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Old 09-12-2005, 07:54 PM   #1
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is it cost effective to build a diy tank?

i want to buy a diy tank but i want to knowif it will be under 123 dollars to be cost effective?
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Old 09-12-2005, 09:23 PM   #2
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your saying that you want to purchase one that someone else has already built or would like to know how much it would cost for the materials to build one?
The materials used will greatly affect cost..
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Old 09-12-2005, 10:07 PM   #3
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well i would build it using the cheapest stuff i could find but i want to know if it would be under 123 $ because a store near me sells tanks that are 75 gallons and all glass and i want to know if its under 123 $
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Old 09-12-2005, 10:44 PM   #4
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you would want to price 3/8" plate glass in your area then.. HTH
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Old 09-13-2005, 10:00 AM   #5
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and do NOT build a 75gallon tank cheaply. 75gallons of water is over 600 lbs and WILL find any weakness in your assembly and exploit it.
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Old 09-13-2005, 02:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by malkore
and do NOT build a 75gallon tank cheaply. 75gallons of water is over 600 lbs and WILL find any weakness in your assembly and exploit it.
And with that being said, I link you here:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=13669

I suggest you just buy a tank of that size if you're wanting to take the cheap way out.
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Old 09-13-2005, 02:41 PM   #7
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the short answer is, no. the price of building your own vs buying one are very similar you might save 5 - 10% but you run the risk of assembly problems, catastrophic failure, etc and by and large glass prices are based on location, the price a guy from new york will pay, is different from what someone in washington will pay. about 10 - 15 yrs ago building your own was a great way to save money, but now so many tanks are built each day by companies, the price you pay in store has fallen greatly. other option is hunt around your local cities for an acrylic supplier, they might cut you a good deal on surplus stock, mis cut stock, etc and the savings might make acrylic cheaper than glass.

if you were going to build a plywood tank you might save about 15 - 20% and is probably the 'cheapest' route to go, since you are only buying 1 piece of glass. the only thing that would bump up the cost is marine grade sealer which from my research price varies on location, and availability (not to many people are going have use for boat sealer in utah). however for a plywood tank all cuts have to be perfect (more so than an all glass tank) and construction time is considerably increased.

the only reason to build your own tank vs buying a prefab unit, is if you want some crazy dimension, a weird shape, want a cheaper acrylic tank [building your own acrylic tank is typically more expensive than the glass alternitive, but by building your own, you can beat the 'sticker' price of an acrylic tank] or if you have the materials and the know-how laying around your house.

however to some people, saving 5% is more than enough reason to build your own, and not to mention the thrill and satisfaction of building your own tank. if you are dedicated to building one, then you need to do some research, i would call every glass shop in your area, and ask them the price for the dimensions you want, and maybe a few hardware stores too (not home depot, a true hardware store - some will have a small glass area in store, with limited selections, in the cleveland area, i know of 2 hardware stores like this) and then take the numbers they give you and figure out what the total cost would be, then make your decision, most of the time though people opt for buying pre-fab. and do not forgot any tank over 55 gallons will need a tempered glass bottom or a thicker piece of glass.
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Old 09-14-2005, 08:50 PM   #8
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i was going to build a DIY tank.
but i went around looking at glass at shops and it is almost $200 dollars more for the glass then you have to buy the cilicone and put all the work into building it. Then it can leak if you do the smalist thing wrong. it's not worth it.
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Old 09-15-2005, 12:33 PM   #9
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I can say I have calculated I could build a glass tank around 100 gallons for less than $125. That being said, I would not recommend it unless you have experience building any glass tanks smaller than 20 gallons. I have built 4 tanks now, all under 15 gallons and I definately am not ready to build one over 50 gallons. Way too much work to be done by a novice. None of my tanks ever leaked and they look good but it took a lot of time and energy and a lot of cleanup to get them that way.

When I do get ready to build my tank the only reason I will be building is because I want an "L" tank over 100 gallons and around 20 inches wide as well as 20" inches tall. The lowest price I have found for an "L" tank over 75 gallons is around $350, I can buy the glass for less than $150. I will be sealing this tank in the standard way, glass to glass but I will also be putting a wooden frame around it which will be siliconed to the glass to add a lot of strength and prevent leaks. Will also make it a lot easier to set everything in place and hide the extra silicone from being overly worried about failures and leaks.

To give you an idea of prices here, 1/4 inch plate is $3.50 a square foot. 3/8 is $9.31 a square foot.
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