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Old 05-30-2004, 11:41 PM   #1
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Shopping list for new plumber

I'm planning on getting a reef ready 150-200 gal tank, and will eventually have a full reef with hard and soft corals, anemones, clams ... the works! Lofty goal, I know, but it's all I think about these days. Unfortunately (?) I'm the kind of person who would rather do without something than buy a lower quality product and upgrade over time. That's why I'll probably have to wait close to another 8-12 months before I get started. I'll use the time to continue to educate myself, but I NEED MORE! I intend to have a large sump/fuge in my tank stand (separate or combo not yet determined), a closed loop, and based on what I've read, that will require some plumbing, especially if I do the project myself.

I have no experience with plumbing at all, and thought I'd go to Home Depot and get some PVC, Rubbermaid containers, some sort of bonding epoxy/glue, and whatever else I'd need to make a practice sump, and just to get familiar with working with the materials. I'm not committed to Rubbermaid, and am interested in acrylic as well (I've been inspired by the work of melev). I'd want to add baffles, probably bulkheads, and I read about "unions" which make attaching PVC segments easy and reversible for cleaning, right?

Anyway, are there some experienced plumbers out there who can recommend a list of things I should buy to play with so that I'll be prepared for the real thing when I'm ready?

I was also thinking of building a PVC scaffolding for my live rock, and I'd appreciate getting a list of things for that as well.

TIA
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Old 05-31-2004, 07:04 AM   #2
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check uot the diy section. That might help with putting things together. As far as a list it is tough to come up with one without knowing what you are plumbing. I would look into actually purchasing the tank, and then it will be much easier to come up with a list. you could also measure the inside of the stand you want, and make the sump to fit that space.
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Old 05-31-2004, 10:06 AM   #3
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Re: Shopping list for new plumber

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo
I'm planning on getting a reef ready 150-200 gal tank, and will eventually have a full reef with hard and soft corals, anemones, clams ... the works! Lofty goal, I know, but it's all I think about these days. Unfortunately (?) I'm the kind of person who would rather do without something than buy a lower quality product and upgrade over time.
Good call! This is a great attitutde to start with!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo
That's why I'll probably have to wait close to another 8-12 months before I get started. I'll use the time to continue to educate myself, but I NEED MORE! I intend to have a large sump/fuge in my tank stand (separate or combo not yet determined), a closed loop, and based on what I've read, that will require some plumbing, especially if I do the project myself.

I have no experience with plumbing at all, and thought I'd go to Home Depot and get some PVC, Rubbermaid containers, some sort of bonding epoxy/glue, and whatever else I'd need to make a practice sump, and just to get familiar with working with the materials.
I used PVC to plumb to my basement 100 gal rubbermaid trough (pix in my gallery). You will need PVC, angle fittings, two valves (one on each side), a PVC blade for your hacksaw or a long PVC blade for a jig saw, PVC primer (blue) and PVC cement.

Basically, you cut the pieces to length, use the primer to prime the fitting and the pipe, allow 15 seconds to dry, apply the PVC cement to the pipe, then to the fitting, then again to the pipe. Insert the pipe into the fitting, twist 1/4 of a turn and allow about 60 seconds to set before the next piece. Allow to dry overnight before adding water pressure. Just a word of warning, once the pieces set...that's it. No undoing them...period...You have to cut the fitting off. Fittings are a one time shot deal (but they are only around $0.25 to $0.75 each.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo
I'm not committed to Rubbermaid, and am interested in acrylic as well (I've been inspired by the work of melev). I'd want to add baffles, probably bulkheads, and I read about "unions" which make attaching PVC segments easy and reversible for cleaning, right?
Rubbermaid containers have a few pros and cons:

Pros
Price
Can get into and out of a stand with the tank in place
A little quieter

Cons
Not clear (harder to see what's going on inside, when you need to scrub algae out of, etc)
Heaters will not easily stick to the containers and may move. I don't like heaters touching plastic.

But then again, glass/acrylic sumps have pros and cons too

Pros
Clear
Heaters and other equipment readily attach

Cons
Have to remove pieces of the stand to get into stand quite often, which cannot be done with tank in place. I had to remove the center brace to get mine in when I had it in the stand.
A little louder

I use a 100 gal rubbermaid horse trough (which I bought at Menards for $55) and have it in a separate room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo
Anyway, are there some experienced plumbers out there who can recommend a list of things I should buy to play with so that I'll be prepared for the real thing when I'm ready?

I was also thinking of building a PVC scaffolding for my live rock, and I'd appreciate getting a list of things for that as well.

TIA
I would recommend base rock as your scaffolding. The more rock the better. And trust me when I say that you will be moving your rock around often and any type of scaffolding would probably become frustrating. Live rock is varying in size. and only flat if you chisle it that way.

Hope this helps some.
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Old 05-31-2004, 02:32 PM   #4
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Bearfan, thanks for the thorough response. So glad you did and yes, that helps enormously!! Nice pics in your gallery, too. I'm going to get started "practicing" next weekend. Thanks again.
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Old 05-31-2004, 02:42 PM   #5
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No problem...any time.
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Old 05-31-2004, 06:01 PM   #6
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One tool I would add to Bearfans list is a PVC cutter. This is a handheld tool that sort of resembles a pair of scissors with one blade. You can get it at Lowes or Home Depot. Once you use one of these to cut PVC, you'll throw rocks at your hacksaw.
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Old 05-31-2004, 08:19 PM   #7
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That'll do it for sure, I actually prefer my vice and jig saw.
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Old 06-01-2004, 11:18 AM   #8
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I'll be sure to check that PVC cutter out. Are any brands of PVC primer and cement preferred for the aquarium?

I'm also interested in building an acrylic sump/fuge. Anyone have input regarding assembling one of them, as well as how to install baffles, holes, what kind of "glue," etc. Would an acrylic sump (or a rubbermaid sump, for that matter) require bulkheads?

Thanks again.
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Old 06-01-2004, 02:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearfan
That'll do it for sure, I actually prefer my vice and jig saw.
Oh yeah...power tools...now we're talking!!

I use either the clear or purple primer. The purple lets you make sure you got good coverage, but it also stains anything you get it on...floors, furniture, children... For glue, I would use the medium clear PVC cement. You'll find that there are quite a few different types of PVC glue, but the clear medium is what you need for this. Acrylic...you'll want to get some Weld On #16 and possibly some #3 as well. The #16 is thick...about the consistency of PVC glue. The #3 is very thin...like water. You can use bulkhead fittings or you can make your own. I usually just use a male and female PVC adapter with a rubber gasket.
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Old 06-02-2004, 12:15 AM   #10
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The purple is easier, but it does stain like a pain. The applicator is almost worthless.
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