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Old 05-11-2011, 06:00 PM   #1
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Question Need help building this cool design of a 130G tank

So as you can see it's a complicated design but it artistic and i love designing it and would like to bring it to life.

I thought of starting out with a custom base made of plywood aswell as the back and canopy but the two front viewing panels need to be cut to fit the "stair" base. I thought of tempered glass but can't find a place to cut it for me like that. does anyone know where i can get it cut? (i know you can't cut tempered glass but before it goes the tempering process it could be right?)

Dimensions: 3'x3'x3'

The stand will be 3'x3'x3'

Canopy will be 3'x3'x2'

Any suggestions on how to build the stand? I thought of using 3x4's

Anyone built something similiar to this?
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:17 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA!

Before you get too excited, price out a pair of 3'x3' glass panels of the required thickness. A 3' deep tank will need some thick glass and it's probably more cost-effective to buy a big tank and build the steps inside.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:22 PM   #3
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Your right.. you cant cut glass once its been through the toughening / tempering process.. but you can do it beforehand.. edges will have to be done by a CNC polishing machine or try to find someone with a waterjet cutter and a belt machine to clean the edges.. wont be cheap.. but will be possible.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:34 PM   #4
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A tank that deep isn't going to be easy to manage...but best of luck to you! Since it's a cube it can't be too hard to find those 3x3 panes.

When you build a stand, using 3x4s or whatever you choose, make sure to choose a nice strong piece of wood (none of that plywood crap) to place on top of it, and have reinforcements underneath it.

Not sure if that was too helpful...but I just used some 3x4s for mine and put a piece of oak on top of it, with some cut planks secured to both the vertical and horizontal planks that formed the frame.

I had the help of my old CAD/CAM teacher, so everything was cut with precision. I would seriously recommend sketching it up in detail first, be it in Inventor, CAD, Google Sketch, or just a piece of paper. That way you know exactly what you need and can tell if it looks sturdy before you build it.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:39 PM   #5
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As for the stairs...Don't use wood obviously. Find something that is easy to cut and won't warp with contact to water or varying heat. If it expands your glass.

And wait...Were you going to shape the glass so that it would fit together with the stairs? I really don't think that's a good idea, because to guarantee getting both sides right you would need some serious precision...You'd probably have to pay up big time for some glass manufacturer to do it for you.

Unless you have a compressed water mill laying around
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vundercoverdog View Post
So as you can see it's a complicated design but it artistic and i love designing it and would like to bring it to life.

I thought of starting out with a custom base made of plywood aswell as the back and canopy but the two front viewing panels need to be cut to fit the "stair" base. I thought of tempered glass but can't find a place to cut it for me like that. does anyone know where i can get it cut? (i know you can't cut tempered glass but before it goes the tempering process it could be right?)

Dimensions: 3'x3'x3'

The stand will be 3'x3'x3'

Canopy will be 3'x3'x2'

Any suggestions on how to build the stand? I thought of using 3x4's

Anyone built something similiar to this?
Cool design, I like the concept of the stepped base along the front. But why not make the whole thing out of High grade acrylic? The steps would be easier, no wood rot and if done correctly the cavity underneath could house equipment like a mini canister filter with in line heater, air pump, etc. The bonus would be that the clear fronts/dark base edges could be welded together (it's glue, but it's kinda like welding metal) and then you wouldn't have an issue with getting the edges absolutely perfect. You could even have the 2 fronts custom cut and formed so it would be seamless at the apex.

As for cutting glass and having it tempered? You could calculate it to .001 and still be off. When they fire the glass for tempering, it changes size and isn't perfect every time, plus it'd cost a bundle to do just 2 pieces. Even more if you wanted seamless.

If you do this, a build thread would be terrific .

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Old 05-12-2011, 04:33 PM   #7
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@BigJim- I know, the panels alone would be around 400 (without cutting) but you when have a hobby this addicting price is no problem. I'm willing to spend around 1500 but no more. As for the building the steps inside, i would have to use wood because the weight of the rocks,sand/soil,plants,decor,etc would be too heavy for Built in steps made of acrylic or glass. But thanks for the advice
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:35 PM   #8
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@Grug Thanks! i know it won't be cheap and i thought of not cutting the panels and just placing them inside and then build the stair design outside the glass in stead of viewing the inside frame of the stand. Let me know of what you think.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:39 PM   #9
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@Sarcothelia: Oak wood be my best bet right? I've seen other DIY wood/glass Tank projects and they paint the wood with epoxy paint (waterproof) so it wouldn't create mold and no i don't have a compressed water mill lying around, wish i did! ;P
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:46 PM   #10
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@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
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