large wooden, acrylic tank - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-23-2006, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 25
large wooden, acrylic tank

hi everybody!

ive been trying to start a diy aquarium for about a year but i have never motivated myself enough to do it. the aquarium im pllaning is to be 14 feet long, 1.5 feet wide, and 2 feet deep. i already have the 14 by 2 acrylic sheet in my basement, but im a little confused on how to bond it with wood.

any ideas?????
legendaryfrog is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-23-2006, 04:18 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,012
I think that type of tank is generally made as an epoxy/fiberglass covered wooden tank, with a acrylic front window only. The problems are making the wooden tank structurally sound and totally leak free. The acrylic is placed so the water pressure forces it against the front frame of the tank, aiding in sealing it. I haven't even thought about trying to build one, so don't give my "advice" much weight.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-23-2006, 05:22 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
fish_lover0591's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New york
Posts: 695
Send a message via AIM to fish_lover0591
1 wouldn't reccomend that you build a tank longer than 96 inches.

Material = Plywood w/ Acrylic
Tank Height = 24"
Tank Width = 12.5"
Tank Length = 96 "
Plywood w/ Acrylic Thickness = 3/4"
Approximate Gallons = 125



Cut List:
3/4" Exterior Grade Plywood
Bottom = 96 " x 12 1/2"
Front = 96 " x 23 1/4"
Back = 96 " x 23 1/4"
2 Sides = 23 1/4 " x 11"
3 Top Brace = 11 " x 6"


1/2 inch Acrylic Front
Acrylic Front = 94 x 21 1/4


Plywood Tank Construction

CONTENTS
ASSEMBLE TANK
TANK PAINTING
INSTALL GLASS
FINAL FINISH



PLEASE PRINT THIS PAGE FOR LATER USE


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TANK IS A 2-3 PERSON PROJECT

Tools
a. 1- portable or table power saw
b. 1- screw gun, with Phillips bit
c. 1- orbital or belt sander, with medium grit
d. 1- caulking gun
e. 4-inch paint brushes, one for each day of painting [ KEEP BRUSHES IN FREEZER TO REUSE ]
f. 2- 16-inch stanchions (May be boxes, or anything of this height, used to support the plywood pieces during construction)
g. Various containers for mixing glue, putty, and paint
MATERIAL LIST
Materials List
c. 2-inch drywall screws
d. Resorcenol waterproof glue
e. Autobody putty w/ hardener
f. Two-part epoxy paint for potable water tanks (NSF 61/USDA/ANSI/AWWA and FDA certified and
approved)
g. Silicon caulking, non-toxic aquarium suitable
h. Xylene glass cleaner
i. Commercial glass cleaner
j. 6-sheets, 120 grit sandpaper
k. 2-sheets, 220 grit sandpaper
l. 2-packs, paper towels Sufficient for more than two tanks
CUTTING LIST
Work Area
A clean, dry work area is needed, indoors if necessary to insure cleanliness, out-of-doors if possible. Secondary, well ventilated, warm area for final tank drying after construction.
TANK ASSEMBLY
Single Tank Construction Procedure, Tank Assembly
Cut out the front frame. Ensure you leave a minimum of 2 inches around the edges.
Inspect all plywood pieces for rough or flawed edges, which might later affect tank integrity. Sand as needed.
Lay bottom panel on the 16-inch stanchions.
Apply glue along all four edges of bottom panel, sufficiently heavy to accommodate the edges of the backpanel, endpanels, and face frame.
Raise backpanel up under bottom panel, mating long edge of backpanel into glue along edge of bottom panel. Insure that edges are flush, and that they make a 90-degree corner.
Turn bottom panel over, glue side down, centered on stanchions so that all edges of bottom panel are accessible.
Using screwgun, screw backpanel to bottom panel, inserting 2-inch drywall screws at 3-inch intervals along entire length. INSURE THAT ALL SCREWS ARE FULLY SEATED, AND TIGHT.
Apply glue along one 16 inch edge of each side panel.
Raise each side panel up under bottom panel, and screw tightly to both bottom panel and backpanel. Place drywall screws at three inch intervals.
Apply glue along inside edges of face frame, where they will mate with the endpanels. Raise lower face frame up under remaining edge of bottom-panel, and screw into place to bottom panel and endpanels.
Use three (3) screws in each end, and normal three-inch intervals along length. Insure that all edges are flush, and tight, after final tightening of screws.

*** WIPE EXCESS GLUE FROM ALL JOINTS AFTER FINAL TIGHTENING, AS IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO CHIP OR SAND AWAY AFTER IT IS HARDENED. ***


Turn partially-completed tank right side up on stanchions for inspection. At this point, all panels screwed together should rest on the bottom panel, for the strongest possible base.
If this is not the case, quickly disassemble the pieces before the glue sets, and reassemble properly.
Turn the tank face-up on the stanchions.
Apply glue to FRONT exposed edges of endpanels.
Lay upper face frame in place, and screw to edge panels, using three screws in each end.
Check short face frame pieces for proper fit, sanding if necessary. THEY MUST FIT TIGHTLY WITHOUT SPRINGING UPPER AND LOWER FACE FRAME PIECES APART.
Apply glue to ends of short face frame pieces.
Lay short face frame pieces into place, and screw firmly to end panels, insuring that the outer edges are flush with the ends of the tank.
Recheck all work, wiping away excess glue, and insuring that corners are square, true, and not pulled open by later construction.
Allow to dry overnight if possible, though this is not critical.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TANK PAINTING
Single Tank Construction Procedure, Painting --
Precautions FOR ALL PROCEDURES INVOLVING EPOXY PAINT, THE FOLLOWING PRECAUTIONS MUST BE ADHERED TO.

1. NO SMOKING
2. DO NOT LET BRUSHES DRY
3. DO NOT BREATH FUMES
APPLY PAINT IN A WELL-VENTILATED AREA, PREFERABLY OUT-OF-DOORS, AND MOST ESPECIALLY AWAY FROM THE AIR SUPPLY INTAKE. THE FUMES ARE HIGHLY TOXIC, AND MAY RESULT IN SERIOUS RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS IN HUMANS IF THEY ARE CONCENTRATED AND EXPOSURE IS PROLONGED.


This is absolutely the most important part of any plywood fish tank made, and the least researched by the vast majority of aquarium DIY people. A tank coating that doesn't poison fish.
The only sealer/coating that is qualified for use in an aquarium is a TWO PART EPOXY FOR POTABLE WATER TANKS. This coating is used to seal the interior of several thousand gallon community drinking water tanks, as a coating for holding tanks in fish farms and as a liner for large public aquariums. These coatings are NSF 61/USDA/ANSI/AWWA and FDA certified and approved. Further, epoxy coatings are highly resistant to salts and corrosion and are recommended for marine use.
Some brand name coatings that can be used are:

----- sherwin williams brand "Epoxide HS Tank Lining"-----
----- rustoleum brand "9200" system epoxy with color choices one of which is "9271" dunes tan-------

These epoxies contain no solvents or volatile organic compounds and are usually composed of 100% solids. Additionally, solvents and thinners are not recommended for use with this epoxy because they would defeat the purpose of using a non-toxic coating. There are other manufacturers of epoxy and many of them have nsf 61 approved epoxy for potable water. Further, if one finds an epoxy that is not recommended for use with potable water, not nsf 61 certified, I suggest against using it.

This potable water epoxy may cost a little more than a different coating but on the other hand, IT IS NOT POISONOUS TO FISH. From what I have read, I could suggest against using as a tank liner; enamel, acrylic enamel, urethane, fiberglass, gel coat and polyester resin, all of these release/outgass poisonous volatile organic compounds, VOC's. On a side note, in my opinion, only the part of the tank that touches the water needs to be coated with this epoxy. The outside of the tank can be coated with a less expensive paint, maybe a urethane.


Apply epoxy paint to all exposed wood surfaces of tank.
Make coat of paint as thin as possible, while covering the wood surfaces completely, because the paint runs easily.
Allow coat to dry overnight.
Fill all cracks and holes with autobody putty, making as smooth a surface as possible.



Sand entire surface, using 120-grit paper or power sander, and apply second coat. Insure that the coat is as thin as possible, to avoid running paint.
Use the 120-grit sandpaper for sanding the first two coats of epoxy paint.
220-grit for sanding the third coat, in preparation for the fourth or final finish coat.
(If power sander is used. then the sanding pressure applied would be less for the last coat.)
Repeat procedure in steps until four (4) coats of the epoxy paint are applied.
Allow tank to dry in well-ventilated, warm area for 24 hours before proceeding.
Glass Installation




Turn tank face down on level, flat surface, insuring that entire face frame is supported.
Use 220-grit sandpaper to rough up a two-inch strip of the epoxy paint on the inside of the tank, around the glass opening. This rough area will serve as a bonding area for the silicon glue.
Sand or file all corners of the glass panel, to avoid later injury to either workers or fish.
Clean entire surface, and edges, of glass panel with Xylene cleaner, and then commercial glass cleaner.
Apply 1/2-inch bead of silicon caulking around entire opening in face frame, on inside of tank. The bead should be approximately one inch from edge of opening, except along the top, and there the bead should be approximately one-half inch from edge of opening.
Install glass on inside of tank, insuring that the lower edge of the glass is resting full-length against bottom panel of tank for support.
Press evenly on glass to remove all bubbles and gaps from silicon caulking seal.
Recaulk glass, along all edges. pressing caulking with finger firmly into the corner formed by glass and face frame. Final caulking seal should be smooth, rounded, and gap and bubble free. Wipe any excess caulking away after seal is finished.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FINAL FINISH
Single Tank Construction Procedure, Final Assembly Points
Using three screws for each end of brace, install tank top brace, centered, spanning from top, inside edge of backpanel to top inside edge of upper face frame.
Apply heavy bead of silicon caulking into all interior corners of tank, again smoothing the seal with finger, removing all gaps and bubbles, and wiping away excess caulking when finished.
Allow tank to dry for 48 hours in warm, dry area before adding water.


Straight from garf.org If You need the pictures go to Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation Home Page and scroll down to DIY pages (Alll the way at the bottom) and Click Tank Building Then Type in The info.

Good Luck !

- Fishlover
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.
My Tanks :
fish_lover0591 is offline  
 
post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2006, 02:00 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
mrbelvedere's Avatar
 
PTrader: (51/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Saint Joseph, Illinois
Posts: 2,783
Send a message via AIM to mrbelvedere Send a message via Yahoo to mrbelvedere
This just sounds like a horrible idea. One that will have several hundreds of gallons of water on your floor.

I'm not sure how it would turn out if you weren't really even aware of how to make one in the first place. Best left to a professional.

In college....so no aquariums for a while.....
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
mrbelvedere is offline  
post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2006, 02:39 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
fish_lover0591's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New york
Posts: 695
Send a message via AIM to fish_lover0591
Thats exactly what i think but to each his own. I Don't like the look of plywood and acrylic tanks. But i do know that i will be building a custom tank for my room in the future

- Fishlover
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.
My Tanks :
fish_lover0591 is offline  
post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2006, 01:07 PM
Guest
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 40
Check out MonsterFishKeepers.com they have all kinds of home built tanks and how they did them.
bigdaddytank is offline  
post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2006, 04:51 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,012
Any really big tank is a potential disaster, because of the weight of all of that water, and the damage that can be done by that much water spilled on the floor. If the tank is on a concrete slab floor, on the ground floor, you would have the best chance of avoiding a disaster. And, building something that can be a potential disaster should strongly suggest that professional advice, at least, is essential. When I was remodeling my house I always wanted to have a permit, just because the permit process meant that professionals would look for mistakes I was making and allow me to correct them. That worked well for me.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-25-2006, 12:00 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SJ, CA, USA
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by fish_lover0591 View Post
1 wouldn't reccomend that you build a tank longer than 96 inches.
Other than the added cost for the acrylic (which the OP already has), why not?
Bizarroterl is offline  
post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-25-2006, 12:41 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
fish_lover0591's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New york
Posts: 695
Send a message via AIM to fish_lover0591
thats what garf.org suggests why don't you ask them.

- Fishlover
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.
My Tanks :
fish_lover0591 is offline  
post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-26-2006, 11:19 AM
Planted Member
 
Aquamanx's Avatar
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: R.I.,USA
Posts: 257
Send a message via AIM to Aquamanx
IMO, I would build an "L" Shaped tank for something that long. It will aid in the support of the sides by NOT being one continuous piece of Acrylic (or wood in any case...) Plus, you would have to think about piecing together wood to make the length you want... I think that would be the most risky part! Also, I would make it 2' wide & 1.5' tall instead of 1.5' wide & 2' tall..., less pressure on the whole structure. Not only does it reduce the stress in the whole tank, but, it's easier to get at the bottom to scape it while it's running... I have always been interested in building one of these myself, I just don't own my own home as of yet, so I can't do it. But, when I purchase a house, I will end up biiluing someting, maybe just a regular (HUGE tank) built into the wall or something... Keep us posted!!
Aquamanx is offline  
post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-26-2006, 02:13 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SJ, CA, USA
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by fish_lover0591 View Post
thats what garf.org suggests why don't you ask them.
So it's not you that recommends staying at 96" or less, it's garf? I was thrown off by the "I" in your post.
Bizarroterl is offline  
post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-26-2006, 04:52 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
fish_lover0591's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New york
Posts: 695
Send a message via AIM to fish_lover0591
Oh nope not me I Put in the measurements and it showed a warning saying that they don't reccommend building a tank longer than 96 inches lol

- Fishlover
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.
My Tanks :
fish_lover0591 is offline  
post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-05-2007, 03:38 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SJ, CA, USA
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by fish_lover0591 View Post
thats what garf.org suggests why don't you ask them.
I emailed them.. No response.

The only reason I can see is the problem of creating lengths of plywood longer than 8'. Challenging but doable. A common method is to scarf the joint between 2 sheets. There's even a tool for this (see Special Tools and Cleaners in the products section at WEST SYSTEM Epoxy )
Bizarroterl is offline  
post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-07-2007, 03:08 AM
Planted Member
 
tusk's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 252
how thick is that acrylic?

Not 100% related to your tank, but interesting (might guide you/give some ideas) none the less...
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...ghlight=130ish
tusk is offline  
post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-07-2007, 08:26 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SJ, CA, USA
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by fish_lover0591 View Post
thats what garf.org suggests why don't you ask them.
I did. No response.
Bizarroterl is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome