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More FAQs about Plumbing Marine Systems 5

Related Articles: Plumbing Marine Systems, Myth of the One Inch Beast (Why Relying on One Inch Overflows... or Overflow! Is foolhardy) by Scott Vallembois, Plumbing Return Manifolds, Refugiums

Related FAQs: Marine Plumbing 1, Marine Plumbing 2, Marine Plumbing 3Marine Plumbing 4, Marine Plumbing 6, Marine Plumbing 7, Plumbing 8, Plumbing 9, Plumbing 10, Plumbing 11, Plumbing 12, Plumbing 13, Plumbing 14, Plumbing 15 Plumbing 16, Plumbing 17, Plumbing 18, Plumbing 19, Plumbing 20,   Plumbing 21, Plumbing 22, Circulation Plumbing, & FAQs on: Plans/Designs, Parts: Pipe, Valves, Back-Siphon/Check-Valves, Unions, Tools, Solvents, Use of Flexible Tubing, Leaks/Repairs, & Holes & Drilling, Durso Standpipes, Overflow Boxes, Bubble Trouble, Plumbing Noise, Make Up Water Systems, Pumps, Plumbing, Circulation, Sumps, RefugiumsMarine Circulation 2, Gear Selection for Circulation, Pump Problems Fish-Only Marine Set-ups, Fish-Only Marine Systems 2, FOWLR/Fish and Invertebrate Systems, Reef Systems, Coldwater Systems, Small Systems, Large SystemsWater Changes Surge Devices

Stand Pipe Hey guys. Searching FAQ's and all over the internet for a good answer to a question I have and couldn't find one but here goes. I am in the process of plumbing my 75 gallon tank. I have two 1.5" holes drilled along the back with bulkheads, which flow to the sump in the stand below the tank. I am worried about the noise of the water draining. From my understanding and reading, the standpipes (Durso) are for overflow boxes or predrilled overflows on the bottom of tank not for the back with bulkheads. IYE, what can I do to eliminate or prevent that gurgling, sucking noise? <I vent the drain pipe so that the air can escape. Instead of using the elbow that comes with most bulkhead kits, I attach a T so that it is aligned perpendicular to the ground. Water comes into the T and falls straight down while the air escapes up.> The only thing I could find was where someone took and drilled a hole in the PVC on the top of the bend (elbow) going down to the sump. Then siliconed a piece of airline tubing about 3-4" down the PVC and left a few inches sticking up the top of the elbow. <A similar method of venting away the air.> Please let me know. Thanks again, Bryan <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Reef Set-up Please help! I have set up a 125 gallon reef tank, All-Glass aquarium, with Ecosystem 3612 filter and Iwaki WMD40RLXT pump, with Durso overflow tubes. Problem - the water level in the overflow consistently moves up and down about 2 to 3 inches (inline with the street ell 90 degree Durso overflow tube for the water that goes down into the filter). Should this happen? <I do not believe so.> Why is it happening? <My best guess, from your description, is that your Durso overflow is working more like a Carlson surge device. I would review Richard Durso's design and your implementation.> Thanks, Steve <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Re: Reef Set-up I reviewed the website, made the hole in the top end cap larger and the problem was corrected. Steve <Glad to hear it. -Steven Pro>

Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere!?!?! Dear Bob, <Steven Pro here this evening.> Love your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist", couldn't get by with out it! <I agree. It is an excellent reference. Have you by chance seen our new work at http://wetwebfotos.com/store/nma-ri.html? It will be out this March. We are taking preorders now.> I am having some troubles with my tank and don't know where to turn. I have a 75 gallon (Corner Over-flow) fish only system. Equipment: SeaLife Systems Wet-Dry 60, LifeGuard Quite One 700 gph external main pump, a Supreme Mag-Drive 9.5 in sump pump powering an ETSS Revolution 500 protein skimmer, a Coralife turbo twist 3X UV, 2 Ebo-Jager 125 watt heaters, and 2 power sweep 228 powerheads for in tank circulation. Everything other than the circulating power heads is jammed into my sump. All this is crammed under my tank stand for a 55 gallon tank, the extra 4 inches in depth for the 75 gallon tank I built into a wall for the "see through" effect (Pictures included for reference.) <Looks pretty good> I can't seem to get the bubbles out of my tank and its driving me crazy! I just purchased the skimmer which was a big upgrade from my SeaClone. I plan on converting to a reef tank at some point, so I know this was an essential piece of equipment to have. I know the bubbles could lead to Popeye, not to mention how unsightly it is. (Bubbles sticking to my faux corals and on algae build up....yuck!) I think my problem is the skimmer, although I do get a small amount of bubbles with the skimmer off as well. <This is an important clue.> Checked and resecured all connections and fittings three times: no leaks. I think the high flow pump draining water down into the sump is creating bubbles as they hit the sump water. That maybe bad, but when I turn the skimmer on it becomes ten times worse. <In the tank or in the sump, the problem becomes worse?> I mounted the Skimmer up high and have it dumping into the Bio Tower to help break up the bubbles, additionally I have a 300 Micron Filter Media Bag over the skimmer inlet to help further. They do make better bags i.e.: 800 micron but were not in stock, could this be the cure? <Unlikely> I have filter pads both above and below the bio tower as well as Carbon and Ammonia pad in the drip tray. There is a foam filter pad placed in the baffle area in between the sump section under the bio tower and the open sump area. <I see in the picture.> With the system running I notice a barrage of bubbles in the sump directly below the bio tower. <I have no problem with this.> I have played with the flow rates of both the main pump and skimmer pump ball valves over and over to no end. <I would leave the main pump on full throttle and adjust the skimmer pump to maximize skimmate, not to correct this bubble problem.> Additionally, I don't like inhibiting the overall flow rate of the main pump. Like to keep it at approximately 600-650 gph for a 75 gallon tank. <Agreed, even a bit more circulation would be fine with me.> The micron bag, bio balls and foam pad in the baffle area doesn't seem to be working very well, because they must be getting through to the main pump and into the tank. <Not necessarily> I have played with the baffle as well. I cut a new baffle out of 1/4 inch plexi-glass mimicking the original but drilled 2 holes for the heaters and placed grommets around the heaters to prevent bubbles from passing through. In addition I cut different height baffles attempting to raise and lower the baffles, but that doesn't seen to help either. All I seem to do is inhibit flow and raise the water level in the bio tower and half the balls are submerged, not good. <I am guessing that the crashing of water forming bubbles under the bio tower is not where your problem is originating.> My first thought is that my sump may be to small, but I don't want to shell out $150-$250 to find out I am wrong. <Agreed, there are other things to rule out first.> Is there anyway to eliminate these micro-bubbles with out having more water in the sump to work with? <I will give you a few things to check once I finish reading your email.> Is there an formula to determine sump size? <I like about one third to half the main display tank volume for a sump. My 55 has a 20 gallon sump, my new 120 has a 50.> If my sump is the problem how do I determine what type to purchase (i.e.: manufacturer, size??) <I think we are jumping ahead just a bit.> Have considered building my own, but don't know if the aggravation is worth the effort? <I strongly prefer to use a glass aquarium and silicone in additional glass panels to create chambers and baffles.> Although it may be worth looking into if I don't have to build the "Bio Tower Area". I have read where the effectiveness of a high end skimmer eliminates the need for a bio-chamber all together, <In addition to live rock and live sand> but I believe this is in a reef system rather than a fish only system. <No, it will work beautifully for a fish tank.> Do you agree? <Wholeheartedly> ETSS has a "Berlin" style sump on their web site with no bio tower. I may consider mimicking that model if it will work. <I took a look at the pictures. Not much I can see/tell from the angle, though I was surprised to see www.WetWebMedia.com does not have a link to A.E.Tech's webpage, http://www.superskimmer.com/ We will have to add it to the manufacturer's links.> Having read through some of your FAQs as well as on the ReefCentral.com site where some people place egg crate containers in their sumps to help with the bubble issue. Does this help or will it restrict flow as with my "baffle experiment". <Most times the eggcrate stuff is to hold sponges or carbon bags for a forced flow through.> This is a concern to me because they don't just come in "blue" or "red", there must be some dye used, especially for the labeling which I don't want to introduce that to my tank. Do you agree? <I have only ever see plain white or the stuff with the silver coating.> I would really like to progress into a reef tank at some point, but unfortunately until I cure this problem I don't even want to go there. Also I'm afraid of introducing more expensive and delicate angels and butterflies until I solve this issue for fear of health concerns. <I agree.> One other quick question. My Mag-Drive 9.5 had stainless screws holding the impeller housing to the main body. I thought only plastic screws would come with it for fear of corrosion. The sales person told me there was nothing to worry about. Do you agree? <The newer models come with a inert screws. Having said that, I have a Mag-Drive 5 operating submerged in my 55 for the past few years. It has stainless steel screws and impellor shaft and has yet to rust.> Any help you can suggest with my "champagne" tank would greatly be appreciated. <There are three possibilities for your bubbles forming; the return pump is drawing in air from the sump, the return pump plumbing has a pin hole leak in it acting as a venturi, or photosynthetic is causing bubbles to form on the surfaces in your tank. If you can see the bubbles emerging from the return pump discharge, you can rule out the third possibility. I see from your pictures that your return line is vinyl tubing, barb fittings, and hose clamps. My best guess is this is your problem. My first step would be to replumb in PVC pipe. If that does not correct the problem, try minimizing bubbles from the bio tower migrating to the return pump. I would use the sponge block you have to force the bubbles to the surface of the sump. I would also raise the water level a bit. I would establish the maximum fill line for your sump/system. Shut the system off and allow the water to back siphon completely. Once all the water levels are stable, top off the sump. Now turn everything back on and mark the water level in the sump. That is your maximum fill line. If you ever change the plumbing again, you have to retest. I would try to keep the sump level filled to near that mark.> Any web sites or books you recommend that has in depth diagramming of sumps known to work? <Anthony's "Book of Coral Propagation" has some interesting illustrations.> This is becoming extremely frustrating. I fear you are my last hope. <Have faith!> Thank you for your time, John from Cape Cod <Good luck to you! -Steven Pro>

180 Overflows Thanks for all of your past counsel. It has proven accurate and helpful. <We are glad to be of assistance.> I have a 180 gallon Oceanic Reef Ready tank with two overflow boxes. I currently have a Little Giant 4MDQX pump for the return from the sump, rated at about 1100 gph. I'm considering upgrading to the Iwaki MD-70RLT which is rated at 1800 gph. I have 26 gallon Lifereef sump, as well as a Lifereef skimmer in the sump which is operated by a Little Giant 3MDQX rated at 810 gph. I am currently not having any problems with "sucking sounds" coming from the overflows. First of all, would I have any problems with the Iwaki 1800 gph pump given only the two 1" overflows? <Possibly, but could be overcome with Durso overflows modifications or other possibilities. Do take a read through our archives on plumbing issues on www.WetWebMedia.com. I would use the Google search engine looking for the terms reef ready and overflow boxes.> Oceanic says between 7-10x the tank's volume and I should have no problems, but I wanted to get your opinion. Also, is the Iwaki a quieter pump? <They have that reputation.> Thanks, Marc <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Re: Help (marine plumbing, stocking) Jason, <<Hi...>> If I can stock the tank and not worry about it now or in the future; my decision will be to leave it as is and not drain the tank to enlarge the 1/2" drain; as my fish have had enough stress as well as myself because this issue with this tank has literally kept me up at night trying to figure out what was wrong and why one tank was thriving and the other was not. My plans for this tank are to add a large Angel, Tusk Fish, and possibly a Trigger or a different Tang species. <<Hmm... even though you've got a good number of gallons in there, I'm not sure the shape is ideal for these fish - better for the tusk and angel to have cruising room, unless you set it up with rock work in the center, so they can swim in circles.>> I already have a Purple Tang and a beautiful Black Puffer. <<In this same tank? I'd only do one but not both of those fish, or perhaps just the trigger.>> I have measured GPH and have a little more than 10 times turn over rate since I added the 1800 PH inside the tank, however, the tank is now running at 80/81 temp. <<No worries.>> In your opinion, long term and fully stocked will this current set up work or do you think at any time it will need the 1/2" drain enlarged to be able to accommodate a larger return pump? <<Well... first off, I wouldn't 'fully stock' this tank. I would under stock just to give things room to grow and also for the system to have some resilience. If you under stock, I think your existing circulation arrangements will work just fine.>> I just want to do what is right for my fish :-) <<Don't we all - do them a favor, don't stock right up to the limit, stock lightly - it works out better in the long haul.>> Thanks Again, Nikki <<Cheers, J -- >>

Help (Marine plumbing adventures) <<Greetings, JasonC here...>> I have some questions regarding a 135 gallon Hexagon FOWLR tank that has been set up for 6 months. This was a used customized tank which was purchased and set up by an LFS store that I buy my corals from. I have encountered problems with ick, and Cyanobacteria, I have two fish in now which are doing better- <<Ahh good.>> It was determined that the set up was lacking. I will explain.... this tank was rigged and has two drain lines, one 1" PVC drain pipe and the other drain running through 1/2 " PVC pipe. The return line was run behind the tank that was only a 1/2"PVC pipe, running off of a Mag Drive 950 in the sump. I have three power heads Maxi Jets 900s in tank for circulation. In skimmer a Aqua Clear 1800, and UV has a Maxi Jet 600. After struggling without fish thriving (unlike my other tank!!), I spoke to another LFS numerous times. We have made some modifications, such as run a new return line 3/4" off of the Mag Drive 950 in sump. We also added another Aqua Clear 1800 inside tank for circulation. I had tried hooking up a Catalina 4000 and the Aqua Clear 1800 in the sump at different times off of the existing 1/2" line already there in addition to the 950 but the drains screamed and two pumps at a time pulled to much water out of the sump. A friend came by and he said to be able to run two pumps, I would need to enlarge the other drain line, but said it seems as though the PVC 1/2" fitting was glued which presents a problem. He said he thought it was ok with just running the 950 itself on the 3/4" tubing line, please lend advice so I can feel ok about the way things are now. Here are my questions: For my 135 tank size (I have 80lbs LR in Tank and a 20 gallon sump), what size return pump should I be running, and is 3/4" tubing big enough? <<Well... in this case, as your friend pointed out, you are limited by the amount of water flowing out of the tank... unless you do something to address that, upgrading return pumps is meaningless. Ideally, a turnover rate of about 10 times the system volume is advised - 'ideally'. Ideal doesn't always work out so you can augment that circulation with additional circulation in the tank, perhaps MaxiJet 1200s instead of the 900s. For now, I'm sure the 950 with 3/4" tubing is fine.>> Also, the little back up hole on the return line sorry not sure what those things are called, but it is the little hole that eliminates your tank from overflowing) is really putting out a lot of fine bubbles, it seems to me that the hole is too big because the stream really shoots out far. I have it positioned to hit the back of tank wall because this reduces the annoying bubbles the most. My other tank does not shoot the water out of the little hole like that. Is there something I can do about this to reduce these tiny bubbles? <<Check the rest of the return line - if you have the jointed tubing as an outlet manifold, sometimes a too-tight of a bend will cause back pressure and cause this hole to put out more water than it should, but some is pretty normal and should be expected.>> Thanks, Nikki <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Plumbing Question Robert-Imagine that, A 99 cent hose clamp around the pump's outlet and return hose eliminated the "venturi effect" and the bubbles are gone.  <Amazing, but have experienced the same... we used to "double" hose clamp flexible lines (for this reason and for fear they might pull/pop off) with all plastic ones on installs.> BTW - I do have a wet-dry filter between the overflow/pre-filter and pump, sorry for the confusion. Thanks, Brad <No worries. Congrats on the fix. Bob Fenner>

Re: Over Flow Thank you Bob & Anthony, yes it will be a gravity overflow, and yes I will drain the tank temporarily but the "glass boy" will go to my house to cut the 1.5" from the lateral panel (1-2 hours) instead drain the tank, and send it to the workshop to make the holes (1-2 days).  <ahhh...very good! I love the ingenuity of it all> My plan is keep at least 50% of the water the fish will go to the QT tank for 2-3 hours until de work is finished, Then I will return everything to the main tank just reducing the level of water for 2 days until the new overflow is done. (all the joints dry) <excellent... I pray that all goes smoothly... an excellent plan> greetings <best regards, Anthony> Re: Over Flow Hey one more!!! Why the siphon fail just at the middle of the nigh?? Yeah!!! I know the Murphy's law, but seriously, why just at night? all day long thesiphon works well but when the lights go off and maybe 2-3 hours after that event, the bubbles start to accumulate into the siphon, there is a physical law for this or is just my awful luck? <one theory is off gassing from symbiotic activity and biological activity (as in substrate). The microbubbles migrate to the top and drift across the surface and get drawn into the siphon overflow. IN the overflow the migrate to the top of the siphon and accumulate until they amass into a large bubble which breaks the siphon. It can be prevented sometimes by filling the internal overflow cup with bio-balls to break the bubbles path. Or... some people drill and tap the top of the siphon tube with a check valve and run that to the venturi of a powerhead for a constant siphon. See here: http://www.reefs.org/diy/img/overflow.gif  the small tubing at the top is to have a check valve hooked up to it to prevent air from back siphoning. You can manually siphon the air out periodically or you can hook it up to a PH venturi as per above> cheers Carlos <best regards, Anthony>

Plumbing Craig, thanks for great information and speed on the plumbing info you gave me. <Steven Pro here with the follow up.> Will look up marine depot for their plumbing parts. I do have a few more questions regarding valves (check, gate, ball). The best way though is to explain my intended setup. I have a 75 gallon tank. I have two 1.5" holes drilled on the back for flow to the sump. Going to use 1.5" PVC from tank to the sump 3 foot below the tank. Sump is DIY made from Rubbermaid container. Water initially flows into one end of sump thru filter bags then to the euro-reef skimmer. <Be sure to rinse the bags often, daily would be best.> Water travels thru sump over chemical media to return pump. Pump is a Little Giant rated at 1050gph @ 3ft. Return to tank thru 1" PVC to the top of tank. Making a manifold like Anthony describes in his book to vary the flow pattern so hopefully I can reduce the use of any powerheads. Intending on going with soft corals. (whew) now some questions or help. One of my concerns is that my pump is to big for my described setup (got a great deal on eBay) what do you think? <Having too much flow is rarely a problem. You are right on par.> I have never got a good or definitive answer on the amount of water two 1.5" bulkheads could handle and I am afraid it won't be enough for the pump. <My gut tells me you are ok.> One thing you brought up was the use of gate or ball valves for oversized pumps. Explain a little more if you could Craig. <I would not worry about cutting down on flow.> And from my description above do you see anything that I might change, add or do differently? <It looks ok to me.> Sorry so long this time, about ready to put everything together. Thanks a million, Bryan <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Plumbing Hi Bob, <Steven Pro this afternoon.> My current setup is a 100 gallon with a 15 gallon sump. I am currently using a Turboflotor skimmer with a Eheim 1060 pump and a 1060 return pump with 3 900 Maxi-Jets and 1 1200 Maxi-Jet all located at corners, controlled with a Wavemaster Pro. The tank has been setup now for about 10 months and is doing good, but I think I would like a better skimmer and more flow. I am thinking of upgrading to a Euroreef CS6-2 and using the two Eheim 1060's in parallel for the return instead of the one. My question is would the cs6-2 be enough for my tank and is it worth upgrading? <Yes and yes> Can I parallel the two Eheims into one 1" return and would I need check valves in case one shuts down? <I would plumb them separately to distribute the flow.> If I upgrade my return will I still need the four powerheads? <You maybe able to cut out a few, but I bet you will still need some for adequate circulation.> Thanks <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Plumbing <<Actually, it's JasonC today... greetings.>> Craig, thanks for great information and speed on the plumbing info you gave me. Will look up marine depot for their plumbing parts. I do have a few more questions regarding valves (check, gate, ball). The best way though is to explain my intended setup. I have a 75 gallon tank. I have two 1.5" holes drilled on the back for flow to the sump. Going to use 1.5" PVC from tank to the sump 3 foot below the tank. Sump is DIY made from Rubbermaid container. Water initially flows into one end of sump thru filter bags then to the euro-reef skimmer. Water travels thru sump over chemical media to return pump. Pump is a Little Giant rated at 1050gph @ 3ft. Return to tank thru 1" PVC to the top of tank. Making a manifold like Anthony describes in his book to vary the flow pattern so hopefully I can reduce the use of any powerheads. Intending on going w/ soft corals. (whew) now some questions or help. One of my concerns is that my pump is to big for my described setup (got a great deal on eBay) what do you think? <<You can always put a ball or gate valve on it to throttle it back.>> I have never got a good or definitive answer on the amount of water two 1.5" bulkheads could handle and I am afraid it won't be enough for the pump. <<Should be fine.>> One thing you brought up was the use of gate or ball valves for oversized pumps. Explain a little more if you could Craig. <<Yeah... put a valve after the return pump and crank it down... it won't hurt the pump and will allow you to meter the return rate.>> And from my decryption above do you see anything that I might change, add or do differently? <<Not really... looks fine to me.>> Sorry so long this time, about ready to put everything together. Thanks a million Bryan <<Cheers, J -- >>

Tiny bubbles Hi WWM crew! This is me from Guatemala, the land of eternal spring! <cheers! Carlos> This is my question. Often the main pump in the sump capture little bubbles originated in the sump due the internal turbulence... when the pump capture this bubbles, the pump brake it in myriads of tiny bubbles that you can see in the main tank... those bubbles can affect in some way the life in my tank? <yes... called "microbubbles" the aspirated air is whisked through the impeller and can cause some problems with animals in the system. Stuck to invertebrates they can be irritating and in rare cases they cause supersaturation of oxygen and a condition like Nitrogen "bends" in divers for the fishes. Prevent the bubbles by installing a baffle of glass before the pump intake or keeping a large coarse foam block on the pump intake (and clean weekly)> Thank you! Carlos D?z
<best regards, Anthony>

Over Flow Hello my fellows from WWM, you are like gremlins, the water touch you and walaa!!! more of you! this week I have seen at least 2-3 new guys!!! <Ha! we wish it was that easy :) Most of us were at a conference in Dallas this weekend but have since returned. Kudos to all those that helped and worked hard in our absence> Ok, my question. As you prophesized, my siphon is working bad, the last night I heard something like big bubbles, so (thanks to God) I woke up just in time to restore the siphon. The rest of my nigh was a nightmare dreaming about hermit crabs crawling in my bed... <heehee...> This morning I awoke with this resolution, convert my siphon in garbage and change my overflow.  <very good to hear!> In order to avoid drill the main tank, I don't have any place to put the fish, and other stuff, I design this device (I hope is clear enough) Please give me your advice. Carlos <it looks very interesting but I can't see how it will be done without draining the tank temporarily. Is this a gravity overflow on the shortened side wall? If so it looks very good to me! Best regards, Anthony>

Over Flow Hello my fellows from WWM, you are like gremlins, the water touch you and walaa!!! more of you! this week I have seen at least 2-3 new guys!!! <Hey we're also like Gremlins in shape and outdatedness! Except Anthony of course> Ok, my question. As you prophesized, my siphon is working bad, the last night I heard something like big bubbles, so (thanks to God) I woke up just in time to restore the siphon. The rest of my nigh was a nightmare dreaming about hermit crabs crawling in my bed... <You lucky pug!> This morning I awoke with this resolution, convert my siphon in garbage and change my overflow. In order to avoid drill the main tank, I don't have any place to put the fish, and other stuff, I design this device (I hope is clear enough) <Okay> Please give me your advice. Carlos <Very nice graphic. I like this design... would add a "tee" turned on end at the collective return (line dropping down to your sump) to reduce the noise of the overflow. Bob Fenner>

Water filter and brass fitting Hi everyone- <<Hi... JasonC here..>> I was hoping you could give me some advice on a water filter system I have. <<Is this filtration for the tank or water purification for mix water?>> Is it ok to have a few brass fittings in a water filter system for my 125gal FOWLR aquarium water? Two of them are on the output side of the filter. <<As long as the brass doesn't come in contact with salt water, you will probably be fine. The salt water will have a corrosive effect and will leach some metals into the water passing through it. If these fittings are for your tank - don't do it.>>  I could not find the fitting needed in pvc. <<Check the following URLs and see if you can't find the parts in PVC if this is for your tank: http://www.usplastic.com and http://www.plumbingsupply.com >> Thank you again Den

Plumbing parts Hello Guys, <<Hi.>> Bryan again with a few quick questions about aquarium plumbing parts. <<Shoot...>> I have been searching all over trying to find one place that carries all types of plumbing parts. One place has some, then another has something different that I need. IYE what is or are the best online places to buy plumbing parts? <<I would try these two places: http://www.plumbingsupply.com and http://www.usplastic.com - between the two of them you will likely find everything you need.>> I read that you want to use check valves and not ball or gate. right? <<Depends on where the valve is going and what you are trying to accomplish. Check valves are one-way flow valves, preventing backflow and not really at all like a gate or ball valve.>> Exactly where are the best places to add check valves? ( after return pump) <<That's the ticket.>> (my understanding is they prevent backflow and siphoning) <<You are correct.>> Last question. I am looking for 1/2" moveable outlets to make a return manifold like Anthony describes in his book. What would this type of stuff be called and where should I be looking? <<It is jointed tubing and can be had at any number of aquarium supply shops - check with some of our sponsors, I'm sure at least one of them carries it.>> Sorry for the trouble...and as always...Thanks for wonderful help. <<No worries. Cheers, J -- >>

Bulkheads Bryan again with another quick question that I forgot to ask the last time. I have read before and Anthony's book really made me think, about bulkheads, water flow and in sump skimmers. I know that the most effective skimming comes from surface water from the tank. I have two 1.5" bulkheads on the back of my tank about 3-4" down, which makes for less than ideal conditions for my in sump skimmer. Would it be possible or a good idea to take a 45 degree PVC elbow attached to the bulkhead that would draw water from the top 1/4" - 1/2" of the surface? <Most people that use just bulkheads for drains, no boxes around them, use unglued elbows for adjusting the water height.> I really like the idea of a internal overflow around the bulkheads that runs the length of back of tank so that the entire back surface is used for surface extraction. <That is the best solution.> One idea of this I have is to take the bulkheads with the PVC elbow attached and onto the elbows connect a piece of black PVC, maybe 2-3" diameter and cut it in half horizontally (lengthwise) so that this piece runs the entire back of the tank bit is drawing water from the surface into the bulkheads. Sound plausible or a bad idea? <It sounds like it would work, but I cannot comment on how unattractive it may turn out (or perhaps I did just comment).> Thanks again, Bryan


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