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Drilling Your Aquarium

How to drill your aquarium
Drilling Procedure:
Drilling your Aquarium for the Shadow Overflow

Determine your desired water level:

  1. 1.
    We find with typical applications within our recommended flow rates the water level in our boxes will rise ¼” to ½” (depending on your GPH of flow) from the bottom of the teeth slots. So mark the drilling template about 1” below the top and this is a rough guide as to where you water level will be. Use this measurement to determine where you would like to place your internal overflow box.
  2. 2.
    Once you have your desired water level determined you can measure and mark how far down the holes will be from the top of the tank using our template. We recommend a minimum 1.5 to 2 inches from the water level to the top of the tank for rimless aquariums. Tanks with plastic bracing or euro bracing, the water level will be higher (depending on where the trim is located). Leave 1/8” to ¼” Clearance from trim to top of template so there is no interference with the trim and front box.
  3. 3.
    Now locate the drilling template where you have determined you need to drill the hole(s). Note that the template is the same outline as the actual Front Overflow Box. Make sure the template is in the CORRECT UP orientation. Manually align the template on the inside of the aquarium and MARK the holes with your marker.
  4. 4.
    After marking the holes locations, use the Rear Overflow Box and align it to the circles you just drew on the aquarium. If the rear box aligns with the holes and is not hitting the rear plastic trim on trimmed tanks (make sure to test with the lid on the rear box as well), then you are ready to mount the template and drill. Mount the drilling template on the outside of the aquarium. You can use duct tape to mount the template, although we do recommend using spring clamps to hold it in place. DO NOT use screw type clamps, these can cause too much localized stress and crack your glass!
  5. 5.
    Make sure to protect the opposite panel and position a bucket or reservoir to catch the plug when it drills through. Also if placing a bucket on the glass, protect the glass from the bucket by placing a piece of paper towel and/or clean cardboard so that the bucket doesn’t scratch the tank.
  6. 6.
    Ideally you will use a cordless drill with an adjustable clutch that can be set very light. This will prevent extra force on the glass should you bind the bit during drilling. It is now time to start drilling!! Pour some regular old water in the template hole to cool and lubricate the hole saw, you will want to keep the bit wet through the whole drilling process. The provided template will keep your hole saw in place. Water will channel thru the template. This is normal and helps cool the drill bit.
  7. 7.
    After drilling for a bit you should be able to remove the hole saw from the template and see a groove starting in the glass. Once you see this groove you may want to remove the drilling template; it has served its purpose. Be sure to start both holes before removing the template.
  8. 8.
    Remember to keep the hole-saw wet through the process for cooling and lubrication. As you get near to the end of drilling the hole you will see the water start to leak through, this is the sign that you are close. At this point you will want to use very light pressure and patience to minimize chip out on the opposite side. However, some chips is normal and likely so don’t worry about them as the gasket will cover and seal them.
  9. 9.
    Once you drill both holes, clean up the drilling mess and dry the aquarium and proceed to install the boxes.