Go Back   Home > Atlanta Reef Club Forums > Do It Yourself
Register / Join the ARC Community Chat Gallery MemberMap Forums Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Visit all of our sponsors


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-19-2016, 8:25 PM   #1
Muhast Muhast is offline
ARC Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 87
City: Cartersville
State: GA
Using glass or acrylic to make tank

Have any of you made your own tank? I have watched several YouTube videos of people making large tanks with glass or acrylic.

Have any of you tried it? Or heard of someone who has?

Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk

Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2016, 9:18 PM   #2
porpoiseaquatics porpoiseaquatics is offline
Treasurer
ARC BoD

ARC Member
 
porpoiseaquatics's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,246
City: Johns Creek
State: GA
Occupation: Operations management, Motivational Speaker
Other Interests: Golf, boating, scuba, stamp collecting, DIY, family, cancer & heart attack survivor
Real Name: Jeff
There are several here that have made tanks. I've made small tanks from both glass and acrylic but it's been awhile. I know of a couple of others that have made much larger tanks from both materials. There's one build over a wood and acrylic tank that's over 900g.
__________________
Jeff ~~180DT, 60g dual sump,RO2000 skimmer, CA Reactor, AI Hydra LEDs & T5HO all run by Apex
Can't you just smell the ocean? Group Buy Coordinator

LinkedIn
Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2016, 9:23 PM   #3
Muhast Muhast is offline
ARC Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 87
City: Cartersville
State: GA
Quote:
Originally Posted by porpoiseaquatics View Post
There are several here that have made tanks. I've made small tanks from both glass and acrylic but it's been awhile. I know of a couple of others that have made much larger tanks from both materials. There's one build over a wood and acrylic tank that's over 900g.
Which is better to use? And any idea in the cost difference between them?

Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk

Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2016, 4:39 PM   #4
porpoiseaquatics porpoiseaquatics is offline
Treasurer
ARC BoD

ARC Member
 
porpoiseaquatics's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,246
City: Johns Creek
State: GA
Occupation: Operations management, Motivational Speaker
Other Interests: Golf, boating, scuba, stamp collecting, DIY, family, cancer & heart attack survivor
Real Name: Jeff
As I recall on a recent build thread, the cost of acrylic vs glass was nearly identical for the same thickness. I think many prefer to work with glass because you can get all the pieces pre-cut to size and then all you have to do is silicone in place whereas acrylic can be a bit tricky to work with.
__________________
Jeff ~~180DT, 60g dual sump,RO2000 skimmer, CA Reactor, AI Hydra LEDs & T5HO all run by Apex
Can't you just smell the ocean? Group Buy Coordinator

LinkedIn
Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2016, 5:45 PM   #5
JennM JennM is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Sponsor

ARC Member
 
JennM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 9,494
City: Canton
State: GA
Occupation: Hillcrest Teardrop Campers, H2O Distributors & The Fish Store.
Other Interests: Geocaching, Gold Panning, Kayaking, Camping
You'd better know what you're doing.

At least the major tank manufacturers have liability insurance that will pay for loss and cleanup when one of their tanks fails.

I have seen a number of catastrophic failures over the years. It's not pretty.

For the meager sum that is saved on DIY (maybe), it's not worth the risk. Plus, your renter's or homeowners' insurance may not cover a DIY disaster.

Jenn

Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2016, 6:40 PM   #6
EnderG60 EnderG60 is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,205
City: Sandy Springs
State: GA
Do your research but its pretty easy to do in either glass or acrylic. The only reason I didnt make my 300g is because it was actually cheaper to buy the tank than to buy the glass.

Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2016, 8:54 AM   #7
Danh Danh is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
Danh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 571
City: Villa Rica
State: GA
Occupation: IT Manager
Other Interests: Firearms, Fishing, American Bulldogs
Real Name: Daniel
I was about to make an acrylic tank when I found a decently priced glass to fit my needs on craigslist.

The idea of making tanks is pretty simple. I do, however, believe that there's technique that one needs to do them well. I just resealed the secondary seals on a 140g cube... I used expensive black silicone... Two people working quickly. I went to remove the tape and it was already too set to remove the tape. We did it quick too. I made two seems really ugly in that process. I do believe they'll still hold water, but it's ugly. Contemplating whether or not I need to spend another $50-$80 on another order of silicone to do it again.

Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2016, 9:29 AM   #8
Picoreefguy Picoreefguy is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC BoD

ARC Member
 
Picoreefguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Age: 28
Posts: 2,017
City: Clarkesville
State: GA
Occupation: everything at homer grocery, day trader at clique fund L.P.
Other Interests: hiking, camping, tennis, swimming, movies, cycling, snowboarding
Real Name: Brijesh
both materials are pretty straight forward to work with as long as you have done some research on it but like Jenn said you'll probably come out ahead just buying one because of you have the support of the manufacturer vs building it yourself. and if you go glass you will probably come out cheaper buying the tank anyway
__________________
Picoreefguy's 40 breeder build it takes 2 out of 3 things to succeed in this hobby. money, knowledge, and time.

Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2016, 9:41 AM   #9
Skriz Skriz is offline
ARC Member
ARC Member

ARC Super Moderator
 
Skriz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,119
City: Suwanee
State: GA
Occupation: Real Estate, MRC
Other Interests: Diving, Motorcycles...
I'm a big fan of DIY, but there are certain things that are just not worth the risk DIY. Like Jenn said, having a manufacturer guarantee against failure is big. When a tank fails, it does a ton of damage; way more than one would expect.

Also, depending on what you're wanting, you can find tons of great deals on used systems.

If buying new, do your research and buy from reputable companies with a long track record.
__________________
I believe in equality for everyone, except those who disagree with me.

Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2016, 10:24 AM   #10
tcampbell23 tcampbell23 is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
tcampbell23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 199
City: Atlanta
State: GA
Occupation: Car Sales @ Carmax Norcross
Other Interests: Motorcycles and fast cars
Real Name: Trevor
I've thought about building a tank and I've found that coupled with the higher risk of failure, the cost of individual panes of glass or acrylic far outweighs the benefits.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2016, 10:40 AM   #11
aXio aXio is offline
Premier Aquatics
ARC Holiday Partier

ARC Sponsor

ARC BoD
 
aXio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 870
City: Marietta
State: GA
Occupation: Manager @ Premier Aquatics
Other Interests: Coonhounds, Mountain Biking, Backpacking
Real Name: Jakub Lapinski
Agreed with everyone answers. Unless you are bored and looking for a cool project to take on. There really is zero benefit from building your own tank. And I can also confirm that buying your own glass just about always comes out more expensive then buying the tank ready to go. Plus just as mentioned the risk factor alone would be enough for me personally never to do it.
__________________

Jakub Lapinski - Premier Aquatics Manager
Premier Aquatics - (770) 321-8404

aXiomatic - taken for granted : self-evident or unquestionable.

Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2016, 10:58 PM   #12
Muhast Muhast is offline
ARC Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 87
City: Cartersville
State: GA
Alright, I think after reading these comments I would elect to doing a smaller build (if I even muster the courage to try it) and test that out before going big.

The idea for doing a custom tank is simple, I can buy it in parts. With a pre made tank you buy it all at once. If I made a custom I could go bigger due to the fact that I wouldn't have to buy all of the pieces at once. As long as I buy the front and back at the same time, the sides at the same time I could potentially buy 5 pieces total (front,back,two sides and bottom) in 3 separate purchases. I figure as long as I bought the same type or glass or acrylic and same mm I would be fine.

Is that naive? I am still on the exploratory stage so it may be.

Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk

Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2016, 4:45 AM   #13
Picoreefguy Picoreefguy is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC BoD

ARC Member
 
Picoreefguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Age: 28
Posts: 2,017
City: Clarkesville
State: GA
Occupation: everything at homer grocery, day trader at clique fund L.P.
Other Interests: hiking, camping, tennis, swimming, movies, cycling, snowboarding
Real Name: Brijesh
if you want to go big and are planing on buying a little bit at a time its going to be better to just stick the money in an envelope under your mattress and keep adding to it until you have enough to buy the tank. cause either way you will have to wait a while and if you buy the whole tank you save yourself some money and the hassle and risk of building it yourself, and in the end you would have the tank sooner because it would be cheaper.
__________________
Picoreefguy's 40 breeder build it takes 2 out of 3 things to succeed in this hobby. money, knowledge, and time.

Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2016, 8:34 AM   #14
Danh Danh is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
Danh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 571
City: Villa Rica
State: GA
Occupation: IT Manager
Other Interests: Firearms, Fishing, American Bulldogs
Real Name: Daniel
If I was going to try to do something like that I would only find it reasonable if I was buying leaky old tanks for really cheap, ripping them apart and using the pieces I wanted to make a bigger tank. I'm talking about $20 55g or $50 125. Otherwise like Brijesh said, just save your money up until you can buy the tank.

Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2016, 1:07 PM   #15
mhepburn2 mhepburn2 is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 74
City: Sugar Hill
State: GA
Occupation: Scientist
Other Interests: Fishing, Poker,Diving
Real Name: Michael
I built a 105 g tank over 15 years ago. My dad had a hobby of cabinet building so I had tools readily available that I could use.

I suggest first visit industrial glass shops; those that repair store fronts you can get quality used or scrap plate glass there really cheap. Chat them up and they may cut the glass for you. There are glass shops that will make cuts for you starting at $2 to $5 per cut.

I suggest you clear sealant along with clear thickest wall edge that you can find at a local home depot or loew's.

Now!!! If when visiting the glass shops keeps you way under budget then maybe you can purchase or rent clamps to assist in bonding the pieces together. You will need at least 3 clamps to do each side (obviously they should accomidate the longest side).

I had clamps from my Dad (I grew up in South Florida and not sure they are still there) when I built mine. These clamps are expensive.

I would start with the glass shops first. If you can't strke a bargain with them then plan on saving for pre built.

Remember glass and clamps will determine your cost. The rest you can get for under $20.

Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2016, 1:07 PM   #16
Muhast Muhast is offline
ARC Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 87
City: Cartersville
State: GA
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhepburn2 View Post
I built a 105 g tank over 15 years ago. My dad had a hobby of cabinet building so I had tools readily available that I could use.

I suggest first visit industrial glass shops; those that repair store fronts you can get quality used or scrap plate glass there really cheap. Chat them up and they may cut the glass for you. There are glass shops that will make cuts for you starting at $2 to $5 per cut.

I suggest you clear sealant along with clear thickest wall edge that you can find at a local home depot or loew's.

Now!!! If when visiting the glass shops keeps you way under budget then maybe you can purchase or rent clamps to assist in bonding the pieces together. You will need at least 3 clamps to do each side (obviously they should accomidate the longest side).

I had clamps from my Dad (I grew up in South Florida and not sure they are still there) when I built mine. These clamps are expensive.

I would start with the glass shops first. If you can't strke a bargain with them then plan on saving for pre built.

Remember glass and clamps will determine your cost. The rest you can get for under $20.
Thank you. That is very helpful. Did you ever have any issues with leaks?

Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk

Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2016, 2:43 PM   #17
mhepburn2 mhepburn2 is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 74
City: Sugar Hill
State: GA
Occupation: Scientist
Other Interests: Fishing, Poker,Diving
Real Name: Michael
No issues. Using clamps to force the glass together and bond with the sealant which is reinforced with the plastic edge ( the stuff you used on wall edges) makes for a sturdy bond. I had it for about 12 years then I gave it to my nephew who still has it as a freshwater tank.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Tapatalk

Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2016, 8:22 PM   #18
SaltWaterWannabe SaltWaterWannabe is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
SaltWaterWannabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 393
City: Marietta
State: GA
Occupation: Uncivil engineer
Other Interests: Cichlid Tank
Real Name: Dan
I just used a tube of ASI Black Acquarium Sealant to seal my 90 gal with no major issues. The only slight issue was one side of the overflow that will be in the sand was taped too wide so my finger did not cover the joint resulting in a rough edge. Otherwise the seal looked great. It did not begin setting before pulling the tape. The tube was 10.99 on Amazon and I still have enough left to reseal a biocube that I dissasembeled.

I already had the tank and it did not leak. I only cut the seals out because they looked ragged due likely to age. The value of what is in the tank and the floor below is too much in my opinion to try to salvage a leaking tank in my opinion, unless it is quite a pricey one. 55 and below seem innexpensive compared to what is put in them.

Sent from my SM-P600 using Tapatalk
__________________
How many tanks are too many? Is there such a thing as too many?

Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2016, 5:40 PM   #19
johnqx4 johnqx4 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 197
City: Auburn
State: GA
Occupation: Data Center Manager
Other Interests: Computers, Guitars, Water Skiing
I think most everyone here has been pretty much on track. But if I might put my two cents in it would be this:

If your space will support a "standard" tank (one that is sold in bulk) it is nearly impossible to save money by making one (especially if your time is valuable). Glass or acrylic doesn't matter.

If you have a space that needs a custom style tank, you are still probably better off making accurate measurements and have a professional build it (I think we have a couple of sponsors that can do this or direct you to someone that does).

However as a general note: (misogynist on, but all in humor, please no haters Marine tanks are a lot like sailboats and wives (perhaps all significant others). In sail boat terms, the rigging cost a whole lot more than the hull!!!

What you spend on the tank is virtually nothing compared to all the money you will spend on everything else. If the cost of the tank is an issue... You might want to start with a smaller tank and figure the total bucks involved. (misogynist off

If you haven't been in a divorce or had a sailboat you might not be ready for a custom marine tank

just my $.02 worth

johnny

Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2016, 6:06 PM   #20
Schwaggs Schwaggs is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
Schwaggs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,794
City: Cumming
State: GA
Occupation: Wireless Geek
Other Interests: Reefs, is there anything else?
I agree with the others. Considering the total cost of the system you are putting together (livestock, water circulation, lighting, skimmer, etc) the tank is actually the cheapest and the most dangerous part. I wouldn't risk it. I have many 1000s of dollars of equipment supporting my $600 display tank.

That being said, I have fabricated small acrylic tanks/holding areas and added baffles to an existing acrylic tank and getting nice looking seams is not as easy as it looks. I wouldn't consider building anything from acrylic that I intended to be the centerpiece of my hobby display. The pros are much better at this than hobbyists.

Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 users and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
150/200 gallon acrylic/glass tank or sump smoothound Want to Buy 1 01-06-2014 9:10 AM
WTB : 15gal to 20gal tank (acrylic or glass) youngfish Want to Buy 0 10-30-2013 10:58 PM
Can someone make me an acrylic box? Dr. Fish Want to Buy 3 05-24-2012 6:29 PM
FS: 25g Acrylic Tank/Glass Sump/Custom Built Stand Kirru Drygoods & Livestock 12 02-17-2011 12:21 AM
Who can cut/make custom acrylic box? ouling Reef Discussion 1 01-27-2008 9:26 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:07 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2000 - 2015, Atlanta Reef Club, Inc.