Have a 180 Gallon with Dual overflows and need plumbing help


New member
So, my kids and I are going to try and upgrade from our 90 gallon to a 180. we just love the hobby so much we cant get enough right now. Anyway, was lucky enough to find a local guy with a nice 180 with dual overflows. There is currently no plumbing. I was given 4 new bulk heads, 2x 1" and 2x 3/4 ". I also was given the original durso pipes as well as the original return pipes. Ive soaked everything in vinegar and the pipes are clean and im ready to move to my next step. So, i ran to home depot to get some adapters and start planning but hic-up number one. My bulkheads are not threaded all the way to the bottom of the 'bolt' therefore it will not screw into a female 1 1/4" pvc adapter to get going. So, anyone have a tip or link to the proper adapter or am i suppose to cut that non-threaded portion off? (that doesnt make sense). ANyway, the plan is to run the plumbing into a 48" long 50 Gallon tank. Was planning one area for my skimmer, one area for return and also was considering an area for a refugium. ( we are currently not running a refugium on my 90 gallon, so im unsure of this portion.) do you recommend a refugium portion in the sump tank? Anyway, please help me get this thing going! Step 1.....


Space is big.
You can NOT attach a fitting to the OUTSIDE of a bulkhead. Those threads are only for the nut. If the inside is smooth, you will need to chemically bond the piece of PVC into it on the outside of the tank. Inside the tank it is best to allow for removal should a fish get into the overflow box and friction fit will do what you need.

Research the Herbie drain setup. They are quiet and handle a lot of flow.

I use a refugium as part of my nutrient export routine. Some folks are against them as too many folks try to do too much with it. A refugium is not a cure all, it is just part of the big picture.

Good Luck.

Reefer PT

New member
a Fuge as part of the sump is a great idea if for nothing else other then a copepod producer. I would recommend using the 3/4 "return" bulkhead as a full suction drain with a gate valve for fine tune control and use the 1" line for the emergency overflow in the "herbie" design. Because this design uses all of your bulkheads for drainage you will have to run return lines hard plumbed up over the back of the tank or drill new bulk head holes in the back of the tank if glass is not tempered. Remember to use a check valve on the return. Use unions where ever you think you might need to seperate plumbing in the future


New member
Remember to use a check valve on the return

Don't trust on check valves to work properly.