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Thread: building my 1st diy aquarium 96 inch long 48 inch tall 36 inch wide!!! in the wall!

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    DIYFK member carljr's Avatar


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    building my 1st diy aquarium 96 inch long 48 inch tall 36 inch wide!!! need advice

    helol names chad im from vt and new to diy fishkeepers website i have been watching joey for a long time now and want to take the plunge in a big way it has always been a dream of mine to have a massive fish tank my calcs put it at about 713 gallons my q is what would be the best filtration and would 1 inch thick cast acrylic be strong enough to hold all that water? how big a sump will i need? best place to buy the acrylic? doing plywood build with acrylic face! all help is much appreciated! ps joey u have changed my life and i am forever grateful!

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    DIYFK member FLDave's Avatar


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    Carl,

    Hi and welcome.........I will be watching this thread closely.....Click here to enlarge

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    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by carljr Click here to enlarge
    would 1 inch thick cast acrylic be strong enough to hold all that water?
    No, at least not within the normal safe recommendations, you will need 2" acrylic at that height to be safe...

    Best filtration would be a moving bed, but that is not the only option other options will work just fine as well... As for size of the sump, again not a single answer, I would aim for at least several hundred gallons, all the way to twice the volume of the tank...

    The best place to buy acrylic is the place that charges the least... Delivery on sheets that big will be expensive and the price will vary all over the place so it's probably worth shopping around locally before you shop online and weigh all your options...

    Another concern is that acrylic is not the best option for plywood builds, as there is no easy or proven method to secure the acrylic to the plywood, short of gaskets and physical clamps...

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    DIYFK member PaulPerger's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Meep Click here to enlarge
    No, at least not within the normal safe recommendations, you will need 2" acrylic at that height to be safe...
    ...
    Another concern is that acrylic is not the best option for plywood builds, as there is no easy or proven method to secure the acrylic to the plywood, short of gaskets and physical clamps...
    And Glass is usually cheaper!

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    DIYFK member carljr's Avatar


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    how thick would the glass have to be?

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    DIYFK member PaulPerger's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by carljr Click here to enlarge
    how thick would the glass have to be?
    Roughly 1.2 inches thick. Your "killer" measurement is the height of this tank. At 48 inches tall, your glass will need to be 1.2 inches thick and your plywood will also need to be very thick and very well braced. At 36 inches, the thickness needed drops to 3/4 of an inch. Water weights 8.4 pounds per gallon, so you are talking about holding almost 6,000 pounds of water. But beyond that, horizontal water pressure increases exponentially as depth increases. Think about every dam you have ever seen... They are much thicker at the bottom than at the top, right? That is because water pressure is much greater at depth than it is in the shallows. Our fish tanks aren't any different, except that it is very impractical to have glass built that is thicker on one end than the other end. So, we must build our tanks to handle the pressure exerted at the bottom of our tank, not the top. Make that same tank 5 ft deep and I would guess (I didn't actually do the math) that your glass (and plywood) would need to be nearly 3 inches thick.

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    DIYFK member PaulPerger's Avatar


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    Removing Double Post...

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    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    Also something to consider, 1.25" glass that size will weigh about 400lbs so you need to factor in how you are going to, transport and move it around while you are building it...

    What I have recommended this to several people in the past, for 'tall' tanks is to consider building it just like many aquariums and zoos do, that is put the glass at the top and allow the tank to continue bellow the glass... In your case build the tank 4' tall, but build the bottom 1' of the tank with all plywood and mount a 3' tall piece of glass into it, that way you can drastically reduce the glass thickness as you are now factoring the glass for a 3' tall tank while and still get your 4' tall tank... You can even be creative like aquariums/zoos do and have the bottom taper away from the glass to prevent a hiding spot bellow the glass and give the appearance of depth...

    Something along these lines, the 'red' false bottom being optional, but it will prevent the fish from 'hiding' from view and it gives an appearance of 'depth' when looking in...

    Click here to enlarge

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    DIYFK member ThomasC4's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Meep Click here to enlarge
    Also something to consider, 1.25" glass that size will weigh about 400lbs so you need to factor in how you are going to, transport and move it around while you are building it...

    What I have recommended this to several people in the past, for 'tall' tanks is to consider building it just like many aquariums and zoos do, that is put the glass at the top and allow the tank to continue bellow the glass... In your case build the tank 4' tall, but build the bottom 1' of the tank with all plywood and mount a 3' tall piece of glass into it, that way you can drastically reduce the glass thickness as you are now factoring the glass for a 3' tall tank while and still get your 4' tall tank... You can even be creative like aquariums/zoos do and have the bottom taper away from the glass to prevent a hiding spot bellow the glass and give the appearance of depth...

    Something along these lines, the 'red' false bottom being optional, but it will prevent the fish from 'hiding' from view and it gives an appearance of 'depth' when looking in...

    Click here to enlarge

    Great Idea!

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