Custom corner tank
Hey guys, I only just got a new tank but i went a bit mad with fish purchasing and only after reading up on them did I realise how big they can grow. At the minute i just have a 30" long, 18" high, 12" deep, but I know that this won't be enough for the future, so I'm thinking bigger, and I have the perfect space in the corner of my room for a tank, it's just all the one's I see are a bit expensive and after researching online i think it'd be cheaper to build one.
This is what I have in mind;
The tank will be built from plywood with a glass front, but will also include a hood with light fitting and an opening. The bottom will be a stand, incorporating a cupboard.
Any ideas or pointers on this will be helpful and greatly received. I was wondering on the lines of filters, air, glass thickness and is this really big enough?
oh and if anyone can calculate the volume of this, it's just maths was never my strong point.
GARF will be able to help you with how to seal the tank and glass front etc.
however it is aimed at rectangular tanks rather than corner one, so specifics for your project may not be found.
click on how to pages (left frame)
then under the heading Aquarium Construction and Tips
there is how to make tank
and how to make cabinet
Garf is a great site but be very careful sealing the tank as the shape immediately makes it more difficult to seal.
Quite a few people might tell you to forget this project (not on fishforum, just in general, at fish stores etc) but I would say to give it a go! Even if it fails it will be a learning experience and you will end up with a beautiful tnak afterwards if sucessful, but test it to death before you put fish in it.
Good luck with your project.
thank you for the responses, I'll have a look on GARF
however i might not have to build after all, this appeared on ebay
1 or 2 inches less than the measurements i wanted and it's only down the road, and includes filters etc...depending on the price i'll go for that
otherwise the project will be undertaken soon
Good luck mash_worth - it looks like a nice tank!
Let us know if you get it :)
your design is for a 60 gallon tank...a pretty good size corner unit that will weigh roughly 600 lbs...so make that cabinet strong :-) If you go to a fish store you will notice that most tanks over 40 gallons (including corner units and bowfronts) will have a plastic brace at the top of the tank and sometimes bottom. This is because when you fill up large tanks the entire structure does "bow" a little and those braces become very tight. At my store if a small crack is made in one of those we wont sell it...it maintains the structure of the tank when full. On your design you may consider a brace going from the back corner to the center of the front pane. To be careful you may consider doing it on the bottom of the tank as well.
As far as filtration, consider building an overflow in the back of the tank or inside the tank and have it going down to your custom made sump in the cabinet :-) If you are going to make it custom, might as well do everything custom! Good luck though and make sure you post pictures of the construction and finished project.
Must agree with the need for bracing the large front. I have a 125 gallon that is 6 ft long and even with the half inch thick glass I was worried by how much it bowed. I bought it used and the person before me had taken the plastic frame off, I am guessing for appearance. When I started to fill it, the glass bowed so much that the piece of wood I had put across the center to help hold up the cover fell in and the tank was still only half full. The answer for me was to build a complete frame around the top and put 2 equally spaced braces to tie the front and back rails together. I then just slid the external frame over the tank's glass. As I started to fill the tank, the frame became very tight on the glass and took over holding the water so the glass quit flexing. It worked for me but if I were building from scratch like you are I would build in the bracing rather than place it on the outside the way that I ended up doing.
i might consider making the back 2 sides of the tank wood, painted black or w/e color you wanted, then covered by plexiglass or sheets of acrylic, siliconed in place. id use the same stuff on the back of the plywood face, so you would have a really good spot to seal the front glass against. that way the front glass would be bordered by wood, giving you incredible bracing strength for the front glass, and the front wood face could be braced to the back of the tank up above the glass, which would give you a perfect spot to mount a recessed/hidden flourescent light fixture :)
and you could do a wet/dry sump in the bottom, but just as easily you could just put a canister underneath!
A custom acrylic tank would be nice and not to expensive if you have a local builder. Tenekor prices will give you a heart attack. If you build from plywood it is easy to seal them. Buying a marine epoxy will seal the entire tank making the seams disappear and basically a large rubber bowl.
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