DIY Lexan tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Lexan tanks

I'm getting some free 1/4" lexan- about 6 pieces 2' by 4' pieces. I know its not the ideal material for tanks but its free. I know most people say not to but we make guards with it at work and glue it together just fine, i don't care that it will scratch easy or yellow- its free. what i want to do is make 12" by 12" by 18" compartments (10 gallon). So there would be a large amount of support and i can add a frame too- doesn't have to be pretty- breeding/QT setup. has anyone actually ever used lexan or just a bunch of "experts" that say not to use it?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 06:35 PM
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Lexan is strong enough to make compartments of those dimensions I would just check the spec sheet on the cement you use to make sure it has the tensile strength. I found this stuff and it fits the bill:

I would look into annealing it (you can probably look into using a heat gun for this, I've never done it) because I believe methylene chloride is more soluble in water over time non-annealed and that can't be good for the fish or the structural integrity, also I would use a respirator or at least a very, very well ventilated area, methylene chloride is nasty stuff to breath in.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Check out the IPS16- says for water tight so i would assume it won't fall apart- and being 10 gallon compartments the psi required isn't huge. The IPS 40 is better but cost way more

Bump: the acrifix doesn't fill gaps so the edges would have to be very clean and straight
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 08:40 PM
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Polycarbonate can be worked just like acrylic.

Methylene chloride is a solvent, not a glue. It temporarily dissolves the plastic so it can fuse together then evaporates, leaving no residue. The plastic resolidifies as a single piece. It has the same viscosity as water and needs to be wicked into the joint. The edges need to be smooth and are generally finished with a router.

Thicker adhesives are generally just a solvent mixed with the plastic and are both ugly and weak.
Some newer silicone adhesives can bond to acrylic and polycarbonate but traditionally they are not recommended for plastics.

Polycarbonate is not not normally used for aquariums as it both yellows over time and releases BPA. While yellowing is a purely cosmetic problem, BPA is considered by the FDA to be a possible hazard. I do not know if it would be a problem for fish, but I'd expect the concentrations of BPA in a polycarbonate aquarium to be much higher than what a person might ingest drinking from a water bottle.

You can no longer buy polycarbonate water bottles due to safety concerns.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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We use weld-on glue at work and its the stuff that melts the plastic and welds it back together, the stuff we have doesn't work the best on lexan though. The stuff i linked is a solvent as well that's thicker so it can fill some gaps. Didnt think about chemicals being released. i'll do some test fish first, feeder guppies or something or it maybe it'll be bad enough that the water smells. Nobody has ever mentioned that aspect so maybe its not a big deal, humans tend to freak out over some stuff like that.

Bump: The PSI Rating of the IPS40 is way higher then the other two though. maybe i'll suck it up and buy that stuff.
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