Shortening in/out pipes in drilled tanks

zed

Junior Poster
Sep 26, 2008
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Hello all,

I've been gleaning information from this great forum for a few weeks.

I came across a pick of one of Tom Barr's drilled tanks with the in/out pipes cut quite short, I presume to hide them amongst the plants.

My tank, which is about to be set up has a drilled base too, and while I was originally looking for glass or clear acrylic tubes to make them less visible, I like the idea of cutting the supplied pips down.

Is there any disadvantage to cutting the pipes short?

Thanks.
 

jeremy v

Guru Class Expert
Apr 17, 2008
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Zed,

My tank, which is about to be set up has a drilled base too, and while I was originally looking for glass or clear acrylic tubes to make them less visible, I like the idea of cutting the supplied pips down.

Is there any disadvantage to cutting the pipes short?

It is perfectly fine to cut the pipes down nice and short. Just remember to leave at least 2-3" of pipe coming up through the bottom of an empty tank, so that once you fill the tank with your substrate the ends of the pipes will end up just above the substrate line.

The only real disadvantage would be if there was ever a leak within your under tank plumbing system. Having the intake/output pipes right down at the gravel level would allow all the water (above the substrate line) to drain out of the tank. That would kill all of your fish if you didn't notice the leak soon enough to prevent the tank water level from getting that low.

If the pipes were kept at least 2-3" (or more) above the substrate line that would keep enough water in the tank to keep your fish alive in the event of a severe malfunction within the plumbing system.

If the tank penetrations themselves ever leaked, the whole tank could empty over time no matter what, so the height of the tubes makes no difference in that scenario.

Have a good one, Jeremy
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
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Jan 24, 2005
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Before you decide to use clear acrylic or glass tubes remember that biofilm will soon cover them, both inside and outside, so they won't remain transparent. I once dreamed about how invisible my spraybar was going to be when I used acrylic to make it. Within a few weeks it was essentially a greenish brown tube. That was my last adventure with clear plastic tubes in an aquarium.
 

zed

Junior Poster
Sep 26, 2008
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UK
Guys, thanks for your replies.

I hadn't thought about the tank-drain issue, so I'll make sure there's enough pipe above the substrate to save the fish if the worst was to happen, dread the thought! I had planned to install a simple moisture/water sensor alarm at the base of the tank to give an early warning of every fish-keepers nightmare.

Vaughn, with the clear acrylic/glassware, is it worthwhile having two sets so you can have one set soaking in a bleach/water solution and alternate every couple of weeks?

The only reason I was considering the clear acrylic/glassware route was because I hadn't thought of cutting the intake/output pipes down, and then I spotted them cut-down on a pic of one of Tom Barr's tanks.

I may even have to go for a set of glass lilly pipes as well as the pipes for the drilled base, as I keep reading about the high turnover required for high tech planted tanks. I have a Fluval 405 on my 350 litre tank, so looks like I'll have to fit an extra filter.

Thanks again.
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
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Jan 24, 2005
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I'm not sure how you could remove one of the pipes without getting substrate pouring down the pipe. If you worked that out then alternating between two pipes would work.
 

Pockets

Prolific Poster
Mar 13, 2007
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Personally, I would not use clear piping for a filtration intake inside of the aquarium. Rather, my choice would be black pipe and black strainer.

I use all clear vinyl tubing for all my equiptment so I am able to see how quickly they turn completely brown/black/grey ... nasty...!

Now, if you were taking some constest photos of an Iwagumi layout or similar aquascape it may be advisable to swap the black piping for the clear just before the picture.

It just seems like it would turn into a hassle swaping the clear acrylic filter intake pipes ever Fri/Sat :)
 

zed

Junior Poster
Sep 26, 2008
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I guess you're right pockets. Think I'll stick with the original grey pipes for the drilled base, and cut them short.

Instead of adding a second external filter and the associated extra intake/output pipes (up the side of the tank) (kinda defeats the object of having a drilled tank), I'll look at swapping the supplied Fluval 405 for something with more punch, maybe a Fluval FX5.

Thanks again.