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making your own tank?


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ive been asking around for quote for a new tank set-up i want and so far the lowest is $850 including cabinet and highest $1995 :lol:

and at the moment i cant aford $850 because my money has been going to other commitments aka fines from riding my dirtbike where i shouldnt,dirtbike's repairs,buying 2006 r6 roadbike

i was looking at all ready made tanks and cabinets and just adding glass dividers and so on but i think there too high for bettas eg if i divid one the compartments would be 15cm wide 30cm deep and 45-50cm high (too high)

if there was a way to cut 20cm of the top of a tank that would be the best way to gobut im not sure if thats possible

so a friend of mine said she can get any size piece of 6mm glass cut to the size i need at a good price so i figured hmmmm maybe i can make my own tank and save a few $$$$

but ive never built a tank before and wanted to know has anyone done it before?

is it hard? is there alot of extra materials needed that im not aware of beisdes glass and silicon?

any help with this is greatly appreciated



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Your name's Steven! That's the first time I've seen your name! :lol:

Besides glass and aquarium silicone (check the label and make sure it says suitable for aquariums) you also need the following:

  • Glass cutting tool to score the glass
  • Running pliers, it's a glass snapping tool that applies pressure on both sides of the score so that the glass snaps straight
  • A long ruler to use as a guide to score your glass, needs to be longer than the longest side
  • Carborundum stone to smooth the edges
  • Clamps to keep all the vertical pieces upright while the silicon is curing but if the tank is quite small you might be able to support it using wooden blocks or books or something like that
  • Masking tape to put on either side of the silicone edge to keep it neat. You pull it off while the silicon is still wet
  • Methylated spirits to clean up any mess
  • Safety razor blades, the kind that has one sharp edge and the other side you can hold onto, you use this to clean up an silicon that dried before you noticed it was messy
  • A lot of time and vast amounts of patience

It takes a lot of practice to make a good tank. You might have to be prepared to redo your work. If you find that you tank is leaking the best thing to do is completely removed the piece, cut away and clean off any old silicon (using the razor blades and metho) and gluing it back together again.

Personally I find it messy and best left to professionals. The tanks I made were really small and I still had trouble. Although they don't leak, the messy silicon job is something I really hate the look of.

Have you gotten a quote from Chinatown Aquarium? They have really good prices on tanks. Do you really need a cabinet? Won't just a stand do?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd just commission the tank part and do the custom dividing yourself. I don't trust myself to make big tanks watertight, there is a lot of pressure there!

Why is the height necessarily a problem? if it is for display or as holding tanks for your breeders I think that depth would be fine. The more water the easier it is to keep nice, and even HMs can swim that distance if they are fit enough.

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