Bulkheads w/plugs OR Cut Glass/Silicone combo to seal? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Bulkheads w/plugs OR Cut Glass/Silicone combo to seal?

I recently found a GREAT deal (as in!) for a new tank and stand combo... Tank is a customized Oceanic Illuminata 57gal (yes, it's rimless ) that is reef ready and without the megaflow overflow in it... There are two standard holes at the bottom, mid-back section of the tank that I'd like to cover/seal because I'm not planning on using them and will just use an inflow/outflow pipes for filtering purpose...

Any idea or advise what's the best solution to cover the holes without chances of leaking or breaking the tank's bottom glass? Bottom glass is tempered btw...

Thanks!

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Last edited by khanzer22; 01-18-2011 at 11:52 PM.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 09:05 PM
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Use them! If you have a canister filter they can be used for input/output.

If not, then I'd go with bulkheads and plugs.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 10:04 PM
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Agreed. Use them. Your filter will easily adapt to them. The options for in tank outputs and strainers is endless. I love lock line.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys, I'll consider that as another option... I guess I have to get back to the drawing board if I go end up using the holes...

Here's a pic of the tank's holes that I'm talking about btw...



And, full tank shot


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 11:10 PM
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You will obviously have to modify your stand if you decide either to use the holes or to plug them with bulkhead fittings. If you decide to plug them a piece of 1/4 inch thick glass glued with tank silicone tank sealant would work great. It shouldn't leak because the weight of the water would keep the silicone under a lot of compression. Personally I wouldn't even consider anything except using the holes for a canister filter inlet/outlet. That would look much better than having pipes going over the edge of the tank.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 11:18 PM
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The setup would look amazing with vertical pipes. Have on come up to about 3/4 height or so for intake and one to alittle higher with a y shaped lock line for flow. You'll be a million times happier with with final product.

Especially since this tank is rimless. Run an inline heater reactor and and you could have this tank with nothing hanging over the rims. Consider painting the back.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 11:30 PM
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Agree with the others. Had my first drilled tank this year and direct plumbed in my 2078 and using locline. Couldn't be more pleased with the result.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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I just did a quick read/search about drilled planted tanks and saw TexGal's thread... I guess this is another DIY project for me

Here's another closeup top shot of the holes... I measured it and both measures 1 3/4" in diameter...



The stand's mid brace you see is 2" below the holes, will the bulkheads fit just fine with that clearance? Or I need to saw and cut a small chunk of the brace? Prolly will figure this one out if I have the bulkheads and etc on hand...

Any recommended site where I could find all the stuff I will need in one place? Thanks for the help and advice...

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 01:53 PM
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I got my bulkheads thru Fosters and Smith. Just get the threaded ones, and you can get PVC plumbing to do the rest. Truthfully, I just got a barbed adapter and screwed it in to the bulkhead, and I have not had leaks. Alternatively you can go full PVC like Scully.
That bottom does not look tempered in the picture, BTW. Tempering involves heat treatment that has to occur after it is cut and holes are drilled, so the edges always have a smooth, slightly melted appearance. Non-tempered that is polished can look like it is tempered, but tempered never looks like it has a fresh cut...
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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I got my bulkheads thru Fosters and Smith. Just get the threaded ones, and you can get PVC plumbing to do the rest. Truthfully, I just got a barbed adapter and screwed it in to the bulkhead, and I have not had leaks. Alternatively you can go full PVC like Scully.
That bottom does not look tempered in the picture, BTW. Tempering involves heat treatment that has to occur after it is cut and holes are drilled, so the edges always have a smooth, slightly melted appearance. Non-tempered that is polished can look like it is tempered, but tempered never looks like it has a fresh cut...
I don't actually know anything about glass (noob) and I just read the engravings at the bottom corner of the glass and found the word 'tempered' so I assumed that it was tempered... Thanks for the clarification I've already looked around online and found couple of sites where to get the bulkheads and loc-lines...

Another noob Q: So I measured the holes' diameter (1 3/4") so the bulkheads' size I'm getting is 2", right? Because I'm prolly ordering this stuff online and I don't want to waste time going back and forth returning/ordering items because it doesn't fit (or too small) into the hole...

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 03:15 PM
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Well then, here is my final advice: never try to drill or cut glass that you think is tempered. It will resist your efforts at first, but when you succeed, you fail, and it is a mess.

Hole size 1.75 needs 1" bulkhead.

Bulkhead Size Hole Dia.
1/2" 1-1/8"
1" 1-3/4"
1-1/2" 2-3/8"
2" 3"

(the table is here: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...fm?pcatid=4013 )

Last edited by tzen; 01-19-2011 at 03:18 PM. Reason: table looks wonky
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Well then, here is my final advice: never try to drill or cut glass that you think is tempered. It will resist your efforts at first, but when you succeed, you fail, and it is a mess.

Hole size 1.75 needs 1" bulkhead.

Bulkhead Size Hole Dia.
1/2" 1-1/8"
1" 1-3/4"
1-1/2" 2-3/8"
2" 3"

(the table is here: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...fm?pcatid=4013 )
Will take note of that... Thanks for the help! Now I have to go back to my drawing board and plan this now... I want this tank up and running!

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Additional question: Do I need to add check valves in the plumbing? Or will the canister filter handle the pressure, and won't leak, during power outage?

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 07:46 PM
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The amount of pressure in your canister is determined by hydraulic head, so the pressure inside would be the same as if you have the pipes over the side. It's only determined by the height of the water in the tank above the canister.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 03:13 PM
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You do not need, and in fact cannot use, check valves for your filter. Check valves insure one-way flow. If you put one in the out-flow from the tank to the filter in such a way that it would prevent your tank from emptying, then you would also be preventing outflow to the filter.

If your filter isn't up to the task of handling the couple feet of head pressure, with or without power, you need a refund.

If you are adding other things inline, such as CO2, auto-top-off, or ferts, use a check valve on those lines.


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