Tip of the Day – 11/26/2013

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Aquarium plumbing is the part of your system that rarely gets looked at once it is assembled and has water going through it, especially if it consists of PVC. For that reason alone, it can be a potential source of disaster. Since the plumbing isn’t see through, unless you’re using vinyl tubing, it’s easy for things to become lodged in the various fittings or really anywhere along the line. Additionally, small organisms, like sponges, can build up in the lines and slow the flow of water through the system, or further trap other things like algae and other buildup. To prevent this, it’s best to design your system so that a vast majority of the plumbing can be removed for cleaning. Once the hardware is removed, just soak it in vinegar and run a little water through it. That should remove any buildup and keep your system from clogging up and causing a disaster.

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  • Wesley Devers

    I had this exact problem with my plumbing, but when I designed my system I installed two unions for easier dis-assembly. The important thing about this is that it happens slowly so flow decrease is almost indiscernible. When I took my system apart it was so scaled up that my pipe diameter was less than half. There was no way vinegar was going to cut it, so I used muriatic acid. I put the parts in the bathtub with pure hot water and added the acid. After about 2.5 hours my plumbing was as clean as the day I bought it. Drastic times call for drastic measures. I strongly recommend anyone going this route to take all precautions to avoid chemical burns as muriatic acid (HCL) is a fairly high molar concentration (it actually smokes from the container).