Best way to cut out acrylic piece that is in the tank?

Mike O

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2BB01FFF-82A5-4CB6-9C48-B8A1295BCE0F.jpeg 5C2FC3A3-042F-4E12-B8EE-7B3D8E5D70FC.jpeg 5C2FC3A3-042F-4E12-B8EE-7B3D8E5D70FC.jpeg hey guys a I bought a 125g acyrclic AIO tank and I want to remove the acrylic bio balls area in the back overflow area so I’m able to put a nano protein skimmer on each side. I can’t get a circular saw or jigsaw in the 4-5” opening and I can’t get the angle needed for the Dremel with a disc bit.

I was thinking of either using a sawzall and go slow while spraying cold water on it from a squirt bottle, use an oscillating tool, or using a hand saw. What do you recommend as my best solution? Here’s some pics to help you visualize it.

B00B1571-03E9-4A02-8387-EBD6DDCDB15C.jpeg
 
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Lissa1987

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What about a Dremel with a straight cutting tip...can you get the actual Dremel in the area?
 

ludnix

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I would use a hand saw given those options. Maybe one of those flexible Japanese pull saws.
 
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Lissa1987

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bluprntguy

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It's a little hard to know exactly what you are removing, but the back panel was probably sized assuming the rigidity from the intermediate supports. If you remove those supports, then you are going to weaken that panel. You may possibly get some deformation in that panel once you fill it with water. Not to be alarmist, but I have to believe you would increase the chance of a failure as well.

What's the thickness of the back panel versus the front/side panels. It may just be the photos, but it looks thinner.
 
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Mike O

Mike O

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It's a little hard to know exactly what you are removing, but the back panel was probably sized assuming the rigidity from the intermediate supports. If you remove those supports, then you are going to weaken that panel. You may possibly get some deformation in that panel once you fill it with water. Not to be alarmist, but I have to believe you would increase the chance of a failure as well.

What's the thickness of the back panel versus the front/side panels. It may just be the photos, but it looks thinner.
I just went to look at my tank again and noticed that all of the pieces ARE connected from the back of the tank to the front, so I won’t be cutting them.
 

Lissa1987

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This attachment is the ****!! I bought one for work in tight places so you can have the flexibility of using the bit that is most suited for the job.

https://www.amazon.com/Dremel-225-01-Flex-Shaft-Attachment/dp/B0000302Y8
It's a little hard to know exactly what you are removing, but the back panel was probably sized assuming the rigidity from the intermediate supports. If you remove those supports, then you are going to weaken that panel. You may possibly get some deformation in that panel once you fill it with water. Not to be alarmist, but I have to believe you would increase the chance of a failure as well.

What's the thickness of the back panel versus the front/side panels. It may just be the photos, but it looks thinner.
Can you measure them? from the pictures they look the same thickness to me...
 
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Mike O

Mike O

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Back of tank0A5173C7-82EE-45D6-BA09-0F5D9F968E19.jpeg right side of back close upE4AAE894-1117-4EF3-817C-A29C6D5D1F67.jpeg left side of back close up66280AA5-CAF1-41AE-B565-D0ECF9676C65.jpeg

Can you measure them? from the pictures they look the same thickness to me...
I got some better photos of the back of the tank that I’ll share. I realized that I can just remove the bio balls on both sides and put in a protein skimmer on each side where the bio balls currently are without having to cut any acrylic out. Each side of the tank has two compartments filled with bio balls. One compartment on each side for a protein skimmer and the other will be a possible refugium? What are you thoughts?
 

Lissa1987

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Do you think you will need two skimmers? are you planning on having enough live rock to support the bioload? if not, why not do one skimmer and one media section?
 

Lissa1987

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Do you think you will need two skimmers? are you planning on having enough live rock to support the bioload? if not, why not do one skimmer and one media section?
Never mind, i didn't see there were two bioball sections on each side...
 

Aardvark1134

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So just to make sure I understand...you bought one of the most expensive types of AIO tanks on the market and want to drop it's value by at least $1000? Just trade someone for the type you want. That chamber you can take all the bio balls out of put in all the different media types you want. Carbon, marine pure etc. They also make skimmers that fit perfectly into these tanks the way they are. Just buy the correct model for it.
 
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Mike O

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Never mind, i didn't see there were two bioball sections on each side...
Yeah there are two compartments on each side so one protein skimmer on each side Should be ok. I’m looking at the Tunze 9004 DC skimmer which is rated for 25-65 gallons, so two of them will actually will be a good fit for my tank IMO. My tank actually is only about 100g for actual fish/display because roughly 25g is blocked off for the back filtration. Do you think the 2nd compartment on each side (closer to the return pump) will work as a refugium for chaeto?
 
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Mike O

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So just to make sure I understand...you bought one of the most expensive types of AIO tanks on the market and want to drop it's value by at least $1000? Just trade someone for the type you want. That chamber you can take all the bio balls out of put in all the different media types you want. Carbon, marine pure etc. They also make skimmers that fit perfectly into these tanks they way they are. Just buy the correct model for it.
I agree. I’ve decided to take the bio balls out and put a Tunze 9004 DC on each size in the compartment closest to the middle of the tank and use the other compartment on each side for media or a refugium with chaeto. What do you think?
 

Lissa1987

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Yeah there are two compartments on each side so one protein skimmer on each side Should be ok. I’m looking at the Tunze 9004 DC skimmer which is rated for 25-65 gallons, so two of them will actually will be a good fit for my tank IMO. My tank actually is only about 100g for actual fish/display because roughly 25g is blocked off for the back filtration. Do you think the 2nd compartment on each side (closer to the return pump) will work as a refugium for chaeto?
I don't see why not, but if you are wanting pods the second skimmer may be a problem...Although there seems to be a lot of debate on that.
 

Lissa1987

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I don't see why not, but if you are wanting pods the second skimmer may be a problem...Although there seems to be a lot of debate on that.
Well crap, i didn't get what you were saying again... Yes the bioball section closest to the return should be fine...
 
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Mike O

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F338ED90-DF41-4EC3-803C-F903324358DA.jpeg Maybe this will help explain it better. Compartment 1 on each side will house the protein skimmers and compartment 2 on each side will be a refugium or a place for media. What do you guys think?
 

cracker

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I used a dremal & cutting wheel worked well.
 
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