anyone have experience building glass tanks? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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Question anyone have experience building glass tanks?

So I have been turning over the idea of building a custom tank to house my hillstream loaches. I was thinking somewhere around 6ft long, 14 inches high, and 12 inches wide. Looking for some advice on this project. I'm thinking tempered glass would be best, but not sure if it's really needed. Not sure if I should put in one brace of two across the top.

But I'm not sure on how thick I should make the glass though. I estimated volume at about 53 gallons plus or minus. I want this to be a one of a kind tank, but I need a little guidance on how to succeed.


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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 04:36 PM
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I wouldn't bother with tempered glass. It is a waste of money and really isn't required in tanks. You can probably get away with 3/8" glass, however I'd go for 1/2" since it is a fairly long tank, you dont want it to bow out in the middle. Also since this sounds to be your first tank it will also give you more area on the corners to form a solid bond. As long as you dont mind, I would also do a brace across the center just to be safe. Also be sure to use some quality silicone for the project. The best one for tank building is Momentive RTV 103 or 108 depending on if you want black or clear. You can get it from Grainger, Home Depot and Lowe's wont have it.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 04:44 PM
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Yeah just use plate glass, tempered glass is definitely a lot stronger but it will bow the same amount as plate. Its cheaper to use plate and the tempering process can leave roller marks/waviness to the glass.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 05:20 PM
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Stick to 3/8" with a brace in the middle. 1/2" is much tougher to source and brutally heavy to work with. While having it tempered can certainly be done, I think you may find that not the easiest thing in the world to source either.

Angelo

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks guys. Yes it is my first tank build. I decided to go this route because I can't find a pre built tank that fits what I want to do. Besides the fact that it's a check of a lot cheaper to build one compared to buying one. Guess it's time to start rounding up what I need.


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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I do have one more question. What is the best way to silicone the bottom. Side panels on top of the bottom plate, or on the outside edges?


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 03:32 AM
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I personally put sides against the bottom not on top. You need to account for the extra width and length. I've done it both ways though I've never experienced an issue with either.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 12:34 PM
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I think you'll find a variety of answers to that question. Since this is a build from scratch, I would suggest building it with a floating bottom panel. If you can get a bottom panel that's tempered, I would build it with the four panels resting on the bottom.

I'll just throw out some random words of caution:
That's a very long span for a DIY tank. The stand you build will need to be extremely well thought out, be on a perfectly even plane on all edges, and beincapable of warping or moving over an uneven floor. Shim the stand if needed. Glass that isn't tempered is very unforgiving.
Make sure you plan ahead and have plenty of help putting the panels in place. The weight is significant and not a one man job be any means.
Unless you're really good at cutting thick glass, have the panels cut for you and makes sure they know how you'll be using them and the need for precision.
Buy LOTS of razor blades and blue painter's tape.

Angelo

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 02:00 PM
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Oh and for gods sake let that rtv cure for days before a drop of water touches it.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2015, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again guys. I already have an idea for the stand, and the know how for such a project. I'm a craftsman by trade. I just like to thoroughly research something if I've never done it before. I have resealed several tanks before because I buy used quite often. Just never done a build from scratch. Thanks again for all the advice.


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