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Those who have done this...

is it best to put drain bulkheads in the front of tanks [but will see them? :(]

or toward back? [hard to access, and how to you move a viv once piped in?]

I am setting up new racks of Protean vivs 22 x 17 x 30" with 2 misting heads per Viv.

I'd luv advice on misting systems too if any have some suggestions for me.

Thnks all.

Shawn
 

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I put my drains about 1 inch up, on the back wall. I use clear flexible hose which runs down to a plastic rain gutter just like on the edge of your roof. The rain gutter is mounted at a slight angle so that the water runs down to the end and falls into a bucket. The ends of the plastic hoses do not touch the gutter for fear of cross contamination. It is easy to roll up the hoses and tape them to the top of the vivs when I have to move them.
 
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I put my drains about 1 inch up, on the back wall. I use clear flexible hose which runs down to a plastic rain gutter just like on the edge of your roof. The rain gutter is mounted at a slight angle so that the water runs down to the end and falls into a bucket. The ends of the plastic hoses do not touch the gutter for fear of cross contamination. It is easy to roll up the hoses and tape them to the top of the vivs when I have to move them.
That is the exact setup I have.

If you didn't have Euro fronts, and you didn't care about aesthetics, then having them on the front would probably be better. I recently had a bulkhead leak and I didn't see it until I slid the rack out to chase out the spiders. Use opaque hoses when possible as it will help with the algae growth.

As far as misters go, you cant beat Mist King. Talk to Marty, I would expect him to cut you a deal since you will clearly be buying in bulk. Buy the standard nozzles. With a setup as big as yours, you will probably want to get a RO system and hook it up to a large tank with an auto shutoff. I refill my mister tank by hand, but even with just 10 spray heads I go through about 6 gallons a week.
 

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If you use threaded bulkhead fittings, then you can unscrew the tank from the drainage system. Many of the pvc fittings are tight enough that you can simply slide the connections together and have them not leak. this allows for a quick disconnect from the drainage system (hard plumb most of the rest of the system as that prevents leaks when the drainage system has pressures on it (like when removing a tank from the rack). Otherwise you would have to cut the tank free.

One of the things that can make it easy (but not as "clean" looking) is to attach the clear hose to a threaded barbed adaptor (but I've found this to not be optimal as the hose kinks if it isn't mounted in the bottom of the tank), instead if you use an adaptor like this one http://www.amazon.com/Genova-30490-2-1-Male-Adapter/dp/B000BQYGTO and have a very short piece of hard tubing come out to a 90, you can run that down a couple of inches to a drain line. If you just insert the line from the tank into a T on a sloped line, it doesn't need to be hard plumbed as the gravity drain keeps the water from backing up and leaking. This allows the tank to be removed by simply pulling the one line up out of the T fitting and then the tank can be lifted up and out of the rack.

Ed
 

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If you use threaded bulkhead fittings, then you can unscrew the tank from the drainage system. Many of the pvc fittings are tight enough that you can simply slide the connections together and have them not leak. this allows for a quick disconnect from the drainage system (hard plumb most of the rest of the system as that prevents leaks when the drainage system has pressures on it (like when removing a tank from the rack). Otherwise you would have to cut the tank free.

One of the things that can make it easy (but not as "clean" looking) is to attach the clear hose to a threaded barbed adaptor (but I've found this to not be optimal as the hose kinks if it isn't mounted in the bottom of the tank), instead if you use an adaptor like this one Amazon.com: Genova 30490 2-1/2" PVC Male Adapter: Home Improvement and have a very short piece of hard tubing come out to a 90, you can run that down a couple of inches to a drain line. If you just insert the line from the tank into a T on a sloped line, it doesn't need to be hard plumbed as the gravity drain keeps the water from backing up and leaking. This allows the tank to be removed by simply pulling the one line up out of the T fitting and then the tank can be lifted up and out of the rack.

Ed
You could also use a True Union fitting for hard plumbing to provide a leak proof quick disconnect. Redirect Notice (link does work)
 
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Pretty much the same as everybody else, bulkheads in back with screw in PVC connections and plastic hose going in to a master drain system. I allowed 18" between the back of the rack and the wall for access. I've also had bulkheads leak so now I silicone around them inside & out.
Brian
 

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Here's mine Shawn.


You really don't need much space behind the tanks. I think they only time I go back there is to empty out the bucket.
 

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What size bulkheads are people using?
I go 1" with Italian Bottling Spigots.

Vintage Shop 5/16" And 3/8" Bottling Spigot-Homebrew4less.com LLC

From the barbed end I go 3/8 hose to drain gutter. The ones I bought only came with one gasket so made a second one to provide a gasket on each side. I've on had one leak (very small amount) and it was easily tightened from the outside (spun valve 360 degrees). I like the option of having a valve and it takes care of the 90 degree turn.
 

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I'm curious why people are having their bulkheads come out of the sides of the tank vs directly out of the bottom of the tank?

For me I put 1/2 bulkheads about 1" off the back edge of my 20 and 29 verts. The bulkheads come directly out of the bottom of the viv, not the back or side. The flange side is inside the tank to minimize the standing water under the false bottom. All the drains run to a central reservoir under the rack that is easy to access. I feel like coming out of the bottoms of the tanks leaves less standing water. This allowed my false bottoms to be very shallow, thus allowing for more soil mixture/hydroton/leaf litter. I'll try to take some pics of my setup.
 

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I use 1 inch PVC in the front 2 48 inch racks side by side, Bulkheads loosely fit into PVC Tee's and 90's leaving an air gap so no cross contamination. from left to right I use 90+T+T+T+T+T+T+T+90 for the top row second row is the same except a Tee replaces the on one end this all drains to a P trap again with an air gap no buckets needed let me know if doesnt make sence and I'll send you a pic


Scott
 

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I'm curious why people are having their bulkheads come out of the sides of the tank vs directly out of the bottom of the tank?

For me I put 1/2 bulkheads about 1" off the back edge of my 20 and 29 verts. The bulkheads come directly out of the bottom of the viv, not the back or side. The flange side is inside the tank to minimize the standing water under the false bottom. All the drains run to a central reservoir under the rack that is easy to access. I feel like coming out of the bottoms of the tanks leaves less standing water. This allowed my false bottoms to be very shallow, thus allowing for more soil mixture/hydroton/leaf litter. I'll try to take some pics of my setup.
Because you had to modify your stands/shelves to accommodate your drain fitting and mine can simply go on any flat surface. Another reason would be that I like to keep an inch or so of water in the false bottom anyway, to provide extra humidity.
 

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I'm curious why people are having their bulkheads come out of the sides of the tank vs directly out of the bottom of the tank?

For me I put 1/2 bulkheads about 1" off the back edge of my 20 and 29 verts. The bulkheads come directly out of the bottom of the viv, not the back or side. The flange side is inside the tank to minimize the standing water under the false bottom. All the drains run to a central reservoir under the rack that is easy to access. I feel like coming out of the bottoms of the tanks leaves less standing water. This allowed my false bottoms to be very shallow, thus allowing for more soil mixture/hydroton/leaf litter. I'll try to take some pics of my setup.
I tried this at the Zoo when I was there and discovered that it made it more difficult to remove a tank (since you had to remove the lights (and possibly the lower tank (if it was a deep rack) to gain access to loosen the fitting. In addition, the tanks had to be lifted straight up, which can be difficult if there is weight in the tank (such as having to move it to recapture an animal). If the fitting catches when you lift it off the shelf, you can crack the bottom or cause a leak (I spent too much time contorted in a rack to want to continue doing that in my elder years). In addition, draining through the side. front or the back of the tank, allows some water to remain in the bottom of the tank which helps with slowing thermal changes in the tank.

On an additional note, for those using flexible hoses to connect thier drains, using these repair kits can make it very simple Nelson 50432 0.63" and 0.75" Brass and Nylon Hose Repair#, basically you want the two plastic pieces closed with the screws since you can then use it to make a tight seal on the connection. These don't rust like hose clamps can.

Ed
 

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Because you had to modify your stands/shelves to accommodate your drain fitting and mine can simply go on any flat surface. Another reason would be that I like to keep an inch or so of water in the false bottom anyway, to provide extra humidity.
True, although it was a very simple modification. I just snipped out one of the wires and that was enough room for a small 1/2 bulkhead to fit. I've got about 1/4 of an inch of water in the bottom of all my verts right now. I understand the idea that more water = more humidity, however, I would think the surface area of that body remains the same wether it is an inch deep or 1/4 inch deep, and wouldn't that be the determining factor in how the water affects humidity? Unless of course that much water is evaporating away, in which case your drain probably isn't getting much use?. I'll defer to those with more experience than me on this though.
 

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I'm curious why people are having their bulkheads come out of the sides of the tank vs directly out of the bottom of the tank?
For all the reasons mentioned and also because all my tanks incorporate a small pond in a front corner. For this to work I need about 1.5" of standing water under the false bottom. By drilling my drain on the back wall a little over an inch above the bottom I'm able to accomplish this. Even though I pull eggs, I find tadpoles in these ponds often and have even had froglets morph out.
 

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I tried this at the Zoo when I was there and discovered that it made it more difficult to remove a tank (since you had to remove the lights (and possibly the lower tank (if it was a deep rack) to gain access to loosen the fitting. In addition, the tanks had to be lifted straight up, which can be difficult if there is weight in the tank (such as having to move it to recapture an animal). If the fitting catches when you lift it off the shelf, you can crack the bottom or cause a leak (I spent too much time contorted in a rack to want to continue doing that in my elder years). In addition, draining through the side. front or the back of the tank, allows some water to remain in the bottom of the tank which helps with slowing thermal changes in the tank.

On an additional note, for those using flexible hoses to connect thier drains, using these repair kits can make it very simple Nelson 50432 0.63" and 0.75" Brass and Nylon Hose Repair#, basically you want the two plastic pieces closed with the screws since you can then use it to make a tight seal on the connection. These don't rust like hose clamps can.

Ed
I guess I'm still a nimble young buck. I've found that I have sufficient room to reach all the fittings, but that of course might not be the case in all applications. I like what you're saying about thermal changes as I know how much heat capacity water has.

I know all too well about trying to lift a tank to clear a bulkhead btw, from my days working with reef tanks.

I guess there are pros and cons to either method. I like that I was able to maximize the usable in tank space without having to give up as much of it to a false bottom, but I can see that if/when I decide to move the tanks, it'll be a pain in the you know what. I'm not having any temperature issues right now, but I can see how more water would mitigate fluxuations in temperature. Could that also be a con though, what if you were seeking a drop in temperature at night but might a larger amount of water slow or even prevent this?
 

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I guess I'm still a nimble young buck. I've found that I have sufficient room to reach all the fittings, but that of course might not be the case in all applications. I like what you're saying about thermal changes as I know how much heat capacity water has.

I know all too well about trying to lift a tank to clear a bulkhead btw, from my days working with reef tanks.

I guess there are pros and cons to either method. I like that I was able to maximize the usable in tank space without having to give up as much of it to a false bottom, but I can see that if/when I decide to move the tanks, it'll be a pain in the you know what. I'm not having any temperature issues right now, but I can see how more water would mitigate fluxuations in temperature. Could that also be a con though, what if you were seeking a drop in temperature at night but might a larger amount of water slow or even prevent this?
It depends how much of a temperature drop your looking to add to the tank. Keep in mind that this can also be accomplished through vets allowing the air to exchange resulting in cooler air temperatures. If you use the thermal mass to mitigate this, it would be more similar to what occurs in the wild as the substrate would change temperature slower than the air, allowing for niche selection based on behavioral choices.

Ed
 
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True, although it was a very simple modification. I just snipped out one of the wires and that was enough room for a small 1/2 bulkhead to fit. I've got about 1/4 of an inch of water in the bottom of all my verts right now. I understand the idea that more water = more humidity, however, I would think the surface area of that body remains the same wether it is an inch deep or 1/4 inch deep, and wouldn't that be the determining factor in how the water affects humidity? Unless of course that much water is evaporating away, in which case your drain probably isn't getting much use?. I'll defer to those with more experience than me on this though.
I agree that 1/4" standing water will work just as good as 1". I guess it's really more about modifying the shelves and having to lift your viv up and out if you have a bottom drain. I used bottom drains last time around and found it a pain when I had to move them. I went with back drains this time and I like being able to slide my viv forward which makes it easier for me to move. As far as having extra standing water, I simply lift the front first and that drains most of it out the back drain. All in all, either method will work just fine. It's all personal preference. One last thing, for people using converted fish tanks, often the bottom pane is tempered or heat strengthened which cannot be drilled.
 
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