How to drill tank to make ‘Reef Ready’

Shirak

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It’s about $20 more so maybe I will just go with 400 gph plus less room taken up in my tank. I’m not counting on the jet to do much at all just thought it would look better then a piece of pipe. 2- 480gph power heads one in bottom left angled up and one top right angled slightly down will be plenty correct? I will be using about 2” of sand
You could get some of the loc line fittings that has the wide narrow nozzle for the return inside the tank. Lots of options there for directing the return flow and make it look nicer. As long as the nozzles are near the surface so you don't get too much back siphon when pump is off you will be good to go!

Should be good with the 2 power heads plus the return flow.
 
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Shirak

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This confirms my research.
Thanks for adding that the emergency drain line is never restricted. I should have added this, since I meant restrictions only on the primary drain (and secondary drain, possibly though probably not necessary, in a 3-drain setup).
I have only run 2 line Herbie not the 3 line Bean Animal. I think the 2nd line on the bean style is also without a valve? It sort of functions as your first emergency drain line as well as a keeping the main drain line quiet from what I recall seeing online.
 

highest_tides

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Okay. I get the jist of drilling the hole. Once I get a hole drilled and bulkhead in place I purchase a simple overflow box from like Amazon and install it to the water level I want?
I had to custom make one. It wasn't too bad. I bought a sheet of acrylic and used a table saw. Built a template out of wood and glued it. I cut holes to the depth I desired for flow evenly of the distance I wanted. I scored the acrylic over half of the width so it was like a notch on the backside and out a heat gun on it over the template. It's kind of documented in my build thread.
 
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JosephM

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You could get some of the loc line fittings that has the wide narrow nozzle for the return inside the tank. Lots of options there for directing the return flow and make it look nicer. As long as the nozzles are near the surface so you don't get too much back siphon when pump is off you will be good to go!

Should be good with the 2 power heads plus the return flow.
For some reason it completely went through my head. I’ll have to drill a hole for my return won’t I? My return pump can run a pipe 3/4” - 1.5”. Im going to go with 3/4” (same size bulkhead as the overflow box I’m going with) I should be able to just use the same drill bit that the box comes with correct? And this my sound stupid but how do I go from that 3/4” bulkhead return to jet return or loc-line?
 

Shirak

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For some reason it completely went through my head. I’ll have to drill a hole for my return won’t I? My return pump can run a pipe 3/4” - 1.5”. Im going to go with 3/4” (same size bulkhead as the overflow box I’m going with) I should be able to just use the same drill bit that the box comes with correct? And this my sound stupid but how do I go from that 3/4” bulkhead return to jet return or loc-line?
The hole for the overflow will be much bigger than 3/4". It's usually on the order of 1.5" bulkhead which is about a 2" hole. If it were me, I would either get a smaller drill bit for a 3/4" bulkhead or do without and go up over the top of the tank and then a couple elbows to come back down inside the tank with the return pipe.

Loc-line makes fittings that have the loc-line connection on one side and then threads on the other that can screw into inside threads on your bulkhead. So make sure if you go that route you get a bulkhead that has the threads on the inside part where the loc-line would connect. If you are just connecting to pvc you can end the pipe with a female connector to accept the loc-line fitting.
 
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JosephM

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The hole for the overflow will be much bigger than 3/4". It's usually on the order of 1.5" bulkhead which is about a 2" hole. If it were me, I would either get a smaller drill bit for a 3/4" bulkhead or do without and go up over the top of the tank and then a couple elbows to come back down inside the tank with the return pipe.

Loc-line makes fittings that have the loc-line connection on one side and then threads on the other that can screw into inside threads on your bulkhead. So make sure if you go that route you get a bulkhead that has the threads on the inside part where the loc-line would connect. If you are just connecting to pvc you can end the pipe with a female connector to accept the loc-line fitting.
For the 400gph Fiji cube overflow box that I am getting it says 3/4” bulkhead.
 
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JosephM

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The hole for the overflow will be much bigger than 3/4". It's usually on the order of 1.5" bulkhead which is about a 2" hole. If it were me, I would either get a smaller drill bit for a 3/4" bulkhead or do without and go up over the top of the tank and then a couple elbows to come back down inside the tank with the return pipe.

Loc-line makes fittings that have the loc-line connection on one side and then threads on the other that can screw into inside threads on your bulkhead. So make sure if you go that route you get a bulkhead that has the threads on the inside part where the loc-line would connect. If you are just connecting to pvc you can end the pipe with a female connector to accept the loc-line fitting.
Would you recommend drilling another hole for return or just goin over the top. I guess my biggest worry is with a small tank the more room I can have free for critters the better
 

Soren

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Would you recommend drilling another hole for return or just goin over the top. I guess my biggest worry is with a small tank the more room I can have free for critters the better
That really should not make a difference for space inside. Either way you have a return flow nozzle taking a little space. The only real difference is whether you would rather drill another hole and keep the top clean of over-the-top hardware, or skip drilling and just run the return line over the top.

...also, when talking about pipe diameters, the number usually represents the internal diameter and does not account for wall thickness. This means that a 3/4" pipe will measure 3/4" diameter on the inside while the outside will be more like 1" to 1-1/2" depending on wall thickness for different pressures.
 
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JosephM

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That really should not make a difference for space inside. Either way you have a return flow nozzle taking a little space. The only real difference is whether you would rather drill another hole and keep the top clean of over-the-top hardware, or skip drilling and just run the return line over the top.

...also, when talking about pipe diameters, the number usually represents the internal diameter and does not account for wall thickness. This means that a 3/4" pipe will measure 3/4" diameter on the inside while the outside will be more like 1" to 1-1/2" depending on wall thickness for different pressures.
Okay, that makes sense. Thank you for all of that info. Might opt for another hole since I’m trying to have as clean of a look as possible.
 

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