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Innovative Marine Aquariums

Adding a second bulkhead return to the JBJ cube (any size) - Pics included


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I don't know about any of you other JBJ nano cube owners (12 gal. that is), but the single return into the tank just wasn't enough flow for me and couldn't get the flow where I wanted it to be. I hooked up a Minijet 606 to the original return and that worked pretty well, but I still needed more. I was considering placing a small pump inside the tank itself, but then decided I didn't really want to add any hardware inside the show portion of the tank and I liked the flexibility of directing flow like a normal flare nozzle offers. So I decided to drill a hole in the top portion of the second chamber of the cube and install a 1/2" bulkhead and 2-1/2" flare nozzle with ball joint. I hooked the whole thing up to another Minijet 606 and so far it's made a big difference. Between plumbing parts and the pump, the mod cost about $26 a couple months back. Here are a couple pictures.


We will be offering this mod from nanocustoms.com soon for those who may be interested when purchasing a 6g, 12g or 24g tank. The details haven't been finalized, but something to look out for.











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Originally posted by SeanCallan

Nice :)


If you don't mind me asking, where did you get that surface skimmer?


I designed and built it myself.

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Got the supplies for the bulkhead return from an online aquarium outfit, but these parts can also be purchased in various home improvement stores.


I got the black acrylic for the surface skimmer from a local plastics shop and used weldon for bonding the joints.

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Used a 1-1/8" hole saw and a standard power drill. Did my mod with the tank stocked, which I absolutely do not recommend trying, but it worked out for me. Had I known what flow would've been like when I bought the cube I would've done the mod before I even stocked the tank.

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if u use a thread x slip bulkhead and a slip elbow hose barb adapter, it makes it a lot easier to connect and disconnect the pump in the tight space back there.


and you'll get more bang for the buck out of your pumps if you reduce to 1.25" flare nozzle or a round nozzle.

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This is true. I guess there's no one right way to do the mod. There are ways to do it more effectively than others, but I guess it depends on your skills and what is acceptable to the end user. We just did a bulkhead for a customer and it got me to thinking of an interesting way to possibly try on a tank in the future. A bulkhead could be added on the back wall just below the intake grate but drill a 5/8" or 3/4" hole towards the top of the first baffle. Then, place your pump in the second chamber and run the tubing up through that hole that was drilled and connect it to the bulkhead fitting. This way you get the flare nozzle (or whatever you like) on one side of the tank and still easier access to the pump in its own chamber. Just a thought.

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  • 7 months later...
stoney waters

I was able to do a similar mod without having to use a bulkhead. I just used a 1" long piece of 1/2" CPVC pipe. I drilled a 5/8" hole in the back wall and inserted the piece half way through sealing with PVC cement. The result is almost identical to the way the return in chamber 3 is from the factory. On the back side I attached a 90 degree elbow and fitted a hose to the pump.



Edited by stoney waters
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I did something similar to mount a Hydor-Flo on the chamber 2 bulkhead. (pics in posts)






I was improvising with parts on hand... some PVC elbows, Hydor-Flo fittings and teflon tape... so mine doesn't have a neat bulkhead. It's holding together great though.

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Will the overflow keep up with 2 pumps? I NEED to do this but i wasnt sure if the overlow would keep up with the stock pump and a maxi jet 900 (i replaced for the stock pump).

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I am using a MJ 900 on the duckbill and the stock pump on the Hydor-Flo. The water levels in the back chambers are uneven, but it isn't problematic. So yes, the overflow keeps up. :)


I am going to ditch the stock pump for another 900 though, it started to get really loud and it is also hotter.

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  • 15 years later...
On 4/23/2005 at 5:02 PM, Nickeleye said:


I designed and built it myself.

You don't happen to have the .stl on Thingverse do ya? I've had no luck designing it due to the lid top creeps over where a hook should be  does the right hook and pressure do the trick?

I know its An older post, but if you can find that .stl  i've had 10 x's from sunday trying to size one that fits.




Also the return in tank nozzle size and/or file would be ideal if ya got it.


Thanks man!



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