Thinking of building a tank

diver07

New member
I just posted on the meet and greet thread then came over here to ask my first question. I'm thinking about building a 24Lx16Wx16H (~30gal) glass tank. I've looked at many threads/pages about this and have a question: Some people say to build the tank all at once because otherwise it won't seal right. Others say to do one wall at a time. So...which is it? It certainly seems easier if you can do a wall or two at a time.

Also is I used the calculator on GARF and it recommended 1/4" glass. Is that OK or would 3/8" be better? And!!! How much would you estimate the glass would cost: rough estimate $50, $100, more?

Thanks,
Aaron
 

njsurfcaster

New member
<img src="/images/welcome.gif" width="500" height="62"><br><b><i><big><big>To Reef Central</b></i></big></big>

I never built a tank so I can't help with the cost factor for but can tell you I just paid $70.00 for a new 30 gal and sold a 75 gal for $50.00 on Craigslist last week. If you want to build it for experience great but I think smaller tank builds may not be worth it.
 

uncleof6

New member
I just posted on the meet and greet thread then came over here to ask my first question. I'm thinking about building a 24Lx16Wx16H (~30gal) glass tank. I've looked at many threads/pages about this and have a question: Some people say to build the tank all at once because otherwise it won't seal right. Others say to do one wall at a time. So...which is it? It certainly seems easier if you can do a wall or two at a time.

Also is I used the calculator on GARF and it recommended 1/4" glass. Is that OK or would 3/8" be better? And!!! How much would you estimate the glass would cost: rough estimate $50, $100, more?

Thanks,
Aaron

6mm glass with a euro top and inside bottom, 9mm for a rimless tank.

By the time you buy the glass, have it cut and polished, you will have almost as much in it, than if you just bought the tank. Building a tank is not a money saving proposition, rather 'I built it myself' gratification.

All at once, or one panel at a time, don't matter that much. As long as you know what you are doing. And you gotta be good to build a big tank all at once.......

Jim
 

diver07

New member
It's more about getting the shape I want than the cost - provided the cost isn't more. While this isn't a cube it's more towards a cube than most commercially available tanks. Unless you guys know a good source for oddball shaped tanks at a good price?

I've been checking out craigslist in my area too :) This is all still in the planning stages.

Is a euro top where there are strips of glass ~2" running side to side in the front and back? But 9mm sounds good for a rimless.

Thanks much,

Aaron
 

uncleof6

New member
It's more about getting the shape I want than the cost - provided the cost isn't more. While this isn't a cube it's more towards a cube than most commercially available tanks. Unless you guys know a good source for oddball shaped tanks at a good price?

I've been checking out craigslist in my area too :) This is all still in the planning stages.

Is a euro top where there are strips of glass ~2" running side to side in the front and back? But 9mm sounds good for a rimless.

Thanks much,

Aaron

Euro is 2 - 3" strip of glass around the entire inside perimeter of the tank. Both top, and inside bottom.

9mm for a rimless, yes, but with a euro inside the bottom, unless you use a thicker bottom panel.

Jim
 

stealle

Premium Member
It's more about getting the shape I want than the cost - provided the cost isn't more. While this isn't a cube it's more towards a cube than most commercially available tanks. Unless you guys know a good source for oddball shaped tanks at a good price?

I've been checking out craigslist in my area too :) This is all still in the planning stages.

Is a euro top where there are strips of glass ~2" running side to side in the front and back? But 9mm sounds good for a rimless.

Thanks much,

Aaron

A 30 gallon tank in a semi-cube shape is a fairly common "nano-tank". What are your plans for lighting, also what about a sump? Do you want a sump? If not, you might want to have a look at some of the all-in-one models such as the Nanocube, BIOCube, and Red Sea Max. My first tank was a Biocube. Great way to get started in the hobby. Also, as far as lighting goes, you can get some great modifications from nanotuners.com or nanocustoms.com . You can have LED lighting or Metal Halide lighting right in the hood if you so desire.
 

diver07

New member
Thanks Jim, just so It's absolutely clear to me: the euro goes on the wall (not the bottom panel) of the tank, correct? Essentially doubling the thickness of the wall around the entire bottom?

Aaron
 

uncleof6

New member
Thanks Jim, just so It's absolutely clear to me: the euro goes on the wall (not the bottom panel) of the tank, correct? Essentially doubling the thickness of the wall around the entire bottom?

Aaron

der-wille-1.jpg


Jim
 

SkolPaFisken

New member
A buddy of mine who used to be a chemist at a national chemical company (which makes many bonding products) told me a few critical points to consider when using silicone in making a tank.

You should consider two distinct steps;
1. the adhesion bead; a.k.a. bonding the glass panels together.
2. the sealing bead.

The bonding bead must be made with NO air bubbles in the silicone; none nada-zip. Any air bubbles cause a weakness and therefore tend to come apart later. The adhesion bead MUST be a uniform thickness and of sufficient thickness to maximize the holding power, 1/8 inch if I remember correctly. To accomplish this you will need a jig to guarantee correct placement.

The sealing bead is tolerant of air bubbles but of course not recommended.

I was, at that time, planning a 180 gallon build, I never did it because dollar wise you cannot beat the purchased tanks. When it came down to it I had plenty of, "ooh, just goop some silicone between the glass and you'll be fine" but I was scared of screwing it up.

I have observations about glass thicknesses as well. Do not go with the thinner, I have seen plenty of craigslist tanks that were bowed! I trusted the people who told me that they were sealed but glass is a liquid, it bows under the pressure, why do thin glass and shorten the 'life' of your tank??? spend a little extra now and ensure your tank will last as long as you want it (and yes I have had a 55 gallon craigslist tank split a seam in my living room!). I waited for an AGA tank to come up on craigslist and I have been very happy!!

I'm not trying to steer you away from building, just providing my two cents; one of the many things I love about this hobby is that you can tinker yourself and choose many DIY parts to building your own slice-o-ocean.

Good luck!

I hope the info helps.
 

uncleof6

New member
I have observations about glass thicknesses as well. Do not go with the thinner, I have seen plenty of craigslist tanks that were bowed! I trusted the people who told me that they were sealed but glass is a liquid, it bows under the pressure, why do thin glass and shorten the 'life' of your tank??? spend a little extra now and ensure your tank will last as long as you want it (and yes I have had a 55 gallon craigslist tank split a seam in my living room!). I waited for an AGA tank to come up on craigslist and I have been very happy!!

The use of the terms "liquid" or "Supercooled liquid" to describe glass is a misnomer that should be avoided. In terms of molecular dynamics and thermodynamics, it is possible to say that glass is a highly viscous fluid, an amorphous solid, or simply a state of matter that is neither liquid or solid. Common sense wise, glass should be considered a solid as it is rigid, and does not flow. (regardless of the MYTH that it does.)

Glass will bow under pressure, but it will not take a permanent set, as acrylic will. So the only way to know if a tank "bows" is by putting water in it. It is not possible to buy a "bowed" glass tank.

Jim
 

stealle

Premium Member
A 30 gallon tank in a semi-cube shape is a fairly common "nano-tank". What are your plans for lighting, also what about a sump? Do you want a sump? If not, you might want to have a look at some of the all-in-one models such as the Nanocube, BIOCube, and Red Sea Max. My first tank was a Biocube. Great way to get started in the hobby. Also, as far as lighting goes, you can get some great modifications from nanotuners.com or nanocustoms.com . You can have LED lighting or Metal Halide lighting right in the hood if you so desire.

Tanks from Cadlights are something to look at as well.
 

diver07

New member
Ahhh, thanks Jim! a picture is worth...well you know....

And I'll check out cadlights too

And now because I got home late (I was checking out LFSs this afternoon) I have to hurry and rush off to the local Pub for a charity fundraiser!

Aaron
 

diver07

New member
A 30 gallon tank in a semi-cube shape is a fairly common "nano-tank". What are your plans for lighting, also what about a sump? Do you want a sump? If not, you might want to have a look at some of the all-in-one models such as the Nanocube, BIOCube, and Red Sea Max. My first tank was a Biocube. Great way to get started in the hobby. Also, as far as lighting goes, you can get some great modifications from nanotuners.com or nanocustoms.com . You can have LED lighting or Metal Halide lighting right in the hood if you so desire.

Sorry, missed this post until now. For lighting I was leaning toward T5s 4x24w but haven't decided yet. Sump yes. The all-in-ones seem attractive but I see a lot of posts where people end up doing lots of mods to them.

Aaron
 

diver07

New member
9mm for a rimless, yes, but with a euro inside the bottom, unless you use a thicker bottom panel.
Jim

How thick a bottom panel to skip the bottom euro? I'm thinking on a tank this size getting all the glass cut for the euro and getting it sealed in well will be way more effort and probably cost more than just a thicker bottom. Weight really isn't an issue here either. But - will the bottom euro also help hold the tank together better? If so then I may want to do it anyhow.

Regarding the back panel: I plan to have 3 bulkheads (two drains, one return) with a glass box coast-to-coast. Will the holes weaken the panel enough to require thicker glass?

Thanks all for answering the newb's questions,

Aaron
 

uncleof6

New member
How thick a bottom panel to skip the bottom euro? I'm thinking on a tank this size getting all the glass cut for the euro and getting it sealed in well will be way more effort and probably cost more than just a thicker bottom. Weight really isn't an issue here either. But - will the bottom euro also help hold the tank together better? If so then I may want to do it anyhow.

Regarding the back panel: I plan to have 3 bulkheads (two drains, one return) with a glass box coast-to-coast. Will the holes weaken the panel enough to require thicker glass?

Thanks all for answering the newb's questions,

Aaron

12mm bottom.

3 holes in the back panel if placed properly (1 - 1 .5x the hole diameter from the edges of the glass, and each other--as long as the holes do not chip, will not jeopardize the back wall.

As long as you are building this thing, you might want to assemble a better drain system than you are contemplating. Here is the rest of the system I posted above:

der-wille2.jpg


der-wille1.jpg



Jim
 

diver07

New member
As long as you are building this thing, you might want to assemble a better drain system than you are contemplating. Here is the rest of the system I posted above:
Jim

The above was going to be a "Herbie" type. However I was also thinking of BeanAnimal's version with the 3 drains - what's one more hole and some pvc afterall. I did see the post where you showed your system above in detail but I can't seem to find it now to look at it again :mad2: I'll keep looking. And since we drifted in flow and drains, what size bulkheads would you suggest here?

Btw, I saw a nice sump design you posted a number of times that I plan on incorporating into an old 15g I'm going to use for my sump/fuge.

Thanks,
Aaron
 

uncleof6

New member
The above was going to be a "Herbie" type. However I was also thinking of BeanAnimal's version with the 3 drains - what's one more hole and some pvc afterall. I did see the post where you showed your system above in detail but I can't seem to find it now to look at it again :mad2: I'll keep looking. And since we drifted in flow and drains, what size bulkheads would you suggest here?

Btw, I saw a nice sump design you posted a number of times that I plan on incorporating into an old 15g I'm going to use for my sump/fuge.

Thanks,
Aaron

1" bulkheads will be sufficient for this system. 1" siphon will accommodate any reasonable flow rate for this system, and then some. A 15 gallon tank is not going to give you much room, but small DTs/stands don't give you a lot of options.

Jim
 

diver07

New member
I found the previous post I was looking for where you explained your overflow. I was confused in the above diagram because I failed to realize one of the pipes was the return line.

I do really like this idea. Having a low profile overflow and a 2-3 holes in the side/back of the tank and all the plumbing in a box on the back/side (I'd do mine on the back).

For the return can I just go straight through from the box on the back through the tank wall then through the front of the overflow? I'd only need a bulkhead on the front of the overflow the hole through the tank could just be a hole with a pipe loosely in it. It seems people talk often about drains/how many/and their placement, the return just magically appears :fun4:

I was also going to ask: If I increase the height and depth by 1" can I use the same glass we discussed? What I should ask is can you point me to a place where I can calculate this info myself :idea: instead of bugging others with trivial questions that they've likely been asked and answered a thousand times already.

Thanks,
Aaron
 
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