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DIY PVC Spraybar


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#1 JoeDizzleMPLS

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:24 AM

I made this spraybar to hook up to the return line coming from my wet/dry on my 75 gallon tank to spread out the flow a bit more than the return nozzle that was originally on there. Total cost will depend on where you buy the materials, but the PVC parts should only cost a few dollars and a can of Krylon Fusion should run $3-4 and you'll still have plenty left after this project. You'll also need some PVC primer and cement if you don't have some already, this usually runs around $5 total, but you'll barely use any on this project, so you'll have plenty left for other projects down the road.

Materials

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PVC Primer and Cement
Krylon Fusion spraypaint (This paint is safe for aquarium applications -- is non-toxic and can be submerged underwater when cured)
1 - 14" section 1/2" PVC
1 - 6" section 1/2" PVC
1 - 2" section 1/2" PVC
1 - 3" section 1/2" PVC
2 - 1/2" PVC 90 elbow slip x slip
1 - 1/2" PVC couple slip x slip (this is for connecting to the return line, so you can use whatever works best for the type of plumbing you have)
1 - 1/2" PVC couple slip x FPT
1 - 1/2" PVC 90 elbow slip x MPT
1 - 1/2" PVC cap


Assembly

First, you'll want to drill the holes in the spraybar, to make sure they line up correctly, use a ruler to make a line going lengthwise down the 14" PVC section, then mark at even intervals for hole placement (I went with 1" spacing). Once you have everything marked out, you can go ahead and drill the holes using a 1/8" drill bit (second picture is a close-up of the holes after assembly).

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Next step is to assemble the spraybar using a dry fit as somewhat of a practice run, because once you assemble using the cement, there's really no turning back. I wanted my spraybar to be easy to clean, so I designed it to be two parts that screw together, the first part is the actual spraybar that goes into the tank, you assemble this by placing the cap over one end of the 14" PVC section (you can choose either side depending on where the spraybar will be located in the tank) and placing 1 of the slip elbows on the opposite side, then slide the 3" PVC pipe section into the other end of the slip elbow and attach the slip side of the slip x MPT elbow to the end (see picture below).

The other section is made up of the slip x FPT couple (this attaches to the other section when you are finished) connected to the 2" section of PVC pipe with the other slip x slip couple on the other side. Attached to the slip elbow is the 6" PVC pipe section with the slip x slip couple (or whatever you want to use to connect to your return line) at the bottom (see picture below).

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After you've done your dry run and you have all the connections figured out, it's time to cement everything together. Take the sections apart and prime each piece where it will be connecting to another -- make sure you prime the outside of the pipe as well as the inside of the slip connections.

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When everything is primed, you can start the cement and assembly process. You'll want to move quickly here because the cement cures pretty fast -- just apply the cement to the areas you primed (only cement one piece at a time) and then assemble everything the same way you did during the dry run.

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Once assembled, you can let it sit for a while to let the cement cure. Here's what it should look like after everything is assembled and the two pieces are screwed together.

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Now it's time to paint, I chose black gloss finish because the black blends into the background and the gloss makes a really nice finish -- I recommend cleaning the parts first and then applying the Krylon Fusion in multiple thin coats to avoid runs in the paint.

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After painting, it's not a bad idea to let everything cure for a few days before installing, everything should be safe after a short time, but to ensure proper cure on the paint, I'd give it 3 days or so. When everything is cured, give it a good rinse with water and install on your tank.
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#2 T374

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 10:30 AM

Sweet Joe. I've been wanting to ask you about this for the 2217. Thanks!
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#3 XiDiS

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 06:29 PM

Im considering making one of these for my fluval 405.... that thing creates a strong flow in my tank. The comet i through in there got blown all over the place lol
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#4 ______

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 07:47 AM

Nice write up... Do you notice any flow rate change from the first few hole to the last one. The reason I ask is b/c if I do this I might go all the way across the tank, providing there isn't a drastic flow change from 1 side to the other. I would assume I could go with larger holes and a smaller pvc pipe if that's the case

Either way thanks for the idea and write up
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#5 JoeDizzleMPLS

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:22 AM

I didn't notice any change in flow rate, but it's tough to say for sure what would happen if you made a really long one like that, I suppose it would depend on the power of your pump.

The PVC pipe is so cheap that you could always try it and cut it down if you don't like the results.

#6 His Majesty

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 10:35 AM

just read through the whole thing. very informative. thanks Joe
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#7 CuzIsaidSo

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 06:58 PM

could i make a spraybar for a fx5 or does it have too much power?
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#8 JoeDizzleMPLS

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 08:15 PM

You can make a spraybar for any filter or return pump, but for something with crazy flow like an FX5, I'd probably drill bigger holes

#9 CuzIsaidSo

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 10:39 PM

1/4" holes ???

Edited by CuzIsaidSo, 25 September 2011 - 10:39 PM.

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#10 JoeDizzleMPLS

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:49 AM

You could try 3/16 and see how it goes, you can always make them bigger if you need to.

#11 CyberGenetics

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 04:31 PM

that looks reall sweat joe. Whats that advantage of this opposed to the stock filter spray bar?

I guess just a longer spray area?

#12 JoeDizzleMPLS

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 04:36 PM

I wasn't replacing a spraybar that came with a filter, I was using it to replace a nozzle that was attached to the end of the return line coming from my wet/dry. You could definitely use this as an upgrade over some of the spraybars that come with certain filters tho, as some of the designs aren't the best.

#13 CyberGenetics

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 04:43 PM

Ah i c, gotcha :thumsup2: well done.

#14 Elong Nick

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 04:54 AM

pretty interesting.
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#15 T374

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 09:09 AM

Going to go ahead a do this but two questions first which most likely have obvious answers.

I'm looking to have surface agitation created from the spray bar.
Should I not glue the drilled PVC piece to the elbow so that it can be rotated in the elbow, directing the angle of the flow, until I get the correct angle to create the surface agitation I need?
Or should I try to eyeball it where it needs to be and glue it?

Second question is how does this fitting connect from the 6" piece to the Eheim return hosing?
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#16 JoeDizzleMPLS

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 10:03 AM

You could try doing it without glue, if it falls off from the pressure, you could take it out and find the position you want and then glue it. You would have to customize it a bit to connect it to the 1/2" tubing from the Eheim, you'd probably want to use a fitting with a barb on one side and threads on the other to attach to the hose and then another fitting to attach to the PVC.

#17 blueouija

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 07:22 PM

Interesting thread.... I'm working on a 4ft PVC spray bar for a Fluval FX5... 3/4" PVC drilled every inch 7/32". I guess I report how this goes in here. (May take some time because I still need some more stuff for the tank though... stay tuned.
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#18 blueouija

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 03:55 PM

Interesting thread.... I'm working on a 4ft PVC spray bar for a Fluval FX5... 3/4" PVC drilled every inch 7/32". I guess I report how this goes in here. (May take some time because I still need some more stuff for the tank though... stay tuned.



Awesome news... it works!

http://tinypic.com/p...p?v=2wrned3&s=5

On a Fluval FX5 you can use 3/4" PVC and drill 7/32" holes every inch. Good flow and surface agitation. The one I made is 4' long however you could probably go longer.
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#19 cdub

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 02:04 PM



Awesome news... it works!

http://tinypic.com/p...p?v=2wrned3&s=5

On a Fluval FX5 you can use 3/4" PVC and drill 7/32" holes every inch. Good flow and surface agitation. The one I made is 4' long however you could probably go longer.

were 7/32" holes where you started or did you work your way up to that?

i wanna do a spray bar for my fx5 but im afraid im really gonna hurt its performance.

Caleb


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#20 blueouija

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 04:51 PM

were 7/32" holes where you started or did you work your way up to that?

i wanna do a spray bar for my fx5 but im afraid im really gonna hurt its performance.



I started with 7/32" Flow is awesome on a long bar. I'd make them bigger on a shorter one
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