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Old 07/26/2009, 10:19 PM   #1
prettypearl08
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My DIY 300-500 Gallon Aquarium

Okay... I am sold I think I am addict...I was sitting in my parents living staring at their entertainment center thinking how great a 300 - 500 Gallon Aquarium would look in instead of her tv and all those embarrassing childhood pictures of us.....

So without my fiances approval I made plans to go big at least 300 Gallons BIG! Leaning more towards 500 Gallons, but I think he'll really notice that one! My plan is to put it in his man room where we are having a full bar and a 60in flat screen plasma put in I figure with all the liquor, testosterone, pool and a big tv he won't notice I spent 10G's on an in-wall aquarium set-up instead of our wedding.... Let's just say I am girl who is just not into that big wedding... I WANT MY IN-WALL SETUP! Maybe the wedding can be in his "man room" and the tank can be the back drop for our wedding pic's! ! It's cheaper.

Back to the tank.... Now my first debate I had with myself was Glass or Acrylic for my big set-up..... Can I get some input! I have a vision that has been beating my head up that has to be completed.

How hard would it be to literally build my own aquarium and stand. I would like to start from scratch and watch my vision unfold. I need to know how thick the glass or acrylic needs to be hold the water volum of the aquarium. It is still in its planning stages but it is COMING SOON!





P.S. I asked him could we go to Fiji for our honeymoon..... He might catch on to me..... I think I am in love with coral reef!


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Old 07/26/2009, 10:34 PM   #2
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Before you can figure out how thick things need to be, you need to decide two things: How big, and how big... oh that is one thing, no.... the second one is the dimensions of the tank. Third thing you need to think about is the weight. Think it took 12 guys and machinery to get GlassReef's 375 gal in the front door and on the stand. Incredible build though, worth a look at.........

Troylee just finished a 300 something gal acrylic tank.....also worth a look see

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...readid=1558710

Regards,

Jim


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Old 07/26/2009, 11:07 PM   #3
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Congrats on planning your new tank. I definitely think your addicted if you want to spend your wedding money on an aquarium

My vote is for glass. Mainly because of scratch resistance. Coralline will grow on the walls and over time, just scraping that off will scratch the acrylic. That doesn't take into consideration occasional sand in the cleaning mag.

In my opinion, unless you have experience with acrylic, glass would be easier.

As Jim said before you can decide on glass thickness you need to know the dimensions. One of the main factors in glass size is how tall the tank will be, secondly how long.

Tagging along


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Old 07/26/2009, 11:23 PM   #4
prettypearl08
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Quote:
Originally posted by uncleof6
Before you can figure out how thick things need to be, you need to decide two things: How big, and how big... oh that is one thing, no.... the second one is the dimensions of the tank. Third thing you need to think about is the weight. Think it took 12 guys and machinery to get GlassReef's 375 gal in the front door and on the stand. Incredible build though, worth a look at.........

Troylee just finished a 300 something gal acrylic tank.....also worth a look see

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...readid=1558710

Regards,

Jim
I am thinking and leaning towards 300 Gallons. The dimensions I am looking at are 60"L x 24"W x 48"H because I plan on putting built in cabinetry around it similar to an entertainment center.


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Old 07/26/2009, 11:42 PM   #5
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With a tank that tall, you're going to need some pretty thick glass. At least 1" thick is what I would suggest. If you dropped the height down to 36 you could definitely use 3/4". Other things to consider is the amount of lighting to light 48" deep. Is there any way to make it longer and/or wider and not so tall. The 1000 gallon I'm building is 38" deep to the bottom of the overflow with a 30" tall window and the 30" is fairly tall.

If the tank is only going to be viewable from 1 side, I would suggest building the sides and back with something other than glass and just a glass window. You may could use 3/4" at 48" tall if the glass is fully supported all the way down the front. I'm not positive on that, but it would be safer and cheaper in my opinion. I will have around $1500 in my tank, excluding any equipment. All glass would have been a lot more.

If you're absolutely wanting 48", then acrylic may be a better choice for your build.


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Old 07/26/2009, 11:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by prettypearl08
I am thinking and leaning towards 300 Gallons. The dimensions I am looking at are 60"L x 24"W x 48"H because I plan on putting built in cabinetry around it similar to an entertainment center.
I don't even want to think about acrylic for this tank..... other than to say: REAL THICK

Glass tank:

For the sides you are looking at least 1.125" thick (no thinner). The bottom will need to be thicker ~1.75". This is for a fully "framed" tank, with a safety factor of 3.8, higher is better. Don't think you would want to think about a rimless tank of these dimensions........ The height is the issue with this tank. For a 60"L x 48"W x 24"H, you could use .5" glass with a "frame" and .75" glass for a rimless.

Jim


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Old 07/26/2009, 11:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by MattShack
With a tank that tall, you're going to need some pretty thick glass. At least 1" thick is what I would suggest. If you dropped the height down to 36 you could definitely use 3/4". Other things to consider is the amount of lighting to light 48" deep. Is there any way to make it longer and/or wider and not so tall. The 1000 gallon I'm building is 38" deep to the bottom of the overflow with a 30" tall window and the 30" is fairly tall.

If the tank is only going to be viewable from 1 side, I would suggest building the sides and back with something other than glass and just a glass window. You may could use 3/4" at 48" tall if the glass is fully supported all the way down the front. I'm not positive on that, but it would be safer and cheaper in my opinion. I will have around $1500 in my tank, excluding any equipment. All glass would have been a lot more.

If you're absolutely wanting 48", then acrylic may be a better choice for your build.
At 36" high, she would still be looking at 20mm which is closer to 7/8" inch.

J


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Old 07/27/2009, 11:10 AM   #8
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Dang. Looks like I was off by an 1/8" twice.


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Old 07/27/2009, 11:16 AM   #9
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Acrylic you would be looking at 2" thick major money and a fork lift to move it lol.....


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Old 07/27/2009, 11:20 AM   #10
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I vote Plywood with 1" glass front.

And try to not go so tall, if it is deeper than your arms can reach you are in for a maintenance headache.

Stu


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Old 07/27/2009, 11:44 AM   #11
uncleof6
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Quote:
Originally posted by MattShack
Dang. Looks like I was off by an 1/8" twice.
Only an 1/8", but it makes a difference. I am with stu on this, shallower tank.

J


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Old 07/27/2009, 06:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by uncleof6
Only an 1/8", but it makes a difference. I am with stu on this, shallower tank.

J
I know, I was kidding around.

I'm also with Stu, I mentioned shorter earlier. Plywood with 1" glass would be a good option also and if you definitely want it 48" tall, I would strongly consider this option.


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Old 02/18/2011, 07:26 AM   #13
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Hey PrettyPearl, do you have any updates on this?

My wife and I just bought a house and I only have one wall where I can put a tank. I am limited in length and width so I want to go taller. Were you able to pull this off?

Also, how are you all making your aquariums out of plywood? What are you using to seal the plywood? How do you seal the glass to the plywood?

Thanks


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Old 02/18/2011, 08:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncleof6 View Post
I don't even want to think about acrylic for this tank..... other than to say: REAL THICK
Nah, 1.25" would be fine for this height & span with ~ 1/8" deflection, 1.5" would be helpful but not necessary by any means. And there are magnets made for 1.25" acrylic. With 1.25" acrylic, looking at a 4" perimeter flange and a single 8" cross-brace yielding 2 top openings measuring 16 x 22"

If really wanting these dimensions, not a DIY project IMO..

James


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Old 02/18/2011, 09:02 AM   #15
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I have heard of large tanks being built with fiberglass laminate sheeting, would this be a feasible option on a large tank with a front glass pane?
Have you guys seen/heard of this type of tank type before?


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Old 02/18/2011, 02:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
I have heard of large tanks being built with fiberglass laminate sheeting, would this be a feasible option on a large tank with a front glass pane?
I have been looking into that also. The tanks is made of plywood and the interior is fiberglassed. I like this route a lot. But by the time you brace the plywood on the exterior, you end up loosing a lot of volume that you would have had you just gone with glass or acrylic, at least from what I can tell. But then I guess that is the sacrifice you make to save on cost.

If I had a large fish room or basement for my tank, I would do it. I could take the risk with a DIY tank and give up some volume for the wood construction. But because my tank will be in my living room and I have 2250 square feet of wood floor on the same floor, I wont take any risks on a DIY display. Additionally, I have very limited footprint for my aquarium and I dont want to loose any gallons to have to build up framing to brace the plywood.

I may do this for my sump and refug, which would be in a fish room I will build outside of my house.


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Old 02/18/2011, 05:35 PM   #17
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When I bought my tank the manufacturer ( in Phoenix, Az.) said they use 1" from 36" to 48" and 1 1/4" from 48" to 60". I had them use 1 1/4" on my 46" tall tank because I didnt want any deflection. Tanks been up for 2 yrs. with no visable deflection.


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Old 06/03/2012, 05:46 PM   #18
prettypearl08
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Cool Tank Dimensions

After a LONG LONG LONG debate with myself I decided on the following dimensions: 96 x 30 x 31 I decided I wanted more length to take up most of the wall. I ordered the tank from Glass Cages. I was told that is almost 400 gallons. Next step is figuring out a stand for this things and lighting. I am enjoying the thought of watching everything be built from scratch! What are the reviews on LED lighting? I am strongly leaning towards the use of LED's for this set-up. Plumbing is another issue. Do any of you guys have some good visual diagrams for plumbing I can use as a blueprint? Step by Step instructions wouldn't hurt either.


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Old 06/03/2012, 05:53 PM   #19
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Wow, this thread was dredged up from the sands of time.... I am assuming the wedding went off - WITH a hitch? Anyway, looks like you are at a point where you can concentrate on this project. Maybe start a build thread so we can all follow along.


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Old 06/03/2012, 06:28 PM   #20
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Yep, everything went as planned. Actually the kids horses kept multiplying first we had two and now we have 6......talk about a lot of time and care. And then we got the new house and the open space has been killing me the void in my life and this open space has been my aquarium. My husband first told me no more tanks you have enough. I stood firm and said if I could not have my tank we would sell two of the horses well apparently it worked great! I knew it would! I get my tank and he keeps all 6 horses, but we've hired someone to take care of them on the daily basis. And I finished up my Ph.D my dissertation was a huge focus had to finish before I turned 30 got it done at 28. So now tie for my new tank before I turn 29 LOL!


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Old 06/04/2012, 05:33 PM   #21
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Hi prettypearl08, good for you ! My two cents ... I assume your tank will be on a concrete floor ? I would build a stand with cement blocks with 4" I-beams across, 2 layers of 3/4 plywood (sealed of course ) and at least 1" high density foam for the tank to sit on. As for leds. I think that's the way to go. Less heat, less power consumption and many more options than standard lighting. Good luck ! Neil


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