• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

bulkhead screens


Nov 27, 2006
quick question:

assuming both the overflow and return holes in the tank should have screens in a ceph thank, what material is suitable? can i use some material from a hardware store or should i find some of those cone-shaped aquarium screens at the LFS?

oh, also, should i glue said screens into place?

My LFS gave me a cone-screen for the overflow but not for the return, which made sense at the time considering fish might get sucked into the overflow, but most wont climb into the return against the current (now it occurs to me that an octo probably will try).

the the employee said not to glue in the screen so that it can be removed for cleaning.

but it occured to me that an octo might pull the screen off and climb down... the fitting is pretty loose.
Yeah, for an octopus you should fasten it on so that it can't be removed. Use a clean scrub brush to remove any build-up off the screen.

If you have a strong return pump, there shouldn't be any issues with the octopus trying to climb in against the current. It would probably be a very painful effort on the octos part. If the return flow is weak though, you might consider the screen.
I'd throw one on just to be safe. They're strong little guys.

You can use PVC primer and solvent on the screens and bulkheads even though they're ABS plastic and not PVC. The LFS makes a good point that this will make it harder to clean. You might get creative and glue a PVC coupler into the bulkhead and dry fit a strainer into that: this would allow you to drill a small hole through the shoulder of the strainer and the coupler that you could thread a nylon wing-nut into.
I dunno, my powerheads are only 295gph and my small octos never tried sticking their arms in them or climbed directly in front of them. If they did get in the current they would swim away with it.
i was more concerned about the rare times i might need to turn the pump off for any reason. i'm thinking ill pick up a screen from the LFS and glue them both into place, despite the difficulties with cleaning.

i dont have much in the way of equipment for a fancy DIY solution (i.e. drills). better safe than sorry is the mantra of this forum anyway, eh?

I have been using the PVC cleaner and PVC cement to secure those junctures per the recommendation of the LFS.
*EDIT: the stuff does indeed say it works with ABS plastic as well.
For a small octo sure, but what if he ends up with The Bimac that Time Forgot? 350 GPH through a 1" pipe might not be much more than a stiff breeze for this guy :smile:

i ended up buying the standard slip-fit strainers and gluing them in place with PVC cement. my straight-shot overflow design creates a sort of "toilet constantly flushing in my bedroom" sound effect, but at least everything is secure and i have a seamless lid.

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.