drilling glass aquarium. need advice - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-30-2013, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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drilling glass aquarium. need advice


I would like peoples advice on what size diamond hole saw bit to use on my 150 gallon aquarium. I have determined that it is glass and not tempered glass. The reason for the holes is I would like to run a sump and work on getting a mixed reef tank together. I looked on bulkreefsupply and they have numerous sizes and have bulkheads to go with them.

Also is there a good place or site to find info on what sumps are good and how to plumb them?

Thanks in advance,


Caught the bug in 1990, been in the hobby ever since.

Current tanks:
75 Gallon freshwater.
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-01-2013, 05:46 PM
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As far as the hole size it depends on how muchflow you want the plumbing to handle,bigger diameter more water flows through it. I usually use 1 and a half inch but if you wanted you could do 2 inch. I have seen people do multiple holes too as to be a fail safe feature.

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post #3 of 5 Old 09-03-2013, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Okay thanks, I think I will go with 1 1/2". Does matter what Schedule pvc? Should I stick with 40 or go up to sch 80 PVC?

Caught the bug in 1990, been in the hobby ever since.

Current tanks:
75 Gallon freshwater.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-03-2013, 08:59 PM
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You need to get whatever PVC is recommended for the bulkhead you get.

Also bare in mind drilling a tank is dangerous and best done outside with someone helping you. Safety glasses are a MUST, DONT even think about doing it without them.

I would also highly recommend, plumbers putty to make a reservoir around the drill bit with a constant supply of water to wash away the glass fragments. Slow and steady pressure, I have seen someone drilling a tank, only to crack the glass as the drill hit the side once the bit penetrated the other side.

In terms of the bulkhead size, you need to work out what flow rate you need and what your return pump is capable of, too much flow out the tank into the sump, without an adequate return pump and you will flood the floor.

I would look at doing 4 holes, 2 outflows perhaps in either corner and then two return holes towards the top.

Here is a link to an article on sumps, also a link to an external site which offers extremely good advice on sumps.

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-15-2013, 01:15 PM
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The key is the rate of the return pump and diameter of the pipe work on the drain. If you have the drain located at the top of the tank and use it for skimming then the drain hole needs to be able to cater for more water than your return pump is putting back in. If you pump more water into you display tank than your drain can handle the display tank will fill up and overflow and your sump will be empty. There are ways to make a drain without drilling the tank which are pretty easy. there are loads of videos on you tube for how to do this.
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drilling glass , sump

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