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Old 12-24-2012, 05:48 PM   #1 
Blue Fish
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: East Tennessee
DIY fish tanks?

Anyone ever made their own acrylic (or glass) tanks?

I've been researching it for a couple of weeks, many different sites, and I believe I've got all the information that I need...theoretically. ;) What I'm interested in now, is personal experiences...sometimes those can tell you a lot more than any DIY guide on how it's *supposed* to go! ;)

I've got a Lowe's here that carries the plexiglass in the correct thickness, and they'll cut it for me, and I know where to get the proper sealant/adhesive and the directions and all that.

My basic problem is that Bettas like a longer, shallower tank, and I need a long, NARROWER shallow tank. So, about 12 inches wide, three feet long, and about 15 inches high, so that everyone is happy and I can fit the thing where I want to put it. I'm looking to create a 30 gallon tank for three males, divided. So, I thought about a DIY aquarium...

Anybody ever attempted/any experience there? Just because it sounds feasible on the websites, doesn't always mean that reality follows the directions. ;)

Thanks for information! :)
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:03 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: East Tennessee
I wouldn't attempt a tank that large on your first try. If you get the seals wrong well.. it's 30 gallons, that's a lot of water you're holding in. One missed spot and you could have a disaster. To be honest, I'm not sure if you need stronger adhesive or thicker walls or not, but it would stand to reason that you would, considering the pressure your work is going to be under.

I would start small, make a small tank and then see if you can set a 5 gallon bucket of water on top of it once it's cured? My experience has been that it's not going to look pretty, but using a little extra sealant isn't a bad thing. Make sure you CLAMP everything together, holding it with a few books or a board or some rope isn't going to work. You need to get a proper ratchet clamp and spacers, or come up with something that will keep everything solid til it's dried. I've only tried making 2 tanks, both of these where originally 10 gallon tanks that had been pulled apart (I have no idea why, they where pretty much free at a thrift store so I gave it a shot) and I ended up piecing both back together and using them. I've also repaired a LOT of tanks, big and small. It really isn't very hard, your theoretical knowledge will go a long way, but make sure you have the right tools.
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:14 PM   #3 
Blue Fish
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Thanks so much for the information! I was worried about leakage as well, and had thought to leave it set up with water in the garage for a month or so to make *sure* that it's sealed tight.

Is this long enough, or would longer be better, in relation to leaks or incomplete adhesion/sealant?

I can get a very small peice of plexiglass, or a very large peice of plexiglass, so I'll have plenty of material to make the larger tank, so I thought I'd just go ahead and try. If nothing else, I'll be out about 25 bucks and I can say that I tried. In the long run, it might save me a lot of money, but if it doesn't work, it wasn't a huge investment either. Thanks so much though for the information about clamps, and I'll definitely leave it to "cure" for a week or so (since it's so cold and wet right now), and then leave it hopefully holding water for another month. I'm not in desperate need, it would just be convenient to have a single larger tank rather than two smaller ones. :)

Thanks again!
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