Aquarium Science - Water Flow Management

Dennis Glaze, formerly with Oregon Sea Grant Extension's Aquatic Animal Health Program, shows how to manage water flow with proper bulk head size and placement.

Aquarium Science - Water Flow Management sentiment_very_dissatisfied 60

Education 13 years ago 399,179 views

Dennis Glaze, formerly with Oregon Sea Grant Extension's Aquatic Animal Health Program, shows how to manage water flow with proper bulk head size and placement.

Show More

LuxoGear Emergency Whistles with Lanyard

LuxoGear Emergency Whistles with Lanyard

Shop now »
NOCO Genius GEN5X2, 2-Bank, 10A (5A/Bank) Smart Marine Battery Chargers

NOCO Genius GEN5X2, 2-Bank, 10A (5A/Bank) Smart Marine Battery Charger

Shop now »
LuxoGear Emergency Whistles with Lanyard

LuxoGear Emergency Whistles with Lanyard

Shop now »
NOCO Genius GEN5X2, 2-Bank, 10A (5A/Bank) Smart Marine Battery Chargers

NOCO Genius GEN5X2, 2-Bank, 10A (5A/Bank) Smart Marine Battery Charger

Shop now »
RHINO USA Boat Trailer Transom Straps (2PK)

RHINO USA Boat Trailer Transom Straps (2PK)

Shop now »
LUCKY Kayak Portable Fish Depth Finder

LUCKY Kayak Portable Fish Depth Finder

Shop now »
Seaview 180 V3 Full Face Snorkel Mask

Seaview 180 V3 Full Face Snorkel Mask

Shop now »

Most popular comments
for Aquarium Science - Water Flow Management

Pondguru - 6 years ago
Inlet flows in under pressure and outlet flows out under gravity so outlet always needs to be larger - good demonstration.
REST IN TINY PIECES!!! - 6 years ago
Listening to this video while hearing comments and can see why people think that this video isnt complete,but to give credit to this man and video its simple really why tha video seems,and is not complete its this....whats tha basics and fastest Route from A to D with out making it complicated for simple minds,or tha beginner,its this video.
I tried to explain to alot of people tha whole A to turn,elbow,up,down,sideways, twists,turns,flow rates,or START A),b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k(FINISH D
and they got lost and could careless cause,They didn't understand and just wanted to know tha fastest and simplest way,and here u have it.And I am tha type of person to tell u tha same thing I just did but change tha wording to help u get it.
No one just starting out wants to get slammed in tha head with everything at once,its to be fun not a pain in tha ass and head trauma lol, Once u got this,then u give them alittle more. only true hobbyist or some one BE ALL U CAN BE IN THA AQUA-ROOM WILL KEEP FOCUS EVEN IF THEY GOT STUCK OR LOST IN A FRACTION OF THA WAY SKIP IT,MOVED ON AND COME BACK TO FIGURED IT OUT LATER. So great video and simple way to start out.
Frazel Fernandes
Frazel Fernandes - 7 years ago
the outlet also depends on the pump thats gona pump the water to the aquraim, if pump flow rate is high then will need to increase the outlet size ....vice versa.
Jay Right
Jay Right - 7 years ago
Hey steelo! Are you still using Fish Town USA? Or have you changed locations for your aquatic needs?
Gene Cundel
Gene Cundel - 7 years ago
Hi Dennis, I think the biggest problem most everyone has in designing a system is determining what the pump truly puts out. I find that every pump grossly over estimates it's flow rates. Out of curiosity I have placed many submersible pumps into a full sink and just hook up a small discharge tube to collect the outflow into a marked volume container. By doing this I practically eliminate head and friction loss to zero, yet don't get anywhere near what the pump is rated at. So, that being said, how do we proceed/adjust in determining what equipment to use. Please advise.
Mr. Clifford Johnson
Mr. Clifford Johnson - 7 years ago
Good stuff, learned something......
Carlos Weinberguer
Carlos Weinberguer - 7 years ago
what's better bulkhead or universal seal??
tjoslin53 - 7 years ago
Hello, great vid! I have a question that no vid has spoken about but I have seen. If you have a large tank with a bottom drain that takes the fish waist to the filter and then the filter returns clean water back to the tank via another pipe. Question, do you simply try different pipe outlet sizes to find the out and in flow rate that works. I would think that the out flow at the bottom of the tank with all the water pressure above would be a problem. Hope I am being clear in my description. Thanks
Frank Castle
Frank Castle - 7 years ago
I'm trying to create water return and over flow for my 150 gallon aquarium. I want to use a hang-on style overflow and pump water from a 55 gallon drum in my basement. The drum is 20' away vert.and hor. collectively. what size piping do I need for the overflow and return? What pump would I need in order to supply water to the aquarium for the distance it will be from the aquarium?

10. comment for Aquarium Science - Water Flow Management

Nuno Ribeiro
Nuno Ribeiro - 7 years ago
At last....someone straight to the point...Thank You.
Benjamin Martinez
Benjamin Martinez - 7 years ago
good info, a lot of beginners miss this one step when setting up thier systems...
sumal sebastian
sumal sebastian - 7 years ago
Super informative for my DIY project. But does controlling the water inlet cause the pump to work harder n cause heating?
Also, do i need two outlets one for the overflow at slightly higher level as my tank is going to be huge(8'x2')?
Garry Thomas
Garry Thomas - 7 years ago
what type of drive? Prop? jet drive?
Chad White
Chad White - 7 years ago
on the outlet do u use a some sort of sreen so small fish dont get in the sump?
Sean Gordon
Sean Gordon - 7 years ago
This video is fantastic. Thanks much for taking the time to post it.
Rotter Tube Reef
Rotter Tube Reef - 7 years ago
awesome video thanks for making it!
Nelson Enrique Gonzalez Diaz
Nelson Enrique Gonzalez Diaz - 8 years ago
buenas seria interesante , subtitulos en español xfavor
mef1975 - 8 years ago
2:56  1,000 - 1,500 GPH, really?  You can't be more specific?  Are you sure you aren't running 2,000 GPH?  Dude, you needed to tell us the GPH on the system you're showing us so we can figure why it took 2 or 2.5" to output what 1" was inputting, seriously, I want to learn, but from what I understand, the 2" overflow should've been able to handle 1,500 GPH, yet there was still and inch or two of water above it... 4:40, requiring 2.5" to really level out, so what gives?
Joseph D'Bennidetto
Joseph D'Bennidetto - 8 years ago
So with a 1" inny, could I get away with two 1.25" outies that merge into a 2.5" pipe somewhere outside the tank? that way I can keep the water level that much closer to the top.

20. comment for Aquarium Science - Water Flow Management

Alan Hester
Alan Hester - 8 years ago
Thank you
Aaron Buchanan
Aaron Buchanan - 8 years ago
hi there I thought this was the best video ive watched as im currently in process of building my 8x2x2 aquarium. I was just wondering how far down from the top of the tank should I drill for both outlet and return bulkheads? thankyou
Emmanuel Perez
Emmanuel Perez - 8 years ago
Great Video. Keep up the great work and keep these coming.
Juice - 8 years ago
Why run it into a filtration system when you could run it into a hydroponic food bed and back into the fish tank? fish poop feeds the plants and the plants return clean water back to the fish. Aquaponics. just a tip.
Mostlyharmless1985 - 7 years ago
You still need the filtration system unless you know any kind of plants that can process NH3 that I'm not aware of. Feces isn't the only waste produced. You have to work some way to fix ammonia and bind it as less harmful compounds. Tossing a tomato plant at a fishtank isn't going to be good for either system. Aquaponics closes the nitrogen cycle, reducing or removing the need to change water. It doesn't replace it.
King Shull
King Shull - 7 years ago
per etz
per etz - 8 years ago
beware of backflow, use a check valve or insure that you position the height of the drain leaving enough space to allow for the water to drain into your sump.
Mighty Rock
Mighty Rock - 8 years ago
I did a similar project and it took me a month to figure out the tricks, I wish I'dve seen this before
Kyle Riedel
Kyle Riedel - 8 years ago
Wonderful video, thanks for sharing with all of us!
Ernie Laguardia
Ernie Laguardia - 9 years ago
OKAN KARAGOZ - 9 years ago
What he shows in this video works only with his pump set up (volumetric flow and head loss). There are different types of pumps with different flow and head parameters for 1" pipe. So it doesn't apply to every situation.
M. Peters
M. Peters - 9 years ago
Thanks SO much. I have a 150 gal and am building a sump. The tank does not have easy access and I cannot fool around and experiment. This helped a lot.

30. comment for Aquarium Science - Water Flow Management

Rad Ster
Rad Ster - 9 years ago
Well said sir, ignore the ungrateful overtechnical idiots. These are basic ideas that helped me tremendously when building my custom reef tank. I would have had a major headache had I not listened to your video before I finalized ordering my plumbing parts. I now have a successfully piped, and safe tank!
Jake Lim
Jake Lim - 9 years ago
Is there any reason that use PVC for output but rubber?silicon hose for input with motor?
pine - 9 years ago
What would happen if your inlet to the pump was on that "bulkhead" wouldn't it suck it out faster?
ToddSails - 9 years ago
Wow, beyond, or should I say- below basic principles.
So much mis-information on this video.

Essentially he's saying, water flows thru holes.  The bigger the hole, the more water.

Does this actually apply to a tank, say- a reef tank with fish and corals for instance.  It does not
damiansdroid - 9 years ago
Mr matumbo shows classroom simple ways potheads can learn to use bulkheads, problem is they soon forgot
ThinkDeeper - 9 years ago
+damiansdroid Oh thanks, I forgot what this video was about.  Good thing I have sheep to guide me.
Señor Cinco
Señor Cinco - 9 years ago
That is NOT a 1"" reducer. While it does have a 1" PVC line coming in... this guy reduced the outlet down to 1/2"
F. Biff
F. Biff - 10 years ago
Good explanation of drain flow. Simple way to show what is or needs to happen for drainage as opposed to someone just saying use this and this.
On a side note, your missing a fire extinguisher and GFCI protection on the pumps would be a good thing for safety. 
Techdude52 - 10 years ago
Great Video!
adrian mcdaid
adrian mcdaid - 10 years ago
great help many thanks
Robyn Nelson
Robyn Nelson - 10 years ago
Thank GOD I stumbled on this.  Definitely would have put too small a bulkhead on tank and overflowed :)  Thanks for sharing!
Keith Howard
Keith Howard - 10 years ago
A simple yet informative explanation on the basic principles of Aquarium to Sump/Refugium plumbing and flow. A hello and thanyou from the Rock of Gibraltar on the other side of the pond.
Linh Nguyen
Linh Nguyen - 10 years ago
This video probably confused more novices than it helped.  1" inlet pvc has VERY LITTLE to do with how much water is actually being pumped in.  Same goes for positioning of outlet bulkhead. Pumps that would use 1" pvc can vary from 800gph to 4000gph (Eheims, Mag Drives, Rios, Little Giants, etc...).  And then you have to account for head height.  Redundancy is ALWAYS better.  Drill yourself at least 2 bulkheads for outlet, each capable of handling 1.5X ACTUAL amount of water being pumped in.  If your tank has tempered glass on the bottom, then you have to drill the back.  Multiple 1" bulkheads + PVC will get you proper outlet and placement.
Ken S
Ken S - 7 years ago
lol word. i want to know how to have no dead spots in my aquarium. this guy just baffled me...
Minh Son
Minh Son - 10 years ago
i agree!
Part Time Shooter
Part Time Shooter - 10 years ago
This doesn't show anything, it's all depends on how fast you pump the water up.
entuloh - 10 years ago
Mass, Bernoulli and Energy Equation
Jeff Monfils
Jeff Monfils - 10 years ago
Fantastic explanation! 
Bob - 10 years ago
One error though is you are using a horizontal bulkhead which does not apply to a floor drain type.   Horizontal rates are almost 1/2 lower than vertical flow rates.

ie.  A 1.5 inch pipe on the bottom can handle 1800 gph (depends on pipe length and amount of standing water above pipe.   That same 1.5 inch pipe mounted on the side like this video probably can handle only 800 gph.
Bob - 10 years ago
Nice video, a video says it all.   Very good in a trade where its the blind leading the blind in terms of good information.
umc studio
umc studio - 10 years ago
I have a 40 gallon breeder andvi wated to drill some holesusing a 700 -800 -pump what hole size should I driil?
Miles Lofgren
Miles Lofgren - 10 years ago
The man
The man - 10 years ago
hey Dennis great video loved how knowledgeable you are!

50. comment for Aquarium Science - Water Flow Management

MEATSOMBRERO - 10 years ago
EXCELLENT Video! Thanks.
REEMIKS - 10 years ago
i learned alot thanks
carrie cool j
carrie cool j - 10 years ago
Pretty good demonstration.. A+
Charles Ng
Charles Ng - 11 years ago
It is great. Very professional and factual.
John Bell
John Bell - 11 years ago
the air is to quiet it when the flow to the input is much below capactiy, when that occurs it'll try to suck air in with the water which makes it noisy so the addition of air is to quiet it
Voll Blau
Voll Blau - 11 years ago
you should try a fluid engineering book, the computations are not that hard
Voll Blau
Voll Blau - 11 years ago
You are so mean!
Frank Fullum
Frank Fullum - 11 years ago
The area of a circle increases as the square of the radius. A 2-inch circle has 4 times the area of a 1-inch circle, so four 1-inch outlets would be required to provide the same flow as one 2-inch outlet. The area of a 1-inch outlet is .0785 sq in, two 1-inch outlets would be 1.57 sq in. The area of a 2-inch outlet is 3.14 sq in.
Frank Fullum
Frank Fullum - 11 years ago
The surface area of one 10-inch outlet is 78.5 sq in. The surface area of two 10-inch outlets is 157 sq in. The surface area of one 20-inch outlet is 314 sq in.
TheBSideDJ - 11 years ago
last part of video : "the outlet may be not not to low to prevent losing waterspace in top part of tank"... in fact this theory is NOT TRUE because you can always connect a pipe elbow and a vertical placed pipe for the upper part above your outlet. By doing that, you will have your water level as high as you want, without any lost waterspace (sump). Strange that university vid is not more complete
TheBSideDJ - 11 years ago
in other words : basic fluidomechanics (pressure P inlet is - in general - bigger then P outlet because of the pump, so surface (diameter) outlet has to be bigger, since Q outlet has to be minimum >= Q inlet to prevent overflow). Logic.
xhawkusmc - 11 years ago
ive seen a trick a long time ago where the jet in was piped directed to the piping of an under gravel filter. it spreads the current out underneath the gravel keeping it in place for the most part, while pushing waste out. its a thought, but sludge in gravel is a good thing just get some plants. anyways theres one solution for what you were describing, though a powerful pump may be too much for a small undergravel filter system
Captain Anger
Captain Anger - 11 years ago
Looks like a large sea creature giving the lecture.
Anthony Reyes
Anthony Reyes - 11 years ago
Look at the gobbler on that guy!
XENONSTORM - 11 years ago
You Sir are GOD ..... lol
gtariman03 - 11 years ago
The surface area of 2inch outlet is bigger than two 1inch outlet. Formula for finding the area of a circle is A=3.14x(radiusxradius).Lets say using 10 as 1inch outlet and 20 as 2inch outlet. The surface area of two 10inch outlet would be 628inches. The surface area of 20inch outlet is 1,256inches. I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. It's been a few years since I was in geometry.
AweSomo84 - 11 years ago
the law of suction :)
Rhys Sheppard
Rhys Sheppard - 11 years ago
I don't think this would work. If you draw a 2 inch circle and 2 one inch circles on a piece of paper, you will see that the surface area of the 2 inch circle is actually a lot bigger than the 2 one inch circles combined. Therefore, you will still get more water flowing through a 2 inch hole than 2 one inch holes.
Rhys Sheppard
Rhys Sheppard - 11 years ago
you could possibly put inlet on bottom of tank, which would stir up crap on the bottom. But then, there would be other considerations to take, such as syphon off during a power cut. Also, if you have substrates, gravel etc, you may end up blowing it down the other end of the tank.
Milos Stevanovic
Milos Stevanovic - 11 years ago
I already have that, but still the fact remains that the water circulates manly on the surface of the aquarium. Thanks
Jose Sanchez
Jose Sanchez - 11 years ago
you can increase circulation by adding air pump
Milos Stevanovic
Milos Stevanovic - 11 years ago
The thing I don't like about this type of overflow is the water circulation itself. Since the water that comes out/in is on the top I was wondering if there is any circulation on the bottom of the tank?
Jorge Carmona
Jorge Carmona - 11 years ago
looks easy, but in practice is very different
seven seas aquarium pros
seven seas aquarium pros - 11 years ago
very nice
PaNdeM0niuM - 11 years ago
smart guy
MonopolyBag - 11 years ago
Cuz he doesn't work in Oregon where this guy works.
Steve Degroot
Steve Degroot - 11 years ago
the best place to find top notch bulkheads of any size is a farming supply store, pool stores are much more delicate
busterbear59 - 11 years ago
These "bulkheads" are cimmonly usef in pools and spas. So the best place to find these are in pool and spa supply stores, or online at pool and spa parts suppliers.
Filo011 - 11 years ago
probably because there 3 people sitting in that class
Chris Milton
Chris Milton - 11 years ago
I would say a 2 inch bulkhead, and use reducers like he did in the video to find tune it... Basically just recreate what he did.
SterlingK - 12 years ago
Good to know especially about circulation.
Antony487 - 12 years ago
thanks dennis, this video will stop me from getting my carpet wet, great demo, great help, great presentation, thanks buddy.
kevan barnes
kevan barnes - 12 years ago
gr8 video just the way u show the flow of the return and the overflow u rock mate
The-Roost - 12 years ago
Thank you for the video, it was very instructive. I am curious on something you didn't address though and I was wondering if I might get your time to answer this. In your video example you start with a 1" outlet and increase it to 2" (then to 2.5" for your safety factor); would adding another 1" outlet have the same result as a single 2" outlet? So my question is, would dual 1" outlets have the same result as a single 2" outlet? Thank you very much for your time!
mudbert - 12 years ago
I could do a much better job of teaching this class than this guy.
aikobabi - 12 years ago
Wow!! you have mentioned some really important things I never thought of!!! Thank you !!
charmango123 - 12 years ago
thank you for this vid, the info was invaluable. I am currently in the middle of designing/researching my own filtration external sump/filter combo - I have been gearing for watching that the filter not overflow but never even occured to me I could overflow the tank itself so thanks for pointing that out and supplying the info!
TheSlacker64 - 12 years ago
@drychalice If you're lucky enough to find bulk head fittings at a big box store, chances are they will be metal. Best to get bulk head fitting from places lik MarineDepot BulkReefSupplyor aquaticeco just to name a few places.
TheSlacker64 - 12 years ago
@randy12368 Totally makes a differance. You inlet is under presure from the pump, the outlet is only under gavity pressure. Pumping at max cap of a 1" inlet you will overrun the 1" outlet without the same presure.
wunderschonen - 12 years ago
That was excellent, thank you.
Songy23 - 12 years ago
very informative thanks

Similar videos
for Aquarium Science - Water Flow Management


Real Water Surfer Bike Racing - Floating Drive

41,732 likes 38,842,220 views 7 years ago Real Water Surfer Bike Racing - Floating Drive Titan Game...


Splash Time in Hawaii! Riding a Water Elevator...

107,030 likes 36,022,834 views 9 years ago

We recently went to Maui, Hawaii and stay at the Grand Wailea Resort. We went on so many little adventures during...

Shark videos

SHARKS IN THE WATER SLIDE!?! Mike's Leap of...

80,142 likes 28,757,417 views 8 years ago

Here is a look at our Day 3 in Bahamas! Thumbs up if you enjoyed! Don't forget to watch the 1st video with Day 1 and...


Found a Working iPhone X Underwater in the...

322,035 likes 19,678,803 views 6 years ago

Subscribe if you're new! Help me reach 5,000,000 subscribers on YouTube!! If you want to see...

Shark videos

Shark Attack - Water Slide, Atlantis

10,059 likes 13,718,957 views 12 years ago

Aquaventure - Water Slides Atlantis the Palm, Dubai UAE

Shark videos

Naked Science - Shark Attacks

17,017 likes 12,893,778 views 10 years ago

Subscribe to Naked Science - Every other Wednesday we present a new video, so join us to see...

Related videos
to Aquarium Science - Water Flow Management


How to Make Waterfall at Home - DIY

3,267 likes 600,347 views 7 years ago

Thank you 5000 SUBSCRIBERS for supporting our channel. Hope you all enjoy watching! To see more of our videos and...


How to Install a Disappearing Waterfall Part 2...

1,002 likes 569,660 views 14 years ago

Learn how to install a disappearing waterfall with help from the professionals at These...


Waterfall Spillways with Aquascape

542 likes 316,842 views 11 years ago

Paver Pete and Fred from Aquascape explain how to install waterfall spillways into a wall. Learn more at...


FISH POND MANAGEMENT 1 - What you need to know

591 likes 309,057 views 10 years ago

It all starts with the basics. Keep your ponds clean, feed your fish well, keep intruders away, observe water quality...


Forest Underwater by Takashi Amano

981 likes 111,247 views 8 years ago

Florestas Submersas By Takashi Amano Music - Florestas Submersas by Rodrigo Leão...


How to Aquascape a saltwater reef aquarium -...

15 likes 10,027 views 9 years ago

How to Aquascape a saltwater reef aquarium - Aquascaping Pukani dry live rock after 3 months Educational how to...

About Aquarium Science - Water Flow Management

The "Aquarium Science - Water Flow Management" video is part of the category, which contains similar videos like this one.

Subscribe hot viral Aquatic videos!