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Old 05-12-2011, 04:50 PM   #11
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Tanks for all the replies i will post more 3-D designs later
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by vundercoverdog View Post
@Mr.Limpet- I chose Glass because i've heard acrylic is most costly(a lot more) But i would look into it, and how much weight can it hold? The tank filled would weigh a roughly 1400 lbs not including Decor and substrate.

When i start i will build a thread with lots of pictures! ;P
Acrylic can hold a lot. The huge tank wall they recently put in at the Cal. Academy of Science is made of acrylic, I think the wall is like 6"+ thick and I'm sure it cost a bundle lol. I get what you're saying that it's more expensive, but it'll cut down on the dry weight of the tank too.

Are you matching this with a custom stand too? Now that you say using oak for the steps, with a nice grained finish on the outside of it and a matching or contrasting stand, I think it would look outstanding .

Definitely gonna follow along with your build thread
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:48 PM   #13
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A couple of things I noticed. The overall height will be 8". That makes it problematic in most rooms. It really needs to be made entirely of glass the way it is designed. Trying to join glass and wood, is not really possible with that design. I don't get the point of the stairs.
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:01 PM   #14
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being in the glass industry here in australia. yes.. what your planning is possible. BUT really really tough and way too much to go wrong..
i would make a glass cube. all sides square.. and then find some way to fashon the steps inside.. Also.. realise there will be no way to keep the substrate from cascading/avalanching downwards toward that bottom step.. without putting lips on the font of each step. and even then you could only fill up each step to the top of the lip.. fish and mechanical water movement will eventually move all your sand to the bottom.
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:30 PM   #15
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Grug, i might just think of doing all glass then fashion the steps inside if i cant find a way to build the tank my way. as for the substrate i will build lips about 2" high for the substrate could get in but so the lips don't show i will be putting a grass wall in the 2nd step (3-d rock backround in the first) as for the sand i will be putting it in the 3rd step sort of like a golf bunker. I'm almost done with that 3d layout i will post later on today
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Old 05-14-2011, 05:32 PM   #16
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Heres of how the decorating is going to go
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Old 05-14-2011, 05:50 PM   #17
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Just use acrylic panels inside the tank to create the stepped effect... much like you'd do in a paludarium, or a sump even. All you need is, essentially, a retaining wall for each step, then fill it up to the desired depth.
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:52 PM   #18
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This is one of the coolest custom tanks I've ever seen definitely following along.
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:58 PM   #19
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Yeah i was going to do the acrylic instead of the wood platform. Much easier and it will be quicker too. Thanks for following along

Thank you, i love designing this tank tank just wanted something different than a cube.
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:03 PM   #20
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I would not build it the way you have in the 3-D pic. <It is a neat design however.>

The bottom of the tank takes the most stress, and when you break it up into sections like that, you weaken the bottom, I would not be able to sleep at night with all the bottom seams that can spring leaks!

Personally, I would build a 3x3x3 cube out of glass (or maybe a bit deeper). Then I would build the steps out of acrylic and fit that inside the tank. The single pane of bottom glass is the least leak prone, and you will still have the acrylic steps that will give you the look you want. Acrylic is much easier to work with, and with a complicate platform like that it will be easier to build out of acrylic. You can silicone acrylic to glass inside the tank. It won't be 100% water proof, but it doesn't matter since the glass bottom is your real seal. You might want to have water in the dead space enclosed by the acrylic. <Make it a sump. If the dead space is filled with water, it will support the acrylic platforms ... so you won't have to use too thick material. Drill some holes in the acrylic & put in a small pump to circulate water in that space, and you will have increase water volume, a place to hide your heater, etc.>

You can build the shaped tank out of acrylic as proposed, but you will have to have a matching platform to support all the uneven weight. The support will need to be engineered well so there is no stress on any of the acrylic seams. I would trust this since the acrylic is bonded at the molecular level, but I certainly will not do this shape with glass.
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