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Old 01-31-2004, 11:31 AM   #1
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whacked tank idea...

the plans for my new tank originally called for one full sheet of acrylic, but then i realized i had only set the tank height at 16". ouch. at 55" in length, this wouldn't have looked good at all, but i wasn't able to increase the tank height and still keep the project to one full sheet. because i would like to keep costs as low as possible, i wanted to run this idea by you all and see if it would be feasible.

i like the cost effective idea of a plywood tank, but i hate the appearance of the 2" border around the front that is used to support the glass/acrylic. i like the look of acrylic but don't like how expensive acrylic is....

so my idea is to use 1/2 ply for the bottom and back of the tank, with acrylic for the front and sides. tank dimensions would be 55l x 16w x 18h. would this be possible? is it safe? what would be the best way to join the acrylic to the plywood? any other ideas/suggestions?

TIA!
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Old 02-02-2004, 02:11 PM   #2
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would it be possible/safe to use a strong adhesive to join the acrylic to the wood, then seal the joint with silicone?
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Old 02-02-2004, 02:23 PM   #3
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I've never tried anything like thise, but I would think you would want a box frame that's solid with the viewing sides of acrylic inset into the frame... so the force of the weight of the water pushes the acrylic into the frame rather than out of the frame... that with a good adhesive should work for you.

I'd do your first fill in a well drained area... perhaps outside
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Old 02-02-2004, 03:30 PM   #4
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what if i used 1/2" wood, then used a router to cut out 1/4" deep x 3/8" wide channel to set the acrylic into? that would give me plenty of surface area for the adhesive, but i'm not sure if that'd be very visually appealling since i'd have to put he channel at least 1/4" from the edge of the wood. it might be visually better to set some 1/4" half-round or quarter trim into that that 'ledge' between the end of the wood and the acrylic... let me sketch something up...
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Old 02-02-2004, 04:04 PM   #5
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I do not think any 1/2 inch plywood is going to be strong enough to support what you have in mind... I would go no less than 3/4 in... anythig less and it spells disaster waiting to happen... the reason they all go for the 2 inch lip is for structure.. Many have tried to get around it and failed... One thing you dont want to do is wake up to a flood...or come home to one...

Garf has a good instruction page from tested and tried results..

http://www.garf.org/tank/buildtank.asp
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Old 02-02-2004, 04:15 PM   #6
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well... is there any way i could just build the bottom out of wood?

the problem i have with the garf instructions is that i think a wood tank looks terrible...mostly b/c of that 2" border around the front windows...that's what i'm trying to avoid
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Old 02-03-2004, 12:57 AM   #7
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Well, Why not make an all Acryllic or glass tank and then create a wooden frame to fit around it? All wooden tanks are great looking to me and if you make the front frame out of Oak, it is beautiful with a good routed edge... I look at it like going to an aquarium... They have a quite large lip around the window..he he ....

The thing that most grabs me is the idea that the sides are not see thru... Less cleaning and it really makes the view cool... Then again, you are only talking about a 65 gal tank... so, it would be cheaper to buy one already made....
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Old 02-03-2004, 12:16 PM   #8
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it would be cheaper to buy premade, but this has to be a custom sized tank, unless you know of somebody that sells a 55x16x18 tank...
i could make it out of all acrylic, but i'm trying to be conservative with my money. i want to keep this project to one sheet of acrylic because that's the where the majority of my expenses reside. eliminating one of the 55" long walls will save a huge amount of money. the front viewing window will be only 18" high, so having a two inch section taken out each edge for a wood tank is pretty drastic. i have no problem with buying a sheet of 1" or 3/4" plywood to use as the bottom, but i need to eliminate one wall to keep costs down.
i'll do a few more calculations and see if a wood tank will work, but i doubt it. 18 or 20 inches is about as high as i can go..
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Old 02-03-2004, 01:06 PM   #9
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Glass is cheaper than Acrylic. You can get any place that sells sheets of glass to cut it for you to size.
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Old 02-03-2004, 01:36 PM   #10
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Hi Mr Burns,

What are your main objectives?
- Cheap price?
- A tank with those exact dimensions?

Are the dimensions you stated strickly due to the size restrictions of a sheet of acrylic? or do you have a specific application where you need the tank to be that size?

Any estimate of the cost to make one?

My calculations for a tank of that size is 68 gal.
That's a fairly inexpensive tank to buy 'pre-made'.

I personally wouldn't bother making one. But that's just me.

HTH.
Paul
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