Drilling a full tank without draining it. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
ezcry4t3d's Avatar
 
PTrader: (11/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Waco, TX
Posts: 164
Exclamation Drilling a full tank without draining it.

I just wanted to post, because I'm sure some people think that drilling a hole in a full tank without draining it is impossible. This weekend I drilled a hole in the back of my 90gal tank without draining it or even stopping the pump. I had no problems whatsoever getting the hole drilled.

I did not have to stop the pump or lower the water level because I drilled into the existing overflow box (which has a hole in the tank bottom already). I had a friend with a spray bottle squirt water onto the drilling area while I drilled. I put a towel below to keep the floor from getting too wet. (Sorry I don't have pictures of me actually doing the drilling. We all had our hands full during the process.




This is what I put in my drains:

The section of the T facing left is attached to the bulkhead with the strainer facing down. The bulkhead hole is aligned such that the top of this 1.5" PVC T is aligned with the absolute highest point I want the water in the tank to get to. This way, the water normally flows through the strainer. However, should the strainer get prohibitively clogged with debris, the water fills the tank further until it spills into the top of the T. This is far better than other alternatives where the tank simply overflows onto the floor.

The plan is to stop the water for a day, dry the bottom drain area and remove the siliconed in PVC pieces that are currently in the hole and silicone in a piece of glass or acrylic to cover the hole. Then, sometime in the next 3 years when I have to drain and move this tank, I'll probably remove the overflow box entirely so that it doesn't waste so much space in the tank.

Why would I do this? Well, having a hole in the bottom of your tank SUCKS. All that water running/splashing down the inside of the overflow area is LOUD. When you have to move the tank, you can't set the tank down on a flat surface without first removing the bulkhead, which on this tank means a LOT of work because it doesn't fit a standard bulkhead. I got this tank for free from a guy who had kept it as a saltwater reef tank. The hole for the overflow drain is an extremely awkward size. You cannot put a 1" or 1.5" bulkhead in it. (He kept whatever he had been using as a bulkhead in it... sigh). My larger tanks are all connected with PVC and drain into a single sump with all my filters in it. A single return pump brings water back to the top tank. Anyway, I ramble on too long probably, it's a very long post.

==>
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
<==>
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
<==>
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
<==>
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
<==
ezcry4t3d is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 06:27 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
OverStocked's Avatar
 
PTrader: (76/94%)
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SoDak
Posts: 10,732
Well sure... that isn't really the same as drilling a tank sans overflows.
OverStocked is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 05:36 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,012
I see this kind of like walking a tight rope across a raging river. It really isn't all that hard to do, I suppose, but if anyone thinks I would ever do it, they are crazier than I would have to be to try it. Having said that, I suspect you have drilled a tank before, so you knew enough to be confident in doing this. I have done neither this nor walking a tight rope across a river.

I admire both your ability to do this and your courage to try it.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 06:02 PM
GTR
Banned
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: May 2009
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,086
I'd have to drill through the wall to get to the back of my tank without draining it. lol

SteveU

Sent from my old-fashion computer with eight fingers on the home keys.
GTR is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 06:24 PM
Banned
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Plainwell, Michigan
Posts: 567
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post
I'd have to drill through the wall to get to the back of my tank without draining it. lol

SteveU
Might as well make the hole slightly bigger, and put the whole aquarium in it

BTW OP, how did you know it wasnt saftey glass? OR DIDNT YOU?... SPLOOSH


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
75 gallon "Piranha Kingdom"- wet/dry, FX5, CO2, pH controller, T5HO 4x54, ferts, SunSun Pimp Club Lucky #11, Fluval Pimp Club #17
tyler79durdan is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
ezcry4t3d's Avatar
 
PTrader: (11/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Waco, TX
Posts: 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
I see this kind of like walking a tight rope across a raging river. It really isn't all that hard to do, I suppose, but if anyone thinks I would ever do it, they are crazier than I would have to be to try it. Having said that, I suspect you have drilled a tank before, so you knew enough to be confident in doing this. I have done neither this nor walking a tight rope across a river.

I admire both your ability to do this and your courage to try it.
I watched a video online on 'how to drill a tank' that showed how to get a hole started etc. I drilled one hole in the back of a 10 gallon to practice beforehand. I was surprised just how easy it really is to drill these holes. Glass companies are severely price gouging to drill these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler79durdan View Post
BTW OP, how did you know it wasnt saftey glass? OR DIDNT YOU?... SPLOOSH
I was almost certain it wasn't safety glass due to the age of the tank, the thickness of the glass for this size tank, and the bottom glass being already drilled.

For safety, I had my brother who is a nurse and one of my friends who is a nursing student here so they could hold me together for the ambulance in a worst-case scenario.

==>
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
<==>
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
<==>
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
<==>
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
<==
ezcry4t3d is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 12:50 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,012
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezcry4t3d View Post
.

For safety, I had my brother who is a nurse and one of my friends who is a nursing student here so they could hold me together for the ambulance in a worst-case scenario.
Ah, the worst case might have been a big flood of water, followed by an irate family member expressing disapproval with vigor!

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
ezcry4t3d's Avatar
 
PTrader: (11/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Waco, TX
Posts: 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Ah, the worst case might have been a big flood of water, followed by an irate family member expressing disapproval with vigor!
Fortunately, my big tanks are in my garage, so spillage runs down the concrete out the door.
I'm pretty sure worst case would have been 90 gallons of water and a few hundred pounds of topsoil and lighting propelling large shards of glass through my body.

==>
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
<==>
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
<==>
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
<==>
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
<==
ezcry4t3d is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-24-2010, 12:45 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
JennaH's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: mesa, AZ
Posts: 646
Quote:
I'm pretty sure worst case would have been 90 gallons of water and a few hundred pounds of topsoil and lighting propelling large shards of glass through my body
haha this is what came to my mind too when i heard worst case scenario, not the water spill. congrats on the successful drill

4 * 8 * 15 * 16 * 23 * 42

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
#7
JennaH is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-25-2010, 04:12 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
I suspect you have drilled a tank before, so you knew enough to be confident in doing this. I have done neither this nor walking a tight rope across a river.
You don't know what you're missing! Cutting glass and drilling holes is one of the most satisfying DIY skills to have. And I use the term "skill" loosely; there is not even much of a learning curve

Why would you eat bad ice cream?
Cactus Bastard is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome