1. Welcome to the shiny new site! Please have a look around and let us know how its working for you. Please note that all returning members will need to reset your passwords to login again. Click on "forgot password" to reset your password. If you still have issues then email us at board@marinecolorado.org Thanks
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Site Upgrade complete! A new version of the forum software has been uploaded. Please let us know if you have any issues. Thanks


Discussion in 'Newbies Corner' started by FerociousPuggle, Dec 17, 2019.

  1. FerociousPuggle

    FerociousPuggle Copepod

    Hello everyone,

    I’m new to MASC, new to posting threads on forums, and most importantly new to reef aquariums! You could say I’m the newbiest of newbs. I’m reaching out for my first post to ask about the plumbing on my first ever tank. I have a 75Gallon tank and unfortunately it’s not drilled for plumbing so I’m using an external overflow box. I’ve dry fit together my attempt at the plumbing of both the drain line and the return line and wanted feedback on if it looks OK and what I could do to improve it before I seal the pipes together. Anything helps and Thank you in advance!

    Attached Files:

    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  2. Andrew_bram

    Andrew_bram Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    Welcome to the club. Someone was just giving away an overflow if you are willing to drill.

    Sent from my SM-G973U1 using Tapatalk
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  3. Andrew_bram

    Andrew_bram Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

  4. NickP

    NickP Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Hi and welcome. Highly recommend higher quality ball values and a gate valve instead of a ball valve on the drain. Also a back up drain line.
  5. Dr.DiSilicate

    Dr.DiSilicate Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Your plumbing looks fine. It’ll work. I do agree that a drilled tank with a backup drain is much safer in the long term. If you keep the overflow you have make sure you check that it’s not getting clogged regularly.

    I’d be all for drilling, which is actually pretty easy, if you plan on keeping the tank long term. It’d be a bit safer and you could push it closer to the wall as well as being quieter. If you are like most of us that tank is going to be upgraded within a year (as long as you are patient along the way) and this discussion will not matter. But the next tank will have an internal or drilled overflow... as it’s way more convenient.

    Welcome to the club by the way!

    Sent from my iPhone using MASC mobile app
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  6. JuanGutz

    JuanGutz Shark M.A.S.C Club Member

    Welcome to the club!
    I agree with all the above, drilling the tank will be a much safer option and upgrading your valves will save you a huge headache down the road!
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  7. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Welcome to the club, and to the hobby. Where are you located? I'm up north in the Loveland/Ft. Collins area, and I've drilled my fair share of tanks. I know there are people in Denver that have the drill bits as well.....actually the last one I bought off Amazon was like $9.

    We all get a little nervous with the single drain line. If a snail, or clump of algae, or something made its way to that drain and plugged it you would have all of the water in your sump pumped to your floor until the sump ran dry and your return pump would likely burn up (assuming you weren't home).

    Finally on the return line you want to have either some kind of air gap or a one way check valve so that when the power goes off you don't establish a siphon and pull water from display tank to sump....again potentially flooding the sump until the siphon breaks. I have check valves on some of my plumbing and the work for me, others have had issues with them becoming stuck in the open position and then when needed they don't do anything. So they may be a little controversial, but they are available at Home Depot.

    JuanGutz likes this.
  8. SeaMonkey

    SeaMonkey Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Welcome to the club. I think you got some really good advice above and would agree you will be way happier with the drilled tank. If you don't feel comfortable drilling it there are places you can bring it to have it done.
  9. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Hey there welcome to the club!
    Your plumbing layout looks just fine, but agree those ball valve should be replaced with either a quality True union, or a decent gate valve. Those type of ball valve are a real pain, and over time they stick, the handle break off and they become unusable after only a few years.
    A true union like this will work for many more years then those ones https://www.supplyhouse.com/Red-Fla...Tkcwx1G6wio9dHG54r3CxVtPiRsH4hb0aAlcOEALw_wcB

    and many prefer gate valves too, as they are easiest to operate and also last many years longer. https://www.pvcfittingsonline.com/valves/pvc-gate-valves.html

    Also be sure to place the valves where you can easily access them. Once the tank is up against a wall, you wont be able to reach those very well if they are oriented like in your picture. Make sure you can easily reach the handles from under the tank or to the side.

    And, you should start a build thread, so we can hear and help you plan it out and get it setup right. ;)
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  10. halmus

    halmus Sardine Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Secretary


    I ran a frag tank a 10 years back that had a “hang on the back” overflow. I agree with all above comments that it’s prone to problems if not well maintained. I used an “aqua lifter” pump that constantly maintained the siphon in the overflow through that airline tube. It sucks out any air bubbles that might accumulate and stop the siphon. This type of setup requires diligence in maintenance to keep it running smoothly.


    Still, if you have the chance to drill the tank, you’ll sleep better knowing it’s better protected from overflowing.

    The setup looks good! Once everything is glued together and you run water through it, I recommend that you simulate a power outage. Pull the cord on the return pump and make sure the sump can handle the water volume as the water settles in the display. Then, make sure the overflow (or whatever solution you have in place) resumes when power is restored.

    Lastly, I recommend keeping all electrical plugs protected from water. Drip loops in cords before the plug. Elevate power strips so they can’t be flooded during an accident.

    Let us know how this progresses!
  11. Andrew_bram

    Andrew_bram Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    We are not trying to scare you. But if you have a significant other an overflow might be the end of the hobby for you. I had a tank overflow one time and even though my wife is pretty understanding she was still irrate at me.

    Sent from my SM-G973U1 using Tapatalk
  12. FerociousPuggle

    FerociousPuggle Copepod

    Thanks everyone for the quick responses. I’m now thinking about drilling (even though I’m nervous). I live in the Commerce City area, any suggestions on who might be able to drill it for me? The tank is a Marineland (bought at Petsmart) and all the research I’ve done says it has to be drilled on the back or sides, due to the bottom being tempered glass. Thanks
  13. Andrew_bram

    Andrew_bram Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    It really is not as scary as it sounds. There are a million youtube videos. I have even seen videos that show how to not do it like tips and tricks. I am not sure who is around you but I am sure someone will chime in. Just make sure if you do it use a regular drill as impact drivers and hammer drills are self explanatory.

    Sent from my SM-G973U1 using Tapatalk
  14. Cake_Boss

    Cake_Boss Orca M.A.S.C Club Member

Share This Page