External overflow box - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Smile External overflow box

Is .125 in thick glass acceptable for an external flow box? The box will be 4 inches wide, 6 inches tall, and 8 inches long. I'm having a hard time finding for 1/4 inch thick glass. I think the best alternative is to buy a cheap 10 gallon and take it apart for the glass panel but I'd find it a waste just dismantle a good tank for materials. After the overflow is complete I just need to build the tank and then start on piping!

https://imgur.com/Kv5aweT

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2018, 12:54 AM
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.125" inch glass, IMO, is too thin. I would contact a local glass company and have provide a quote for what you want. Or better yet, purchase a pre-made overflow, say from Eshopps.


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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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I'm trying to avoid the price range of over 100$ if I can for an overflow. I might go with local glass company quotes tomorrow or buy a small fish tank and disassemble the glass panels to cut into an overflow.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 03:40 AM
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The least expensive route would be purchasing a used aquarium, plus you'll get a lot more extra glass to work with. Around here I've seen some broken tanks that folks are giving away just to get rid of them.


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Would Plexiglass or acrylic be a possible substitute? I'm curious because I had a friend suggest I see if that route works.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 11:37 PM
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I work a lot with Plexiglass for aquarium items. Easy to cut, glue and assemble, much easier than glass. But it't can't be glued to glass, at least not that I'm aware of. Can you provide a little more info on your tank and overflow you want to build? For the overflow, are you building siphon type or non-siphon type? Looks like you want to build an animal-bean type overflow, correct?


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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I am looking to create an animal bean type overflow. I'm trying to make the tank setup as quiet as possible and the emergency drain valve is appealing. The main tank is a 40 gallon breeder tank and the sump will be a 29 gallon all from aquaeon from the dollar per gallon sale. I just need to make the stand, overflow, plumbing, and I should be ready to cycle the tank. I have a sketch of the tank without plumbing using 2x4's. For the stand i'm not sure if I should add more supports or it is just fine as it is.

Sketch
https://imgur.com/a/ZoOBWyW

Without tank
https://imgur.com/a/w9DCRky

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Last edited by LittleSquishy; 12-24-2018 at 02:33 AM. Reason: Added another picture without tank stand.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 02:38 AM
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The Bean-Animal overflow with a sump, IMO, is the way to go. I work a lot with plexiglass, but I doubt I would make an Bean-Animal type overflow if i wanted it quiet, because making the teeth in the inside portion needs to be angled to obtain a quiet flow. I just purchased an 800 GPH overflow from Modular Marine. High quality, really nice looking. Their site is closed down over the holidays, but their products can be found on eBay They will respond to emails, but it may take a few days. I realize you mentioned your looking for a certain maximum dollar value, but IMO it's definitely worth the wait to save up for a well designed overflow.

With that said, building your own overflow would be much easier with Plexiglass. Here in Sacramento, Tap Plastics will custom cut sizes to what ever you want, but I'm not sure if you have the same options in your town. Use 1/4" thick plexiglass, it's makes it much easier to figure out the dimensions. Price out everything you need, bulkheads, plexiglass, hole saws, etc, then compare the price with Modular Marine's overflow, which comes complete, except the piping.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 04:21 PM
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I second Ken's suggestion to make it out of plexi. I have made quite a few over the years for my tanks. Make sure to bevel the back edge of the slotted gate to keep it quiet. Quite a bit of noise is generated when water tumbles through the gate, this is coming from someone who has been doing reef tanks off and on since 1985. LOTS of trial and error to keep a tank quiet.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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@Ken, thank you for helping me. I think I will be going with a premade overflow. I wasn't aware the teeth had that kind of function for an overflow. I don't think I want to complicate things more by getting tools just to get teeth on plexiglass sheet. It'll be great to just order and take a load off my mind. Maybe when I get more room i'll maybe have a dedicated fish room or more room in general to invest in tools to make overflows and tanks.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 11:07 PM
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Thanks @LittleSquishy. You won't be disappointed with a pre-made, it'll be well worth it! My first choice would be Modular Marine, they have a low profile interior box with the angled cuts. If i were to go the economy route it would be Eshopps, but it's not going to be as quiet as the MM.


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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-25-2018, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I think I might want MM but I got to look at the price tag first and move on with the fish tank stand. I do want it quiet since I plan to setup the tank in my room. I have seen Eshopp's stuff but I have never heard of Modular Marine. I want something to admire plus I am curious if I can make it automate some aspects of the tank with an arduino or raspberry pi. I'll start posting pictures or start a tank journal as soon as the tank stand is built. I am split on whether to build a canopy or leave it open for my peninsula tank. Maybe when I find some pros or cons with the choices I can make my choice clearer. If you don't mind me asking, Ken can you tell me how much you bought your animal bean overflow box and the dimensions?

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-25-2018, 05:30 AM
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@LittleSquishy :I paid $138, which included shipping. The dimensions with photos can be found at on ebay, perform a search with Modular Marine Overflow 800GPH and it'll pop up(we can't post links to ebay on TPT). What's nice is the interior box is removable for cleaning. It's nicely engineered, I'm very impressed with the workmanship. It's a little pricey, but I feel you get what you pay for. Plus the interior box is low profile, it's very sleek, nice looking. Lots of reef folks have been very impressed with it.
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Last edited by Ken Keating1; 12-25-2018 at 02:09 PM. Reason: Grammar
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-25-2018, 06:06 AM
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If you want to, you can angle the cuts on any slotted overflow manually with a small round file. Doesn't take many cuts of the file to do it and then a small piece of 3-400 grit sandpaper wrapped around the file to smooth it out. One of the things I'll be doing with my new E-Shopps before I install it.


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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-25-2018, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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@Botia dude, I think that might be a great option. I'm definitely curious if it comes already angled or if there is an option for angled slots but at what price. Maybe ken could chime in and let us know if he angled the slots himself or paid for that option himself. All there is left to do is get started on the fish tank stand and wait for the store to open up.
@Ken, I finished reading your tank journal and it is amazing! I think the level of detail is what I want to try to achieve.

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