Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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saxenamohitm 10-08-2011 01:29 PM

New Fish tank from Scratch
 
Hey all!
I'm planning to set up a new fish tank from scratch.

I plan to get my tank dimensions as 48*18*28 inches.

The stand would be a wooden one with MS angles to support the structure.

I want a hood that would look really cool with my new tank. I want to go for a wooden hood and not the metal one.

The tank would eventually be a planted setup and so I'm planning to convert my powerhead filter into a DIY Overflow Filter to avoid heavy current in the water. Also, I'm going to use Fluorescent tubes for lighting. Keeping all of this in mind I'll need to design my hood accordingly. If you have some designs for the hood that you could share I would really appreciate it.

Also, what thickness glass should i use to get my tank with the above dimensions? The approx capacity of this tank would be about 105 gallons.

Hope to get a reply soon.

Regards,
Mohit.

saxenamohitm 10-11-2011 01:11 AM

No replies yet? :(

k19smith 10-11-2011 01:27 AM

I myself would not trust myself to build an all glass tank that large, have you looked at building a plywood tank with glass front? I think in the long run if you want all glass you could buy one cheaper than you can build one. Your going to need thick glass which is expensive and in less you buy the top and bottom, you will have to have a frame and braces.

zof 10-11-2011 02:42 PM

I agree its going to be alot of work and probably almost just as expensive as finding a prebuilt tank thats close to the size, unless you absolutely need that size for something. After watching stuff on building tanks, I'd much rather build tanks out of acrylic then glass, it seems easier and a better finished result if you are going custom, just a bit more expensive, not if I was going to build a bunch of cheap small tanks, then I would go with glass.

If you google it you can usually find some good glass thickness calculators for aquariums, but I don't have any off hand.

Mikaila31 10-12-2011 12:32 AM

Be careful with the wooden hood too. I have built a couple of these and while they do hold up pretty well the heat from the high plant lighting can do its toll on them. If you put even the smallest crack in one of the boards (like from a nail hole), it will grow and grow.

saxenamohitm 10-12-2011 04:28 AM

Thanks for all your replies.

AquaTools I Found this link for glass thickness. It seems anything from 10 mm to 12 mm will suffice my dimension requirement. But Thats a Calculator with an arbitrary safety factor. Doesnt compare well with some experienced user who has worked with that dimension or something similar.
I could vary my width and height to a couple of inches if required but i have a L-corner wall which is 56"x22" (LxB) and i think a 48"x18"x24" (LxBxH) tank would be a perfect fit for that wall with a 3 ft high stand and a high canopy.

I was not too keen on Acrylic because I thought glass was probably cheaper. But now since you've mentioned it, I'll have a look into this too. How thick should the Acrylic sheet be?

I've got a carpenter to help me with the stand and the hood, and I'm open to buy a custom made tank from the market.

I've never come across a plywood tank with a glass front. Are those safe. Can you share a few links of such tanks?

And thanks for the warning about the wood canopy. May be i could find a hood design that'll have the front made of wood and the top of metal, because a wood canopy looks so brilliant.

Regards,

Mohit

zof 10-12-2011 02:57 PM

Acrylic is more expensive, just in my opinion easier to build with and better results, plus with acrylic you wont have to build the braces for the top and bottom of the tank, only a support beam or two on the top made out of acrylic so it blends right in. Thickness I have no clue again but I know acrylic is strong then glass so it will probably be less thick then the glass plus half the weight of glass.

Kelvinlim11 10-13-2011 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by saxenamohitm (Post 857723)
No replies yet? :(

Hi,

If you like to keep temperature more constant , you can go for thicker glass.

10mm will be good.

You can see my new 10mm tank i just purchased at my blog Kelvin's Crustaceans Adventure

Mikaila31 10-13-2011 05:31 PM

Glass will be safe, I've seen some massive old glass tanks go through the local club. Main issue is glass is quite heavy. The base pane on larger manufactured tanks is usually tempered glass.

I would not expect glass to have much of an effect on temperature fluctuations. Aquariums lose heat like crazy because glass is a pretty poor insulator. I can't see the cost of thicker glass being worth the tiny decrease in heat loss. Also given the OP's location is India I don't think heat loss would be that big an issue.

If you really like the wood hoods you can go that way. I normally build pretty plain square ones just for lighting fixtures (basically don't cover the entire top of tank). If you build them right they can work for quite a few years. Its just that the heat fluctuations and moisture are against you in that situation. Wood stands work wonderfully. My dad built a really nice one 15 years ago and it still looks better then most new ones I see. It should be restained a darker color though IMO. There was a wooden hood built at the same time but it was thrown out since it became too warped for the top door to close fully. If you do chose to go with a wooden hood the best things I can suggest is to have a lid on the tank, glass/plexi or something to keep the moisture away from the wood. Also design the hood with slots in the top, I've found this to be the best looking design yet still allowing for passive cooling. My fixtures usually hold considerable light output so this is important for both the wooden enclosure and the equipment inside. Usually I have two 1" wide slots that run the lenght of the hood.

saxenamohitm 10-14-2011 01:42 AM

Thank you so much for your replies.

I tried looking for acrylic tank makers. Couldnt find any nearby, so I'm pretty sure its gonna cost me a bomb. So i guess glass tank it is.

I'm going to use MS Steel Angles to brace my stand, so I think i can breathe easy about the weight of the tank. Are there any wooden hood designs which you could help me with?

Would'nt plexi glass lids trap heat in the tank. India is a tropical country and it gets pretty warm during summers. My city's temperature ranges from 15C in winters (barely 1 month) to 35-37 C in summers (about 2-3 months) Rest of the year temperature ranges at around 25-30 C.

Quote:

I normally build pretty plain square ones just for lighting fixtures (basically don't cover the entire top of tank). If you build them right they can work for quite a few years. Its just that the heat fluctuations and moisture are against you in that situation.
Thats why i was thinking of covering the whole thing with some metal and then building an external layer of wood. But i cant seem to find such designs online.

Quote:

Also design the hood with slots in the top, I've found this to be the best looking design yet still allowing for passive cooling. My fixtures usually hold considerable light output so this is important for both the wooden enclosure and the equipment inside. Usually I have two 1" wide slots that run the lenght of the hood.
Can you show me a few pics of your tank hoods?


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