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Single loop air system attached to ceiling?


itsfoxtail
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So after having numerous tanks scattered throughout the house for the last half of forever I'm finally buckling down and creating a real fish room! I'm very excited but quite nervous about some things that I've never dealt with before: namely the single loop air system.

The area I'm going to be in is a little strange architecturally speaking and it would be WAY more efficient to attach the PVC to the ceiling than the walls. I've done quite a bit of research but I've never actually seen anyone attach their PVC for air this way. Is there a reason? Would it be a giant mistake? And if not, are there any extra precautions/steps I should take when securing it?

Any help from someone who knows more than this noob on the subject would be greatly appreciated! 

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You most certainly could attach it to the ceiling than the wall. A LFS I worked in 20+ years ago had his hanging from the ceiling, and mine is actually attached to the floor joists above in my basement. What kind of ceiling do you have, drywall, drop ceilings? If drywall, you can just attach it the same way you would to a wall using some sort of anchors unless you can hit a joist (stud) when screwing it to ceiling.

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On 10/6/2022 at 5:48 AM, Andy's Fish Den said:

You most certainly could attach it to the ceiling than the wall. A LFS I worked in 20+ years ago had his hanging from the ceiling, and mine is actually attached to the floor joists above in my basement. What kind of ceiling do you have, drywall, drop ceilings? If drywall, you can just attach it the same way you would to a wall using some sort of anchors unless you can hit a joist (stud) when screwing it to ceiling.

Thank you! This is so reassuring to hear! We have drywall ceilings. I've been clamoring around with a stud finder this week and I think I'll be able to hit enough studs to make it work. 

Sort of a follow-up question if you have the time. I'll be doing this in our basement as well; do you heat your tanks individually or your basement altogether? 

On 10/6/2022 at 7:48 AM, gardenman said:

Just understand that compressing air will force moisture from it and that moisture will accumulate in the PVC and get pulled downward by gravity. You want to install a drain and trap to keep it from becoming an issue for the air pump and the system.

Well now I'm very glad I asked because no, I was not aware of this! Thank you! Off the top of your head do you know any good guides/tutorials that are out there for installing a drain from the loop? I'm sort of handy but by no means well-versed in this sort of thing so I want to make sure I wouldn't do something detrimental in the process.

 

On 10/6/2022 at 10:40 AM, Pete H said:

My air loop system is attached on the wall near the ceiling. An important thing to remember is to keep the air line & pump above the highest water line on your tanks.

Most definitely! I'm looking forward to not having to have a check valve on every single air drop. Hoping this loop system ends up being everything its cracked up to be!

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On 10/6/2022 at 7:45 PM, itsfoxtail said:

Thank you! This is so reassuring to hear! We have drywall ceilings. I've been clamoring around with a stud finder this week and I think I'll be able to hit enough studs to make it work. 

Sort of a follow-up question if you have the time. I'll be doing this in our basement as well; do you heat your tanks individually or your basement altogether? 

It is kind of half and half. The area my fishroom is in, gets enough heat from my dehumidifier to keep it mid 70s, even in winter in northern Ohio. I have put batts of insulation in the ceiling area to help hold in the heat. But, I also heat a few tanks that need to be kept warmer, such as my discus and ram tanks. Other than that, all mine are unheated and stay in the 73-78* range depending where they are , closer to floor or up closer to ceiling. 

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One thing I did that ended up making my life a lot easier, is connect the pump itself to the pvc loop using soft vinyl tubing. I had some 3/4 clear tubing on hand, and with a ring clamp it fit the outlet of my Alita pump well. And with a bit of hot water, it fits over 1/2” pvc which then is adjusted up to 1” pvc for the loop using adapters. The flexibility of the tubing to join the pump and loop made the install much simpler. No fussing with 45 degree bends or anything like that. 

Not sure what your plan is attach the tubing to the ceiling, but I’d consider screw eyes into the joists, and zip ties to hang the loop below the screw eyes. You will need relatively few attachments points because the loop itself will be quite light. 

Edited by TOtrees
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Regarding the drain, in this video you can see how one fishkeeper did it at the 39 (or so) second mark of his video. He likely would have had a fairly minimal issue anyway as his air outlets are on the bottom of the air pipe, so any water that accumulated would go out with the air. Many fishkeepers go in more horizontally with their air outlets though and that lets the bottom half of the pipe accumulate moisture.

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On 10/10/2022 at 7:58 AM, TOtrees said:

One thing I did that ended up making my life a lot easier, is connect the pump itself to the pvc loop using soft vinyl tubing. I had some 3/4 clear tubing on hand, and with a ring clamp it fit the outlet of my Alita pump well. And with a bit of hot water, it fits over 1/2” pvc which then is adjusted up to 1” pvc for the loop using adapters. The flexibility of the tubing to join the pump and loop made the install much simpler. No fussing with 45 degree bends or anything like that. 

Not sure what your plan is attach the tubing to the ceiling, but I’d consider screw eyes into the joists, and zip ties to hang the loop below the screw eyes. You will need relatively few attachments points because the loop itself will be quite light. 

What you described in the first paragraph is exactly what I'm hoping to do! It's reassuring to know that it's worked well for someone else!

As for the tubing to the ceiling I was hoping to use brackets with long deck screws and then just not quite screw them in all the way tight in hopes of keeping some wiggle room for it. I'm curious about your suggestion though. Would I have to worry about too much movement? Is there a thing as too much movement? I guess by having it hanging it would probably just absorb most of the vibration. Goodness knows I love me some zip ties so you've given me something to think about!

@gardenman Thank you! This video is absolutely perfect! I'm planning on having my air valves come out from the bottom but I suppose one can't ever be too careful!

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