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Discussion Starter #1
So I am constructing a fake rock and I want to put a waterfall on it in the very corner...How much space do I need in the corner to do this...can I drill a hole on the bottom glass in the very corner or does it need to come out a bit? Can I have a space just big enough for say, 1/4" or 1/2" pipe or do I need extra room for something? Thanks!
 

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So I am constructing a fake rock and I want to put a waterfall on it in the very corner...How much space do I need in the corner to do this...can I drill a hole on the bottom glass in the very corner or does it need to come out a bit? Can I have a space just big enough for say, 1/4" or 1/2" pipe or do I need extra room for something? Thanks!
well I saw your other thread, as you know, and if you are going to do a sump and you want the waterfall to be your return then use you can drill in that corner and put you a bulkhead on the cut then run your pipe.
It is best from what I have seen to make a sort of overflow box at the top of your pipe so the box will fill up and just overflow and give a nice smooth flowing effect instead it it rushing out of your straight pipe or a straight pipe with a 90 degree elbow on it.

If you use the canister I suggested (if you don't do a sump) then you can simply just drill a hole in the back of the tank where you want your waterfall/return but I would still do the overflow box idea with this as well so you don't have a rushing stream of water.
If you take a glass and stick it under a faucet eventually it will fill up and overflow and have a smooth flow to it. So you took and rushing water source and turned it into a smooth flowing source. That is what the overflow box will do.
This can be done with pumps that have no flow rate setting like canister filters and some sump pumps.
Even if the pumps do have a flow rate setting I would still use the overflow box idea to give it a nice flow.

Now the most common way people do water features is by placing a pump in the bottom of the tank and running a hose then they make a wall around it with egg crate and screen so they can remove the pump later and this should just be big enough so you can remove the pump easily in case it burns out and needs to be replaced.
Okapi used this method on his viv that I showed you in the other thread.
He used several different hoses to make the water flow in different parts of the water feature instead of having it as one source of water with the multiple sources it gave him several paths of water and gave the effect of more then one stream of water lol. I hope you get what I mean haha.

I am curious what kind of background you are thinking about doing.
Water features and clay just don't mix. It takes a long time and patience getting the clay tot he point where you can successfully run a water feature on it and whatnot. You have to run the feature at a snails pace or mist to let biofilm build up to protect the clay like a barrier.
I have seen some do Great Stuff with the water features and around the water features where the water will be touching then use clay everywhere else and be fine.

I hope I helped :)
 

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If you use canister filters you want to use quick disconnect valves or you will have a surprising mess on your hands.... You can ramp the flow rate down with those kinds of valves but you also have to make sure that nothing is going to impede the intake for the filter as
1) those pumps are cooled by the water in the tank flowing through them
2) if blocked at all, then the suction in the areas where the water can penetrate is good for causing issues
3) you can flood your tank which can cause issues with overly damp substrates.
4) the pumps can overheat and fail or even melt through the canister (I've had this happen twice).

One of the main drawback is that those pumps can put a lot of heat into the water particularly if you have a relatively small volume of water.. the smaller the volume the more heat that ends up in it. This may be okay at sometimes of the year but it can cause issues at other times.

Keep in mind that you need someway to make sure the water doesn't get wicked up and into the substrate or again, you can get a soggy mess. If you have the water area seperated from the land area, do not forget to add a drain in the land area to prevent this from occuring...

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your responses! You provide a lot of helpful information. Hopefully I will be finished with the construction part of my rock soon and I can show you my idea. I really like the overflow box idea. Is that something I could hide easily if it is on top?

As far as what my background is going to look like, I plan on having a lot of it in the center kind of empty/open. I am building a large rock structure for one side (which is coming out kind of crappy because I was kind of figuring out how grout worked and didnt put enough detail into my styrofoam) but then I will be adding some GS with some sort of cover to look like dirt around the rocks. then the other side of my tank is going to be a large substrate area, also with some sort of fake rock but not as big and a large piece of wood. Not sure of the exact layout yet but i have made a few drawings and am kind of just making it up as i go along.
 

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If you have it high up and falling down as a water fall you will need a drain in the land area as you will have issues with splashing the water from the water feature. This means you need a back up way of recovering that water so it does't make the land area too wet as well as cause the pump to run dry.

Splashing will also put droplets on the glass that will dry and make it cloudy fairly quickly.

Ed
 
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