Parts to build an aquarium? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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Parts to build an aquarium?

I was looking online for glass to build an aquarium, but am finding that buying one already built is no so costly in comparison. Is it not possible to build one cheaper than buying it already built? Would one have to buy glass in bulk, vesting thousands of dollars at a time, cutting his/her own sheets, to be able to make it as cheap? Where does one get parts?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 12:19 PM
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look for local glass places

glass is heavy, and expensive to ship. But if you just look around I'm sure you'll find a local glass shop that is capable of cutting and beveling glass to your specifications.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 12:24 PM
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When I was doing research about the same thing I discovered some things. Usually the cost of an already built aquarium and one a person custom builds is about the same minus the time it takes to build one. So most of the time it's about the customization to fit your personal needs. I am sure others can chime in on this. Good Luck!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesseter View Post
When I was doing research about the same thing I discovered some things. Usually the cost of an already built aquarium and one a person custom builds is about the same minus the time it takes to build one. So most of the time it's about the customization to fit your personal needs. I am sure others can chime in on this. Good Luck!
don't forget that the quality of a home built tank could be many times more than a store bought. while the costs may be the same, the end products "worth" could be a lot more.


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 01:09 PM
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You have to be "creative" about the whole process and REALLY think it over.

For standard size tanks, there's just no way you can build one for anything approaching what seems like a ridiculous LFS price for a tank. So if money is the motivator and you don't have any oddball size requirements, buy used or wait for the Petco sale.

If you have some oddball size requirement that makes store-bought tanks just out of the question and money is still an issue, you need to scour craigslist, newspapers and garage sales for used and broken tanks. Yes, if you cruise the better neighborhoods when they have bulk trash pickup days, you may find something there too. Dismantling any size tank isn't for the faint of heart and takes a LOT of work. So what you save in material, you will give back two-fold in scrounging material that you have to make usable.

I think in the end you'll find Craigslist, classifieds, and used tanks will be the most useful tools for saving a buck.

I forgot to add that a measure of good luck is always helpful too.

Angelo

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 04:41 PM
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I have to admit, I'm a wood worker and not a glass guy. when I look at building a tank to fit a certain spot, I back off. I often wind up thinking I could build a room to fit the tank better than a tank to fit the room!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 04:47 PM
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Building your tank won't save you any money over buying one. The only thing you gain is being able to do a custom size or plumbing setup. Or rimless. Otherwise you're better off buying new. I love DIY but some things are not worth (financially) doing yourself.

I've had decent luck posting ads on craigslist requesting broken or leaking aquariums. I've even had people respond with good tanks they just want gone.

Another problem with building your own from cut-to-order glass is most glass shops will only guarantee like 1/8" tolerances. That's a lot of play if you are trying to build an aquarium.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scapegoat View Post
don't forget that the quality of a home built tank could be many times more than a store bought. while the costs may be the same, the end products "worth" could be a lot more.
I kind of doubt it. Most would just use a GE silicone one and the manufacturers aren't. GE1 really isn't a structural silicone. Resealing sure. Will it hold? Probably but it still isn't the stuff the manufacturers use. The shear strength is much higher on their stuff.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 09:14 PM
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I kind of doubt it. Most would just use a GE silicone one and the manufacturers aren't. GE1 really isn't a structural silicone. Resealing sure. Will it hold? Probably but it still isn't the stuff the manufacturers use. The shear strength is much higher on their stuff.
I've seen some awesome DIY tanks, but I have to agree that most will try to cut a corner and use a sealant rather than a true adhesive.

I'm not trying to shoot the concept down at all. It just has to be done for the right reasons, saving money NOT being one of them, and you have to do a lot of research before taking the plunge if you've never worked with thicker glass and silicone adhesives.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 03:24 PM
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I kind of doubt it. Most would just use a GE silicone one and the manufacturers aren't. GE1 really isn't a structural silicone. Resealing sure. Will it hold? Probably but it still isn't the stuff the manufacturers use. The shear strength is much higher on their stuff.
which is why i said, "could."

Despite the cost differences, I'm fairly certain I could build a better tank than Tetra or Aqueon. It's just a matter of not cutting corners, and doing things right.


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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I kind of doubt it. Most would just use a GE silicone one and the manufacturers aren't. GE1 really isn't a structural silicone. Resealing sure. Will it hold? Probably but it still isn't the stuff the manufacturers use. The shear strength is much higher on their stuff.
What glue are the manufacturers using?
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 12:15 AM
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GE RTV 108 is the one I've seen most.

Here's some stuff I found via MFK.

Quote:
I am going to be using Dow Corning 732, if DC 832 were available in clear than I would be using that with out a doubt.

The 832 is so far the strongest silicone product that is suitable for use in aquariums and will adhere to glass. The tensile strength of the 832 is 350 psi and will elongate 420% before yielding; but is only available in black, grey and off-white.

732 is available in black white and clear with a tensile strength of 334 psi and will elongate 540% before yielding

For reference the GE 1 silicone and Dow corning 791 and other similar products have a tensile strength of 120 psi and will elongate 50% before yielding

Do your homework and come to your own conclusions, all of these companies publish this information online

Quote:
We recently put in glass on my plywood tank using the Dow 732 sealant and 1200 primer. The primer is no joke - it really gets the silicone to set up rather quickly and bond up well. I chose the 732 because of it's properties, it's NSF and UL ratings. The fact it's Mil - Spec helps too.
Quote:
SeaWorld uses: GE (SCS-2000 SIL-PRUF). 340 psi

I also was told by ([email protected]#$%^&) @ MOMENTIVE that these other two products would work for my application. He aslo streeses that they do not make any aquarium Silicones and are (Not Liable for damage), even though he knows the silicone will in fact hold for many years, and he knows many Places such as EPCOT and Sea World use their products with little to no issues.

MONENTIVE (RTV-108). 400 psi (FOR SUPER LARGE TANKS)
GE (SCS-2000 SIL-PRUF). 340 psi (For Large Tanks)
GE (GE-1) 260 psi (for small tanks) under 100 gallons



Keep in mind MOMENTIVE Owns GE, APPALO, and is now just a huge MOMENTIVE CO.

If it can HOLD the water volume for SHAMU's tank, It can hold my Monster Tank Glass.:grinno:

DAP makes an aquarium silicone. I spoke to the lab and was told its max is for a 30 gallon tank (35 psi). and should not be use for anything larger!

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 12:16 AM
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http://www.bestmaterials.com/PDF_Fil...iumsealant.pdf

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.
Here's to our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.
If you agreed with me we'd both be right.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 02:43 PM
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I wouldn't be as concerned about tensile strength as I would be about adhesive properties. Momentive 108 would be my choice. It does "expire" so there needs to be some attention paid to lot #'s and dates. Last I checked Grainger was the easiest place to find it, but I'm sure there's others.

http://www.momentive.com/products/sh....aspx?id=10289

Angelo

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