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Tearing Out an Aquarium Overflow Box – Part 2


Continuing on from a previous post, here is the rest of the story.

Taking out the bulk heads was not as bad as I thought. I ended up turning them in place which broke the silicone free. I used a large set of adjustable pliers to turn the bulk head nuts while holding on to the center portion of the bulk head. Then I scraped off the old silicone with a razor blade and some alcohol and applied the new silicone/glass patch.

Cleaning out a fish tank

I probably look kind of funny on a 6 foot ladder halfway in a fish tank. The vacuum has come in really handy to pull out all kinds of stuff in the tank. 🙂

Top side of the bulkhead before removal

Top side of the bulkhead before removal. Scraping all of the silicone off wasn’t fun.

Bottom side of the bulkhead before removal

Bottom side of the bulkhead before removal

2 inch aquarium bulk head

2″ Bulkhead

2 inch and 3/4 inch bulk heads removed

2″ and 3/4″ bulkheads removed, oh joy!

Cleaning up the glass, removing silicone

Cleaning up the glass, removing silicone

Covering the holes in the fish tank

I had a piece of the old glass cut to cover the two bulkhead holes.

Silicone around the aquarium holes

Silicone around the holes

Adding a bit of silicone around the edge of the glass cover

Adding a bit of silicone around the edge of the glass cover

Gluing down the tank patch

Gluing down the patch with silicone

Tearing Out an Aquarium Overflow Box


After moving the tank and having one of the bulk head fitting break on me, I decided to remove one of my aquarium’s overflow boxes. This was not a fun process and took me a couple days of contorting into strange positions on a ladder. My hands and fingers were not happy!

Armed with 100 razor blades, a box cutter, and a few other razor blade type instruments I started in. Here are a few photos as progress was made.

Taking Out an Overflow 1

First I removed the front piece of glass as it was the easiest to get to.

Taking Out an Aquarium Overflow 2

The bio-balls were packed in there pretty tight. After a year or so of having the tank up I tried to get them out but I couldn’t reach to the bottom.

Taking Out an Aquarium Overflow 3

Bio-balls removed and now to cut the PVC with the saws-all.

Taking Out an Aquarium Overflow 4 - Razor Blade

The skinnier blade of the two razor knives I had worked the best when cutting between the two pieces of glass, but it broke more often.

Taking Out a Fish Tank Overflow with Razor Blade Box Cutter

It was a tight fit!

Taking Out a Glass Overflow Box 6

Left side off.

Taking Out an Saltwater Overflow Box 7

Same process on the right side.

Taking Out an Aquarium Overflow 8

Overflow box removed. Now I just need to pull the bulk heads out and glue a piece of glass over the holes.

Taking Out an Overflow 9

Should have a nice(r) view from the exposed right side of the tank.

Tank Update!!!


It’s time for a tank update, lot of stuff happening! I should have probably broke this up into a couple different posts but I’ve not been on the computer much lately and still have lots of work to do.

Here are a couple update photos of the 300 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank acting as the temporary home for our fish.  We actually really enjoy watching the fish and corals from above. The clams are very neat to look at too! So far the fish and corals haven’t protested the temp setup.

300 Gallon Saltwater Aquarium - Temp with 90 Gallon Refugium

Temp Saltwater Aquarium - 300 Gallon Rubbermaid Stock Tank

Squamosa Clams in Temp Rubbermaid Stock Tank

Squamosa Clam

Squamosa Clam

LPS Coral, Mushrooms, SPS

In the fish room, behind the display tank, I have set up a metal rack to hold the 90 gallon refugium and 90 gallon salt mixing tank. The refugium will go up high and have a drain that drops down into the display tank (to the right). Hopefully the refuge will produce lots of bugs for the fish to eat. 🙂 We’ve also painted everything white in the fish room with Kilz primer, added some can lights, and put in a small sink and hookup for the RO/DI unit.

Metal Rack 90 Gallon Refugium & Salt Mix Stand

Saltwater Aquarium Sink

Just got the ATO (Automatic Top Off) up and running this evening. I used a small pump and a 10 gallon tank for top-off water. I also got my APEX controller back up and running on the temp system.

Auto Top Off (ATO) 10 Gallon Reservoir Tank

While building the stand we ran three new lines to the breaker box, one for lights, one for pumps, and one for the refugium area. I’m really happy to have the aquarium system on its own set of breakers.

Moving the display tank…

6 guys, a trailer, suction cups, straps and an hour of grunting we had the tank moved. We think the tank weighs around 600+ lbs. (.5 inch glass with a bit of re-enforcement glass in the bottom). Luckily everything went well although we did bust off a fitting on the bottom for one of the returns. I think I might actually cut out one overflow (right side), deleting the broken return, and rely on my VorTech MP40s to create the majority of the flow/turnover in the tank. Originally I thought I would get a lot of flow from the return pumps (2 – Mag Drive 24s) but that just didn’t happen.

Moving a Large Aquarium with Suction Cups

Strapping down the tank on the trailer

Moving a Saltwater Aquarium

Moving of the Fish Tank

After a bit more thought and my wife’s “Not to scale” disclaimer drawings (lol) we had the stand figured out. Here’s where we are now.

Saltwater Aquarium Plans/Drawings

300 Gallon Saltwater Display Tank in Progress

Saltwater Tank Canopy Doors

(tops to be installed soon!)

Next time around we should have the tops installed, tank painted and the right side overflow removed… 😉 Time for some sleep.

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