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View Full Version : DIY plywood tank vs custom made


Devaji108
08/03/2016, 10:33 PM
Ok guys I am a while out need to buy a home 1st..haha that said I decided i really really want a big tank. some thing 500+ for a tang, butterfly and angle.
had a 240 ref years ago..but i want a BIG tank.

so I have been thinking about the plywood tanks like the idea. questions:
~ what is better to use glass or acrylic for the font viewing panel? or is it just personal preference?

~ I dream of a Loooong tank anyone what the longest glass and arcylic and come in? I really woul fancy a 16' to 20' tank. even if I had to butt join 2- 10' pieces I would be OK with that. ( I think)


there there is the glass tank. its would be nice to know your tank is build by ppl who do this for a living.

anyway just thinking out load. would love to see some big plywood tanks
and pros and cons of both. so I can start saving :D

cheers

dave.m
08/04/2016, 12:58 AM
I'm not sure about available lengths but I think the difference would come down to what height of tank you want. This is because of the way water distributes its weight - downward. So the height, not the length, of the tank determines the thickness of the pane. The thicker the pane, the more it weighs (and costs, of course). At some point you will find the balance between weight and cost to help you determine what your installation can actually handle. You should get price quotes for both acrylic and glass to determine which is best for your custom build.

Dave.M

sfsuphysics
08/04/2016, 10:00 AM
Not sure if you are looking for a visually long tank, or just one that is long? I ask this because raher than butting two panes together you could have two big viewing windows instead. IIRC Atlantis Marine World does this with a 20,000 gallon tank

Dont forget the feasibility of getting a large tank in your house too, long tanks have this habit of not turning corners very well :)

Devaji108
08/05/2016, 10:54 AM
^ ah yes all good points. yeah I thought about having the 2 windows even if i have to brace it in the middle thus 2 windows. of course i would like a nice open front...

I am way early in the planing stages. but to be honest in the house shopping it's a huge factor. build is on side with the plywood seams like a option.

I am also liking a room divider idea. guess it all depends on what I can afford and find not alot of options where I live. :(

so let me ask you guys this what size of a tank "should" I be thinking about for the fallowing stock list.:

Large angels:
queen
Emperor


med angels:
Regal

dwarf angles
4 X of these lil guys

tangs
2x hippo
3X yellow
2x power blue
1X Achilles
1x sailfin
1X naso

butterflies
Saddleback
Raccoon
Auriga
Yellow Longnose
Tear Drop
Sunset
Latticed
Copperband
Falcula

other fish
Porcupine Puffer
a dwarf lion fish maybe
a had full of smaller fish to add movement and size contrast.

this is just a real quick idea of a angle, tang and butterfly FOWLR tank idea. more research on compatibility etc. will have to be done. that's just what i have in my mind.

thanks for any feedback guys!

anbosu
08/05/2016, 12:23 PM
I would forget doubles of the hippo and powder blue - I've not heard of anyone doing it long term successfully. I would also be concerned about the regal being intimidated by the other angels/fish, but it might work if you put it in really early in the stocking order.

dave.m
08/05/2016, 02:20 PM
I would start from the other side of the process and ask how much money you realistically have to spend on this project. I mean, I could easily suggest you go 15' long by 4' wide by 4' tall but then, why stop there if money is no object?

Meanwhile, back in the real world, remember that the taller the tank the more powerful the lighting you'll need and the greater the costs, both for initial purchase and ongoing operating costs. Same for circulation and filtration. You really need to think about whether you are going to lay down $20K for the initial purchase or $100K. Only when you know what you can afford can you start asking reasonable questions.

Dave.M

Devaji108
08/05/2016, 08:08 PM
That is a very good point Dave.
One I really do need too come up with a realistic figure.

The point of the above post was just to get an idea of sizing I should be looking in to.
You know what you can have in a 300 DD vrs bugger just as a starting point. But yes Dave that is a good point about going from the $$ side down .



Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk

saf1
08/05/2016, 09:14 PM
Not only that consider total water and what that could do to your home should something go wonky.

I've been in the planning stage for a bit now looking at a taller tank with 48" width. Long and short of it is that I ended up doing what Dave suggested here but also considered the total gallon. At first was looking at 340 - 400 gallons but has I was talking to the builder, then family, then supporting equipment it now stands between 190 - 220 gallons tank alone.

One of the things was getting the tank in and out of the house. Looking at 36" or so depth limited moving it through some doors. Increased the risk of damage moving. You get the idea. Now I'm between 30 - 36" height x 54" width x 30" deep. Amazing how it evolved never the less.

But looks like you are on the right track :) Good luck.

Devaji108
08/05/2016, 09:32 PM
yeah its funny how reality kicks in right... haha I am way out on this idea anyway just trying to wrap my head around it. if the "right" house pops up and things fall in to place I would like to have an idea of my big tank dems just in case. prob. a few years out but never to early to plan a build :D

all that said I have been looking @ custom aquariums dot com. and if I build a home and that is what I would like to do thinking a 120"Lx 48"Wx 24" and do a room divider peninsula.

dave.m
08/05/2016, 09:39 PM
24" tall is a very squat tank and IMHO looks like crap. The longer the tank the taller you want it so that you get a real "window on the sea" effect.

Dave.M

saf1
08/06/2016, 09:07 AM
yeah its funny how reality kicks in right... haha I am way out on this idea anyway just trying to wrap my head around it. if the "right" house pops up and things fall in to place I would like to have an idea of my big tank dems just in case. prob. a few years out but never to early to plan a build :D

all that said I have been looking @ custom aquariums dot com. and if I build a home and that is what I would like to do thinking a 120"Lx 48"Wx 24" and do a room divider peninsula.

If you have room or time for a few more quick quotes maybe shoot concept aquariums a email and see what they can do. Up North though, Canada, but ship anywhere. That is who I selected although the tank isn't in. Just worked with them on the final size and stand.

fishguy306
08/06/2016, 09:10 AM
I'm in a similar situation as you, sort of. I bought a (town)house about 6 months back and wanted to build my dream tank in the basement. But I have way too many corners to get around to get anything bigger than about a 125 down there, maybe a 180 if I really worked it. So I'm going the plywood route. It is really going to suck when it comes to move down the road as I'll have to cut it apart and scrap it, but for the cost of a plywood tank I could afford to build and cut the tank apart five or six times before I come anywhere near the cost of a glass or acrylic tank the size I'm building, especially since once I have the glass I can reuse it.

That all said, there are some really big pros to going with a full glass or acrylic tank as well.

scubadan206
08/06/2016, 10:57 AM
Plywood and glass is the way to go if you have space constraints.
Have you ever seen the way David Saxby's tank is built in, with the molding and decorations on the wall around the tank? Think of yours with that in mind.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM3a9oeJfSY&index=18&list=FLHAw1j70b4xny2GqkVSOJ7w

Opcn
08/12/2016, 02:42 AM
yeah its funny how reality kicks in right... haha I am way out on this idea anyway just trying to wrap my head around it. if the "right" house pops up and things fall in to place I would like to have an idea of my big tank dems just in case. prob. a few years out but never to early to plan a build :D

all that said I have been looking @ custom aquariums dot com. and if I build a home and that is what I would like to do thinking a 120"Lx 48"Wx 24" and do a room divider peninsula.

Most of the advantages of a plywood tank go right out the window if you do a room divider. Where plywood really shines is in its ability to displace the far more expensive glass or acrylic. When 3/4ths of the glazing you need is already in place it's not necessarily worth fighting to join dissimilar materials to save on the cost of that last 1/4th.