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Large plywood glass/acrylic tank
#1
I'm moving into my own place, and I plan on building at least 1 large tank. For cost reasons, plywood and glass or acrylic would be the best way to go. I was thinking 4'x4'x4'. I can only find plans online for a plywood aquarium. My question: Is it necessary to use the expensive epoxies that would be used if I wanted this to be an aquarium? I mean, they're still a whole lot cheaper than buying a tank totally made from glass or acrylic, but still...not cheap. Or, would a non-toxic, waterproof paint work just as well? I do want to have a water feature, but was thinking maybe firm up that area with silicone. Opinions? Suggestions? Links to non-aquarium plywood tanks? haha
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#2
Look on Craigslist.org for a used aquarium you'll save a lot of money and time and I think you'll be happier with the results. I got an awesome 45 gal for only 50 bucks. Its huge, pretty and I know its water tight and mold proof.
Ply wood will either be chemically treated or highly susceptible to mold neither of which is good for frogs or plants.
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#3
If you are interested in acrylics
http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums...hp?t=83559 is a good link.
In that forum is a whole plethora of aquarium information. Awesome fish site. And quite a few of the aquarium setup info can be crossed over for Darts.

Enjoy! Big Grin
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#4
Quote:Look on Craigslist.org for a used aquarium you'll save a lot of money and time and I think you'll be happier with the results. I got an awesome 45 gal for only 50 bucks. Its huge, pretty and I know its water tight and mold proof.
Ply wood will either be chemically treated or highly susceptible to mold neither of which is good for frogs or plants.

I currently have my frogs in a 40 breeder.

I would have to disagree with plywood tanks being dangerious for the frogs and susceptible to mold. Plywood tanks are totally safe, and do not mold...if done right...IE the humidity or anything inside the cage never even comes in contact with the actual wood. There are a number of very large plywood reefs that have been setup for numbers of years without issues. My question was would I have to go with the expensive epoxies that are used for such plywood reefs, or would I be able to cut costs a little and go with a cheaper non-toxic coating? Such as polyurethane paint.

Quote:If you are interested in acrylics
http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forum ... hp?t=83559 is a good link.
In that forum is a whole plethora of aquarium information. Awesome fish site. And quite a few of the aquarium setup info can be crossed over for Darts.

Yea, I've built a few smaller acrylic tanks in the past, but for this size of a project I think it would get too costly Sad Although, I wouldn't need it to hold water....so I could use thinner acrylic. I'll look into it and check out the differing costs.
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#5
Ahh forgive me I did not understand the correlation of coating the wood panels with epoxy. Lightbulb, now that I know that little trick,....
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#6
Quote:Ahh forgive me I did not understand the correlation of coating the wood panels with epoxy. Lightbulb, now that I know that little trick,....

Hehe no worries. Problem is marine epoxy is rather expensive...still cheaper than buying an acrylic or glass tank, but not cheap! I'm thinking it would be huge overkill for a viv, but I simply can't find anyone who's done it or any info regarding use of polyurethane paint on a viv. I know it's very toxic until it cures, but is supposed to be non-toxic when cured. With the constant moisture I really need to find out if it'll leach anything and how well it will hold up over time???? haha
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#7
If you are still considering acrylics, I have read by some fish members that you can use colored/opec sheets for sides you will not be looking through. They are said to be cheaper than clear acrylic.

Also at Fishkeeper I think they have more DYI projects in aquarium construction. So you might want to browse through there :wink:
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#8
could also use a pond liner to line the wood with. just make sure that theres no gaps for water to soak threw.


polyurethane wouldn't be good in a viv. its not permanently waterproof. in less then a month (if not less then a week) you'd have leaks in spots that had constant water contact since the water would eventually soak threw it.

anybody that has left spilled water on a polyurethane coated table will tell you how it leaves a white spot after not even an hour due to the water soaking into it.
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#9
Quote:could also use a pond liner to line the wood with. just make sure that theres no gaps for water to soak threw.

Hmmm, would you just layer that and seal the seems with great stuff or whatever? That sounds like a really good idea Smile

Quote:anybody that has left spilled water on a polyurethane coated table will tell you how it leaves a white spot after not even an hour due to the water soaking into it.

Yikes, ok cheapo stuff is out! haha

I emailed an epoxy place, and he said that since it's not going to be holding water that I could get cheaper epoxy ie kinds mixed with watering down agents. He didn't think that any of the chems used to water it down would be toxic when cured, but he couldn't say for sure because he's never done it (would still be very toxic when fresh, just like the normal stuff). So, that pond liner thing seems to be a really good idea and I'm going to check into that Smile
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#10
for the pond liner you could just do it in sections vertically and have the higher sections overlap the lower sections

assuming your going to have some type of drainage in it like a false bottom, you could use one large piece for the whole area that will be below the doors, and then the upper part of the tank could be another piece that overlaps the lower piece by enough so its at least a few inches below the top of the substrate (so the substrate keeps it held down and against the lower piece). since gravity pulls water down, it wont go up between the overlapping liner areas.

Could use small nails/tacks or wood staples to attach the liner, which is why theres a need for the overlap, it stops water from soaking threw the holes.

I use this method in the 6ft x 2ft x about 4ft plywood tank that i have and so far (almost 2 years now) i haven't found a leak yet.
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#11
Very nice! Sounds like we have a winner then Smile Thank you for the description too, I have a clear vision of what you mean! This method should also save a ton of time too. Ty again
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