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tank build with a bit of how to


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had some old 10mm glass in the shed from a few years ago when i was a glazier , decided on the weekend gone that i'ld use it to make a new tank

as i've already done the main structure i'll show a quick run down on how i was taught as an apprentice

obviously draw your design , then cut the glass / get it cut allowing for silicone joints ( that depends on size generally between 2-5mm ) and deducting the width of the glass for the ends so the front runs through and the ends but up to the front ( maybe confusing pitures below will show

then i drew out the tank some timber and screwed down blocks of timber to hold the sides up right

by this stage the glass would be taped with about 3mm in on the is ide for a better seal and on the out side almost flush (1mm) i haven't as just doing a quick demo as i'ld already finished mine

the blocks underneath just lift it off the bottom so you can access it when siliconing rather then having to cut off big blobs later down the track


then i just use old roofing lead and cut and shape it to hold the top solid and level

the below photo shows how one piece of glass will run past with the other butting up to it and about a 3mm gap for the silicone joint


then next you would pump the silicone into the joint , a clean cut nozzle at the right angle and size is the key as well as not being to shy by making sure it comes out the other side as well . running up or down at a slow smooth speed you can always wipe more off but if you don't use enough you'll get air bubbles and higher leakage chances

using a spatula like this


on the side you used the silicone gun use the above or something square and that won't scratch the glass or ripe the tape off and hold it quite flat (vertical) at this stage you want to push as much as possible out the other side you don't want to be wiping the excess off just yet you want to be pushing it through to get rid of air bubbles now on the other side you can hold it more horizontal to remove excess then you do the same on the first side then once more on the other side now you can peel off the tape and let dry for atleast 24hrs unscrew the timber blocks , remove the lead then i used the timber blocks under the base and under the newly siliconed sides to lift it off the floor so you can access the base to do the same as what was done on the sides with the base (caution the sides will be quiet flimsy until the base is in place )

and you should end up with something that resembles this


i'm yet to put removable dividers and waiting till wednesday pay day to buy the lights i want before i can get the measurements for the light supports that will need siliconing in place which will determine where and how the dividers go otherwise if the light support goes over the divider with the system i'm looking at doing which is slide up and down i wont be able to remove them so i just got to wait for the light first

CAUTION GLASS IS SHARP AND CAN CUT, BREAK extreme caution should be taken when handling

SILICONE :most kitchen/ bathroom silicones contain anti-fungus which can kill fish most bathroom silicones are neutral cure which means it doesn't seal glass to glass as strong

a good quality acetic cure silicone with the recommended cure time with a few wash outs before use is highly recommended

as clear as mud ?

i've got enough glass to make another the same size so i'll take proper photo's of a step by step when i do that one

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sorry was rambling on a bit too much hence why i wrote , clear as mud :P , next time till do a pic by pic with no writing or see if my mrs can upload a short vid but thats out of my league hence i'ld need my mrs to do it :)

the tank is not a specific gallon or litre it was just i had a lot of pieces the same height so made it to that for less cutting

it's internal 1445mm long x 445mm wide and only 300mm deep ( the size alot of the pieces already were ) which works out i believe around 205 L or 52.8 gallon

with the cost so far being $20 for 2 tubes of silicone but will multiply alot are i get bio filter , light , heater ect

Edited by roger
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It's pretty big. For the non-glaziers among us, what's a good way to take off the sharp edges? I made some small tanks and cut the glass myself a few years ago and didn't do anything about the edges. They are pretty sharp and I have to be really careful handling the tanks. They're just little photography tanks so they get moved a lot. I have since learnt that I could have just used sandpaper and I did work on one edge. It was really tedious! Haven't yet finished sanding a whole tank. Is there something else? Are there attachments that can fit on a drill? Or something like that?

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sharpening stone's work well , but if the tanks been put together be careful not to hit the other edges or you may crack the glass , working it along the length/edge , not up and down like a saw it will just chip/shell the glass , i wouldn't use a good one just a cheapie as it won't be any good for knifes after . you can also get diamond stones they make light work of it and give a really good finish but are pricey . 1 piece of glass you'ld need to wipe 8 sides , holding it at about 45 and 3 or 4 wipes along the full length and it's usually pretty good

Edited by roger
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some great tips :)
i've been interested in learning cutting for the sake of being able to make glass dividers for a tank or similar.
great to know we have a glazier among us i can hassle ;)
whats the plan with this tanks? dividing them, community tank, a specific fish?

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sorry been on night shift , just starting to feel human again :)

no worries Maddzvk just hit me up when your ready ,

the plan with the tank is to divide it with just guppies as there pretty hardy and starting out it's a good choice with my limited experience , my idea is to breed the blue moscows i have and eventually if i can ever find any in W.A is to get some albino full platinum and use the tank there currently in as a fry tank or just keep my favorites in the current tank and do another build for the fry once i've got a bit more control over what male mates with what female

hope that was of help Bettarazzi we used to use that method with window glass ect . but for a flasher finish we had a water fed (the water keeps the heat low to stop it from cracking ) belt sander with different coarse belts and cork polishing belts , wouldn't recommend running water on your home sander though :P

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theres some one in WA that breeds amazing guppies.
we visited earlier this year and aquatix in perth has fantastic guppies that are all locally bred in WA from someone aquatic stock.
if les jumps on soon hes also a westerner :P

yeah i think it would be handy. even i have a pane of glass from a baracks i want to split for my grindal cultures but havent got around into looking how to cut glass :P

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"theres some one in WA that breeds amazing guppies"

i haven't found them with hours of searching the net :dontknow:

i got my blue moscows from aquotix and i asked about getting some albino full platinum( she hadn't heard of them) she also said that there quarantine is currently down and they didn't know when it would be up and running again

would love to be able to get in contact with another westerner for some different strains as no stores over east want to know me when i mention W.A.???????

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  • 2 weeks later...

she's up and running still need to make a few more dividers but lost patience with them so will get back to it at a latter date , cost blown right out now with 2x heaters ,T8 twin lighting , and a eheim filter proberly would of been cheaper buying a second hand tank and set up :)


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