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Old 08-19-2012, 03:37 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Eastern Ontario
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DIY Aquarium Questions

Hey. After looking around for a tank that'll fit my space, with no luck, I thought to myself "why not build an aquarium?"

Now the stickies threads were immensely helpful I have a few questions though.
1- Which is better, plexiglass (acrylic) or glass?
2- what type of adhesive recommended? Would contractor grade clear silicone work?
3- Am I better of getting a local glass/acrylic dealer to put it together and have him guarantee the work?

36 GALLON "Central American Biotope"
20 GALLON- "Electric Yellow Cich Heaven"
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:37 PM   #2
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Location: Indiana
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The general pros and cons: glass poorer optical clarity but starphire glass negates much of that argument. Extra weight of glass (not an issue unless you are talking big tanks) compared to acrylic. Acrylic easier for the average DIY person to cut and finish (table saw, router, sand edges, flame, etc....) the hard part is joining the pieces and getting a bubble free quality seal. Many DIY acrylic tanks have very poor joints. I personally wouldn't mind building an acrylic tank just for kicks but really have no intention of ever using them on a regular basis. I prefer glass easily.

Have a glass company cut and polish edges. Assembly is realtively easy if you tape everything out and have a plan. Several good tank builds out there on several forums (maybe here also I just haven't kept up with this site as much). Good build thread on the planted tank forum of a rimless that is very detailed (the tank failed at somepoint however) but the reasons were given to why he thought it failed. They also will give the main silicones one should look for. Acrylic you will need to practice on a little with getting a good seal. Capillary action used mainly to wick the solvent into the seam to dissolve and join the two pieces. Once again several builds on how to do it (wire diameter to use to space the peices, Weldon solvent suggestions, etc...). Calvin on Nanoreef.com had a great 12 long acrylic build thread with detailed construction of the tank I would highly recommend reading.
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