Sump design, acrylic question

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Aquarium Advice FINatic
Mar 14, 2006
I'm designing the sump for my 180.

I was originally going to go with a single 48" acrylic tank from, with a skimmer area, a return area, then a fuge area, which would get water from a small pump in the return area, and overflow back to the return area with a bulkhead at the top of the baffle.

But, now I'm thinking about a separate tank for the fuge and sump. Same setup, a small pump in the return area would send water to the fuge, which would be raised over the sump a foot or so, and drain via a 1" bulkhead back into the return area.

This would give me the flexibility to adjust fuge size down the road, and have a larger return resevoir, and more room for heaters, UV, sump socks, etc in the sump.

Any thoughts?

Also - how hard is it to drill a bulkhead hole in acrylic? I might just buy a standard acrylic aquarium, and glue the baffles, and add the 2 bulkheads for return pumps myself. I know glass takes special considerations, but what about acrylic? I've never done anything with it except cut small pieces with a hack saw...
Sump / fuge idea sounds great. I had a setup similar to this awhile back.

As for drilling acrylic... I don't think it is too hard. I drilled a 1.25" hole in a sheet of 3/8" acrylic a couple of days ago with a regular hole saw. I had the drill on the speed setting and it melted the acrylic a little. Going slower would have been better though.
ellisz - no cracking problems? You didn't do anything else, just drill the hole?

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