Has anyone built their own custom aquarium? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Has anyone built their own custom aquarium?

I'm thinking of building myself a square aquarium around 50-60 gallons size from panes of glass cut to size. Has anyone built their own aquarium before?

Any pointers for how to go about building it or how to figure out the correct thickness of glass? Do I need all 5 sides tempered glass or just the bottom pane? Can I do a rimless tank or will I have to brace it?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 03:11 AM
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There are sites that will help you with glass thickness. It depends on how tall and how wide a tank you are thinking about.
Lets see if I can find some.
The first two are calculators.
The third is more of an engineering sheet, explaining why the glass needs to be a certain thickness.

http://www.garf.org/tank/buildtank.asp

http://www.bayoureefkeeping.com/pages/DIYGlassAquarium

http://www.fnzas.org.nz/?p=1732
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 04:15 AM
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Glass thickness is determined by the height (water depth). The taller the tank, the thicker the glass needs to be for there is greater pressure at the bottom. Typically 12-18"=3/8" glass, 18-24h=1/2" glass, anything above 24" tall can go up to 3/4-1" thick. Most hobby tanks are 24" or less though to save cost.

You don't need tempered for any side actually. To compensate tempered, just get a thicker pane on the bottom. Tempered can not be drilled if you ever want to so you will limit yourself if go tempered. You could sell the tank and being tempered can be a no go for someone.

The link below is a great site for DIY aquarium project. The creator is actually on here but I don't think he is very active here for he is a very busy guy.
http://www.diyfishkeepers.com/forum/forum.php

Also here is a link to a build he has on youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSKI...uKDOC-6JsG0RLI

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 11:21 AM
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 11:57 AM
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Did my 600 tank
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 06:04 PM
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Interested in this hope you decide to do it zapins!


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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I'm thinking of doing a square tank with 76.2 cm wide x 76.2 cm Long x 45.72 cm high with 8 mm thick glass walls. I found a local glass cutting place that can do what I want. Too bad they don't have access to starfire glass

Basically a 3x3 foot tank, 18 inches tall. I think this will be a good size to try out some scaping ideas I have. I just wonder if I should make little corner braces and whether to put them inside the corner or on the top of the rim instead?

Any idea which is stronger?

I definitely do not want to have the tank come apart and spill everywhere. I also have to figure out who can build me a stand since I don't have the tools to build one myself down here.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
I'm thinking of doing a square tank with 76.2 cm wide x 76.2 cm Long x 45.72 cm high with 8 mm thick glass walls. I found a local glass cutting place that can do what I want. Too bad they don't have access to starfire glass

Basically a 3x3 foot tank, 18 inches tall. I think this will be a good size to try out some scaping ideas I have. I just wonder if I should make little corner braces and whether to put them inside the corner or on the top of the rim instead?

Any idea which is stronger?

I definitely do not want to have the tank come apart and spill everywhere. I also have to figure out who can build me a stand since I don't have the tools to build one myself down here.
Either you euro brace it, center brace it with a wide piece or run two smaller center braces. You need support length wise and/or horizontally. Corner bracing is cutting corners which is why you don't see it being done.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm I see. How is it that some tanks can be rimless then?

I dislike euro bracing, it makes maintenance difficult.

http://garf.org/tank/BuildTank.asp

Last edited by Zapins; 08-28-2014 at 06:23 AM. Reason: l
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 02:37 PM
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I can't remember where I saw this but for rimless tanks you want a safety factor closer to 8. Personally, I would want a safety factor of 10 or more. We never expect something being thrown at the tank or bashing it with the vacuum...but it happens.

10mm glass would give you a safety factor of 7.7
12mm glass would give you a safety factor of 11.1

Clearly large rimless tanks are possible. There are thousands out there. The engineering involved to make them...?
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 09:17 PM
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I've thought about building my own before so I could get a really cool custom size but it would be quite expensive relative to what aquarium companies can charge because of their considerable bulk discount on glass. Here's an excellent thread on this subject.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=27814

If you want to build rimless you should go with aerospace grade RTV128 which I have never used but I have seen a tank built with it that was rimless and at least two feet tall.

http://www.momentive.com/Products/home.aspx?id=20774
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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The main issue is I am in a very rural area at the moment and buying a larger fish tank is basically a special order item that I'd have to drive far away to get. Also, I don't know of any square shaped premade tanks for sale. The only tanks for sale are rectangular, which can be ok but a square tank gives more options.

Is RTV128 aquarium safe?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2014, 07:02 PM
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I would try to find scs1200 silicone I've heard it's the strongest for tank building. I have a 39x19x17 fully rimless with 3/8" glass no bowing at all seems very solid.


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2014, 08:44 PM
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Isn't glass cages in Tn?
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