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816696 Views 2295 Replies 248 Participants Last post by  TheFishGuy
I finally got off my butt and hung some drywall on the wall that seperates the fish room from the rec room!
Here's the 240...

The 185...


And now the location of the monster tank... Need some stuff??

That was a shot of the opposite side of the basement... The new monster tank will not only be in the wall... it will be the wall. The room it will be in will be 14' x 7'. The tank it's self will be 12'x5'x30" tall, 1122.08 gallons. I will only have 2' of work space behind the tank. The tank will be constructed of 2x4 walls 12" oc. the walls will be 3/4" plywood. I will not be using fiberglass, I will be using 1/8 plexiglass to seal the tank. The front pane of GLASS will be 3/4" thick and 10' long.

Filtration.... There will be four 3" bulkheads which will drain water into 5 gallon pails full of prefilter to get any "big" stuff. From there the water will flow into a 75 gallon full of bio media. The water will be forced out at the bottom of the 75 flowing upwards through the bio media then spilling over all four edges into a plastic rubbermaid tub. The tub will act as a sump tank with two waterfall pumps returning water back to the monster. I would like to recreate a rainstorm with the return lines and was planning on using shower heads... What do you think so far of my ideas. Any suggestions are welcome... Also should I keep this thread going, or should I wait till it's done and tell the story then?
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Sounds awesome. Makes my 350g project sound whimpy. I really like the idea of the return water raining back into the tank. With moisture loving plants and some imagination you could have a piece of the Rain Forest right in your basement. :wink: By all means keep this post updated. I,m sure it will get tons of hits.

How are you handling the humidity in the basement? That much water flying around could certainly be a problem.

Can't wait to see more. :)
Suddenly my 125 in wall project seems lame. Definitely keep us updated with pics
deffinetly keep the thread up,cant wait for ya to start that,as the rest said my 130 don't seem as big anymore :)
what ideas for heating that much water? regular heaters in the sump? or a spa type heater/pump?
do you have more details on how you are going to seal the plywood. You said 1/8th acrylic... how exactly? This sounds much more easier then fiberglass
It sounds like to me he's building an acrylic tank inside of a plywood shell. Acrylic cement will bond all the acrylic together making it waterproof. The plywood doesn't need to be sealed by anything more than paint since it won't be in contact with any water.
Definately post as you build, these threads are fun to follow along! I do think you are going to regret only having 2 feet of space to work in, you might want to consider cutting the width from 5 feet to 4 feet, to give you an extra foot of space. With two feet of space to work in and a 5 foot wide tank, you'll have an extremely hard time reaching the front of the tank.

Edit: I just thought of something else. If the inside of your tank is 5 feet, the back wall will be 4 inches or more, giving you less than 2 feet to work in.
Plexiglass, or acrylic? I'm not sure how you'd seal plexiglass. And 've heard that getting glass to bond to either one of them doesn't work well, even with silicon. Unless you know something I don't (which is HIGHLY likely! :lol: ), you might want to look into that.
How are you handling the humidity in the basement?
The home dumpster sells sheets of a composite material that you'd use to line the walls in a public restroom or use as a tub surround. I plan on lining the entire room and ceiling with it, sealing it with silicone. Luckily the basement has a floor drain in every corner.... so if there's ever a problem I've got it covered.

what ideas for heating that much water? regular heaters in the sump? or a spa type heater/pump?
Heat will be supplied by heating the room the same way I'm heating the fish room. The room is only going to be 14'x7' and an 8' section of electric baseboard heat will be installed under the tank. It will be wired in with a GFI breaker... again in case of a leak... The walls and ceiling will be insulated so the room can stay at 80.

While lying in bed last nite I was thinking about this little project and realized the dimentions I gave will be the outside dimentions. So actual gallonage is 900.2. Inside dimentions in inches are 135.25 long and 51.25 wide. OOPS, 900 gallons is still pretty darn big...

do you have more details on how you are going to seal the plywood. You said 1/8th acrylic... how exactly? This sounds much more easier then fiberglass
No not yet, but the way I figure is the plywood/2x4 walls are going to be what takes the pressure, so why not build a box that fits tight inside tha happens to be waterproof. After I posted this I started to go back to the original idea of using pond liner. The only thing is I've got to test sealing a piece of glass to it. So this evening I'm going to mock it up with a small plywood box and a small piece of glass to see if silicone seals it. If it does then that's the route I'm going to take. If it doesn't I'm going to go to a pool store and get a small chunk of pool liner and try that. I'm also going to get some answers on what they use to seal the lights underwater in pools and try that sealant. Thanks for the interest so far.... Should I change the topic to 900 gallon project? :)
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Plexiglass, or acrylic?
Rumor has it they're the same thing... I've got a couple of glass tanks that I fixed by siliconing plexi to them... they don't leak. The idea is the pressure of the water will actually cause the glass to seal... Not the silicone...
Did your wife go out of town? Holy cow! The amount of time I spend setting up a 10g my wife would flip if I tried something like that. wife has beed very good about the time i have spent setting up my 125...started building mine about 6 weeks ago. But i did promis her that i would make it up to her when its complete.

not sure about the plexi idea, you will find you have to weld the plexi as silicone does not work on it. then you are stuck with using plexi on the front as glass will not weld to plexi and silicone will not stick to plexi.

2nd you will need to get the plexi very tight into the box, even 1/100 of an inch could kill you as you fill it if there is any type of room it will burst at the seam or crack under pressure. best bet would be to glue the plexi to the plywood and then weld the seams, but you will have to ask the plexi tank builders if this is possible as i have not read of it being done yet. if you use thicker plexi it will handle more of a gap but then you are not saving much money then.

better to use all glass to line the plywood box, then you can use silicone on the seam.

FORGET the idea of a pond liner, i could get silicone to stick to the liner but when it gets wet and as you fill the tank the liner will stretch just a little and the silicone will come louse. there maybe a better sealer like some kind of liquid rubber that would work but i never found any that i knew was fish safe.

I have a idea that could work but it is untried

make the plywood box, then cover it like you are making a shower. you use the cement board, and use the mesh tape at the seams with a good Portland cement mixed with some of those fiber additives. do a good scratch coat and let dry then do a few finish coats like you were doing stucco. last you paint it with a drylock waterproofing paint.

you could do a cement background at the same time, just have to test how good the cement sealer is before committing to such a big tank.

I will be doing a 2000g tank in my new house that i a planing, but i will have cement walls pored for it.
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Aquayne built a tank like you're describing but instead of PVC he used panels of the stuff you used to surround a tub and epoxy putty to seal the joints. I think he cemented the panels to the plywood.

PM him to find out more...

Moderator note - thread temporarily locked until June CF newsletter comes out.
As far as the plexiglass goes I considered making three inch pieces to cover the joints and to insure a proper seal, but I think I'm going to scrap the whole Idea of a plexi lined tank though. Now as far as the pond liner goes... I planned on taking into consideration the stretch factor by coating the liner in colored concrete and then using concrete sealer to seal it. A good friend of mine is owner of a landscaping firm, Patties Landscaping. They do million dollar water features and I was talking to him about the pond liner idea. He said to first line the box with 8 mil plastic. He also suggested 2" of play sand on the floor of the plywood box then line the box with pond liner. He said to attach it well after letting it go over the top. Then he said to mix the concrete thick and line it with that. At that point they seal it with concrete sealer. He also said it's important for their water features not to have the slightest leak or the feature will start to sink in the ground. So I'm thinking if the pond liner is lined with concrete it won't have any room to stretch. Of course I'd have to leave the pond liner exposed where the glass would be mended to it, so in those areas I would leave a wrinkle in the liner. The best part of this whole idea is he might be able to just give me a piece big enough. I've also got a ton of material (wood) already so construction can start for very little to no money. I want this to be the most inexpensive large tank possible, but at the same time I don't want to cut any corners.

The plan is to frame it the same way I'd frame a house. The only difference is I'm going to have everything on 1' centers. The supporting walls will be 2x6, framed like a typical wall with two top plates and a treated bottom plate, all of which I have or have available to me. The floor of the tank will be framed like a floor of a house. It's a 5' span and I'll be using 2x8's for floor joists then I'll deck it with 3/4" plywood. The walls of the tank will be out of 2x4's 1' on center like everything else with two top plates and one bottom plate. The walls will then be lined with 3/4" plywood. Then the above described "sealing" will take place and the glass will be set. 2x4 prop sticks will hold the glass into place and it's at that point the top braces will be installed. The top braces will be aluminum "U" channels 2' on center.... Moisture resistant. The pond liner was my original idea, but then I thought of the plexiglass and thought it'd work.

The more I think about it... the more I'm leaning towards pond liner.
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Ok... Wait just a second... Now I'm back to plexiglass AAHHH!!!!! I just got off the phone with a co worker and was telling him about the fact that if I don't get the plexiglass tight against the plywood the flex of it all might cause the plexi seams to break.... Then he says... why don't we use my sprayer and laminate the plexiglass to the plywood... So now I'm thinking I should go back to the plexi glass idea and use plexi glass for the front of the tank too.... instead of glass... That's down the road a ways though, I've got to get it framed first :lol:
could you use that really flexible plexy sheet. that way you could make the joins in the middle of the walls, and add another bit over the top if necessary. it would give you all rould corners, but as long as the plexy is flexible enough, they wont be too big. else i spose you could get sheets bent at a 90 degrees for the corners, and then use extra sheets across the joins in the missle of the wall, instead of the corners.

just thoughts that may help. i dont like the idea of joining in the corners for the obvious reasons, so having a solid corner and joins elswhere seems like a stronger plan
Just had to add this... I tell my wife "You do realize this is all investigatory right?"
She says.
"Yeah Right."
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Apon more research and talking to my brother who works for Sherwin Williams. He says to just use a 2 part epoxy paint and it'll seal it. The name of the product is "Epoxide HS Tank Lining". He says to just follow the directions, then goes on furthur to say do two extra coats for good measure. Apparently this is what pros use in making secondary holding tanks.

I like this... But am still undecided... BTW, this is the first tank I've ever built. So all you DIYers who've built tanks I want to hear from you on what you'd do different...
Thanks TFG :)
I think you should defenitely have a glass front. I don't have anything backing that up, except it looks better and doesn't stain as easy or scratch as easy. If you have to use something esle, then you have to use something esle but you know my opinion :lol:.
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