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Old 02-02-2005, 04:37 PM   #21
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Hhe.. no problem Billy..

The final size of the tank depends on 2 things.


1: Agreement between my wife and I on an acceptable footprint (this evening)

2: Thickness / Cost of the 'window' acrylic.

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Old 02-02-2005, 04:56 PM   #22
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How much is a sheet of acrylic @ 1/8th or 1/16th" thick? (only needs to be thin, it's not weight bearing, just a sealed surface, but you could use 1/8th" plate glass that's probably very low cost aswell)

Oh, I checked, If it were glass face it would need to be 12-16mm thick, (3/8th is 10mm, so 1/2" - 3/4") I imagine Acrylic would be 1/2".

Hmm, I have lexan adhered using silicone (tho not in an aquarium) but that part is moot since it's not exposed to water.

I'm just making suggestions, the cost factor is up to you, I've just heard of people having problem with epoxy coated plywood leaking.

If you build a frame from angled steel (available at home depot), you can bolt the acrylic to it at the top and increase it's resistance to flexing, might be a good idea anyway.

1/8" non tempered glass here is 4$/sq' so that would be 36$ for each side and the bottom with glass supported by Plywood, so 90$ for a perfectly wterproof seal, that judgement is your call (and glass places will cut it to size)

a sheet of tempered glass(1/2") @ your size would be about 90$, so you can actually save a bit of money going with glass, the 6" x 36" pieces would be in the neighbourhood of 20$, so

2 x 20$ (Side viewing) = 40$
1 x 90$ (Tempered Face) = 90$
you have 3 viewing angles and the same cost as 3/8th acrylic. (then again, you can use the scrap from the 3/8th acrylic sheet to give you 2 6" x 36" strips, but I wouldn't trust the flex on the sides)

Just my thoughts anyway.

Total for glass, 200 and change.

and 1/8th" non-tempered can be drilled for an overflow.
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:07 PM   #23
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Acrylic Sheet 48" x 96" 1/8" Thick : $58.00


Oh..Ok.. I see.. You're saying just a thin layer of glass inside, on the plywood, to ensure the watertight seal... Makes sense. Could you go less than 1/8" or is that pushing it? I'd think anything would be ok since it's on a plywood surface.

The only thing that would concern me about that is live rock, etc in the tank, creating stress points on that thin of a sheet of glass... (Granted, live rock is in the Sandbed, but my eel has a BAD Habit of clearing out the sand all the way to the bottom of the tank under 'his' rocks)


Also, it would have to be non-tempered on the bottom, as it'd have to have 2 holes drilled in it, for the overflows.

I'll ponder on this more after we prototype the layout this evening.
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:16 PM   #24
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I don't think they make it thinner then 1/8th"

You could use very thin acrylic or plexi, same acomplishment, it's just a sealing layer.

The glass should not crack since it's supported by 3/4" plywood, (you could double up the bottom if you've already allocated 2 sheets) glas only cracks or breaks from flexing, which it's not allowed to do because of the plywood.

Going glass has it's advantages, acrylic has it's own aswell, I don't know if you can mix the 2, but I'll have a boo on the net (nothing else to do ATM ) and see what it says about the joints for acrylic, if it's silicone, then mating glass and plexi/acrylic would be fine.

edit: Nope, they use different sealants, so go all glass, or all acrylic.
3' is quite a lot of pressure on the walls.. if you can get thicker face materil I'ld do it.
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:36 PM   #25
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Same price here for 1/8" non-tempered glass... $4.10 sqft.


Sadly, however, it's a special order to get glass over 3/8" thick.
$13.25 a sqft for 1/2" glass... Shesh.

And apparently, impossible to get Acrylic over 1/4" thick.


I assume you'd want the viewing glass to be tempered? Or is non-tempered ok?


-edit-
After thinking about it, 3' is too ****ed tall.

18 - 24 inches is better off, tho 2 feet still looks friggin huge.
With 24" height, GARF says 1/4" Glass would do it for the front.
Much MUCH more appeasing. (Same with acrylic)
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Old 02-02-2005, 06:01 PM   #26
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Tempered is 5x stronger, but if it goes, it's a big bang, no warning, no cracks. I think most aquariums that are larger stick to tempered glass, for a piece 6' x 2' of 5/8th" i got a quote of 180$ (all non-standard sizes of tempered glass are special order since it can't be cut) so you may want to see if you can get a price on that before deciding, it would appear the front window will decide what the tank is made out of.

1/4" acrylic is way too thin, perhaps ordering online you can find a cheaper place with thicker acrylic?

if they charge down to the square inch, you'ld be looking at 140$ for the front glass in 1/2 " (tempered or not, the price was yours)

Reducing the height of the tank to 2' would allow for 3/8's glass for the face (and that would be very strong)

http://www.sdplastics.com/sdplas2.html

Prices on all kinds of acrylic. (and all thicknesses)

Ah well, some things for you to think about, let us know which way you decide to do it, and take pictures.

I was gonna build a 150Gal, but no matter which way I sliced it, it was cheaper to buy it pre-made. :S

edit for your edit I would use a bit thicker face material, 4' is quite a span to allow to bow, perhaps 3/8" .

Glad to see you found an answer

Oh, if you use glass, you can paint the galss before you put the wood behind it, this way no paint in the tank and a nice black background (or would this make a mirror?)
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Old 02-03-2005, 01:09 PM   #27
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Ok. Plotted it out on the floor with Cardboard...

It's a go.

Here's the plan.

A Corner Tank.

2' Tall
3' Along each wall
6" Side's to angled front.
44" appx Front viewing area.

Materials:

Plywood / Glass

Start: This weekend
Pictures: Will be documenting the whole process.

ETA: 2 Months (Conservative)
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Old 02-10-2005, 11:41 AM   #28
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Have gotten off to a start.. Just a quick question.

For sealing the plywood, I know there are several solutions.

From epoxy to fiberglass, to special paint on lining materials.

My question is..

In your "OPINION", whats the best, but most affordable way, to seal the plywood?

I say most affordable, but that's the one area I don't want to skimp on.

Meaning, if $100 dollars of compound A will work as well as $150 dollars of compound B, i'd rather use compound A..

As far as the earlier Idea of lining the inside of the tank with glass, I don't know if I am going to go that route or not. I've been having bad thoughts of the glass not flexing correctly with the wood when the tank is moved from construction area to setup area (appx 2 1/2 hr drive)

Many Tanks... er.. Thanks.

Dave
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Old 02-10-2005, 11:47 AM   #29
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I've never constructed a tank, let alone out of plywood so I can't really offer an informed opinion. It would seem, however, that epoxy would be the most cost effective. A good two-part non-toxic resin would be good. Look for marine grade (used in building boats)

There hasn't been a lot of threads here about constructing out of plywood either, but I know on some chiclid forums lots of folks go that route (need cheap big tanks) so you want to google for some chiclid forums, and check their DIY sections to see if you get any economical sealing suggestions.

HTH
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