Aquaponic Gardening

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Hello everyone. Question...I am going to use a 50 gallon blue barrel for a fish tank and want to place a drain port in the bottom. Will a uniseal work there or do I need to go with a bulkhead fitting If a bulkhead fitting, does anyone have a recommendation for what kind?


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A Uniseal would work but have seen slight leakage from them depending on the hole drilled and location. best bet is the bulkhead. Has a gasket on both sides. Would recommend a 3/4 builkhead and 3/4 inch pvc male adapter with pvc ball valve. Maybe add a garden hose connector to the ballvalve.  All pieces are available through hd or lowes for about $22.00 Hope that helps.


Thanks, James. I will give it a shot. I used a shower drain before and it failed and caused a big mess so I wanted to try something different that did not require more than rudimentary plumbing skills. :)

If you are looking for cheaper bulk heads try Aquarium Arts on Dobson and Baseline in Mesa.  They have a good selection of bulk heads starting around $6.

I'm using Uniseals on a thin Rubbermaid garbage bin for my radial flow filter and love them.  There can be a very small amount of leakage but with a minor adjustment (wiggling) and time they are no trouble at all.

A very cheap alternative to bulkhead is the DIY version made from electrical conduit fittings.

This is what I used on my three grow beds and so far they've been pretty good. They probably don't seal as well as a true bulkhead, but for a couple of dollars you can't beat the price.  My system is outside and I don't mind a drip or two here and there.  I haven't glued any of my PVC joints either, because I like the flexibility of taking the plumbing apart if I need to.

Are there leaks?  Sure, a drip here and there, but nothing that causes me concern.

If you are building for inside, then more care is required.

So what is the trick to installing a bulkhead fitting on the bottom? There is a seam that would have to be cut down. Is this going to be a problem? If the bottom of the tank was flat, I would see it as an easy thing to do...

I new here but I installed mine on the side of the barrel about 6 inches up... I have a couple of suicidal tilapia so built in a safety. I found that an old wood burning kit, heat gun and an exacto knife work wonders with the blue barrels. I also use a cheap plastic welder from harbor freight. The other big thing I found to be a huge help is a step drill bit. Just some ideas to help you along hope they help.....



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