DIY - Projects & Ideas • plywood tank

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plywood tank

Postby ftrsb3 » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:10 am

This might be a dumb question, but looking to learn how to build a plywood tank. Trying to start with a small tank for a trial run since I won't be able to make a bigger one till we move into a house. My question is can I make a 24x24x14 plywood tank and use 2 20x12 glass panels from an old tank as the viewing panels on the plywood tank? Or is the glass to thin?

Would I be able to make a 24x15x15 with only using the one 20x12 glass panel from the old 10 gallon tank. Or no matter what the glass is to thin for a tank over 10 gallons.

Because the first option is close to a 35 gallon and the second is close to 25 gallon.
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Re: plywood tank

Postby ftrsb3 » Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:32 am

Another question, could I use glass from an old coffee table if the thickness is more then 1/4 inches?
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Re: plywood tank

Postby Trademark » Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:00 pm

There are some great Youtube videos out there on how to build ply wood tanks.
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Re: plywood tank

Postby Rhinox » Fri Mar 05, 2021 11:55 am

ftrsb3 wrote:Another question, could I use glass from an old coffee table if the thickness is more then 1/4 inches?

coffee table glass is likely to be tempered glass for safety just so you're aware. on the plus side, that makes it stronger than plate glass. But they don't chip/crack gracefully, they shatter catastrophically, if hit hard enough or in the right place (ie on an edge) to break. Many people use it though. 1/4" tempered glass can support quite a bit.

depth of water is the most important factor in glass thickness, followed by unsupported length. Depth is what determines the pressure on the glass. doesn't matter if the tank is 3" wide or 3' it would need the same thickness. So if your reclaimed glass is used in the same depth of water and supported in the same places as the tank it came from I'd say it'd probably be fine. But do your diligence and google for some aquarium glass thickness calculators, they're out there.

Also the larger of your proposed tank dimensions is only about 35 gallons. You can get a 40g from petco right now for $50. The material to build a plywood tank that size is likely to run into the $100's. So not economically worth it to make small plywood tanks really. Even for trial/practice I wouldn't bother. Speaking from my own thoughts/experience because I want an 8 footer in my basement and I'm not sure I can maneuver a full glass or acrylic tank down my stairs, but I can build a plywood box in place and get an ~8' sheet of glass down for sure. I haven't considered building a smaller practice tank, I'm just going to go for the big one when the time comes. I've been building it in my head for 10 years :D .
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