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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok in two weeks im gonna start my summer project on 2 50gal. I had wanted to make a monster tank but I couldn't find the glass or acrylic for cheap. One of the tanks I already made out of acrylic and the other (glass) I got for free but the seam was split.

I'm going to list my plans for each and any input would be great. I'll post the the whole process with pics as I do it.

My plans
1. Take apart the glass tank and reseal with GE silicone I for windows and doors (Besides razors is there anything that will take off the old silicone well?)
2. Build stand and canopy for glass tank.
3. Move cichlids over to this new tank from acrylic tank and take down acrylic tank.
4. Finish siliconing acrylic tank, make tank frame for acrylic tank (what could i use? siding flashing?) and I am drilling the the tank and making a sump underneath the stand.
5. Finishing the stand and building the sump. Would a 20 gal be good enough for the sump on this 50 gal? I would like to go bigger but I've got an extra 20. Or I could use one of those plastic bins?
6. Build canopy for acrylic tank.
7. Move fish back to acrylic tank.
8. Turn glass 50 gal into a saltwater tank? or Tropheus? (Family wants saltwater but I can't decide)
9. For filtration on the acrylic I'll probly use a rio 2100 in the sump adn a whisper 30. For the glass I will have 2 whisper 50's.
 

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well silicone doesn't stick to acrylic that well and is generally not advised to be used.look for a plastic shop and get weldon44 acrylic sealer.you could also get acrylic and use it for top bracing.a 20g tank would be fine for a sump.take pics we all like pics :popcorn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
fishwolfe said:
well silicone doesn't stick to acrylic that well and is generally not advised to be used.look for a plastic shop and get weldon44 acrylic sealer.you could also get acrylic and use it for top bracing.a 20g tank would be fine for a sump.take pics we all like pics :popcorn:
yah sorry shoulda said i did that already, I just mean filling the corners cause I already had one hole I had to take care of. i've also got like a 3-4 inch wide acrylic brace. yup ill post lottttts of pictures.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Finally got all the old silicone off. I'm surprised I didn't cut myself once but it was wicked hard and kills your back. I found that the utility knife blades work best, especially when you pull them towards you and also for scraping the residue clean.



I didn't take the whole glass tank apart, just scraped off the inner seal in the corners and resealed them. I waited a day for the silicone to cure then filled it up and let it sit for 2 days outside. Seems like its going to hold...knock on wood.





Now I gotta get the plywood for a stand and canopy next time i head to home depot or lowes. I made a quick sketch of the cut sheet and final design on google sketchup but I can't figure out how to put it on here. I made the stand a bit deeper than the tank so that its a bit more sturdy and I can hide the power filters a bit better. I'll post detailed pics of the process.

When I got the tank I also received a 24" light fixture and light and I think it was called an aquatech 30/60 power filter. I have another whisper 60 and another 24" light to go with it. The only problem is I only have two 50watt heaters. Would that be good enough to heat this 50 gallon tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I found out after filling it outside again, that it leaked on two corners after all my hard work. I think I put the silicone on too thick and it didn't fully cure over night. Anyways, I've decided to take the whole thing apart. I just got the top trim off by tapping it with a 2x4 and hammer. Only cracked the trim slightly in 2 places. Now I'm back to scraping off the silicone I had just put on last week.

I've cut my plywood for the stand and will be posting pictures of its assembly today or tomorrow. I need a break from the silicone :eek:
 

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you must let the silicone cure for 7 days before filling it to test for leaks
depending how thick you put it, which isnt the problem, but the more thick the more time it needs to cure.
curing rate i think is about 1,5 mm(milimeters) in 24 hrs and 5 mm in 1 week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
rwolff said:
you must let the silicone cure for 7 days before filling it to test for leaks
depending how thick you put it, which isnt the problem, but the more thick the more time it needs to cure.
curing rate i think is about 1,5 mm(milimeters) in 24 hrs and 5 mm in 1 week.
thanks, ill be more patient this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ok I started the stand. All I need to do is cut and attach the front frame and then make some doors. Then I will be painting it with a cherry polypaint. Like I said before, the stand is like 5 inches deeper than the tank for stability, so I will have some plywood running up the side behind the tank to the canopy so that it will look sorta like a hutch and it will hide the filters and wires on back.


As for the tank, here's a pic without the top trim which I took off a couple days ago.



And here's the trim, intact. Hammer and 2x4 and my super strong muscles work great :thumb:

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just thought I would show you a picture of the other aquarium that I will be fixing up after the first one is finished. It is made out of acrylic, shorter and deeper than the glass tank but is also 50gal. As soon as I've finished the glass tank and stand, I will be transferring these fish over to the glass tank and then drilling the acrylic tank, making my sump, possibly a bg, and finishing the stand. Any advice on drilling acrylic with a holesaw? I heard you need to adjust the saw teeth so that it won't rip the acrylic. Is that necessary?







this is the tank I will be using for the sump
 

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You do know that you're going to need the cross brace on the upper frame unless the glass is 3/8" thick right?

I'm interested to see the stand when it's finished I'm going to be doing something similar with a 55g but the back will be open so it can be viewed from either side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
kornphlake said:
You do know that you're going to need the cross brace on the upper frame unless the glass is 3/8" thick right?

I'm interested to see the stand when it's finished I'm going to be doing something similar with a 55g but the back will be open so it can be viewed from either side.
Yup, I'll be siliconing the trim right back on top of the tank once I disassemble the tank and put it all together again. I'll be finished the stand before Friday next week and I'll post pictures that weekend probly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ok here's an update and some more pics. I got the whole tank apart with some help and without cracking the glass!! :thumb: I also scraped off most of the silicone. I just gotta clean it up a bit more. I noticed when i was cutting the seams apart that one whole length of one of the bottom seams had absolutely no silicone on it at all. I could slide a thick utility knife blade under the whole length without even touching even the slightest bit of silicone residue. :-? Perhaps this is the source of the initial leak? Or do all aquarium factories forget to silicone one side to the bottom? hmmmm?



Tomorrow or the day after I will assemble it all and re silicone it. with plenty of pics.
Then let it sit for a WEEK and test it out.

This next picture shows the stand with the top nailed down and the front frame attached. The bottom trim of the aquarium is sitting on top. I've decided to make an overflow and sump for this tank as well so I will have to drill the stand.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
hey question you guys!

since I cracked both the top and bottom trim when taking them off and because its going to be a pain scraping the silicone out of the trim, I think i should just buy new trim. Its a standard 48x13 tank. But before I buy the new trim is there any cheap silicone remover that won't ruin the trim? Also, is the 48 x 12 3/4 trim at glasscages in this link what I'm looking for?

http://www.glasscages.com/?sAction=ViewCat&lCatID=43

ALSO, is there by chance anywhere I can get it cheaper?

thanks!
 

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When my 45 gallon started to leak i stripped it down the top was well sealed but half of the bottom wasn't not a drop of silicone the bottom brace and the glass base came of real easy the top was a nightmare dam aquarim factory's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
dr wethumb said:
When my 45 gallon started to leak i stripped it down the top was well sealed but half of the bottom wasn't not a drop of silicone the bottom brace and the glass base came of real easy the top was a nightmare dam aquarim factory's.
thats so crazy. and they expect us to pay so much for such a cheap job. at least we know how to do it ourselves now. how'd the drilling go for you?
 

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I am still waiting for the bit's i had to use a paypal account and the money just cleared so i have to wait on shipping now i will likely post a link with everything i am doing so i will have some pics (i can't take the waiting) i guess it's good patience practice for the job ahead.
 
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