DIY acrylic aquarium

Discussion in 'Anything DIY related' started by GaryG, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. GaryG

    GaryG Fishohollic

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    Hey all

    I have found a guy who says that he can build acrylic aquariums, the size will be 2m x 500mm x 600mm high, he suggested a 8mm thickness but i am going to go with 10mm, should i make the base 10mm or should i double up?
    Are perspex and acrylic the same thing?
     
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  3. Jwh

    Jwh

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    Perspex the the trade name of acrylic, there are calculators online that will indicate the correct thickness, you have a single base, but need to support it on marine plywood 19mm should be ok.
    I think you need to use cast acrylic.
    The bracing on the tank is very different from glass, check out US made tanks for guidance.
     
  4. f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    And ask for references - esp on a tank that size - maybe go and see one of his tanks that size that he has made.
     
  5. Jwh

    Jwh

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    Just looked at a calculator, you’ll need 12mm thick cell cast acrylic, as ferdi said, perhaps best you check this guys credentials. If you go ahead, please post a thread on this, I’m very interested in acrylic tanks, cost is very high though.
     
  6. Johan Blignaut

    Johan Blignaut

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    Does acrylic work out more expensive than normal Glass? I have not yet done much research on the Acrylic tanks but i do see people tend to move to it because it is more reliable according to what i have read.
     
  7. f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    My understanding .. acrylic for bigger tanks as the weight of glass ( even if you could get them ) becomes a real issue.
     
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  8. Jwh

    Jwh

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    Significantly more expensive than glass, I haven’t costed recently, but it’s times more, however it’s super light, as Ferdi mentioned, the joints between panels are welded, not glued, easy to cut, easy to shape, easy to drill, much clearer than glass - unfortunately easy to scratch.
    In the US all large tanks are built with acrylic. I remain hopeful that some of our professional builders will start using this material someday in large builds.
    The times I have asked for quotes, I didn’t get a warm feeling about capabilities in SA.
     
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  9. Johan Blignaut

    Johan Blignaut

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    So if i feel the need to build say a medium size tank it would be more cost effective using the normal glass than using acrylic? i am looking to do a build later on this year and i want to use the cheaper better option that is available.
     
  10. Jwh

    Jwh

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    If I were you I would get quotes on both glass and acrylic, and take it from there, pse share if you go ahead.
     
  11. Johan Blignaut

    Johan Blignaut

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    I will do it is still just a plan that i have for the future only issue is my location, it is not close to any place (major city) where i'd be able to get acrylic so i'd have to get it from a manufacturer which i still need to allocate due to my area i am in.
     
  12. Shrimp lover

    Shrimp lover

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    Besides for the prohibitive cost factor I doubt that this would be a good idea.Check your builders' previous projects and make sure that he can in fact do what he says he can. 8mm does not sound right as you can easily bend and break 8 mm plexi with your hand (yes I know that this relates to point loading but it is still a good indication.).12mm is more realistic.

    Plexiglass is bonded with a glue that as far as I can tell is VERY expensive so in none aquarium settings people tend to substitute spirits of salt as a bonding/welding method I have tried this before and have failed dismally.Ask your builder what he uses to bond and "A special glue" is not an answer.Get the trade name and read up on it.

    HTH.

    Regards
     
  13. Henrivr

    Henrivr BB

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    Did you ever get to build the aquarium?
    I'm looking at building a 200 x 60 x 60cm one, but the cost of perspex is just madness!
    Thinking of rather going for a 120 x 60 x 60cm glass tank then.
     
  14. Hooks

    Hooks

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    Hi GaryG

    I have a Boyu 1.5meter x 55cm wide x 60cm high. That's made with 12mm acrylic. With the sides that's bent or curved.

    The only downside is that I scraches quick. The other thing is that it's hard to repair as its bonded together and then siliconed on seams.

    Prices of acrylic in SA is double the price of glass.
     

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