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Old 07-26-2003, 06:34 PM   #1
Adam101
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Plywood tank or DIY acrylic?


OK so Im debating on what to do I ahve about 800.00 to spend for the tank max, I honestly dont dislike the look of a plywood tank at all( less to clean, LOL) however I have been thinking when I was going to do plywood It would have been 8ft by 4 ft by 30 in tall and I would use 1/2 in acrylic or glass, However if I stepped it up to 1 inch what size acrylic tank could I make? any bigger? Honestly I havent checked acrylic prices locally to make a deffinative decision, I just wanted other peoples opinions, OH and BTW if I do go plywood I can do that Im well versed in carpentry and woodworking , but If I did acrylic I would be having a friend help me whom has done acrylic work in the past. thanks for any Insight.
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Old 07-26-2003, 07:13 PM   #2
Mastino Mike
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WHATS UP ADAM
IM IN THE PROCESS OF BUILDING A TANK WITH SIMULAR DIMENSIONS AS YOURS JUST A LITTLE TALLER AT 48 IN TALL. IM USING 3/4 INCH ACRYLIC THAT SHOULD BE PLENTY STRONG. THE ACRYLIC IS COSTING ME $460. Here is a shot of the bare bones tank. Im going to put columns on the corners and cover the sides with a finished wood.
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Old 07-26-2003, 07:14 PM   #3
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Old 07-26-2003, 08:21 PM   #4
Adam101
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Hey mike glad to see your tank, Yea Im going to Overbuild my tank as well( I have deen david G's tank with only being heald at the corners via the 3/4 in plywood and screws. and it seems to hold up however that stated Im going to have 2x4 's in all corners and use plenty of screws and GORILLA Glue. hey make a thread and keep posting progress pics of your tank, or heck keep posting them in this one. I will do th same as soon as I get started. talk to u all later.
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Old 07-26-2003, 10:04 PM   #5
Mastino Mike
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This will be my first massive tank. So Ill try to keep you posted on my progress. It will be a fish only tank, but a thread should still be fun. More to come
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Old 07-26-2003, 10:16 PM   #6
Geoff
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i will be watching this thread.

i would like to see the cost breakdown of building the same tank out of acyrlic only and also of plywood. the plywood i know is relatively cheap, but the epoxy paint can creap up on ya pretty quick. the setup time is quite a bit different also. with acrylic you just glue and go. it takes no time for the cement to cure to full strength.

the hard part with plywood is obviously the acrylic/glass to playwood interface. loads of silicone here. i do like the fact that drilling holes in the plywood tank for plumbing is a lot easier. also fixing any mistakes should be easier when building with plywood.

are any of you going to fiberglass the entire inside of the tank also, or just the epoxy paint?

please keep us posted.

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Old 07-26-2003, 10:23 PM   #7
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Yea Im making my tank 30 in tall because all of my doorways are 36 in wide so It was either make the tank 30 in wide or 30 in tall, I picked tall for a few reasons, Lighting( take more to reach deeper water) and with it only being 30 tall I can get away with 1/2 in glass or acrylic. otherwise I would make it Much larger LOL

Geoff,
I have heard many people whom advocate for and againsed fiberglass, Im not going to use it as I will be reenforcing all corners with 2x4's so it will have a lot more area for the glue and screws to contact and thus less chance of bowing leaking etc. Im a advocate of overbuilding, My stand for my 55 gal is made from 2x4's and has 6 legs( considering they make stands made of just partical board on end for 55 gal tanks Mine is way overkill but you know what I feel better knowing that its a tank of a stand.
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Old 07-26-2003, 10:28 PM   #8
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Please post pics as you guys go I would love to see your progress and good luck
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Old 07-26-2003, 10:28 PM   #9
Mastino Mike
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Im using a rubber 45mil edpm pond liner. The liner cost me about 225 including shipping from just liners plus.
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Old 07-26-2003, 11:18 PM   #10
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Mike interesting Option, how are you going to go about attachment and or cutting to make it fit? sounds interesting?
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Old 07-26-2003, 11:54 PM   #11
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The liner is 20 x 20 and extremely flexible and very strong. Place liner in the tank first before instlalling acrylic. You have to fold the liner in the corners of the tank neatly to make it square. Use the front of the tank as a guide to cut a square out of the liner. Slide acrylic in between liner and front of tank wall. Use a alot of silicone to attach it to the inside of the acrylic. If you take a look at the bare tank pic. On the bottom there is a lip(not visible from the outside looking in) . You want to make attatchment with silicone behind this lip so it wont be visible.
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Old 07-26-2003, 11:56 PM   #12
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Here
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Old 07-27-2003, 10:44 PM   #13
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hmmm great thread guys!

in jsut a few short weeks (which could turn out to be a few long months. i'm starting construction on a plywood tank, jsut a hair smaller, 8' x 2' x 2', and it will be sort of in wall. it'll actually be in front of a wall, but wil lbe the entire wall, with stand and tank in center, flanked by bookshelves, that will be part of the stand, and of course, sump area below.

i'm planning mine with 3/4" ply and 1/2" glass. though i may check on the cost of 1/2" acrylic, striclty for the weight issue of an 8' chunk of glass!!

i'm also planning the epoxy route, simple because i think it will be easier for me to work with and manipulate, as i've never worked with fiberglass resin before.

love to see continued pics of your progress mike. i've had a very hard time finding progress pics of a plywood tank from start to finish. found lots of articles about them ,but rarerly progress pics.

oh, and WELCOME TO TRT!!!!
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Old 07-28-2003, 05:38 AM   #14
Mastino Mike
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Here is a few pics basic tank construction. Decided to use 4x4s to frame the top and bottom of my tank. Their is nothing wrong with over doing it. lol I attatched the 4x4s together with 8 inch timberlock screws from home depot and liquid nails. The bottom portion of the frame is sitting on the outer rim of a 4x8 sheet of plywood attatched with 2 inch dry wall screws every 2 inches and glue. The tank was then built inside the 4x4 frame. I used two 2x4s in the front to give the front a little more strength. It is extremely sturdy with no chance of any type of blow out.
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Old 07-28-2003, 05:45 AM   #15
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The tank is sitting on its back.
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