Lily Pipes – Different Designs & Usage and How to Choose One


One of the key things when running your home aquarium or a backyard pond is having the proper water filtration. Water filters serve as the main source of filtration in any system.

They remove both physical and chemical waste dissolved in water. The process is fairly simple with the idea being to take poor water from the tank and filtrating it allowing the clean filtrated water to be sent back to the tank.

The time you spend on maintaining your system by cleaning it is directly effected by the efficiency of your filtration system. If the filtration system is great, you will spend less time physically cleaning the tank and vice versa.

Lily Pipes

The necessity for lily pipes

There are several ways to filtrate your tank. You can do this by mechanically filtering your water, by using chemical media to clean it, or by using bacteria to convert the toxic matter from the aquarium into less toxic nutrients.

The most widely used method for cleaning the aquarium is mechanical filtering. Depending on the location of your filter, you either use hang-on-back filters or canister filters.

Canister filters work better and are more efficient for larger aquariums. However, this comes with a big visual drawback.

Canister filtration utilizes tubes for delivering water from the tank to the filter and getting it back into the water once it is filtered. This process is not bad, but these tubes are aesthetically unpleasing and stick out.

The major reason for our tanks is to make our aquascape beautiful with the diverse and harmonious life inside, not to have tubes protruding from it.

To lessen the visual drawbacks of having equipment inside the tank, lily pipes were introduced.

The main goal of lily pipes is to minimize the amount of equipment inside the aquarium, while helping the filter do its job.

This has to be done with consistency as the filtered, clean water must be equally distributed throughout the whole tank and, of course, to look good while being fully functional.

The lily pipes were designed in resemblance to a lily flower, thus the name. Today, there are many different designs, but all of them are known as lily pipes in order to interpret their function.

Different lily pipe designs and their usage

As aforementioned, there are many different pipes and designs. They differ in angle for which the water is introduced back to the tank, provide different water movement, and/or CO2 efficiency.

Here are some of the most popular types of lily pipes:

Original lily pipes

Lower parts of the aquarium tend to have less water movement, which results in near-bottom water being stagnant and stale. Stale water is perfect for the growth of algae, which can disturb the balance in your water.

Lily pipes provide better water movement in bottom layers, thus efficiently solving this common problem.

The angle at which clean water enters the aquarium makes the whirlpool effect resulting in the water surface being more aerated. Consequently, the CO2 levels are also maintained by preventing excessive losses.

Spiral pipes

Spiral pipes are designed to slow the speed of water flowing through the system. This is particularly important for proper care of delicate fauna inside the aquarium.

By decreasing the speed of water circulation, it preserves the gentle fauna from excessive stress.

Straight pipes (powerful pipes)

Straight pipes are designed to provide strong currents. The flow of water provided inside the system is greatly improved by using this design.

However, this does not disturb the aquascape or gravel surface within the aquarium. They are mostly used for creating a natural habitat conditions for fish that live in an environment like this.

Violet pipes (angled pipes)

Violet pipes are a variation of a lily pipe, designed for improved water movement inside the system. They are used because of their ability to drastically increase the current inside the aquarium.

This helps in decreasing the number of stagnant places inside the system. As previously said, stagnant places are bad because water inside these spots becomes stale and unhealthy for your fish over time.

This is achieved because violet pipes bring clean water inside the aquarium at a bigger angle, consequently making it move more throughout the system.

Choosing the right type for your aquarium

This is not a simple question, as it depends on a lot of aspects.

Your aquascape, the types of fish, and the other fauna you plan to keep in your aquarium are all factors with the significant factor being the size of your tank as different types and designs work better in some setups than the other.

The best advice is to try all types and stick with the one that works best for your personal needs.

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