Aquarium Building – Drilling a Glass Tank
Drilling a Glass tank in Under 3 Minutes
Many people want to create custom built tanks with special filtration placed in the system. This is especially true for tanks that are designed to house mini reef habitats, where the options available for an unaltered aquarium are minimal. Many tanks of these types require drilling a glass tank with a hole through the glass. The most common locations are the side or the back for an overflow system. More often a hole through the bottom of the tank is where the plumbing needs to be located. These holes can be used either for siphon or return water, depending on the design of the filter being added.
Way back when I was running a pet store, the system used drilled tanks for the central filtration system to operate. We are not going to focus on creating a multi-tank fish room, but rather the requirements for drilling a hole through a single pane of glass to provide a place for a waterproof bulkhead and plumbing to be applied.
In this video the tank is drilled from the side, it will probably have the input pipe for a gravity fed sump placed through it. The drilling takes less that three minutes. It may not be the cleanest cut, but the pipe will be held by a waterproof bulkhead so any roughness will not be noticeable.
Drilling a Glass Tank – The prerequisites
You can’t simply drill any piece of glass and expect that the tank will be able to withstand the drilling. In most cases a standard tank will be quite suitable right out of the box. It is quite rare that tempered glass is used, but when purchasing any tank that you know will be drilled, it is important that you make sure the tank is standard float glass, and not tempered.
This procedure works well for drilling a glass tank, but if you are planning to drill a lot of tanks, the drill bit will work much longer when it is kept submersed. I remember a day of drilling where the tanks were kept wet with beer instead of water. The drill bit was also helped with a grit in the area to help the drill bit lubricated. The drill bit will be worn down rapidly. When drilling a glass tank, keep a close eye on the state of the drill bit.