PVC Overflow with Multi-Level Intake
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One of the most important decisions to make
with any DIY aquarium project is what kind of
glue to use.
Some quick online research in a few popular
aquatic forums confirmed this 8 oz. can of Oatey
all purpose PVC cement works just great.
The PVC materials in this photo will be used to
build the 3" diameter section of our Multi-Level
Intake overflow. This is the section that goes
inside the aquarium. Measurements are based
on a 20" tall aquarium, but your own
measurements can be adjusted to accomodate
any size aquarium.
* Using a measuring tape and hand saw,
carefully measure and cut the 3" diameter pipe
to 18" long.
* Measure and cut the 1½ diameter pipe to 16"
Note: Throughout the project, use sandpaper on
all pipe cuts to remove loose shavings.
* On one end of the 3' diameter pipe, measure
and mark 1" vertical slots about 7/8" apart.
* An optional step is to drill a small hole at the
base of each marking to help insure a clean
stop when cutting each slot.
* Use a jig saw or hand saw to cut the slots
along the marked lines.
The purpose of the slots is to help reduce the
potential for fry to be drawn into the overflow. In
a saltwater application, if there are only larger
fish, it may be preferred to omit the slots for
better surface skimming.
* Wrap a piece of plain copy/printer paper
around the 3" diameter pipe and tape in place.
* Using a ruler, measure and mark positions for
the lower and upper water intake holes. Two
sets of 5 3/16" holes were drilled 3" from the top
and bottom of the 3" diameter pipe.
Note: A small piece of lumber scrap was
positioned against the pipe under the ruler to
help keep lines straight. Positions of the holes
are negotiable, but you might consider drilling
the lower holes at least 3 inches or more from
the bottom in case you ever want to use your
overflow with a sand substrate.
do-it-yourself aquarium and semi-aquatic background designs beyond the traditional
1 x 8 oz. can of Oatey All Purpose Cement
1 x 5 ft. length of 3/4" diameter PVC pipe
1 x 2' section of 1½" diameter PVC pipe
1 x 2' section of 3" diameter PVC pipe
5 x 3/4" PVC (slip)elbows
1 x PVC T connector
1 x 3/4" (slip) caps
1 x 3" PVC test cap (these are almost flat)
2 x 1½ " PVC slip caps
1 x 3/4" slip & thread adapter
1 x 3/4" rubber o-ring
1 x 1" section of 3/16" rigid tubing
2 x nylon ties
2 x 50307 3/4 Inch Female Adapters
1 x 3' section of 1 1/8" inner diameter bilge hose
Jigsaw power saw (optional)
1- 3/16 drill bit
1 - 1" wood bit
Medium grit sandpaper
Measuring tape (optional)