Friday 6 June 2014

Product Review - Acrylic Lily Pipe Set

Ask anyone who uses glass lily pipes and one of their main gripes would be how easy it is to break those delicate items... its only through enough practice (and a few broken pipes) that one will eventually master the fine art of handling glass pipes. :)

There have been alternative pipes which are made from acrylic over the years, but they have been mostly DIY or custom made projects, and the ones what were available commercially tend to end up falling abit short on design or durability (ie. odd outflow angles or made of 2 separate pieces of cast acrylic and then glued together).

Hence when i spotted a new acrylic lily pipe set available on eBay recently, i decided to take a chance and order it, and surprise... its actually made properly!

Note that as these are from eBay sellers (there is no "brand" associated with them), i can't know for sure how consistent the workmanship are. If you are keen on them, just do a search on eBay for "acrylic lily pipe" and the available listings should pop up. The listings will also include the detailed pipe measurements too.

Here is the search link for easier reference:

Each pipe is made from a single acrylic tube, and the measurements follow common lily pipe dimensions that fit braceless aquarium tanks. This is the version that fits 12/16mm hoses. It comes packaged with suction cups and plastic clips to secure the pipes to the side of the aquarium tank.

The outflow lily pipe mouth is shaped properly and tilted to the correct angle. I did notice the acrylic surface on the mouth section was slightly less clear though, which i guess is probably from the heat forming process.

The intake pipe cut slots had some leftover bits of acrylic shavings, but i was able to just trim them off with a hobby knife. The bottom of the intake pipe has a plastic stopper which can be removed to facilitate easier access for pipe cleaning brushes.

Here is the comparison of mouth shape and angle between a VIV glass lily pipe (background) vs the acrylic lily pipe (foreground):

The acrylic lily pipe mouth is  around 3cm width and 3.5cm height, so its slightly smaller in comparison to the VIV glass lily pipe:

Finally there is an acrylic lily pipe set which is made properly and works correctly, so its a good option for those wanting to use lily pipes but have butter fingers and had been afraid to use them... or for those of us who currently use glass lily pipes and would welcome a less fragile alternative. :)