View Full Version : How thick should acrylics be for this aquarium?

02/18/2006, 08:01 PM
I was considering amusing myself with building myself a fowler tank with the following dimensions, 2' width, 5' length and 4' height. Should I consider using .75 acrylic or 1" acrylic due to the height?


02/18/2006, 10:36 PM
Due to the height, you should definitely use 1" thick Cast Acrylic as a minimum. Though, 1.25" thick Cast Acrylic would be what I'd recommend.

Zigzag Man
02/19/2006, 01:54 AM
Pardon my asking, but I assume that you're experienced working with acrylic?

That sounds like quite a project... I agree that you should use as thick of acrylic as you can afford, to minimize bowing. I went with 3/4" acrylic on my 36"x 36"x 24" tank and the panes don't bow at all, which is nice.

You're also looking at about $800 per sheet of 1" cast acrylic... about $2400 total (it'll take three sheets).

Dang... I wish I could afford to amuse myself like that. :D

One thing to keep in mind is that a 4' tall tank is going to be a b*@#$ to clean, unless you own some scuba gear... I don't recommend a magnetic scraper for acrylic, but if you decide to get one, you'll have to use something like a Magnivore, which is about $100. Mag-Floats won't do diddly on any thickness over 5/8"... I tried one on my 3/4" tank (just for kicks), and the two halves would barely stick together through the acrylic, much less scrub it.

Good luck. :)

02/19/2006, 07:50 AM

Have to agree with the first two responses; 1" at a bare minimum, 1.25" would be recommended.


Zigzag Man
02/19/2006, 10:06 AM
Howdy James,
Good to see you around. :)

(James built my tank... excellent craftsmanship and a great guy too). :thumbsup:

02/20/2006, 12:57 AM
Hi David, thanks for the kind words. I see you are done with school - congrats :)
BTW, you gonna still be living down there through spring/early summer? I'm gonna be down there if you're up for a short visit.


Zigzag Man
02/20/2006, 03:28 AM
You bet. We're not going anywhere for a while... it's nice to finally be done with the college thing though... I thought I'd never get to the end. :D

I had a tank crash about three months ago, and I'm slowly building back up... it should be looking good by the time you come down... I have a lot of SPS to replace though... :(

Just let me know when you're planning on coming down this direction and I'll PM you my address and phone if you don't still have it.

Oh, and also, one of the local LFS guys was talking about kreisels, so I told him that you build them... so you 'might' be hearing from him... it depends on how ambitious he is in putting together a jelly tank.

Okay... sorry for the threadjacking. :D

02/20/2006, 08:26 AM
The cyro website calculator says 1.5" minimum. This calculator is pretty conservative, but it confirms the recommendations for 1.25". I hope you have one or more of the following:

1. a great router and table with the right bits
2. a large perfectly flat bench
3. lots of experience working with acrylic
4. nerves of steel
5. sense of humor able to overcome the agony of a mishap with a $1000 sheet of plastic


02/20/2006, 03:18 PM
On this tank could one go with 1.25" for the sides and 1" or even 3/4" for the top and bottom?