View Full Version : DIY - Anyone ever built their own aquarium? The actual tank from scratch?

11-19-2015, 12:38 AM
In terms of practicality...nope unless you're making monster tanks doing your own aquariums is never going to be more cost effective than buying one.

That said, has anyone actually done so? I'm big on nano/pico aquariums and I'm at the point now where I want to make tanks to fit spaces or specific purposes. I'm the type who'll spend more money engineering something at home in order to get something that perfectly fits my needs.

So...anyone have experience? In glass or acrylic? Is it reasonable to put together a 5gal or less in my apartment studio (art/taxidermy studio)? I imagine in sizes so small that rimless tanks wouldn't be a big issue. Although I'm sure I'd have to test watertightness on my ground floor patio just in case of disaster. :P I like long shallow divided tanks and weird square column style tanks.

11-19-2015, 12:39 PM
Years ago I built a plywood tank, about 55 gallon size. Yes, plywood! 3/4 inch, with a slot in front for the glass pane...then covered everything with fiberglass, then marine paint. Worked like a charm! Definitely not a show tank lol

11-19-2015, 03:01 PM
I've done work with acrylic, making my own overflows, etc. It's really not hard. Be sure that your edges are straight and everything is flush before you start gluing. The glue I was using was REALLY thin, so I was applying with insulin type syringes I got from the drug store. That won't happen in this day and age!

Let me know if you have specific questions and I'll do my best to answer them. But it has been 20 years since I was doing it... :)

Wade Lehmann
12-08-2015, 11:18 AM
Acrylic is simple and can be done in small space IF you can cut it properly. Also, using solvents to weld it together requires a lot of fresh air - so you won't be able to do it in an enclosed space. It wouldn't be hard in glass or acrylic to make a 5g size. There are calculators online that tell you how thick glass needs to be to not break as well.