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Building a 1700 gallon Shark Tank
by Joe Salvatori

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Wood Building Sharing Hardwood Flooring

Next I built what would become the support for the floor of the tank. I installed 6 cross beams. Two were installed at what would become the ends of the tank, spaced 3.5" from the frame. This would allow for the installation of corner posts. Next, I added 2 beams, spaced 1.75" off center, again allowing for a post. From there, I added two additional beams evenly spaced between the end and center beams. Following the installation of the cross beams, a series of shorter supports was added. These were installed lengthwise (perpendicular to) between the cross beams, and evenly spaced. I left all of these beams free floating in an attempt to allow for small amounts of flex. I felt that this system would best distribute/support the weight of the water.

From there I installed the four corner post. These would extent from the concrete, to the absolute top of the tank. Therefore, their length was determined by allowing 36" of space for me to crawl on the tank during maintenance. Next I began installing the vertical posts which would support the walls of the tank. All posts were bolted in place using lags screws. Each of the four corners would eventually form a 90 degree angle made of up 3- 4x4 posts. This area would be where the walls of the tank met up, so I wanted as much support as possible. Several posts were installed along the end walls of the tank, and even more on what would be the back wall.

Property Building Wood Wood stain Rectangle

All post were tied together with additional 4x4's around the perimeter of the top of the tank. The post are held in place with 2 lag screws each on the top. One installed vertically and the other horizontally. All of the top brace 4x4's are tied together in an interlocking fashion as well. The top and bottom support bands would eventually be made up of 4- 4x4's on every side, all over lapping and interlocking. Lag screws were again used to bolt them all together along the length of the tank. They were installed in all four directions to tie the 4 boards together. In other words, if you were to look at a cross sectional view of these 4 boards, you would see the screws form a square pattern.

Building Rectangle Wood Floor House

Six cross braces were added to the top of the tank using 4x4's. I felt this would serve two functions. First and most important was adding strength to prevent bowing. Second, they would give me something to crawl on during maintenance of the tank. I knew they would block some light, but I'm not keeping corals, and now that the tank is finished, you really cant tell. Next I built what would become the support for the window. I used 4x4's for this as well, and built a lip that would support the perimeter of the glass. I didn't want the glass sitting on the bottom of the tank, so I added another 4x4 to the bottom of the tank, which would raise the window 3.5". This design would support the glass on all sides by 3.5".

At this point, the basic frame of the tank was complete. I then applied two layers of a product called Kilz to all surfaces of the wood. The purpose of this was not to protect the wood from the water which would be in the tank, but rather the water that may be in the air (humidity) and the occasional spill/splash.

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Disclaimer: By building this DIY project you agree not to hold the author or the owners of this Web site responsible for any injury or bodily harm you may cause to yourself or others. Always wear safety glasses when working with tools and keep chemicals and power tools away from children. Read and understand all safety instructions pertaining to equipment prior to use.
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