View Full Version : Slow progress

01-26-2020, 12:26 PM
I've spent the last four weeks slowly assembling acrylic tanks. It's my first attempt at building with acrylic. Great thanks to UaruJoey (KingofDIY on Youtube)! Here're just a couple photos: raw materials and fill-testing! I'm hoping by February or March I'll be ready for fish.126642126643126644

01-26-2020, 12:31 PM
I'm impressed. I wouldn't have a clue as to how to go about that. How many gallons does the large tank hold? I love the gussets around the top.

01-26-2020, 12:44 PM
Thanks! They're not display quality or anything, but I'm happy with my first attempt.

The big one is about 60 gallons, Liz. :-)

The outside dimensions on the large tank: 48"wide, 17" high, 20" front-to-back.

It's 1/2 inch acrylic, which is overbuilding. I assumed I wouldn't get cleanly cemented joints (and I was right!), and I wanted the extra rigidity of thicker material to make the top supports narrower. I've had an acrylic tank before and didn't like reaching under those overhangs to clean.

The smaller tanks are 24" wide, 17" high, and 15" front to back, just a bit over 20 gallons.

Nothing but respect for people who really know how to make these tanks.

01-26-2020, 02:25 PM
Interesting project. Did you DIY for the experience or the cost?

01-26-2020, 03:11 PM
What did you use to glue them? I see the can. Looks similar to the pvc stuff. Not silicone? Also, did you have all your pieces pre-cut, including the tops?

01-26-2020, 04:03 PM
Hey Jeep! Partially for the cost but mostly because I couldn't find tanks the size I wanted them. Years ago when raising discus I remember thinking what I want is more footprint and less depth. I also remember thinking the standard 20 gallon tanks weren't quite big enough but I didn't want to go all the way to 29.

I do like do-it-yourself projects though! I must: this is the second time l've built tanks. Before, I built a large plywood tank about 7 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet.

01-26-2020, 04:21 PM
I used mostly weld-on 4. I also used weld on 16 for "caulking" the corners and placing the tops.

Actually because I bought it all in Los Angeles I used a chemical cousin to weld-on 4 approved for Southern California environmental regulations. But I think the consensus is that weld-on 4 works slightly better.

Yes I had all the pieces cut. I used Professional Plastics in Santa Ana California. After seeing how smoothly and truly they cut everything, I shudder to think the mess I would have made with my table saw or skill saw. The plastic itself was between 5 and $600 for these tanks. I could have saved a bit more money if I would have gone thinner, but I wanted it thicker for the strength and the fudge room for the gluing. I also spent about 30 or $40 on adhesives and 130 on a handheld router for those top cutouts. I estimate I would have spent 12 or 1,300 to just buy the tanks outright (don't hold me to that though. I didn't check super closely). I probably would have had more peace of mind buying them but I got exactly what I wanted this way.

If I were to do this again I would probably experiment more with weld on 16 instead of weld on 4. It seems much more forgiving though some say it's not as strong.

If you're seriously considering this, there's plenty of information out there about it. I highly recommend you learn a lot before attempting it yourself. The Crux of the matter is finishing the sides smoothly and flatly. Check out KingofDIY on youtube, one of our own here from simply. 😁


01-26-2020, 04:53 PM
Thanks Scott. Mostly just curious. Maybe 20 years ago, ha ha. But great info. Enjoying your project!

01-27-2020, 01:22 AM
I just realized you're also asking about cutting out the tops, Rogue. I routered out those cutouts. I had Professional Plastics cut The outside rectangular outline.