How to Set up an advanced aquarium – the plumbing

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This is the first part to my tutorial series on how to set up an aquarium.

Included, but not limited to in this series:

Designing and building the filtration and why.
selection of media/type/how much, and why.
plumbing the tank(drilling, installing bulkheads, overflows, standpipes) Including how to select bulkhead size, how a stand pipe works and why… etc… everything needed to know on plumbing a tank.
installing filtration, pump selection… which one to get(based on tank size, filtration design, bulkhead/overflow type, fish kept, etc..)
other equipment selection and installation, including heaters, power heads, lighting, etc…

PART 1 ►

PART 2 ►

PART 3 ►

PART 4 ►


The king of DIY


What do you think?


Written by The king of DIY

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  1. Yikes…it's no wonder you have over 87K viewers, this is REALLY good. I think I might even be able to do it. (but I would leave it to the hubs, lol) This is the first series I have seen of yours and I'm looking forward to more. Thank You very much. Take good care :0)~

  2. I bought a nice used aquarium 45 gal.  Everything is primo except the plastic band that goes around the tank for support on the top is cracked.  Should I fix it somehow or is it safe to fill it without it?  They don't seem be very strong in the first place.  Bottom one is okay…just the top band/strap is cracked.  Not sure how I might fix it if it's needed.  Help?  Thanks

  3. Hey Joey. You gave all the math for the amount of water flow you wanted but then you said you where going to put a ball valve in the 1 inch and close it off some. Wont this change your desired water flow?

  4. joey in the how to build an acrylic aquarium video series u mentioned that acrylic lid  will/might bow over time. Do u have to worry about the rest of the tank bowing? 

  5. Hi Joey. Love the videos and all the help is awesome. I'm also going to be buying your book this year.
    I am setting up a 10ftx2ftx2ft marine tank. I am building a sump system and want the water to be turned over at least 8 times per hour. I calculate that I will have around 1600 Ltrs of water in my system, this includes the sump. To turn over 20,000ltrs per hour what bulkheads should I use? And how many? I have tried to find the right answer buy have struggled. Hope you can help. Congrats on how well everything has worked out for you too. Many thanks.

  6. Does the filtration system necessarily have to be set up that way under the tank?, I had a small fresh water tank but I never put a filter under it, I just put a filter on the corner of the aquarium, I'm getting confused is that filtration a MUST?

  7. I have a 55 gal tank from my in-laws, I have never set up a fish tank and this thing looks like it hasn't been used in years. I took it out back and filled it with water to make sure is wouldn't leak. However, this thing is dirty. How would you propose I clean it? I've heard that soap of any kind is a no-no, also its an acrylic tank. Thank you so much, I can't wait to watch the rest of your vids.

  8. Hi, I have watched probably 3/4 of your videos and really appreciate them all and I am trying my own set up something like this one. I have a question tho, I purchased a tank that had a pre drilled hole of 1-3/4" on the bottom and a 1-1/2" hole. the smaller hole is easy to find a bulkhead for but I cannot find a 1-3/4" bulkhead. Do they make them and if not will a 1-1/2" work because of the size of the head?

  9. Gasping at the surface is a sign of ammonia poisoning. Get a testing kit and test your water for ammonia. 25 gallons is only big enough for 2, maybe 3 adult goldfish (they're incredibly dirty animals), so they're probably in an incredibly high-ammonia environment.

  10. Can you recommend a supplier of acrylic? I am looking to use 1/2" acrylic for a tank build. I have never built a tank but it is a project that I want to work on with my youngest son. Thanks for any help.

  11. Just an educated guess, but I think you are drilling to fast- to many rpm's on the drill. Try a variable speed drill on low speed. Or a battery operated drill on the first speed. You will find that you go through your hole faster and you will save the life of your bit. I learned this from going to fast through metal studs. I slowed down, and everything went much better. Great vids

  12. First let me say I love your vids!! I have learned alot…thanks! Itrust you to answer a question. I aquired a 40 gallon tank and there is calcium build up in BAD…I have not set it up yet. What should I do? Thanks a ton, Deb



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How to Set up an advanced aquarium – DIY filter