Emergency, flooding, need parts asap.

Discussion in 'DIY' started by anathema, May 13, 2015.

  1. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    I'm on a roll.

    I recently lost most of my sps to a stupid mistake. After letting the tank recover for six months, I decided to tune it up. Tonight, I managed to really tune it up great.

    I broke a bulkhead underneath my sandbed. As to why there are bulkheads underneath my sandbed that could potentially drain my tank dry, see my build thread for this tank: http://www.bareefers.org/forum/threads/anathemas-120g-rebuild.12351/

    Currently, water is trickling from the bottom of my tank, into a ziploc bag that has the corner cut out, and into the sump. I'm not sure how long I'l be able to trust that setup. :(

    So, I need to fix this ASAP or tear down the tank ASAP.

    I need some parts, and I just got back from Home Depot where it appears they don't have any of the parts I used to build the crazy manifold for the closed loop.

    I need: (2) 3/4" bulkheads, (2) 1" bulkheads. Prefer the heaviest I can find. I once held a super heavy gray bulkhead in my hand and wished I had a source for them, but all I've ever been able to find locally is the flimsy ones 6th Ave has. I'm not sure I want to go through the hassle of replacing these without finding better ones.

    I also need some aragonite sand, if there's any around. I know sandbeds went out of style years ago, but I'm hoping someone has some kicking around.

    Also I'm open to advice on how to replumb the manifold with soft parts so it's not such a rigid (and prone to cracking, apparently) setup.

    I'm also toying with the option of draining the tank and siliconing over the holes and just removing the closed loop. A bit of a chore under the sandbed, and I'd feel more comfortable putting fresh sand in to replace what I remove. Except I have no more sand, and I haven't been frequenting reef stores like I used to and don't know where to buy any locally, or if I even can anymore.

    Any advice and sources of parts are appreciated. I'd really love to find a place local that will sell me heavy bulkheads, tomorrow.
    Zoaddict likes this.
  2. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    Also need 3/4" valves and unions if I rebuilt it the way it was.
  3. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Holy cow thats a mess. Umm youre looking for schedule 80 pvc parts (bulkheads unions valves etc). Those are the gray parts.

    I would call up all the local reef stores and see where you can get that part.

    I have a 3/4 bulkhead but its the normal black one.

    Sandbeds are still very much popular. You can get them at most reef stores. Cali reef co in fremont has a diversity of sand types.

    If this was less urgent i would suggest buying heavy duty schedule 80 bulkheads from bulkreefsupply.com

    I could pitch in and help pay for fast shipping.
  4. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    Thanks. I'll check out bulkreefsupply. Possibly I might have to ship I guess. I appreciate the financial help offer, but I'm ok. I just need to figure out the quickest place to buy the stuff and I appreciate any information.
  5. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

  6. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    Hmm thanks.

    I don't see slip/slip schedule 80, but that's probably why I used what I did when I put it together. Maybe it's worth switching to threaded.
  7. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    Well now that I've ordered these, stupid question:

    Are the holes the same diameter? I mean the holes drilled in the glass. I might be able to swap some bulkheads without removing everything but if I have to slightly expand holes that's one heck of a project...
  8. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    I have one smaller bag of sand. Probably not enough for you tho. Lemme know if you want it. Ewing irrigation over by candlestick should have most of the parts you want
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
  9. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    How much you want for it? In any case, I'll buy it. It's probably workable, I'm formulating a plan to only pull out sand from the sections above what i'll be replacing.
  10. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    As for the holes being the same diameter.

    How big is the hole you drilled?

    VS the size of the bulkheads.

    Its been a while since i did plumbing. Does a 1 inch bulkhead fit a 1 inch hole? I don't think so.....I think you need a 1.25 inch hole to fit a 1 inch bulkhead. If I remember correctly? I could be wrong.

    I recommend calling up the guys at either Neptune Aquatics, Diablo Corals, California Reef Co. They do a lot of tank set ups and can answer your questions on the spot.

    Neptunes has a lot of staff soo you might not get the guy that knows a lot about plumbing on your first call. But if Robert picks up he can answer all your questions.

    It would be faster than waiting for us to reply via forum messages.
    wpeterson likes this.
  11. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Also watch out for all that detritus in your sandbed. Usually if you do remove the sand, use a vacuum siphon to suck out all the sand AND the detritus. If you stir up a dirty sandbed via scooping you're prone to causing an ammonia/nitrite spike.
  12. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Can't you get an end cap and just cap off that bulkhead? Then arrange sand or rocks to cover it up?
  13. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    Vhuang168, no. The bulkhead is cracked, I was tightening it because it was dripping slightly and apparently overtightened it and usually in that case they crack right at the seam between the flange where the gasket sits and the threaded body of the bulkhead. I won't know for sure what it looks like until I remove it, but at this point tightening the bulkhead results in the leak getting worse. Capping it off would do nothing to stop the leak, and the plumbing attached to the bulkhead doesn't leak either.

    Thanks for the tips on the sandbed. I'm hoping to get away with only pulling out the sections of rockwork directly above the bulkheads, draining the tank, and only scooping out the sand directly above the bulkeads. Maybe shop vacc'ing it out with the tank drained. I'm hoping I can stick sheet plastic in around as a dam to hold back the surrounding sand, not sure how that will go.

    I'd prefer not to remove the large center rock in my tank as it's grown together in an arch and I'd hate to break it up. In my experience that stuff never goes back together the way it came apart.
  14. Tskiller

    Tskiller Guest

    Are you near a Tractor Supply Co.? They were the one store within 75 miles or so that actually had the weird 3/4 MTP x 5/8th barb I needed. They have a fair shot of having bulkheads for you if you are closer to them than I am. You could also try Grainger Industrial, if they dont' have it on hand they could probably get it to you by tomorrow. Good luck!
  15. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    You can have the Sand if you pick it up. Or I'll drop it off for like $10?
  16. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    I think down the road once you stabilize things, you should switch to another tank.

    Having a bulkhead underneath a sandbed outside of an overflow box is a disaster waiting to happen. There are certain areas you can skimp money on but this type is not one of them.
    jonmos75 likes this.
  17. Apon

    Apon Volunteer

    Hey Gusty,

    How much sand you need? I have some old sand from other members in buckets - just needs a rinsing. lmk you can my contact info
  18. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    I think I've got parts covered. Thanks Mike for the half bag of sand, I found bulkheads at Urban Farmer after driving all over yesterday.Now for the disassembly...
  19. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

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    Last edited: May 15, 2015
  20. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    Thanks for the help all. It's all back together now. I'll hold my breath for a few days but I didn't see any leaks after filling it back up. I replaced all four bulkheads just to be safe.

    The rockwork never goes back together the way they were. Kind of sad to bust it apart after it had grown together so well, but hopefully schedule 80 will be tougher.

    Thanks, Enderturtle for the correct specification on the bulkheads so I could buy them (sorry I don't know your name to match your handle.), Mike, Theo, and Arnold. I really appreciate the offers of sand from all of you, Mike just happened to be the most convenient stop, and he hooked me up with the perfect amount.
    Last edited: May 15, 2015
    bondolo likes this.

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