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Is there any "Heads Up" for me before I drill the IBC Tote bottoms and put my 1" standpipes thru uniseals ?

I have my 1-3/4" holesaw, and I realize I have to drill a clean (not sloppy hole).  Anything other hidden secrets?    :-)



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Hi Bradly -


When you drill your holes, have your drill in reverse (counter-clockwise).  The teeth of the holesaw will still cut through the plastic, but they won't "grab" the plastic like they do when the drill is turning clockwise.  In this manner, the holesaw will cut a very clean hole. 


Good luck!



hold some scrap wood behind the plastic while drilling to stabilize it

Make sure you put the hole far enough away from any corners or major ripples or molding in the plastic so that the uniseal will function properly.

I actually prefer to use a larger uniseal than the stand pipe size I intend to use so that I can put a busing into the uniseal to make the stand pipe removable for adjustment and cleaning.  So if the stand pipe has to be 1", then I would install a 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" uniseal and put the busing into it so that stand pipe can just sit in the bushing to allow for removal, adjustment and cleaning.

If you do a 1" stand pipe installed directly into a 1" uniseal you may not be able to remove it to adjust the height or clean the holes.

Great tips...drill in reverse w/wood support behind... 

Got it, thanks much Kelee and Keith.

10-4 That's a good idea with the bushing...

I wish I would have asked this question before I have the uniseals in my hand  :-(

Oh well, in future when I have troubles I'll jump size up to allow for bushing.

Thanks for tip TC


PS-It's not on the subject...but I picked up a 30 gallon fish tank (to later use for fry in winter in the house) along with 4 5" long butterfly Koi and a Pleco who just came along with the deal.  I have learned so much about water control on this aquarium (as it is a little overstocked)  I would whole heartedly recommend it for anyone BEFORE they try to balance a full system that they pick up an aquarium to learn the basics about fish.  Just my take on it  :-)


     If you system could work with 3/4" stand pipe (like if you are doing a affnan siphon maybe) you could use the 1" to 3/4" bushing.

Now it doesn't seal as well but if the bed is directly over the fish tank it might not be an issue but I've actually pushed a 3/4" coupler into a 1" uniseal before instead of messing with a bushing since it can be tricky to seal up a coupler onto the small amount of bushing sticking down below the uniseal.

I think the 1" couplers fit the 1 1/4" uniseals (again not as tight a fit as the 1 1/4" pipe so make sure small leakage won't be a problem.)

It is also possible to create removable stand pipes by using 1 1/4" uniseals and thinwall 1 1/4" pipe but that requires a little more explanation.

10-4 TC I see what you mean. 

My grow beds are away from the sump and fish tank.

I'll probably go with the 1" standpipes for now...and it annoys me or I have to rework I'll just rip them out and rework them.

Plumbing doesn't bother me.

Thanks again for the heads up !!

Are you doing siphons or timed flood and drain stand pipes?

I would hate to have to remove all the gravel to re-work things, you might simply put in a shorter bit of pipe that you leave sticking up enough to place a coupler on so you can at least adjust the height without much difficulty.  Getting holes lined up is tricky though for a timed flood and drain.

Doing Siphons...

That's a 10-4 on the stub up with a short piece.  I also have pvc cutters that I could always push rock back and do a little snip and add if I need without having to cut with is do-able with minimal problem.

One good thing about my system... I'm setting it up now for a short trial run this late summer & fall just to work bugs out and to see if I can cycle sucessfully and balance the water...maybe grow some lettuce and spinach quickly and then shut down for winter.  Any  Koi or Tilapia will

I'll then fire it up at the beginning of april in the spring for full grow season. 


Unfortunately-my eariler happiness about the gravel samples having a good PH was premature.  I retested the other day and they're all over 8-8.2 so making a trip to a new rock yard tomorrow to try some black cinder, used brick chips, and granite they sell there.  The guy said I can take samples home and test for week or that's what I'm gonna do !


How did you do your pH test on the rocks?  Using tap water or distilled water?

If you simply placed them in tap water, your tap water might be playing tricks on you.

If you measure the pH of your tap water right out of the faucet, you will get a false low pH reading because there is always carbon dioxide trapped in the water in the pipes or from underground.  If you let that water air out for a time and then test the pH again it will generally have a higher pH once that CO2 escapes.  My well water will test a pH of 7.0 right out of the tap but it is well over 8.2 once it has bubbled or cycled around a system for a bit.

Quicker way to test is to simply rinse a hand full of the media and drop it in a glass full of vinegar to see if it fizzes.

Today I got 6 new types of pebbles to test. Each sample is about equivelant of my 2 hands cupped together like a scoop.
I rinsed them off with garden hose for about 10 seconds, then I put them in bowls and filled the bowls to the top with distilled water . The distilled water tested at 6.4 right out of the jug. 5 hours later I tested all 6 bowls of rocks and the were all like 7.6 This suprised me because 1=crushed brick (clay), and 1=black cinder, and 4 other types of granite and river pebble. They all tested at 7.6 (and 2 of them looked even a darker blue than 7.6).
I thought maybe I'd test them tomorrow, and if the PH is still high I'll use a little PH down and try to get them all to like 6.8 and then watch and test them for another week.
What do you think ??
The 4 samples of stone I got from another rock yard last week all did good with the vinegar bubbles at all, but after a week the PH kept creeping up. So I gave up on the vinegar test as reliable ??

ps-laptop crashed so am struggling with my old desktop computer :-)

There are other things that can play funking with pH.  Try placing a sample of that distilled water in a bowl all on it's own and test the pH right away and then test the pH again after 24 hours and a day.

You rinsed the pebbles off with the garden hose, what is your tap water like.  What does the pH test as right out of the tap and then again after you have bubbled a sample of water overnight?

It is really not uncommon for pH to creep up a bit before it settles since water that has been sealed up (like in a bottle or jug) could have CO2 trapped in it and after it airs out for a time and the CO2 escapes the pH will come up and it isn't necessarily the fault of the rocks especially if the sample sits and evaporation takes place leaving a higher concentration of minerals behind.  Heck, in some dusty locations it is actually the dust falling into the sample that could be causing the rise in pH and not necessarily the rocks.

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