HOW TO: DIY Aquarium parts (bulkheads and PVC fittings)

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Building your own aquarium plumbing parts is often overlooked in the aquarium hobby. This video will get you started on making your own bulkheads, elbows, loops and anything else you can think to build using this method.


MA FishGuy says:

Thats what i used for overflows on my aquaponics first build for its much cheaper to get them at lowes for 1.68 a piece.  Good video.

Alex Hung says:

Joey, you really are King of DIY!!!

Dramatic Aquatics says:

Fantastic video wish I seen this video before buying all the plumbing for our new store build!! Thumbs up!!

Ruben says:

that heat gun is also good for removing damage elbows. Jst heat them and they come apart very easy. I like making of your own bulkhead. much better fit for the hole your making.

Disciple says:

Well I’ll be damned

John Martinez says:

Ingenious idea Joey. I can think of a shed ton of applications here-including in your PVC overflow.

GreenGo's Fish&Inverts says:

Quick question… What’s your opinion on making a DIY end cap by sealing one side of the pipe somehow through melting it? Would it hold? Is it worth it? Thanks Joey!

PS, I’m making a sponge filter via one of your other videos 🙂

Aida May says:

There are suddenly so many possibilities.
I need to go get me a heat gun now.

Thanks for the video, Joey!

Ivan Kolić says:

I’m stuck trying to figure out what drill bit diameter I need to order for a DIY 1 1/4 inch bulkhead, for cutting a hole in the glass.
The threaded part needs to go through the hole. Inner diameter is 1.66 inches (42mm) , but what’s the outer diameter of the threaded part?

rockinrobert1 says:

I never knew you could do that with PVC pipe that’s a great idea. I’m going to try that on my next project. you guys have to get his book it’s like a Bible to me

Eric K says:

Had no idea pvc was that easy to soften! Wish I watched this BEFORE I did my plumbing….

Jason Lang says:

How are the Rays? Is she pregnant again?

RyansAquarium says:

Man this helped me so much with some recent overflow plumbing, thanks so much joey

George Cottell says:

I had no idea pvc could bend like that! Awesome! Thanks!

The Graceful Savage says:

great video! thanks for the tips. i happen to own a heat gun but never thought of using it for PVC. this will save me so much time and money.

Thanks Joey!

Ray Chipchase says:

aha! much easier!

Dean Abdulrahim says:

I constructed one of your vertical canister filters and am still having a problem with leaking at the bottom of it. I am using the DIY Bulkheads from this video. It is an exact mock up of your version. I have tried making my own gasket and even using the O-rings that you used. My adapter screws right into the whole with no gaps. I even put an o-ring on both sides just to see what would happen and still got leaking. I think it has to do with the curvature of the PVC pipe that I am using. I do have 100% silicon that I could put around it but if the water is getting through the pipe wont it ruin the silicone and make it dissolve? Or will the cement help waterproof it?

I don’t want to use cement or silicon until i can get the leak to stop…..Unless one of the two will stop the sealing?

I was just wondering if you had any extra advice on the subject.

Illusion Of Hatred says:

This is by far my favorite video.. thanks for this pal!

BambiDVM says:

Hey Joey! I love your channel. I have seen many of your videos and notice that, for most of your projects, you choose to buy bulkheads, adapters, and fittings for your plumbing. Is there a reason you typically go that route, rather than making your own?

Schlaraffenland says:

Supercool, thanks a lot for this video

SF turtle says:

I think that fish should be left in the wild

Olav Øverland says:

hey i want to setup a lot of aquariums in my room but i want it in a closet or soo it does not make nois any tips? i want small aquariums 10 gallons maybe well i just want it quiet it does not need to be in a closet

Joseph Countino-Durham says:


Gary Muir says:

Wow. Awesome video, I do a lot of projects with PVC and never thought to make my own fittings.

More To Living says:

As someone who designed all of my tanks using Joey’s tutorials i have a few things to add. A pvc cutter is a must. They last a long time and barely cost $7.00. If you plan to work with 1.5 inch pipe or more, get yourself a large pvc cutter. Mine cost me $37 from ace hardware. I used to bend and mold pvc fittings but these days i just buy then. Bulkheads get ordered from marinedepot as well as strainers. Yes it is more expensive but your budget will dictate project needs. Diy stuff is awesome.

Demi God says:

the bulkheads dude.. you just saved me!!! thanks!!

andrew da cruz says:

Tips like these help very much in reducing the cost of plumbing. I have used the male/female adapters instead of bulkheads very successfully, especially in the overflow section using flat gaskets and thread seal. Great video !!

Brad Suarez says:

You the man joey. Where I’m from bulkheads are extremely hard to find and the places that do carry them know this and charge an arm and a leg for them. The cost has prevented me from doing many projects but this video has changed all that. Thanks a million bro!!!

minimonkey969 says:

waiting so long for this video

Nick J says:

Great info !

Eugenio Vazquez says:

I’m telling you guys , He a engineer for NASA!!

Aqua Nut says:

Thanks! Would love to see more of your plumbing Ideas. Do the electrical conduit fittings provide enough support for the glass? The manufactured bulkhead fittings usually have a good sized lip. This all has great potential for increasing flow rates! I am off to buy a heat gun…

Mark from acounting says:

Very helpful thanks for posting this awesome vid

Aaron Stuckey says:

Nice I like that in the future every aquarium refugium I would like to see on that tank mechanical sand filter I am trying to learn how to do for a 200 gallon thank you for your videos always learning and saving money

LowTech Tank says:

Running to get that heat gun! thank you for that tip! been trying to plum my tanks for a while but it was hard to figure out how to cut down the price, this will save a lot of time and money.

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