Claire Corlett

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How to: DIY Aquarium Continuous Drip System

How to: DIY Aquarium Continuous Drip System


What’s up YouTube. This is Steve Poland. I had a couple requests to do a video to cover my drip system, so I thought I’d do that. I guess, first thing I’ll say is that this is still a work in progress and…you know…as everything in the aquarium hobby is. I might tweak it probably several times in the future but for now this is what I’ve done. I guess I should also say…this isn’t necessarily for everyone. You know, it’s gonna depend on your setup. It’s gonna depend on your house, but I’ll show you what I’ve got. So really the first thing… unfortunately my
tank is not drilled so I have an Eshopps PF-1000 overflow box and this overflow box really is meant for you know a sump system. It’s really overkill for a drip system like this. You know I’m not running a whole lot of water through there every
minute. But you know I wanted buy something that was a little bit future-proof, not really even for this, but in case I do decide to run a sump at any point you know I already have a box for it. I also liked it because this is… you know it has..as you can see two overflow tubes, or two I guess u-tubes. So that worst-case if one of them loses siphon, you know, at least I’ve got some redundancy there. You can see there’s some air pockets at the top there. Honestly that’s just because the last time that I put these in and started the siphon there was air there and I really just didn’t even bother to get it out of there. This flow rate is so small, so slow really that those bubbles don’t even increase. I haven’t had it lose siphon at all, so I’m not really too worried about it. But at some point I may, you probably the next time that I set this back up after cleaning it, I’ll probably get those bubbles out of there. So I’ve got this going down, you know just to PVC. It’s actually got two outlets on it. I’ve got one of them just plugged up. Then I’ve got it running down..I’ve got a shut off
valve here so that I can shut it off and disconnect it. So I’ve got those two things on here which I think are kinda key for
maintenance purposes And then it just goes down to a hose barb
fitting Pardon my dirty wall here from moving a bunch of stands and stuff but it just goes down to a hose barb
fitting and then down to my wall here. So this really is the key for me. I already had this here. I didn’t
feel like cutting into my wall anymore. I’ve done
that enough for all the wiring I’ve done in my house. I didn’t feel like doing it again. This is already here. It was a telephone
jack. So I just took that out and this runs down to my basement which
I’ll show you here in a little bit. So I’ve got obviously the drain line coming there and then this is where the water comes in. So that goes up and over and I’ll show you here where that goes in. It’s really…this part is not particularly exciting, it’s just…and I’ve got it kinda ghetto-rigged there. It’s just taped on. At some point I’ll do something more permanent. You can see that freshwater is flowing in there. So I’ll take you down the basement here now and we’ll take a look at the plumbing down there and what really makes this work. OK guys we’re now down in my basement. So this is where the water comes from. This is just kit that you would get for
your refrigerator to run a water line to your fridge if you have a water dispenser on it. It’s
super easy to do. You just really attach it on there. It’s a cold water pipe. Any cold water pipe will work. This one just happens to be
right below my tank. You can also use one if you have it that’s
convenient like in a bathroom or your kitchen nearby. Really
anywhere. So you really attach it on there, you screw that little valve, it punctures the pipe and then really that’s it. You can adjust the flow. If you’ve
ever hooked up a fridge kit you know what I’m talking about. It’s super easy. So that comes…that actually goes into my crawl space which I’ll show you in a minute and then I’ve got the drain line coming down here. I just happen to run it down, this is…and I’ve got it taped to the wall now because like I said it’s a work in progress but I’ve got it…there’s a drain here on my
furnace. A pipe that was open, so I just stuck in there. It goes to a floor drain that’s on the other side of the basement, but. Really super easy. It just happened to be there. One thing I guess I should point out is that I’m getting a lot out what looks like
mold in this pipe already, in this return line. More than I would have expected at
this point given the time that this has been set up. You know that may be an issue probably just because this flow rate is so slow, and there’s just too much time and it sits there with moisture and air, so I’m not really sure what I’m gonna do about that long-term I may just periodically flush it. See if
that helps but for now this is how it looks. OK so kinda the last component of this. This is where both lines come down into the basement. The drain line runs over like I just showed you. The water source… and again that’s just a that tubing came
with the kit. But one thing you gotta keep in mind
with this is it’s going directly into your aquarium and I’m sure you already know this but if
you have chlorine in your water supply or chloramine, you know you have to mitigate that before it gets to your tank or else obviously you’re gonna have a problem so here where I am and you can check with your local
municipal website or you know there’s ways to find out
anything I really recommend that you test your water. I tested it had..it did have chlorine in it for sure. You know there…once you know what you’ve got there are several
different things that you can do and all I did was I got a filter to run this through before it hits the
tank. You can see that right here. It is pretty simple. Again this really is
made for a fridge. Could have maybe planned it a little better because the size of the tubing on this filter is not the same as the tubing for the
fridge kit. So I did have to adapt it a little bit
and I just. I have this thing sitting here in a
tub just in case I had any leaks but I’ve got it running through there, you know from that pipe that we just saw
through the filter and then upstairs. So really pretty
straightforward. he whole thing… it’s nice… I guess the
one thing that I’ll say is that..I wouldn’t use this as a method to completely eliminate water changes. You know, I haven’t done that. I’m still
doing periodic water changes at least a couple
times a month. You know big, at least 50 percent water changes. What this does I’d say is it makes it so you can do it less
frequently. It gives you better, more stable water
conditions in between water changes. I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in the clarity of my tank. And that also will depend on…when you
do this drip system how much water you’re flowing through it. You know I have it pretty conservative at
the moment. You can really turn it up There are calculators that you can use to find out exactly which your rate of
delusion is.. in terms of..or dilution I guess is the right word so that you know exactly how much water is being displaced and in your tank at any time because it’s not as
simple as you know you have a 90 gallon tank, you drip in 45 gallons a day you know and so you’ve changed out 45
gallons. Because of the dilution it’s less than that. So I’ll put a link to that in a description in a description. I’ll also put a link to the overflow box, the filter and that stuff and the kit for the.. fridge kit for the
pipe so you can see all that stuff. Hope this helps guys. If you have any questions, feel free to
leave them in the comments. And if you like this please feel
free to share it and subscribe. Thanks everybody.

19 comments on “How to: DIY Aquarium Continuous Drip System

  1. i really like the concept. i think once you get it dialed in, and maybe mount the tubing better this could be really effective.

  2. Nice video Steve.  I've been planning out something like this in my head for my various tanks and will use this as a reference once I finally get around to it!   I would "un ghetto rig" that incoming water line ASAP as that duct tape doesn't look like it'll hold for too long!  Oh, and you've got a new sub!

  3. Hey Steve, I love your videos and they inspire me to do better. I am getting ready to setup a small fish room in my shed. It will have 4 20gal breeding tanks, 2 29 gal grow out and 2 40 gal fry tanks. I want to set up a drip system similar to this and want to buy a filter to accommodate all the tanks. Do you have a recommendation?

  4. Hi steve, thanks for recommending this video. Is that a saddle valve? Because Ive considered using the saddle valve but to be honest ive read from reviews that it could leak. Has that idea ever crossed your mind?

  5. hi, I know you don't use this anymore, and its an old video, but if I can, I have a question. inside the overflow itself, how was the white pipe setup? it looked like the smaller pipe ran down to the valve, but inside the over flow it was capped at the end with a bit of hose around it… and then there is a larger diameter pipe around that. Im not sure I understand what all was going on there.

  6. Hi Steve … quick question I’m looking at a drip system for my 180 the filtrete filter you used only says removes taste and odour for chlorine did you ever test for chlorine levels after you used this filter?

  7. I built a pseudo-continuous drip system without any plumbing (going based on what I gathered here). I run my overflow into a five gallon bucket under the tank. An aqualifter pump is used to pump water from the bucket back up to the tank. The inlet line going to the aqualifter is split via a Y connector with one line pulling from the bucket and the other pulling from the DIY overflow to ensure I don't lose siphon. The outlet from the pump then goes directly to the aquarium.

    My tank is 75 gallon, so the additional five gallons in the bucket cycling in effectively makes it 80 gallons of total water volume. That's essentially a ~6% water change for each bucket swap, assuming there was sufficient time for the water to fully cycle between the bucket and tank.

    I typically swap the water in the morning and evening. Swapping is as simple as filling another bucket, switching the lines over to the new bucket and dumping out the old bucket. It takes all of a minute or two. I'm on good quality well water and have an RO filter in the kitchen, so I don't have to worry much about chemicals.

    This setup is working very well, saves me a bunch of time and seems to be benefiting my fish as well (they are healthy, more active and seem to have a much greater appetite). I thought I'd post this here in case anyone would like to accomplish something similar to what's in the video without the hassle of running the water lines.

  8. “Pardon my dirty wall” lol.. cause you live in a real house with real fish tanks! No apologies needed we don’t all have showroom tanks. We live in the real world.

  9. Steve have you ever had any issues with these? I have some tanks that are tempered that I want to add to my auto water change system. I am wondering if this will work. My system goes on 2x a day. Thanks in advance.

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