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Old 08-05-2009, 01:54 AM   #1
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Install overflows in an Acrylic tank

I have found a GREAT deal on a 106 gal Acrylic tank. It is not reef ready. how big of a deal is it to drill the tank and install an overflow?
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:01 AM   #2
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Meh, i hear that its not THAT big of a deal, but if you have no clue what you are doing.. then obviously it could be tough. Im sure there are articles all over the net on how to properly drill holes in an acrylic tank for an overflow.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:34 AM   #3
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It is not too big of a deal to drill holes in acrylics, BUT you can get into trouble - eg drilling wrong size hole, drilling holes eccentrically, or cracking the acrylic.

If you have some wood working experience, you can treat the acrylic as hard maple & use appropriate techniques.

To prevent the acrylic from cracking, I like to sandwich the acrylic in plywood so it is supported while you drill, & no plunging through with the drill bit.

To prevent drilling an eccentric hole, I would suggest using a Forsner bit, preferably in a drill press. Otherwise, you need to make sure that the drill is absolutely perpendicular to the acrylic & be careful to start the hole so the bit don't wander. Esp. with a cheap spade bit & a non vertical drill angle, you can end up with an ellipse hole & the bulkhead won't fit!

Also, you need to play with the drill speed as a hot bit will melt the acrylic & make a mess of the works. Best to practice on some scrape pieces before doing it for real.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:42 AM   #4
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Drilling tanks is about 10x easier than the myths I've always heard about it. Just make sure you research what the right equipment for the job is. Use a steady hand, or find a friend that is comfortable DIYing. I drilled my glass tank with it still on the stand, in my room with a bucket of water and a craftsman 19.2v drill.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:43 AM   #5
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Btw, how much does a 106G acrylic tank weigh? I can imagine its lighter then a glass one lol, but just how light is it? Can you pick the entire thing up yourself?
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by linksyz View Post
Btw, how much does a 106G acrylic tank weigh? I can imagine its lighter then a glass one lol, but just how light is it? Can you pick the entire thing up yourself?
due to the weight yes you can pick it up yourself but because of the size no
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:19 PM   #7
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Find an "acrylicsman" and have them create external overflows for you
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:02 AM   #8
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Find an "acrylicsman" and have them create external overflows for you
EXTERNAL overflows????
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