Bulkheads

shane

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Nov 29, 2006
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I like the hidden aspects of drilling holes in the bottom of a tank and installing bulkheads. The thing that worries me is how reliable are the seals? How long do they last? If something were to go wrong with the bulkheads, there would be a serious problem.

Foe the folks that have this type of setup, how have your experiences been?
 

VaughnH

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Jan 24, 2005
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Bulkheads use an O-ring to seal them. That seal, when on the bottom of the tank, has the same, low pressure on it 24 hours a day, year after year. O-rings don't fail under those circumstances, assuming they were properly installed and the fitting tightened properly.
 

Gerryd

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Sep 23, 2007
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Hi Shane,

My 180 is well over 6 years old and I have never had an issue with these fittings or bulkheads. I have 4 holes drilled two on each side..........

I have moved the tank (completely disassembled) at least 3-4 times in that time frame, again with no issues.

Based on my experience and with Vaughn's caveat that they be PROPERLY seated and installled, I would not worry about it.

However drilling the glass is the tricky part........Don't forget to drain the tank FIRST, then drill LOL

Hope this helps.
 

shane

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Nov 29, 2006
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Can these seals begin to crack over time? What are the chances of a PVC fitting cracking while doing maintenance, etc?

What location in the tank is the best place to drill the holes? Near the back?

Will the bulkheads limit your aquascape layouts (you don't want to see the bulkheads) if you want to change them up every so often?
 

Gerryd

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Sep 23, 2007
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Shane,

given enough time, any seal can dry out.

I don't think you will have an issue with this.

I have PVC pipe on BOTH sides of the bulkhead and have never cracked one. I am careful with them, but they should just SLIP into the builheads. So they can be pulled out rather easily. Not like you have to kill yourself to remove them..........

Most folks drill towards the back corners.... My 180 has a 3/4" outlet and 1" intake on each side behind a weir (overflow).

If only two holes, I would do intake on 1 side and outlet on the other. However, if you are going to drill, you may as well have two holes on each side. Better intake to the filters and better flow/current from the dual outlets.

I know Tom and other's have the strainer come up from the bottom with no overflows. I think then you aquascape forever around it so it is hidden.

Since I have overflow and they are black, from the tank view they will never be seen regardless of my scaping...

Hope this helps.