Planning new tank - drilled or not? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Planning new tank - drilled or not?

I'm going to hopefully replace my ancient all-glass 75g (still going strong after almost 15 years!) with something either: bigger; fancier; or bigger and fancier

By "fancier" I was thinking a rimless cube on a stand but even so probably bigger.

Anyway, most likely I would get a standard tank. It would be for plants and community fish, so it doesn't necessarily need to be long for large fish to have swimming room etc. Several local stores order tanks at cost (so they say), the prices did seem pretty reasonable. These would be aqueon tanks, and if I ordered a stand I get a warranty.

Size: thinking a 4-ft tank, either 120g or 150g. Possibly a 125, though after this 75g I really would like a bit more depth. Of course I like the idea of a 180, but the wife probably would not

Getting to the main question: I'm wondering if I should get a pre-drilled tank. Right now i have two large canisters and I don't tend to stock heavily. I'm sure canisters will do the job. I've always liked the idea of a sump though...hiding the heater(s) for one thing would be nice. I don't want it to be noisy though. I skimmed the beananimal overflow guide, sounds great but it wouldn't even use the normal drilled overflows, would it? Considering that it's only a future possibility of having a sump, should I bother with a drilled tank, or would it be better to just use overflows/beananimal setup? I haven't asked about the cost difference as I'm not quite ready to buy, but I figured I'd ask here first.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stokely View Post
I don't want it to be noisy though. I skimmed the beananimal overflow guide, sounds great but it wouldn't even use the normal drilled overflows, would it? Considering that it's only a future possibility of having a sump, should I bother with a drilled tank, or would it be better to just use overflows/beananimal setup? I haven't asked about the cost difference as I'm not quite ready to buy, but I figured I'd ask here first.
Bean-animal 3 hole method/set-ups are very nice.
There are a few ways to use or modify the the 3 hole Bean animal as I am watching the methods and mods too for a future build.

Synergy Reef has a molded rear 1-piece box for the 3 pipes to glue onto (Synergy Reef Systems Shadow Overflow).
Reef Savvy has the Ghost Overflow.
Some even use a glass sealed rear box too.
-Most rear boxes consist of using the 3-bulkhead route down to the sump.
The Synergy Reef box hype is hoping that there are less weak bulkhead points to leak from.


Depending on your set up, you may like a simple 2 pipe/ 2 hole Herbie method.
Standard corner flow or 2-hole designs use a main drain and an emergency drain.
The return can come over the edge of the glass like a garden hose style return line.

I have a video showing how quiet the Herbie 2 hole method can be.
The pump I ran was the Vectra M1.
The sound test starts and about 1 minute in on my video.


Vectra DC pumps have a governor feed mode (calibration) and a regular feed mode.
The governor feed mode that they call calibration can be seen in the link below.
The pum does not actually shut off for feeding, it just runs enough to get water from going in reverse to the sump and going through the noisy back-flow processes.
Calibrating Your Vectra video (below).

EcoTech Marine
Published on Aug 26, 2015 Youtube.











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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 04:40 PM
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I say go for A sump on a tank that size have lots of room like said a herbie or bean when prob. set run nice an quite.if it only a 2 holer you can do like above with a emergency drain then come over the top if you dont want to drill for the return.

drilling is not bad but still scary as hell the thinker the glass the easier it is, let chance the cracking it . set your drill clutch so it will not grab. go slow use water and a new bit.

there is also marine modular (or the other way around ) they make bean overflows cheaper than the shadow. they look good.

also look in to the SCA 150 gal they just released a new model for the 150 have to contact them I believe all there tanks are low iron and they offer a PNP setups with all the fixings. I would opt for the all wood stand or DIY or and the very lest killz and silicone the MDF
here:
Tanks
they have deals of the day from time to time. and there FB group is very active. it prob more then the aqueon but if you what rimless low iron there tanks are build like tanks, pun intended... I have there 90 gal.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 05:23 PM
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When I used to run tanks with sumps, I spent a lot of time dealing with a noisy overflow and sump, and didn't care for the increased evaporation. You need space for the sump (to be fair, you'll need space for the canisters too, but you have more flexibility where you put them). An overflow/drain is another thing that can fail.

I wouldn't drill it. Canisters will work great.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys. More stuff to consider, I really like those sc aquariums...I want to say that the 120 4 ft price was less than 400 though so that is a LOT more $.

Not sure if this is dumb thinking, but with the hard water we have I worry about paying more for better glass. My old 75g has a lot of cloudiness that I can't remove on it, granted this is after a long time....

I like those marine modular overflow boxes, at least that way if I don't get drilled a sump is still maybe a quiet option (assuming they are quiet!)
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Stokely View Post
Thanks for the info guys. More stuff to consider, I really like those sc aquariums...I want to say that the 120 4 ft price was less than 400 though so that is a LOT more $.

Not sure if this is dumb thinking, but with the hard water we have I worry about paying more for better glass. My old 75g has a lot of cloudiness that I can't remove on it, granted this is after a long time....

I like those marine modular overflow boxes, at least that way if I don't get drilled a sump is still maybe a quiet option (assuming they are quiet!)

put it this way I have there 90 gal in my bedroom its not load at all ( if you set it up right. ) a gate valve is needed. and full siphon is quite. but yeah more $$ for sure. can also look in to the deep blue tanks. I hear good thigs about them. in the end if you want rimless low iron you gotta pay.

or do as I m with my 40br and de-rim it...I seen vids of larger tanks with that using a center brace of plate glass its cheap option. but if you going all now i would get what you want from the get go...

good luck!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 09:14 PM
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One thing to consider about noise in a overflow section or box...
..."if you hear noise, your kinda' doing it wrong".


Research the quiet mods for both Bean-Animal 3 pipe and the Herbie 2 pipe.
Even the quiet ones have noise when improperly adjusted.
Learn how to do it correctly.

The quick ball valve with a handle will allow for quick shut off of a pipes flow.
The gate valve is the one with the threads for tuning like a garden hose shut off valve on the side of most homes.
The gate valve is truly the one needed for the tuning.
A ball valve is just there for quick shut down.

Remember to properly size the main gate valve so that the pipes water is running down a pipe that has an open path tuned slightly down from 100% full open.
If your pipe has a huge oversized gate valve, then the pipe may have to get turned down 50-75% and that would create a "ledge or shoulder" for things to sit on if Murphys Law ever came in to ruin the day.
A pipe that is turned down 5-10% should not have a such a big shelf to catch anything running by such as a bunch of plant material and snails.
Make sure to have screen properly placed before the pipes on some systems to catch snails and leaves.
A paint strainer bag of the 50-200 microns placed on the tip of the main drain like a condom will catch all that you need before in hits the first chamber of the sump.
A filter sock is just a pain in the rear in my opinion.
The thin strainer bag can be rinsed in seconds or rotated out with clean bag #2.

The main part of the sump can have lots of open porosity foam for the biological heart of the system.
The last chamber can have the fine foam or media for cleaning out more often.
When properly made, the sump can run very silent and easy to maintain.
Make sure not to trap yourself in a corner by cramming too much in tight spaces.



I was running a Deep Blue 80gal. rimless with the main Gate valve drain being a 3/4 inch turned down slightly on a Ecotech Marine M1 Vectra 2,100 gph DC powered sump pump.
One the way down, the ball valve above the gate was a 1 inch because I liked the way it felt as for usage, but could have been a 3/4 inch too.
The 2,100 gph pump was running at 50% and sometimes around 90%.
If the high flow is too much...don't turn it down in my opinion.
Learn how not to shoot the return water in such a nozzle-like stream and test different diffuser-style fittings on the output end to calm in down.

Keeping the high volume turnover rate will suck in plenty of unwanted detritus in the water column.
Tunze makes some expensive whisper quiet wave pumps that will help with deadspots in the tank and can be shut down with a feed timer build into them.
I tried the $125 Tunze brand model 6040 water mover and have two that work well.
The Tunze model 6020 ($40) with no feed timer had trouble on restarting.
They can be shut down for feeding your fish while the sump pump is left on.
Some sump pumps can have feed timers, but that usually leads to more stuff to talk about.


As for quality valves, the Home Depot/ Lowes/ hardware store trash valves are hard to turn.
Look into companies Like spears and Cepex for truly a better product.

I wanted to have a future dream peninsula build with a tank that looked like it was out in the room more as the sump was hidden in a box behind the rear of the peninsula.
The top off water and space under the display would house a crud ton of water for most of the water changes etc.

Dream big.

Below are some of my favs from the photo bookmark collection for future ideas.





















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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 12:16 AM
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Just so you know, a 4ft 150 gallon tank is great for depth. It sucks trying to work at that depth though, 30 inches doesnt sound that bad until you have to reach the bottom.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Nice pics up there!! That will not help with keeping costs down But I agree with the idea of: getting what you want, especially if it's going to last a while. For example, my eheim filter and tank have been cranking for over 12 years now, and I agonized over spending the $$ for that filter at the time....I bought a sun sun canister a year ago to help it out (and as a backup) and I've already had issues with it, plus it's louder.

sadchevy, yes that has occurred to me. I'm 6'4" with long arms so that might help, plus it'll be low tech with most plants being anubias/java fern...but still I'm thinking a 120 would be a good compromise. Taller for viewing but not so tall that I'd need a ladder. Plus it's *much* cheaper--despite what I said above, I still have to put some limits on...I'm a musician so I already have one money-sucking hobby...though at least I do make a bit of change with that one

Who am I kidding, I just marked off a 6 x2 ft area today just to see how big a 180 would be LOL!!!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stokely View Post
Nice pics up there!! That will not help with keeping costs down But I agree with the idea of: getting what you want, especially if it's going to last a while. For example, my eheim filter and tank have been cranking for over 12 years now, and I agonized over spending the $$ for that filter at the time....I bought a sun sun canister a year ago to help it out (and as a backup) and I've already had issues with it, plus it's louder.



sadchevy, yes that has occurred to me. I'm 6'4" with long arms so that might help, plus it'll be low tech with most plants being anubias/java fern...but still I'm thinking a 120 would be a good compromise. Taller for viewing but not so tall that I'd need a ladder. Plus it's *much* cheaper--despite what I said above, I still have to put some limits on...I'm a musician so I already have one money-sucking hobby...though at least I do make a bit of change with that one



Who am I kidding, I just marked off a 6 x2 ft area today just to see how big a 180 would be LOL!!!


I take it you are working on a solid floor? I had to add some bracing under my 90 gallon. You’ve got to figure a full 180 is going to weigh about a ton... #bigtankproblems


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 02:03 PM
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For a different (just my nickle) perspective...just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. Frankly, with the slight advantage of more water volume, I'm not sure I see any distinct advantage in a sump.

My current 60g has two Aquaclear 70 filters (with AC50 impellers) filled with sponge material. For a heater, I have a 500w Finnex titanium heater placed horizontally on the rear wall just above the substrate (totally hidden by decor/plants) with an external controller.
I quite like the AC filter design as filter maintenance is a breeze (while it's still running!). So if I had a bigger tank, I might just consider two AC110's before a canister or two.
So you already have two good canister filters...so I just don't see a good reason to switch to a drilled tank with a sump.
Besides, if you get adventurous (or sump crazy) down the road, there's easy ways to do overflows w/o drilling.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, with the knowledge that I could add a sump later without a drilled tank (seeing some of the overflows mentioned above) I'm leaning going with a standard tank. I'll still check the prices for drilled. As far as the floor, it's on a concrete slab, ground floor. We are putting in porcelain tile so I just want to make sure I don't break tiles if I get a really big tank (they should be ok if the stand distributes weight, but I'll make sure when I get to that point).

I've always had aquaclears and love them, what I don't like is the extra space needed from the wall. For a really big tank though--what's a few more inches?
They are a bit noisy especially compared to my eheim, which even after 12 years you can't hear from a foot or two away.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 03:37 PM
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good luck deciding on tank size...that's always fun. IMHO I like longer tanks than cube or cub-ish even tho I own one now :/
I think they just look better to the eye. now that said I like the footprint of the 40br vs 55 even tho the 55 is longer...I guess what I am saying here if anything. is your going a good job by marking off with tape. I would suggest one step more make a tank out of cardboard or dollar store poster board. make a few the sizes you are thinking about.
give your self a few days with each.

I have had many tanks...20L,40br,55, 75, 2-90s, 125, 150 and 240 over the last 10 years.
I move way to much for having tanks but someday I'll own my home ( thats why I went with a 3' 90 biggest littlest tank I could find ) my fav are the 20L, 4obr 125 & the 240 but all ways liked the 6x2x2 180. bigger is not always better more $$ up from then more $$ to stock it but you get some many options for scape and fish.

like I said good luck! haha if I where you I would decide on budget then rimless or not then size. deep blue make a nice 57 and 80 there priced OK you might like a smaller rimless more than a bigger tank?
1st world problems eh?

you also might want to think about what you want to keep in thei new tank that might help you decide as well.
once you decide on stocking, tank size and rimless or not then you can look at driller or not. there are lots of non drilled (HOB) overflow boxes you can get. look up life reef overflow box. tried and true work horse. the best IMHO
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 05:34 PM
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I just setup a tank with the eshopps eclipse overflow and a canister filter. No one says you can't use a canister with an overflow. I like the surface skimming and it keeps the water level in the display constant. You going to need an ATO unit on either the weir or external overflow box if it has one though as that is the section where the water level will fluctuate.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Indeed, it's fun thinking about the tank but I'm one of those people prone to analysis paralysis. Unless I really can make a move to 180, the two likely contenders for a standard tank are a 4x2x2 ft 120 or a 6ft 125. These are both relatively easy to get and relatively cheap.

The place where this would go actually lends itself very well to a 6 ft tank. I always liked 125s, especially when I had cichlids. I have felt their pulll and who knows, I may try them again It will come down to the extra length _vs_ the extra viewing height + extra scaping depth.

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