03-03-2010, 04:33 AM
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Looking at that site, it looks like he just has a wooden box with a hole cut out of one side with glass on the inside. Pressure from the water would push the glass against the wood, which is why that works well.
In your case, using a piece of plywood as that back panel wouldn't work because you'd just have all the water pressure pushing directly against the wood. I think the wood would splinter apart where it was sealed or just pop off; I'm not sure how tight the silicone would grip the wood. Plus, the wood would bow out substantially more than glass so you'd want to reinforce it even ignoring what I just said. In other words, I don't think it's a simple matter to replace a tank wall with plywood.
I think you should market it on craigslist as a miniature greenhouse and see if you can get enough money to buy another tank.