Question about Hole in Side of 40 Gallon Long

Slootha

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Hey All,


I'm just getting into the fish keeping hobby so I'm pretty wet around the ears. Before I ask my question, I just want to say that I'm not going to be building this tank very soon, I am starting with a 20 gallon tank with a beginner setup, learning how to and starting my tank cycling process at the moment.


That being said, my father has a few 40 gallon long tanks (48x13x17 as best I could tell) that he said that I could have if I decide that I end up liking the hobby and want to try something bigger than the 20 gallon tanks. The problem is, these fish tanks are not retail tanks from a LFS, but were once display/holding tanks at a LFS. As such, each of them has two holes about 3/4 of the way up on the backs of the tanks. It looks like it was probably for some kind of joint filtration system perhaps. The issue with that is I don't know how to deal with them. Are there filters that I could get myself to "plug" these holes instead of the waterfall filters (like the one I have now for my 20 gallon that hangs on the top lip of the tank)? can I purchase plugs perhaps to seal them instead?


I have attached a picture of the tank and one of the holes for reference. Any advice on this would be much appreciated.




Thanks!
Slootha
 

nicole4434

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You could use a jigsaw to cut glass to the hole sizes and then you use aquarium repair silicone to seal them in place, I know people who have used this silicone for complete builds so it should beable to do a small repair
 

Bluestreakfl

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Its not really possibble to cut a circular piece of glass with a jigsaw, however there is a special glass tool to cut circles. It basically uses a suction cup then scores a perfect circle which can then be tapped carefully out of the sheet. For as small of a hole as it is, a local glass shop should charge you a few dollars tops to cut them as theyd have scrap glass to cut it from and would cost them maybe 1 minute of labor.

I imagine most mass filtration systems for fish stores and displays are run with some sort of huge sump type system, basically one massive container of water that has inlets and outlets running to and from each tank via PVC or some similar type of piping. What you might be able to do is get PVC to plug the holes, use a canister filter, and then fill up and seal the pipe around the tubing for the canister filter.

I know Dadio and Jsigmo both have some good DIY experience, perhaps they could chime in.
 

nicole4434

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Bluestreakfl said:
Its not really possibble to cut a circular piece of glass with a jigsaw, however there is a special glass tool to cut circles. It basically uses a suction cup then scores a perfect circle which can then be tapped carefully out of the sheet. For as small of a hole as it is, a local glass shop should charge you a few dollars tops to cut them as theyd have scrap glass to cut it from and would cost them maybe 1 minute of labor.

I imagine most mass filtration systems for fish stores and displays are run with some sort of huge sump type system, basically one massive container of water that has inlets and outlets running to and from each tank via PVC or some similar type of piping. What you might be able to do is get PVC to plug the holes, use a canister filter, and then fill up and seal the pipe around the tubing for the canister filter.

I know Dadio and @Jsigmo both have some good DIY experience, perhaps they could chime in.
Thanks for that Bluestreakfl, I knew there was something that could cut glass, just couldn't remember the name of it
 

Bluestreakfl

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Yeah theyre basically tiny metal rollers that score the glass, then you tap to make a break. Same with the circular one, suctions in the middle to score the circle. My partner does glass by trade and has been patient enough to teach me how to cut glass, albeit I still haven't completely got the hang of it. As long as the glass cut circles were just flush with the hole, I think they could probably be safely sealed up.
 

Dadio

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There are special hole saws for glass that my lfs sells or the other way is as Bluestreakfl mentioned. The trick is to get it perfect as a circle end to end. Then heat the cut with a torch and then pass an ice cube along the cut. You'll hear it crack then with the end of the glass cutter you tap it along the cut and the circle should fall away. The score from the cut wheel will snap from the heat/cold combo. It takes a bit of practice though sorry it on a scrap piece first if your try it this way. Easiest way is with the circle glass cutter and make sure it's not tempered glass as it will shatter.
 

Jsigmo

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I actually think the holes could come in handy. It would make setting up a sump filter very easy, for example.

But to just seal over them, you wouldn't need circular pieces of glass. You could just use small squares of glass.

You could use some aquarium silicone sealant to glue the "patches" over the holes on the inside. It's a lot easier to cut square pieces of glass than it is to cut circles.

On the other hand, you could just insert the same bulkhead fittings as you'd use to connect plumbing to the holes, but install plugs into the fittings instead of pipes for now. Then, if you later decide you want to use the holes, they're still available.

To me, the holes add a lot of value to the tanks. I'd preserve them if it was me.
 

Dadio

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I should have read the beginning of the post, my apologies.

Couple of things you can do.

1) Cut a square of glass or anything ridge for the fact and use either aquarium safe silicone or marine Goop.

2) Attach a 45 degree abs/pvc elblow with a small piece of extension to 2 inch above water line or frame top. This can be a port for passing tubes/ cables or other. This keeps things neet.

3) Build a sump filter and use the port keeping everything clear in the tank. Sounds like you have a few tanks so a smaller 5/10/20g could be used for this. So If I was you and seeing as you have both a 20 and the 40 with the hole, why not use the 40 and the 20 as a sump. It's really not that hard to do and you'll get a far better setup as your first time experience and much more rewarding of this hobby for you.

Lots of DIY tips found here and a few of us will chime in as we say to guide you during the process.

Follow what the gurus suggest in terms of the technical part and the creativity is all yours plus the 40 will allow you more space.

A successful setup starts with the planning and research of your final vision.

What are you planning for as fish and aquascaping?
 

Bluestreakfl

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His 20 gallon is a Topfin Kit, its the 3x40g tanks that have the holes in them. I think the 20 gallon could make a great sump for maybe 2 of the 40 gallon tanks later down the road, but hes starting with the 20 gallon for his first tank. Your probably wondering how I know all this, its because Slootha is a buddy of mine, and I insisited joining fishlore would be good if he was going to get into the hobby.
 

Ohiotank

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I would put bulkhead fittings in the holes and use a canister or a sump filter.
 

MtnTiger

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I would first insert a short (3" - 4") correctly sized pvc (painted black inside and out) capped on one end and let the fish use it as a cave until I decided about a permanent solution.
 

Gvilleguy

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If a sump is not desired at this time, I like Dadio's suggestion of sealing in 45 degree PVC that turns up above the water line to pass items into the tank (airline, electrical cord for submerged heater). Or simply square shaped glass to seal them over. The circle cuts sound like a lot of work.
 

Danjamesdixon

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....cutting glass with a jigsaw?


Yeah, no.

If you haven't had any experience cutting glass before, and don't have the correct tools or knowledge, don't attempt it. You're asking for glass shards everywhere. I like the PVC pipe idea.
 

Nick Della Rocca

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Go to home depot buy a piece of glass that's 1/4" think and 2" by 2". Tape it over the hole and silicone the exposed edges. 24 hrs later remove tape silcobe where the tape was wait 24hrs and fill it up to make sure u got it
 

Jsigmo

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I, too, like Dadio's idea to install the bulkhead fittings and then upturned elbows to allow cords and air tube, etc., to enter the tank without needing to cut the aquarium hood for them.

No cutting, no gluing, and best of all, you're preserving a very desirable feature of those special tanks.

Drilled tanks are great.



If you use threaded fittings, you can even re-use the bulkhead fittings if you later want to have an overflow filter setup.

MtnTiger's cave idea is also fun!
 

Dadio

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Bluestreakfl said:
His 20 gallon is a Topfin Kit, its the 3x40g tanks that have the holes in them. I think the 20 gallon could make a great sump for maybe 2 of the 40 gallon tanks later down the road, but hes starting with the 20 gallon for his first tank. Your probably wondering how I know all this, its because @ is a buddy of mine, and I insisited joining fishlore would be good if he was going to get into the hobby.
So your the instigator into MTS. You bug lol

I'd probably would have had him setting up all of them knowing me.lol
 
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Slootha

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Hey All,

Thanks so much for the advice, I really appreciated it! I guess I should have mentioned that the tanks have some of the original PVC that was probably used in the fish store in them, I messed with one of them which was a piece of PVC that had a threaded base that goes through the hole from the back, and then a plastic washer of sorts that screws it on usng the threaded part from the inside of the tank. The pvc then bends 90 degrees once it is outside the tank. The only reason why I didn't think of using it was because they've been in a barn for years and the rubbery/foamy looking seals on them are cracked and weathered, but I suppose I could just replace those seals and have the solution #2 that Dadio mentioned, with the possibility of #3 later on. As my buddy Bluestreakfl mentioned, I plan to start with my 20 gallon tank as my first beginners tank. The 40 gallon will not fit in my room and I will need to consult with roomates before I start sticking fish tanks all over the house haha. I could always transition my fish from the 20 gallon to the 40 gallon later and then convert the 20 to a sump down the road as well. Again, thanks for all the helpful information!
 

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