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To siphon or drain?
I would like hear from those of you who have experience with multiple types of setups as to your opinions on the best way to remove excess water from vivs.

I think overflow drains would be the easiest, care free way to handle it, but of course that envolves drilling holes in the glass.

For one or two vivs, I guess siphoning is no big deal; however, taking care of 10, 15, or more would become time consuming. There is also the problem of determining the correct schedule and sticking to it.
Drilled tanks are the way to go, if you have the option.

drilling glass is not difficult, it will require investing in some tools and equipment,( variable speed drill, drill jig, glass bits) but it could pay off in the long run, especially if you are planning on doing a rack setup with multiple tanks. Most store bought aquariums only have tempered glass on the bottom, so drill the sides is not an issue, if you are in doubt, call the tank manufacturer, they can tell you if the tank has tempered glass sides.

A lot of it will depend, like you said, on how many tanks, also if the tanks are on a misting system, as a misting system will put out a lot more water than hand misting usually does.

If you do decide to siphon, I would reccomend a dedicated siphon hose for each tank, to avoid cross contamination. Also, you will need to closely monitor the tanks lid while you have it open, to watch for possible escapees.

Good luck.
I'm still relatively new to this hobby so I only have 4 tanks. Even with a few tanks drilling for an overflow is DEFINITELY the way to go.

Once a week I like to do a real thorough cleaning & spray down of the tanks. It's nice not to have to suck back out all that water that I just finished spraying in.

After drilling the holes what kind of hardware do you use to secure the tub to the glass?
You will use a bulkhead fitting. ... 5/cid/1895
I kind of prefer to run a permanant siphon hose (made of aqurium air line) down behind the background, and up through a small hole in the lid. I put a dab of silicone to hold the tube as close to the bottom of the tank as possible.
This way, you can siphon without opening the lid.
You can also, if you so desire, hook up an air pump to the same tube, and push a little air up through the substrate and into the viv. Not saying that is going to do wonders, but the possiblility is there.

I have three tanks that are drilled, and outfitted with the big bulkheads, they work great, as long as I remember to empty the drain jug.

One negative with drilling and bulkheading is if you go through the bottom, and later have to move the tank, it will make it tougher to find a spot to set the tank, as you will have the end of the bulkhead sticking down. You could go through a side to get around that, but that might not be for everyone either.

They both work good...If I could plumb directly to a drain, and never plan on moving, I'd say to go with the bulkheads.

For me, I like the "permanant" siphon method.
Brian T. Sexton
to solve the problem of emptying the a drain jug...

you could just run a garden hose or other small hose from the bulkhead to a drain in the house thats thats lower then the viv. of course, it might take a good deal of hose if it just follows walls and the closest drain is on a lower floor or on the other side of the floor, but it should work.

could also just install an automatic mister that takes water FROM the jug. then the water just cycles and you don't have to worry about hand misting or emptying.
zaroba Wrote:could also just install an automatic mister that takes water FROM the jug. then the water just cycles and you don't have to worry about hand misting or emptying.

Wouldnt the misters get clogged?
You could place a filter inline to collect any large particles that might clog the nozzles.
My concern would be what is "brewing" in the recycled water.
One of the functions of mistng is to rinse fecal matter from the plants and whatnot down to the substrate.
How much misting is enough? I know the main goal is to keep the humidity up. If you have proper draining do you have to worry about over misting to get most of the fecal matter out of the viv.

What is a good rule of thumb to start off with?
In my experience, mist from a misting sytem won't totally wash away frog poo.

You need some force to remove it most of the time, of which "mist" has no pressure.To remove feces, you would need more of a harder stream or spray.

Yes, you can control your misting so it's just enough, and you won't have to drain very often, but it still is a good idea (IMO) to give the tank a good, cleansing downpour every now and then.
Brian T. Sexton
Another good drainage thread.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".

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