Lily pipes, worth the money?

Discussion in 'Hardware & DIY' started by gixer, 9 Feb 2008.

  1. gixer

    gixer Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Hi guys,

    I am expecting my Eheim 2026 early next week and am wondering if it's worth buying a lily pipe?

    If so is it worth just buying the outlet or both the outlet and inlet?



    My tank is a 120l 100x30x40
    It is low tech with no CO2 system and a 1x38w T8.

    It's planted with.
    Echinodorus "Jaguar"
    Cryptocoryne Wendtii "Mi Oya"
    Anubis Nana
    Vallisneria Spiralis
    Valisneria americana
    Microsorum pteropus "Windelov"
    Cabomba caroliniana
    Bacopa caroliniana

    And i have these fish
    4 x Corydoras Schwartzi
    3 x Corydoras Melini
    11 x Harlequin Rasbora
    1 x Angel fish
    4 x Dwarf Neon Rainbows


    Cheers
    Mark
     
  2. willson

    willson Member

    Messages:
    31
    On a side note how do you clean them?
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Lily pipes have no known technological advantage despite vendor claims. They neither improve flow rate nor do they provide a better flow distribution as compared to the output pipes supplied with your filter.

    They are very elegant though, and because they are usually made of glass they visually disappear in the tank. A combination of glass lily pipes and glass inlet tubes is an excellent alternative to the stock plumbing hardware - from an aesthetic viewpoint. On the down side you have to be careful with the handling and they are outrageously expensive. They can be cleaned using a flexible brush.

    Cheers,
     
  4. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    356
    Personally I wouldn't have glass. I prefer function over form, although I don't deny the aesthetics of glass are far superior. I also couldn't be doing with something so fragile around me. I use the JBL plastic lily pipe. It is quite large, however, I don't find that a particular problem.

    From a practical point of view...
    In my experience I've found the outflow from the JBL is gentler on small fish, particularly useful given the high flow rate of filters used in planted tanks. Also, if you can get the positioning just right they produce an occasional vortex and keep the water surface quite clean.
     
  5. gixer

    gixer Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Woww

    Good job i asked before handing over me cash then thanks guys.


    I was lead to believe that the lily pipes circulated water better than the stock outlets, that was really my only influence in buying one.

    I'll save me money now, thank you :)



    Cheers
    Mark
     
  6. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    The lily pipe outlet shape is better suited (sometimes!) to Co2 using tanks as it can be set to barely disturb the surface whilst still keeping the water surface clear. Certainly works for me in respect to surface clearing but made diddly all difference to my CO2 usage. I went for inlet/outlet as much for aesthetics as my tank is quite small (15 UK gallon) and I have nothing to hide the pipes behind.
     
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    If you were to fill you filter with some sort of dye you'd be able to see the flow patterns into the tank as it exits the pipe. Some lily pipes point up while others point down. The problem is that they provide a single point flow along a straight line parallel to the long axis of the tank. This flow shape is conical so that it spreads out as it travels along the flow line. While this creates turbulence at the outlet and at the center of the tank the extreme corners of the tank are less affected.

    If you mount a spray bar at the back of the tank wall, you'll find that a much larger flow pattern comes forward, strikes the front glass heads downwards, strikes the substrate and heads aft towards the back wall and up again. This is a much broader circular pattern that tends to catch the corners better because as the flow strikes the front substrate some flow leaks out left and right.

    Because the outlet pressure is distributed between the seven or eight holes in the bar there is less turbulence and a smoother flow. To gently disturb the surface you either rotate the bar so that the holes point slightly upwards, or you raise the level of the bar and keep the holes parallel to the surface of the water. To get a more even flow you can gang multiple bars together so that you cover a greater distance along the back. This has the advantage of reducing turbulence for the fish due to the exit velocity decrease as the number of holes increases.

    This method of using the bar helps to throw CO2 laden water down towards the carpet plants more directly so I think it's a better option for CO2 distribution.

    None of this may make a difference on small tanks but as the tank size increases it becomes much more important.

    I don't want to slam lily pipes because many people use them with great success, but I try to give myself every advantage at growing the plants successfully first. I view the whole lily pipe frenzy now with skepticism because I've tried them and found that I have better growth and less stress with the cheesy green plastic spray bar that came with my filter. If you raise the bar high enough along the back you'll hardly notice the irritating "EHEIM" banner :rolleyes:

    Cheers,
     
  8. Martin

    Martin Member

    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    North Wales
    Wouldn't it be good if someone invented a glass spraybar, that was very cheap! I think we would all buy one of them.
     
  9. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
  10. gixer

    gixer Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    £60 :eek: *gulp*
     
  11. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    Aesthetics are important to me. Sufficiently important, in fact, that I spend a lot of money going for the glass/minimalist look.

    Water movement and distribution seems adequate to me.

    Accept no crappy looking plastic substitutes. :lol:

    Dave.
     
  12. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,089
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    I'm with Dave.

    For me the tank is an interior design feature, as well as pretty garden containing animals. Form and function.

    I can't stand green or black plastic pipes on view.

    I also find that CO2 mist distribution is best using a 'point source' output rather than a spray bar, unless the spray bar is mounted vertically. Obviously this isn't an issue for inline diffusers.

    I've got two sets of lily pipes in the 120cm and one set in my 80cm. They don't need cleaning as much as I'd thought. The clear hoses on the other hand...

    My next indulgence will be CO2 inline diffusers to remove yet more gear from the picture.
     
  13. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    You going to go for one of the cal aqua inlines George or something different?
    I'm still thinking of diying one I just cant find all the parts needed.
     
  14. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,089
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    I think Aqua Essentials are getting some new types in....
     
  15. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    356
    My plastic pipes are developing a lovely covering of algae - it fits in with the natural look that I like but a look that I accept is not in vogue at the moment. Algae covered plastic without the risk of breakage is the place I like to be.
     
  16. sks

    sks Guest

    I plan to use some lily pipes in the future, but this will be on aesthetic grounds, and nothing more. I know they are expensive, but they do make the tank look nicer, and since it is regarded by many as a piece of furniture in the living room it stands to reason that most would want it to look nice.

    I still don't understand why they should be made of glass. Maybe someone should have a word with Eheim and start getting them to do transparent pipes and spray bars (AE already have a transparent spray bar for sale). Mind you we probably have to get the plastics rights since the plastic Eheim uses blush under the lights, so acrylic cast items might be the order of the day. Unfortunately if they are to be made in acrylic it might work out much more expensive than glass!!! (We can't extrude/blow acrylic since that causes crazing over time, as anyone who bought cheap acrylic cups will tell you).

    I'm a clumsy person at times, and the last things someone who is clumsy needs is to be around is delicate glassware, that's why I use plastic Eheim gear.
     
  17. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    More to the point - why doesn't someone make some high quality clear acryilc lily pipes and spraybars? Surely they'll be hard to distinguish from glass and a darn sight cheaper to buy and harder to break?
     
  18. sks

    sks Guest

    making acrylic spray bars is trivial. I just go to a plastic supplier and get the right kind of acrylic tubing similar to my Eheim spray bars. Unfortunately I either have to drill the holes or pay the place to drill them for me, I will choose the latter since they have better equipment and are more accurate than me doing it by hand.

    Now making the walking sticks is a bit difficult. If you look a the Eheim walking sticks they are heat formed, they were originally straight but bent by heat to shape. You can do that to acrylic but unfortunately the temperature would be nasty and toxic fumes might result, not to mention you have to make sure that the tube being bent does not collapse into itself. This is why you hardly ever get acrylic U tubes or 90 degree bends that are smooth, they're usually pieces of acrylic tubing cut at 45 degrees and glued together to form the square corners, which does not look nice. At least with glass you can do this relatively safely (there are no acrylic blowers to my knowledge).

    The other option is to make acrylic moulds that you pore the plastic onto, but moulds are horrendously expensive and you need to be sure of return of investment - just ask those companies that make moulds for undergravel filter plates.
     
  19. gixer

    gixer Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Be nice to see the different liliy pipes/spray bars etc people are using.


    Come on show us your lily pipes :)










    Cheers
    Mark
     
  20. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    I won't show my lilly pipe but here is another alternative over on the Barr report in this thread (http://www.barrreport.com/general-p...n-rimless-starfire-wood-scape-thus-far-4.html) Tom shows how he has drilled his tanks for filter in and out. He shows us a tank he already did (thanks for the photo Tom):

    resized60cubewestAF1.jpg

    Tom says:

    I think this will give good flow, is adjustable and is very discreet once you have plants and substrate. What do people think - isn't this less faff than lilly pipes and better looking than spraybars? Any risk of leaks from bulkheads?

    Cheers,

    Ray
     

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