Optimal Positioning for Canister Spraybar - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 16 Old 02-21-2013, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Optimal Positioning for Canister Spraybar

Hey all.
I've started using a canister filter, and am having difficulty determining the best orientation for the spraybar.
I currently have it pointing down the length of the tank and angled slightly upward, but it seems to be creating quite the current.
I had it pointing at the end wall, but that didn't seem to give me the effect I wanted either.
If I angled it upward it caused a real ripple at surface and was quite loud.
If I angled it downward it blew all the plants at that end of the tank over.

So I have a couple of questions
1) How do you have your spraybar oriented?
2) How have your baffled or reduced the flow from the spraybar?
3) Any tips or tricks relating to canisters in general?
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post #2 of 16 Old 02-21-2013, 11:17 PM
Do you have a picture of the setup? I run a Fluval 406 canister filter and do not use a spray bar although I do have that option. What canister filter do you have?
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post #3 of 16 Old 02-22-2013, 05:08 AM
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More and / or larger holes should reduce the water pressure. Some people use spray bars to increase turbulence and some people use them to reduce turbulence. My filter didn't come with the spray bar option and the current was way too strong in my opinion. I found some DIY spray bar plans on the internet and made my own. The tank is 48" long. I made a 24" long spray bar using PVC pipe and fittings...no glue was necessary as the fittings are snug. I drilled 3/16" holes an inch apart in a straight line along the entire length of the pipe. It runs along the back wall and I have it aimed slightly down. The current is now spread out and not near as strong.

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post #4 of 16 Old 02-22-2013, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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I have an Eheim Classic 350 canister filter.
I did drill the holes out to make them larger, I didn't add any additional ones though.

I was thinking about it and I think I have a plan.
I cut the piece of soft tubing that connects the spraybar with the hooked riser tube kind of short, so I'm going to head to the LFS and get a longer piece.
This should allow me to place the bar deeper in the tank so that I can aim it back against the short wall and angle it upward without the massive roil at the surface.
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post #5 of 16 Old 02-22-2013, 06:53 AM
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Sounds like a plan. Good luck. Keep us posted. This a topic that will be useful to many members.

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post #6 of 16 Old 02-22-2013, 12:27 PM
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I would keep the spraybar close to the surface. Presumably the filter intake is closer to the substrate. And these should be at opposite ends of the tank, always, if the filter hose allows this.

The current depends upon the fish; if quiet fish, then angling the holes against the end wall will cause the water to fall down the wall and across the tank at a reduced rate of flow.

The above placement will create a more complete flow of water through the tank, and in a natural (to the fish) method. Many fish will invariable face into the flow, even a mild one; in my various tanks I see most of the shoaling fish always facing one direction when they are still.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-22-2013, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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The Rasbora I've added to the tank definitely seem to enjoy the current, but i worry about the floating plants I've got in there.
Right now all of the floaters are clumped up in the center of the tank, caught on an inflorescence from one of the Amazon Swords, without the sword they all rotate around the top of the tank.
When I had the spraybar pointed at the side wall and angled down all the plants were stuck at that end of the tank, or again orbited slowly.
I still think that the connector piece is kind of short, so I think I'll swap it for something a bit longer and try pointing the bar at the side of the tank again.
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post #8 of 16 Old 02-23-2013, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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So, I extended the soft piece of tubing that connects the spraybar to the riser from around 2" to just over 6".
This let me move the spray bar to a depth of 4" and a little closer to the front corner of the tank.
I've got it pointed at the wall to which it is anchored, and angled slightly upward.
There is still some current so the plants still gyre a bit and end up in the center of the tank, but not as much as before.
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post #9 of 16 Old 02-23-2013, 12:37 PM
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Glad you've figured it out! Would you mind taking a picture? I'm sure it'll help me and others visualize the solution you've come up with, and as was mentioned by a PP - this is definitely one of those topics that almost everyone has questions about when they get started with a spraybar. . .

Though you've figured out a way that works for you, I wanted to add in that I've read about people adding holes in opposite sides of the spraybar, too - so that some of the holes are pointed in one direction (at the tank wall or angled upward toward the surface) and some are pointed in the other (into the tank or angled downward at the substrate). More holes = slower flow, and making them run in different directions has worked for some people, though I've never tried it personally. . . more than one way to skin the proverbial cat, neh?
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post #10 of 16 Old 02-23-2013, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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As requested:

You can see the end of the riser on the upper right, and the clear piece of tubing leading down to the spraybar.

I was thinking about drilling more holes in either the top or opposite side of the spraybar to the original holes, but wasn't sure what that would do.
Has anyone personally tried that, or do we just have anecdotal accounts?
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