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Quarter inch drainage bulkhead?
#1
I've been using half-inch bulkheads for drainage, but I'd like to try quarter inch for a couple of reasons; first, the plumbing is less bulky, and second, I've got a handful of quarter inch bulkheads laying around, and I'm out of half-inch :-)

I was wondering if anyone has been using these successfully? My main concern is whether they tend to get blocked up with debris. I've been using egg-crate false bottoms with fiberglass screening, and a mostly turface based substrate. I have a lot of ventilation on my tanks (my house humidity tends to run 50% or so, so it's not hard to keep humidity up in the tanks) and typically have very little water that actually ends up going out my drains anyway.
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#2
yep..I've seen it done. How about one of those 'debris cones' on the inside ?
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#3
Philsuma Wrote:yep..I've seen it done. How about one of those 'debris cones' on the inside ?

Hmmm... I'm not sure what a debris cone is -- just wrapping a cone of screen around the inside of the bulkhead? I was thinking about something like that... I guess another concern would be whether there's enough biofilm build-up on the inside of the 1/4" tubing over time to plug it up...
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#4
Here's your "Debris Cone" - should keep leca / hydroton and most medium to big stuff out.

[Image: Aquarium-Bulkhead-Kit.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_...9844551135]

Biofilm and associated crud ? ...possibly over a long period of time. Pipecleaner or thin wire bottle-brush should be all ya need.
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#5
Ah. In fishkeeping, I'd probably call that a filter or pump strainer. Good call -- I should have a couple in the closet in the fish room :-) I'm not sure how they'll fit the bulkhead, but a little adhesive should solve that. Also good call on the biofilm -- any buildup should be fixable from the outside (pipecleaner to the bulkhead, toss the tubing) without having to tear down the tank.

I'm sold -- guess I'm going with quarter inch bulkheads.

Thanks Phil!
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#6
Now here's another fly in the ointment....where to mount the drain ?

Center...or off-center ?

95% of all drains that I've seen are center front drilled /mounted.

I've always wanted to experiment with an off-center mount, so the tank can be tipped front slightly and to the side for a more rapid and efficient drain. Thoughts ?
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#7
I've been drilling mine in the center back, just high enough off of the bottom to drill safely (an inch or so). Since my plans for these next builds are to do two per 48" wire rack shelf (18 x 18 x 24H (33G) and 18 x 24 x 24H (44G)), I was thinking that it would make more sense to position the drains in the backs closer to the adjoining viv instead of centered.

Hadn't really thought about it in terms of draining, tho; depending on the size of the viv it seems like it'd be easier to tip it in one direction (back or front) than two to empty it out.

(actually, if we're talking about consumer vivs (I've been building exo-terras) personally I'd be reluctant to do any tipping due to the thinness of the glass; I'd be afraid that the weight of damp substrate off-center would cause a leak)
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#8
I think I'm going to mark this one down as a bad idea. I just got finished setting up a large sterlite container with an egg crate false bottom and a quarter inch bulkhead to house some freshly-processed plants until they could be planted on into vivs. The potting mix is just a fast-draining peat, perlite and fir bark mix I use for houseplants (sterilized in this case), and despite the strainer, I ended up having to un-clog the drain about three times to drain off the initial heavy wetting of the soil.

Back to half-inch bulkheads, I guess.
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#9
They work fine for me. I use a pond filter media around them wrapped in the weed blocker / substrate barrier stuff that Josh's carries then topped with turface. They drain great. And because they use smaller drill holes you can get about a 1/2" off the bottom.
Sean Pennington
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