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Re: When is a self-leveling siphon is a self-leveling siphon

I wasn't questioning David's personal expertise; I was making a point
that I thought might be of some use or interest to other folks on the
board, as well as welcoming, always, any useful corrections that
members might offer.  Posts to the board are generally intended for the
interest of a wider audience than one person.  Undoubtedly, I am not
always successful at being interesting, but I try ;-) .

I do think one basic point is worth repeating:  any tank-sump setup
>>>>is<<<< a self-leveling siphon.  A coiled tube is one way to do the
siphon; there are others.  Any mechanical device that can be made with
n number of parts, can be made with n+1 number of parts (not
necessarily an upgrade, not necessarily a downgrade).

The coiled tube "in principle" does not contain fewer parts than
tank-sump siphons because any tank-sump system could be made with the
coiled tube instead of an overflow box and tube.  A coiled tube may
contain fewer parts than some other versions of self-leveling siphons. 
Whether that makes them more portable, easier to start by sucking
(hopefully not by mouth), or otherwise better depends on the particular

Even a coiled tube has the same number of essential elements for a
self-leveling siphon, even if crafted from one tube.  But I think David
has pointed readers to a very important thought.  When you consider
paying $100 or $200 or more dollars for the siphon portion of a
tank-sump system, consider that that portion could be made with a few
dollars worth of plastic tubing.  That doesn't mean the coiled tube
will be a better choice for your application, but the whopping
difference in price ought to be worth the differences, if any, in
quality, utility, and effort.

But let me cast a vote for DIY in general.  Personally, I think most of
the trickle filter and sump related equipment is awfully overpriced. 
On the one hand, while I appreciate simplicity and elegance in
mechanical design, on the other hand I also appreciate finely crafted
and articulated implementation.

And DIY equipment has its own inherent virtues.  I don't think there is
a single piece of aquarium equipment that I haven't made a version of
myself at one time or another, with the exception of light bulbs and
raw tubing.  Most of these things (tanks, heaters, lamps, hoods,
stands, power filters, sump filters, etc.) I made just to see if I
could, or to save a couple of bucks, but always because it would be
fun.  Except for wood working, I usually used someone else's design or
plans.  I encourage everyone to DIY if you have the time and interest. 
If the DIY item doesn't end up as nicely as a commercial product, you
don't have to keep it.  But it's fun . . . even if it's just coiling a
tube and poking a hole in it. :-)

Scott H.

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