DIY Acrylic tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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DIY Acrylic tank

I got some acrylic that is 9 3/4 x 12 and plan on making a 4.6 gallon tank with the dimensions (WxHxL) 9.75"x9.75"x12" It will be rimless as possible with some corner braces possibly. The acrylic will be 1/8" thick

Can anyone tell me if it is bad that i will be using Weld on 16 vs Weld on 4? I was planning on doing that then finishing the edges with silicone (aquarium safe)

Thanks,
Connor E


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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 02:36 AM
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It's really hard to DIY a plexi tank and have it turn out half way decent. I've got a source for small acrylic tanks that is reasonable, PM me if you're interested.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the offer. If it does turn out i will like the dimensions a lot.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 03:22 AM
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http://www.duboisi.com/diy/BNdiytank/bndiytank.htm

check this out

acrylic tanks arn't that bad to make especially for the size your shooting for. ive built custom acrylic tanks for water cooling applications on computers (lots of angles to make if fit the space, many times with not a issue.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 04:55 PM
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Silicone isn't of much value when used with acrylic. It will just make the joints look sloppy. Instead, if you want a filet in the corners, use high viscosity acrylic cement, or make your own with acrylic sawdust mixed with acetone or low viscosity acrylic cement. That will make near transparent corners and look pretty neat, especially compared to silicone, plus it adds to the strength of the joints, which silicone won't.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 04:35 PM
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Hi Connor,

I think you'd be fine and I would encourage you to try it out. I would suggest using Weldon 4 instead of the 16. You could use the 16 as extra insurance on the inside seams but it isn't necessary.

The trick to putting an acrylic aquarium together is to use good acrylic and to have good, finished edges. For such a small aquarium, almost any acrylic would do but for something bigger I would suggest domestic, clear-cast acrylic. I also prefer to go with 1/4 inch just to be sure I won't get a bulging aquarium.

To get a good edge, have a professional cut it to your dimensions AND tell them to route the edges clean. If you're doing it yourself, you need an acrylic blade in your saw and a good straight edge router bit to eliminate the rough edges.

Build the sides first and then the bottom. Glue using the acrylic needle dispensers while slightly lifting the side using pins. Pull the pins after you've applied the glue and hold the piece straight with something. A little weight on top to push out the bubbles also helps.

Hope that helps.

Good luck,

Art

Regards,

Art
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 05:24 PM
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I made a 10" cube and 11" cube using 3/16" acrylic and Weld-On #4 (using a syringe and fine-tipped water color paintbrush to apply the glue) about 9 months ago. You can also use the #3 glue which is slightly thinner. These were my first acrylic DIY attempts. It took a lot of patience, but the results turned out to be pretty good.

Weld-On #3 & #4 are water thin. #16 is a thicker grade. #3 & #4 dry quick, #16 is a bit slower. The post from MiamiArt was right on the mark. During construction (gluing process) make sure you are working in a well ventilated area. After the glue has cured, do a leak test. If there are leaks, it's an easy fix... just reapply the gluing process again (very carefully).

I ended up with a few air bubbles in my seams, but they are water tight and almost 'not' noticeable when filled. Posted a couple pics of these tanks.


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Last edited by wastewater; 11-11-2010 at 09:13 PM.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 05:30 PM
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Very nice work! Congrats!

I forgot to mention that polishing the edges after the aquarium is done will result in visually clear edges. It's hard, manual labor but it's worth it.

Regards,

Art
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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thats nice!

I haven't built it yet as i haven't been able to make it to the cutter. The acrylic i have is 1/4" thick


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-05-2010, 06:03 AM
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1/8" is not thick enough use at least 1/4". It will start to bow and your joints will seperate. The biggest thing to look for when doing this is make sure that you have nicely sanded and straight edges. It will glue better and also look much nicer.
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