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Discussion Starter #1
Well i had an idea not to crazy imo. I planned to upgrade my 75g tank to a same size but sliding glass front, so i though why not now. I plan on get a dremil tool and make a outline of thin wood as a guide to cut a panel of the glass out. Then attach a E track for sliding glass door. The glass is 3/8 thick. I will pratice on 2 ten gallons and also get a small sheet of 3/8 glass. I have drilled tanks before including this one. i know reef keepers use this tool for corals and for drilling the tank(i havn't used this tool before). Worse come to worse it shatters and i complety take out the front panel of glass, and just make like the sticky uptop. Which brand should i go with. thanks
 

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I have done that before and it cost me 14 stitches in the palm of my hand. It can be done, but i don't recommend it and be very careful.

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ouch must have been a fun day ;) yea thats why i plan on using a guide hope it will help, ether wise i'll finally get stitches...jk. other than cuting your hands did it work fine.
 

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Why don't you get a premade tank or XXL Exo-terra. I cut a hole in the side of my hex tank. If I ever did it again, and I seriously mean IF! I would drill the corners with a small diamond hole saw (ebay). I used a Dremel and 3 bits and modeling clay to make trough for water. To make a 9"x11" hole and it only took me like 5 hours and 6 beers. The dangerous part is the glass your cutting out, at the very end it will drop. Possibly cracking the pane or falling into the tank. Mine got a minute crack as the glass dropped like 3/8".
 

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Discussion Starter #5
oh i should siad this before the tank allready has pump flase bottom backround and all. i have drilled a tank before it will take several hours to do i know. i will have a pilllow and cloth under the glass to prevent damage. thanks
 

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Mmm, you used water the whole time?

In the aquarium hobby, we generally use some type of oil inside the well...
 

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So has anyone successfully tried this? I got 2 65gal aquariums really cheap that I want to try to make front opening, maybe sliding doors, but not sure how with the trim on top and bottom, weight and stuff
 

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I've probably drilled 50+ holes in all sorts of tanks for reef hobbiest. Typically only takes about 10-15 minutes per hole(ranging from 3/4" up to 4" diameter). I use plumbers putty to build a reservoir and just plain tap water to keep the bit cool. I have found that the thinner the glass the slower you need to go. It's the pressure that cracks the glass not the drilling(usually). Also, different manufacturers temper bottoms and sides differently. I recommend if possible contacting the manufacturer and seeing for sure exactly what is and what is not tempered. I have had 20g hi tanks with sides that were tempered(go figure).
 

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i have done this two different ways depending on tanks shape. If you have a tank with equal-ish height and depth like a 40 breeder or 75 just turn it on its side and silicone your e track, and litter dam onto its molding. The other way is a little more complicated and i ve done it on a few 20H. You start by removing the molding around the the top of the tank with a razor. Than run your razor in between the front pane (the one want to become your door), and the sides as far down as you d like your litter dam to be high. After this take straight edge and score the glass of the front pane, I like to make a 4 inch litter dam, so I mark my score at 4 inches above the bottom of the tank. Next you carefully break the glass along the score line. if your good the piece that you just removed as the front pane, can be siliconed onto the top, if not you will need to purchase some more glass for the top. Than just silicone your e track into place and your set.
 

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Yeah turning it on its side won't be practical because of the dimensions so I was thinking about trying the second method, would that work with the weight of a 65 gal tank and the thickness of the glass (1/4") and would taking the trim off the top mess up the structural integrity because of the weight of the panes?
i have done this two different ways depending on tanks shape. If you have a tank with equal-ish height and depth like a 40 breeder or 75 just turn it on its side and silicone your e track, and litter dam onto its molding. The other way is a little more complicated and i ve done it on a few 20H. You start by removing the molding around the the top of the tank with a razor. Than run your razor in between the front pane (the one want to become your door), and the sides as far down as you d like your litter dam to be high. After this take straight edge and score the glass of the front pane, I like to make a 4 inch litter dam, so I mark my score at 4 inches above the bottom of the tank. Next you carefully break the glass along the score line. if your good the piece that you just removed as the front pane, can be siliconed onto the top, if not you will need to purchase some more glass for the top. Than just silicone your e track into place and your set.
 

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I would still remove the trim, but i than would try and temporarily silicone a top pane on or maybe even taping a 2x4 across the top first before cutting the sides. this would help reinforce it. Once you break the front pane out i would permanently silicone the top pane on, before going any further.
 

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Would scoring 2 lines work, like one about 2 inches from the top as well as the bottom one and then break the glass out between them - and would scoring 1/4" glass with a glass cutting tool really do the job well enough?
 

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I thought about trying to score at the top and the bottom of the tank before, but never did try. i intended to reuse the piece of glass i cut out, if u do score at top and bottom you will only have the choice of shattering the center section of glass.
 

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Yeah I was planning on making some kind of UVB passing tops anyway. So the regular glass cutting tool works on the 1/4"?
 

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Yeah I'm about to start on these, did you take any pics of your 20H's? I was curious about how to silicone the e channel onto the thin thickness of the glass, like if the thickness of the glass is thinner than the thickness of the e channel
 

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ok i couldnt find any pics of the 20H sliders, but here are some 20Hs that were cut about the same only i tried little different door design. The door essentially sits on the top of the old front, and uses another piece of glass to wedge it into place.
 

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