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Old 06-16-2014, 09:40 PM   #1
Matt's Tank
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Questions about building my aquarium


I've decided to build my own aquarium instead of spending thousands on one. I've never done it before and have some questions that you've probably heard a million times before, but I'm going to ask them anyway.

First, if I in tend to place the aquarium on a solid surface like plywood, can I silicone the front, back, and sides on top of the bottom? I've seen it done like that on various websites before, but I've also seen the front, back, and sides siliconed to edges of the bottom. Which is correct, and why? Also, the sides should be inside of the front and back right, or does that not matter?

Second, there's no reason to use hardened glass right? Again, I've heard differing views on this mater when searching online about it. If there is a reason to use hardened glass, what is it?

Finally, dimensions and support. I plan on building it about 72 x 24 x 24. That's about 180 US gallons. Is that a reasonable size from a maintenance standpoint, or would 20" high (or another dimensional change) be easier to maintain for some reason I haven't thought of? I plan on running a 2" glass brace internally around the top and bottom, and a 2" by 24" brace across the top every two feet to prevent bowing and add structural support. Is that complete overkill, or reasonable, or not enough? The last thing I need is 200 gallons of water and glass all over my living room floor.

Thanks for all of the info. I've learned a lot in my short stay here and look forward to learning much much more.
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:43 PM   #2
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I recommend you check out a you tube channel. The king of DIY.
He has great videos that give step by step instructions.


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Old 06-18-2014, 01:16 AM   #3
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by hardened, I assume you mean tempered glass?

I wouldn't use it personally, because if it so much as gets scratched, the whole panel will disintegrate into gravel-sized chunks of glass. And almost every tank gets a scratch in it sooner or later.

Also, I've not personally looked at the numbers, but I was under the impression that unless you are getting up into the thousands of gallons, or building an oddly shaped tank, you won't actually save much money building your own.
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:05 AM   #4
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For that size tank, building is not really worthwhile. You can find much better value shopping used tanks. DIY tanks can become dream tanks very quickly. The type dream that never seems to end and leaves you happy to wake up.
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
by hardened, I assume you mean tempered glass?

I wouldn't use it personally, because if it so much as gets scratched, the whole panel will disintegrate into gravel-sized chunks of glass. And almost every tank gets a scratch in it sooner or later.

Also, I've not personally looked at the numbers, but I was under the impression that unless you are getting up into the thousands of gallons, or building an oddly shaped tank, you won't actually save much money building your own.
Many tanks are made of tempered glass. I've scratched a few. I've not had any "disintegrate. I have seen a tempered glass door explode for no reason though.
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
Many tanks are made of tempered glass. I've scratched a few. I've not had any "disintegrate. I have seen a tempered glass door explode for no reason though.
I know quite a few of the larger ones have tempered bottoms, but are the side panels tempered?

Even so, I may have overstated that. I don't know how much of a scratch is needed to cause tempered glass to shatter, I assume microscopic/superficial ones probably don't matter. I think this is the same mechanism behind "ninja rocks", where people have used fragments of old spark plug porcelain to shatter the glass in automobile doors.
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