standpipes of death

standpipes of death

Postby joel1234567 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:34 pm

I'm having a problem with fish getting sucked down my standpipes when they get startled or chased- especially new fish. It doesn't happen a lot, but it's unacceptable to me to have it occur at all.

I just have a length of 1" PVC pipe as a standpipe. No teeth in it or drain cover or anything. The water just flows over the edge of the pipe and down the drain. I'd guesstimate maybe 100-200gph of flow thru it, per 20g-high tank. Is my standpipe incorrectly designed? Should it have some sort of a cover? Is my flow too high? Do other people have this problem?
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Re: standpipes of death

Postby aquagrrl » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:50 am

I always have something over mine, either a sponge or netting depending on what the purpose is. I haven't tried without because it just seems like fish would find a way to get hurt.
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Re: standpipes of death

Postby joel1234567 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:28 pm

I haven't tried without because it just seems like fish would find a way to get hurt.


Yes, I can confirm that they do indeed find a way. I was cleaning the tank yesterday and moving some pvc and my bangaii swam right up and into the overflow. I was able to fish it out of the sump without a problem, thankfully, but it looked like he had s "scratch" on his nose.

A couple of days before I had purchased a pair of neon dottybacks and a pair of orchid dottybacks. One fish from each pair went down the tube. I rescued the neon but the orchid didn't make it.

I have to rig up something... I tried putting a piece of sponge filter in the tube but it was too restrictive. I saw a sponge at the LFS that fit around a tube, I might try that. I've also thought maybe just suspending a piece of 1/2" tube inside the 1" tube might work...
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Re: standpipes of death

Postby spawner » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:36 pm

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Re: standpipes of death

Postby joel1234567 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:23 pm

yes, thats the ideal solution if the standpipes arent already installed and you can add another couple of inches for the height of the threads plus the fitting that screws into :) on my next tanks, perhaps...

I've seen a number of pics of tanks with no visible netting or overflow screen like this. Made me wonder why I'm the only one with fish going down the drain.

In any event- I ended up finding a large-pore foam block for common hang-on style filters. Sliced it up and dropped those over the top of the tubes.
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Re: standpipes of death

Postby Armadus » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:30 pm

I go to Joann Fabric and get a roll of plastic mesh. I don't know what it's called but it is gold colored and used for trimming (I think). The roll costs about $4 and I cut squares of the stuff and secure it with a rubber band. Haven't had any fry go down the overflow yet. Lately, I don't even bother cleaning it, just cut another piece and put it in. I do this on five tanks and just bought my second roll after a year and a half.
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Re: standpipes of death

Postby spawner » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:26 pm

You can get them on slip or threaded. We use them on our airlifts and also on the outlet. You can use a homemade tube from screen material but i find these much better for flow and don't clog up as bad. I think they are a couple of dollars. We put them on a 45 degree angle pointing up so as they clog up the water has more slits to go through.
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