Mazprot DIY Tank Thread

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by mazprot, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. mazprot

    mazprot Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hello Tonmo. I am new to the site and to keeping octos but have been an aquarium hobbiest for many many years now. I currently have a 29g planted freshwater tank which some people believe to be one of the more difficult systems to handle but I love mine and it works great. I have had saltwater tanks in the past and loved them so when I move this coming summer I am building a DIY 100g plywood tank to house an octopus.

    I was wondering if anyone had anything to say about my plans thus far.
    Like i said i currently have a 29g freshwater tank which will stay that way until the summer. I am in the process of setting up a 10g nano coral tank to house some corals, some bivalves, shrimp, crabs, or the like ( I havent decided yet what to keep in there yet any suggestions?) as a starter feeding tank for my octo. Becasue of the cost of food I would really liek to be able to grow some of my own. Plus I understand that octos when not challenged get antsy so I want to provide it with live prey to hunt. When i move I intend to break down both tanks transfer the 10g stuff into the 29g and make the 10g a sump tank.

    Although I was wondering if for a 29g a sump was necessary.

    I absolutely love octopuses and am super excited about keeping one. I will post pictures here in a week or so of my tanks and my octopus tattoo :)
     
  2. Tentacle Toast

    Tentacle Toast GPO Supporter Registered

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    Welcome to TONMO! 100 gallons would cover the needs of many octopuses, but there are exceptions (like Giant Pacific Octopus). I'm I understanding that the tank in its entirety is going to be plywood? If so, I've never seen that personally, but I'm still in the beginner phase myself. You've come to the right place for expert octo advice though; peruse the forums, & you'll absorb a lot of knowledge. Don't be afraid to ask either, everyone here is cool about answering questions. Don't hesitate to post those pix either, we'd all love to see them! Good luck to you!
     
  3. mazprot

    mazprot Cuttlefish Registered

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    I think a plywood tank would be perfect and easier than a glass tank to secure the top for the little escape artists. Not to mention I intend on only putting one acrylic piece and having the other sides wooded hopefully making the octopus feel right at home.

    Check out diyfishkeepers.com It is a FANTASTIC forum for DIY systems and builds.

    Here is a plywood tank build
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdyANDq_x_s
     
  4. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    :welcome: to TONMO

    I too had never heard of a plywood tank, I'm intrigued.
     
  5. mazprot

    mazprot Cuttlefish Registered

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    Thanks Dave! Check it out. The guy who does those videos from DIYfishkeepers is great! Pretty much anything you can think of he builds himself at a cheaper cost then store bought items.

    Canister filters
    nitrate filters
    you name it he has pretty much done it

    PS. he has a really cool DIY video on coffee table tanks
     
  6. Tentacle Toast

    Tentacle Toast GPO Supporter Registered

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    I'm going to have to check that out. Is the wood lined with something, or otherwise treated/waterproofed with some type of chemical application? Careful of anything with metals, especially copper...
     
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  7. Radioactive

    Radioactive Cuttlefish Registered

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    Welcome Mazprot!!

    Yes the plywood tanks are basicly a box but the front panel has an area cut out and covered with glass. The tanks are usually sealed with rubber paint or some other kind of waterproof material. It is in fact the cheapest way to go big. The only thing still unkown about plywood tanks is there ability to hold water long term. Also getting the glass to stick to the wood can propose a bit of a challenge as well. If ever we move into a house my wife already knows a plywood tank will be in our future.

    Securing the top would be much less of a challenge then normal tanks but I would strongly recomend doing a ton of research on what you decide to seal it with. A 29g sump seems a little small (30 inch footprint) for a 100g Display in my opinion. I would check locally for a used 40 - 55.

    If you keep your current planted 29g you could breed ghost shrimp but should rehome any other fish or inverts you have. The shrimp will spawn best when not feeling threatened. This wouldnt be the octos main diet (from what I have read) but will add a nutritous snack. The best part is you will be able to keep your plants since you will have a ton of shrimp pooping in your tank and getting a balanced cycle going on.

    This may or may not be the fate of my current 29g (salt tank) as i am still undecided.
     
  8. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Sometimes, the challenge of a DIY project is the whole point of doing it, but if your goal is just to save money, I think that a used 100 gallon tank would be cheaper to buy then the materials to make a 100 gallon plywood tank (once you add in the sealing paint, fasteners, glass or acrylic front pane, sealant, paint rollers, etc.) The plywood tanks I've heard about where typically built as a cheaper alternative to buying a very large tank (larger than 125 gallons). Brand new glass 100 gallon tanks sell for $190 around here, but I think a used tank is the way to save money. In fact, more than once I've bought a used tropical tank setup, and sold off the live rock, lights, sump, etc. separately, for as much as I paid for the who setup, essentially getting the tank for free (if you don't count some hassle, and a little risk).

    I suspect that building an escape-proof top harder with a wood tank than with an acrylic one, and even a glass tank isn't too hard. Acrylic can be easily glued (chemically welded), drilled, and the drilled holes can be tapped so that nylon bolts can be threaded into them. You can't drill all the way through your plywood without piercing whatever waterproofing layer you put on the inside. If a glass tank has a plastic rim around the top, you can drill that plastic rim (lip) and attach to it (I used nylon bolts)
     
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  9. Tentacle Toast

    Tentacle Toast GPO Supporter Registered

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    That's a wild idea, but I'd want to see results over the long-term before choosing that as my pet's permanent housing. Is it just your basic plywood, or is it something like epay or white oak (or some other resistant species)? How is it assembled & sealed? I'd imagine there's some kind of Octo-safe material to line it with (& maybe thereby extending its life). Does anyone know how Plexiglas fairs in saltwater? That's pretty inexpensive, & comes in plywood-sized sheets,but I don't know if it'd leach out any nasties into the water though...that sounds like a fun project; there's probably a million ways you could pull it off, too!
     
  10. mazprot

    mazprot Cuttlefish Registered

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    The wood is typically coated with liquid rubber which is a chemical of coarse but I havent heard of anyone having any problems with it leaching or anything. I will double check the chemical make up of the stuff but he uses it for his salt tanks so I doubt there is an issue there
     
  11. Wafflez777

    Wafflez777 Blue Ring Registered

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    What are they best things to breed in feeder tanks, I might turn my 20 gal into one.
     
  12. mazprot

    mazprot Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hmm. I intend to this to be a long term holding tank for octopuses being that they only live a year or so in captivity so I will definitely do more research into their long term water holding strength.

    I believe you misread me, my 29g will be turned into a reef tank with all the stuff I get going in my ten gallon nano reef tank. Once I move the 10 will be the sump for the 29g not the 29g being a sump for the 100. my 100g will have a sump all its own big enough for it.

    I though feeding freshwater foods to octopuses could be harmful or at least not as nutritionally balanced as say crab or saltwater shrimp.
     
  13. mazprot

    mazprot Cuttlefish Registered

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    I too am still researching the long term effects of holding it but from what I have read so far, the liquid rubber is a permanent, non-leaching sealant. The plywood is screwed together an acrylic glue is applied to the corners. You have to use acrylic glass due to the weight needed to be held back. I know you can use fiberglass as a top but I would not recomend using it as a facing piece. Even some acrylic glass will sag if you do not get the right thickness. I would suggest regular glass or acrylic.
     
  14. mazprot

    mazprot Cuttlefish Registered

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    you make some good points. The problem I have unfortunately is that I live in the mountains and aquarium equipment is terribly hard to come by. I typically have to travel 1-2 hours or more to pick up whatever I find. Luckily however I have an absolutely fantastic tank store in my small town which specializes in salt water and tropical freshwater fish and equipment but he also has one coldwater tank. I have never seen those nylon bolts before thanks for the link. My thoughts were that for a 100g tank becase of the wight the plywood has to be supported by a small stud wall which is part of the stand. So you can drill directly into the stud walls from the top missing drilling the plywood altogether.
     
  15. Tentacle Toast

    Tentacle Toast GPO Supporter Registered

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    I was thinking of the Plexiglas as a liner, not the actual "build" material. Save some fumes from the rubber at least. Speaking (typing) of...is it rubber specifically for the aquarium industry/marine applications? Do you know the brand most often used? I ask out of curiosity alone; the whole notion of a wooden tank is really interesting:)
     
  16. mazprot

    mazprot Cuttlefish Registered

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    Well as far as my research has gone it seems that it is typically used in the roofing industry and not specifically for aquarium keeping but i have found one company that boasts an absolutely safe non-toxic non leaching form of it which they sell for pong liners and plywood tanks. It is called rubberizeit (link below)

    Im still unsure and have yet to read or hear anyone testimony on it for this reason I am still not going to do any building what so ever before I am absolutely sure a plywood tank will be forever and also not leach anything. If there is even a chance it leaches I wont build one because I cant be killing off octopuses. Because that is just not acceptable.

    https://www.rubberizeit.com/video/diy-plywood-aquarium-build-water-proofing-with-liquid-rubber-ug/
     
  17. Tentacle Toast

    Tentacle Toast GPO Supporter Registered

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    That would most definitely be unacceptable! Thanks for the link, I'm going to check it out. Please keep us posted if you go that route (& even if you don't), it's always cool to see people's set-ups. You could end up with a truly unique build! Good luck to you
     
  18. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Jon Olav has published some very informative blogs about some of his projects, including building two plywood tanks. He sealed them with fiberglass and either marine epoxy, or the less expensive polyester resin. You can find his blogs here.
     
  19. mazprot

    mazprot Cuttlefish Registered

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    I like the idea of fiberglass and marine epoxy way better than liquid rubber. thank you for the link.
     
  20. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I haven't read anything about using liquid rubber (except above) but I can say that the reason that Jon Olav included fiberglass was that plywood is rather soft/flexible, while epoxy or polyester resin is hard and brittle (without fiberglass). The problem, without fiberglass, was that point pressure, like from the corner of a rock, would easily cause a little crack at the impact point, and allow water to seep into the wood and ruin the tank. Rubber would flex, and not crack, and so would be a more simple (single component) alternative if it doesn't come with its own downside (toxicity? expense? ???).
     

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