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Old 03-23-2011, 07:06 PM   #1
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Aquarium safe check valves

As the title suggests, I am looking for tips and suggestions on where to get aquarium "grade" check valve(s).

For those who don't know what a check valve is, It's a type of valve that only allows flow of water one way.

I have been able to find loads of brass check valves locally, but from my research brass isn't recommended for use in aquariums as brass contains copper and has a good chance to leech it into the water and poison the fish in the tank.

I guess I am wondering if anybody on AA has used a check valve in their aquarium before and if so where did you source it?

Ideally it would be made from a form of pvc.

Thanks in advance for the replies.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:24 PM   #2
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What size check valve are you needing? I have several check valves on my co2 setup, but they have 1/4" barbs. Brass is pretty much required for co2.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:30 PM   #3
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I am looking for 1/2 inch hookups on said valve.

I have found a couple websites with pvc check valves, but they have stanless steel in them. Is stainless steel aquarium safe?

I should probably tell you that it is for a freshwater tank as well.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:37 PM   #4
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Stainless steel should be fine. That's what the majority of filter parts (mainly in the impeller) are made of.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:43 PM   #5
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That makes me happy to hear as since I started this thread I have found a couple of websites that I would be able to order the pvc/stainless type from.

I think I will drive around some more to check more stores though tomorrow as I hate waiting for parts in the mail.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:51 PM   #6
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They also make pvc check valves that actually use a ball as the check. All plastic. Only drawback is that they have to be installed properly or they won't work. Not sure if they make that design down to 1/2 inch, but I do know that they work exceptionally well on stormwater drains with pumps in them to prevent flow reversal. Don't even clog compared to a flapper style of check.
If you really wanted to, you could make a check valve on your own from a pingpong ball, 2 reducers, a piece of pipe with enough room in it for the pingpong ball to freely move around, and plastic rod(strip of PVC pipe works well) across the body to keep the pinpong from going all the way to the other end. Only drawback to that design(and it has worked for me in an experiment I was trying) is that it HAS to be mounted with the water flowing downward through it, so you'll have to reverse your flow direction twice for it to be used on a return style of line.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straick
They also make pvc check valves that actually use a ball as the check. All plastic. Only drawback is that they have to be installed properly or they won't work. Not sure if they make that design down to 1/2 inch, but I do know that they work exceptionally well on stormwater drains with pumps in them to prevent flow reversal. Don't even clog compared to a flapper style of check.
If you really wanted to, you could make a check valve on your own from a pingpong ball, 2 reducers, a piece of pipe with enough room in it for the pingpong ball to freely move around, and plastic rod(strip of PVC pipe works well) across the body to keep the pinpong from going all the way to the other end. Only drawback to that design(and it has worked for me in an experiment I was trying) is that it HAS to be mounted with the water flowing downward through it, so you'll have to reverse your flow direction twice for it to be used on a return style of line.
I had actually been thinking of something along those lines, but I figure a bought solution would look cleaner and be fairly easy to replace in the future if needed.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:08 PM   #8
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True. A lot of the time when I go to experiment with something, I don't have access to all of the parts needed, so I make do with what I can get, and make what I can't. Perfect example, I need more outlets on my desk, but want the cord monster gone, so I'm going to actually run wiring under it, out of sight, and mount some duplex outlets on it. While at it, I got to thinking that it would be nice to have some lighted switches that light up when turned off to control my aquariums electricals, instead of having to unplug stuff. Reason for the light, to remind me that this or that is turned off. I'll have to make a thread for that one when I get going on it.
If you can, try to find one of the ball style of checks if you really don't want any metal in it.
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