Problem: "I hate manually siphoning excess water from my enclosure."

Today we are helping a reader with the following problem: "I hate spending the time and energy manually siphoning excess water from my enclosure."

Maybe you can relate.  We used to manually siphon water too.  I won't say we hated it, but it wasn't in our top 10 favorite things.  Or even our top 100...

We found that one of the best solutions is to add an overflow drain.

How it Works

Position the overflow drain where you want the max water level in your enclosure.  This could be in the front, back, or sides of your vivarium, depending on your particular needs.  As the water level increases, the water can freely flow out the drain which prevents the water from getting too high in the enclosure.

Overflow Drain Options

There are several different kinds of overflow drain options. 

1.    You could use a spigot, like in the photo below, so you just turn the spigot to let the water drain into a bucket or other receptacle and then dispose of the drained water.



2.    You could use a bulk head and tubing to allow continuous drainage.  Position the bulk head where you want your max water level to be in the habitat and then the water will automatically drain for you.  Here’s an example:

overflow drain example

Our Recommendation

Our favorite method is the bulk head option.  We either allow it to drain into a large bucket that is hidden in the cabinet beneath the enclosure or let the water drain into a sump to be filtered and recirculated back into the enclosure.

That’s why you can add a bulk head or spigot option to any of our enclosures Just add that option when ordering and we’ll take care of it for you.  We love not having to do manual water changes anymore and bet you will too.


Have a problem with your habitat or enclosure that we haven’t answered on the blog?  We might be able to help.  Send your questions to:

Author Bio:
Seth and Rachel Hiser, the founders of BioVivara, help exotic plant and animal enthusiasts create beautiful, low-maintenance, naturalistic enclosures.  Learn more about their journey from hobbyists to business owners here.

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