Small tank build

  • Nina_W
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Nina_W created the topic: Small tank build

I built a tank today! If I can do it, so can you :D

Here's how I went about it, in six steps:

1. Get your glass:
For my small tank, I used old, 5mm thick glass I had from a previous project. I had it cut into five pieces
two pieces measuring 40 by 40 cm.
two pieces measuring 19 by 40 cm.
and one piece measuring 20 by 40 cm.

The edges were rounded for me, I can only recommend having this done. A bit extra expense, in exchange for zero cuts.

And voila:


2. Do a dry fit:
Using some rectangular objects, assemble the tank with tape (I used masking tape). This is a good idea for three reasons - firstly, you're excited, and this way you can see what it's going to look like quickly. Secondly, it makes sure all your glass pieces are cut squarely enough that this is possible. Thirdly, it's good practice. Balancing glass is hard.



Note how I assembled my glass - I have a single, flat piece on the bottom, on top of which are my sides. The long sides are the full length of the bottom, while my side panels fit in between them (this is why they are only 19cm wide, to fit in).

Here's a closeup of the corner to help show you what I mean:


3. Prepare

Take your test fit apart. Clean the inch or so of glass around the inside edge of each glass piece with acetone or rubbing alcohol (this helps silicone adhere).

Get your silicone ready. I used bostic's marine silicone:

I cut the nozzle to allow a 4mm bead of silicone. I also had a spare tube ready and waiting, in case I needed it. I did not, but while siliconing, time is of the essence - have a spare (or two) ready and waiting.

Also get extra pieces of tape ready:

again, masking tape. This is because my electrical tape supply is low, I wanted to save it for crucial points - but electrical tape is superior for this job in every way.

4. Assemble your tank
Using your tape, assemble your tank. I started by putting strips of tape under the bottom, and laying it flat, ready to stick the tape upwards onto the sides. Then, I took a long side, and propped it up against the tank's future stand. Taped the bottom to it, then applied tape for the next sides to come. Then I made the nearest corner, using a snowglobe to help support it.
Then the other short side, finally the other long side.

I know my description is poor. Do a dry fit and figure out what works for you.

After finishing with masking tape, I added electrical tape for stability. This is how it ended up:


5. Silicone!
This is messy. Make peace with it. You also need to do this quickly, new silicone does not adhere to dry silicone well. For a good seam, try and finish this step in 15 minutes or less.
I started by applying silicone all along the bottom of the tank, then up each side. My bead was messy, and thick. This is ok :)
Once your messy bead is done, use a small coin to neaten the edges. Push it into the bead, and draw the coin upwards. I wiped the extra silicone off onto a piece of cardboard as I went.
When you're done, your silicone will look like this:


This is a closeup:


And a corner:


6. Bask
This is a crucial step! Do not skip it.


I am quite pleased. The result is a 30 liter (7 gallon-ish) little tank.

This took one hour to do.
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GeorgeP replied the topic: Re: Small tank build

Nice build Nina, your post's are always so well thought out and informative. I noticed you didn't silicone the glass edge's before assembly, only the inside. I feel it should be noted that this should be done with larger tank builds.
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  • Brooksie
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Brooksie replied the topic: Re: Small tank build

Nina what an awesome post! You make me want to try the project!!

I can see your smiling reflection in the last picture that shows exactly how happy you were with the tank!

Congrats!!

P.S. I think you would make a great moderator ! ;)

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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Small tank build

GeorgeP wrote: Nice build Nina, your post's are always so well thought out and informative. I noticed you didn't silicone the glass edge's before assembly, only the inside. I feel it should be noted that this should be done with larger tank builds.


good point, yes. I must emphasize that this is a small tank build. SMALL!
With larger tanks you need to worry about bracing as well, and you really do need a caulking gun and some help. If you want to try a large aquarium, try reading this guy's stuff first. He also answers emails, which really helps:
www.austinglass.com.au/aquariums.html

Brooksie wrote: Nina what an awesome post! You make me want to try the project!!


Well, do it!

I guess the real proof will come tomorrow when I fill it, but I feel fairly at ease.
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Brooksie replied the topic: Re: Small tank build

Brooksie wrote: Nina what an awesome post! You make me want to try the project!!


Well, do it!

I guess the real proof will come tomorrow when I fill it, but I feel fairly at ease.[/quote]

Ahhh... that's always a true test!!! At least if it leaks you don't have to be mad at anyone else! :)

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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Small tank build

Brooksie wrote:
Ahhh... that's always a true test!!! At least if it leaks you don't have to be mad at anyone else! :)


and then I get to practice my resealing skills :P
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Brooksie replied the topic: Re: Small tank build

Nina_W wrote:

Brooksie wrote:
Ahhh... that's always a true test!!! At least if it leaks you don't have to be mad at anyone else! :)


and then I get to practice my resealing skills :P


So you can teach us all the tricks!

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ehall67 replied the topic: Re: Small tank build

Cool little build! So what's the tank for?

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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Small tank build

ehall67 wrote: Cool little build! So what's the tank for?

Eddie, we were talking about Diana Walstad the other day - read this and tell me you're not keen to try it as well:


Shrimp tank

(sorry about the pdf thing, that's how she put it online)

Except, since we don't have any freshwater shrimp in South Africa (at least, not live ones) I will be doing it with a siamese fighting fishy.
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Rocksor replied the topic: Re: Small tank build

Did you have to make sure each side was level?
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