Making a tank - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 27 Old 11-18-2006, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
I don't know much about the powerheads, so information on that would be fantastic. As far as the top/canopy goes it will probably be oak either way (whether glass or plywood for the tank). I'm planning on having oscars, and maybe a couple other cichlids. I'm not sure what else I'll stock it with, I'll wait until I see the finished product. I'll definitely be able to expand what I have, but I won't have money to go saltwater since I'm getting the bigger tank. Eventually that's probably what I'll do with it. If it's plywood, the epoxy is resistant to the saltwater as well, so that wouldn't be an issue should I decide to do that.
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post #12 of 27 Old 11-18-2006, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dprUsh83
Nope, not the plywood tank. With 4 layers of epoxy it will contain the water as well as glass. Just to show the extremes of what you can do with a plywood tank, here is somebody who made a 1700 gallon shark tank.

That is awesome. That would be awesome as a mighty tank for oscars or giant gouramis.

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post #13 of 27 Old 11-19-2006, 09:54 PM
These types of tanks have been around for a long time. They work very well. In fact most built in tanks are of this type. A local guy builds them around here and sells them for a reasonable amount.
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post #14 of 27 Old 11-19-2006, 11:08 PM
You might consider asking pool manufacturers, those who build inground pools, to see if it's possible. A wooden tank holding water, I haven't heard of any such thing. I've seen people making large tanks, with only glass front, but majority of the tank is cemented, like pools, and/or lined.
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post #15 of 27 Old 11-19-2006, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by crazie.eddie
A wooden tank holding water, I haven't heard of any such thing.

What a weird way to create a tank. Plywood? That would be interesting.

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post #16 of 27 Old 11-20-2006, 10:53 PM
Honestly it's not interesting at all. Do a few searches and thousands of preints, plans, drawings. material lists, and directions will come up.

Short and sweet.

3 sheets of 3/4" or 1" high ply ist grade plywood, some recommend special hardwood ply only, like a furniture grade oak.

a lot of 2x4's

screws whether they are stainless or not.

a sheet of glass or acrylic about 4'x8'

some use sheets of fiberglass and resin.

Some paint the resin with a marine epoxy, some skip the fiberglass and only use epoxy.


cut one sheet of ply in half 4x4

Lay one sheet down so it's flat, the 4x4 sheets will be the ends on the 4' side of the ply. Prop up the 8x4 remaining piece along the back. You now have the general tank, 8x4x4. You want to use 2x4 studs about one every 12" as a skeleton. You screw them in place so that the skinny side sticks out. Generally you glue them before screwing. The tanks I saw had the 2x4's stick out about 3 1/2" so that they can overlap and be screwed together. The bottom had 4 2x4's on their sides screwed under the sheet stciking out the 3" or so. Then the 4x4 sides had 4 studs runnign down and extending 3". This way they overlapped and could be screwed together giving it strength. Once you do this all the way around you add one more full elntgth 2x4 to the outside edge of the back bottom area. this way you have a runner that the 8x4 back piece can attach the 2x4 studs to. Once it was all framed together and the glue dried you begin on the glass. I saw a lot of tanks that had a 2x6 frame built to fit the front of the tank. Once that is positioned the entire inside was laid with fiberglass sheet and the proper amount of resin was applied. Pay special attention to where the glass goes , carefully wrapping the resin and sheeting around the 2x6. When that's all cleaned up you silicone the glass into place. When that dries you silicone more 2x6 to the inside overlapping to the original studs. This leaves a place to run screws through sandwiching the glass. Once that was done you fiberglass over the new studs to protect them.

Would I do it? Probably not. Seems like a lot of work. If I was going to do it I'd have to build at least a 1,000g tank. Used tanks can be had for a reasonable amount of money. I knew a guy that spent almost $1,000 building his own 90g. I asked him why? He said it was because he built it into the wall. Sure enough he did. But then again wouldn't a $200 90g complete with overflows have just as easily been slid into that same hole?
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post #17 of 27 Old 11-20-2006, 11:13 PM
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This is done all the time :) If you wonder about it holding water just think of a boat the wood on a boat is covered with layers of epoxy my husband builds boats etc he is a finish carpenter and as I put under this section a while back he plans to build me one. The plans are easy to find on the net.

BTW The hoods lights etc also are included in the plans.. The reason for some people to build there own is wanting good wood and having a quality you can't buy for under a few thousand dollars. Price Oak or some of the nicer woods sometime you’ll see what I mean if you could even find one done that wasn’t custom built

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post #18 of 27 Old 11-24-2006, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
Progress was made today! I've been having an impossible time finding the right epoxy (at an affordable price). Tonight somebody supplied me with this link:

That helps out that much more! Thought I'd post it, as I certainly can never find this epoxy by searching. Now that I have an exact name brand I may be able to find it cheaper as well!
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post #19 of 27 Old 12-09-2006, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
Well because I found a dirt cheap 150 on craigslist I'll be scrapping this project, which is great because I'll save money...but kind of disappointing as I was really looking forward to the build. For future reference, if anybody has any questions on this project I've done a buttload of research so don't hesitate if you have any questions!
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post #20 of 27 Old 12-10-2006, 01:01 AM
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Do you have any links bookmarked? If so, could ya post them?

I'm doing a 7x4 or 8x4 next year and want all the info I can absorb.
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