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Old 01-11-2013, 09:21 AM   #1
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Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
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DIY Nano Build!

So I was on site today, speaking to one of the window fitters, when he mentioned that someone had ordered too many panes of glass, I joked that id take them off him, to my surprise he said take them. So I've got them home, 4 of them and measured them. All of them are the same size, 481mm x 372mm (18.9" x 14.6"), so a nice little nano tank I believe. Now I've measure the thickness of the glass and it seems to be 9mm thick, however I am struggling to tell whether it is double glazing. I cant see a gap between the glass but there is a metal strip that runs in the glass around the edge, which is apparrently a sign of double glazing.

So first question, does anybody know of a simple sure way to tell whether it is double glazed or not?
Second question, if it is double glazing, is there any reason why a couldn't or shouldn't use it to build a nano tank?
Third question, If it is double glazed would it be worth trying to split them, potentially leaving me with enough for 2 tanks? Though the glass would then only be 3-4mm thick possibly too thin?

Now ive had a good think about the tank, and obviously only having 4 panes means I would have to have a wooden bottom. Ive looked at a couple of ways of waterproofing this. Ive seen 2 part epoxy paint on solutions like a1 pond paint by antel or p1 pond sealant by pondsafe, these seem easy, although a bit expensive for the sake of the bottom of a nano tank. Another option of course would be some sort of inert plastic sheeting that could be glued to the bottom and the tank built on top. Any thoughts on this tank bottom would be much appreciated?!

Now I'm thinking of doing as much of this build myself as possible. I'll build the tank myself. Obviously I cant build the heater myself, but the filter i can. So I'm considering making a moving bed filter similar to the one in these videos,
video 1,
video 2
Any thoughts on this would also be much appreciated.

Now I don't really have the time or spare money to put into the project right now, so expect a long planning period, but I will keep this post updated throughout the build, and I would appreciate any advice on the above points and anything I haven't mentioned.

I have established that the glass is definitely double glazed. So it is 2x3mm panes with a 3mm gap in between.
So I could do with some advice or ideas on the best course of action. I have a couple of ideas i'll put to you and hopefully we can decide what is the best most viable option.
First idea, Leave the glass as it is and build 1 nano tank with the double glazed units.
Second idea, seperate all the panes of glass so that i have 8 sheets at 3mm thickness. Meaning I could potentially build 2 nano tanks.
Obviously the second idea is my preferred, as it means I get 2 tanks and I guess 1 single pain of glass would be better for viewing the contents of the tank than looking through 2 sheets with a gap between.

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Old 01-14-2013, 03:48 PM   #2
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So after using an online calculator it has occured to me that as the 2 panes of glass are each only 3mm wide, it is too thin for a tank that size (the volume would potentially be over 80 litres). Even if I leave the panes as they are, stuck together with a gap in between, all the pressure would still be on one 3mm pane. So I think the best course of action is to separate all the panes which is easy enough then glue the 2 sheets directly together surface to surface, no gap in between. This should then easily be strong enough. Shouldn't it? Most glass glues i've seen are meant to dry clear, so a small bead of glues around the edge of each pair should do the trick and not be noticable. Even if it is noticable, at worst i end up with a cheap homemade quarantine tank.


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Old 04-07-2013, 02:26 PM   #3
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So the glass I had was probably not appropriate but since then i have acquired some more glass. One sheet about 280cm long it was, by about 45cm wide. Much thicker, laminate glass. It was cracked at one end, hence why it wasn't needed, so i cut of the cracked bit, then I've cut the remaining glass in half. Then one of the halves I've cut into 4 sheets. So I had 4 sheets 33cm by 45centimetres. I acquired some scrap plywood from work for the bottom of the tank and some timber trim for the edge of the base. I purchased some pond liner from the local garden centre to line the bottom of the tank, and some aquarium sealant.
Last weekend I measured out and cut all the glass and wood to the correct proportions. I screwed and glued the trim down on 3 sides. And glued down and cut down the pond liner. This was left to dry until yesterday morning. Yesterday I got up cleaned the glass thoroughly. I put all the glass in there positions held together by tape, just to ensure everything fit properly. It did so I proceeded to silicone the glass into position. Once in position I used clamps to hold it all together.

This afternoon, I have trimmed off the excess lumps of silicon inside and outside the tank, using a Stanley knife. Then using a smaller tube of aquarium silicon I run a small bead along all the joints on the inside of the tank. The tank is now sat drying. I will leave it a few days before filling it with water to check that it holds and has no leaks. Once I know it is safe and doesn't leak I will clean clean the glass thoroughly as silicon has gone all over. I also want to apply some sort of finish to the wooden base, not sure whether to paint it, or apply some sort of varnish, or even some sort of material covering, thoughts?
I'm thinking I will use the glass I originally acquired to make a lid of some sort. I've already made a filter similar to the one in the video link earlier in the thread, its currently maturing in my established tank. I ain't sure what lighting solution I will use yet, any ideas?

My partner wants this tank, and she intends to keep a Betta in there wish some sort of schooling fish, undecided which yet, but has taken a liking to Penguin tetra.
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