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I am starting to plan the plumbing for my 90g tank, and was wanting to solicit the club's advice. It will be a 90g (48x18x25) tank w/ corner overflow. The overflow has 2 holes drilled for 1" bulkheads. So these are my current ponderings (and sorry if I am overthinking this):

1) What type of bulkheads, eg slip-slip, slip-thread, etc? For the drain bulkhead, I've read it should be a slip on the overflow side to ease with maintenance and possible tweaks to the standpipe design. How about the sump side of the drain bulkhead? I would think slip would be best so plumbing could be glued in to ensure no leaks. And for the return bulkhead?...

2) How about unions and ball valves on the sump side? I would think unions for both drain and return would be nice-to-have in case the sump needs to be serviced etc etc. On the return side, a ball valve seems to be a must to throttle the return pump. How about for the drain side? Is a ball valve for the drain side overkill? Assume I have glued all the sump side plumbing, except for unions, what happens if the tank/bulkhead/stand ever need to be separated, I would think the union and/or ball valves would have to be cut off, so is threaded better? I'm just trying to anticipate.

3) Which standpipe design do ya'll recommend? Durso, stockman, hofer, other?

4) For the return, I am clueless as to how this is designed. Do I use a loc-line setup or just dump it over the overflow wall? If loc-line, from the 1" bulkhead, I first have a 1" standpipe, then reduce it to accept the 3/4" loc-line (I believe this is the largest diameter), then do I split the flow? How far out into the tank do I have the nozzle(s)?

Thanks in advance.

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Check this thread for a discussion of #2 Plumbing and Sump design by Eckreef, I flagged it at the time and have been using it to plan my design.

Like you I ended up getting the DSA 90g with corner overflow. We're setting mine up this weekend.

I went with thread/thread for both 1" bulkheads. I like being able to replace the plumbing without cutting, though it shouldn't be a huge deal either way. Unions are only about $4 so are probably worth it. I'm using a Durso setup, and the link that I'm using recommends oversiziing the Durso to 1 1/4" before threading into the 1" bulkhead with a reducer. For my return I'm going to use flexible 1" line, so it's easy enough to put a threaded 1" adapter with the flexible line attached with a hose clamp. That makes for easy replacement and the flexible line should make setup easier.


I'm using a mag 9.5 as my sump pump so I have a 1" T and a ball valve on the return to control flow and redirect water back to the sump. I can use the T to feed my turf scrubber.

According to the above post you don't need a ball valve on the drain since you can always just turn the pump off and then no water will flow from the drain.

For my return (same as yours with the corner overflow) I bought a 1" to 3/4" adapter so that I can use loc-line. I have a loc-line Y and (3) 6" loc-line flexible tubes (all 3/4"). I will run one close to the corner, and connect the other two to give me a 12" reach to run toward the other side. Jake at RCA said most people don't do this for esthetics, but i told him i plan to snake it over the water level and then back down so that you can't see 12" of loc-line in the tank. I expect that the mag will be more than strong enough to do this and the ball valve will still allow me to control flow.

All that said I'm open to advice as well since we both have the same configuration going in and I haven't constructed anything yet. Anyone else have feedback?

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mike, thanks for sharing - look forward to seeing your setup (take lots of pictures!). i'm probably another month out before i actually put things together.

and yeah, i've been following that thread as well.

anyways, i'm glad to hear you got the DSA - i hope i had some influence on that decision =) i presume you have it already. what do you think of the workmanship etc etc? oh, could you tell me what the thickness of the glass is? aquatek has a larger DSA tank, but they could have used a thicker glass.

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We actually hope to do better than pictures, Reef_Pug is going to take videos of the whole assembly.

I originally purchased the Aqueon 90 with offset overflow from RCA at the b-day bash. Once I got it home, however, I found that it was just too large fore the spot in the dining room. At that point we decided to use the tank as a room divider peninsula between the breakfast nook and living room. The offset overflow blocked too much of the view so we decided to swap it. I absolutely loved the tank though, construction seemed top notch and I hated returning it.

After that the goal was to get a corner overflow and I was going to go with the Marineland. Supply issues prevented immediate pickup, and your previous mail to me about the DSA had stuck in my head, so I asked Jake if he could get it. He said yes, and it was here days later. There was a small difference in pricing but I totally feel like the quality of the DSA is worth it.

The tank itself is much heavier than the aqueon. I'm not sure exactly where the difference is, but the walls seem much thicker and the glass cross members at the top definitely add some weight as well. I got one with clear caulk on the corners, and it looks awesome.

Keep us updated on your build as well, it'll be interesting to see how closely matched the two "twin" tanks end up.

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