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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #974
Aquatic Plants Digest wrote:
> I know this is marginally plant tank related, but thought I'd ask
> I am planning on setting up multiple plant tanks on central filtration.
> These will be nursery tanks as well as display tanks. My problem is
> creating the U-tube for the overflows. Has anyone bent clear rigid
> tubing with success. I always tend to make it collapse or distort. An
> easy method would be greatly appreciated. Also, does anyone have design
> tips for overflows (in general)?
The best way to bend any PVC or acrylic plastics is to buy yourself some
bottles of glycerene. Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil and place
your container of glycerene into the pot, (keeping the boiling water out of
the glycerene). This heats the glycerene to a controllable temperature.
Now place the plastic to be bent in the container. Leave it in for a couple of
minutes. BUT stay with it and watch it. You will see when the plastic starts to
soften. It goes like soft rubber. As you move the plastic in the glycerene you
will see this happen or you can take it out momentarily and test it.
The plastic can then be easily bent to any shape without crushing or cracking
the tube (if thats what you're bending). Dunk it in cold water again to make it
harden once it is at the shape you want.
Quite sharp bends can be done this way without crushing the diameter of
the plastic. Also the glycerene can be bottled when finished and reused next
time you want to bend plastic.
This is the way the professionals do it. I saw this method used by the chaps
that make PVC garden furnature. They have a large vat of glycerene that is heated
in a temperature controlled pot. It is controlled at about 95 degrees C. (just below
point of water). Once the plastic is softened, they bend it around a template and then
dunk it into a pot of cold water to make it go hard again.