Tearing down a 75 gallon tank to clean up water

My Overflow box strikes again! This thing is the bane of my carpeting! This time, it caused a flood in a different way. The drain tubes fell out of the tank. They stayed put for over a month, then fell out twice within 6 hours. I don’t get it.

Trying to dry out under the tank. This didn’t work very well. I was told ‘the house stank’ so the tank has to move so the leak can be cleaned up properly.



This is the area where the tubes went. The hoses just slipped into the tank here between the filter and the side of the light hood. The tubes where long enough, it just seemed to work well.

My solution is to simple – put a long deck screw in so I can affix the tubes to the screw so they won’t fall out anymore.

The water left in the tank got put into 2 large totes and a 5 gallon bucket. The Oscars are in one of the tubs. Brother is checking out the fish here.



The tank is sitting on some saw horses so it’s out of the way. I moved the base aside just to get it out of the way. The tank can set on the saw horses just fine while the carpet dries.

The room gets a little bare with the tank missing.

The tank hopefully get all put back together tonight.

Upside down Aquarium

You would think, with all the water I have had on the floor in the last week, that I would not want to try something as crazy as an
upside down fish tank.

Uh-huh. Not me.

Yesterday, during lunch break, I slapped together an inverted tank to put into my nanotank.

You see, upside down fish tank is only telling half the story, you need a regular side up tank as well to make them work. Have you ever done dishes, and pulled a glass out of the dishwater upside down? Notice how the glass stayed full right up until you pulled it out of the water? This fish tank works the same way. You put the upside down tank into another container of water, and suck all the air out of it.

Brilliantly simple, really. I saw it on YouTube.

Upside down aquarium
Upside down aquarium

This is what the upside down tank looks like right after I made it. Notice the two open areas on each end. This allows the fish to swim into it.

Inverted Aquarium in my nano-tank
Inverted aquarium in my nano-tank

Looking down the length of my nano-tank (nanotank means VERY small fish tank – mine’s 4 inches by 4 inches by 4 feet) you can see the inverted tank at the far end. It’s just a tad on the wide side, so didn’t want to go in on one side. I guess my home-made aquarium isn’t perfectly square. I cut the end pieces myself.

Upside down Aquarium in a regular Aquarium
See the 2 platys in the lower right?

Here is the inverted aquarium looking at it from how you would normally see it. There are two fish in it here, you can kinda pick them out against the busy backdrop.

My upside down tank in my nano tank on my 75 gallon aquarium
My upside down tank in my nano tank on my 75 gallon aquarium

The whole mess sits on top of my 75 gallon tank, and is actually functionally part of the 75 gallon tank.

You see, Nano-tanks can be VERY difficult to manage do to their extreme small size. They don’t have any thermal mass, the water can go bad in a matter of hours if something starts to decompose in them. Just fussy tanks all the way around. I cheat, I have a 75 gallon ‘buffer’ tank to act as a filter for my nano tank. Yeah, Yeah, I know. I cheat.

The inverted fish tank is just a prototype. I will probably only keep running it for a few weeks until I make the next version of it (read that as Months or Years).

Not quite as impressive as it sounds, is it?

What do you think?

The trouble with water

The trouble with water is that it likes the lowest point it can find. In my case, it’s the carpeted floor.

I am struggling with the overflow box.

I found a small pin hole in the top part of the siphon. This only showed when the hole was dry. I guess when it was wet, water couldn’t be pulled through, but dry, air can get through. Some silicone fixed that easy enough.

With that, I got the water flowing again through the siphon.

About 10-15 minutes later, the tank overflows. It looks like with my new, longer tubing routed the way it is along the back of the big tank, air bubbles form and block water flow.

This caused the tank to overflow. Again.

I will try routing the tubes to go into the tank more directly. With no horizontal tubing, the air bubbles should not form.

If THAT doesn’t work, i will find bigger tubing and outlet ports. It’s drilled for a size larger tubing with a reduced outlet port.

If that doesn’t work, I will drill the ports directly into the side of the tank. I will probably take the glass end-cap off and put in acrylic so I can drill it more easily.

Aqurium Disaster

We woke up Saterday morning to this. Yep, a half empty 75 gallon fish tank.
The culprit is somehow my new Overflow Box. It didn’t seem to leak. The only thing I can think of is that one of the the drain tubes (looped back on itself here to test for leaks) was in a bad spot and caused water to drain out of the tank as opposed to into the tank.
Here I have looped the drain tube onto itself to test for leaks. I filled the overflow box up. Note the water in the box vs the green tank.
Here you can see that the water drained out of the overlow into the tank. So there IS a leak, but it’s on the tank side. Not a big deal, really. There is a joint on the tank side I can’t seem to be able to seal up.

I just can’t figure any better then the tubes weren’t long enough and moved in the middle of the night so water drained out the side of the tank.
I am going to cut longer drain tubes and zip-tie them into the inside of the tank.

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Homemade Aqaurium Weir Siphon Overflow Box

First off, what is the world is an aquarium weir siphon overflow box?

Well, everyone knows what an aquarium is, and that I like my fish tanks!
Most people are familiar with a siphon – a hose that allows you to drain water out of a container over the side of the container.
A weir is basically a long dam where the water overflows for the full length of the dam.
An overflow box is a type of aquarium filter.

So, basically, I am making a dam, that siphons water out of a fish tank.
The neat thing about doing it this way, is that the siphon won’t ‘break’ when the water level gets too low, as the weir (or dam) will hold the siphon. Quite a clever setup actually. I wish I had thought of it.
I read about this probably well over a year ago. I did a quick search, and found the same site! http://www.melevsreef.com/acrylics/overflow.html

So, with a quick look over their instructions, I completely disregarded them as to measurements, and made up my own. I just wanted the concept.

So, after much scientific analysis, here are my measurements. Yeah, Yeah, I mocked it up in cardboard. I did actually take a measurement! I measured the inside of my 4″x4″x4′ nano tank. The idea is that I will make a ‘stream’ fish tank like nobody else has!


So, from the 1 measurement, I made it square, as an overflow box MUST be BOX shaped, or it’s an overflow rectangle, and, well, we just can’t have that. I started cutting away at my plastic.

This is a high-precision operation I run hear. Silicone my tolerances! I taped the two sides together, and cut them with a coping saw.

After many long, excruciating seconds calculating the flow rate for the whole contraption, I just held the damn thing up to the tank and eyeballed how high I wanted the water to be in the tank and made the weir element that tall.

Here you can see the start of the inside of the siphon element. You can start to see the difficulties assembly will incur, due to the various bits and pieces getting in the way of sealing the seams. It can really only be assembled from the inside out and be able to be sealed. (high tolerances, remember?)

This is what the completed unit would look like. It’s just taped together here, waiting to be cut apart and glued together.

This is what it looks like hanging on the side of the tank. Pretty cool looking, I think. I need to add the outflow pipes yet. But you can get the idea. The water will overflow the weir on the right side, inside the aquarium. The water will be siphoned over to the left side, where it will overflow the second weir into the outflow box.



Remember those high tolerances. Yeah, you know, measure twice, cut once. Don’t let the ruler slide around as you cut. I have a leak. I turned the thing upside down, and filled the siphon area to see if it will hold water. Nope, my work ‘sucks’ air. No worry. 100% Aquarium silicone to seal up the leak. **grin**