Are Oceanic Tanks Tempered, Can You Drill Them?

Last Updated on October 2, 2022 by cmoarz

Given the company that created and manufactured oceanic tanks no longer makes them (Check out why here) It can be difficult to track down specifics about the old tanks that you might find at secondary markets.

One question that pops up frequently is about its ability to be drilled.

Are Oceanic tanks tempered?

Yes, the bottom panel of an oceanic tank is made of tempered glass and can’t be drilled into without shattering. The side panels however are not tempered and can safely be drilled into with a diamond bit and water.

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This is important to know because if you’re looking to add a drain or an overflow to your setup, you’ll need to drill into the side panels of the tank.

So why do manufacturers temper the bottom of the tanks?

When you temper glass (heat it up and cool it down rapidly), it becomes hardened and much stronger to impact and pressure. This is ideal for an aquarium as the weight of the water and rocks can put a lot of pressure on the glass.

Why aren’t the side panels tempered too?

It stands to reason that tempered glass side panels would be a good idea too since it would make the tanks stronger.

And in a perfect world, They would definitely be stronger. But tempered glass has one weakness that makes them bad for use in the rest of the tank- it’s very brittle.

If you were to accidentally hit the side of a tempered tank, the glass is more likely to shatter than if it was regular (annealed) glass. This is why manufacturers use regular glass for the sides- to avoid the potential for shattering.

Aquariums are also built to have a certain amount of stretching and warping. Tempered glass doesn’t have this flexibility, which leads to unexpected and catastrophic failures.

Tempered glass also has a certain distortion to it that can be very distracting in an aquarium. For these reasons, only the bottom pane of glass is tempered in most aquariums.

So you can still drill your oceanic tank, but you will have to adjust your plans to go into one of the side panels instead of the bottom panel.

Are Oceanic Tanks Tempered, Can You Drill Them?

Given the company that created and manufactured oceanic tanks no longer makes them (Check out why here) It can be difficult to track down specifics about the old tanks that you might find at secondary markets.

One question that pops up frequently is about its ability to be drilled.

Are Oceanic tanks tempered?

Yes, the bottom panel of an oceanic tank is made of tempered glass and can’t be drilled into without shattering. The side panels however are not tempered and can safely be drilled into with a diamond bit and water.

This is important to know because if you’re looking to add a drain or an overflow to your setup, you’ll need to drill into the side panels of the tank.

So why do manufacturers temper the bottom of the tanks?

When you temper glass (heat it up and cool it down rapidly), it becomes hardened and much stronger to impact and pressure. This is ideal for an aquarium as the weight of the water and rocks can put a lot of pressure on the glass.

Why aren’t the side panels tempered too?

It stands to reason that tempered glass side panels would be a good idea too since it would make the tanks stronger.

And in a perfect world, They would definitely be stronger. But tempered glass has one weakness that makes them bad for use in the rest of the tank- it’s very brittle.

If you were to accidentally hit the side of a tempered tank, the glass is more likely to shatter than if it was regular (annealed) glass. This is why manufacturers use regular glass for the sides- to avoid the potential for shattering.

Aquariums are also built to have a certain amount of stretching and warping. Tempered glass doesn’t have this flexibility, which leads to unexpected and catastrophic failures.

Tempered glass also has a certain distortion to it that can be very distracting in an aquarium. For these reasons, only the bottom pane of glass is tempered in most aquariums.

So you can still drill your oceanic tank, but you will have to adjust your plans to go into one of the side panels instead of the bottom panel.

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Owner of AquariumGravel.com and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!