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2 Aquariums How I Did It

By King of DIY on

Joey Mullen: Earlier in the week, we started by setting up this Asian Aquarium. All we've really got done was the hardscape for it. We haven't seen that yet. Make sure you watch it because in today's video we're just picking up where we left off.

Joey: Now, I actually spent the weekend in New York doing a number of things, including visiting my friend Justin, but more on that in the later video. Today, we need to finish or at least continue on with plumbing this aquarium. Now, there's only so much that we're going to be able to do in today's video but what I need to do is install the plumbing for the bottom aquarium.

Now, the bottom aquarium is actually going to be different from the top aquarium. The top aquarium gets drained and a return. The bottom just gets a drain. It doesn't get a return through the background simply because this aquarium is draining down to this aquarium. It doesn't go through the background. It just comes over in front of it. All I need to do is figure out how I'm going to get this overflow through the background. Here's how I figured out the best way to do it. You see that overflow is going to connect to this two-inch bulkhead, but you could see through this bulkhead is the background. This drill is going to get stopped by it. If I center the drill and just make sure that it's completely centered, this is going to be a pilot hole for me. Watch this.

Joey: Now, because I gave myself a little bit of a pilot hole, all I have to do is take this drill bit, line it up to that hole, start drilling in and that's going to drill me a perfect one and a half inch hole that's going to allow me to run the plumbing through it.

Joey:You see now when I've run my pipe through this one and a half inch pipe it goes right into that bulkhead that we installed earlier and allows me to install this H2O overflow from Custom Aquariums directly onto it. See, how snug of a fit that is. That's going to be perfect. Now, I can move this over whichever way I want to have it as long as it's level to disguise it a little bit more. This is perfect. Very easy overflow to install.

Now, the next thing I'm going to want to do is drill some small, maybe a quarter inch holes into the middle of the background trying to hide it in one of the logs. This is going to allow water to pass through the background. When I open a ball valve for the water changing bulkhead that we showed you six times already, when I turn that ball valve, water is going to be allowed to be sucked through that bulkhead or the hole in the middle of the tank at the back, but the water needs a way to get through to the background. This holes will allow it to. When I do that, we can drain half the water for a water change.

Now, I know I'm doing a lot of these backwards. for example, I should have installed the background, then worked on the plumbing. The last thing, of course, you're supposed to do is scape the tank, but just due to my timeline and availability of resources and time that I actually had to do this, I have to do it in random orders, which you probably shouldn't do it this way, but I'm going to show you how I do everything, anyways.

There's also going to be a bunch of debris floating in the tank from drilling through the background. I can either shut back that up or simply fill the tank up and then skim it out later because it's all going to float. The next thing I got to do now is take this 120-gallon aquarium down and install the next background. However, I'm going to have to also install its bulkheads as well as basically repeat everything I did there.

Now, when lifting an aquarium, you might think, "I can lift that amount of weight" but just due to its bulkiness and size, it's really advisable that I don't lift it alone. I know I can lift the weight, but I'm probably going to break it because it's going to be awkward and I might drop it. I'm going to get Gary to come over and help me lift this down. Before we do that I just want to address one question or one concern I kept getting in the last video and that is, "Is the background upside down?".

Technically, it is. I installed it this way on purpose. I wanted the roots to come out like this as supposed to come down. Now, arguably it looks good either way. It'd be your preference. My preference was to have them coming out of the ground to match this stamp over here. It also resembles the Wall Root tank with the roots coming down and I wanted them to be dramatically different. I installed it upside down on purpose.

Now, we can go ahead and install the background. Now, this isn't an Aquadecor background. This is actually a universal rock. It's not as precisionly cut as the Aquadecor. Not as much detail or coloration, but it's still a pretty decent background. I'm going to install it identically as to the way I installed the Aquadecor, which is basically just slid it into place and then silicon it. This one doesn't want to stay put, so I'm going to have to improvise here. I'll have to use a lot more silicon with this one.

There's all kinds of gaps in this one. Just pretty disappointing, but we can make it work. There's like a quarter inch gap all along the bottom. I don't know what they cut this with. Luckily, there's a big enough gap behind this background, so I can get these bulkheads in afterwards. I installed the bulkheads now because I forgot to. I'm just lucky enough that [chuckles] background has enough room behind it to get my arms in there.

Just like the last background, we're going to find some holes, places to drill a few holes in here for the water change system. [drills] Then, again, we're going to come in through the back of the bulkhead here to find the center [drills] and then, same over here. Okay, the overflow, as well as the return, have now been installed. Now, these are a little different than you might have expected previously. The extension that comes on the overflow, it's supposed to just slide right into the bulkhead and be more flushed to the tank.

Since we have such a gap in between the background, I had to replace this smaller pipe with a longer PVC pipe that can extend the entire reach of the background. As you can see here, it just slides right on and it's pretty flushed. One of the things I like about this is that the only thing you see on this overflow is a little bit of the bottom elbow. This here is actually hidden by the trim. It ends up looking really nice.

Joey: With the top tank back up in place, I can go ahead and drill through the side of the stand here to accommodate the future wave makers.

Joey: One of the things that I want to do before I move on to plumbing is I know that this tank is going to be pulled out for a couple of days as I plumbed the tank and get the filtration system running, equipment installed and whatnot. In those two days, I don't want to waste any time. Now that I don't have to move the aquarium out anymore, I figured I'm going to fill the aquarium up by a couple of inches just enough to almost submerge the roots, so that I can get a head start on sinking them because I know they're going to float.

I'm going to go ahead and way down a few of them just to jump the gun. I think they're going to float. The log is clearly, probably not going to float, but a couple more inches of water, completely submerge them giving me the opportunity to actually sink them in advance because the plumbing is probably going to take a couple of days and I actually have to run out now to grab more plumbing supplies.

Last night we began this. Today, we're wrapping up. You guys are supposed to see this video today. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed today's video. I also like to thank you for watching. If you can join me in a couple of days, I think we'll get this wrapped up.

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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