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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How long do plywood tanks last? I have a specific size area to put a tank, but my father thinks that the plywood will bow and explode from the water pressure, and that the seams will separate from that.
 

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There are a variety of online sources for DIY plywood tanks. The first question for you is how big a tank are you looking to build? Plywood tanks only start to become cost effective when you go for larger tanks, say 200 gallons plus.

I had an 8x2x2 plywood tank that survived for several years, until the movers sprung it . I built a 125 out of plywood that lasted probably around 10 years before my parents took it out of service.

Plywood tanks need to be properly engineered and built. But they can be sturdy reliable tanks.
 

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Take from me, from long years of experience and experimentation, and knowing many MANY fish people that have themselves tried many things.
Don't bother with a plywood tank. Yes it can work, I've seen it work, but I've also seen it fail and the cost for failure when/if it does happen is just too much, and piece of mind is
invaluable. I knew a guy who lost a tone of wild Central American cichlids that he'd caught himself when his plywood 220 let loose in his garage.
Also a pinhole leak somewhere in the resin that you won't see for quite some time is all it takes to give you all sorts of trouble.

By the time you factor in the cost of materials, you're really not saving much with a plywood tank unless it's a HUGE tank, and then the engineering
becomes even more important as mentioned above.
Your construction, attention to detail has to be dead-nuts ON.
Been there, done that...heard stories....much better off with a custom acrylic or glass tank.
 

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While I disagree to some disagree with James M , he does have a point. My first build took some experimentation with fiberglass resin. My second build took some searching for the right epoxy swimming pool paint , and paying a good price for high quality plywood. I did it as a graduate student in college, with minimal woodworking skills. It does take time, money and effort . However, it can be done , and in some cases , cheaper than buying a custom glass or acrylic tank.

Now as a well paid professional, I could plan and afford a large custom tank, but with my xperience, knowledge and workshop, I'd probably build my own plywood tank.

In the OP circumstance, it depends on what he is trying to achieve. How big, how custom, and could he build it from glass himself?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
[STRIKE][/STRIKE]
While I disagree to some disagree with James M , he does have a point. My first build took some experimentation with fiberglass resin. My second build took some searching for the right epoxy swimming pool paint , and paying a good price for high quality plywood. I did it as a graduate student in college, with minimal woodworking skills. It does take time, money and effort . However, it can be done , and in some cases , cheaper than buying a custom glass or acrylic tank.

Now as a well paid professional, I could plan and afford a large custom tank, but with my xperience, knowledge and workshop, I'd probably build my own plywood tank.

In the OP circumstance, it depends on what he is trying to achieve. How big, how custom, and could he build it from glass himself?
It is not a huge tank, but the dimensions are hard to find, I am looking for an 8 foot long, 2 foot high, 18 inch wide tank. I found tanks that are close, but they are 2 feet wide, and they won't fit.
 

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A local reefer years ago had a 1700 gal plywood tank. He added on his house just for it. And built a steel Square pipe stand and framing around the plywood. Only had 1 sheet of glass that was 1.5" think. He used pond liner up the sides.

Was a very impressive tank but expensive to run and was shut down around 2010 do to his work business slowing down at the time.


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Custom acrylic or glass is the way to go at that size OP - just have TruVu or company make you the size you need.
I always go extra thick on the acrylic or glass vs what they spec so that the joints are even stronger and with the acrylic, no bowing.
 
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