Originally Posted by Tihsho
With all the effort you're putting into this, I would recommend two things. Either add a float valve in the trough area (hidden is fine) so you don't have to worry about evap causing your canister to suck air. Or the other option would be to sump the filter. With a stand being that size, you could easily fit a 10 gallon tank underneath and make your own wet/dry filter which would be chump to maintain and you can hide an ATO valve in the sump.
I can look up the place, but there was a glass shop in Rockville that I used to deal with back in the day. They were affordable and could cut whatever size glass you need at reasonable rates. They also would bevel the edges if asked for little to no charge if you asked. For sliding doors that would be ideal to reduce chipping and friction.
Definitely interested in any suggestions for glass cutters if the information is easily found. I have sent out about 10 requests for quotes and so far have gotten back 4. I expect the others to trickle in over the next couple of days but they are all just shots in the dark. I have no idea if these companies are particularly good or cheap etc.
I have debated whether to go with a sump over a canister filter. I actually own the canister filter already (from a now defunct aquarium) so its a zero expense item to set it up. Since my trough area in the tank will be filled with calcined clay I won't be able to use a float switch. That means I could only use one in a sump. The problem there is the risk of it failing, my drain clogging and then I am in a potential flood issue onto my floor. The frogs would be fine because the front vents would drain water before the whole tank became submerged (I plan to build up the back layer), but I don't want to put myself in a situation where its possible (even though unlikely) that I dump a few gallons of water onto the floor, especially when I might not be around to immediately take action.
The accepted solution for this is to have enough capacity in the tank to have the sump run dry without flooding, but I don't know how to calculate that in advance given that I plan to have my 'false bottom'/trough area completely filled in by calcined clay. Does that make sense?
Anyway this is why I arrived at using a canister filter instead. The water volume in one is so small its my hope that even if my drain clogs I still won't have enough water to flood the tank, and if I do, it won't be by much.