DIY tanks specifics
I have been tosing aorund making a tnak for several months to save money. And yes, it is cheaper to make one than buy anything here over 30 gallons.
I really like the Euro style tanks with the glass on top of the bottom, so much easier to make and put together. I also see that there is a foam type pad put under them.
#1 Do you have to use the foam pad or can you build a frame that will keep the bottom of up off the stands?
#2 Do you have to use thicker glass to do it that way or just follow the normal instructions for glass thickness?
#3 What type of foam is it that is used under the glass? Or is there more than one thing you can use under them?
Also, I want to make an "L" shaped tank. anyone have any suggestions as to the best way to do it as far what glass cuts would be best or the best way to connect the two "L" ends?
Hang on for a bit, I need to run this one past Rob before I can give you specifics. He works at AllGlass Aquariums, he's head of tech support, and he has also built his own tanks. My best friend's husband worked in the warehouse there for 17 yrs, working his way up to manager back there. I need to run these past the 2 of them.
Rob just brought me home two 215 gallon Euro tanks between last night and today. We put the 2nd one into the garage tonight, where they'll sit until we get the floor braced this summer and then set them up. This is something he's very familiar with, but he's in bed now for the night. I'll try to find time tomorrow night and ask him to pop in and answer here for you.
Sit tight, help is on the way!!!
Well the L tank is looking iffy at best unless I can figure out how to make one without having an actual L shaped piece of glass for the bottom. I am thinking that 2 pieces cut a 45 degree angles silicone together with an extra piece of glass over the top of them may do it. Maybe just siliconed together would be enough but don't know. Otherwise it is gonna cost me $47-65 a square foot for tempered glass cut to an L shape and that really kills the idea of saving money, lol.
Well, are you set on making the bottom glass? Because I know a lot of people just use plywood or something like that instead...it would be quite easy to cut.
I really want to have glass all around and I have not seen a way to incorporate a glass bottom with all glass sides. If you have seen something please let me know. A link or basic instructions would be very useful.
It is an option though to build it out of plywood just want to keep weight and the number of things I have to buy to make it down to a minimum.
Hello, this is bettababy's husband Rob. There are two methods you can use to make the L shaped tank. The size you wish to make will dictate your bottom thickness. with large tanks, you can do 1/2 to 5/8 inch thick non-tempered glass and you can order it in an L shape. Really large tanks you would use 3/4 inch glass. You would have to weigh the price difference between thinner tempered glass to thicker nontempered glass.
for the sides you would just but the glass edges up against each other. You get a stronger hold this way than trying to seam up a beveled edge.
If you want to use plywood, you would use 3/4 inch plywood (use quality plywood, don't skimp on it). if you are going to do all glass sides then you will want to use a router and groove out a channel that the glass edges will rest in. All you need is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep groove. Plywood will need to be sealed with fiberglassing resin. Make sure that once fiberglassed, the groove allows a snug fit for the glass once placed in the groove. You will want to rough up the fiberglass resin along the glass with a heavy grit sand paper such as a size 80 grit. Dont ruff it up so much that you hit wood. You will use 100% clear or black silicone to seal all seams. The roughed up fiberglassed areas will allow for a good seal once siliconed.
The plywood method looks rather barberic. If you want it looking nice then use all glass.
If I use the Eurpoean style tank with the foam under it, could I use 2 pieces of glass that are silocned together to make the bottom L shape? I don't like the idea of the plywood and ordering a custom cut piece of glass is simply gonna make it way too expensive. Almost quadruples the price for the glass.
I will work on a drawing showing what I mean but I think you get the iead. either 2 pieces cut eactly the same so they make 1/2 of the bottom or 2 pieces, one full length and theother only as long as the other side of the L. I just want it to be simple and not cost more than buying one.
Will either of these work? Is there any reason that you can not use 2 pieces of glass with the Euro style and the foam under it?
Euro style or euro braced tanks refer to a trimless tank that uses a 4 to 6 inch wide glass support trim the entire perimiter of the tank. I have heard of people using foam for bottom support. It helps to fill in gaps when the stand isn't totally level. Oceanic develope a "floating" bottom. You have the bottom pane of glass, then a series of square PVC tiles line the bottom set in by a silicone layer, then another layer of glass, and then to top it all off there is a sheet of PVC covering the entire bottom. this acts as an impact resistant bottom with no danger of being damaged by droping rocks on it. Oceanic actually stopped making the tanks in this way. The cost was not worth it.
the main problem with patchworking the bottom of a large and long tank is that no matter how much bracing you do the two panes will want to bend downward anytime the tank is lifted. any amount of flexing will compromise the integrety of the tank. you would have to build the tank on a platform of 3/4" plywood to support the bottom of the tank. On the inside of the tank you would have to brace the seam as well. Don't do the angled glass. Use right angles as they are easier to brace and cheaper in price. I have only done this with small 27 x 19 inch tanks so I do not know how a large tank will work with this method. I don't know of anyone who has seemed the bottom glass on a large tank.
the foam used under the tank is a thin styrofoam sheet of medium density.
Okay, maybe I got the styles wrong. The one I am thinking of has the bottm flat and not raised up into the bottom of the tank with the sides on top of the bottom instead of outside it. I never remember the names of them.
Ido see what oyu mean buy the glass wanting to bend. Maybe not a good idea. I do have another thought but it is still majorly in the thought process and not even practical yet. Will see if I can even draw something resembles what I am thinking of. Paint can only do some many things, lol. Baiscally it would be like two 10 gallon tank where the panes are cut so that the two tanks fit together with no seem on the bottom. Some concept huh. :?
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