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Old 02-09-2013, 06:18 PM   #1
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Building Huge Aquarium

Hello All,

So this is going to be a bit strange but I need/want to build a huge tank for a passion project of mine. I am an artist and I want to create a series of photographs shot through a large tank.

I have literally no idea where to begin with this, how much it'll cost, and how much time it'll take but im willing to make it happen no matter the cost.

My ideal tank im looking for is L: 4ft x W: 3ft x Ht: 7ft

Any help or advice on how to get started with materials and the actual building process would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:25 PM   #2
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First off you'll need to look into which materials you want to construct from with the top three being glass, acrylic, or plywood. Check out uraujoey on YouTube.com he builds a few different types and is very thorough about showing you how to do things. One thing I would like to point out is with it being 7ft you'll be looking at a LOT of pressure meaning very thick materials will be needed.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:54 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply!

I think im going to go with acrylic because I believe I saw that it was the lightest material, but in the same breath possibly the most expensive?

Ill check out his videos to get a feel for how things are done. Is building a tank a 'once you know how to ride a bike you can ride any bike' kind of deal or are there specific challenges and techniques for certain kinds of tanks?

Sorry for all the questions I just want to educate myself as much as possible.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:59 PM   #4
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Well yes and no. The concept will usually always be the same so the game plan doesn't really change but the materials and the way you work with them will. Glass you can simply silicone together, acrylic must be cut precisely have the edges cleaned up and then welded into place with a liquid welding agent, and plywood you will need to have very good cuts screw together then fiberglass the seams before putting a water proofing on it like pondshield followed by siliconing in your glass viewing windows in the end. I'm not 100% sure about this but 7ft will require 1+" thick acrylic which just google a few sites for 1" acrylic and I think you'll pass on that idea or the height of the tank haha
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:14 PM   #5
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Ahh thats what I figured, Im sure the glass is not going to be much cheaper but it does seem easier.

What are some sites to look at for pricing, I cant seem to find any?
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:08 PM   #6
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Mostly you'll need to go through a local glass/acrylic specialist and have them order your sheets for you. I'm not really sure of any sites that sell large panes of thick acrylic like that. I can tell you now though that a sheet of the 1" is probably gonna be in the $1k range for a 4'x8' lol unless you wanna spend a lot of money there really isn't any way to build I tank over a few feet tall.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:04 AM   #7
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Thanks for shattering my dreams! lol Ill figure out a way to make it work. Great info to have, thanks for your help. I really do appreciate it.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:45 PM   #8
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Would tempered glass work? Like is used in windows. If you go to second hand stores and such you could find sliding glass doors for anywhere from $30 to $100. Or fixed pane windows. The average sliding glass door is around 7 foot high. You could remove the framing and just use the glass panes. Build or have someone build you a wood frame like a display box. The bottom could be wood or some other solid material so you would need four glass panels for sides. Top could be glass or whatever. Then a really good silicone to seal the edges. An industrial glue could be used on the outside edges to glue to the wood supports since it wouldn't be inside the tank. I could build it for around $500 in my area.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:46 PM   #9
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PS: I wasn't offering to build it. LOL
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:03 PM   #10
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Thank you so much! The only question I have is whether or not the glass will be able to hold the amount of pressure from being 7ft tall and filled with water?

haha I think I can manage building it on my own once I have a good game plan set in place.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:21 PM   #11
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With the amount of pressure this tank would experience you do not wanna buy second hand materials. A leak or worse a blown tank of this size could nearly destroy a house, atleast everything around and under it...
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildroseofky
Would tempered glass work? Like is used in windows. If you go to second hand stores and such you could find sliding glass doors for anywhere from $30 to $100. Or fixed pane windows. The average sliding glass door is around 7 foot high. You could remove the framing and just use the glass panes. Build or have someone build you a wood frame like a display box. The bottom could be wood or some other solid material so you would need four glass panels for sides. Top could be glass or whatever. Then a really good silicone to seal the edges. An industrial glue could be used on the outside edges to glue to the wood supports since it wouldn't be inside the tank. I could build it for around $500 in my area.
The glass in these wouldn't be nearly thick enough
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:32 AM   #13
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No way the glass from doors will not be able to hold that kind of pressure.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:08 PM   #14
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While I have no insight of building this, I find it funny since my 125 was originally purchased by a photographer to take pictures of a woman having bubbles rubbed off her body. The things people use fish tanks for. Lol.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:01 AM   #15
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I'm not sure if this would work for your project but you could look in to possibly doing a long deep pond in your yard. I'm sure this would be a lot cheaper to construct, I am assuming you are using an underwater camera, if not this wouldn't work.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:21 AM   #16
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I think for this you are going to need 2" acrylic.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:17 AM   #17
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Similar to this but not identical.

The Water Torture Cell - YouTube
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:04 PM   #18
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I think for this you are going to need 2" acrylic.
1" cast should work
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:09 AM   #19
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Call ATM in Las Vegas
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