aquarium plumbing ??


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aquarium plumbing?
this is a quote from and im just wondering how much truth there is to this.

<span style="font-family: Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 12px;">AVOID HARD PLUMBING IN THE RETURN LINE! We cannot stress this enough! Although (to an amateur) a filtration system plumbed with hard PVC may LOOK neater and more professional than one plumbed with flexible vinyl or (preferably) flexible PVC, hard PVC elbows and pipe provide more resistance than flexible tubing. This increases head pressure and makes the pump work considerably harder and operate at a hotter temperature. If you must use hard plumbing (like we do when a client insists in spite of our recommendations), use "sweep" elbows instead of tight 90 degree elbows and be prepared to purchase an aquarium chiller.</span></span> " ???

WHAT ABOUT THE DRAIN LINE?? does this still aply. i would think it wouldnt mater. also, what about feeding you refiugium off you drain line directly instead of your return line???
You're paying good money for your return pump and for the electricity to run it. No sense in paying that same money for less flow b/c you want to hard plumb your return line. But if it looks better to you, go for it. Just be aware that you'll get less flow, everything else being equal.

As long as your drain line is bigger than your return line (1" compared to 3/4" or whatever), then it really won't make that big of a difference if the drain line is hard plumbed. I wouldn't throw in eight elbows, but you probably won't run into problems...
This is true, sharp turns in plumbing restrict water flow more than gradual turns. I'm not sure I buy into the chiller statement. I thing lighting causes more of a problem in that area....

The drawback of hard turns in your drain line is reduced flow, not heat...
I agree with Mojo... on two of my tanks I have hard plumbed overflow and flex return. The vinyl tubing also helps in insulating some of the noise as vibration as well.
This is true, sharp turns in plumbing restrict water flow more than gradual turns. I'm not sure I buy into the chiller statement. I thing lighting causes more of a problem in that area....

I concur. I've hard plummed every tank I ever had (more than a dozen). Avoiding sharp turns in the return is always preferable...As for the drain, sharp turns might cause a noise issue...

Don't buy the heat argument at all. In theory perhaps... In reality, not enough to make a difference.

could be me...


thats what i was thinking. i understand that sharp turns equal head preasure but didnt realize that the actual hard line caused drag and heat. still not sure on that but i have heard that plumbing the return with hose helps on the vibrations of the pump reducing noise.

so i guess the scensus is - hard drain and flex hose return -

thanks guys, dorian
I have flex PVC on my drain cause it seems to be a little bit quieter than the straight PVC.
I would think the biggest argument against a hard-plumbed return is the noise.

I use flex tubing on both overflow and return on my system because it's easy to work with and I can clean it in a snap. Of course, I suppose if I had opaque lines, they wouldn't grow algae, but that's the trade-off for mine.
Sounds like the quote is trying to say that the pump runs harder to force the water thru the more restrictive hard plumbing thus the pump is getting hotter. Not really a frictional heat of water due to water against the inside of the PVC elbows.
I dont really buy the chiller argument either.
The flexible pipe is better for the return lines because of less vibration and noise, less backpressure/restriction, and sometimes easier to plumb.
You can get it at home depot or lowes - it's typically called SpaFlex, for hot tubs. You can also order larger quantities from Savko. Make sure you use purple primer and the glue designed for flex PVC.
After I did a ton of research on that exact statement for aquarium pros, it boiled down to this. Flexible plumbing allows for shorter distances and increased flow. This translates into less heat from the pump working harder and a longer life on the pump. In addition, vinyl tubing is easier to run than hard PVC. SpaFlex which I am working with now, is messy like PVC but is pretty easy to move around. Cost is the big complaint with SpaFlex. Had I gone with Savko I would have saved quite a bit.