View Full Version : Thoughts on DIY acrylic tanks

A Railgun
02-13-2012, 01:34 AM
Just read a very interesting article on building your own acrylic tank. Anyone have any thoughts. The article seemed pretty informative. I'll post a link.


I may give this a shot next year. Planning on buying my own house by then. If i do it maybe ill do a photo journal about it. Thats if i can get the fiance to trust me enough. lol I am a carpenter by trade. Wood, Acrylic how different can they be? lol

This may need to be moved to diy. However since im not actually building it just wondering if anyone would like to comment on it i posted it here.

02-13-2012, 02:42 AM
I've made a few small acrylic tanks. It's a very doable project. Best advice make a small tank first before trying a large one just to practice, learn and get some skill at it. Get a lot of scraps and practice making good solid seams. Using weldon isn't too difficult just a learning curve to it. I think when my friend and I made the tanks 95% of the time was prepping the acrylic. There are some good videos by a company called tap plastics on youtube about using weldon.

02-13-2012, 06:26 AM
Acrylic tanks are nice. I agree with korith that you would have to experiment with small stuff before you go big. Acrylic is expensive.

Have you ever heard of building a plywood aquarium? The website garf.org has some good diy articles. I just read one where a photographer built his own 500 gallon reef tank. http://www.garf.org/-2012/500.html

That would be so cool!

02-13-2012, 07:32 AM
Just a suggestion that I might have missed in that link, I would suggest using a carpenter's square to make sure you get prefect right angles when putting it all together

Below are a few pics I found on the internet. It's from a glass tank build but the it dose should what I'm trying to suggest



Goes to 11!
02-13-2012, 07:33 AM
I am going to have to look into this, My neighbor has an awesome set of tools. thumbs2:

Openbook, There are quite a few plywood tank builds to check out here. (http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?335-DIY-Tanks)

A Railgun
02-13-2012, 09:17 AM
Yeah i am pretty good as far as tools go. I am a journeyman union carpenter aka i build high rises parking garages and the like. So the tools and how to use them i have down pretty well.

I have never priced acrylic before. So that is going to be the main factor if i ever try it. Is it cheaper to buy a prebuilt acrylic tank or build one yourself? I have time to invest but the money is tight. I have twin 17 month old little boys.

02-14-2012, 03:47 AM
Yep definitely need a square, but you will have to modify it, so the outside of the square is cut out a bit. Cutting a 45 angle on the outside corner about an inch out works. You want to avoid letting the corner touch the acrylic, so the weldon doesn't wick between the 2 acrylic pieces and the square. Getting weldon anywhere it shouldn't be can screw up the finish of your acrylic sheet.

A Railgun
02-15-2012, 08:00 AM
I never have come across the plywood tank concept. It seems very interesting. Have to pass though. My fiance put her foot down when i mentioned turning a section of wall or maybe a whole closet into an aquarium. lol Something about trying to sale the house in the future. My response who would sale a house with a fish tank wall. lol

02-16-2012, 03:08 AM
Ya really, you might find yourself staying in that house a long time.

02-16-2012, 11:11 PM
Have you ever considered an aquaculture tank? I went this route and enjoyed the challenge. I started w/ a 270g fiberglass aquaculture tank w/ a built-in window and built up from there, building custom filtration and dressing the exterior. I'm really happy w/ the out come. My original plan was for it to be a pond. I think now I'll build a stand for it next, as now it sits on the floor... Can't imagine how I will lift it.:hmm3grin2orange:
The supply co. I used was Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc. Check them out.. http://www.aquaticeco.com/subcategories/945/Fiberglass-Tanks-With-Window
Some pics of my build... I have much better pics, just don't know where!:shrug:


A Railgun
02-16-2012, 11:27 PM
Nice tank!!!!

02-17-2012, 01:44 AM
Thanks. Lighting it well has been an evolving challenge... Hopefully I'll be happy w/ the led strips I plan on mounting soon!thumbs2: