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All Aquariums In

By King of DIY on

Speaker 1:
All the tanks are in. Over the next week or so hundreds of fish are going to be showing up here in the Aquarium Gallery. Which means one thing, we need to get to move on with setting these aquariums up. As you guys know, we have 10, 120-gallon aquariums to set up. Today, we need to start setting up at least two of them. By the end of the week, I need six of these up and running.

The most important thing we can focus on is one thing at a time. Let's not get overwhelmed.

Let's approach these by doing one thing at a time. It's not going to be that complicated. We're going to install a background, install the aquarium into the racking system, get the plumbing up and running, install equipment, fill it with water. Probably a little easier said than done. Now installing these 3D backgrounds is first on the list. It's as simple as siliconing them in place.

However, all of these aquariums will be on sumps which means we have to work around a lot of the plumbing. In this case, the, the people who've made these tanks also installed their plumbing supplies. We have the H2O overflow and their siphon stopper. Both are really exciting and new to the hobby. However, some of them won't work with the background. My goal and my plan here is to install the backgrounds and make the plumbing work around the backgrounds as opposed to vice versa.

If I were to try to install these backgrounds with all the plumbing installed, I'd really have to chop up the backgrounds and it wouldn't look as natural as we possibly could. Let's just backtrack for a moment here and let me explain the plumbing situation. Over on the right-hand side, we have the return. This is going to be the return from the pump in the filter or the sump. Then we have the overflow here. This is a one and a half inch overflow and a one-inch return.

Down here in the middle of the tank halfway down is just a regular bulkhead installed. It's a one-inch bulkhead. That will be on a ball valve. Something that I can turn to open the water which will drain half the water in the aquarium allowing me to do really quick water changes. I need to work around all of this. No, I wouldn't say any of that is a problem. However, with the backgrounds that I have for example the one from AquaDecor they're hollow 3D background.

I can just kind of silicone this in place so the fish can't get behind it and there's plenty of room for the plumbing and I might have to drill through the background itself, install a screen to allow water to flow in and behind it, but I have one problem with one background. This one here. This is one of my favorites that they had. However, instead of being hollow, it comes in sections and it's solid styrofoam behind it.

What does that mean? Well, if I try to install it on there, I can't because it's going to be obstructed by the plumbing and if I take out all the plumbing and install it, I'm blocking off all the bulkheads. I had to come up with a plan. I decided I would install the bulkheads first for this aquarium. The rest are going to be really simple but this one's going to be the only challenge. I decided I would install the bulkheads first.

If you're not familiar with the bulkhead basically, they're a fitting that allows you to run return lines and drains through the walls of your aquarium so you don't have anything above it. This also allows you to have a sump for filtration. Now, if you've never installed the bulkhead before, they're very straightforward. There's only a few things you need to think about. One is make sure the bulkhead is clean.

For me, I like to dip it in water, rinse it off really quickly and clean the hole that you've already drilled. Now I've shown you guys how to drill acrylic and glass aquariums in the past, so we're not going to cover that. Basically, once you know that it's clean you got to understand that the rubber gasket goes on the inside of the tank. This forms a watertight seal. Then install it and most times you just need to go hand tight. Basically as tight as you can put it.

The problem arose when I installed the background. There's still a bit of a lip with the bulkhead which means that the styrofoam from these backgrounds can't lay flat. What I decided to do was install the bulkheads, put the background in place or the section that's going to be covering the bulkheads. Take a pen and mark off through the bulkhead onto the styrofoam where they line up. Then I basically carved out where the bulkheads were going to be, and now it fits perfectly flat.

Now, this isn't enough, but this is going to allow me to silicone the entire background in place then we can circle back and figure out how we're going to install all the plumbing. I'm probably going to drill through a lot of the styrofoam. Hopefully be able to hide some of the plumbing in the crevices and whatnot but ultimately, I feel like this was the best idea. Now, on the contrary, the rest of the backgrounds kind of look like this where they're hollow. So, we can just install it right in place.

Now, a lot of the times though with aquariums with their center brace you've got to cut your background in half and work around the center brace. However, with custom aquariums, they have this bracing system that is only put in with two screws. I've already removed them and the brace comes completely off. Once I'm done aquascaping the tank, I put it back on but what this means is now I can have a full background in the tank without having to cut it.

Now it just lines up perfectly. I'll install the bulkheads and plumbing will have to work around the background, but there's still space in behind it for a lot of things to work. Again, I'll have to put some screens so water can flow through and silicone it in place. Moral of the story here is, I've got to make sure the plumbing works around the backgrounds and not vice versa. We'll have to get pretty creative with some of these backgrounds.

To install this background, I've already laid them out in the order that they have to go in. I've just got silicone here. I'm going to add a liberal amount of silicone to the background and put it in place. This is a very light background so it should be able to hold itself in place as opposed to needing to brace it. Ideally, you would install a background while the aquarium's laying on its back so it has gravity to hold it in place for the following 24 hours or so for it to cure.

We just want to push it in place, put a little bit of pressure on it to squeeze and spread out that silicone. I like to do the perimeter of the background to ensure nothing can get behind it and then kind of fill in between here. That's that. I thought it was going to be a little bit more difficult because it is modular. You've got to line them up, but you don't have to line them up perfectly. There's plenty of room for play but as you can see it looks like one full piece now.

All right, one down one to go. The rest of these backgrounds can actually sink, so I just need to silicone them in place so that fish can actually get behind them. All I'll do is line them up and run a bit of silicone all along the seam, very simple. Now before we think about moving the aquariums into the stands, we have to consider the Ecotech MP 40s which are the wavemakers that have to be installed as well.

You see, I'm not going to be putting them in the backs of the tanks and I certainly can't put them in the front, but as you guys remember this goes on the inside of the tank and this goes on the outside. I have to come through the side, but the side has the aluminum plating surrounding the tanks. I have to drill through that first in order for the motor to be able to come through that plating and touch the glass. That's what we're going to be doing next. Fortunately, we have Gary back here with us today.

How's the going?

Speaker 1:
Here's the game plan. We're going to pull out this rack. I'm going to drill a rather large hole through the side so that we can fit the motor of the wave maker in, then take out this bottom tank, replace it with one of the tanks with the backgrounds in and same with the top.

Speaker 1:
Two down, eight to go.

Speaker 1:
This is about as far as I could take it today. Mind you none of the racks are lined up properly so it's going to look a little wobbly here and there. I just got a call that said the plants for the 375-gallon aquarium are going to be here tomorrow. With my calculations, this is a little bit early, but I'm dealing with Jeff from 1 Fish 2 Fish. He doesn't mess around. He can get me whatever I need pretty quickly.

However, that means all attention and all focus now has to go to the 375. Thanks for looking good though, and I'm pretty excited to continue moving forward. With that said, we're really getting down to the wire with needing to get a lot of this stuff done. Just to admit to you guys up front, today is Thursday, meaning that this video will be mostly filmed, edited, and you will see it today.

Just to give you an idea of how far behind per se that I am because plants come tomorrow, fish the next week, so we got to get to move on, but you guys know me. I can get a whole lot done in a relatively short amount of time. With that said, I got to give a shout-out to Gary for once again coming over and helping me out. That makes a world of difference to have an extra set of hands here.

He, actually, really enjoys doing it so, that makes me happy as well, but if you guys are as excited as I am about these racking systems, and you're not subscribed to this channel yet, I highly suggest you do, so you don't miss any of it. This coming Sunday, we're going to set up the 375-gallon tank. Maybe we'll be able to get time to scape it by then, but so much to look forward to, and thanks for coming along, guys.

About King of DIY

Joey is THE King of DIY, and when he built his gallery of aquariums he chose the Custom Aquariums rack system with 120-gallon tanks...a lot of them!

Joey Mullen is also known as the king of DIY, uarujoey or the DIY fishkeeper on social media. Providing education and inspiration for aquarium enthusiasts on YouTube, he is also the author of The Ultimate DIY Handbook; for the DIY Aquarist. His channel is about educating all levels of fish tank hobbyists who are passionate about caring for fish and keeping an aquarium of their own. Joey's aquarium rack systems were custom made by our professional fish tank engineers, here at Custom Aquariums.

Please watch the King of DIY's videos for some helpful information and great tips on diy aquarium keeping.

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