DIY aquarium glass and wood

sherryazure(6)October 25, 2005

Hello all:

I have this older book (hard to find) on building aquariums, a bit beyond my aquariums skills as more like public aquariums with seperate area for plants filtration which drains into main tank.. but they use glass, wood plastics so on... has anyone built a tank with wood on bottom, sides and back with either glass or acrylic in front WITHOUT having to have a frame around the front.

In other words, to have it neater looking. I have sculpter skills and can build, but here are my questions... the side seems would have to not be plywood as I am not sure the seal would be strong... non plywood is not as straight...maybe put edge of some sort and afix glass/acrylic to that? From doing research someone built their own but realized silicone does not attach well to wood. His photo shows the type of front I do not want.

Some options I thought of which I am not sure they will work would be:

1 - all acrylic (have made seems are reinforced) but have back bottom and sides in less thick plastic so as to reduce cost and line with wood for strength and support?

2 - all glass (any links to how to, ie types of glass so on) would need reinforcing bars and this would be long to fit atop my very long built in cabinet (about 10 feet or more) about 18 inches deep as as tall up to two feet as I think I can go without the whole thing collasping... This would be for bali shark after I find home for Irridescent Shark (catfish) - if impossible or too very expensive will give bali shark (minnow) to good home as well...

3 - all plastic but from checking on canal street here in nyc pretty expensive...

Complications would be finding sealer that works both with glass acrylic (forgive spelling) and wood... and reinforcing seems (with acylic they use a small round piece in corner which makes the larger more public aquariums sound (plus extra thick grade plastic)

One thought would be metal on end (can't think of name of shape but with 2 sides) and seal whole thing after with sealer... I know this product seals well....but works on everything BUT plastics...

My original idea was to have sunken 'baskets' with bog plants, driftwood, which I have and have been soaking... driftwood partialy out of water, with back splash and trickle water fall feature around the middle and/or where driftwood is partialy out.... with bali shark would have plastic screen submerges where necessary to prevent jumping and idea was to have bog plants growing up, some draped over into water area... (older books such as Dr Innes have fantastic ideas on this) I have already built a wall feature with hypertufa rocks over 7 feet long wide and with pond along one wall of my bedroom, but kept creating splashes for water and it got to big, I have to say, so am going to reduce. by the way anyone in NYC who wants some really nice free chunks of hypertufa rock, sands and rocks imbedded, lol, let me know.. hate to throw them out.

so idea is complicated but can do, just can't figure out if wood and or glass plastic which is best to use without wasting too much money experimenting.. sorry for length.

any thoughts links help... thanks Sherry

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woeisme(z7b NC)

I had planned to do your first option with a thin acrylic adhered to plywood and a thick piece of acrylic for the front. A contact cement should work to adhere the acrylic to the plywood. As far as no framing to support the front, I dont see how. Possibly use wood and prime it with an epoxy filler type of undercoat, I dont know what it is called but it is used in model making to seal wood and when painted it looks almost like a plastic. is good for tons of links, but it seems to be down. I cant connect. For acrylic check the link below, also a yahoo DIY aquarium will give you tons of links. One thing I found out, building an aquarium is not "cost effective" unless it is over 150 Gallons, custom sized/dimensions or just the sake to say you built one.

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY acrylic

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 9:35PM
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Woeisme... funny as I was looking online just to see what ready built costs. yet when I asked at canal street acrylic extremely expensive.. unless they make it in dimensions I would prefer.. exxxxtra long to run length of my already built cabinet (just frame double walled with bamboo type (some other natural plant fiber actually but forgot name) shades in front - 3 parts - and blue trim on bamboo -- double pane wood top - 2 lengths of wood (as I didn't want to order special width of solid wood for costs sake, but turned out interesting design, which I faux painted dark with lighter highlights, looks Asian which is theme of room (sort of) so thought it would be great since bottom is extra strong (added on to previously made thing) to have tank on top running entire length, less wide, long and not too tall???

Also, thought if cemented flat metal to ends of sides, would be more secure then wood filler so on.. seems rather difficult and was already thinking 'what was I thinking' but image of it seems nice... will look at solid glass maybe. thanks Sherry (and will check out your links...)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 9:46PM
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