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Re: Cannister Filters/Spray bar

Rob <rch906 at yahoo_com> wrote:

> > If you are talking about a planted tank, forget the
> spray bar.
> Please excuse my ignorance...why ??. Is it because in

Maybe I was too harsh when I wrote that "forget the spray bar". Sorry about
that. What I was meaning to say is that in a planted tank you don't NEED a
spary bar. As far as I understand, spray bars are included in filter kits
with the fish keeper in mind. They are supposed to be used, as the name 
implies, to spray water over the tank surface to maximize aeration. 

Now in a planted tank you don't want any surface disturbance to avoid losing
the dissolved CO2 into the air above the tank. But you can still use the
spray bar, as long as its output jets are completely underwater and not
pointed to the surface, but horizontaly or below. In fact I used the spray
bar of my 303 for many months just like that, mounted vertically at the
back of ther tank, with good results. The problem I eventually run into was 
that the tiny orifices of the spray bar tend to clog relatively easily with 
bacterial film. The spray bar had to be cleaned frequently, which means 
stopping the filter, reaching into the tank back, fighting with the suction
cups, taking the hose connector apart, you get the picture. I eventually
removed it entirely and put in place a simple return spout made of 1/2" PVC
fittings, pointing at a 45 degree angle downwards. The wider pipe diameter 
allows for a gentler flow of water into the tank, thus effectively mimicking 
the spray bar effect. And there is nothing more to clean, and no filter return
of any type visible in the tank.

So, I think that if one is going to buy a filter for a planted tank, do
not base one's decision on the existence of a spray bar in the filter kit.
It is irrelevant for our purposes IMHO.

Hope I clarified my point.

- Ivo Busko
  Baltimore, MD