Under Substrate Plumbing - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Under Substrate Plumbing

I am working on plumbing my new 180 gallon tank (72x24x24).

It is drilled, 6 - 1 inch bulkheads down the middle of the tank (1 foot in from each long side, 2 in the middle, and 2 about 1.5 ft from each short end). It was drilled by someone else for a saltwater tank which they stand piped and hide with rock work.

It has no overflows.

I want to run a sump, not closed loop.

I am having the tank viewable from both long sides and 1 short side.

I have been trying to run the pipes under the substrate and up the shortside which would be against the wall, using durso stand pipes.

I am using thin wall pvc, not schedule 40. I think that would have the same issue as well.

My problem is that the pipes flex enough that they don't stay down. This is due to the lengths of straight pvc.

Has anyone done anything like this? If so how did you deal with these types of issues and what other issues have you run into?

Any suggestions?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 12:58 AM
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So you are saying that the piece of pipe lying lengthwise down the bottom of the tank is long enough that it bows up instead of lying flat?

The easiest solution I can think of is to silicone the pipe down to the glass bottom. If you use only a bead it should hold and be easy to peel up if you ever want to remove it.

If that doesn't work you could find some way to weigh it down. Maybe there is something you could drape over the pipe to keep it there. I substrate should help once it's in there.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, when the pvc runs over the bottom to the far and middle bulkheads, it flexes up. I am trying to space the returns, using 1 of each pair to create an equal area of return flow and CO2.

I hadn't thought about siliconing the pvc to the bottom. Interesting idea.

I've thought about weighting it down with slate or tile, but not sure if that would work as when I weight it down now, it has enough lift to move the weights.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 03:33 AM
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Do you have any pictures of the holes? I could get a better idea if I can see it.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 03:48 AM
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schedule 40 wont bend easy over much longer distances then thin walled
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 03:38 PM
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You can do interesting things to pvc with a heat gun. Warm it up and bend it to the shape you need ( or flat if that's what you need for this application).
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 05:36 PM
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I used to do the same thing all the time for my reef tanks once you add substrate you won't have any issues, I would just weight it down until I added the aragonite and it would be fine once the sand is on it.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 03:33 PM
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You could try spa flex (or flex-pvc, same thing). It's not super flexible which should work for you. Available at Home Depot.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 05:45 PM
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Second the silicone suggestion. Then you don't have to deal with a hassle if you disturb substrate during a rescape and the pipe works its way free and needs to be buried again.

Sounds like a cool set-up would like to see a pics of your final piping arrangement!

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 10:52 PM
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I've used PVC pipe filled with sand to weight things down before. You can Tee these into your pipe matrix with test caps on the end so the sand doesn't interfere with water flow.

Silicone might work well enough, but it has been my experince that it doesn't stick well to PVC.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Still working on it, very slowly though....

SpaFlex flexs more than thin wall, so I don't think it would be any better.

I'm worried about just having gravel over the piping. I can see it pulling up and then not being able to get it back down when the gravel slides under it.

I haven't tried the silicon yet. I got some conduit saddles was thinking of siliconing these to the bottom. The LFS said I may need a small piece of glass on top of the foot and then silicon it over the foot to the bottom of the tank.

I can't picture the sand filled PVC. it would need to connect to the air/water filled ones and hold the sand so it would need to connect with a Tee and be plugged to hold the sand?

thanks for the ideas,

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closed-loop, plumbing, sump

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