Plumbing Multiple Tanks to Sump W/O Drilling - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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I have a baker's rack with four shelves. It is currently occupied by two 10G tanks, two 2.5G tanks, and two large vases. This is my "Invert Rack", and I'm getting ready to make some changes. I'm going to take the vases off the top shelf and move the 2.5's up there. They will be plumbed separately, as they are my brackish opae ula tanks (only one currently has opae, but they were originally both supposed to be brackish).

I'm going to either leave the two 10G where they are and buy a third, or move the second 10G up a shelf and put a 15 on the bottom. I want the bottom tank to serve as both a filter/sump, and a place to stuff extra plants and either keep my Endler breeding colony or RCS.

So basically, I need a simple setup for two tanks and a sump. I would definitely rather not drill, as these tanks are in service. Plus, I may eventually upgrade the cheap tanks to Mr. Aqua 13.3's, and I wouldn't want to drill those! What is the best way to accomplish this? I was looking at overflow boxes, but the cheapest eShops model is $60. I do want this solution to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible.


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 09:58 PM
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For awhile, I thought my 30 gallon was tempered. I needed to give it an overflow, but I didn't want to use any devices which require the use of a siphon. The solution I started to work on was an acrylic box that would be siliconed onto the rim of the tank, increasing the aquarium's height by three inches. My plan was to drill into this acrylic "attic", rather than the glass I thought was tempered. Ultimately, I discovered that this tank was not tempered, and I successfully drilled through the glass. Still, I wonder if the overflow attic idea would have worked. Maybe you should give it a try!
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TyrannosaurusSex View Post
For awhile, I thought my 30 gallon was tempered. I needed to give it an overflow, but I didn't want to use any devices which require the use of a siphon. The solution I started to work on was an acrylic box that would be siliconed onto the rim of the tank, increasing the aquarium's height by three inches. My plan was to drill into this acrylic "attic", rather than the glass I thought was tempered. Ultimately, I discovered that this tank was not tempered, and I successfully drilled through the glass. Still, I wonder if the overflow attic idea would have worked. Maybe you should give it a try!
Unfortunately, I don't have three inches to spare. The tank on the third shelf isn't bad because the top shelf is a few inches shorter, but the other two shelves have very little clearance. With a 12" high tank, I barely have enough room to get my hand in with a net or cleaning tools.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 11:00 PM
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Sorry, sounds like you have to get drilling!

It should be possible to drill a hole in a tank with livestock in it. I've had great luck enlarging and plumbing an overflow hole into the side of an active tank. The following instructions are basically a description of how I did that, altered for the task of drilling a hole

Lower the water level to about two inches below the level of your planned overflow spout. Then, use silicon to glue a 2" PVC elbow to the inside of the tank, over the spot you intend to drill. One end of the elbow should be flush against the glass of the tank; the other end points up. Cover the upward end of the elbow with plastic wrap and poke a hole in the wrap.

Now start drilling! Using an http://www.amazon.com/Wolfcraft-4525404-Attachment-4-Inch-8-Inch/dp/B000JCIMEA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409957324&sr=8-1&keywords=drill+guide, drill into the side of the tank while a friend pours water over the drill site to keep the glass and drill bit cool. The PVC elbow should keep glass dust out of your tank. As you start to poke through, your friend can start pouring water into the hole in the plastic wrap.

After you're done drilling, use a vacuum cleaner with a nozzle attachment to remove all glass dust from inside the elbow. Then, slide a razor against the silicone adhering the elbow to the glass. It should come off with a small application of force, and the remaining silicone can be easily cleaned up with the same razor.

And that's it! This strategy worked perfectly for me when I was enlarging my overflow hole; I don't see why it would be much different for drilling the hole from scratch.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-08-2014, 09:40 AM
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Y not use simple over flows?
HOW TO: DIY Aquarium Overflow: http://youtu.be/65yVr7DiDls

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by shrimpcrazy00 View Post
Y not use simple over flows?
HOW TO: DIY Aquarium Overflow: http://youtu.be/65yVr7DiDls
Joey is indeed the king of diy for this hobby. I have learned quite a bit from his youtube channel. OP, your pretty much limited to an overflow box or diy overflow such as the link shrimpcrazy provided. There is no other way around getting to a sump without drilling.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 03:06 AM
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yep

Quote:
Originally Posted by flight50 View Post
Joey is indeed the king of diy for this hobby. I have learned quite a bit from his youtube channel. OP, your pretty much limited to an overflow box or diy overflow such as the link shrimpcrazy provided. There is no other way around getting to a sump without drilling.
I have used ideas and different things from his channel often.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by shrimpcrazy00 View Post
Y not use simple over flows?
HOW TO: DIY Aquarium Overflow: http://youtu.be/65yVr7DiDls
I use these on all the tanks on my shrimp rack for water changes. I thought they were great at first, but then the check valves started failing... They do work well, but I have to keep a a close eye on them after experiencing a few floods. I don't think I'd recommend them for a sump system. I drill my tanks now.

Drilling is the way to go if possible. That said, I hear 10g tanks don't drill easily/well.

Last edited by jflng; 09-09-2014 at 06:39 PM. Reason: Added content
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 07:59 PM
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I use these on all the tanks on my shrimp rack for water changes. I thought they were great at first, but then the check valves started failing... They do work well, but I have to keep a a close eye on them after experiencing a few floods. I don't think I'd recommend them for a sump system. I drill my tanks now.

Drilling is the way to go if possible. That said, I hear 10g tanks don't drill easily/well.
Lol the video I posted is a design without check valves... so I don't really know what your talking about as far as check valves go....???

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by shrimpcrazy00 View Post
Lol the video I posted is a design without check valves... so I don't really know what your talking about as far as check valves go....???
Look at about 11:18 into the video. Attached to the end of the airline hose on the top is a check valve. It's used to start and keep the siphon.

I just skipped through the video, and can't use sound right now. Maybe he didn't discuss that? They can be made without the check valve, but it's much easier to get the siphon going with one.

They do work. I'm not bashing it. I use them, but I personally wouldn't trust them with or without a check valve with a sump.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 09:32 PM
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Your asking for a disaster... Drilling a tank is the right way of doing it. Why not just wait till the $1.00 per gallon sell and buy a few new tanks and drill them. In the mean time order a diamond bit and some bulk heads so you'll be ready when the sell comes around.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 09:44 PM
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Wait so what's wrong with an hob overflow like a CPR?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Wait so what's wrong with an hob overflow like a CPR?
That's what I'd like to know. I ordered two of the eShops Nano boxes.

So I'd actually like to shift focus and talk about sump designs. Anyone got a good one that will look good and leave a lot of space available in a 15G?

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