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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm looking for a very specific tank - a 50-55gallon corner (bowfront) tank for my new apartment, however, if I can find them online - they are way way too expensive to me - upwards of 3-400 bucks just for the tank and I can't find one used anywhere - (NY area).

Now I'm thinkin, has anyone tried to make their own tank before? I know its relatively not THAT difficult to seal a tank with silicon glue.

I guess my question is - has anyone tried this? Think it would be less expensive to make your own tank (provided you do it correctly)?

Just wanted some feedback, even if its someone saying "you're crazy".
 

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Man your crazy! O.K now that thats out the way. Have you tried petsmart. I have seen thoughs there. But me personally I wouldn't build one my self because if it were to break or give I wouldn't have no one to choke but myself. If I bought the tank and it broke then I can choke who ever answers the phone at the company that made it.
 

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It can be and is done by some. Not something I've tried myself ..... yet ;)

I think a bow fronter would be going some though. Where would you source the bowed front piece of glass ? Also the bottom sheet would have to be cut to match the bow of the front piece, not impossible but difficult & costly.

I'd stick to a boring old normal 1 for starters.
 

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Pretty soon im gona attempt to build my own tank but there is just one important thing to remember. Fill the tank up outside fisrt to check for cracks. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This btw, is really a last resort. No, I don't technically know anyone yet to get the bowed front... however, maybe that's not tooooo hard.

The bottom plate can be done from a circle piece, just measuring the diameter and cutting along that, then again, I've got no experiance.

haha, my girlfriend works at a local petsmart, maybe i'll check there again or have them order something special for me :)
 

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I remember seeing a thread somewhere that someone actually built their own tank. It was very time consuming and had problems of leakage. They had redone the tank, cleaning off all the silicone (PITA), and applying new silicone. It was finally succesful.

Corner bowfronts will always be expensive, but if you're patient, you may find a free or cheap one looking at your local classifieds. Craigslist.org is very popular, along with local aquarium clubs and forums.
 

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I found this article recently, it details a very intricate tank & cabinet combo, but the idea could be used to make any tank you would like. The curved glass is going to be the hardest piece to come up with I think. Good luck, and document the construction process if you do end up building one!
 

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if it were me, i'd just save up and buy one. i've heard of the real tank manufacturers having problems w/ their bowfront tanks, and u can bet they know better than we do, how to make one. as far as cost....consider the expense of even 30g's of water on the floor. if u can't afford a real one...stick to square tanks.
 

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why would they be so expensive?? well i saw a thread somewhere in here of a guy making on with a glass front and silicon sealed wooden walls, you could look for that.
 

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blueblue48 said:
why would they be so expensive?? well i saw a thread somewhere in here of a guy making on with a glass front and silicon sealed wooden walls, you could look for that.
But was it a bowfront? And where did he get the glass?

As a referrence I needed 2 custom pieces of glass. Both were 5 3/4" x 12". Not very large. Both were to be tempered and made of 1/8" pane glass. $32 each is what it cost me. Just think of how much it would cost to get someone to PERFECTLY bend a large piece of glass to your circle bottom. BTW any idea of how much a "large circle" of glass would cost? Better yet, where are you just going to walk in and ask for a 4' diameter piece of 1/4" or 3/8" glass that you can simply go home and cut into a cross and use one quarter of it???? I work in construction adn can tell you that those 2 pieces will limit you to no end. Also any idea where you will get rim bands??
 

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caferacermike said:
You will spend more money for the glass than you would for a ready to go tank if you try to build your own bow front. If you are "handy" you might be able to pull it off using acrylic.
Agreed fully. In fact, if you don't devise some form of a frame for the top, even a rectangular glass tank of all glass can cost more than an off-the-shelf framed tank. The expense is indeed in the glass. Tools can cost a pretty penny too.

I'm the guy that crazy.eddie mentioned, the one that built his own tank. You can do it. Really. But I would start with a rectangular tank. Then move up to bow front once your skill and confidence improve. And of course you've overcome the two largest hurdles - locating curved glass, and figuring out how thick your glass has to be for a non-rectangular tank.

If you decide to build rectangular, the thread crazy.eddie pointed you to provides most of the information you should need.
 

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Hey Scolley. Welcome! I love your tank and commend you on the work. If it were me and once it started leaking, I would have just taken a hammer to it. LOL
 

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Thanks eddie! Someone PM'ed me at PlantedTank and asked me to pop over here and start a thread on tank building. And when I came over to look I saw THIS thread. Since I'll readily admit that my tank building adventures were not specific to planted tanks, but just aquariums in general, it seemed like a reasonable idea.

As for the hammer after the leaks... :shock: well, I was certainly tempted. But that low iron glass alone (with the bulkhead holes drilled) cost me a LOT more than a nice Oceanic. So let's just say the pain in my wallet tempered my frustration. :wink:

As for the thinking that building a glass tank is easy... IMO it is. Lot's of people do it all the time. But making a large one (say 55 and up) and making one that looks nice (flush edges, neat, small silicone seams) is not. But as I demonstrated, it can be done, and in my thread there are some posts from pros that indicated ways that it can be done even easier.

But IMO Daeorn would be much better off experimenting with acrylic. I would NOT try that in glass until I had both a little practice on rectangular or square tanks, and had located some reliable information on the glass thickness requirements for such a tank. And I have absolutely no idea where the get that information. I had a hard enough time locating that data (from a reliable source) for rectangular tank.
 

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scolley said:
start a thread on tank building.
Do it, Steve.:brow: :smoke:
:mrgreen:
 

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It would cost a fortune to get the glass bowed, plus the base would need to be cut in an arc for the bowed front to sit on. Unless you want to produce thousands of them then it is going to be uneconomical.
 

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Ive considered building my own tank before (rectangular however) but have discovered that as a matter of course buying the glass for it would cost as much if not more than just buying the tank from a store. I may give it a try at some point anyway just to be able to say so to someone who looks at my tank "yeah i built that from scratch". If youre looking for a very particular tank you many want to try talking to the lfs in your area...mine I know will order you a custom built tank in pretty much any size and shape you want from a tall 40gal to a 200 gallon bowfront corner tank thats 6 feet high and beyond. Personally I'd think that would be a better bet since you'll get some kind of guarantee on the work.
 

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i've seen tank made from and old steel storage tank with plexiglass front and sides cut but retaining the bolted frame the finished look is very 20,000 leauges under the sea :D but i think your better of compromising with the nearest you can get or getting it professional done its probably better than setting up and the whole front colapsing outward fish and all :shock:
 

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bowed front, the only way to go is cast acrylic. And it is an art. Depending on what size and all. I have looked into some 1 " cast acrylic. 4 x 8 for 400 gallon reef tank i am going to start this spring. I think it is about 550$ a sheet. I think it will deff. be cheaper just to buy one with a bowed front. I think you could get some 3/8 or something but it is still all expensive and requires alot of time to make it nice.
 
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