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jayh

Looking for help cutting glass in an ATO

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So I recently picked up a Red Sea 525 and looking to convert the ATO reservoir into a refugium.  What I would to do is put a bulk head into the side for the return to the sump area.  Just wondering if anyone has done this before and would be willing to lend a hand and knowledge...  Looking to do something like this: 

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It's very easy to drill tank.

But if you never done one, I would highly recommend that you get a used 10 gallons tank to practice before you attempt to drill the ATO reservoir. ALso, make sure it's not tempered glass.

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Do you know how thick the glass is in it?  It's usually pretty easy to cut it, but thin glass or close to the edge is a bit more risk of cracking.  You need to be at least the diameter of the hole away from any edge of the glass, I've heard.  

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Yeah, glass thickness is about 1/8 of an inch.  It's not tempered as others have drilled on them with success.   I was eyeballing a drill press to help out with keeping it straight.  Good call on the distance from the edge.

 

Thanks for the inputs! :)

 

edit: spelling is hard...

Edited by jayh

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Don't need a drill press, especially on 1/8"  It's so thin that it doesn't really matter if it goes straight.  You'll be through it before you know it with a battery powered drill with a clutch and a diamond bit.  

 

I have three bits sized for 1", 1.5" and 2" ABS bulkheads, a battery drill, and a towel.  If you bring it to FragFest on July 22 we can take a crack at it.  I can't guarantee it won't break, though.  I can only try not to break it.

 

I can also bring a dirty old 10g tank if you want to practice on one and then try to do it yourself. 8)

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Drilling is easy. Keep it wet, use a new diamond bit, and a guide is helpful, but hey, live fast! 

 

Thicker glass is actually easier, IMO, slow and steady on thinner stuff. My Mr. Aqua is 5/16 thickness, and just did that in the bathtub. Only tanks I've ever cracked while drilling were 10 gallons that I was practicing on, luckily enough. 

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As Alan said, get the appropriate-sized diamond drill bit and either do it (is not that hard/run water from a hose while drilling/avoid having the cutout fall and crack the opposite wall) or bring to to the fragfest: might be a nice tutorial as Alan mentioned in a separate thread. I have drilled 15-20 glass BH over the years without issue, although the first one results in a genuine pucker-factor :-). I actually have a few slabs of glass that I can bring to the fragfest for you to practice on [glass top to my frag tank which I do not use]/PM me if you want it.

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