Need advice on water supply plumbing - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Need advice on water supply plumbing

I'm working on a new show tank project based around a rimless 57 gallon Oceanic Illuminata tank. Much of it is DIY - an LED array, DIY stand, and some DIY plumbing. It's that last one that I need some advice with.

I've run hot and cold water supply lines in the basement that end just underneath the planned tank location. I can run the lines straight up through the floor into the tank stand. Right now I have stub pipes that end in 1/4 turn valves like the ones that supply a sink or toilet. They end in 3/8 compression fittings.

The tank is drilled for two 1" bulkheads (two 1 3/4" holes in the bottom glass). I'll use one for the filter inflow in the middle of the tank and one for the outflow (redirected through 1/2 PVC to loc-line returns, on each side of the tank.

I'd like to run a canister filter, inline heater, and inline CO2 (through a Boyu diffuser or something similar). My question is how best to plumb the hot and cold water supply into the system. Should I run flexible braided sink-type hoses to barbed fittings that tee into flexible tubing (I'd prefer to use flex tubing if possible)? Is there a really important reason to go with hard plumbing for this purpose?

I can also place the valves below the bottom shelf of the stand (in the space between the shelf and the floor) and just run flex hoses up through the shelf... I see lots of options here, but I'm looking for some wisdom from those who have done it before. Picture attached gives you a sense of what I'm talking about. Among other things, I'm wondering if the 1/4 turn valves will give me enough flow rate control that I can use them to control flow into the tank...or whether I should run hot and cold water to a separate mixer valve and THEN into the tank system...
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 03:15 AM
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I would use a shower mixer valve, perhaps one of the Delta models that maintains a constant temperature (actually a constant ratio between hot and cold water.) I'm not sure how low a temperature those work at, but I think at worst the water would be a little warm. I have been wanting to try this, but the opportunity hasn't come up yet.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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You mean like one of these...?

Interesting idea hoppy. These things seem to be used a lot for those electronic-sensor-faucets that don't let you control temperature.
http://www.bradleycorp.com/products/....jsp?pgid=1846

There are also manual versions.

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/SAN...4&ci_sku=5LXZ6

Honestly, though, I'd be totally satisfied with manual hot and cold water control. I'm just trying to figure out if I can get that with my 1/4 turn valves or whether I need to do something more elaborate. Also trying to figure out how to make the connection between the 3/8 compression fitting and aquarium-type flexible water tubing.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Aha. Maybe this is what I need by way of a valve:

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 05:03 PM
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Another option would be kitchen sink single lever valves. I would look for cheap and small if possible.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 03:05 AM
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personally i wouldnt put water that has been through a water heater into my tank... all my training as a plumber tells me not to drink it, its not bad for you(i dont think) its just not nice inside a water heater tank.

has anyone had problems using water from a water heater? (sorry for the hijack im just curious)


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VaultBoy View Post
personally i wouldnt put water that has been through a water heater into my tank... all my training as a plumber tells me not to drink it, its not bad for you(i dont think) its just not nice inside a water heater tank.

has anyone had problems using water from a water heater? (sorry for the hijack im just curious)
I would agree - a quick look at my system and the pipework for the cold water around the house is plastic pipes. The hot however is a mixture of (mainly) copper pipe + the water cylinder is copper. If you have gas heated on demand that would be a pain to get the temperature right each time.

Either way you could well be introducing small amounts of metal compounds into the water.

I have always used a large bucket and heated it to temp overnight using a aquarium heater before using it.

Nice idea though - hope you do not end up changing over all your pipe work in your house!

What about incorporating some sort of filter (perhaps similar to those bench mounted ones) or something inline that would be able to remove any metals that could be present in your hot water line?

PS - how did you make that fantastic diagram?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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I made the diagram using Google's free Sketchup software. I've been designing a stand for this tank, so it was easy to toss these details in. (I was able to import pictures of the eheim filter and a CO2 rig from Google's open database of drawings--others had drawn them, I just pasted them into my drawing.)

As for the hot water thing, I agree it's not optimal. But I've been adding hot water to my tanks (diluted, obviously, with a lot of cold water) for years without any obvious ill effects. I've always assumed (1) that the added metals are not very significant, and (2) that Seachem Prime etc. will neutralize most of them. In any event, it is not in the cards for me to have a ~30 gallon bucket hanging out someplace--and it would defeat the point of having an easy way of refilling the tank by just turning a valve underneath it.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 07:29 PM
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There is nothing wrong with water from a hot water heater, if the heater is not nearly worn out. The water tank is almost always glass lined. The copper plumbing won't dissolve in the water if the pH of the water is above 7, and even if it did, running a small amount to the drain to flush the pipes will get rid of almost all of it. Hot water holds very little air in solution, which is the primary reason it doesn't taste right.

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