Notice to the reader
This thread has grown far beyond what I ever expected, along with the amount of work it describes. The work is complete, so I've taken what I've learned, as documented in this thread, and posted it here
in a much abbreviated form.
To make this monster thread a bit more usable, I've tried to create a click-able Table of Contents below.
Table of Contents
Marc's Amano tanks
Silicone/Glass Thickness/Frame issues
Silicone gap thickness
Stand interior plans
Glass finally arrives
Stand and plumbing pics
Aborted start pics
Assembly begins pics
Untested "finished" tank pics
Early victory declared
Replacing the back panel
Front panel fails
Challenging assumptions / silicone research
Front panel replaced
Offering to the Gods of Glass
This may improve readability and ease of navigation. The thread keeps falling back to 4 stars or less. So I assume length, too much discussion and not enough results (no pics of successful stuff!) may be frustrating some people. My apologies. I hope this helps a little.
Thanks for your help, moral support, and perseverance - Steve
========================== original post #1 begins below =====================
I'm calling it "the Big Clear Kahuna". This will be the documentation of my attempt to build a large tank, entirely of glass and silicone. If this turns our well, it'll be very exciting. And if it doesn't, this will serve as a warning to anyone considering the same!
I'm starting this tread with a real debt to people on this forum. Upon coveting a new, larger tank I started this thread
to try to understand what tank size would be best for a planted tank, assuming the primary objective was having a great looking tank. My thanks to everyone that helped with that question.
With the insights gained there, I began to explore my next tank size. Though my ultimate decision was not completely consistent with things learned in the aforementioned thread, I found I had to work around two very real constraints: total system cost and weight. That lead me to a decision for something in the 75g to 90g size, or 48x18 footprint.
With size somewhat settled, I began looking for a tank that satisfied a few personal requirements:
- All glass - no rims, no frames, like ADA tanks
- Low iron glass - clear, no green tint, great optics
- No tempered bottom - ready for bulkhead drilling if required
This proved to be either very expensive to have built and shipped to the east coast, or relying on questionable production quality, or dealing with vendors in my area that just did not want to be bothered with custom orders for tanks of that size (not big enough). I was SOL.
But with the help of everyone in this thread
I decided to build my own. Thank you!
And special thanks to John P. who had the insane idea in the first place.
So I've ordered the glass from a local glass shop, having first prototyped some concepts in the most previously mentioned thread above. I'm getting a deal on the ultra clear glass because I'm willing to wait a long time to get the glass, or even mix and match various types of ultra clear, low iron glass. It helps the glass shop because I cover their cost in filling orders for this expensive stuff that otherwise would not have used a full sheet. It's a win-win scenario. Only question is, how long will it take to get all the glass I need?
So now I wait for the glass.
But in the interim, below are some diagrams of the glass I've ordered.
More after I get the glass, could be a while. But I hope to fully photo document this adventure. For as I indicated above, it could be helpful to someone else. Or it could serve as a warning to someone equally foolish!