you have to tailor it to your desires. That's why I advised to buy plenty of PVC. You may even need to make larger holes at the end than at the front. Anyway, what's the big deal? Fish swim for a living. That's what they were invented for, and it gives them exercise instead of their just being bored couch potatoes. They probably think it's cool....

About your diffuser placement, it's a great idea because your filter media will mash up the bubbles and you will have CO2 enriched water going to the spraybar. Just monitor the filter to make sure you are not getting vapor lock. You'll be able to tell by the sound. If the filter sounds normal then the gas is dissolving like it should.

Cheers,
 

Stitch

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Hey Clive,

Thanks for the reply.

I'll leave the setup for a week and see how it goes. It'll be like a bootcamp for the fish, gets them up and moving instead of sitting on the bottom :)

My drop checker actually turned back to dark blue this morning so I guess the surface movement is good. It used to only go a darker green. I'll just have to keep an eye on if it evaporates quicker this way.

Based on your reply i've decided not to run the diffuser under the intake until I can be home for the afternoon and monitor the filter throughput for vapor lock. Instead i'll just try it under one end of the spray bar during this week and see how it circulates around the tank using 2 drop checkers.

My CO2 comes on 2 hours before the lights. Is the goal to turn the drop checker from dark blue to lime green during these 2 hours?

I plan on trying a slightly different spray bar next week to compare - good call on getting spare.

Thanks again
 

ceg4048

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Hi mate,
Yes it takes a while for the gas to saturate evenly throughout the tank once you turn the gas on. You want to ensure that you have high and stable CO2 when the lights go on because that's the most critical time for the plants. That's when they need good CO2 the most. By turning on the gas earlier than the light, you get ahead of the game by distributing and saturating the water before CO2 is used. Plants do not use CO2 in the dark. In the natural world the light increase is gradual. There is a much slower increase in the CO2 demand, but we usually turn full brightness on at the drop of a hat so it's a bit of a shock for the plants if CO2 is poor when this happens. In fact , this is when most of the damage in planted tanks occur, when high light comes instantly on but CO2 is still sub-par. A couple hours later the CO2 concentration comes up to perhaps where it should be, but the damage has already been done long before that happens. The DC gives you a visual good clue but the best thing is to take several pH readings in the tank as I described on page 2 of the thread viewtopic.php?f=37&t=19499&start=10
This will give you a better idea of what's happening in the tank on a cyclic basis.

Check it using both positions of the diffuser. The more pH measurements you take the better idea you will have, and you will assure yourself of which position is the better.

Cheers,
 

scuttler

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10 Feb 2011
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Inspired me too. I struggled to get anything but white pvc. So I bought 1m of 16mm eheim ridigd tubing from the net. So I will get the set up sorted on the horrible white tube before I drill the proper stuff!
 
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Hey lads. I know it's been a while since you had this conversation about spray bars. I've just attempted to build main however I'm not sure about holes size and placement. I tried to use the formula given by Clive but I'm counting something wrong. My spray bar is made of Eheim 16mm pvc pipe and is 80cm long. I divided it onto two parts so I could run two Eheim filters on it. On each part I drilled 9 x 3mm holes, 40mm apart. It gave me nice movement of water in the tank but I'm not sure if I'm not holding back some flow as originally spray bar supplied by Eheim was shorter nd also had 9 holes but they were bigger than 3mm. Shall I make them holes bigger or leave as it is ? Thanks.
 
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