New to reefing need help with plumbing.

leicobra

New member
Hi reef central, my name is Lee. Recently I had the chance to work on my new project, setting up a new 55 rimless aquarium, very happy that I got a OK from my wife:). This is my first time plumbing a tank and have a lot of questions on PVC fittings especially, there are so many fittings, can you help me to choose them?
The overflow is going to be a 1" bulkhead threaded off the back of tank

Question 1 : what fitting do you all use to connect the threaded bulkhead on the outside? I looked into hard wear stores to Internet , couldn't find a clear answer.

Question 2: what size will be the best returns line for a 55 gallon? if I choose a 1/2" pipe, will I easily find a good pump with 1/2" return line?

Question 3 can some one help me understand what each fiting is for? :headwally::headwally

Sorry for asking so many questions!
 

Blayz77

New member
1. the threads on the outside of bulk heads are only used for the nuts used to hold them in place. you just use a slip fitting to go inside it. like a piece of 1" pipe.

2. half inch should be fine thats what i have on my 50g. yes there are lots of pumps with half inch outlets.

3. what do you mean by fittings there are lots u need to be more specific.
 

BriggsReef

New member
May not be the best answers here but this is what i did and have been successful with


1 I actually glued 3/4 PVC to the inside of my bulkhead for my plumbing

2 most people i believe would stay away from 1/2 inch due to a snail being able to clog it and stop the flow

3 What fitting are you having trouble understanding?


Alot of pumps come with a few extra fitting for different size plumbing.
 

leicobra

New member
Thanks guys, sorry about the last question, I should be more clear. I went on bulk reef supplies and found some fittings for the drain line, 1st is a 1"
Schedule 80 90° Elbow Slip x Spigot (Street) has anyone use these for your tank? How does it work for you?
2nd is a 1" Schedule 80 Tee Slip x Slip x Slip I see a Lot of people use a tee on back of their tanks ,why?

In between the two fittings, what will be you choice to connect the drain line with. Any other recommendation?
 

Blayz77

New member
slip means it goes over the pvc pipe. spigot (street) means it fits inside the pvc pipe. its basically the same thing as a slip/slip. but if you have a tight space the spigot that slides into the pipe will save a little space.

example being if you take a 10" long pvp pipe and put a slip/slip 90 elbow that 10" pipe is now say 12" long. If you take the same pipe and put a spigot 90 it will now be 11".

you dont need a tee unless there is a reason for you to have one. like said before slip just means that it fits over the pvc pipe. generally people will use a tee fitting if they want water to go to more then one place.

example is kinda hard to explain here but lets say in your tank you have 1 drain and 2 return lines but you only have one pump to return water to your tank. well somewhere in your plumbing you will need a tee fitting or a Y fitting so that you can connect both return lines to the same pump. lets look at the letter T and Y you will notice there are 3 points on each. your pump will connect to one side and your 2 returns to the remaining sides.
 

Blayz77

New member
pictures would help a lot by the way. if you can post a picture of what your tank looks like and your overflow etc. where the bulkheads are located. the more details the better.
 

sleepydoc

Team RC
Welcome to the addiction ...errr... hobby!

You're discovering why every plumbing project entails at least 3 trips to the hardware store! A couple of general comments:

- Resistance is directly proportional to length (2 ft piece of pipe has 2x the resistance & 1/2 the flow of a 1 ft piece,) but proportional to the diameter to the 4th power (2" diameter pipe has 1/(2^4) or 1/16 th the resistance of a 1" piece. This is more pronounced at smaller diameters, so it frequently makes a significant difference in flow rates to go from 1/2 to 3/4" or even 1" pipe.

- Resistances are additive, so even if the pump has a 1/2" fitting, you can still improve flow by using 3/4" pipe.

- Many people use schedule 80 (grey) pipe. Main difference is it has thicker walls and is rated for higher pressures. The thicker walls means a smaller lumen and lower flows. You can decide if you think it's necessary, but if your aquarium has enough pressure to cause problems you've got other issues! (The outside diameters are the same, so the fittings are interchangeable.)

many sites (reef central among others) have head loss calculators so you can get an idea of what kind of flow you will get with your specific plumbing configuration

Cheers!
 

Realposition

New member
It depends on what kind of bulkhead you have. If you went schedule 80 they only come in threaded on the back side. The outside threads on the. Bulkhead are for the nut that attaches it to the aquarium only. On the inside of the bulkhead if there are threads then I would use a mpt to slip adaptor. If there are no threads then it's slip and any 1" pipe can be glued in.

Link for adaptor
http://m.lowes.com/mt/www.lowes.com...=8&Ns=p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&facetInfo=
 

leicobra

New member
pictures would help a lot by the way. if you can post a picture of what your tank looks like and your overflow etc. where the bulkheads are located. the more details the better.

Thank you Blayz77 that was very helpful, I like your letter examples by the way. Yes, still learning how to post pictures, as soon as I understand how to use photo bucket I will post detail pictures.
 

Blayz77

New member
when you want to link a picture it will show you a like a url and some other things u want to copy and paste the img section
 

Blayz77

New member
thats a nice looking tank. going by a photo i just looked at there is no holes in it yet. depending on what you wanna do u can set it up how ever you want.
 

leicobra

New member
62062428.jpg


finally got it work, here is the main display tank.
 
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leicobra

New member
7dfb7c97.jpg



from the inside of the tank, for the overflow I will be using an elbow fitting,and will oder a 1/2" locklines on the return side.;)
 

Blayz77

New member
if you ask me that bulk head on the sump is there so you can use an external pump. it also seems like you would also put your skimmer in that same chamber. you generally will not want your skimmer being so close to your return pump. the reason is the skimmer will produce micro bubbles and with your pump right there it will shoot these micro bubbles all over your tank.
 

Blayz77

New member
i suppose they meant that bulk head to be used for your drain connection so the water from tank drains down to that bulk head. i suppose it might work fine but ive never seen drains being hooked up on the bottom like that. but at least doing it that way it makes sense for your skimmer to be in that chamber and an internal pump to go in the far left.
 

Blayz77

New member
are you set on having 1 drain and 1 return? just for another option for you to consider, you can check out a website called gl*******s.com you can get an overflow kit to put in the middle there on the tank and make the two side holes returns.
 
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