Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
HOW TO: aquarium water bridge

HOW TO: aquarium water bridge

Hi everybody, joey here again and welcome
back. In today’s video, I’m going to show you how
to build a water bridge. This is a project similar to the upside down
aquarium that I showed you how to make a while ago. They are similar in that they work the
same. Simply put, A Water Bridge is a tunnel that
connects 2 aquariums from above. It allows fish to freely swim from one aquarium to the
other. I wanted to make this video as universal as
possible, so I decided to go with glass, as you don’t need any special tools to build
it like you would with acrylic. Now there are many methods and ways to accomplish
a bridge like this one like using PVC pipe instead or even clear acrylic tubing. However,
you can’t see through PVC which ruins the whole point of the bridge, and clear acrylic
tubing of a reasonable size is surprisingly expensive. So before considering building this bridge,
I recommend watching my video on how to build a glass aquarium. What you learn in that video
can be applied to this video. For my water bridge, I recycled old glass
lids I had. Since it was only 6mm thick, it was easy to cut through. I started out by cutting out the pieces I
needed with a hand held glass cutter and sanded the edges smooth with 60 grit sand paper. I made this bridge 36″ long. It has a 6″ diameter.
It is a total of 14″ tall. The easiest way to build a bridge is from
the top down. Since we cannot really cut glass into specific odd shapes at home, I prepared
my side panels in advance. I needed them to be in the shape of a U and doing them in advance
made the entire project a lot easier. I used 3 pieces to shape my U. This U will
depict how long and how tall the bridge will be. I used enough silicone to insure I trapped
no air bubbles in-between as this is something we will need to see through. When placing these together, I left a small
lip near the top to allow them to fit into the next piece, which you will see more on
in a moment. It is ok if you make a mess here, as we need to let this cure for 24hrs anyways.
Once cured, we can take a razor blade and clean it up. I repeated this step twice, as I needed two
of them. They will eventually be the front and back of my bridge. After 24 hours the silicone cured and I cleaned
up the excess silicone with a razor blade. With these side panels now ready, I siliconed
the first one to the side of the top panel. The lip i created earlier allowed for me to
sit the upwards facing panels on top of the top panel while the side panel silicone to
the side… Electrical tape held it together for me as
i moved on. I then silicone an end panel on. This panel
again, was silicone to the outside of the top panel. I then flipped the tank around and added the
other side panel on. Then the last end panel. After each panel i smoothed out the silicone
with my finger. This is needed right after placing the panel as you will not be able
to do it later. Finally, the bottom panel. This was silicone
and sits right on top of the front and back panels. Last was the inside side panels. These went
on the outsides. That was it, i waited another 24 hours and
did water test. To do the water test, i sat the bridge upside down and filled it up. I
let it sit for 24 hours to insure no leaks. When building your bridge, you can now see
that the inside will determine how far apart the tanks will be. While the diameter of the
bridge is dependent on the size of the fish that you intend to have travel through it.
I recommend the bridge having a diameter of 2-3Xs the height of the fish.
When determining what size you want to go with, you will need to start with fish size.
This will determine diameter needed. Then span between tanks. This will determine how
long the bottom piece will be. The diameter and the bottom span combined will give you
the overall length. The height will be discussed later. So now we can install it onto an aquarium. However, before we jump to installing it,
we should first understand how it works. As the tanks fills to the bottom of the bridge,
the bridge becomes trapped with air. That air will be sealed in by the water level in
the aquariums, and create enough pressure so that water cannot enter the bridge. As we remove air, a vacuum is created and
the bridge will start to fill with water. Why does this happen? The pressure created by water in an aquarium
is always greater than the atmospheric water pressure. Which is why water will push outwards
on a regular aquarium. However, in the bridge, the pressure is less
than the atmospheric air pressure. This allows water to stay in the bridge and not fall back
out since no air can get back into it due to the bottom of the bridge being submerged
in water. Because of this the pressure being the opposite,
and pushing in on the bridge, a bridge cannot leak water, it can only leak air. Meaning
that if you happened to have a pin hole in the bridge seam, water will not leak out,
but air will leak in and bubble to the top of the bridge and collect. The more air that enters, the lower the water
level will drop and the less of a vacuum there will be. A quick example is that you can experiment
at hoe is this: Fill your sink with water, and submerge a
glass in it. Turn the glass upside down and slowly raise it out of the water, but not
completely. You just created a vacuum. So now that we know a little bit about
how it works, let’s set one up. You can start off with a full aquarium or
empty, the end result on how to prime it will be the same. As the water level rises, it will rise to
the bottom of the bridge. It will then start to trap air. Keep filling the tank to the
top. Once to the top, you can create the vacuum
in the bridge. I used a simple airline to suck the air from the bridge. As I did this,
water was sucked in by both sides. When all air is removed, the will remain in
the bridge. That’s it. Now an interesting fact about the bridge is
that it will keep both tanks equalized with the same water level. So if water is removed
from one tank, they will equalize on their own. So that means you can filter both tanks
with one filter. Preferably a canister filter with the intake in one tank and output in
the other. However, i have not personally tested a bridge to its limits on how fast
it can equalize, so do this with caution. This also means that during a water change,
you only have to take water from one tank if you want to as it will level out on its
own during draining and filling. This is where the height of the bridge is
important. To insure that water never goes below the bottom
the bridge, i like to calculate how large
my water changes will be. I then make sure the bridge goes down farther on the tank then
the water changes will. If you do drain too much, and water goes below
the bottom of the bridge, it’s still ok. However much water you remove from below the bridge,
close to that same amount of air will escape into the bridge.
Why this doesn’t lose the vacuum, it will mean you need to prime it again. You might also be wondering, how am i going
to clean this thing? To clean the bridge, you will need to use
a simple magnet style algae scrubber. This will allow you to clean it with ease; however,
cleaning it will not be a chore you
will need to do offer. Anyways guys, I hope you enjoyed the video,
I want
to thank you for watching, and we will see
you next time.

100 comments on “HOW TO: aquarium water bridge

  1. Who will be the first to build this?? send me the video if you do, would love to see what you come up with. FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK:

  2. I don’t own a fish tank either but I would like to one day. Thank you very much for posting this video. It was clever, entertaining, and very informative. Not only did I learn how to build an aquarium bride but I also learned about air pressure and vacuum. I may not build one any time soon but if I ever had the chance I would know what to do. Thank you.
    Too bad we couldn’t see it in use with fish.

  3. Wondering if you knew how to make a floating fish tank/floating fish globe ,for viewing fish above tank :0) There are tons of photos online but no one has a clear tutorial ,some for sale are hundreds :/ This video is awesome but this would take me a lifetime! lol I'm not skilled at all! Thank you for all your great videos ,you are a life saver for a novice like myself 🙂 Happy fish keeping!!

  4. Acrylic is better for a fish tank connector. I actually built one before this video surfaced. Also have videos of fish swimming through my connector/bridge.

  5. We did this about 20 years ago with a soft, clear tube about 5cm internal. Out of eight fish two learned to swim through the bridge after a couple of months. We used to sing 'Born Free' when we saw them doing it.

  6. Have been thinking about doing something similar to this with 2 connected nano fish community tanks connected by 2 smaller versions of this, having the filter from each one aimed into the opening of a different connection to encourage flow between the two tanks, and then have different flow rates in the two tanks so fish can settle in whatever areas suit there needs. Still of two minds though considering the volume of the water in such a small area (not as normal here i don't think to rip up your floor and increase its strength) and feeding if i start adding stuff that requires specific foods but likes to move. Has anyone actually tried this bridge out yet and set a video reply on it?

  7. Question about the water bridge?
    Can the water travel from one aquarium to the other,
    By filtering out of one and putting back in the other?

  8. Not helping my multiple tank syndrome! Lol tried to figure out how to get the water in the bridge before the reveal. Didn't figure it out in time. Fun video thanks 👍

  9. Did you know they use something like this to stabilize tall buildings? Picture a giant version of your water bridge, massive tanks at the top of a building to manage Earthquake vibrations.

  10. it would also be cool if u took pvc tubing to a acrylic box in the middle then another pvc tube to the other tank and somehow create an air tight door at the top so u can put something in the box so it doesnt look plain… would take a couple of bucks and some work tho

  11. Bad idea if you have good oxygenation in your tanks, have mine pumping the water to cycle through both tanks but when I went to bed tiny bubbles from my air stone, began collecting in the top of my aqua bridge eventually raising it enough it broke the seal of the bridge and caused nearly five gallons of water to pour out onto the floor

  12. When he was talking about the how the water can stay in the water bridge I was like- What in the world are you talking about??? Opposite? Atmosphere? (I know what atmosphere is)

  13. Which part of Newfy are you from? We watch your videos and have so much fun! We are from Grandfalls, Nfld! Have a good one bie! Cheers! Your darn smart! Peace!

  14. I am now wondering if something like this would be a practical way to connect two smaller tanks to use for a sump for a reef tank. I do have a handful of aqueon ten gallon tanks

  15. I cant believe you were someone dangerous in the past… Wellnot dangerous but you get my point…

    I dont know if it means anything or if you'll ever see this comment… But you're amazing.

    Youre proof that economic conditions really do determine an individual's life.. If only you had the luxury and privilege to begin your beautiful hobbie earlier in life.. Ive been a long time fan and after watching your newest video explaining your history, ive only grown to become a bigger fan.

    Thank you for what you do. You inspired me, and because of you; my ptsd doesnt effect me as horrible as much as it used to :,)

  16. OMG YOURE SO CUTE HELLO FROM THE FUTURE! Your video style has matured so much in just a few years! Good idea, I like the creativity here.

  17. acrylic is a bit more expensive but so much safer. I suggest you re do this and do it in acrylic instead of glass before someone gets hurt and the lawsuit will fall on your head.

  18. What did you use to circulate the water through the tunnel? Physics and the Mechanics needs something like a circulating pump to pump from one tank to the other (hidden behind) to keep the biology and water chemistry the same in both, otherwise the water will become stagnant in the tunnel and there will be no flow. I'm attempting to do the math and I appreciate this as a starting point.

  19. Trying to connect a 29g to a 10g…is it possible to just make the three different rectangular “boxes” and attach them together?

  20. This is awesome I am planning on putting 3tanks on one wall in my man cave that will be awesome to be able to tie them together

  21. I've been watching your videos for years. You are one of my favorite guy youtubers anytime I have a fish problem, or need inspiration for a fish project I come to you and you never fail to amaze I love your channel

  22. Help I made this between two ten gallon tanks and any fish who spends too much time in it dies.

    Additional information: The tanks are about 5 inches apart and the bridge is 12 inches long and 3 inches tall.

    My two theories are: the silicone is somehow still releasing toxins into the water – which I don't think is it because it's been over a week and I got the safe kind that I've used with fish tanks before and the tube says it releases ammonia during cure, and the ammonia levels are fine; or there's an oxygen deficiency in the water in the bridge that's suffocating them – but I thought I would have fixed that by setting up a filter with a tube that draws water from one tank and dumps it into the other, to create a weak current through the bridge – and I leave about an inch of air in the top of the bridge for my fish who go to the surface to gulp air. (They were getting really upset the first time I set it up and they were going up to gulp air and they couldn't.) Or maybe it's just that the nitrites are high because I didn't cycle the tanks properly. But I got the nitrates down and refilled the bridge and had another death; it really seems to be the bridge.

    I don't know what's wrong. I really wanted this to work but the casualties are wearing on my conscience. Anybody else done it?

  23. I know I'm still younger than him but OMG JOEY IS A BABY HERE. I'm a relatively newer subscriber and I am just seeing these old videos. MUCH prefer the new style but omg this is so cool to see how much the channel has grown. 😂😂

  24. I watched 13 minutes and 38 seconds of this video just to have you tell me I’m not going to get to see fish swim through it… this was such a waste of time. That’s the kind of thing you should say at the start of the video.

  25. HI, it is a very interesting design but how do you manage the water filtration?
    Does it works to put inlet one side and outlet on the other tank?

  26. I dont have glass long enough, can i connect glass side by side or overlap two peices and lue then together to get a longer peice?

  27. You should do one of these again but planted and with three betta fish. One female for the middle giving her the whole bridge and 1/3 of each tank to flare and separate them with plexiglass dividers and put one male on both sides

  28. I built a custom stand for my two 55s to make them feel a bit more like 1 big tank – this would make it even more that way! Makes me feel more motivated to set them up again and do this. I can just imagine the antics of clown loaches on this bridge 🙂

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