Bulkheads and Uniseals for Aquariums

For aquarium sump plumbing, use a PVC bulkhead fitting, which is designed for continuous use. The bulkhead seals the aquarium hole but allows for aquarium overflow plumbing or aquarium return pipe. A uniseal bulkhead is less sturdy and designed for temporary use, like water changes.

PVC fittings are listed according to PVC pipe sizes, not the actual measurement of the part. So, a 1 inch slip elbow does not measure 1 inch but fits onto 1 inch PVC pipe. PVC fittings are categorized by the types of connections they make:

MPT, or male pipe thread, has threads on the outside wall
FPT, or female pipe thread, has threads on the inside wall
A PVC slip fitting, or slip fit, has no threads and connects to PVC pipe
PVC insert fittings, or hose barb fittings, connect to aquarium tubing (not flex PVC pipe)
A reducer fitting reduces PVC size
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