How would you drill this tank?

PepperHeaded

New member
I have a 20long dividing 2 areas of my living room, the office and TV section, peninsula style, as seen here:
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There is enough space behind the tank to drill it, and I've already ordered a glass-holes.com super nano con dientes overflow kit for it. The drain and returns will travel down the gap between the two bookcases and down to the sump shown in these pics:
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My question to you is how would you drill for the overflow and return(s). I am going to do main acropora genus in this tank so I will need supplemental flow, I know. I was contemplating drilling 2 1/2" returns on either side of the overflow and possibly use a SCWD in the future. Or I could offset the overflow and run only 1 return line. Either way I go I will probably have to add supplemental flow via a powerhead. I was aiming for sort of random flow with the 2 return and a SCWD idea I have been tossing around, I just want some outside opinions to see what you all think. Thanks!
 

balto777

New member
I wouldn't go with dual returns - offset the overflow on one side (front or back) and return on the other side (front or back). I do not really use return pump volume in calculating flow within an aquarium because I use powerheads to do so. Having dual returns so close together defeats the purpose of dual returns - which is to spread out the water coming back into the tank. No need for that in your situation.
 

PepperHeaded

New member
@balto: do you have any experiece with the SCWD device? I think that it might be neat to run it with the returns, kind of mix up the flow front and back?
 

NanoReefWanabe

New member
scwd are pretty high maintenance piece of equipment...you would be much better served with an oceans motion squirt...but the could be hard to get now...

if you want a dual return i would run a single pipe up the back and have it split on the top of the tank and run one centred on one end and then around the top of the tank and centred on the other end ( or opposite corners, i assume you dont want to see the plumbing too much so i would paint it all black once it is all fit together...) you would need valves to control how much flow went to each outlet if they are not going to be on a scwd or OM though..

as for drilling i would drill two holes do an internal or combo (internal/external) overflow and plumb it for a herbie system, then i would run the returns over the top...there is no sense drilling holes for returns, that leads to issues with back siphon usually
 

fng_71

New member
what if you drilled your returns in the bottom of the tank. would definitely need some check valves. that way you could direct some flow with some loc line.
 

balto777

New member
@balto: do you have any experiece with the SCWD device? I think that it might be neat to run it with the returns, kind of mix up the flow front and back?

No, no experience with it. But if your intention was to have two returns with only one operating at a time (via the SCWD device), then my point is not relevent. However, I still think it is a bit close. you only have 12" to deal with on the side of a 20g long. An overflow and two return holes seems like a lot to put in such a small area. Maybe drill for the overflow and use locline over the top for the two returns. Either way, have fun with it - there are so many ways to do things in our hobby.

Edit: By the way, I was assuming that you wanted to do the overflow and returns on the side of the aquarium facing the bookshelf (penisula build - short side). All my comments are based on that type of setup.
 

Patricklong

New member
I would just drill it with one drain, one return. Use Locline and split the return with one that runs along the top and reaches to about the halfway point in the tank, and the shorter one bouncing off the close corners.

Just my $.02

I like the way the split loc lines look too.

0aa977e6.jpg
 

pompeyjohn

New member
will it be bare bottom? If so are you going to want some of your return flow hitting the bottom to keep detritus in suspension?
 

BSmitty22

New member
I would do it like patricklong said. I did my 40 with two drains (herbie style), one return and used an overflow box. check into glass holes for a box that wouldnt take up too much room in your tank. Drilling is really easy, just go slow.
 

PepperHeaded

New member
I am going bare bottom, but the wife wouldn't let me drill through her ikea bookcases, so all of the plumbing would have to be out of the one end panel. As for flow near the bottom I figured I'd have a power head thrown in there for that purpose.
 

pompeyjohn

New member
Here is how I'd do it... ;)

| return | overflow | return |

So you have an overflow in the middle probably around 700gph. Then either side of that a 1/2 return with teed locline flares.

Then further down....

| CL | CLD | CL |

A closed loop, with teed locline returns either side of the closed loop drain. You could submerge the closed loop pump in the sump to reduce noise, yet keep it completely seperate from the main drain and return line. This way you'd have lots of flow along the bottom of the tank as well. All those locline tees will allow you to bounce the flow around as well.

Loads of flow, an awesome peninsula look, with no ugly powerheads in the tank :)

I have just set up an ADA 60p, and really wish I'd drilled some extra holes for a closed loop.
 

RobinsonFam1

New member
i read the prev posts but......dbl check that tank for tempered glass. i just bought a new 20 long and every single manf makes them solid tempered now. (ugh). i called topfin, marineland, aqueon.

but....id drill one drain line and run a manifold rtn over the rim and have multiple outlets to be able to direct water flow as i wanted it. every manifold ive made was loose fittings as they really haave no pressure on them. never one leak and ability to move outlets up down etc...on a 20 id use 1/2 pvc painted black. never see it.
 

PepperHeaded

New member
Thanks for the feedback, lots of opinions on here and it helps to see the tank through other peoples' eyes sometimes. I drilled a glass-holes overflow in it last night and that went smooth. Still don't know what to do with returns but I have some time before I can get it wet, so I'll be patient with it and look at all my options.
 
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