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Old 12-02-2005, 05:41 PM   #1
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Need help with PVC fittings

Hi!

I'm building a breeding setup for my wife with 10 15G tanks. The tanks will all be laid out on a countertop, two rows of 5. The tanks are drilled on the bottom, and I have the setup for the overflows all setup. Each row will drain into a 3/4" PVC pipe and flow back to the sump. There is a separate pump setup for each row of tanks to return water to them from the sump. The pumps pump into a 1/2" pipe, which will branch into the tanks, each with their own ball valve to control flow, and an overflow on the end so that any excess water will flow past the tanks and into the drain line back to the sump. Each tank can be shut off individually from fresh water for isolation, etc.

I wish I had this drawn out, but I'm at work so that's not going to happen right now. If you can make sense of my ramblings, I'm looking for any improvements, suggestions, ideas, etc.

I'd also like a link to a good site that explains PVC fitting, types of fittings, and any other information a PVC noob like me might need.

Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2005, 07:47 PM   #2
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It sounds perfect but suggest bigger drain pipe. Durso standpipes will help keep noise down. I do not have a good howto link, but fwiw before this hobby I had never messed with PVC either, and had to mess with the pipes at Home Depot to figure it out. Every time I go I notice other people doing the same thing. I used the cement approved for drinking water. How big is the sump? Cool project!
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Old 12-02-2005, 09:43 PM   #3
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The actual drainpipe inside the tank is 1", but as it passes through the glass (which was drilled at 1" when I bought the tank) I reduce it to 3/4" pipe. Lowe's makes sink drain fittings that fit perfectly on top of the 1" PVC as a strainer/catch all to keep things from raining down into the filter system.

I'm considering using a spare 29H I have sitting around to build the sump. I have fine mesh bags to contain a dose of peat moss, I have used bio-balls from the local fish store ready to go, and I'll probably just use sponges as the final mechanical filtration media to keep things from finding their way into the pumps. I'm not sure if the 29 is big enough, but if it isn't then I can use it for another tank later.

Thanks for the encouragement, czcz.
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Old 12-03-2005, 12:36 AM   #4
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I second czcz's comment. I think you've got it all planned out pretty well.

As for PVC - don't bother with any website, just go to HD (early am when it's not busy) & hunt through the bins & dry fit the whole thing together ... then you know you have the right parts! PVC's are pretty simple, you have straight pipes, T's, L's (elbows of various angles), reducers, caps & crosses. Just have a rough layout drawing of what you want & hunt through the bins.

I should tell you that there are 2 ways to connecting PVC's, screw on types (more expensive) and cement. You can take apart the screw on connectors for cleaning but it will cost you. Personally, I use a mixture - I use cemented part mostly for low cost, but place screwed on parts strategically so I can take the thing apart for cleaning. BTW - a "clean-out" port is a good idea also - I have it in all my house sinks - a cinch to clean out a blocked drain.

I used white PVC (rated for drinking water) for my fish tank, although cheaper black (sewer) PVC prob will be OK too.
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Old 12-03-2005, 03:00 PM   #5
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Thanks Jsoong! I do have a clean out port in the plans, using a screw on cap. I am going to make a fitting for that port that will allow the tanks to be drained by pulling the in tank pipes (which are not cemented to the bulkhead) as well, so the whole system can be drained via garden hose.

I'll have to post pictures of it once it's all up and going, which will probably take a couple of weeks. Oddly enough, the fishtanks are the cheapest component since I paid $8 each for them.

I'm still building the tank stand, and assembling the pipe. It's all set up so you can get to any point to clear a clog, so I'm not setting it up for disassembly. If I need to move it, I'll saw the pipe and repair it with couplings and cement. I don't see it moving for at least 3 years, however.

For the record, I went to HD, Lowe's, and Menards here in Indiana and Menards was about 20% cheaper for PVC components, and had a much larger selection.
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