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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
BCA,
Any of you that are looking to buy or build internal overflow boxes here is a suggestion which I will take pictures of shortly.

I decided to have some custom made internal overflow boxes built out of 1/4" black acrylic plastic. I drew up a design and sent it out to three plastic fabricators, only one responded with a quote for get this....364 bucks plus taxes for two 4" X 8" X 30" high boxes. Of course that inlcuded the labour to bend them into a three sided box as well as cut the water flow "teeth" across the top....So I got to thinking and this is what I have come up with.

I bought a 36" long piece (shortest I was permitted to buy) of white PVC pipe, 8" in diameter, 1/4" side wall thickness. I cut it in half lengthwise, in essence giving me two pieces 36" long with a 4" radius. I then cut them to the final height I need them. I then drilled 3/8" holes across the top and cut them out using my dremel tool essentially creating "ports" for the water to flow through. The 3/8" holes were spaced 3/8" apart. I then painted it black to blend into the back of my tank. I then siliconed them into place and viola, internal overflow boxes for a grand total of $17.20 for the pipe, $6.79 for the plastic spray paint and 3 bucks for the tube or silicone....a long way from 364 bucks and they are round not square so they blend into the back of the tank even better. Will post pictures shortly!
 

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Cool idea. I'm visualizing a piece of pipe cut in half and siliconed to the back of the tank??
 

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I am imagining there is an internal drain tube underneath the "box" inside the tank for water to drian to. And both side of the trough sealed against the two sides of the tank. Is it a 30" long tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Cool idea. I'm visualizing a piece of pipe cut in half and siliconed to the back of the tank??
Tony,
You are correct. An 8" pipe has been cut in half lengthwise, the cuts have been smoothed with a sander and then they are siliconed in place after painting. Unfortunatley the only two colors of pipe I could get that size in that thickness was white or white. I could have gotten green but the thickness was like 1/2" which was way to thick. Pictures are coming soon, just have to upload them from my camera.

They are the full inside height of my tank with "water ports" cut into the top 1.5" section of the pipe
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
More pictures of the overflows

"I am imagining there is an internal drain tube underneath the "box" inside the tank for water to drian to. And both side of the trough sealed against the two sides of the tank. Is it a 30" long tank?"

No they actually run vertical as you can see in the pictures...behind the overflow is a bulkhead with a strainer input which will be connected directly to an FX5 filter on each overflow. Then the return from the filters comes back through bulkheads elsewhere on the back glass...all of the plumbing behind the tank is PVC with the exception of the connection to the filters which is nylon reinforced plastic tubing....nice and clean and easy to spot if any leaks should occur.
 

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$364!
You could buy the material for the overflows and the heat strip used to bend it for less than that.
The half pipe is a great idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I used Tremclad, Paint for Plastic and no I am not worried about leeching into the water. Once the paint cures the chemicals in it "flash" off anyways. Personally, I think there is a lot of paranoia around items placed in aqauriums and what is good and not good to put in them, common sense previals in most cases. If I find fish dying, I will have the water tested for chemicals, but given the rate of filtration and water changes, I highly doubt there would be toxic levels of chemicals present, I guess I will have to see but I am not worried.
 

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I used Tremclad, Paint for Plastic and no I am not worried about leeching into the water. Once the paint cures the chemicals in it "flash" off anyways. Personally, I think there is a lot of paranoia around items placed in aqauriums and what is good and not good to put in them, common sense previals in most cases. If I find fish dying, I will have the water tested for chemicals, but given the rate of filtration and water changes, I highly doubt there would be toxic levels of chemicals present, I guess I will have to see but I am not worried.
Good to hear, I have a white pipe in my 300G that I would like to make black.
 

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That looks great. I think as long as you have the math worked out to determine how much flow is provided by the "teeth" of the overflow, and that the flow is sufficient for your filtration method, it should be fine. I know that sometimes guys have overflows made and there is not enough water flowing into the overflow to keep up with the drain. A fantastic DIY.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Tony,
Truthfully, I have not worked out any math on the "teeth" design and how much water flow they will permit, it will be a wait and see. I will test it out before stocking any fish or plants in my tank and see what happens..if it works...great...if not, out comes the dremel tool to remove some teeth. I have seen this smae design with much smaller slots and they appear to work fine, so I will just have to wait and see what happens...will update once I get it up and running.
 

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Yeah, my math isn't nearly good enough to figure that out either. I'm sure there's some "calculator" out there somewhere. LOL. Good luck with this and hopefully it works out cuz its a great DIY that most people should be able to afford.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
well the idea actually came from the fact that I could not find what I was looking for in stores, I found some online which were really overpriced, so I drew up a design and sent it off for a quote from three different plastics places. As you have read they came back really over priced so I got to thinking about what to use. I originally looked at using stainless steel as a friend of mine owns a metal shop and could get it for me cheap, but I wanted black. Then I looked at black ABS plumbing pipe but could not find any large enough...so decided on white PVC and paint...so yes it was a true DIY deal...Good thing is you can cut the pipe to whatever shape you want. If you want a corner overflow, cut it in quarters and just use 1/4 of the pipe in the corner, you could even use the half pipe like I am using in the corners if you wanted, might look cool actually. Anyways, I guess I will see how it all works out soon enough, hope to have my tank set up shortly, will advise once it is all done on a journal entry!
 

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I like your Ideal, I'm gonna build 2 overflow boxes for my 210 gallon with is 8ft long x 30inches high x 18inches wide, and I'm gonna use 2 6" PVC pipes with only the standpipes inside the overflow boxes I'm going to cap off the tops so inverts and fish cant get down into them but making them where if I need to take off the tops I can attaching them to the tank using Uniseals instead of bulkheads, so I'll be caping of both ends of the PVC pipe but the bottom will be glued on and drilled to fit the Uniseal's, I'll add pix's when I build them.
 
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