Tempered Glass Finder

Tempered Glass Finder

This is a handy guide to help you find out information regarding which aquariums can possibly be drilled for installation of an overflow and sump system.

I have scoured the forums, manufactures websites and any information I could find to try and gather you as much information as I could. I have placed the information on here where I could find proof that holes had been drilled.

The Beginners Reef takes no responsibilities for the accuracy of the information posted here. It is just a guide and you must do your own due diligence to confirm the information before drilling.

I have placed the manufactures contact information for you to easily access them and confirm on what you would like to do to your aquarium.

Drilling your aquarium is at your own risk and will void the manufacturer’s warranty.

How to See if Your Glass is Tempered

Tempered glass is a process that glass manufacturers use to increase the strength in a pane of glass. Most aquariums have tempered glass on the bottom pane when you start getting above the 30 gallon range. Some aquariums are tempered on every pane of glass. It really does take some research to be sure before you drill!

The effect of drilling a tempered pane of glass is an explosion of a million pieces – Not going to hold water any more!! There are some tricks to seeing if the pane you want to drill is tempered but it is not a guaranteed method.
The only way to guarantee is to contact the manufacturer directly and ask.

Wikipedia recommends using a pair of Polarised Sunglasses or a Polarised Photography Lens Filter to see the patterns within the glass caused by the tempering process.

Many of the forums recommend putting on Polarised Sunglasses and looking down the front pane of glass or looking at the pane from a 45° angle.

Again this is all a best guess. If I find a more exacting process I’ll be sure to update this post.

How to Drill Your Aquarium

Drilling an aquarium is a very simple process once you know it is not tempered. Buying the correct size drill bit for the intended bulkhead, using Plumbers Putty to create a dam around the hole, lots of water and going slow with little pressure will have you through the pane in no time!

This video from Bulk Reef Supply is a great tutorial.

Aqueon Aquariums

Aqueon Tempered Glass Guide

Contact Aqueon


Contact Aqueon Products
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CST

Write to:
Aqueon Products
Central Aquatics
5401 West Oakwood Park Drive
Franklin, WI 53132

Coralife Aquariums

Biocube BC14

See Forum Thread Here

Drilled Biocube BC14

Biocube BC 29

See Forum Thread Here

Biocube BC29 Holes

Contact Coralife


Toll-Free: 888-255-4527
M – F 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM CST

Write to:
Attn: Coralife Customer Service
Central Aquatics
5401 W. Oakwood Park Drive
Franklin, WI 53132

Red Sea Aquariums

Red Sea Max 130 Only – 130D Not Tested

See Forum Thread Here

Drilled Red Sea Max 130

Contact Red Sea



Write to:
4687 World Houston Parkway #150
Houston, TX 77032