Just getting back into the hobby after a few years off, and am totally new to loaches as an aquarium fish, so finding this a great site (love the associated book too).
Couple of questions about Martin Thoene's river-tank manifold (sorry if these are repeats, did try searching the forum first):
1. Was thinking that the undergravel portion of the manifold would eventually get clogged in a similar way to other filter parts. Obviously cleaning it regularly is not an option once it's in, so wondering if others have found it a problem and how they have dealt with it?
2. I'm in Australia, so just wondering if anyone else in these parts has tried it, and whether they had any trouble finding suitable components? I've only looked at local hardware so far but the stuff there was far too big. Bunnings maybe?
Anyway, thinking I might try an experimental "simplified" (basically 1 powerhead, one intake) one first for what will become my quarantine tank before moving onto something more like Martin's design. Any other thoughts appreciated.
Also have a question about fish availability but will post separately . . .
Thanks and cheers, Chris.
Another thought, I don't think the crossbars on the manifold are necessary to hold the system down. Eliminating those would remove another area where "dirt" could accumulate.
Hope this helps!
Dumb question (never used powerheads before): when you say reverse the flow, is that an option on powerheads or do you mean physically move them to the other end of the manifold?
Fair point re: crossbars. Think the intention was to anchor the manifold but guessing that could also be achieved with a couple of blobs of silicon. I do also wonder if they might create a bit of inefficiency in the flow and/or be more prone to clogging (slow water). Anyway, I'll experiment with a small "in line" one first to see how that goes, I may be missing some important point! (If so, happy to have it pointed out to me . . .)
The only issue I can see with your in line idea is stability, making sure the manifold stays upright. But I'm sure you can compensate for that in several ways. Let us know how it turns out.
To help the manifold to stay upright you should just make the structure self supporting. Make the pipeline a rectangular shape at the base.
I have experienced that the purpose of the manifold design is not really achieved. It is to simulate a unidirectional flow, but the area of the powerhead exits is much much smaller that the are of the intakes (sponges) which results in a stronger push than a pull, which then creates a tumble current.
This is why I will be making my own external canister filter with a larger outlet area than inlet area which will result in a stronger pull, which will make the current unidirectional. The outlet will be very big, to result in a gentle current out of the outlets to minimize tumbling.
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