Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

How To: DIY Inline Aquarium Heater for under $20


Are you tired of clutter in your aquarium?
Do you hate looking at that heater behind your fish?
Today I’ll tell you how I solved that exact problem.
That’s coming up. So the way that I keep my heater out of my
main aquarium is by plumbing it inline with my canister filter.
So to do this, obviously you need: one, a canister filter.
And that’s gonna hook up to the output. So you’re gonna need to know what size tubing
you have coming off of the output of your canister filter that goes back into your tank.
And then you can build yourself one of these enclosures and they’re very easy to build.
All you need is some one and a half inch pvc. A one and a half inch elbow.
A one and half inch tee. And then this has basically three things coming
out of it, right, so you’ve got one place here that comes…this hooks up…I’ve got
some hose on here. This is gonna be plumbed in line with my SunSun
304B filter, ok, so you’ve got this part that is going to hook up to the output of your
filter. And then the tubing, and you may have to cut
your tubing, right, I had to cut this, so the other part is going to be the part that
goes up to your tank and that’s gonna attach here.
So you want to reduce this pvc from one and a half inches to a fitting, a barb fitting,
this is a barb fitting, right here, that is the same size as the inner diameter of your
tubing. So this is three quarter inch tubing so I
reduced it down to there. And you know it’s just gonna depend on what
your hardware store has, but for the most part you can usualy do it with two fittings.
One, I think it’s called a bushing, actually is the term for this piece of pvc, that reduces
from this one and a half to this, so this barb then screws into that.
And this is just screwed in with teflon tape. And this of course you’re gonna have to get
some pvc cement, which, if you don’t know how to do that.
It’s super easy, there’s a million tutorials. The stuff I use is by Oatey, which you can
get at any hardware store. It’s very easy to use.
And that connects this to this. It connects right here. Cement. Cement here.
And of course since this is a tee, you know you’re gonna want to have this tee be one
and a half inches and then the smaller part of the tee is gonna go to this other barb,
right, again screwed in just with teflon tape. And here at the top, for instance, I was trying
to reduce to this fitting, which is the key part of this whole deal which I’ll talk about
here in a second, but, my hardware store, I think I went to Lowe’s for this.
They did not have one fitting that got me from my one and a half right to my, this is
one inch. Which is annoying, so I had to do it with
two fittings. Well, you know, that’s not the end of the
world. It’s like a dollar more, but I had to cement this twice.
Again, not a big deal. I don’t know about you guys, but I swear if I ever went to Home
Depot or Lowe’s and got every single fitting I needed for a project in one trip I would,
like, die of a heart attack. It’s like it never happens. They’re always
out of something, or things are in the wrong bin and you can’t find it.
It’s frustrating, but once you get through all of that, this thing is really easy to
build. Once you get over, if you never done it before,
once you get over doing this pvc cement. But like I said, it’s pretty easy.
So back to this fitting, which is what I said I’d talk about.
And this is very crucial to the whole thing because this is where your heater actually
goes. So you can do a couple of different things
here. You can do this a few different ways. I got this fitting, this is from a company
called Heyco. And this is, they call it a cord grip.
And it’s water tight and I will put the part number in the description.
They actually will…on their website you can go and get samples.
So if you’re only doing one of these you can get them to just send you a sample for free.
Is that right, you know, because really they’re sending out samples under the assumption that
you’re going to be buying perhaps many of these in the future.
So is it right to do that and get this from them for free, well, you know I’ll leave that
up to you. I think the most they will send you is three
as part of the sample, at least in one order. I’m sure though, that you can buy these probably
fairly inexpensively from them. I know there are other things that you can
buy that are, you know, reef type of fittings that will hold a heater as well.
I’ve found that these though work really really well.
This screws onto here and this holds your heater in tight. I’ve actually got just a
random heater here that I can use for this demonstration.
Put this in here. The heater goes in, this screws on, and you’ll have to actually screw
it in quite a ways and probably use some plyers to get this super tight but it’s going to
hold this here and it’s not going to move. And it’s gonna be water tight.
And this still gives you access to be able to adjust the temperature of your heater.
It’s pretty much perfect for this application. So do that, and here’s what this fitting looks
like just in general. This is the part that screws in, this is just
another one, this screws into your pvc over here and then this is the cap part.
It’s a pretty neat little fitting. Works perfectly for this.
So that’s what you gotta do. And you plug it, you know you plumb it in line, as I said
with your filter. You gotta get these clamps to do that, but
that’s really not difficult to do. Gotta have the, you know, the clamps here
on these barb fittings as well. And it’s really great for, like I said getting
the heater out of your aquarium so you don’t have to look at it.
It’s also nice because that heated water comes out of your canister filter output, whether
it’s a spray bar or whatever kind of output you have on there and it pushes it around
the aquarium. So actually you get a much more even distribution
of that heated water than you would normally if you just had a heater sitting there in
your tank, touching whatever water came by it.
Nice for a few reasons. So this is one of my favorite projects that
I’ve ever done. I actually have two of these set up on two
different canisters on my 125. This is going on the 90. I’m looking forward
to doing this. It’s gonna be another great implementation
of this project. If you have any questions, leave them in the
comments. Like I said I’ll put the links to the stuff
that you need to buy for this. If you like this, hit the like button. If
you’re into this stuff and want to see more from me, as always please subscribe to my
channel. This is the type of stuff that I like to show
you. Have a good day. Thanks everybody.

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