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Thread: Building your own Plywood tank......

  1. #16
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    Default Re:Building your own Plywood tank......

    That was a great article to read with lots of good info in it.I have a few observations that may be of some use to someone at some point

    One alternative product to consider is particleboard. You should be able to pick it up for about 20 dollars a sheet or less. specify countertop grade and not subfloor grade.

    I work every day of my life with plywood, particle board, solid wood... and i can state my ability to provide a living doing this sort of work that i can make pboard outperform plywood in a tank.It is more stable and uniform and if you use the correct joining techniques, it will provide cleaner and stronger joints.

    The tank I am working on now is smaller than this one( only 75 gallons) it has a solid oak face, 3/4" plywood sides and pboard back and bottom. so far i am happy with the way it is turning out. :

    I may be a bit agressive with my construction methods, But I used fiberglass cloth and resin on the entire inside surface of the tank. IMO this gives the tank the strength to withhold the forces of the water by tying it all together. I have 3 coats of resin inside and it looks pretty smooth right now.-not perfect but not bad. I am thinking that applying a thin coat of resin, throwing some washed sand and letting it set up, vacuuming up the excess sand and then a final coat of resin will give it a great look and hide any imperfections plus give it the substrate look while keeping maintainence easy. i would never sleep easy if i didn't use the cloth and resin wondering if i will get a 3 am call from a customer saying their water is on the floor.

    If you like to use a one piece front with a viewing area, tack boards to the front to make the correct opening size and use a router with a flush trim bit and you will get a perfect opening. 8)

    Another thing to think of is a way to ventilate the tank if it is enclosed on all sides, you can do that with muffin fans and vent holes.

  2. #17
    Registered Member ronrca's Avatar
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    Default Re:Building your own Plywood tank......

    I like working with pboard also. Are you talking like the fibreboard or melamine or MDF?

    Is the pboard totally sealed from water? From my experience with pboard, it reallys swells up when water gets on it.

    Just curious!

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    Default Re:Building your own Plywood tank......

    Ron

    I am talking about particleboard like the core of melamine is made of where you can see the flakes of wood in it.

    I use mdf too, which is smoother and easier to paint on the outside, but a bit more expensive and i also find that it is not as rigid imo.

    As far as sealing, Yes, i used 3 layers of epoxy resin, the first I also bedded with fiberglass cloth for strength. I think it is safe to say it will be watertight lol. You are correct in that any engineered board will swell when exposed to moisture, that is why it is imperitive seal everything and have proper ventilation.

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    Default Re:Building your own Plywood tank......

    here is another link for a plywood tank....hope it helps!!!

    http://www.marksfish.f9.co.uk/diy/plywood.htm

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    Default Re:Building your own Plywood tank......

    Great link Tom!

    This article by Jim is the first one I ever came across. Very inspirational! It's also the one that prompted me to use fiberglass tape and polyester resin on the inside plywood-to-plywood joints of the tank. And I'm glad I did! I've talked to many whose plywood-to-plywood joints in the tanks have separated due to the outward push from the water's weight. The fiberglass holds it all together tightly.

    Thanks.

    scott

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    Default Re:Building your own Plywood tank......

    No problem Scott....glad it helped ...juts starting out in discus and trying to be budget minded ...I researched plywood tanks heavily....have not built one yet but really do want to try and do so......

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    Default Re:Building your own Plywood tank......


  8. #23
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    Default Re:Building your own Plywood tank......

    I built wood 75 gallon aquarium back in 1988 and it worked quite well. I used clear epoxy paint on the outside and inside and the wood grain was very nice as a backdrop. As I recall I used epoxy glue on the joints, but no reinforcing tape. Like anything, the more care you take in preparing the wood surfaces before painting will make painting easier and result in a better product.

    I sold it two years later when I moved, but it was still in use 3 years after that. Can't remember who I sold it to now.

    If I made another one, I would make a large (400+ gallons) insulated tank for coldwater fish.

  9. #24
    Registered Member JeffreyRichard's Avatar
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    Default Re:Building your own Plywood tank......

    I have 2 4x2x2 foot plywood tanks ... the tanks are leaking at the seams. I glued and screwed the plywood together, and reinforced with a strip of 3/4 inch plywood around the bottom. I then painted with Epoxy Paint. However, the weight of the water still causes a bit of separation at the seams particularly the bottom.

    What can I do to seal these seams without taking apart the tanks?

    Thanks

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    Default Re:Building your own Plywood tank......

    Question what kind of plywood is best for this project?.

    chris

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    Default Re:Building your own Plywood tank......

    Marine grade plywood is supposed to be the best. But it is expensive. I used regular plywood with waterproof wood glue stainless steel screws and two part Epoxy paint (5 coats). Epoxy is expensive and I had lots left over that was mixed. I was told that this can be stored in the freezer for future use. The mix and brush are in my freezer for my next plywood tank.

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    Default Re:Building your own Plywood tank......

    Thank you vrey much

    chris

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    Default Re:Building your own Plywood tank......

    Jeffry
    Did you use waterproof glue for the joints? I used glue stainless screws, Epoxy and siliconed the joints. The tank has been in operation for about 12 months and holding fine.

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    Default Re: Building your own Plywood tank......

    I have a question on the epoxy paint used on the plywood tank. I've been checking around and the only epoxy paint seems to be the paint they use on garage floors. Does anybody know if this is the same epoxy paint ?

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    Default Re: Building your own Plywood tank......

    No it's not he same see my 210 gallon under DYI thread, I used the same paint as Scott. I have used the garage paint for my floor, the two paints are nothing alike aside of being 2 part epoxies. The garage paint will leach harmfull chemicals into your water, no good for fish, make sure you use an aquatic paint at very least.

    Good luck, I would really follow Scott's direction to a "T" works great.

    Dirk

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