Tubing Installation Tips

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This article has information/tips, pictures, and products to help with the application/installation of aquarium and pond vinyl tubing, whether clear, black, or ribbed to hose barbs or similar on UV Sterilizers, filters, etc.

These tips can be used to “mate” similar sized tubing to hose barbs (or other connections or even to mate smaller tubing to larger connection when heat is also applied.

  • Lubrication of the receiving hose barb or other connection is essential. I prefer/recommend silicone lubricant as it also makes and excellent water seal, however Vasoline (petroleum jelly) can also work quite well.

  • For more difficult connections heating of the tubing is also helpful and often a must for heavier tubing (such as ribbed tubing) and this is a must for mating smaller tubing to larger connections/hose barbs (such as 3/8” tubing to a ˝” connection).
    When heat is used, make sure it is done evenly and that it only warms the tubing up to where it is almost too hot to the touch, but not melting as this can make the tubing less pliable and defeat the purpose of heating the tubing in the first place (which is to make it MORE pliable).

  • This heating method is especially useful for connections from metric filters such as the Eheim 2217 which is approximately 5/8" ID (16 mm)for the intake, but is smaller at approximately 1/2" (12 mm) ID for the outlet.
    As an example, for connecting this to the TMC Fluidized Filter, you would spice the Ehiem return (outlet) line and place the FB Filter after the Eheim Filter using heating of the Tubing to expand and fit the TMC FB Filter (as well as lubrication with petroleum jelly).

  • Another heating method that involves no flame is to place the tubing end for a few seconds under hot water and when applying to the connection, twist.

  • Please note that these suggestions also work with smooth adapters as well, not necessarily “barbed” adapters.
    Many power heads, pumps, internal filters, etc. only come with these “smooth” or straight outlets/adapters or these may be the better option over the hose barbs for ease of tubing application in difficult instances.

  • For more 'loose' fits or simply for extra assurance for no future leaks even with tight fits, I strongly suggest the use of a hose clamp, which should be placed over at least one ridge if a barbed fitting is used.
    Or if a smooth fitting is used, this clamp should be 100% over the surface of this fitting (not part on and part off).

    Please click on the picture to the left to purchase hose clamps

Aquarium, Pond Tubing installation to hose barb

Also see this video for a similar demonstration of connecting tubing to a UV Sterilizer with hose barbs:
UV Sterilizer Installation Demonstration

Aquarium or Pond Tubing Connection, Rio 1100 with 5/8 inch ID

The picture to the left demonstrates a Rio 1100 Water Pump with the stock outlet with 5/8" ID Tubing attached using our heat/lubrication method outlined here on this page.
This pumps stock metric outlet at 18 mm is a larger than the 5/8" SAE tubing, but not by much, so this method works well at what would be a nearly impossible fit, making it relatively easy if done correctly.

This method works for many other fittings from the Filstar Filter which is also somewhat larger than standard vinyl tubing sizes or larger 22 mm to 3/4" ID as well as many other aquarium or pond connections.

Please click on the picture to enlarge

Product Resources:
*Rio Aquarium/Pond Water Pumps
*High Quality Vinyl Tubing for Aquarium or Pond


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Aquarium & Pond Plumbing Parts

*UV Water Return and Intake Adapter
For use with Vecton, Terminator, or any other under aquarium UV Sterilizer. For use with in-tank power heads or internal filters to safely return or intake water to the aquarium without hose kinks.

*3/4" X 1/2" (TO 5/8") Hose Barb Adapter
Useful for adapting 3/4" inch hose barbs on UVs (such as the 9 Watt Terminator) or other aquarium equipment to the 1/2 to 5/8" hoses common Ehiem and other filters.

*Water T Diverter Valves
For use with ponds, sumps, or any high flow water application where the flow rate exceeds the recommended GPH per watt for a UV Sterilizer as well as other applications

Please Click on the above picture link to purchase these items form the Plumbing Parts Web Page

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For replacement UV-C Lamps which should be changed every 6 months to keep your Aquarium or Pond UV Sterilizer working at 100%:
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Click below for our vinyl aquarium tubing page:
Tubing, Hose Clamps


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