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Drilling an acrylic tank for closed loop

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j.stagner

Seeker of knowledge
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Jan 8, 2004
Messages
116
Location
Mill Creek, WA
Okay, so assume the following : I've just gotten this fancy schmancy new acrylic tank (just an IAP 75gal), and I want to install a closed-loop system on it. I've pretty much planned how I want to do it and gotten the parts, now I'm ready to begin the installation.

Here is the question. How would you drill the back for the fittings?

I've used a standard 1.75" hole saw for 1" bulkhead fittings on a few DIY sumps, but this tank is thicker 3/8" acrylic and waaaaay more expensive than acrylic scraps, so I am extremely nervous.

When doing it before, I had some minor problems with the hole saw getting too hot, getting stuck, and just generally being difficult. I managed to get through that just fine because at worst I'd ruin about $15 worth of stock.

Do you folks have any really good tips to calm my jagged nerves?

Thanks,

Jonah
 

mojoreef

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Jul 5, 2003
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Sumner
Jonah it will be ok, mine is 3/4 of and an inch God only knows how many holes I put in mine. Just make its a nice new bit and you will be fine. once that pilot hole is through just pound it out


MIke
 

pro_builder

Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2003
Messages
16
you can also use a water bottle to cool the bit as you are drilling.
Remember to have patience when drilling, keep the bit cool and go slow.
HTH
 

j.stagner

Seeker of knowledge
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Jan 8, 2004
Messages
116
Location
Mill Creek, WA
Sweet, that's why I love this place. Go have dinner, come back and there are several good answers already waiting from people who've done it before.

Thanks, folks. Much appreciated.
 

j.stagner

Seeker of knowledge
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Jan 8, 2004
Messages
116
Location
Mill Creek, WA
Well, I took most of the advice presented ( didn't get a new drill <pout> ) and have completed the drilling. It went way smoother than I had expected, and overall I am pretty pleased with the results.

Thanks again for being so speedy with such good info.
 

plumber_bob

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Messages
207
Location
Federal Way
Circular Motions always works. This allows for the drill to only be a one small single point of contact so that the acrylic doesn't heat up.
 

j.stagner

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Jan 8, 2004
Messages
116
Location
Mill Creek, WA
For the most part I did get them drilled ok.

That is, the holes came out quite nice, but now that I've drilled the holes in my tank I'm not happy with the placement.

Lol, it always works out that way for me. I've got a lot to learn. Still, I've got the closed loop plumbed in, and will be testing all of the plumbing within the next couple of days. I am pretty excited.
 

mojoreef

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Just use some locline on the inside of the tank to make up for any problems you may have had with placement. post up a pic!!! lets see this puppy grow\\


Mike
 

j.stagner

Seeker of knowledge
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Jan 8, 2004
Messages
116
Location
Mill Creek, WA
Stupid digital camera (Fuji) has a problem with killing the memory cards, otherwise I would've posted some pictures.

Funny you should mention that, Mojo, because that's exactly what I've done. Actually, I am pretty pleased with the Locline, because now I have the kind of control I could never have gotten with powerheads, even with a wavemaker.

I can aim them anywhere I like, moving them is easy, and I can change from a simple round nozzle to a fan-type nozzle. I've got 4 Loclines, and have them set so that they converge in two different places to create more turbulent flow.

A motorized ball valve will have to wait for better financial circumstances, so I'm using a SCWD I picked up at Aquarium Concepts' going out of business sale to alternate them.

The biggest problem with how I drilled them is that although the spacing between them is dead equal, they are all about 1" farther to the right than I'd like. On the CL pump input lines (2), I drilled them too close together which made the plumbing pretty challenging.

But, I've got it all together and I expect to be way more pleased with it than with my current tank, so I'm good. Might make it a little more challenging to sell the tank when I upgrade next year, though ;)
 
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