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Two 20g setups... Overflow vs Drill


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I've got two empty 20g tanks which I'll be setting up in my apartment next year, and I figure now is a good time to get started before they're filled. My 10g tanks will be moved into the 20g's.


I'd like to convert the 10g's into sumps/fuges beneath the 20g tanks (there's a 20g high and a 20g long).


Now, I've been reading up on overflows and drilling and all, but really, I'm not much of a DIYer and would much prefer the water to stay INSIDE the tank instead of spilling all over the floor, should there be a power outage.


Drilling the tanks seems like a good idea, but I'm nervous about craking or permanently damaging my tanks. I'm also looking for the cheapest way possible, since I'd rather not have to spend major $$$ with my college budget. So what I've seen so far has been the $5-7 dremel bit and cutting the hole out of the side of the tank...


But then again, overflows seem like a much safer alternative -- no cracking of the glass. However, I did do a makeshift "water bridge" on two of my 5-gallon tanks and somehow lost the syphon -- water ALL over my desk. Luckily I caught it before the entire tank drained itself.


What do you think is a better alternative?? My main concerns are budget vs reliability. Make the safest, non-leakable tank-to-sump system using the least amount of cash.


Thanks ahead of time for your input!

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I am a serious paranoid freak when it comes to water spillage...I live on second floor of apt and constantly worry that somehow water wil start to flood and the tenants below will be soaked with tank water. Or worse, the weight of my tank set-up will eventually cause the floor to give, and go crashing down below onto my tenants living room (that's a tort right there).


With that said, get it drilled....you will never have to worry about losing a siphon when power goes out and stuff like that.


Get it drilled from some pros...I'm sure some hardware store or LFS can drill the holes for you professionally so you don't have to worry about "weakening" the tank. I don't know about cutting glass...but for my acrylic (which of course is easier to drill so maybe cheaper) I just had a LFS cut the holes for me for $10 per hole. And they've done many of them so I trust their worksmanship.

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That sounds ideal. :) I've only got two holes to drill, after all...


After thinking about this, I'd like it for the sump/fuge to be growing some 'pods and shrimp for my seahorse tank -- How would I go about this? I was thinking of setting the sump below the tank, but it's beginning to sound like a better idea to have it above, so that the pods/shrimp can travel down the drainpipe to the display tank... I can't imagine they'd make it all the way back up through a powerhead... More like shredded shrimp. ;)

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You'd be surprised...it's not only the grown pods, but pod babies that can make it up and grow. I have TONS of pods that travel up thru my dolphin tank master pump from my refugium. Actually, I literally saw 2 pods fighting in my fuge, then started to float towards the pump as they were fighting, then get sucked into my pump.


I quickly looked up at my main display constantly shifting my eyes between the two possible return tubes...luckily I was looking at the right one, and i saw them fly out into my main tank...fully intact and alive.

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Awesome. :)


So drilling a hole in the upper back wall won't create too much noise, now will it? I've heard icky stories about the flushing noises you get from getting air in the pvc tubing...


I don't know much about all this -- but better to figure it all out BEFORE I build, right? :)

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I don't mind SOME noise... I just mind LOUD noise... My room already sounds like the ocean with all the brine shrimp hatcheries, filters, and powerheads running.


Any way to dampen this noise? Perhaps putting a T-connector rather than a 90-degree elbow to allow the air to escape out the top??

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I just did that to mine, I originally had a 90 elbow, which worked fine. It was quiet, as long as the drainpipe wasn't submerged...then it started gurgling. I replaced it with a T and now I'm getting alot better flowrate than before, a little more noise, but atleast the return can be submerged.

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Yes...after I put T connector (w/ end cap drilled w/ small hole at the top) mine became virtually silent. Only water I hear now is the water flowing into my sump. ZERO flushing....just gotta mess around with it a little.

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