Can I cut an acrylic aquarium with a saw?

hrdneglcry

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My tanks filter holes are a bit too short to fit my hob filters. About two inches from the filter slots are heater or return nozzle holes. I could connect these by cutting with a hacksaw and connecting them. Is this safe or ok for the I mean will it cut cleanly or do I risk it cracking?

IMG_0940.jpeg
 

albano

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Who made those other ‘cuts’? Doesn’t look right,

But saw or drill holes should not be a problem. I cut a 120g tank down to 100g many years ago with my circular saw and it’s still in service today.
 

albano

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Don’t think that I’ve seen a ‘keyhole’ cut in a tank before… but if it’s factory, I guess it’s fine.

I’ve cut and drilled, most of my tanks without problems, over the past 35 years. Just take your time and plan it out.
 
OP
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H

hrdneglcry

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Heres a full view. The slots are a half inch too short for my Aquaclear 500s. But I guess I can only run one because the overflow box needs to go into the other side which is identical.

IMG_0931.jpeg
 
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twentyleagues

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If you put tape along the cut lines it will help. I have never cut an aquarium with a hacksaw dont see why it would no work though. I have used a circular saw.
 

mfinn

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If that was my tank and I needed to make the current holes longer/wider I would use a jig saw with a metal cutting blade and just go slow.


EDIT:
I would be willing to bet a trim router with a straight cutting bit would be the choice of many.
 
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Biokabe

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If that was my tank and I needed to make the current holes longer/wider I would use a jig saw with a metal cutting blade and just go slow.


EDIT:
I would be willing to bet a trim router with a straight cutting bit would be the choice of many.

A trim router can work, but you'd definitely need some kind of cutting guide, and go slow and steady. It's very easy for a router bit to catch a thread and wander when cutting through acrylic. If I'm routing through a plastic I usually prefer to use a router table to minimize wander, but not really an option for OP here. Definitely don't try to cut it freehand.

As long as the proper precautions are taken, I think a trim router would be the least frustrating option for making the cut that @hrdneglcry wants to make. Using hand tools on plastic is slow and imprecise, and jigsaws are never as easy as they want to pretend to be. I've ruined more jigsaw blades than I've made successful cuts with a jigsaw.
 

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