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Thread: building a aquarium for first time

  1. #1
    DIYFK member jaylow's Avatar


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    Question building a aquarium for first time

    Hi, I am planing to build a aquarium
    It will be made from plywood and only the front will be glass or acrylic (not sure yet)
    I dont have a big budget and am really wondering 'how thick the glass/acrylic should be because this will be the most costly.
    I have 3 places where i could put it with 3 different sizes ( i could also make it a smaller)

    first is 130cm w X 100 H X 40cmD (51inch w X 39H X 16 D)

    second: 100cm w X 80 H X 40cmD (39inch W X 31H X 16 D)

    third: 110cm w X 70 H X 40cmD (43inch W X 27.5H X 16 D)

    I really am not sure what size is allowed with plywood( those are you the places i have free on the wall)

    any advice on the thickness of glass or acrylic or maybe the size?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    DIYFK member jaylow's Avatar


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    Maybe the height is to high, i was thinking i could have issues with light getting to the bottom.
    I am really new at this so any advice would be welcome.
    less height more width? i have a place in the house that could fit 150cm long thanks (5foot)

    I was reading about a 2200 liter (581 gallon) tank and 12mm glass (1/2 inch)
    not allowed to post link so google "jonolavsakvarium 2200 liter" if you want to see it + lots of building info

    what give me hope that i don't need so thick glass as some sites suggest.

  3. #3
    DIYFK member lowlaynsten's Avatar


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    Looking forward to seeing it!

  4. #4
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    Glass thickness depends on height, not the volume of the tank... Don't use acrylic for a plywood build, it's too complicated to bond to the plywood and it cost significantly more...

    There is a calculator in my signature, plug in your tank dimensions and it will spit out the glass thickness...

    Note, the calculator is for unbraced all glass builds, so for a plywood build where the glass is supported and braced on all 4 sides you can generally fudge the glass thickness the calculator puts out by one step down aka about 1/8" less, but that is not a hard fast rule, be smart and look at the safety factors with said glass thickness in the calculator... Also compare the prices, if the thicker glass is within reason, don't try and save a few bucks and risk it...

  5. #5
    DIYFK member jaylow's Avatar


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    Thanks for the calculator, time to call around and see for how much i can get the glass.

    How much overlap does the glass need on the plywood?

  6. #6
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    I would say 1" would be about the minimum overlap so that you can get a decent caulk seal, but more won't hurt...

    I would personally build a pocket/frame for the glass to set in, that way you get a bigger calk joint, and it's a no brainer to center...

    Click here to enlarge

    Blue = Glass
    Brown = Wood
    Red = Caulk

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