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DIY 15g Acrylic Aquarium


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alright since im a acrylic freak im going to make the ultimate saltwater tank out of that stuff. :P


its going to be 23" long 12-14" wide 10-12" high. (theres a line on my cabinet that is 23" by 14")


im not in to thos tall tanks...and acrylic bows easily.


and since its acrylic i cant make it rimless (damit :angry: )


my braces are goin to be about 2" wide.


heres my crappy outline...just trying to put my ideas down.


any suggestions?


Sorry it didnt come out very well...


Return chamber...Deep Sand Bed 8"...Refuge with some LR and Chaeto...In-take Chamber








i feel that i need more things in it =/

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theres a place called tap plastics not too far from here. they do straight cuts for free. the price is pretty reasonable.


but for the angle cut that im going to have its going to be about $5 just for one so $10 for that magic view =/


my next challenge is to find a way to sand down one of the sides so it fit below the front part. (if u dont know what i mean i'll draw it out)


i'll try to ask if they use cast acrylic.


and its going to be 1/4" acrylic on the outsides and 1/8" acylic inside (the water pressure will reach equilibrium and all pressures will be the same. (making teeth in a 1/4" acrylic isnt a walk in the park when ur using a hack saw....)


but everything looks ok?

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im going to decrease the braces to 1/2" O.o

but im reinforcing it with a Corner Angle Acrylic Bar. and for the corners i'll weld on a 1/2" cube with....weld-on. i have #16 but thats way too thick so im going to try to get some #3 or #4.


its going to look hot. and im taking it slow this time not like the 3g...

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so you're having the front panel angled back? If so, It'll look really cool, but oxygen exchange will be a little more difficult. make sure you have lots of flow aimed at the surface.

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im using 2 power heads one 230gph and one 120gph which is for the refuge.

both aimed at an angle to the surface. cuz i like the shimmering effect.


im doing some math and found that my angle in the front is going to be 73.4 degrees....dont really want to change it since i'll be telling the guy to cut a 3.12" piece...or something like that.


and the higher the angle the smaller the top...


so the only hard part in this is to trim the front side to a 73.4...so i'll have to take off 16.6 degrees...with sand paper...

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im planning to make a slot to place the sheet that needs to be sand down 16.6 degrees.


the only problem im having now is preventing it from bowing over time.

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i dont know why you would use such a deep sand bed... i would just use rubble and more macro... in the long run you could run into problems wiht a DSB


what are you think of for lighting that could be the problem with such a small opening at the top...

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the top isnt small its just 3" shorter. the light will refract and touch everything.

its well thought out. the width is going to be 12" and the front takes 3" and that leaves 10" for lighting. more then enough for lets say a 96w quad PC bulb if my LED project fails.


as for the DSB iv noticed that i have lots of pods or thos worm thingys and i figure it would help the mini bio system.


im not so worried about the nitrate trap since i'll be well "mixed"

and thos chaetos are keeping my nitrate at 0.

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  • 3 weeks later...

oh lol forgot about this...


my dad said no...i barely got away building my 3g tank...


since most my my house is carpet...they dont want me to do that kind of thing.


maybe in a few more years i'll build a 1000g out of 2" acrylic XD

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Bummer cause i soooo want a 15 galon or so long all in one! I was hoping to get a peek at what might have been.

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u can give it a try. it'll cost less then $100 if u do it right.


all there is, is just a tank with dividers. nothing special.. really check out my 3g all in one (just a sump and a tank...but thats all you really need)


looks pretty ugly right now but its still being set up...





the 15g is pretty much the same but the front is at an angle for easy viewing.


i got the idea from this site. check out the video label seahorse.


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Thats to cool!! I have no experience with acrylic yet eventually i will pick up a some just to experiment with but for now I have been Talking with Ken at Oceanreeflections.com one of our board sponsors about pricing for a build

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gluing thin pieces together with weld-on 16 is easy but gluing think pieces together is easy with weld-on 3 or 4.


u just have to make sure it fits perfectly if u want to use think pieces of arylic with thin acrylic glue like weld-on 3 or 4

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Well as i am seemingly unable to find and online place that will build me one I think i might end up doing it myself so we will find out.

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try finding a fabrication plastic store near u. bust out the yellow pages.


btw ask for acrylic not plexiglass that stuff turns yellow...and cracks


anything beyond 1/4" thick i recommend weld-on 3 or 4 anything smaller u might want to go with a thicker glue like weld-on 16 unless your confident that u can glue them perfectly.

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Plexiglass IS acrylic, it's just a brand name of it like Levi's. And unless it is specifically manufactured that way, acrylic is UV stabilized and will not yellow or crack. OP-4 and Solacryl are both UV passing acrylic (ie used in tanning beds), but normal cast or extruded acrylic will not yellow or crack due to UV no matter who makes it.


As for what weld-on to use, thickness is unimportant in my opinion. What is important is how well the joints fit. If they are a perfect fit, use #3 or #4, if they are imperfect use something like #16, it will help fill the gaps.



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u can try asking the plastic store if u find one for any acrylic shine products. mine works like magic. it also works on any types of plastic so thats a great thing to have. and no i havent seem any milky appearance when i used that solution but the solution itself was kind of milky...


i found a website talking about the types of plastics like plexi/acrylic/lexon

and overall acrylic was the best well for fish tanks at least.

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Novus is the best acrylic cleaner IMO. I buy it by the gallon :) I think that is what coolwaters is talking about as it looks like milk. Do not use any cleaners with ammonia in it like Windex or Formula 409.


Coolwaters, I think you are confusing some brand names with types of plastics. Plexiglas and Lexan are brand names. Lexan is a type of polycarbonate sheet manufactured by GE Plastics. Plexiglas is the brand name of acrylic manufactured by Altuglas International (I believe).

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