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Wood Tanks

Contents:

  1. (F)(M) Replies to wood.glass building (long)
    by howardr-at-col.hp.com (Howard Rebel) (12 Mar 92)
  2. Wood and Glass Tank Building Questions.
    by Bill Haneman <billh-at-kudzu.Stanford.EDU> (Fri, 14 Feb 92)
  3. Wood and Glass Tank Building Questions.
    by CHUCK-at-PIERRE.MIT.EDU (Chuck Parsons) ( Fri, 31 Jan 1992)
  4. Wood and Glass Tank Building Questions.
    by krogers-at-javelin.sim.es.com (K. Rogers) (Fri, 31 Jan 92)
  5. Wood and Glass Tank Building Questions.
    by mleone-at-REYNARD.FOX.CS.CMU.EDU (Fri, 31 Jan 92)
  6. Wood and Glass Tank Building Questions.
    by mattk-at-cbnewsl.att.com (Sun, 2 Feb 92)
  7. Wood and Glass Tank Building Questions.
    by mikew-at-umbc3.umbc.edu (Mr. Mike Weaver) (Sun, 2 Feb 92)
  8. (No Title)
    by Joe deRosa ()
  9. Tank building
    by (Mon, 1 Jul 91)
  10. Tank building
    by sonny-at-cbnewsf.cb.att.com (joseph.j.de rosa) (1 Jul 91)
  11. (no title)
    by Rich Braun (Mon Jul 8)

(F)(M) Replies to wood.glass building (long)

by howardr-at-col.hp.com (Howard Rebel)
Date: 12 Mar 92

This is collection of all the mail I received regarding building
glass and wood tanks.  I have placed the one that I found the
most interesting first.  


Wood and Glass Tank Building Questions.

by Bill Haneman <billh-at-kudzu.Stanford.EDU>
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

Howard:

Can't speak from experience so I'll be brief...
All the sealers I know leach solventy stuff, etc. over time.
Some are "non-toxic" but I wouldn't put them near fish.  Why not
use a glass bottom *over* plywood if you really want a plywood
bottom?  Easier to seal, too.  If you make a tank out of materials
with different thermal expansion rates & water absorption rates,
sooner or later you'll have trouble.

-bill ( a materials scientist )



Wood and Glass Tank Building Questions.

by CHUCK-at-PIERRE.MIT.EDU (Chuck Parsons)
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 1992

In article <73270006-at-col.hp.com>, you write...
>What should I use to seal the plywood.  Do I need to use
>polyester resin or is there some form of polyurathane that
>will work?

Howard,

  I've never built anything but plexiglas tanks. However, I've
had a little experience with canoes. Polyester is bad for things
constantly imersed because it is water permiable. You need to
use a two part epoxy.

Regards, Chuck


Wood and Glass Tank Building Questions.

by krogers-at-javelin.sim.es.com (K. Rogers)
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 92
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria

In alt.aquaria you write:

I have built a 120 gallon plywood tank, so I have some authority on
this topic, though I don't consider myself an expert.

>The questions.
>--------------
>
>Pros and cons of such tanks.
>
>Do I need to use marine plywood or can I use exterior grade
>if I seal the plywood on all sides?

Exterior grade is fine.  After all, how is the plywood going to get
wet?  If the tank was built properly, it won't leak.  If it does leak,
then it doesn't make much difference whether or not the wood is
exterior or marine - you still have to fix the leak or chuck the tank.

The same argument goes for the glue: use regular ol' carpenters wood
glue.  Most recommend waterproof epoxy glue.  If you can even find it,
it costs a fortune.  How are the seams supposed to get wet for the
glue to need to be waterproof?  If the tank leaks you have to fix it
or chuck it.

>What should I use to seal the plywood.  Do I need to use
>polyester resin or is there some form of polyurathane that
>will work?

You need a two part epoxy paint.  I used Pratt and Lambert Pal Guard.
One quart of each part gave 3 very thick coats on my 4'x2'x2' tank.  I
don't think polyurathane is truely water proof or non-toxic.  This Pal
Guard is totally non-toxic as exhibited by the good health of my live
corals in the tank.  I expect you know how sensitive they are to
*anything*.

>Tempered or untempered glass?

Mine has standard 1/4" plate glass (untempered.)  For your tank
dimesions, I'd use 3/8" plate.

>General construction details (cost) ?

The cost is the good news.  My tank cost me about $100.  Compare that
to any commercial glass or acryllic tank of similar size.  Your tank
will probably run ~$200 since you'll need two sheets of plywood,
instead of one, plus extra paint and heavier and more glass.

Construction was very straight forward.  Given the shop tools you
have, you could knock one off with ease.  I only used a radial arm saw,
saber saw, and hand drill by way of power tools.

FAMA had an artile (in '87 or '86, either July or June) that goes over
construction details.  I'll mail you the exact reference when I get
home (if I remember.)  You can call them for a back issue, which is
what I did, if you don't have access to issues that far back.

>Sealing glass/?/wood seams?

GE Silicon II Rubber.  I used 3 tubes of the 10oz calking size on the
whole tank.  One tube sufficed to glue the glass down to the wood.
Run a bead along all seams just to insure against the paint cracking
for whatever reason.

>Horror stories regarding such tanks.

No horror stories.  I will never buy a tank again if it's over 40 gallons.
I love the tank.  It was so easy to work with and it is so big for so
little $$$.

You get all the advantages: it's lighter than glass, easy to custom
fit to anywhere and to attach any special filtration modifications and
it's cheap to boot.  The only disadvantage is that you have to build
it.  That might be a problem for those who don't have the tools or
skills but not for me or you.

Go for it.

I haven't included my construction techniques as I'm relatively lazy
and would rather answer your specific questions than write up a big
article on it.  I essentually just followed the FAMA article.  The
only significant difference is that I used two 7/16" threaded bolt tie
rods in the center of the top to prevent the tank from bowing rather
than two strips of wood along the top inside edges.  The rod is much
smaller than the wood strips.  The rods go through a steel "mending"
plate to distribute the load.  Have I described this well enought for
you to understand what I did?

I'm willing to answer further questions.
-- 
Keith Rogers
Evans & Sutherland Computer Corp.
krogers-at-javelin.sim.es.com


Wood and Glass Tank Building Questions.

by mleone-at-REYNARD.FOX.CS.CMU.EDU
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 92
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria

In article <73270006-at-col.hp.com> you write:
>I want to build a large tank from plywood and glass.
>It will have plywood bottom and back with glass front
>and maybe sides. Size=2'x 2'x (6'-8'). 

I'd be very interested in seeing a summary of the replies you get,
since I hope to build a similar tank someday.  FAMA's _For What It's
Worth, Vol. 1_ has a few articles on plywood tank construction, and
it's only around $10.  Volume 2 is probably available now.

>Pros and cons of such tanks.

Someone on the net recently said that you shouldn't keep a
plecostomous (sp?) in a plywood tank that's been sealed with enamel
instead of fiberglass or formica.  Supposedly it will eat right
through the enamel to get at the wood.  I have my doubts about this,
however.

Speculation: it may be more difficult to scrape algae off enameled
plywood, since it won't be very smooth.

>What should I use to seal the plywood.  Do I need to use
>polyester resin or is there some form of polyurathane that
>will work?

Enamel is supposed to work well.  Fiberglass is said to work, but
doesn't last more than a few years.  I don't know about polyurethane.
I've heard on the net that you can use formica or some other lamination,
but I'm a little skeptical.

>General construction details (cost) ?

Use epoxy, not wood glue.  Secure all joints with numerous screws.

>Sealing glass/?/wood seams?

Silicone will bond glass to enamel, but not glass to bare wood.
I don't know whether it will bond to fiberglass.

Good luck!

--
Mark Leone  <mleone-at-cs.cmu.edu>                 "Don't just do something,
Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University     sit there!"
Pittsburgh, PA 15213  USA


Wood and Glass Tank Building Questions.

by mattk-at-cbnewsl.att.com
Date: Sun, 2 Feb 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

In article <27360022-at-col.hp.com> you write:
>I know that this has been covered some time ago so please
>email me rather then posting replies.  

Gee, and I thought I corresponded with your wife about this last summer...
>
>I want to build a large tank from plywood and glass.
>It will have plywood bottom and back with glass front
>and maybe sides. Size=2'x 2'x (6'-8'). 
>
>I do not want to hear from the just go out and buy it crowd 
>unless they have real data to base their views on.  
>I have a shop with table saw, drill press, power miter saw, 
>router with table, and AC welder.
>
>I have built all glass
>tanks up to 40 gallons and will build at least one smaller
>wood and glass tank to get a handle on construction methods.
Excellent idea - I didn't and suffered because of it.
>
>The questions.
>--------------
>
>Pros and cons of such tanks.
Pros:
Big. Cheap. Supposedly sturdy. Easy to customize (trickle filter standpipes
and overflows and the
like.) I 'built' a 2'x2'x8' tank in 1990 (through 1991, sigh) that
I had in service for a few months and when it worked, it looked great!
Cons:
Hard to seal. Hard to get the glass to sit right (that eventually did my
tank in.)
>
>Do I need to use marine plywood or can I use exterior grade
>if I seal the plywood on all sides?
I have seen a couple of tanks built with the paper coated marine plywood,
but I built mine from exterior plywood, and I just sealed the inside
(I painted the outside.) Either works. I know a guy that builds small
ponds from the paper-coated marine stuff.
>
>What should I use to seal the plywood.  Do I need to use
>polyester resin or is there some form of polyurathane that
>will work?
I used the polyester resin. It smells bad but seals well, though you
do need a fair amount (plan on 2 coats.)
>
>Tempered or untempered glass?
I used plexiglass. Tempered's lighter. Plexiglass gives a little, I liked
that property. Some folks claim it yellows, I've never seen it.
>
>General construction details (cost) ?
My tank cost about $250 for wood, plexiglass,
sealants, glue (resorcinal glue), nails,
etc.
>
>Sealing glass/?/wood seams?
Aquarium silicone (*lots* of it, like an 8'x2' I would used 2 tubes to
compeletey cover the front wood where the glass'll rest. Don't stint.)
>
>Horror stories regarding such tanks.

Well, I was inspired to do this by an article in FAMA that I saw in
a collection of 'For What it's worth.' My friend who has a woodshop
in his garage (table saw, radial arm saw) agreed to pitch in. What we
did was buy 2 pieces of exterior grade plywood, and build a box using
'ledger strip' construction, i.e., the sides essentially fit inside
a frame made of a strip of 1" pine that's nailed and glued on the bottom.
There were, hmm, 4 cross braces across the top made from plywood as well.

The mistake I made was getting too much advice. A colleague that used to
build surfboards recommended using fiberglass batting around the inside
on all the walls for strength. It ended up being impossible to get that
damn stuff to stay flat and made it much harder to seal. Instead, if
I were to do it again, I'd just use 2 coats of polyester resin, and also
the surfaces on the inside would be the 'good' side of the wood so
they'd be nice and smooth. Further, I did use 2 coats of 'Gel Coat,' a
polyester resin that takes a tint, that's a good idea as well and it
helped seal. 

I didn't have a good seal in the front, I ended up taking the front
windows out twice and could never get them to seal well, so I took
a chainsaw to the thing this summer. I ended up spending hundreds of hours
sealing, sanding, fixing lumps in fiberglass, etc. and got frustrated and
gave up. At this point, I'd only do this for tanks that take up
odd spaces (like a 5'x1'x2' tank I have space for for some catfish.)

Note: wood eating catfish will gnaw on the tank.

>
>Howard Rebel




Wood and Glass Tank Building Questions.

by mikew-at-umbc3.umbc.edu (Mr. Mike Weaver)
Date: Sun, 2 Feb 92
Newsgroup: sci.aquaria

See below your text for all the information I collected when I
was thinking about making such a tank. Good luck, and I wish I
could have some first hand info to give you.

In article <38900007-at-col.hp.com> you write:
...
>I want to build a large tank from plywood and glass.
>It will have plywood bottom and back with glass front
>and maybe sides. Size=2'x 2'x (6'-8'). 
>
...

 Well, I went out and bought a 75gallon before I could get around to
making one, But I am not saying that it the route to go.

>General construction details (cost) ?
>
>Sealing glass/?/wood seams?
>
>Howard Rebel

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>Well, and the subject line says, I'm seriously thinking of undertaking
>the construction of a 100-110 gallon tank to be used for Central American
>Cichlids. (They are outgrowing their present tank fast...). I'm planning
>on making a rectangular tank 24"x24"x48". (Actually a bit smaller, but for
>the sake of discussion... :-).
>
>I plan on using 3/4" marine grade plywood for the bottom and back, and also
>as border around the 3 other sides. (I'll cut out the other panels the
>same size, and then make cutouts for the glass leaving about 2 1/2 inches
>of supporting wood all around). The glass is either going to be 3/8" (if I
>can get it) or 1/2". I'm going to coat the wood with an epoxy paint.
>
>Does anyone have eny experience biulding a similar tank, or any tank with
>plywood/glass? Any and all comments welcome. Please either post or email
>and I'll summarize.
>
>Thanks,
>       -mike weaver
>       mikew-at-umbc4.umbc.edu


I built a plywood & plexiglass 8'x2'x2' tank last summer-fall (it took
a long time to finish, more on that later.) I have since found better ways to
do what I did that I think make it easier.

Your plan sounds good, but be sure that the edges are adequately joined.
My carpenter friend and I used 'ledger strip' construction, where
the sides sat withing a strip of 1x.5 pine that was nailed to the
bottom, so they can't pus hout. Butt joining isn't as strong.

Finishing these interior of these tanks is the key. I would use 2 coats
of a polyester marine resin like 'boat armor' and then a colored resin
like gel-coat (2 coats as well), then use a _lot_ of
silicone around the window - don't be afraid to use an entire tube
for your window. ONe fellow I know that builds these tanks uses an
inner (away from water, nearest the cutout) ring of silicone II glue,
and an outer ring of silicone sealant that's food safe.

Also, don't forget to make front-back straps at the top and seal them
with the resin as well, otherwise they'll warp.

Your tank sounds like about 125 gallons. Sounds nice. Leave holes for
the trickle filter drain and what-not. You'll find lots of usefule
stuff at a good boat suppy store.

Do all the sealing outdoors wearing a respirator. Those resins are nasty,
the hardener is methyl-ethyl ketone, _don't_ get it on your skin.
>From umbc3.umbc.edu!haven.umd.edu!udel!princeton!njin!uupsi!sunic!sics.se!ifi.uio.no!runene Mon Jul  1 16:54:24 EDT 1991

In article <1991Jun28.120130.3272-at-b17a.ingr.com> gdk-at-gdk.b17a.ingr.com (Garth Keesler) writes:

> >
> >Well, and the subject line says, I'm seriously thinking of undertaking
> >the construction of a 100-110 gallon tank to be used for Central American
...
> >I plan on using 3/4" marine grade plywood for the bottom and back, and also
> >as border around the 3 other sides. (I'll cut out the other panels the
> >same size, and then make cutouts for the glass leaving about 2 1/2 inches
> >of supporting wood all around). The glass is either going to be 3/8" (if I
> >can get it) or 1/2". I'm going to coat the wood with an epoxy paint.
> >

I think this is the right way to go. I have seen a book describing building
a plywood-tank (sorry, it was in norwegian so you probably dont want it).
They used 2 cm plywood for a 400 liters tank and a 8 cm frame of supporting
wood around the front glass. They used glass only in the front, and they
used 3 or 4 layers (sorry, I can't remember) of a two-part laquer inside the
tank. Over the joints they first painted it whith 2 or 3 layers of lacquer,
and then covered the joint with a strip of silicon-glue and then painted it
with another layer lacquer.

> >Thanks,
> >     -mike weaver
> >     mikew-at-umbc4.umbc.edu
> >

>   I too am preparing to embark on a tank-building excursion using a sheet
> of 3/4" glass from my 150 gallon tank which decided to disassemble itself
> in the middle of the night. I am going for an 8'x4'x30" tank with a usable
> volume of about 550 gallons constructed out of 1" AA grade plywood lined
> with fiberglass set with epoxy resin. The front will have two sheets of
> the plywood, one cut to 1" larger than the glass. This sheet will be glued
> to the other sheet which will have a cutout smaller than the glass sheet.
> I have done some amount of research on this and one VERY important point
> is to allow for the different expansion rates of glass and wood! I hope
> to avoid this problem by setting the glass into a "frame" of silicone tank
> sealer which has been allowed to set.
>

What they did in this book was just to glue the glass (which was just a
little bit (0.5-1 cm) smaller than the insided of the tank) to the
supporting frame with silicon, just one frame, and it didn't mention
anything about problems with different expansion rates of glass and wood. I
really dont know, but i wouldn't think this to be any problem unless the
temperature in the tank variates much.

>   My biggest concern now is eliminiting the flex which will occur at the
> top center of the tank. Carbon-fiber rods spanning the top is one possible
> solution. The other is to enclose the tank in a rigid metal frame. I
> haven't decided on this yet.

In the book they used a horisontal strip of plywood about 10 cm wide
parallel to the water surface and skrewed to the front- and back-plates.
It makes it a little bit harder to reach into the tank, but i would think
it to be more rigid than a metal frame of normal thickness.
If the sides of the tank seemes to be a problem, this technic can be used
here to, but in this book only the front- and back-sides is supported in
this way.

>   I have seen tanks constructed out of marine plywood and epoxy paint
> and the combination seems to work just fine. Again, remember the problem
> of glass versus plywood expansion.
>

> Garth D. Keesler                      Intergraph Corporation
> gdk-at-gdk.b17a.ingr.com (Internet)      Huntsville, Al 35894-0001
> uunet!ingr!b17a!gdk!gdk       (UUCP)          (205) 730-1519

What I would think is the most important thing is how the plywood is
assembled. The book recomended to first use waterproof wood-glue together
width small nails to hold it together, and when the glue was hardened use
4 cm (twice the thickness of the plywood) brass screwes for every 10 cm in
(small) pre-drilled holes widened at the top so that the head of the
screws is flush with the surface of the wood.
They recomended to be very careful to make the edges straight, as it would
be the glue which would hold most of the pressure, and it was important
that the joint was uniform and of full strength all the way.

------
Rune Nergaard                   runene-at-ifi.uio.no       (Internet)
Institut of Informatics         ..!uunet!ifi!runene     (UUCP)
University of Oslo, Norway
------
Disclaimer: What I has written here is what I have read in a book, and is
suplied to you for your information only, and is as correct as possible as my
memory recalls it. I make no garanties whatsoever for its correctness whith
respect to spelling-errors or mistakes.



(No Title)

by Joe deRosa

In article <1991Jun28.120130.3272-at-b17a.ingr.com> gdk-at-gdk.b17a.ingr.com writes:
>>
>>Well, and the subject line says, I'm seriously thinking of undertaking
>>the construction of a 100-110 gallon tank to be used for Central American
>>Cichlids. (They are outgrowing their present tank fast...). I'm planning
>>on making a rectangular tank 24"x24"x48". (Actually a bit smaller, but for
>>the sake of discussion... :-).
>>
>>I plan on using 3/4" marine grade plywood for the bottom and back, and also

Consider using medium density papermarine grade paper coated plywood. This is
more expensive tham regular marine plywood, but it has a smooth surface on
both sides, AND is made with waterprof glues. 3/4" thick is fine. I built my
tank with 1/2" ply, and my tank is 8'long x 4'wide x 1.5' deep(top-to-bottom).
Thi sgives me 32 square feet of surface area. It is a very nice sized tank.

>>as border around the 3 other sides. (I'll cut out the other panels the
>>same size, and then make cutouts for the glass leaving about 2 1/2 inches
>>of supporting wood all around). The glass is either going to be 3/8" (if I
>>can get it) or 1/2".

Use resourcenol (sp?) glue. It is a PERMANENT WATERPROOF GLUE. You are taking
BIG CHANCES if you use anything else. Cut the sides so that they sit ON TOP OF
the bottom piece of wood. (see below for a bad illustration)

||                       ||
||                       ||
||                       ||
||                       ||
===========================  MAke SURE that sides sit on bottom!!


>>I'm going to coat the wood with an epoxy paint.

A friend fiberglass coats the insides of his wood tanks, but I just use a few
coats of epoxy paint.

>>Does anyone have eny experience biulding a similar tank, or any tank with
>>plywood/glass? Any and all comments welcome. Please either post or email
>>and I'll summarize.

Remember that cichlids like alot of room. Bottom area is more important
than tank  depth. The stand should be strong and tall enough.

>  I too am preparing to embark on a tank-building excursion using a sheet
>of 3/4" glass from my 150 gallon tank which decided to disassemble itself
>in the middle of the night. I am going for an 8'x4'x30" tank with a usable

Good size tank. I like it :-)

>volume of about 550 gallons constructed out of 1" AA grade plywood lined
>with fiberglass set with epoxy resin. The front will have two sheets of
>the plywood, one cut to 1" larger than the glass. This sheet will be glued
>to the other sheet which will have a cutout smaller than the glass sheet.
>I have done some amount of research on this and one VERY important point
>is to allow for the different expansion rates of glass and wood! I hope

I haven't had any problems, but you might want to do it your way.

>to avoid this problem by setting the glass into a "frame" of silicone tank
>sealer which has been allowed to set.
>
>  My biggest concern now is eliminiting the flex which will occur at the
>top center of the tank. Carbon-fiber rods spanning the top is one possible
>solution. The other is to enclose the tank in a rigid metal frame. I

Why not do as I do? I took some 2" wide strips of plywood and painted them
with epoxy. I use these as braces across the top and across the back. I have one
8' long strip connected to the back, and some 4' long strips, one on each side
panel, one across the center and one half-way between te center and each end.
(another bad diagram)

_____________________________
|===========================|  Back of tank
|+     +      +     +      +|
|+     +      +     +      +|
|+     +      +     +      +|      TOP VIEW
|+     +      +     +      +|
|+     +      +     +      +|
|+     +      +     +      +|
-----------------------------
          ^      ^
          |      |
          ---------------- I have 4' shop lights here

>haven't decided on this yet.
>
>  I have seen tanks constructed out of marine plywood and epoxy paint
>and the combination seems to work just fine. Again, remember the problem
>of glass versus plywood expansion.


I have had a nice SouTh American Freshwater tank for 3 years, as well as other
wood tanks, some as old as 10 years. None have leaked due to construction
problems. One does leak due to some Ancistrus sp. catfish (like plecostomus)
eating through some of the plywood levels. Since I usethe papercoated, medium
density marine ply, it hasn't been too bad. (The fish did eat through 3 of
the 5 plys before any leak was detected). Keep fish like this OUT of wood tanks.

I will answer any specific questions regarding my large tanks. Send e-mail for
definite responses, or post if you like.

Good luck, and welcome to the world of LARGE tanks.


attmail!doctor!jderosa                              | J. DeRosa
copyright 1991 all rights reserved J. DeRosa        | AT&T
Use without written permission is prohibited.       | 1B32
All opinions are those of the author, and are NOT   | 100 Atrium Drive
intended to be endorsement of products or ideas.    | Somerset, New Jersey 08873
USE ALL OPINIONS WITH CAUTION.                      |



Tank building

by
Date: Mon, 1 Jul 91

>From att!umbc4.umbc.edu!mikew Mon Jul  1 16:52:15 0400 1991
>
>Thanks for the info. I sure can use all I can get.
>I do have a couple of questions that I hope you can answer. (Or
>at least point me in the right direction to get answered)
>
>1) Do I need to use the resins or can I use multiple coats of
>   an epoxy paint?
You'd be better off with the polyester resins. The epoxy paint
(ever price boat paint? $100/gallon is typical...) is hard to get
(I found) and no less nasty to work with, plus the polyester resin
by the gallon is like $25

Experiment with it first - to get the right amount of hardener.
In cooler weather, use more, in warmer less.
>
>2) Do I need to use marine plywood, or will an exterior grade of plywood
>   work?
I used exterior plywood, but marine is 'better' in that if you do get a leak
it's less likely to be damaging.
>
>3) How much room for expansion did you leave between the glass and
>   the edge of the tank? (Meaning space between the edge of the glass
>   and the perpendicular side of plywood)
Uhh, I guess about an inch. I used plexiglass, you can run it right to
the edge (which I'd do if I were doing it again.)
>
>4) Are the resins non-toxic? If not, how do I finish the inside?
Yes, they're non-toxic. Finish with gel-coat.
>
>Thanks again for taking the time to reply. Sorry for asking so
>many questions, but I don't have many sources from which to get
>good information. The book I have has a section on tank building,
>but doesn't go into sufficient detail and it's the best book I've
>seen on the subject.
Martin Moe's book mentioned in, in the 'Best of For What it's Worth'
published by FAMA there's a lot of details - I followed a mix
of the 2 detailed articles, but my carpentry was different.

Oh yes, use the resorcinol-based waterproof glue to join the wood.
Again, a nasty compound (don't get it on your skin, it burns!)
>
>       -mike
>
Matt

Tank building

by sonny-at-cbnewsf.cb.att.com (joseph.j.de rosa)
Date: 1 Jul 91
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria,sci.aquaria,alt.aquaria

Sorry, but I forgot to mention a detail or two.
The tanks I have built were painted with epoxy paint (3-4 coats if possible).
dark colors look better than light colors. Brown or black look best, IMHO.
I think that the paint I used was dry in 24 hours, but I waited a week.
The tanks were sealed with regular silicone sealant that was aquarium safe.
I don't bother trying to save those last few pennies on cheaper silicone since
I'll only be using a few tubes of it. Be sure to get MORE than you need,
since it will definitly ruin your day if you run out in the middle. Seal all the
edges, and if you have a front-piece of plywood with a hole in it, put a THICK,
SMOOTH layer of silicone on it. Be sure to stand the tank on it's face for
this part. Lay the glass in, then put weights on it to squeeze out the excess.
I don't think you can put too much weight on it, but you Don't want to break
the glass ;-)
Leave the tank alone until everything has dried for a few days. Set it up where
it will be, and fill it and watch for leaks. If you did it correctly, there
won't be any. Otherwise...

I have not had any problems with the front glass expanding/contracting from
the plywood. I wouldn't expect ant either unless you really make it tight,
which I wouldn't reccommend.


attmail!doctor!jderosa                              | J. DeRosa
copyright 1991 all rights reserved J. DeRosa        | AT&T
Use without written permission is prohibited.       | 1B32
All opinions are those of the author, and are NOT   | 100 Atrium Drive
intended to be endorsement of products or ideas.    | Somerset, New Jersey 08873
USE ALL OPINIONS WITH CAUTION.                      |



(no subject)

by Rich Braun
Date: Mon Jul 8

Last week there was a discussion about construction of 4'x8' tanks, and
I noticed this weekend that the two main tanks at Tropic Isle in
Framingham (MA) are this size.

Tropic Isle's tanks, which are mounted one above the other, are both
made of 1/2" acrylic and are something like 24" high.  To prevent bowing
of the 8'-long front and rear panels, three strips of 1/2" acrylic
(about 3" wide) are mounted along the top, front to rear.  In addition,
each vertical panel has a horizontal lip about 4" wide to help prevent
bowing.

On an unrelated point:  another store I visited this weekend uses glass
shelves inside its tanks to display its invertebrates, rather like a
jewelry display case.  I concluded this presentation doesn't look
particularly natural, but a variation on it might be useful for constructing
the backdrop for a home tank (if concealed properly).

At that store, I saw first-hand why one should always construct a tank
with at least two outlets if they are of the small round variety.  I
heard water splashing on the floor while I was checking out the filtration
equipment in use at the store, and beheld a rather scary sight:  a
torrent of salt water pouring into an electrical outlet mounted under one
of the tanks.  A couple of other customers started gawking at this with
me, and then I noticed that the water was coming over the top of the tank.
The salesman came running over, muttered something about "that [darn]
anemone did that _again_!", and pulled this hapless little creature out
of the single 2"-diameter water outlet.  Water level returned to normal
forthwith, but I don't think the anemone got over this experience too
quickly.

-rich
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Hope that helps...

-mw
Mike Weaver
mikew-at-umbc4.umbc.edu

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This page was last updated 29 October 1998