Nano tank build question. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Nano tank build question.

I am going to attempt to build my own 12x12x12 nano tank.

I am coming at this project from a woodworking background. In wood, a mitered join is stronger that a butt join because of the increased surface area. What I have seen in allthe DIY tank builds is butt joins. The only reason I can seen for this is that beveling the edges of the glass for a miter join might leave a sharp edge. Is there some other less intuitive reason for this?

If I assume that mitered joins can't be used, I have a question regarding the actual configuration of the joins.

All the builds I have seen have two wider sides that "sandwich" two slightly smaller sides to make a cube as illustrated in Figure A below. I want a cube that visually has no obvious front, side or back to it, all sides looking the same. Is there any reason I shouldn't consider a configuration that uses 4 equal size panes of glass put together as in Figure B?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 10:16 PM
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The sandwich is easier, and IMO stronger.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 11:12 PM
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I'd go with figure A and make the bottom 12"x12" so that the sides ride on top of it. Also your woodworking sandpaper works great to polish the edges of the glass. I used progressively smaller grits on my 1/4 sheet sander.

Good luck
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2008, 10:15 AM
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I'd go with figure A because it spreads the tension more even, but keeping in mind the size of the tank, strength doesn't seem to be the problem. The only inconvenient with A is that you need to calculate the length of the 2 sheets of glass sandwiched and take off a few millimeters, and if you do this wrong, it will look ugly. I'm guessing you want it to be as perfect as it can get right?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2008, 01:58 PM
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A because it'll look better. you don't want the 2 front edges of your tank looking different.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2008, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by htn86 View Post
A because it'll look better. you don't want the 2 front edges of your tank looking different.
I am trying to create a tank that has a 360 degree view. I want a tank with no obvious front and sides. Its going to sit on the front edge of my office desk with all the plumbing going through the bottom of the tank.

Here is my inspiration:

So even if the edges of each side look different, the tank will be symetrical as a whole. I am leaning towards figure B for that reason. I just wanted to make sure there was no mechanical reason for not doing it.

You may be right, and it may very well look funny when I'm done, but at this size tank we are not talking a lot of $$s, so why not. I have always wanted to do things differently, and who knows, it might look really good.

If its really bad, I'll just make a new one like Figure A and move on. I just didn't want to spend time on something that was going to fail simply by design.

I mocked up a tank with paper and wire last night and have started playing around with scaping ideas. It was a good exercise because it provides me an idea of the scale I am creating. Now I need to search the LFSs and go on a few hikes to find stuff to put in it.

I have two competing ideas. Japanese Garden inspired, or Iwugami inspired. It just depends on the hard scape pieces I can find.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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I am about to order glass for this project.

I went looking for the GE RTV108 sealant, but Home Depot didn't have it. With such a small tank, would I really need to use the high strength stuff? If I do need it, does anyone know who carries it?

After much research, I couldn't find any reason not to construct my tank like in figure B above. This link discusses the properties of silicone joints regarding tensile vs shear forces. Since the water will be exerting forces in all directions at once, there doesn't seem to be a difference in strength between the two construction options. So I'm going to be different just to see how it looks.
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