Making your custom fish tank
So, you want to make a homemade custom fish aquarium yourself. First of all, pick the required thickness of glass, depending on the capacity of water. Aquariums can be conditionally divided into three groups: small – up to 60 liters, the average – up to 150 liters, large – from 150 liters.
Glass thickness of 4 mm is suitable for small aquarium, for medium – 6 mm, and for the big tanks – 8 mm or laminated with an intermediate polymer base – triplex. The flat and laminated glass cannot be cut cleanly without experience and proper tools, so it’s best to contact the relevant company.
If this homemade aquarium looks like a tough job for you, but you still want a fish tank in your home, check these top rated alternatives for beginners :)
Top 5 rated beginner aquariums you should try
Then, if this is just too fancy and beginner for you, continue reading our advises and help us with comments to make these page more and more useful to everybody. We continue on :)
First, prepare the workspace. Cutting table must be leveled. Spread out a paper with lines or millimeter paper for accurate marking.
The front and back wall of the aquarium should be cut to fit the length of the bottom side – side walls should be shorter for the width of 2 thicknesses of the glass. For example: If you use glass 5 mm thick, and the bottom is 50×30, cut 2 walls 50 cm long and 2 walls 29 cm for the sides.
Buy a high-quality diamond or corundum glass cutter . Wear gloves: that way you will protect yourself from cuts and will act confidently. As a line when cutting, use a rail with minimum thickness of 1 cm and push moderately on the glass cutter and move without stopping. Before breaking the glass to avoid chipping, do not use wavelike rapping. Do this with a strong move down on the edge of the table.
For gluing the glass use silicone or some other special glue. Make sure that there is an image of an aquarium or description indicating the suitability of silicone to seal the tank. Silicone color (black, white, transparent) does not matter and you can choose whatever color you want.
Treat the sharp edges of the glass with a medium-sized sandpaper and start gluing. Clean the place where the silicone application will be with acetone, benzene, alcohol, or other entire surface liquid. When you work, do not leave fingerprints on the treated glass, or you will have to re-wipe.
Gluing the glass should be done in the next order, first the side wall, then back wall, then the other side and finally – the front. In that order, an additional assistant is not needed. Silicone should be uniformly applied. After assembling push back and front walls with the both side walls. Press down with both hands simultaneously. The joints between glasses must be free of bubbles. For additional fixation use tape, plaster, or just prop up with a couple of books. Be careful not to allow movement of recently glued fragments.
After completely curing, remove excess silicone with blade razor, knife-jamb, etc.
In small tanks you can put cover glass, which prevents the evaporation of water, jumping of the fishes, protects lighting from splashes. At the bottom it is also better to glue strips, but wider or make them double.
Place the finished aquarium at soft sheet strips (spongy) rubber, sheet foam, etc.
Filling aquarium – fill it with water in three stages. The interval between each water filling should be 20-30 minutes. Put the aquarium on a newspaper, that way you will be aware of water leaking. If it is leaking drain the water and dry the glass, adding silicone to the places where it leaks will resolve the issue.
Place the aquarium room at the side wall perpendicular to the window, while it is bright enough and at the same time protected from direct sunlight.
Do not make too small or too high aquariums. In the first case it is difficult to create a stable self-regulating ecological system, big fish suffer and do not reach their full size. In the second case they are difficult for maintenance and require powerful lighting, without that plants can not carry out the process of photosynthesis and soon will die.
Next you need to add some objects for decoration in your custom fish aquarium. Keep in mind that these objects need to be treated before added to the tank. Rinse and ignited the stones and pebbles, wood (found in the river, coconut shells), boil them first with the addition of salt (30-40 g / L) for 2 hours, then put them again in fresh water.
Branches, roots, trunks of young trees (birch, juniper, elm, willow) require extensive preparation for about 2-3 weeks with boiling in salt water and then drowning in fresh water.
Rotten wood and conifers (pine, spruce) are not suitable for fish aquarium decoration.
The best soil is gravel with a diameter of 2-5 mm. Choose darker color, and the fish will become brighter. Large stones should lay directly on the bottom of the aquarium, and not on the ground, as many fish are digging into the ground and you risk fishes being pinned down. It will be interesting to add pieces of sandstone, travertine and limestone.
Add plants to the aquarium, considering the vegetarian habits of its inhabitants. Be careful not to create a large load on the bottom, replace the rocks with artificial stones that look like the real ones. You can buy them in any specialty stores.
Choose plants and animals with similar habits and requirements, and you will enjoy for hours, looking at the small underwater world.