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Need advice on drilling my tank

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  • Need advice on drilling my tank

    Hello all, I need to drill 4 - 1" holes on the top front of my tank. It's 1/2" acrylic and the tank is currently filled.

    It's a regular top braced tank, i.e. not eurobraced. The dimension of the top is 64"x36". There are two access holes 20"x16" and I have about 64"x6" of acrylic to work with on the top front of the tank.

    My question is, I never drilled the top of a tank before, is there anything I should be careful of? Should I keep the new holes a certain distance away from the front or sides of the tank?

    Thanks in advance,

    ~ W

  • #2
    I'd be really concered about the acrylic material getting into the water column. You said it's filled, so I am assuming it has life.

    When drilling acrylic, use low rpms - high rpms will cause the acrylic to melt and make a big mess and potentially ruin your tank. I would make sure you use a spray bottle of water to cool the tank and the drill bit as you go.


    • #3
      Make sure you use a nice clean hole saw.

      Fortunately acrylic shavings are not bad for the tank (tank is made of acrylic )---

      Have someone hold a net under where you are working to catch the shavings, and use a filter sock to catch what you use.

      This is a very simple task. Just be slow and patient, and you should not have any problems.

      Dave B
      400g SPS Reef - 33g Surge - +30k gph Flow - Lots of DIY / 1100g Outdoor SPS System / 280g FO Watch my Reef Tank, LIVE!!!


      • #4
        Well you don't want to drill right next to the seams, but if you can go a couple of inches away from them, then it's fine. There are a couple of ways to do this.

        Lower the water level below the bottom of the holes to be drilled. Then you can either take a brown paper bag and tape it under the area to be drilled. The rest of the bag is floating in on the top of the water and acting as a "catch" for the acrylic shavings that will fall. You could also do this with a piece of tupperware or something similar but the paper bag has worked well enough for me.

        Another option is more involved. You basically have to take what looks like an overflow, made out of acrylic, with the bottom sealed. Then press against the aquarium wall you want to drill (inside the aquarium). Remove the water that's in there, then the force of the water in the tank will hold it in place and prevent other water from coming through the sides (you need a small strip of foam on the contact points for a good seal). Then just drill away, install your bulkhead and plumbing, remove that acrylic box and you're done.

        The first method is much easier and probably the way I would go. Just be sure to have a net handy because some acrylic shavings will fall into the water column. Try and go slow and steady.


        • #5
          Thanks all that replied. Can you guys please take a look at this post:

          And let me know what you think. Thanks again.