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Building more tanks and questions

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by jtparsons, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. jtparsons

    jtparsons Prolific Poster

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    Just completed construction of a 24x24x17 tank using 3/8 annealed glass. This was my first attempt at tank construction and went pretty well. Definatly a two person job. Will never purchase a manufactured tank again, saved lots of money and I am the quality control. I will have the edges of the glass pre-sanded though as this is time consuming and a pain in the @#$%^...... Talked to the glass shop about getting more accurate cuts next time and availability of starglass for the next bigger tank.

    ? Looking at the 150w or 250w metal halide from fishneedit.com. I will be hanging it pendant style with lots of room for raising and lowering if it is over or under powered. Is the 250 to much even if I raise it up? Its only ten bucks more.

    ? 6700k bulb or 8000k bulb is this just personal aesthetic preferance?

    Also built a 12x12x12 nano cube from 1/8 annealed. Works great, but we descided we would use 1/4 next time.

    I included a pic of the unknown plant in my tank I posted about a week ago. It sprouted up all around my tank soon after planting. I now belive its seeded HM. It has the same leaf structure. Still not completely sure.

    My first planted tank (pic included) is doing awesome thanks to everyones advice. Algae bloom tackled. Glosso and all other plants growing out of control. I pull, cut, prune huge clumps of vegitation out of this tank every three days. Not worrying about the scape much as Im just seeing what plants I can grow and how different varieties behave. Thanks everyone for the advice. -Jon

    To all new people to the hobby. Dont freak out about algae listen to the advice. Decrease light/C02 bomb your tank like bottle of champagne until the fish look like they just swam a marathon (kidding), and increase ferts.
     
  2. ajack

    ajack Junior Poster

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    is this that mysterious plant you were talking about, stranger? who's your photographer? those pictures are amazing!! you should probably pay that person in beer.
     

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  3. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    This is the first report about making a tank that has made me think I might possibly be able to make one. Thank you! How much did the glass for the big tank cost? The last time I looked at doing this, which was several years ago, I thought the glass would cost almost as much as the finished tank.

    Incidentally: Are you checking the smaller tank for soundness and leaks in the background there? Wouldn't you feel more secure if that was outdoors somewhere, or are you one of those who always thinks positive?:D
     
  4. jtparsons

    jtparsons Prolific Poster

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    Yea it would have been better outside, but we (ajack) wanted to monitor it close for pinhole leaks. I was confident in the construction, ajack not so much. Plus we didnt have to worry about it we live on the second floor.:) It all depends on your local glass supplier. We are lucky to have a couple options in Bellingham. One cost problem is stores ability to cut 3/8 glass apparently requires some bigger machinery. The store I used outsources the cuts adding some price. Im going to shop around more/research on the next bigger tank. Anyway it cost 220 for the glass so beats glassgages prices anyway. The building was fun, but sanding edges was not dont do this have it done they use a belt sander with 400 grit emory belts. Another consideration is most shops around here cut to + or - 1/16th inch. Not a big deal but I want it more accurate. Two off my edges have a little overhang. Still the tank is awesome and was fun to build. I would recommend this to anybody with average shop skills.
    -Once I tear myself away from the barrreport I will fill test the big tank and start building the DIY stand. Should be another interesting project will post pics.
     
  5. jtparsons

    jtparsons Prolific Poster

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    Also all of our projects are factored using a flawed design/construction ratio. We call this the beerfield ratio.:p However, most people wont need this. We live in a 6 man bachelor pad.:D
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Glasscages website shows that size tank for $138, plus whatever shipping is involved. This is what discouraged me before. Since my wife doesn't believe in the beerfield ratio, I have to use more conservative rules. I can easily see me spending $200+ on glass, and ending up with a hazardous tank. I would try to move in with you guys, but my wife likes it here.
     
  7. jtparsons

    jtparsons Prolific Poster

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    Standasauris Rex

    Standasauris Rex takes shape. 4x4, 2x4, 3/4 ply, 3/8 ply and lots of cuttin, screwin, hammerin, and gluein. It looks a little weak and may need some extra
    4x4 bracing as per the beerfield ratio ;) I intend to put trim over all the rough joins and make it into a open front cabinet with a shelf. I will use bartop epoxy on the top and stain + varnish the rest of it. Or I may use the stand to shore up the houses foundation. I know where to go it there is an earthquake. Glass would be best . It doesn't bow or scratch easily.


    Heres the qoute from glasscages

    24 x 24 x 16 tall rimless glass aquarium $ 138.00

    Shipping to Mount Vernon Wa freight terminal $ 190.00
    -----------------
    Total $ 328.00

    This can be shipped to a business with a dock at zip code 98225 for the same cost.

    -----------------------------------------

    24 x 24 x 16 acrylic aquarium $ 375.00

    Shipping via UPS $ 80.00
    ----------------
    Total $ 455.00

    I did it for 220$. It wasnt that hard and from what Ive seen on how the panes go together you would really have to mess something up to create a dangerouse tank. Do lots of dry fitting and mesuring take your time. Make sure your helpers are mostly sober and your good. Vaughn your welcome anytime we always have a good project going.
     

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  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Yikes! $190 to ship a $138 tank?? I didn't dream it would be that much. So, I may have to do some more research on the beerfield ratio.

    I assume, first, that the photo of your stand shows it upsidedown? And, that you will put solid sheets of plywood on 3 sides to prevent any racking of the stand?

    I just learned last night that 2 of my grandchildren will be staying with us in our condo for a week next month. You may have a visitor during that time. (Should I bring my tools?)
     
  9. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    jt...

    Always great to see a DIYer accomplish things -- gives the rest of us confidence.

    One thing caught my eye on your new tank... I was actually looking into making my own tank at one point, and I seem to remember on glass tanks that the weight of the tank is supposed to rest on the side walls. I didn't see this on yours. I believe that folks often put small dowels underneath the bottom glass so it sits off the ground as they silicon the tank together -- so, the sides surround the bottom and support the weight of the tank, sitting directly on the stand. Otherwise, I think it is fairly easy to break the bottom. If you have a good stand and always make sure it is sitting on very flat surfaces, this probably won't be an issue. Just something to think about for the future.
     
  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    If all of the weight is supported by the glass sides, then all of the water weight is supported by the shear stress in the joint around the periphery of the bottom. That would worry me. I would want the weight supported by the bottom, with that shear joint around the periphery acting primarily as a seal. This is off the top of the head "engineering", so I am probably missing something important.
     
  11. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I hear you, Hoppy. I was reading over the tank plans, and thinking, "How the heck does this work?" The guy did put dowels under the bottom before siliconing. I probably missed something in the plans myself. Perhaps there were some little shims around the edges or something, but I just didn't see them in the plans. There may also have been some sort of "frame" which supported the bottom -- again, I looked for that and didn't see it. I've personally never seen a "frameless" tank, so I do not know how they are built.

    Edit: OK, I just went and looked at the plans again ... quote below from http://www.garf.org/tank/buildtank.asp:

     
  12. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    One thing I learned long ago is that much of what we know to be true, isn't true. So, my sure knowledge that the weight should be supported by the bottom is at least 50-50 likely to not be true. But.......
     
  13. jtparsons

    jtparsons Prolific Poster

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    I considered for a long time the different types of stresses the bottom of the tank would be subjected to. The sides panes are relatively easy as most of the forces are outward bowing forces. Heavy glass for the tank volume and properly fitted and sealed joints solve those problems. The bottom is a little more dynamic I think.

    After reading lots of tank building info it appears as with everything it seems theres about ten ways to get it done that all will work. Glueing the tank up with the weight on the edges of the bottom pane does not affect the structure in my opinion (Just building the same box shape elevated of the ground by dowels instead of on the ground). There is no deflection in 3/8 glass under its own weight its really strong. If you built a rim around the bottom of the tank then filled it (weight supported around bottom edge). Now the bottom of the tank is deflecting in a cup shape under the load of the entire water column. This bow makes the bottom pane pull away from the inside edges of all the side panes, and pinch agains the outside edges of the side pains. I cant see why this is a good idea? But you could do it this way if your bottom pane was strong enouph as to not deflect to much.

    My only thought is that its better for aquarium builders to do this, because the average person may not always put their aquarium on a good flat footprint. With the tank sitting on a rim the surface it sits on can be more flawed.

    Point loading or an uneaven surface is what my tank has to worry about. My stand top will be as flat as I can get it. Bomb-proof so it wont flex. The tank will also sit on a 3/4 inch piece of heavy styrofoam insulation panelling from Home Depot. This will help evenly distribute the load to the entire footprint of the tank.

    All that being said Im not an engineer, but I have over engineered the tank. Oh well if it breaks I get to learn some first hand things about tank design and my next attemp will be better. Its been full for 36 hours and counting in the middle of the dining room floor on the second story.

    Lets say I build ten tank in the rest of my life and none of them every break. Will I ever get better at building tanks? Anyways this is what I keep telling myself.
     
  14. jtparsons

    jtparsons Prolific Poster

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    Vaughn, Ted or anyone else. Any expierience with MH lighting I posted at the beginning of this thread. Im looking at the 150 or 250w from fishneedit. This will probobly be the next purchase after the stand is done or maybe the aquasoil. I know the 250w is overpowered, but the installation I intend will allow for lots of raising and lowering as needed.
     
  15. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    In my opinion the next purchase should be a good CO2 system, with a 2 stage regulator and a quality needle valve. With a good CO2 system you can chose how much light you want to use and know that you can succeed with that light, making the light much less critical.

    But, to answer your question, I have no experience with MH lighting.
     
  16. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    No experience with MH lighting on my end. My funds are limited, and T5s are more cost effective as far as plant growth goes. MHs produce a certain "look" in the tank that people go for -- they are just a little out of my league.
     
  17. jtparsons

    jtparsons Prolific Poster

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    Vaughn already have 25lb tank, regulator, needle valve, bubble counter for other tank 15gal with 2x36wattt PC bulbs. This tank runs great and grows plants so fast I have to do major gardening about every four days. I will be putting a manifold on the regulator to acomidate three tanks. Will use Ideal 52-1-12 Needle Valve's as I hate the cheapy ones you see most the time. Anyways I dont need to do this till after the tank is scaped has soil and light so I can begin growing my Utricularia graminifolia and HC emersed. The UG should be very interesting.
     
  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Generally, the 150W are too much light for most plated tanks, go with 70W.
    I ended up raising the 150 W way up, about 18-20" above the tank.

    More light= more CO2 demand= more nutrient demand, more algae growth if somethings out of whack.

    So reducing it is typical for most.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  19. ajack

    ajack Junior Poster

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    Thanks Tom. I actually like having the light far from the water. Light stays out of way during maintenance etc. I think I will go with the 150 and use 20 inches as a height to start experimenting with. Thanks for the info. Good thing I didnt choose the 250 though. I would be mounting it directly to the ceiling:)
     
  20. jtparsons

    jtparsons Prolific Poster

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    Woops! forgot my buddy was logged on last post actually by jtparsons
     
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