In my article, A Visit to Tank and his Amazing Fish Bins, I talked about a great deal I got on a large, 55-gallon plastic bins for growing out fish.
Here, I'll discuss how to double-plumb one of these bins to make water changes easy and to prevent accidental overfills. You can use this technique with just about any large container.
Here's what you'll need:
- Two one-inch bulkhead fittings
- One-inch PVC ball valve
- PVC Elbows
- Two PVC Barbed Connectors (for hose)
- One PVC barbed T Connector
- One inch ID flexible thin wall clear tubing
The actual parts you use may vary, but the basic principle is to drill two holes in the bin. One hole is the drain and other is the high-water level overflow. The high-water overflow bypasses the drain valve.
To drain the bin, you turn the valve at the bottom. To refill, turn the valve to off. The high-water level drain prevents flooding or may be used in a trickle system. The drain line runs to floor drain or sump pit for your home.
Ever have a tank get cloudy?
I think everyone has experienced this at one time or another. Most recently, I had a really bad snail outbreak in a 90-gallon tank, so I removed the fish (which I was selling anyway) and bleached the tank. After 24-hours of snail-killing bleach, I stirred the sand substrate and siphoned out as much debris as I could. Then, I refilled the tank.
This is where the "cloudy" happened. After filling the tank and re-starting the filter, the tank was cloudy with very fine sediment. Usually, the filter will remove this in 24 hours. but after a week the tank was still cloudy. What to do?
I was a bit stumped at this point, but then I remembered that I had won a goodie bag at one of the GCCA Meetings in the raffle. Inside, was an 8 ounce bottle of Accu-Clear from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. This, I thought, is worth a try.
Using the product is simple. Just dump in 1 teaspoon (5ml) per ten gallons of water. The cap offers a convenient measure built in.
Bonus! Within 24-hours my tank water was sparkling clear!
Accu-Clear is a flocculant. The chemicals in the product bond to particles in the water a bit like glue and aggregate them. The result is that the particles fall out of the water column to the bottom of the tank where you can ignore them (I did) or siphon them out.
Although I didn't have fish in the tank at the time, you can use this product even if your tank is stocked.
What else can I say?
This product does what it claims to do. An 8 ounce bottle will run you $7 to $10 and will treat 480 gallons of water. I think this is a good product that every aquarist ought to have on hand.
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The Greater Chicago Cichlid Association — GCCA — is a not-for-profit, educational organization, chartered in the state of Illinois, dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of information relating to the biology of the fishes in the family Cichlidae, with particular emphasis on maintenance and breeding in captivity. We are simply cichlid hobbyists who love cichlids.