Strength of big box 20 gallon longs? Who makes quality small rimmed tanks?

Ecotech Marine

Trever

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
620
Reaction score
335
For next to nothing, I bought an Aqueon 20 gallon long and a solid metal stand for it, 15 gallon fits well underneath for a sump.

Truth: I am enamored of this set up, low cost aside. It will be perfect for a species specific FOWLR I want to start (also a good QT setup). Perfect form factor, looks great, etc. A 40 gallon breeder will actually be too big for what I want, etc.

Problem?

I have drilled a tank before, it was easy. But I'm getting cold feet here. I'm concerned that the glass here is too risky to be drilling- whether for something like a Modular Marine external overflow (2 x 1" bulkheads and 3 x 1/2" drains), or any sort of internal overflow going out through bulkheads. I'm happy to have an up and over for the return- I won't be drilling for the return. But getting down to the sump...

The problem is not that I will crack it while drilling. I'm out $20 if that happens, and can just buy another. So that's no problem.

The problem is will this thing crack someday and thus flood my house? It seems much higher risk than usual for this? The plumbing will be very well supported. Still... I'm getting jittery.

Some reliable resources claim one should not hang/drill on anything less than 6mm glass, that most flood stories are with smaller tanks. I think this Aqueon is around 5mm, it's slightly less than my 6 mm rimless tank. I notice the warranty is shorter for their smaller tanks but lifetime or similar for their larger tanks. Am I naively wondering into risk that one can easily miss (i.e. "should be no problem, smaller is obviously safer")?

Thoughts? Alternatives? Does anyone make an identical footprint 20 gallon long with thicker glass? Stories of long term success, warm my feet?
 
Last edited:
Champion Lighting & Supply

lapin

7500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
9,053
Reaction score
16,220
Location
Austin
Its a 50/50 with me
I drilled 2.
1 cracked after a month but on an un-drilled side
1 is still working after 2 years
 

Sarcazian

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Messages
289
Reaction score
187
Location
NJ
I ran a 20G drilled (I did not drill it) for about 2 years no issues. I bought it used and have no idea how long it was used.

I am now running an Evo 13.5 and I panic when the kids grab onto it since the glass seems soo thin. So, I hear you.

It will not help absolutely, but I have heard of some cracking issue being manageable if you have enough layers of rubber paint on the back. Meaning, if you have a leak sensor you might at least have time to jump in and do something about it.
 
OP
Trever

Trever

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
620
Reaction score
335
@lapin now there's a data point!

When the cracked tank cracked, was it water everywhere, or a leak you could respond to in some sense?

Weird that it was the un-drilled side...

There seems to be an engineering principal floating around:
DO NOT DRILL ANY GLASS LESS THAN 6MM.

I have seen this come up in different places independently. Not sure the basis for that. Guess I already sighted this above... wish I understood it better. Is it true, if so why, etc.
 
OP
Trever

Trever

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
620
Reaction score
335
A well known reefing company's tech support rep told me today:

"I've drilled many 10 gallon tanks for example, probably 40 or so. Only one has cracked on me where it was drilled, and it didn't even leak."
 
BRS

lapin

7500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
9,053
Reaction score
16,220
Location
Austin
@lapin now there's a data point!
When the cracked tank cracked, was it water everywhere, or a leak you could respond to in some sense?
Weird that it was the un-drilled side...
It was a crack from top to bottom at an angle but not near any corner. My guess was the glass was chipped when they made the tank ( prob under the top frame) After adding water / circulation pumps and cleaning the glass, the pressure caused the chip to crack. It took maybe a month to happen. It was a leak and not a total failure when I caught it
 

ca1ore

10K Club member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Messages
13,332
Reaction score
18,763
Location
Stamford, CT
My main QT is a drilled 20L. Cannot recall whether it was aqueon or marineland, but I bought it from Petco. It's been in service for 5 year and is constantly being filled and emptied. Hasn't shown any signs of failure .... yet. I'd have no reservations about buying/drilling another one. Drilling/grinding holes in any glass tank is a risk with thinner glass riskier than thicker glass.
 

Lingwendil

Active Member
View Badges
Marketplace Rating
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
399
Reaction score
337
Location
Oakley, California
Out of stock at marine depot, but BRS has the Mr Aqua equivalent in stock-

Low Iron, 269$-

Regular glass, 169$-

A buddy runs a standard glass one with two 3/4 bulkheads on one end at his office, been good for around three years now.
 

Have you ever had a reef tank with no sump and how did it go?

  • YES and it was just fine

    Votes: 381 58.7%
  • YES but it was difficult

    Votes: 112 17.3%
  • NO

    Votes: 143 22.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 13 2.0%
Legendary
Top