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constructing aquarium/less noticable acrylic door?

Hey guys! I've asked a few questions on here recently and gotten great responses so I figured I'd try again!

Getting closer and closer to beginning construction on my brand new viv and up until this point, I've planned on using a pre-existing aquarium (30 gallon for now... 55, if I find a good deal!)

Then it was suggested to me that I look up info on making a tank myself with purchased glass from a local glass manufacturer. Has anyone done this? How does the cost compare to actually buying a tank?

Also, I love the look of the taller, more vertical tanks, but I know that if I get a tank that is too tall, I won't be able to reach the bottom! That brings me to my second question. If I wanted to make my own tank (presuming that it is more cost effective) and I wanted to make a good size one (Nothing HUGE, but maybe 3 ft long, 3 ft tall, and 2 feet wide) then is there a way to have an acyrlic (or otherwise) door on the front of the tank that isn't QUITE so noticable? I like the easy access of these doors, but I'm a little put off by the bulky acrylic hinges and handles.

Any ideas? Links?

Oh, and while I'm asking, I've seen different sites about constructing tanks and the larger, of course, the thicker the glass. Do you guys think 1/4 inch glass would be too thick for this size?

Thank you all so much! I'm so glad I found this forum!

(Columbus, GA)

I can't speak for glass, but if you make it out of acrylic it will be about 2/3 cheaper than if you bought the acrylic tank already made.

They make clear hinges and nobs that are less visible. Also, you could try one that folds down instead of opening to the sides. This way there would be no line down the center and instead only on the sides near the edge. To hold it shut a simple clear latch at the top would be hardly visible.

1/4 acrylic would work just fine for this project. Be sure and get both the normal acrylic cement and thickened cement to fill in holes missed. You can not go over an area with the normal cement twice and must use the thickened if you missed any spots. Going over it twice will weaken the entire seal.

two things to maybe look at are the website for first class aquatics. he specializes in conversion kits for aquaria. also look at hans v's dutch site the site is in dutch for now, but maybe the pics are worth a thousand english words. i speak dutch, and could translate a few sentences worth if you decide that one caption around a photo would help tremendously. i'm talking to hans about translating the whole six-sided construction page, but it is a big job and i won't be able to even start for a few months.

Thanks, Jaded...

I had thought about making one that opens up and folds down (like the 10 gallon that is featured here on the forum), but with it being as big as I wanted it, I wasn't sure how the weight would affect it. Of course, it probably wouldn't be that bad if I used acrylic... A latch or two at the top wouldn't be bad at all... it's the big, clunky hinges and stuff that I'm not too fond of (not for show tanks anyway).

Thank you for your advice!


Thanks Mack...

I went to look at the paludarium.dl site, but I couldn't get it to puill up for some reason... Maybe because I'm using firefox and not IE? Who knows! I'll try again... I'ma very visual learner anyway so the pictures would help, i am sure! Thanks for the advice!


Can i point you to my gallery here. The tank is a corner design, modeled exactly after designs. It measures 22x22x30. I used 1/4 glass with polished edges. I think the door is about as transparent as you will get. If you have any specific questions make a post. also pour over designs that is also what i did.


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