Need advice on drilling a large tank. Please help.

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Ishai Thatcher

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Hey y’all, I got a 120 gallon 4x2x2 rimmed reef ready aqueon tank that I need advice about. Pretty much, the tank comes with 2 overflow boxes pre drilled for a durso overflow, but I want to use a herbie style for the increased flow and noise reduction. My initial plan was just to send the return behind the tank and over the rim, but thinking about it, that might not be the best idea. I am putting eels in this tank, so I need the lid to fit tightly, which will be very difficult if I do this . So my idea was just to drill the back of the tank and put some bulkheads in it and send the return through there. However, I have never drilled a tank before and I really don’t wanna break it, it will also void the warranty I’m sure. I’m also struggling to find the width of the glass, I can’t find a number on the internet for this tank and I’m not sure how to measure it with the rim.
What would you guys do? Should I risk drilling it? Should I just figure out a lid solution later and send the returns over the lip of the tank?
Advice would be very much appreciated!
Cheers
 
Fritz

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Hey y’all, I got a 120 gallon 4x2x2 rimmed reef ready aqueon tank that I need advice about. Pretty much, the tank comes with 2 overflow boxes pre drilled for a durso overflow, but I want to use a herbie style for the increased flow and noise reduction. My initial plan was just to send the return behind the tank and over the rim, but thinking about it, that might not be the best idea. I am putting eels in this tank, so I need the lid to fit tightly, which will be very difficult if I do this . So my idea was just to drill the back of the tank and put some bulkheads in it and send the return through there. However, I have never drilled a tank before and I really don’t wanna break it, it will also void the warranty I’m sure. I’m also struggling to find the width of the glass, I can’t find a number on the internet for this tank and I’m not sure how to measure it with the rim.
What would you guys do? Should I risk drilling it? Should I just figure out a lid solution later and send the returns over the lip of the tank?
Advice would be very much appreciated!
Cheers
I'd have to ask myself did I really need the increased flow because additional pumps within tank might also be solution. Then IF I couldn't live without drilling... Call around to your local glass shops and see if you can find one to drill it. They'll have more experience. If you do it yourself, keep area wet. Practice on something else first (perhaps multiple practices). SAFETY GOGGLES!! Glass shards are VERY sharp.
 
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Ishai Thatcher

Ishai Thatcher

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I'd have to ask myself did I really need the increased flow because additional pumps within tank might also be solution. Then IF I couldn't live without drilling... Call around to your local glass shops and see if you can find one to drill it. They'll have more experience. If you do it yourself, keep area wet. Practice on something else first (perhaps multiple practices). SAFETY GOGGLES!! Glass shards are VERY sharp.
The problem isn’t flow, it’s the lid. I’m worried if I plumb the return lines over the lip of the tank that there might be a crack or something where an eel can slip out. I got a ton of flow for the system (3 mp10’s and 2 mp40s). My return pumps are a vectra m2 and a vectra s2. I know the pumps are overkill but I’m also adding a couple smaller tanks to the system and manifolding some equipment like my carbon reactor through those return pumps. The glass shop is a good idea though! I doubt they would mess it up.
 
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Ishai Thatcher

Ishai Thatcher

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Do you know with absolute certainty that the glass is not tempered? If it is tempered, trying to drill it will cause the entire piece of glass to shatter.
I don’t, the bottom glass definitely is not, as it’s already drilled. From what I found in the internet it seems like it’s not, I suppose I could call the store I got it from, but I don’t even know if they will know.
 

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You could consider another option to make the tank drains quiet.

On the same tank, I setup a bean-style using the existing bulkheads. One “tower” had full siphon and emergency. The other side had the “tunable” drain and the flow from the pump.
 

Jedi1199

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By "width" I assume you mean thickness. Should be easy enough to measure where the panels meet at the corner. If you are not sure if the glass is tempered or not, don't even attempt to drill it. The entire panel will shatter like a car window!

Here's a thought... Why not drill through the top? You can get the same results of a tight seal, without the risk of destroying the entire tank.
 
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Ishai Thatcher

Ishai Thatcher

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Do you know with absolute certainty that the glass is not tempered? If it is tempered, trying to drill it will cause the entire piece of glass to shatter.
I looked on aqueons website and it seems like some of their tanks are tempered, but only on the bottom panel of glass. So I don’t think any of this tank is tempered because it’s already drilled on the bottom and they never temper the back it seems.
 
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Ishai Thatcher

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By "width" I assume you mean thickness. Should be easy enough to measure where the panels meet at the corner. If you are not sure if the glass is tempered or not, don't even attempt to drill it. The entire panel will shatter like a car window!

Here's a thought... Why not drill through the top? You can get the same results of a tight seal, without the risk of destroying the entire tank.
That’s a great idea! I’m sure the glass isn’t tempered now. But that would be good as if I drill through the lid I think the warranty would not be void.
 

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I don’t, the bottom glass definitely is not, as it’s already drilled. From what I found in the internet it seems like it’s not, I suppose I could call the store I got it from, but I don’t even know if they will know.

Just because it is drilled, does not mean that it is not tempered. Tempering could have been done after the panel was drilled.
 
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I don’t, the bottom glass definitely is not, as it’s already drilled. From what I found in the internet it seems like it’s not, I suppose I could call the store I got it from, but I don’t even know if they will know.
Just an FYI, the often drill glass and temper it afterward. I'd call the store or the manufacture. I wouldn't trust a glass shop too much on if it's tempered or not either, but they could definitely get it drilled for you if not.
 
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Ishai Thatcher

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You could consider another option to make the tank drains quiet.

On the same tank, I setup a bean-style using the existing bulkheads. One “tower” had full siphon and emergency. The other side had the “tunable” drain and the flow from the pump.
I just absolutely hate the sound of overflow drains, and I’ve already spent a lot of money on quiet equipment like dc return pumps and skimmer etc. I also just want the extra safety of the emergency overflows on the Herbie style.
 
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Ishai Thatcher

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Just because it is drilled, does not mean that it is not tempered. Tempering could have been done after the panel was drilled.
Aqueon says the only piece of glass they ever temper is the bottom one. So even if it is tempered, I wasn’t planning on drilling the bottom, just the back, which seems to never be tempered. At least that’s what their website says.
 

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If it's not tempered than it can be drilled. It's a good skill to develop I've done it many times, but if you're uncomfortable with it get help from a LFS or glass shop. I have broken a 10 gallon tank or two, but I only struggle when the glass is thin.

+1 on going through the top if that's an option.
 
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Ishai Thatcher

Ishai Thatcher

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If it's not tempered than it can be drilled. It's a good skill to develop I've done it many times, but if you're uncomfortable with it get help from a LFS or glass shop. I have broken a 10 gallon tank or two, but I only struggle when the glass is thin.

+1 on going through the top if that's an option.
Thanks a ton! I think I’ll get help from a glass shop just cause it’s my first time. I also think it will look a lot cleaner with the returns coming through the back. And my ribbon eels will be securely behind bars
 
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Before you drill test to make sure it is not tempered. Aqueon ran out of regular glass at one point in the larger pieces and a lot of the newer 65 gallon and above tanks had been made with all tempered glass.
 
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