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Build your own aquarium

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Build your own aquarium Empty Build your own aquarium

Post by Sandman1969 on Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:23 am

Has anyone here built a large aquarium and if so, what site(s) did you use for parts? I am thinking about doing this again for my shark. I mean again looking into it. What I'd like to do is one that is double the width of his current tank, like another foot or 2 wider.

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Build your own aquarium Empty Re: Build your own aquarium

Post by sucker4plecos on Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:51 am

I have not built any tanks but I have fixed and resealed many, many of them. It is easy to think about making a tank that's bigger, but you have to realize that the more water that a tank will hold, the more weight and pressure there will be from the water inside (that wants to move outside). The reason new tanks come with braces built into the trim is to help hold tanks together and keep the glass from bowing under the pressure. If you have an older tank without any bracing, try putting a level or other straight surface against the long glass panel sometime and you are likely going to see it bowing outward. The bracing helps keep this under control and allows for thinner glass to be used which helps keep the cost of a new tank to a reasonable amount. If you look at the pricing of new aquariums, you will see a large jump in pricing when you get taller tanks. This is because there is more pressure to consider and thicker, more expensive glass needs to be used. So, if you are looking to build your own tank, you should use trim that has a built in brace, and when available (they are harder to find these days) you can only get them in basic, standard sizes. Custom building a tank will require you to find extra thick glass to hold the tank together, which will be harder to cut properly and safely. You will likely have to build a form of some kind to hold the panels together when siliconing and assembling the tank. It will also end up extra heavy because you have used thicker glass. I have moved new 100 gallon tanks by myself if I had to - and old thick 50 gallon tank would be very difficult.

Hope that helps.
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Post by Sandman1969 on Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:50 am

There's actually a place in London that makes the panels, just forget where. There's also sites that sell the braces of various sizes.

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Post by alexmtl on Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:02 pm

Hi @Sandman1969

You may wish to look at SBenson11 build of plywood tanks for his koi
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Build your own aquarium Empty Re: Build your own aquarium

Post by Sandman1969 on Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:19 pm

@alexmtl wrote:Hi @Sandman1969

You may wish to look at SBenson11 build of plywood tanks for his koi

Needs to be see through like a normal tank. That plywood one was just for the cold months was it not?

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Build your own aquarium Empty Re: Build your own aquarium

Post by jjohnwm on Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:24 pm

I've built a bunch of plywood tanks, probably 12-15 or so, over the years. They have all had a glass viewing window in one side, and are IMHO much easier to construct than all-glass tanks when you are talking about larger sizes. Mine have almost all been either 120-gallons (4x2x2 feet, largest size easily built from one standard 4x8 sheet of plywood) or 360-gallons (8x3x2 feet, uses 3 sheets of plywood). Keeping the height at 24 inches has allowed me to use 1/2-inch glass which has a huge safety margin at that pressure, and assembly of the wood is easily done with screws and glue, no fiberglass reinforcement required. These tanks are very tough and reliable; one might conceivably spring a small leak due to careless construction or some type of damage, but plywood construction is virtually impervious to the horror of a full seam release, which can and does occasionally happen with all-glass tanks and which dumps all the water onto the floor at once.

Google around, there is a vast amount of info on building these things. It's very satisfying and...dare I say?...fun.
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