A DIY PVC Durso Standpipe

Updated February 21, 2017

A Durso Standpipe is used in aquariums to create a quieter environment. The noise created by the water in the overflow tank is caused by the water flowing over the gate and crashing down. Allowing air to enter the standpipe from the top eliminates many of the noises caused by the overflow. A PVC Durso standpipe is a way to reduce the noise without disturbing the environment.

Measure the aquarium and cut the PVC pipe 4 inches less than the water level. Cut the PVC pipe with the hacksaw or PVC cutter. The PVC pipe will be attached to the bottom of the aquarium and stand vertical in the aquarium. Cut another two pieces of PVC that is 2-inches long.

Drill a small hole in the centre of the top of the end cap. The hole needs to be no smaller than 1/4 inch and no larger than 3/4 inch.

Drill a small hole in the centre of the top of the end cap. The hole needs to be no smaller than 1/4 inch and no larger than 3/4 inch.

Turn off the pump in the aquarium.

Apply a ring of glue on the inside of the 1-inch port on the PVC reducer and slide the reducer onto the bulkhead drain pipe at the bottom of the aquarium.

Insert the long portion of cut pipe into the 1 1/4-inch end of the reducer and slide the T-connector on the other end. The T-connector is placed on the pipe with one open port pointed upward and one pointed toward the middle of the tank.

Slide a 2-inch pipe into each of the open ports.

Place the elbow connector on the end of the pipe that is pointed toward the centre of the tank and turn the open port on the elbow toward the bottom of the tank.

Put the end cap with a hole drilled in it on the top of the other 2-inch pipe. Make sure that the top of the cap is above the waterline. If you measured correctly in the beginning your cap should be about an inch to two inches above the waterline.

Turn the pump back on.


The reason the standpipe is not glued together is because uneaten food, waste and debris collect at the bottom of the overflow and clog the drain. Since the standpipe is not glued it is easily removed and cleaned.

Things You'll Need

  • PVC reducer, 1 1/4-inch to 1-inch diameter
  • PVC pipe, 1 1/4-inch diameter
  • PVC flat end cap, 1 1/4-inch diameter
  • PVC T-connector, 1 1/4-inch diameter
  • PVC Elbow, 1 1/4-inch diameter
  • PVC glue
  • Measuring tape
  • Hacksaw or PVC cutters
  • Drill
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About the Author

Donna Armstrong is a freelance writer who has been writing since 2005. She has provided copy for catalogs, newspapers, newsletters, blogs, informational and e-commerce websites. She has written on a variety of subjects including state-of-the-art electronics and household products. She has worked for such websites as and She attended the University of Texas, where she studied history and education.