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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my boss has asked me to build her a plants only viv with a water feature to display in her living room. I've been reading peoples threads on how they built their water feature but I'm still feeling in the dark about many things. I come from a long line of mechanically challenged folks and don't understand plumbing. Can folks help?

1) plain old pump vs canister filter? Why or why not?

2) drilling glass? EEK! Any tutorials around? I think this will have to wait until spring as I can't run the hose right now.

3) I don't understand what a ball valve is, where you get it and how you use it.

3) Other general advice? (including "DON'T DO IT" lol )
 

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If its a plant only tank (no fish) then a pump would probably be sufficient.

There are tons of tutorials on youtube. If you dont feel comfortable ding it you can take it to a glass shop or some aquarium stores and they will drill it for a small price.

A ball valve basically regulates flow of the water. You can buy them in the plumbing section of any Lowes or Home Depot.
Ldr FCP BV-34 CPVC Ball Valves, - product summary - Bing Shopping
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
of course, I do all my research at work, where you tube is VERBOTEN. I will have to research at home and work at work then!!

Doug that is a really good thread. I am reading intently. I am glad I am not the only one who does their hobbies at 2 am while family is asleep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
And if I buy the glass cooling goo, I do not need to wait until spring to drill holes! YIP-EEE (that is not Yipe)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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I say since its plants only then an in tank pump should suffice. I believe it will keep the maintenance down for the future owner since in reality she should only be just topping off the water level.
 

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Personally, I'd use an external sump below the tank rather than an internal pump or canister filter. The sump always the water level inside the tank to remain at a constant level rather than flucuating w/ water evaporation. The external sump also allows for a much longer period between water top offs.

A ball valve is called a ball valve because the controlling mechanism is a ball w/ a hole drilled through that changes the amount of fluid that can pass through it by how much of the hollowed ball is exposed to the water by rotating to open or closed. Ball valves are much more difficult to "fine" adjust than gate/knife valves.

Gate/knife valves are much easier to adjust, also cost more.
 

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Like they said its called a ball valve because its a ball with a hole drilled through it. Its a great valve, for many situations. In house hold plumbing, it is considered the best kind. Most house hold valves are cheap gate valves that work by forcing cheap washers against a stop point. One the washers always fail over time. And Secondly most gate valves have very poor flow characteristics. While ball valves have full to almost completely full strait flow through the valve. And therefor most metal ball valves will last a life time. And most plumbing gate valves fail to do their job after 10-15 years.




Knife and Butterfly valves are a bit different each but not that common. You find knife valves in most hot tubs, but most butterflys are in heavy duty industrial plumbing.
 

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On my waterfalls (read very very slow flow) - I have a pump in the tank with a ball valve controlling flow rate. Keep in mind that I have a 20l (not much room) and the pump and ball valve are hidden behind a 1/4 cork tube.

I was not able to find the small 3/8 ball valve at HD/Lowes I went to my local ACE and they had everything for plumbing.

I second what others say about doing the sump - i'm not completely sold with the way I did it..

- ryan
 
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