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post #1 of 7 Old 09-28-2011, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
Acrylic custom tank

I have recently been researching on how to make your own custom acrylic tank. I was wondering if anyone on here has boughten one of these or made one themselves
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-29-2011, 11:52 AM
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I ordered one from glasscages.com. I'm happy with it, it is very lightweight. If I could cut the acrylic precise enough, it seems easy enough to make, although I don't think I'd be able to polish the edges so they would be as aesthetically pleasing to look at! The main thing to remember is that silicon will not adhere to acrylic well. Acrylic tanks are "welded" together using a solvent "glue" that melts the plastic together somewhat. Can't remember the solvent name off the top of my head.

Also, you need a lot of top bracing since acrylic flexes over time quite a bit if it is not well supported. The bottoms also should be supported across their entire surface (no open center tank stands)
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-29-2011, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
Hmm. I am considering putting some effort into learning how to make them this summer. I have been reading up on it and doing research and I would like to start making big custom tanks, and hopefully if im good enough be able to sell them lol. I think that their nicer than glass besides the fact that they can get scratched way too easy.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-29-2011, 03:41 PM
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i think you spell it, "starphire" or any low iron glass will be the clearest route to go and it would be glass. its not the cheapest way though.

i think the product for the acrylic bonding is called weldon something if memory serves me right...
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-29-2011, 09:36 PM
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I recently bought a 180g custom acrylic tank from ATM (Acrylic Tank Manufacturing) in Las Vegas. The stand is solid steel, with a center steel support/brace. In addition, the top of the tank is not fully open. Instead, there are two cut-out holes. When I asked why it was made that way, rather than leaving the top fully open (which would have been easier for cleaning/vacuuming/etc.), I was told it was to provide additional bracing/support since, as DKRST said, acrylic can flex over time if not well supported.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-29-2011, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
I have also heard of the acrylic bending over time. That is one of its biggest flaws aswell as it is being able to scratch. I think they look very nice nonetheless and their advantages over glass is much greater so it would be worth it. I am just wondering around how much it would cost to get enough acrylic to make a 29g tank. I personally am a fan of open top tanks tho :P
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-30-2011, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltwaterTaylor14 View Post
Hmm. I am considering putting some effort into learning how to make them this summer. I have been reading up on it and doing research and I would like to start making big custom tanks, and hopefully if im good enough be able to sell them lol. I think that their nicer than glass besides the fact that they can get scratched way too easy.
It's a good goal, but there is some actual engineering involved to determine the acrylic thickness, bracing, etc.

Good luck with your custom tank(s). Unfortunately, in the case of acrylic, larger tanks are not necessarily easier to build properly, but they are much lighter weight!
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