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Buildin' a tank

superwaterguy52

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Oct 9, 2006
Messages
42
#1
Okay, I've decided that I'm going to build my own aquarium to house a bimac. I'm going for a 70 gallon, and I was wondering, what would be the best stuff to use to build it, acrylic or glass? I'm also on a budget, so that's just making things more confusing. Can anyone tell me some of this stuff?
 

DHyslop

Architeuthis
Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2004
Messages
1,713
#3
You can drill glass just as easily, you just need to have the right tool for the job (a diamond-studded hole saw, ~$10).

Building your own tank usually isn't cost effective unless you're going big--that is, big like 1,000 gallon studwall tank. You'll save a lot of money and heartache with a commercial tank.

Dan
 

Illithid

Vampyroteuthis
Supporter
Joined
Jan 4, 2006
Messages
318
#4
DHyslop;82255 said:
Building your own tank usually isn't cost effective unless you're going big--that is, big like 1,000 gallon studwall tank. You'll save a lot of money and heartache with a commercial tank.
+1
 

norgebyblood

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
90
#5
actually it is cost effective for most 100g+ tanks if you use the right materials and do it properly. it is also very rewarding and a great experience. IMO, unless its gonna be a 100g+ tank, just save up ur money and buy one. also, lexan and plexiglass tanks are cheaper, wont crack and be ruined, and they are much stronger tanks in general. but if its just a 70g, buy one and DIY everything else for ur octo tank.
 

DHyslop

Architeuthis
Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2004
Messages
1,713
#7
norgebyblood;82277 said:
actually it is cost effective for most 100g+ tanks if you use the right materials and do it properly. it is also very rewarding and a great experience. IMO, unless its gonna be a 100g+ tank, just save up ur money and buy one. also, lexan and plexiglass tanks are cheaper, wont crack and be ruined, and they are much stronger tanks in general. but if its just a 70g, buy one and DIY everything else for ur octo tank.
Lets be honest--if you are cracking or ruining glass tanks, you're doing something wrong. I'd say there's two major benefits to acrylic tanks: they insulate a bit better (this can be a con if you have a big reef) and very large acrylic tanks are much lighter than similar glass tanks. The two biggest cons are that they scratch very easily and usually don't have very good access.

Building an acrylic tank isn't difficult if you're a decent craftsman and have a good router. The problem is you're going to be paying exhorbitant retail prices for acrylic. Many home-made acrylic tanks bow outward because their builders tried to save a few bucks by using thinner acrylic. As such, there are many, many more DIY'ers who make sumps out of acrylic rather than tanks. The wholesale/retail price difference of acrylic sheet can easily exceed the profit margin on the finished aquarium.

Glass aquariums have a similiar problem in that you're paying for an entire piece of glass to be cut, even if you're only using part of it; whereas a manufacturer like All-Glass can re-use their scraps on smaller tanks. I'm sure AGA also pays their employee less per-cut than we pay at a glass store.

You see people asking about DIY tanks on just about every aquarium forum, mainly due to the sticker shock of a new tank. Despite this they are generally a rare thing to see completed because the effort and cost just isn't worth it in the face of all the cheap used tanks available.

Dan
 

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