Used acrylic tank/help with overflow

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tory990

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Hi guys, I've been around a while but just now getting to a place I can take the plunge into saltwater. So I bought a used 112 gallon acrylic tank. It's already drilled in the bottom center for pipes for a sump. Im trying to figure out how I would run the overflow from there to the sump. I have searched high and low and can find nothing on this specifically. Most things I find are how to drill the tank. Its already drilled. Two holes very center bottom. The tank itself is 72 L x 18 D x 20 H. Boyfriend says forget it and just run a good quality canister and probably a skimmer and be done with it. He says less costly than setting up a sump. Im looking at the Fluval either fx4 or fx6 but they are pretty costly also. Anyone have any ideas what's best? I know of course everyone says sump is best and I really want to try it, but I am not sure how to go about setting it up and running this overflow down plus the return. Will I need to drill more holes? If so that likely won't happen. Small town and I cannot find anybody to do that. I'm in no rush, were finishing out the stand and the acrylic has to be buffed because it's scratched. Thanks for looking appreciate any help.
 
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tory990

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I dont have a picture right now ill have to get it when I'm home. But the holes are parallel to the back wall. So if I'm looking at it from the front of the tank, the holes are aide by side.
 

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I dont have a picture right now ill have to get it when I'm home. But the holes are parallel to the back wall. So if I'm looking at it from the front of the tank, the holes are aide by side.
are there any marks on that back wall that might have been from a weir? usually there are bulkhead fittings in the holes. pvc pipes are stuck into or screwed into the bulkhead fittings. the weir acts as a skimmer and the water fills the weir to the height of the pipes then falls into the pipes. whether you use one of the holes as a return or both as drains is your decision. you can have the return come over the side. the bulkhead fittings are then plumbed to the sump. look up 100 gal acrylic tanks they will show what i am talking about in their sales material. look up overflows to decide what kind you want to try good luck. drilling acrylic can be done fairly easily try youtube for ideas.
 

CMMorgan

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So it sounds like the old one had a durso overflow. That is essentially a stand pipe with an inverted elbow at the time.... think candy cane. The top of the "U" has a hole to break the siphon. The second hole is for your return pipe. Do you have an overflow box around those holes or is it just two holes in the floor of the tank with nothing else? If so, you will want to have an overflow box ordered to go around those pipes. That is NBD, a bit of silicone and you will be off.
Based on what little you've said, you will need:
overflow box - maybe
two bulkheads
pvc pipe to create the return and drain
some lockline to direct your reurn
The sump set up is really just more pipe below the tank to the sump itself.
I have had a canister filter. For the money, it will be easier and the same money to set up a sump.
 
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tory990

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are there any marks on that back wall that might have been from a weir? usually there are bulkhead fittings in the holes. pvc pipes are stuck into or screwed into the bulkhead fittings. the weir acts as a skimmer and the water fills the weir to the height of the pipes then falls into the pipes. whether you use one of the holes as a return or both as drains is your decision. you can have the return come over the side. the bulkhead fittings are then plumbed to the sump. look up 100 gal acrylic tanks they will show what i am talking about in their sales material. look up overflows to decide what kind you want to try good luck. drilling acrylic can be done fairly easily try youtube for ideas.
Thanks for the help. Currently it doesn't have anything attached to it. Previous owner had used a piece of acrylic and flex seal to temporarily plug the holes so he could run just a canister filter. It's no issue to remove but it is sealed well if I don't end up being able to go with a sump.
 
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tory990

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I'm so sorry guys I hadn't gotten back. It didn't notify me I had more replies. I did get some pics of the tank. @CMMorgan to answer your question yes it is just literally the two holes in the bottom, nothing else. I know I'd need to add an overflow and I want to. My confusion is falling into the plumbing itself I guess. The two holes are they both used for drainage since they are in the overflow area? I'm assuming so. If so do I need more holes drilled or is this good enough? For the return I know I need a good quality pump to push the water back in but I'm confused as to how the return comes back in from the sump. Is it in a different area than the in the overflow or is like I said above one hole for out and one for in? This is where my confusion comes in. I know how I want to set up the sump. I know how to get the overflow box in there but the plumbing from the overflow to sump and from sump to tank is my issue. I know its likely a simple thing just my simple brain doesn't want to grasp it. Thanks again for the replies.
 

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tory990

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I'm so sorry guys I hadn't gotten back. It didn't notify me I had more replies. I did get some pics of the tank. @CMMorgan to answer your question yes it is just literally the two holes in the bottom, nothing else. I know I'd need to add an overflow and I want to. My confusion is falling into the plumbing itself I guess. The two holes are they both used for drainage since they are in the overflow area? I'm assuming so. If so do I need more holes drilled or is this good enough? For the return I know I need a good quality pump to push the water back in but I'm confused as to how the return comes back in from the sump. Is it in a different area than the in the overflow or is like I said above one hole for out and one for in? This is where my confusion comes in. I know how I want to set up the sump. I know how to get the overflow box in there but the plumbing from the overflow to sump and from sump to tank is my issue. I know its likely a simple thing just my simple brain doesn't want to grasp it. Thanks again for the replies.
Oh and I'm not sure how to go about with the overflow either. I know most aren't very long so I'd need a way to have to be run from the top to the bottom of the tank, which thankfully isn't very tall.
 

CMMorgan

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The overflow weir is basically a box that will conceal your plumbing. The teethe on the weir break the surface tension as the water flows into the box. You can do the plumbing more than one way.
Option 1:
One hole for each. Look up Durso drain, as decribed above. That is one drain - your other hole would be the return line. The return would come up and then feed the tank with some loc line.
Option 2:
Use both as drains - which can be a Herbie style or Durso with an emergency drain. If this is the case, you would either drill new holes for the return pipes or have the returns go over the back wall into the tank.

If you want my opinion... I do not like having one return. The photos below are the overflow box showing a Durso and a return on my 48" 90 gallon tank. My new build will have a bean animal drain and dual returns on either end of the 72" tank. If I had a 5' tank, I would run the Herbie drain through the two holes and do two returns either over the back wall or drill the back. I hope that makes sense.

Follow this link for more explanation on the drain plumbing:
https://blog.marinedepot.com/durso-herbie-bean-animal-overflow
 

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tory990

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Thank you so much it makes so much more sense now! I knew I would get it i just needed the right person to explain it. I also found a helpful video on YouTube that explained all the different types of overflows and how they worked. I definitely agree about there likely needing to be two returns. I may look into that. I will have to bring them over the tank top though since finding anyone to work with glass or acrylic here is impossible. I think I will end up having to build a longer weir to cover the piping, since most are short. It shouldn't be a huge hassle to find acrylic panels at least.
What sealant do you all recommend to use to bond two acrylic panels? Or even acrylic to glass since I know it can be hard.
Thanks again for all your help. I've got a buffing pad coming tomorrow. I'm hoping we can get the haze off the tank without sanding but I'm not sure. I'm a little terrified of sanding it though so I'm going to do what I can to avoid that I do have Novus at home, hopefully it works its not bad I couldn't see it at all when there was water in the tank from the pictures the seller had but there are some fairly deep scratches. I'm not so worried about them as the haze in it.
The overflow weir is basically a box that will conceal your plumbing. The teethe on the weir break the surface tension as the water flows into the box. You can do the plumbing more than one way.
Option 1:
One hole for each. Look up Durso drain, as decribed above. That is one drain - your other hole would be the return line. The return would come up and then feed the tank with some loc line.
Option 2:
Use both as drains - which can be a Herbie style or Durso with an emergency drain. If this is the case, you would either drill new holes for the return pipes or have the returns go over the back wall into the tank.

If you want my opinion... I do not like having one return. The photos below are the overflow box showing a Durso and a return on my 48" 90 gallon tank. My new build will have a bean animal drain and dual returns on either end of the 72" tank. If I had a 5' tank, I would run the Herbie drain through the two holes and do two returns either over the back wall or drill the back. I hope that makes sense.

Follow this link for more explanation on the drain plumbing:
https://blog.marinedepot.com/durso-herbie-bean-animal-overflow
 
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tory990

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Thank
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/polishing-acrylic-tank-and-my-battle-with-coraline.798663/
Go read this thread... lots of good info on polishing out a scratched acrylic tank.

I believe that there is a reef safe silicone by GE that is typically used to attach the acrylic.
You! You've been so much help. I appreciate it. I've had lots of different freshwater creatures over the years, even raised discus for a while, but never salt water. I'm excited to get this started.
 

CMMorgan

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I will have to dig them up. I kind of got bored with them and sold my whole system off. I will find some when I'm home though.
I think that is the evolution of fishkeeping that brings most of us to salt. Fresh... brackish... salt.
 
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tory990

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Lol yeah I like a challenge typically and wanted to try discus. I actually ended up getting a whole group of nickel size babies and raised them to adults. Only lost 2 and that was shipping stress I guess. Had about ten I think to start. God water changes daily! It was a huge hassle to get them to adulthood. By that time I was kind of over it lol. Been out of fish a few years and now that I've moved to a bigger place, have a concrete floor that can hold a tank better and better able to do saltwater I've decided to go back to it. I've wanted to for a long time but just didn't have the means, time or space.
I think that is the evolution of fishkeeping that brings most of us to salt. Fresh... brackish... salt.
 

Lost in the Sauce

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Thank you so much it makes so much more sense now! I knew I would get it i just needed the right person to explain it. I also found a helpful video on YouTube that explained all the different types of overflows and how they worked. I definitely agree about there likely needing to be two returns. I may look into that. I will have to bring them over the tank top though since finding anyone to work with glass or acrylic here is impossible. I think I will end up having to build a longer weir to cover the piping, since most are short. It shouldn't be a huge hassle to find acrylic panels at least.
What sealant do you all recommend to use to bond two acrylic panels? Or even acrylic to glass since I know it can be hard.
Thanks again for all your help. I've got a buffing pad coming tomorrow. I'm hoping we can get the haze off the tank without sanding but I'm not sure. I'm a little terrified of sanding it though so I'm going to do what I can to avoid that I do have Novus at home, hopefully it works its not bad I couldn't see it at all when there was water in the tank from the pictures the seller had but there are some fairly deep scratches. I'm not so worried about them as the haze in it.
Don't underestimate yourself, drilling acrylic is extremely easy. You don't need to find someone to do it for you, You don't need a professional. You'll just need an adjustable speed drill and the correct sized hole saw.
 

CMMorgan

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Don't underestimate yourself, drilling acrylic is extremely easy. You don't need to find someone to do it for you, You don't need a professional. You'll just need an adjustable speed drill and the correct sized hole saw.
Agreed....
You Can Do It GIF by Jump Consulting
 

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