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Building PVC Frame for Live Rock


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We maintain a tank at our childrens grade school.


Next year the tank is going to be a FOWLR tank. I want to build a "scaffolding" out of PVC to put live rock on and around.


There are a few things I feel I need to know before I build this.

1 What diameter PVC to use?

2 What gauge PVC to use?

3 How much weight can it hold

4 How much distance can it span between connections and stay rigid?

5 Probably other things I haven't thought of.


Please help.


My design is attached


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I wouldn't use PVC, I'd use acrylic. I don't like the idea of all those hollow tubes filled with stagnant water. Plus, acrylic rod is thinner, clear, can be tapped and threaded, and easily bent/formed with a heat gun. With a few feet of acrylic rod and some scrap sheet you could build a cool, modular structure.

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Here is my thread for my 30g. It's pretty indepth.




Here are a few shots from my 65g.


Spraybars in tank


Plumbing on back



I have used 3/4" and 1/2"


I don't glue it really, just piece it together and push it in well. I have about 1oo lbs of LR in the 65g but position the rock so there is not an extreme amount of weight on any one region. It will hold more then you think though.


PVC will bend with a blow torch a slight amount too.


I would run the pump externally. When I first made my PVC spraybar/rock support things I used an internal pump, but it is a pain to take out to clean, external is much easier IME and it looks better.



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