Obtained A 70 Gallon Drilled Tank. I'm Helpless :(

mimicoctopi

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Hi guys, I'm not incredibly new to fish keeping, but I still have a LOT to learn and retain. I've had fish pretty much my whole life. Over the last 5 years, I've been keeping a few cichlids in a 29 gallon tank. Over the weekend, my aunt and uncle gave me their 70 gallon bowfront drilled tank with the stand and filter canister they bought after my uncle got fed up with maintaining a sump tank (first photo). I'm super excited! This is going to be a big project for me, as I'm planning to build my own background. The tank needs to be cleaned thoroughly. The area that is drilled is rounded off with a plastic material (photo 2). My uncle told me that if I removed it, the tank will leak. Unless he told me not to remove the pipes. I can't remember now. I was thinking about using one of the pipes for the intake of the canister filter and using the other for the output, which I'm thinking about making it a waterfall into the water. That whole corner I'd really like to use to house a heater and CO2 supply line. So I'd REALLY like to remove this plastic wall. There was water being held in that corner until I drained most of it out. That's why I'm assuming it would be safe to remove it. Would the pressure of the water cause the glass to weaken? It would make sense that their is a barrier. And if I can remove it, how would I? It looks like some very sturdy glue was used (last photo).
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mimicoctopi

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Baba said:
Why exactly do you want to remove the plastic wall?
It takes up space that I would like to build my background into and I feel that the space would be better used for other things. I don't even know what the barrier is for, which is why I'm on here asking for help.
 

Baba

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mimicoctopi said:
It takes up space that I would like to build my background into and I feel that the space would be better used for other things. I don't even know what the barrier is for, which is why I'm on here asking for help.
You want to take out the plastic part and the glass? I understood you that you want to keep the overflow corner to hide equipment. Only the plastic part makes no sense to me, you wouldn't gain much space for your background.
It's skimming your water falling into the overflow.
 

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mimicoctopi said:
Thank you for telling me what it does. So I technically can remove it? Do I actually need to skim the top of the water?
No you don't need it. You could get plugs to close the drill holes and run the intake and outlet of the canister filter over the tank wall.
It would be just a nice place to hide equipment.
 

NavyChief20

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Im between meetings right now but heres some info for you. That "wall" is a weir, it is designed that way as a surface skimmer and it also has a lower intake. Surface skimming helps increase surface agitation and enhances aeriation of the water as it "falls" into the overflow box. What you have there is a corner overflow box with a weir. The tank looks to have a bottom drilled hole which is one way to do it for a overflow channel like that. If you remove the insert it must be plugged or it will leak. I would leave it installed and reseal it. Also you can build a 3D background around a weir and you are not losing much space at all. All of my tanks have weirs and all but 2 have 3D backgrounds in them.

If you chose to remove it, you must install a bulkhead and a blank or get a piece of glass or acrylic and silicone it over the holes from the inside of the tank. Make sure it is very clean and use some 80/20 isopropyl on it before siliconing.
 
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mimicoctopi

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Baba said:
No you don't need it. You could get plugs to close the drill holes and run the intake and outlet of the canister filter over the tank wall.
It would be just a nice place to hide equipment.
I'd like to use that corner for my waterfall. The water will not be high enough to go over that barrier and I would like to use the drilled areas for my intake and output. There is already hardware (looks like plumbing pipes with plastic covers) covering the holes. I figured I could link those pipes to the hoses of the canister filter. The background is going to be made of fiberglass so that I have space behind it to hide equipment. I'd like to use the output from the filter as my waterfall, so that it will be breaking the water surface. I don't even know if that is plausible. Maybe I'm just dreaming, I don't know. I have this beautiful thing in my mind.
 

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mimicoctopi said:
I'd like to use that corner for my waterfall. The water will not be high enough to go over that barrier and I would like to use the drilled areas for my intake and output. There is already hardware (looks like plumbing pipes with plastic covers) covering the holes. I figured I could link those pipes to the hoses of the canister filter. The background is going to be made of fiberglass so that I have space behind it to hide equipment. I'd like to use the output from the filter as my waterfall, so that it will be breaking the water surface. I don't even know if that is plausible. Maybe I'm just dreaming, I don't know. I have this beautiful thing in my mind.
how do you want to get the water to the inlet pipe if you want to keep the water below the weir?
 
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mimicoctopi

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Baba said:
how do you want to get the water to the inlet pipe if you want to keep the water below the weir?
I hope this diagram helps a little. This is why I want to remove the barrier.
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mimicoctopi

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NavyChief20 said:
Im between meetings right now but heres some info for you. That "wall" is a weir, it is designed that way as a surface skimmer and it also has a lower intake. Surface skimming helps increase surface agitation and enhances aeriation of the water as it "falls" into the overflow box. What you have there is a corner overflow box with a weir. The tank looks to have a bottom drilled hole which is one way to do it for a overflow channel like that. If you remove the insert it must be plugged or it will leak. I would leave it installed and reseal it. Also you can build a 3D background around a weir and you are not losing much space at all. All of my tanks have weirs and all but 2 have 3D backgrounds in them.

If you chose to remove it, you must install a bulkhead and a blank or get a piece of glass or acrylic and silicone it over the holes from the inside of the tank. Make sure it is very clean and use some 80/20 isopropyl on it before siliconing.
Thank you for your in depth explanation! So now I know it is better to just leave it in place. Is it still possible to use the canister filter with these drilled holes then? I think my uncle said he had the output going over the top and was no longer using the weir (I'm happy I now know the name of this thing). I really just need to understand how this thing works before I start doing anything with this tank.
 

NavyChief20

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mimicoctopi said:
Thank you for your in depth explanation! So now I know it is better to just leave it in place. Is it still possible to use the canister filter with these drilled holes then? I think my uncle said he had the output going over the top and was no longer using the weir (I'm happy I now know the name of this thing). I really just need to understand how this thing works before I start doing anything with this tank.
Yes you can use a canister. The output is the pipe with the endcap on it. you just need to remove the cap and then put an adapter with the flexpipe to go back through the weir. The weir will still work. It looks like it needs some love but it will still and should still be used. When he said he didnt use the weir anymore Im a little surprized because it looks like it was still used. Its not really something you can retire in place.

I would raise the inlet pipe up a little bit though, which is easy with a coupling and a piece of pipe. Its all PVC and all fish safe and all super easy. Your return pipe will need a fitting coming from the canister. I need to see under the tank to tell you what to get.
 
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mimicoctopi

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NavyChief20 said:
Yes you can use a canister. The output is the pipe with the endcap on it. you just need to remove the cap and then put an adapter with the flexpipe to go back through the weir. The weir will still work. It looks like it needs some love but it will still and should still be used. When he said he didnt use the weir anymore Im a little surprized because it looks like it was still used. Its not really something you can retire in place.

I would raise the inlet pipe up a little bit though, which is easy with a coupling and a piece of pipe. Its all PVC and all fish safe and all super easy. Your return pipe will need a fitting coming from the canister. I need to see under the tank to tell you what to get.
Is the taller pipe the output pipe? It looks like they both have caps. My concern now is that if I connect the filter to these pipes, is there a way to make sure water level doesn't get too low to go over the weir through evaporation? I don't want to burn out this filter.
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Picture is upside down.
 

NavyChief20

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taller pipe is the outlet pipe. You will have to put a fitting on it to connect to that flexible tubing stuff and position it out the grove in the weir (looks like a notch in either corner from one of your previous pics) then you will have water going into the tank. THe water flows through the grating of the weir skimming it and into the overflow box and then into the short pipe and then into the canister. the pipe underneath will need a fitting to connect your inlet tubing for your canister. I dont know what size the hoses are but that part is super simple once you know that part. then it is a matter of filling and testing. Easy day.
 

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NavyChief20 said:
I would raise the inlet pipe up a little bit though, which is easy with a coupling and a piece of pipe.
Why would you recommend raising the inlet stand pipe? Just curious because I can't see any benefit, I might miss it though.
 

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mimicoctopi said:
My concern now is that if I connect the filter to these pipes, is there a way to make sure water level doesn't get too low to go over the weir through evaporation?
If you get a hood, I doubt your water level will fall that much due to evaporation. You will fill it up with your water changes.

Edit: for the left side you probably need a new bulkhead to accept a barbed hose fitting or get an adapter fitting the cut off pipe, which accepts the barbed hose fitting.
 

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so the inlet stand pipe (the one going to the canister or sump) needs to be lower than the weir so that you will have surface skimming. However, if it is that low you will have water falling noise (which can get annoying). If you raise it up a bit to say within 2" of the bottom of the weir teeth then the water doesnt fall as far and reduces the noise.
 

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Baba said:
If you get a hood, I doubt your water level will fall that much due to evaporation. You will fill it up with your water changes.
you wont have a low water level condition that would do canister pump damage because you have an inlet in the overflow that is down low as well based on the pics
 

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NavyChief20 said:
so the inlet stand pipe (the one going to the canister or sump) needs to be lower than the weir so that you will have surface skimming. However, if it is that low you will have water falling noise (which can get annoying). If you raise it up a bit to say within 2" of the bottom of the weir teeth then the water doesnt fall as far and reduces the noise.
Wouldn't it create a vortex if it is so close to the surface?
 
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