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Fillin' Some Holes


kortniee

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I got my first shipment of plumbing parts today, so I got to get started (barely) on setting up the plumbing for my new tank. The first step was to turn my tank around so the back is facing the front, to make it easier to work on. Man, that tank is heavy. Anyway, it has some holes in it, you see, and they look like this:

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The two outer ones measure 1.5 inches in diameter, and the two inner ones measure 1.75 inches in diameter. These holes are where the water in the tank drains out into the filter below the tank, as well as where the water is pushed back up into the tank after being filtered. But in order to set up that plumbing, I needed to get some bulkheads.

Bulkheads are basically the part you put into the holes in the tank that makes a seal between the tank and your plumbing, so the water doesn't leak out except where you tell it to do so. The hole measurements I have mean I needed 1 inch and 3/4 inch bulkheads, respectively. This measurement is the diameter of the hole through the middle of the bulkhead. Here they are!

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The larger ones will be my drains, and the smaller ones will be my returns. I also ordered some adapters that screw into the smaller ones, so that I can attach flexible hose. I have decided to do hard PVC plumbing for the drains but flexible tubing for the return.

I screwed everything into place gently to make sure everything fit and looked good. I think it does!

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Here you can see what it looks like in the bottom of my stand. I have very elegant holes in my stand for the plumbing to go through. :D

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I also bought parts today to make my standpipes, so keep an eye out for a post on that coming soon!

(Also a note: I bought these plumbing bits from glass-holes.com, and they were a pretty awesome retailer to buy from. They shipped my parts very quickly and when the parts got here, I saw they'd included a small package of strawberry flavored Nerds as well. Awesome! So if you need bulkheads or other pieces of aquarium plumbing in the US, look them up.)

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  • Regular Member

cool!

I am so confused as to how this works. Will there be any input/output tubes or anything in the actual tank or does it all happen in that box? (is that thing called an overflow?) how did you know what parts you needed?

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  • Regular Member

Yeah, I will attach tubes to both the tops and bottoms of the bulkheads. The bulkheads are just there so I have something to attach the tubes to. That thing IS called an overflow! And... I got the bulkhead sizes by measuring the holes in the tank. The other parts I got, I guess I just looked at what other people have done and picked something that looked like it'd work for me.

Hopefully it'll make a lot more sense when I add more parts to it. :)

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  • Regular Member

Very nice start!

I'm sure you have thought of this already, but I want to bring it up just in case. What you do for pre-filtration? I think this is really important to have, so that the sump isn't going to gunk up really quickly.

I look forward to future installments! :)

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  • Regular Member

The first part of my sump will either have a filter sock, filter padding, or both. I haven't decided yet. As I don't have a tank to make a sump out of yet, I haven't had to decide that. :)

I thought about trying to do some mechanical filtration on the input end of the drains, but it seemed much simpler to just do all of my filtering in the filter.

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  • Regular Member

After reading your question over again, I think I maybe have a better idea of what you were asking about, Tithra. Or at least a new and novel misunderstanding, which is fun also. Here is a picture of the outside of the overflow box, from the side:

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The tall rectangular-ish holes are the holes through which the water flows into the overflow box to be drained down into the sump. The round holes are the holes through which I route my return piping to spit water back out into the tank. So the smaller drilled holes in the bottom of the tank will be attached to hoses that just go up and out these holes in the side of the overflow box. I have two of these holes, and I am planning on having a regular nozzle on one side and a spray bar on the other side.

Does that help?

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  • Regular Member

Okay I think that helps. So, there is no tube sucking water in with this system, it just passively flows in through the slots, and then it is expelled after it runs through the sump.

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  • Regular Member

Right. The drain down to the sump is all gravity.

The water is pushed into the overflow box by the return pump, which continually refills the tank to a level higher than the overflow slots, which in turn fills the overflow box with water which then drains down some pipes into the sump. That water then goes through the filtration in the sump to be pumped back up into the tank to repeat the process.

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  • Regular Member

Good work, Courtney. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress. It makes sense when you explain it. :)

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  • Regular Member

Aw thanks Shawn. I am trying to make this a "sharing what I have learned" as well as "showing off my awesome tank" experience. :D

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