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Thread: Another Question : Drilling a glass sump.

  1. #1

    Another Question : Drilling a glass sump.

    I've another question for the folks here. I incorporated an old 50g glass tank as my sump in the tank I am establishing. Only the bottom is tempered glass. I have a large submersible pump as a return, and two smaller ones handling the skimmer, and the other a UV cleaning lamp.

    I noticed that when I run them all, the temperature in the tank starts to creep up. I had the tank hit 84 on Monday (from 79 - in an air conditioned house) before I unplugged the skimmer and UV light. (I don't need either running right now as I just put live rock in.)

    The temp has since dropped back down to 79 degrees.

    I figure all the pumps are dropping heat into the water, the largest culprit would be the big return pump of course. And since I will most likely need to do a large water swap sometime in the next few weeks as part of my first cycle I figured I would try to get two birds at once: Empty the sump as the water change, and drill in four 1" bulkheads. One for each pump - and another for future expansion.

    I'm really wondering if I am better off just draining it and taking it to a LFS? Exotic Aquatics in Towson/Parkville is the one I've formed a relationship with, I've not asked if they drill tanks. Alternatively, Home depot has diamond tipped hole cutters, for about $45.

    Has anyone drilled their own tanks that can offer advice, or want to make a few bucks?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Lemoyne PA

    Re: Another Question : Drilling a glass sump.

    I have not drilled any of my tanks but want to try it lol... Let me know what you come up with.

  3. #3

    Re:Another Question : Drilling a glass sump.

    There was a great you tube demo on drilling - will try to find it.

  4. #4

    Re:Another Question : Drilling a glass sump.

    Mike sent this to me when I was going to drill a 90gal tank. has a video attached.

  5. #5

    Re:Another Question : Drilling a glass sump.

    Well .. last night I placed an order with an online retailer for 6 bulkheads and a diamond tipped hole cutter .. so the weekend they show up I will start the experiment

    I figured I would put in six bulkheads, 3 for existing pumps, a spare for another return line, which I've been considering (someday) to increase flow and two more for a plumbed refugium or attached frag tank.

    I'll let everyone know how the drilling goes .. I wonder if I can put the bit into my router, instead of a hand-held drill?

  6. #6

    Re:Another Question : Drilling a glass sump.

    id keep it in the drill, and try to make a guide for you bit. Glass holes provides you with some carboard holder. You can easily make this buy just drilling a hole through some cardboard and then using as a guide for when your drilling the holes.

  7. #7

    Re:Another Question : Drilling a glass sump.

    Just be careful to leave room away from the edges and to not put the holes too close so the glass doesn't break.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    New Jersey

    Re:Another Question : Drilling a glass sump.

    I've never drilled one myself, but my brother has done a dozen or so. From what I hear is make sure you keep the bit wet...create some sort of dam with putty or caulk or something so that there is plenty of water feeding the hole. Also from what my brother tells me DO NOT push...allow the weight of the drill do the work. And the other thing I've heard is to make sure you are drilling perfectly square to the tank to lessen the chance of cracking. My brother actually bought a jig to assist in this. Also make sure you are supporting the glass with a board or plywood to drill into....If you do not do this and blow through too fast you are almost guaranteed to crack the glass. I'm sure you could do a you tube search and see someone do this.

    Try to get someone to assist you to make sure the water is always there and take a few pics or video and post em up here! Good luck with it, let us know how it works out for you.

  9. #9

    Re:Another Question : Drilling a glass sump.

    Got the bulkheads and drill bit in today. Tomorrow might be an adventure

  10. #10

    Re:Another Question : Drilling a glass sump.

    Six bulkheads installed in about 30 mins. course I had to mix up about 40 gallons of water after that.

    I have a few drips, that I'm going to leave overnight - hoping that they seal up. The alternative is to drain the tank down to the bulkheads (which would be REALLY easy now!) re-tape the bulkhead plugs I had to make, and pump the water back into the tank.

    I took a few photos, and a video with my iPhone .. so when I figure out how to move those over, I will

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