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Drilling for overflow

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Krazie4Acans View Drop Down
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    Posted: December 03 2013 at 10:57am
So I'm working on setting up another tank.....

What I'm trying to decide is what to do for the overflow and drain layout. I have come up with the 4 most common and I have pros and cons for them all. I am looking for everyone else thoughts on the configurations and which work best and why?

I drew up a quick little diagram to help with the discussion:

The first one (top row left)is a split herbie. One corner is the siphon drain and the other is the emergency rain.

The Second one (top row middle)is a herbie with the return in the overflow. Center hole is return other two are siphon and emergency.

The third one (top row right) is herbie drains in one corner, return in the opposite corner.

The fourth one (bottom row) is external coast to coast with return over the top wall in the center.

Any one care to comment to help me decide which way to go? I would appreciate any thoughts or experience. Thanks, KrazieClown


Edited by Krazie4Acans - December 03 2013 at 10:57am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Savage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2013 at 4:33pm
I like the fourth option best.

1. Herbie
2. Coast to coast overflow for best surface skimming
3. External overflow for a nice clean look inside.
4. With the external overflow you can keep the back glass clean (if you so desire)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2013 at 4:59pm
Mike most coast to coast overflows that I have seen are only a few inches deep. How do you get an efficient herbie to run with only a few inches of water? And if you do get it to run how do you keep it from sucking in air from the surface?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Savage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2013 at 5:44pm
Mine was built by Eric at Aquarium Creations. The overflow is 4" tall and 3.5" front to back. I have 1" pipes coming up through bulkheads in the bottom of the overflow and then down the back of the tank to the sump. It works great! I adjust it with a gate valve and it doesn't suck air when adjusted properly.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick801 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2013 at 8:50pm
Next time I do an overflow box I'm putting 1inch inside the tank and maybe 3-4 outside with a herbie style ...




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2013 at 9:13pm
Nick do you mean cutting the glass on the back of the tank? How about a little more detail?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick801 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2013 at 9:23pm
1 inch inside to serve as surface skim then put 2 large bulkheads inside that facing outwards, (cut them short) then build a box behind the tank that box would have your 2-3 holes in the bottom to act as drains...

but if you set it up this way you would have a tiny overflow in the tank which would be cool =)


Edited by Nick801 - December 03 2013 at 9:23pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2013 at 9:37pm
Then your returns come up over the top?

How do you decide how low to put the inside piece? Toothed strainer on it or smooth edge? How do you keep the snails out if it's smooth?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick801 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2013 at 9:43pm
take a measurement of teeth height at any pet store for roughly the same size tank you would be setting up.. Just thinking about it Id go 2 inches down from the top  and 1.5 minimum for the lowest point on your teeth


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick801 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2013 at 9:44pm
yeah returns could come back over the top or you could drill for them too on the back
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akira Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2013 at 2:40am
Here are a few shots of mine . It is a external box with a herbie drain and return . The back glass has a elongated U shape in it then a custom grating that Tyler helped me design and he then made it for me.  I'm in West Jordan and you can come see mine anytime.

Inside tank from the side



Looking down into overflow. Left side drain, middle safety,right return



From the side




Front to back

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akira Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2013 at 2:49am
The from the side pic also shows part of my closed loop system. The external box is all glass and is about 4 1/4 w X 10" tall X 12" w . I built the entire tank and overflow , also drilled all the glass. There are several things I would do differently next time. If you need any help let me know. oh and all the glass is 1/2" on the tank and overflow. I also have bits for 3/4", 1", 75 mm (2"sch 80) and 85 mm (2" sch 40 )  Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick801 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2013 at 10:44am
Kurt I want to come see your tank!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2013 at 11:33am
Nick I think you have get your own invite.

Kurt, did you cut the elongated U in your glass? How did you cut that? Did you silicone the grate onto the back glass? What made you decide not to do a full width coast to coast instead of the external center box? I also have bits to do the 3/4" and 1" holes. I think you swapped the sch numbers on the two other bits though. Sch 80 would need a bigger hole than sch 40.

Thanks for your comments. What would you do differently next time?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akira Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2013 at 3:22pm
When I had my glass cut I had them cut the U shape. I have never personally tried it but have a seen a video where they guy used a dremel  and a diamond bit to do the same shape. The grate is actually in several pieces and is a u shape that slides over both sides of the glass and cover the shape of the overflow , that way you dont see any of the pipes in the overflow. And yes I had my sch # backwards sorry for that.  And Nick anytime you want your welcome.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2013 at 3:53pm
I thought about trying the dremel with the diamond cutter but I was worried I would get impatient trying to cut the entire length of the 36" tank and get it too hot. I want to try and go full length to get the best skimming I can. This tank will start out as a frag tank but I think it will quickly become my high end grow out tank and I need to be able to filter it really well.

What would you do different with yours Kurt?

Nick, What Kurt meant to say was "Anytime you want to come, after Krazie has been there, you're welcome".

Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm planning to get the drilling done this weekend so I have to make up my mind soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akira Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2013 at 4:03pm
One thing i would do is design the overflow to be more adjustable so I could change the level in my display easily.  And yes Krazie you are welcome anytime. If you do decide to cut the length of the tank just keep plenty of water flowing on the bit and I would bet the heat wouldn't be much of an issue. And i mean flowing not just wet. Like with a garden hose flowing.  Gl with what you do I'm excited to see what you decide to do and how it turns out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akira Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 06 2013 at 8:04pm
On a side note as I recall the video of the guy who cut the glass used the dremel to cut the long side of the U shape also cut the  corner in the cut out and the radius was kinda small . The tank later cracked . I believe the radius in the cut out of mine is a 1" radius so if it was mine I would drill holes in the corner and use the dremel to cut to and from the predrilled holes . Jusy my o2
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 06 2013 at 8:28pm
Great minds think alike. I had already made that note for the coast to coast option. I know I can go Rimless on this tank because others are and have been doing it for a while (Including Mark's current tank). I'm just a little concerned that if I go rimless and cut the overflow in the back that I might be running a bit more risk that I hope would be overcome by that coast to coast box that is silicon-ed to the back.

Thoughts on that new bit?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akira Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 06 2013 at 8:55pm
Have you seen the dremel saw ? its like a mini grinder . others sell them too and have various blades , I have some 1/2 glass you could try it on if your interested. I would guess theat boron carbide bit might also work just never tried it before,
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