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FAQs on Glass Aquarium Repair, Cutting, Grinding Glass

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Grinding glass??  1/5/11
Hi Bob,
My tank has a built in corner overflow and I'd like to grind the top of the overflow a little. As it stands now, the overflow is actually too high limiting the amount of flow from my main pump. If I open the gate valve a little more, the water rises to glass cover even though my stand pipe sits above the water's surface in the overflow. I bought this tank used quite a while ago from a friend and when I contacted our dealer, he said this company made several tanks with overflows too high. Several got out to dealers before they could correct the problem and I happen to be one of the lucky ones. Is there a safe way I can grind the glass down.
Would probably need to go at least 1/8" but not the entire width of the overflow glass. I thought of buying a diamond cutting bit for my Dremel but I'm leery that the frequency/resonance of the tool may crack the glass, and then I would have a major problem. Thought about buying a HOB overflow, but I don't have the room behind the tank and cannot move the tank forward because of a drop down step in front of the tank.
<I'd grind it... a bit messy, but oh so satisfying>
Not really too fond of HOB overflows to begin with as they can be a PITA.
<Do see the Net re "glass grinding wheel". B>
Re: Grinding glass??  1/5/11
Thanks Bob. I found a Dremel extra wide diamond wheel/grinder on Amazon for 4 bucks.
<I hope your Dremel is tougher than the ones I've owned/used in the past! A regular small/is circular grinder would be my choice.
Have asked ScottV to chime in. BobF>
Re: Grinding glass??
My Dremel is pretty tough, one of the old 380 models (ball bearing). If that doesn't work out, Dremel does make a small drill like diamond grinder that I could try.
<Okay... I still like the hand grinder, WITH the accessory side handle to make sure I don't drop the ding dang thing and crack the darn tank! B>
Re: Grinding glass??
Mmm, you are making me think this is going to be a difficult task. Does glass grind easily with the proper tool?
<It really does. Friend Mike Paletta ground off an inch or more total of extra glass on a very large self-install panel. B>
Re: Grinding glass??  1/5/11
Oh good. I don't have to grind much, probably scallop out a couple of places 1/8" deep for starters. I'll know where I need to be when I no longer see the water against the top glass cover...a little at a time.
What I need to do is stay off that damn Facebook and get some things done around here.....spend waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on the computer.
Time to start scheduling time segments for my daily doings.
<A good idea, plan. B>
Hey James,
As Bob said it is really straightforward and satisfying to grind out some glass! Fairly easy, I personally prefer to use a Dremel for smaller projects like this, but you can get diamond grinding wheels cheap and fast from Richontools.com out of Hong Kong. After you do it you will look for other glass to grind just for the fun of it. I have personally found line boring beer bottles to be a great time killer.
Scott V.
e: Grinding glass?? 1/7/11
Thanks for your input, Scott.
I want to grind some glass!!! Maybe even make my own 4000mm macro, Nikon of course!

Big cracks in Hello, <I say a greeting>     I found a 55g the other day, needless to say one of the short side panels has multiple cracks running the length of the pane. I think my options on fixing it are removing and replacing the whole pane. I'm not sure that siliconing a pane on either side of the broken pane will be effective or safe. Am I correct in my thinking? <Not worth trying... best to cut out old one, replace entirely>     I would rather not tear the tank down, clean and rebuild it as the cost of a piece of plate glass would be close to what I can buy a used non cracked tank for. <Bingo! If cost is the only or primary consideration, I would buy a new tank, make the old one into a non-aquarium... perhaps a terrestrial planted paludarium...> Now that I have dragged this into the basement though, I would like to do something with it. I am wondering if 55's are made with plate glass or tempered glass? <Almost all with plate> If it is plate, I think I can cut it for lids for some other tanks, use the good panes for a plywood tank, or cut the panes and put them back together as a smaller tank.     I do have some experience cutting single and double strength glass from the hardware store. I've never done anything that big though. Thanks for any advice. Peace, -Z- <I would get some help... have a glass shop cut the glass for you if you have any concerns... or lack a cutting table big enough... Bob Fenner>

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