Bottom Drilled or Side Drilled?

side/back or bottom-drilled?

  • side

    Votes: 2 13.3%
  • back

    Votes: 5 33.3%
  • bottom

    Votes: 7 46.7%
  • various places

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • none drilled

    Votes: 1 6.7%

  • Total voters
    15

Ulu

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Do you prefer overflows be on a back, side or bottom?

I was told at a not too local FS that bottom-drilling was the best way.

I don't believe it. I've never seen a fish store with bottom-drilled tanks.

If you lose one bulkhead fitting gasket you can lose everything.

If ten bottom-drilled tanks T to a throttled drain line, and one has a leak, they can all drain.

I was intending to bottom-drill my new acrylic 75, and glue the fittings in, but I worry too much now.
 
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esoxlucius

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If you drill a clean hole and affix the bulkhead correctly, ie correct placement of gasket and be sure not to over tighten the nut, then bulkheads are pretty much bomb proof. If you are really worried about the seal you can even make it more permanent by using silicon as well. I'm a bit of a worrier as well and like you say, the failure of a bottom fixed bulkhead isn't a nice thought.

Saying that, both my 180's are bottom drilled and both bulkheads have been flawless in the 4 years or so the tanks have been set up.

Just thinking to myself now, when was the last time someone posted about a failed bulkhead causing a tank to empty on the floor? I don't think I've come across such a post in the 3 years i've been a member of MFK.
 

monkeybike

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Your analogy about the 10 tanks draining probably doesnt take into consideration that they should be using standpipes and not draining from an open bulkhead on the bottom. The store I managed in the 90's was on a central system with 100 bottom drilled 20 to 30 gallon tanks, never had an issue like what you are talking about.
 
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Backfromthedead

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I like the back drilled, or side i suppose. Unless you have a super large tank the bottom drains just take up too much floor space imo.
 
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Rollokola

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I like bottom drilled because of space efficiency, easier to setup the plumbing imo (less 90° turn fittings), lets the water travel less distance into sump. More straightforward approach. Of course as you said a bulkhead COULD go out, but I've never ever heard of it happening.
 

duanes

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I have had both, and prefer side drilled.
With bottom drilled you need an often unsightly stand pipe, that can also get in the way when trying to net out fish or ????? And in a mishap, drain the entire tank to the bottom, with a side drill, it only drains to where the site of the hole.

In the pic above you can see the standpipe on the right, running from bottom to surface.
If drilled on the side, there is only the few inches of PVC elbow to the side panel.
I also don't like having to go under and crawl around below the tank, in the confined area to do maintanece or adjustments. With the elbow on the side, almost at eye level, side observation and access is easy, but I also like sumps off to the side for easy access as opposed to crammed into a cabinet under the tank.
The extra space also offer creative filtration options like bio towers or protein skimmers, that wouldn't fit under a tank.




 
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Ulu

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Your analogy about the 10 tanks draining probably doesnt take into consideration that they should be using standpipes and not draining from an open bulkhead on the bottom.. . .
Yeah, I wasn't thinking straight when I wrote that.

I will probably bottom drill my new 75 g acrylic, that replaces this 55, because it will hug the wall. No place for back drains.

The current tank drains over one end with a siphon, to a standpipe on the stand. The 75 will cover the stand, so that goes away. I will likely end-drill the new tank. That will eliminate in-tank pipes, siphon, weir and standpipe, but I'd like to eventually hide all the plumbing.
20181129_212500_resized.jpg
Then I wind up with a substantial standpipe in the tank plus a feed pipe from below.

Maybe I can make fake rocks to cover them, or I can just cover the external plumbing with fake ivy as I do now.
 

Ulu

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This is a newer photo showing the enlarged siphon and Weir, which is now black abs, where the old one shown above was white PVC.
15575923005931469337291.jpg

1557592234625447833648.jpg

It's pretty hard to see that black ABS in the tank so maybe I shouldn't worry about visible standpipes if I make them black.
 
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Lepisosteus

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I like bottom drilled with overflow box or side drilled with external overflows.
 
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