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Discussion Starter #1
I've been considering doing a vert build but have always been bothered by the interupted viewing caused by the screen vent at the top of the viewing panel. I was looking at the Zilla turtle tanks with the half side for the filter and thought I could convert that area with a screen insert for ventilation and a full glass panel on the front for uninterupted viewing....has anyone done this? I've searched the archives and heven't found anything regarding this - only horizontal builds.

I have several empty aquariums and was also wondering is it's possible to have vent holes drilled into the side - which would end up being the top. Has anyone done this?
Are there any pros or cons regarding ventilation on the front viewing panel as opposed to the top?
 

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Regarding drilling holes in the sides of tanks, the larger the hole, or thinner the glass, the more likely to shatter the side. Glass can be drilled, but its a whole lot easier to do to a sheet of glass before its built into a tank. My suggestion would be to use fish tanks, not reptile tanks (the glass is thicker) and cut as centered as you can. You probably only want to use cheep used tanks as you will break a few.

If you're lucky enough to have a good, local reptile store, they can usually have one custom made for you at a fraction of the price of the Zilla turtle tanks, or they may carry vertical style tanks. They should be able to have the top screen made fruit fly proof as well.

Good luck!
 

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Drilling glass is not really too hard as long as you go slow and have all the needed materials.

If you've never drilled glass before I would go to your local hardware store and ask for some glass scraps to practice on.

Do a search, I know that this topic has been covered on this forum before.
 

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Go slow and let the bit do the cutting. Excessive pressure will cause the glass to crack. DUH! Also make sure the side you're drilling isn't tempered. Some companies will make bases or certain sides out of tempered glass.
 

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Regarding drilling holes in the sides of tanks, the larger the hole, or thinner the glass, the more likely to shatter the side. Glass can be drilled, but its a whole lot easier to do to a sheet of glass before its built into a tank. My suggestion would be to use fish tanks, not reptile tanks (the glass is thicker) and cut as centered as you can. You probably only want to use cheep used tanks as you will break a few.

If you're lucky enough to have a good, local reptile store, they can usually have one custom made for you at a fraction of the price of the Zilla turtle tanks, or they may carry vertical style tanks. They should be able to have the top screen made fruit fly proof as well.

Good luck!
I couldn't disagree more. I dove right into drilling tanks and (knock on wood) have never cracked one. With a half decent drill and a half decent bit, it's really not difficult if you take your time. I kind of like the idea of a top vent in those turtle tanks, and around here, they sell cheaper than your standard 40 gallon fish tank.

-Pat
 

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I couldn't disagree more. I dove right into drilling tanks and (knock on wood) have never cracked one. With a half decent drill and a half decent bit, it's really not difficult if you take your time. I kind of like the idea of a top vent in those turtle tanks, and around here, they sell cheaper than your standard 40 gallon fish tank.

-Pat
It all depends on if you get your technique down right away. Some people do, some people crack glass. It helps a little if you have construction experience, but really, if you can follow directions explicitly you should be OK. Important points:

1. The thinner the glass, the more critical it is you follow directions.
2. Don't exceed the recommended drilling speed for the size hole saw you are using.
3. Don't apply any more pressure than the weight of the drill, Especially toward the end of the cut if you want it to be clean.
4. Make sure and keep the bit cool/lubricated.
5. Be patient. If your arm cramps up take a break, but do not rush it.
 

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my plan was for a vertical tank with my zilla. its a 40b turtle tank. goin horizontal with it though. im using the half glass side as the back of my tank. gonna use lexan for the back and drill holes in that for my plumbing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have a local glass place about ten minutes from my house so if I decide to have the glass drilled I'll just have them do it. My 15 and 20 long aquariums will be the ones I'd have them do.
I like the idea of the the turtle tanks, tho. The glass seems to be aquarium thick and the vent area is just where I want it. Just wondering if anyone out there had done a vert build using one.
Thanks for all of the drilling ideas...maybe one day I'll be brave enough to buy the bit and try it out!
 

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Disclaimer I don't own any frogs yet.

But, I have kept tropical terrariums and vivariums with inverts for several years.

Regarding using the turtle tanks as verts: In my experience/opinion you may have trouble keeping the humidity up with that large of an opening unless you were going to cover part of the opening with glass in addition to the screen.

I'm also curious as to whether you were planing on the single pane front being your access door or if you plan on gluing/siliconing glass across the front and only having access from the side cut-out on the turtle tank (which would be the top in your arrangement) . You might have a tough time accessing the tank for any maintenance you may need to do if your only opening is from the top in what would be a 36" deep tank (guesstimate 30" after drainage and soil substitute layers).

Regarding the glass drilling: Like I said earlier it isn't too difficult, there is a bit of a learning curve if your not a mechanical type as Boondoggle already mentioned. GO SLOW. its not so much drilling as it is grinding a hole in the glass. Think of it more like using a small narrow chunk of diamond coated sandpaper to grind a hole in the glass. Lubricate. water water and more water. at the least set up a plumbers putty or some other type ring in your drilling area and keep it full of water. I actually like to set it up so I have a hose constantly rinsing over the cut, but this can be difficult without the putty on bigger holes ( larger than ~ 1") Get some scrap glass to practice on. Be aware that affordable glass drill bits/hole saws are only designed to be good for about 8-10 holes, after that they dull and increase your possibility of cracking some glass. There are a couple good youtube tutorials on glass drilling.

Most commercially made fish tanks under 30 gallons do not have any sides that are tempered (though some do have tempered bottoms). This being said, check with the manufacturer if your unsure. Drilling tempered glass is exciting, but generally leaves you frustrated when you waste a tank.

Vent holes on the top near the front viewing surface will help cut down on condensation on the front glass, at least near the vents.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Disclaimer I don't own any frogs yet.

Regarding using the turtle tanks as verts: In my experience/opinion you may have trouble keeping the humidity up with that large of an opening unless you were going to cover part of the opening with glass in addition to the screen.

I'm also curious as to whether you were planing on the single pane front being your access door or if you plan on gluing/siliconing glass across the front and only having access from the side cut-out on the turtle tank (which would be the top in your arrangement) . You might have a tough time accessing the tank for any maintenance you may need to do if your only opening is from the top in what would be a 36" deep tank (guesstimate 30" after drainage and soil substitute layers).

Vent holes on the top near the front viewing surface will help cut down on condensation on the front glass, at least near the vents.
What I have in mind is to have the glass shop cut me a two piece door for the front. I'll silicone the bottom piece in and attach the actual door to it with a hinge...just like a vert door kit minus the vent screen at the top of it. The half sided filter area will be the top front of the tank for which I will make a removeable screen inset. I will have a couple of glass pieces cut to fit over the screen so I can increase/decrease humidty as necessary.

I have vented and unvented tanks and my vented tanks have much better plant growth, broms included. All, however hold humidity really well as the vents are small, drilled holes in glass tops made for me. I cover them with screen held on by silicone.
 

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That sounds like it should work well. Like I said, my guess is you will probably end up covering at least part of the screened panel, but adjustability is always good. Its not a bad idea to air vivs out every so often even if it means temporarily lowering humidity a bit.

I know your trying to avoid a screen on the front, but as far as air flow goes, A vent under the door and then another vent hole on the top (euro style vivs) is the best set up for air turn over and plant growth while still maintaining humidity. The reason to have the vent under the door/on the front top is to keep the viewing window clear of condensation.
 
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