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Old 08-18-2009, 01:48 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Is the upper opening to the room there for access to the tank? Yes. As the tank has a height of 2 feet and a width of 3 feet, I need to access the tank both from the front and also the rear Unless I take to ducking into the 'Behemont' like Tom Barr.

And, do you intend to use the daylight outside as a supplemental light source? When I built the 'Incomparable' the elder twin of this tank seven years ago,it was my intention to use the direct Eastern sunlight in the morning and indirect sunlight for the rest of the day. I followed this routine till my experiment with CO2 and the 'Madhatter System'. The problem with using CO2 is that you need the light to be strong enough to use up the gas. I started having problems on the overcast days of the monsoon when we don't have the sun for weeks. I was forced to supplement the natural light with artificial light. From one problem into another as on bright days I had too much light which had to be monitored, especially when the sun took to hiding and peeping around clouds. So from clear float glass of the Eastern opening (you cannot keep it open or you will invite the dragonflies to lay eggs during the day, and the night time fliers like the great diving beetle, water scorpions etc. to colonise your tank) went through several metamorphosis. Grounded glass, smoky glass, mirror to keep the natural light out and the artificial in, finally the ideal in my case a half mirror smoky enough to allow only a part of the natural light in and reflective enough to keep most of the artificial light in. The variation of the light intensity was finally reduced to acceptable ranges.

And, how will the front, viewing glass be held in? If you take another look at the last 2 attachments above, you will observe that I took care to leave 2.5" strip all around the front of the tank free from plaster of Paris (I used masking tape to achieve this). Using epoxy cement, I intend to create a frame using 2.5" wide strips of black granite, 3/4" thick. The front glass will be fitted from behind this frame (ie. from the tank side) using silicone paste. Over the years I have developed a healthy respect for Murphy's Law and take no chances to invite it.

This is shaping up very nicely!
Thank you for your appreciation.
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:42 AM   #32
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As the plaster of Paris cured; I took up the work of making the hatch doors. The rear hatch door is in place. The glass chosen for this is a half mirror with the mirror side facing the tank, the hatch opens outwards and hangs. This choice gives me several options - closed, it allows part of the natural light (including direct sunlight) in and also traps most of the aquarium artificial lights; while open I can get a lot of natural light including some reflected in by the mirror.

Today's Sunday, so let me see if I can get a couple of helping hands today, if so I can have the bottom glass laid today.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:44 AM   #33
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Wow, this is a very cool project. Looking forward to seeing it completed!

AzFishKid
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:02 AM   #34
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I have yet to organize some helping hands for the bottom glass. Meanwhile the front hatch gets put into place, it is yet incomplete as the fittings on it can only be completed after I complete the glazed tile work. The rear of the hatch is a full mirror as I want the entire area of the aquarium top to be reflective. This mirror also ensures that the indirect natural light from the rear hatch is directed to the rear wall of the tank.

I also installed the fan for the aquarium cooling.

I have lots of promises for helping hands this weekend ............. so lets see if I can get some of the glasses up.
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:02 AM   #35
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Got the sun back after 4 days, so took this picture which demonstrate the light entering from the rear hatch and being reflected by the mirror behind the front hatch.
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Old 08-30-2009, 02:07 AM   #36
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The helping hands arrived but the time was spent more on discussions about the tank than work on the tank. I did take advantage of the hobbyist to get the bottom glass on the floor of the tank - but that's about all as all thoughts of silicone work disappeared once I found that I have a slight problem.

The floor is level. The glass does fit. The problem is that the right side inner corner is an inch deeper (more behind) than the left corner. I need to fill this gap before doing the silicone work that's all. So I have left the glass in place and have masked its rear with tape. The other masking tapes on the walls and floor are for the spillage of silicone when I take up that work. I will fill the gap with epoxy putty today and let that cure with the glass in place.

I am also adding a schematic cross section drawing (not to scale) to allow you to picture exactly what I am trying to build.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:48 PM   #37
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So the bottom glass is now in place and I took the liberty to climb on top of it and walk all over it. Now I weigh 100 Kgs. so my foot will create a dynamic difference of pressure under it which will be much more than the dead weight of substrate and water. The glass did not crack. So I would expect it to be safe enough to go to the next stage.
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:55 PM   #38
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Thank you for posting that schematic. I must admit I have been having some trouble understanding what your plan is from just the photos. This is a very cool project!
Did you end up supporting the bottom pane on a complete layer of silicone? Or just along the edges? The water/substrate will definitely be a more even load on the glass. I agree that if you can walk on it you should have no problems with the substrate and water...
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:49 PM   #39
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Well, if worst comes to worst, you can always use that as an extra bathtub Or, perhaps have a party, with a "girl in the aquarium"??
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Old 09-03-2009, 11:32 PM   #40
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The rear glass was delivered. I first put it in and placed it against the rear to see its fit. No problems. Next was to mask the tank side edges, I want these virgin from silicon so when I ultimately seal the tank with silicone; the sealing silicone will not be interfered with by any old paste.

Next job was preparing the rear of the glass (the wall side). Keeping the edges free, I used silicone to attach a 4mm thick polyester pad with light touches of silicone. Next the glass goes back to the tank, a thick bead of silicone is applied to the edges and the glass is firmly pushed against the wall. Then I rest there with my back firmly against the glass. There was no danger of the glass falling back as the silicone had already started to cure but still I use some duck tape to be doubly sure.

Morning - I inspect my handy work and remove the duck tapes.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:42 AM   #41
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Most large aquarium have bracing for safety; why should this tank be different. For the safety of the front (viewing) glass I have external bracing in form of a frame made from 2.25" wide and 0.75" thick black granite fixed to the masonry sides. I put this up today as without it I could not take the measurements of the side glasses.
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:12 AM   #42
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I got the left side lined with glass using the same method as the rear glass. This glass had to have the right upper corner cut off to accommodate the beam below the front hatch door. The glass on the right has to go through the same treatment with the addition of being drilled.

The preparation before the next stage delays the speed of work especially when you are in need of helping hands.
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:49 PM   #43
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The right side glass is ready, I have cut the corner and tested the glass by keeping it where it would ultimately go - result acceptable. I then drilled 2 holes, 3" apart at a height which is just above the top stone frame member of the front glass. These holes are meant to take the overflow from the tank into the sump that I intend to create in the storage area next to the tank. I placed the glass against the masonry side of the tank and marked the position of the holes for drilling.

Tomorrow it is going to be a hammer and chisel day as I carve out the 1" diameter hole through the wall. The only thing that I feel happy about this evening is that the wall is only 5" brick work.
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Old 09-08-2009, 02:00 PM   #44
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I can't wait to see this full of water...
I don't think I need to tell you this, but be careful to protect the glass when you do the chisel work
Keep up the good work!
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Old 09-09-2009, 02:18 PM   #45
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The 2 holes are done. I cheated used a drill instead of the hammer and chisel.

Hope I have help tomorrow to fit the glass.
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