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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks,

I am getting a new tank! I am pretty excited about it but as always there are a few issues that need to be worked out. The most immediate is that I need to find the darn tank. Due to a few aesthetic and structural issues I want a tank that is around 24" wide, no more then 18" deep, and around 24" tall. The width and height are slightly variable, but those are the ideal numbers.

I also want black silicone and for the tank to be rimless.

The trouble is no one makes a tank quite like this. Thus the desire for a custom made aquarium. There are lots of people online that will do this for me, but shipping will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 300-400 dollars which is probably almost as much as the aquarium will cost to make. So I am looking for someone local.

Does anyone know of a company that makes custom tanks somewhere in Maryland, DC. Delaware, or northern Virginia? Its an absolute requirement that the tank have very neat silicone. I could slap together glass panels and silicone. I need someone who is actually good at it.

Thank you for any help!!
 

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I have no experience with them but see these guys pop up frequently in a VA aquarium group I follow.

I believe they are acrylic only which might not be what your looking for.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have no experience with them but see these guys pop up frequently in a VA aquarium group I follow.

I believe they are acrylic only which might not be what your looking for.


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Unfortunately, I am only looking for glass tanks. Thank you though, I wish I didn't love glass so much, those tanks look nice and the prices are very appealing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I live in the DC area and googled "custom aquarium Maryland and Virginia" and came up with a pretty good list of custom aquarium shops.
There are a lot of companies that have the words "custom aquarium" on their website. But if you look into them they are not actually making the tank, they are doing the design, and layout, sometimes built-ins. But not the actual tank. I did actually contact a few of them to ask if they knew anyone making tanks, but so far none have responded.
 

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Two reliable makers of custom aquariums are customaquariums (out of wi) and glasscages (tennessee); they both ship. They both have decent reputation and have been around for a long time. There are pros/cons of each.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Two reliable makers of custom aquariums are customaquariums (out of wi) and glasscages (tennessee); they both ship. They both have decent reputation and have been around for a long time. There are pros/cons of each.
I am aware of both and if shipping weren't an issue would probably pick glass cages as they are a bit cheaper. BUT the real problem is the cost of shipping. A tank from custom aquariums like what I want will run 650 dollars. Shipping is estimated to run 400-600 dollars. Sooo yeah, not great. Glasscages has previously quoted me 300 dollars for shipping when I was looking at a different tank from them. To put it somewhat in perspective I could buy a similar tank to what I am looking for now from SC Aquariums for 500 dollars including shipping. The reason I'm not just going with the SC Aquarium tank is that its 4 inches too short for me, and it has an internal overflow with a drilled floor. I would need to remove the overflow and plug the holes in the floor before I could even start, and it would still be 4 inches shorter then I want. BUT, its still my backup tank if I can't find anyone close to me.

Fortunately I have a few leads I got from facebook. I have one individual builder I'm communicating with who said they will get me a quote sometime soon. I also got referred to Armco Aquatics out of Delaware and I sent them an email, but they have not yet responded. So we shall see.
 

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Yea shipping is a killer for aquariums. I'd be curious who you end up using if you don't mind following up your thread with that info esp after you receive the tank and the over all quality. customaquarium does have partners (you can find them on their website but in the end the cost of shipping is going to be built into the total price).
 

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When I was struggling to find a 75g rimless tank last year when everyone was out of stock I looked into Glass Cages. I was getting close to buying until I found out that their considerable shipping cost would only get the tank to a nearby shipping depot and not to my home. I would have been stuck retrieving a 150 pound piece of glass that "last mile".

Just something to consider if you end up having a custom tank shipped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yea shipping is a killer for aquariums. I'd be curious who you end up using if you don't mind following up your thread with that info esp after you receive the tank and the over all quality. customaquarium does have partners (you can find them on their website but in the end the cost of shipping is going to be built into the total price).
For some tanks its not terrible. My DOOA and my Waterbox were both shipped of course and the prices were reasonable (the waterbox it was built in - from memory). My 120P the shipping cost 400 dollars but that tank was quite large and I was specifically after the 45 degree corners which simply can not be obtained from most makers.

For this tank its small enough and simple enough (just need 1/2" glass, nothing too fancy) that I 'should' be able to find it locally. Soooo we shall see ;P
 

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Any particular reason you're shying away from acrylic, @minorhero? It's easier, if not cheaper, to ship overall and that could open up your options quite a bit on the builder front and you wouldn't have to stick to locals.

I'm not always a fan of it because of scratches but if you're careful, it's no big deal. I've been using a few custom shallow shrimp tanks for 7-8 years and have found them to be incredibly resilient. Great at maintaining a steady temperature, as well. An acrylic tank in the dimensions you want would look incredible. Especially if you used thick material.

I also have a "frag" tank from AandT Builder and like it a lot. Not using it for frags - just rock and a ton of hermit crabs at the moment - but it's one of my favorite tanks. I'd argue I'm incredibly picky and unforgiving when it comes to tank quality. I like it so much that I'm toying with having an acrylic tank made with 33gal long dimensions to use as my main tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Any particular reason you're shying away from acrylic, @minorhero? It's easier, if not cheaper, to ship overall and that could open up your options quite a bit on the builder front and you wouldn't have to stick to locals.

I'm not always a fan of it because of scratches but if you're careful, it's no big deal. I've been using a few custom shallow shrimp tanks for 7-8 years and have found them to be incredibly resilient. Great at maintaining a steady temperature, as well. An acrylic tank in the dimensions you want would look incredible. Especially if you used thick material.

I also have a "frag" tank from AandT Builder and like it a lot. Not using it for frags - just rock and a ton of hermit crabs at the moment - but it's one of my favorite tanks. I'd argue I'm incredibly picky and unforgiving when it comes to tank quality. I like it so much that I'm toying with having an acrylic tank made with 33gal long dimensions to use as my main tank.
The long and short of is: scratches.

I have found myself becoming more and more a snob when it comes to tank construction in the past few years. And I like to rescape my tanks more then the average bear. I have managed to scratch my glass tanks a few times when moving heavy stones around, I'm sure it would be significantly worse for acrylic tanks.

I have never owned an acrylic tank but have seen a few at petstores over the years and even when they are relatively new, the scratches immediately draw my eye. I worry this would be even worse once it was in my own house and I spent all my time looking at it.

That said, if I ever dip my toes into another terrarium, I might find myself heavily tempted to contact the acrylic builder Thenoob linked in the 2nd post of this thread which is local to me and highly regarded by people in local facebook groups.

For the sake of completeness I will update this thread and say that I 1) attempted to buy the glass and build my own tank. This was a disaster and I abandoned the project when the result was too hideous to use. I then 2) ordered a tank from glass cages, and decided the 350 I am spending on shipping is just the price of admission. Currently waiting for the tank to be finsihed ('should' be sometime this week).
 

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I would never use acrylic due to scatching and if tank is not well made bowing. Also (for freshwater) how do you clean the algae off of acrylic....
 

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Definitely understand that, @minorhero. Mine are all pool filter sand and I haven't scratched one yet. Okay, so I haven't scratched one with regular tank stuff. But I DID scratch one unpacking it. That said, acrylic tanks can be easily buffed out if they get scratched, unlike glass, and it only took me about 10 minutes to shine up good as new with a Dremel attachment. It's apparently really easy to buff by hand but who has the patience for that?

I think you should definitely consider one in the future. The builder above is the one I used for my latest. I've bumped into it a ton and don't really put in any more care than I do my glass tanks. I'll take some photos/video when I'm back in town. It's not a show tank by any means, so you'll be able to see how it's survived my tanking shenanigans.

You're right about shipping - it's just the cost of admission. And if you end up liking the tank? You won't care much about shipping costs after a few days. Hope you start a tank journal once it arrives. I love custom builds. Especially when they're somewhat unconventional dimensions.

@jake21 with algae scrapers that are acrylic-safe. There are tons of them on the marine side of the hobby that work just fine for freshwater. There's no real bowing if your acrylic builder uses properly thick material. Some huge tanks require bracing but doubt what minorhero's after would. My new build will need bracing but it's not something I want to run open top. I think it would be okay without bracing because the material will be thick but I'm opting for more bracing than necessary to make it easier to attach lights and equipment for nerd purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Definitely understand that, @minorhero. Mine are all pool filter sand and I haven't scratched one yet. Okay, so I haven't scratched one with regular tank stuff. But I DID scratch one unpacking it. That said, acrylic tanks can be easily buffed out if they get scratched, unlike glass, and it only took me about 10 minutes to shine up good as new with a Dremel attachment. It's apparently really easy to buff by hand but who has the patience for that?

I think you should definitely consider one in the future. The builder above is the one I used for my latest. I've bumped into it a ton and don't really put in any more care than I do my glass tanks. I'll take some photos/video when I'm back in town. It's not a show tank by any means, so you'll be able to see how it's survived my tanking shenanigans.

You're right about shipping - it's just the cost of admission. And if you end up liking the tank? You won't care much about shipping costs after a few days. Hope you start a tank journal once it arrives. I love custom builds. Especially when they're somewhat unconventional dimensions.
I've heard they are easy to buff out, its something I'll consider at some point, maybe if I ever replace my little kitchen tank it could work out since any tank that goes there will pretty much need to be custom at this point... Hmmm has me wondering about dart frog kitchen tank ;P

I actually have already started a journal for this tank. I just don't have it linked in my signature yet (waiting to make sure its actually going to be a success ;P). Here is the linky for my planted seahorse tank journal.
 

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I've heard they are easy to buff out, its something I'll consider at some point, maybe if I ever replace my little kitchen tank it could work out since any tank that goes there will pretty much need to be custom at this point... Hmmm has me wondering about dart frog kitchen tank ;P

I actually have already started a journal for this tank. I just don't have it linked in my signature yet (waiting to make sure its actually going to be a success ;P). Here is the linky for my planted seahorse tank journal.
Oooooh. Seahorsies! My first aquatic love. This is very exciting. I kept drwarves for about a decade and miss them.

An acrylic tank of thumbnails of some sort would be killer. So many ways to make something like that look amazing in a kitchen. I peer pressured a friend in NOVA to start a shrimp tank. Now she has two... And two tanks of frogs. Consider myself a successful peer pressurer. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oooooh. Seahorsies! My first aquatic love. This is very exciting. I kept drwarves for about a decade and miss them.

An acrylic tank of thumbnails of some sort would be killer. So many ways to make something like that look amazing in a kitchen. I peer pressured a friend in NOVA to start a shrimp tank. Now she has two... And two tanks of frogs. Consider myself a successful peer pressurer. :cool:
I'm so excited for this seahorse tank! I have been spending all my spare time these past few weeks doing nothing but reading about saltwater setups. It's a lot of fun stretching myself into an area I knew nothing about. Also fun looking at all the diversity of critters that live in saltwater tanks.

I'm going with Erectus for seahorses. There is a very well thought of company breeding them in my state (Maryland) called seahorse savvy. I've heard dwarfs are much harder to keep due to their need for live food.

Frogs are awesome! I love my tincs I have in my basement, but having something like auratus in my kitchen, or maybe a quiet ranitomeya... le sigh. Things to consider ;P
 

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I've heard dwarfs are much harder to keep due to their need for live food.
That's the reason I stopped keeping them. It's not difficult and some of mine would eventually convert to frozen but I started to travel a lot and had to move them out.

Had some H. reidi for a while and really loved them. H. erectus are probably more ideal because they're smaller.

Have purchased a ton of algae (including some cute branching coralline) through the years. Their horse specimens always look great.

Really looking forward to this build. Been working through some macro algae builds of my own but haven't had time to document them yet. Horses would be so much easier than macros. Maybe you're on to something... Here's hoping your tank gets there soon.
 
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