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slandis3
02/03/2007, 12:09 AM
Ok we are ready to deside on what tank we are going to buy\build. I have an idea about a wooden tank. If i built a 8x3x2tall tank out of 3\4" plywood then used 1/4" acrylic on the bottom and back. 1\2" on the front and sides? So basicly i would make a strong plywood box and drop in an acrylic linner. I would use cell cast acrylic and marine grade plywood. I have been asking alot of questions here about different ways to build tanks and places to buy. I want to make sure i can get the biggest tank we can afford but, at the same time i want it to last a long time.

Thanks for any and all input.


Mike

BadOleRoss
02/03/2007, 04:52 AM
I built this very tank about 10 years ago. Mine was 96"x 30"x 30"and if memory serves held about 360 gallons. I constructed the outside walls out of 2x4s much like you would a house wall. I then lined the inside with plywood which I painted blue and then covered that with 1/4" acrylic on the bottom and side and I believe I used 1/2" on the viewing window. I developed a leak after about 6 years but that was due to some fancy drains that didnt work. It was a FW tank but it worked just fine! Seeing this makes me want to build another one! I would beef up the front viewing panel to 3/4". I never had a problem but it did bow a little.

RandyStacyE
02/03/2007, 10:13 AM
I think you would be much better off using a good reef safe waterproofing. Yes acrylic is waterproof. Silicone doesn't adhere to acrylic that well (not enough to trust it). Leaks would be difficult to locate precisely where a leak is since water can migrate between the acrylic and the wood.

A seamless and monolithic application sounds much safer than any sheet goods.

slandis3
02/03/2007, 03:16 PM
I would actually build the acrylic lick a regular tank. useing weld on then drop the acrylic in the wooden tank

prance1520
02/03/2007, 07:34 PM
I don't have any links to any of these, maybe someone can chime in with one.

Many people have had success building plywood tanks and instead of using acrylic inside, painting on a marine epoxy which is usually very reliable. Its probably a lot cheaper than your acrylic idea. People usually use glass for the front panel because it holds silicone better, but acylic may work too if done the right way.

Matt

slandis3
02/03/2007, 08:14 PM
I dont think the paint idea is cheaper. A peice of glass that size just for the front is $250 another $100 each end. The pain is $100 a gallon (takes 2) Thats about $500. If you chip the paint it will start leaking. This is going in the living room so it needs to be as safe as possible

prance1520
02/04/2007, 10:22 AM
First, I didn't read close enough, I assumed you would only have 1 viewing panel (the front) and the rest of the tank would be plywood. If your doing multiple viewing panels, acylic will probably be cheaper.

My main concern when looking at this is 1/4" is very thin for this amount of water. If your plywood isn't exactly touching the acrylic at any point, you would probably pop that seam. If your a good enough wood worker, I think your idea could definately work.

I would still look at using 3/4" or maybe putting a center brace going down the center of the front viewing panel. Thats still a large tank and that front viewing panel is still going to bow unless you have a center brace going down the middle of it.

Good luck

Matt

Acrylics
02/04/2007, 10:38 AM
Maybe I'm mistaken, but with all the effort you'd be putting into this, wouldn't be cheaper and/or easier to just built the tank entirely from acrylic or glass? You're already thinking of building what amounts to a weak acrylic tank and dropping it into a reinforced wood box, why not just build a strong acrylic or glass tank? Two 6' x 8' sheets of 3/4" or two 5 x 8' sheets and a 3 x 4' chunk and you've got it all.
..or am I just taking the fun out of it? :)

James

slandis3
02/04/2007, 10:58 AM
theres a guy local to me that has a 8x3x2 wooden tank ready to be assymbled. tank and stand $350. The acrylic i would buy will cost me about $450 3/4" acrylic is $475 a sheet. Thats the cheapest i can find in my area.

Acrylics
02/04/2007, 02:54 PM
I'm just thinking the roughly 2 sheets (4 x 8') of 1/4" acrylic you are looking at, plus the 4 x 8' of say 3/4" for the front & sides. So 64 sq ft of 1/4" at $5/ft or so is $320 plus a sheet of 3/4" at your $450 plus all the wood and effort and I suppose - risk. I dunno. Not arguing it by any means, just thinking aloud... I don't know what acrylic costs on a retail basis so I am at a loss there. But if it is that much cheaper to go wood ... understood.

James

slandis3
02/04/2007, 04:34 PM
The price i got on acrylic is. 1 1/2 sheets of 1/4" $75. 1 sheet of 1/2" cell cast $375. The prices include cutting. The plywood for the tank and the stand is $350. Now If I had to pay full price for the wood. you are correct it would be cheaper to make the whole thing out of 3/4" acrylic. A guy close to where i live was going to build a plywood tank, bough the wood and changed his mind. To build out of 3/4" cell cast i would be charged for 3 full sheets. total price $1425 = tax. This also includes tax. I was just thinking i could get a good deal on the wood, why not do acrylic liner so i get a clear view and not have to worrie about the pait chiping or the silicone leaking around a glass pain. My main question is would 1/2" be strong enough? But I think 1/2" will still bow pretty bad even with a wooden fram around it.

Acrylics
02/04/2007, 08:23 PM
IMO 1/2" is "strong" enough but will still bow, even with the frame around it and a coupla crossbraces. It wouldn't bow badly, but still.... It would be a wise move to use 3/4" if you can swing it. Even with that, I'd recommend a frame and at east one crossbrace.

HTH,
James

slandis3
02/04/2007, 08:31 PM
Yea i agree. i was planning on running a 2" brace every 24" but i still think ir ma cause problems later down the road.I have found another tank maker im going to check out tomorrow. Also i just found out i may get a discount at a acrylics supplyer because the are owned by the same company i work for. I will post and let you guys know what i came up with Thanks for all your help.


Mike