DIY Glass Tank Building

  • rivethead19
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rivethead19 created the topic: DIY Glass Tank Building

Hi

I'm low on cash, always. DIY is the way I like to save money and when I learned about tank building I new I was going to make my own tank.

Buying large tanks are very expensive. making your own is nowhere near as expensive. I don't have any experience though, but you have to try in order to get experienced right...? I'd like some advice from my fellow fish enthusiasts though if you have any advice and help to offer.

Anyway. I have found glass suppliers in my area, but glass is not free. Thick glass is a little pricey and I don't like to spend a lot of money if I don't have to. Glass that people throw out is great if it is undamaged. A few weeks ago, I found shower doors that someone was throwing out. They're very heavy, very durable, nice shower doors. They're not scratched or chipped. Someone merely threw them out because they were old.

I went to Home Depot to get a glass cutter and went by the shower doors and found the exact same shower doors. They're $250 shower doors :) nice glass for an aquarium. The only problem is there is a bar on each door, a bar that you would use to pull each door open so you could step into the shower. The the bar on each door is screwed into the glass, so there is a hole on each side of the door.

Each door is 55 inches long and 30 inches long. The hole on each side is 3 inches in from the edge of the glass.

The tank will not be filled high, this must be noted

My question is, do these holes make the glass unstable...? If I covered them up with something water resistance so that water couldn't leak through, could that glass be too weak to serve as the bottom of the tank...? I can always resize the tank. I don't know the perfect width for an Oscar, I just got my first Oscar and he is smaller than my largest Molly :p

If the holes will make my glass weak I was going to just use the tops and bottoms of the shower doors so I wouldn't have anything but solid glass. I could make a square tank but it wouldn't be anywhere near as large :(

Glass is very hard to find so I don't want to break this glass so if I could get some advice from more experienced do it yourself-ers that would be amazing!!!


Thank you so much for any advice that may come my way


- Brad
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Suprd71 replied the topic: DIY Glass Tank Building

Hey Brad. Those shower doors are no good. 2 reasons. They are likely tempered glass, you cant cut them. If not tempered, they must be at least 1/2 in thick, you wont cut that with a hardware store glass cutter. Used glass is not recommended for aquariums. Unseen by eye, used glass is full of stress fractures and will not stand up to the pressure of an aquarium. DIY is a great way to have a large tank and save money. I say large tank as in well over 200 gallons, and then the way to go is a wood framed plywood tank with a glass front. You cant diy a tank under 100gals for less than you can find good used or oft times new at sale prices. Then theres always in the back of your mind.... will it hold? Scrimp and save some dough, keep a watch on Craigs list or similar sights, way better off in the long run. Also keep in mind, tanks alone are relatively cheap compared to quality equipment, filters, heaters, lights etc.


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DBLN8 replied the topic: Re:DIY Glass Tank Building

^^^^^^^^^
Good advice above.


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jmunroe replied the topic: Re:DIY Glass Tank Building

Get yourself a cheap tank that leaks and reseal it if your trying to save money. Put up an ad looking for leaking tanks. I agree as will most that the glass in those doors will probably result in a wet mess. I also agree that the tank itself is usually one of the cheaper items to buy in a setup.


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Big-Ken replied the topic: Re:DIY Glass Tank Building

I also like DIY but if your going to build your own tank dont cheapen out on the glass or the silicone , 55-100 gallons of water on the floor will cost a hell of alot more in damage to your carpet and subfloor than the savings from not buying the proper glass
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  • rivethead19
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rivethead19 replied the topic: DIY Glass Tank Building

I am so sorry for my VERY late reply, Big-Ken, jmunroe, DBLN8, Suprd71 !!!!!

I never got any emails that said I had gotten replies to any of my questions and I had checked back a couple times after I had written this question and a few others. Sorry again!!

Yeah, I now know I can't use them to build the tank I wanted to build :( they're tempered glass and the only tank I would be able to build is a very large tank which is what I'm trying to build right now but having some real problems with right now and going insane over.

I live in a two story house, and I live upstairs, my tank would go upstairs. Water is VERY VERY heavy, and after research tanks in excess of 4ft I really got to appreciate the weight of water. Tanks of that length can easily exceed 1000lbs.

I've called a lot of places and there's a place that sells acrylic sheets and for what's going to end up being a little over two hundred dollars I can get enough 1/2" thick acrylic to make a nice sized tank.

My original specs: 55" long, 30" inch wide, 24" tall...

but those specs equal out to a 171 gallon tank that weighs 1400+ lbs and I don't know that that's safe for any ones second floor.

I had considered lowering height to 20 inches and only filling it 16" but with fish that grow to 12" I then thought, "will my fish have enough room to swim...?" they'll have plenty of room to swim around, but will they have enough room to swim up and down and what not and not just back and forth and around the tank.

that tank design 20" tall filled 16" is only 950 lbs, much, much, much lighter.

This is an oscar form, I'm sure people have an opinion about that swimming room

I'm now wondering if it's even worth it to go the DIY route at this point. It's going to cost me $200+ for acrylic, I still have to build a stand (which costs money), I have to buy heating and filtration for a tank that large, etc. etc. etc.

I have 2 albino red oscars right now that are both around 4" long. Maybe it'd be the same price or even cheaper to just buy a 75 gallon and make a canister filter. I don't know. Things are continuing to add up.

Seems cheap at first. "AAAWWW, THIS IS SO AWESOME!!! I can build a tank myself! I bet I can save money too! OH and I can make it my own dimensions OH YEAH THIS IS SO COOL!!!!" then you start trying to get everything together and seeing prices and your attitude changes lol

Thank you again so much for responding and I'm so sorry for replying so late
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Suprd71 replied the topic: DIY Glass Tank Building

Hey again Brad.. the dimensions and volume you are considering is still FAR too small for 2 Oscars. I consider the minimum requirement a 6ft tank of no less than 125 gals. Footprint is important for Oscars, given equal volume, the longer tank is always better. As stated before, DIY only pays off with very large tanks, hundreds of gallons. The 75 and canister you mentioned is a good tank.. for 1 Oscar only. There is no way to get around keeping 2 Oscars in anything less than 6ft and 125.


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rivethead19 replied the topic: DIY Glass Tank Building

Thanks again for replying and sorry again for my late reply (again -_-).

Yeah, I figured my shower door specs, all of them were too small. But oh well. 6ft is a bit too big for me. Takes up too much space, and is a weight risk I don't want to take. I don't have have great walls, super weight bearing and what not. 100 gallon would be about is much as far as I'd want to go. We'll see what I work out.

I don't like cube tanks. the rectangular shallow tanks are what I like for big and really smaller fish too, but I believe that they should be at least around 2 ft tall, which as around double the length of the average Oscar. My Oscars are growing fast. I got mine last month and they have lived up to their inch a month growth rate which I kinda hoped was an exaggeration lol

Water pig is also a fitting name, crude but fitting name. I had normal community fish in their tank before I got them and my filtration was very basic: bio-bags and sponge filter. I had double filtration which was keeping my water crystal clear, which I was very proud of because I had switched from gravel to sand, which took some time to get looking nice.

It's getting warm outside now though and people are selling tanks on Craigslist, leaky tanks are going for very cheap, decent sizes, some with stands. So I'll pick one up next month.

Anyway, they're in good health. I'm changing their water very frequently since their tank isn't big enough. When I got them I wasn't aware of how dirty they are.

Thanks again for your help :)
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