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RockyProndoa

Plywood Tank Anyone?

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So... Inherent to my nature, my current 175g system isn't nearly big enough and I want bigger. Considering I plan to put a huge tank in the wall with only the front glass exposed, why not save some money and build a plywood tank. 

Does anyone have any experience building one? I'm a bit concerned with longevity and durability. I have to imagine they are somewhat limited, but I would like input from others before I jump in to this.

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My plywood sump is a few years old. I have a build thread here show how I did it. I have glass for fronts in a 10’ experiment before I build a bigger one with a house addition. I have done quite a bit of research on this. The old finger lakes forum in New York May still be up, that was the best single collection of information I ever found. 

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My plywood sump is a few years old. I have a build thread here show how I did it. I have glass for fronts in a 10’ experiment before I build a bigger one with a house addition. I have done quite a bit of research on this. The old finger lakes forum in New York May still be up, that was the best single collection of information I ever found. 
So any concerns with durability in the long run?

My intended dimensions are 36"W x 30"H x 84"L, so roughly 400g.

Where did you purchase the glass?

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I tore apart a leaking 90 for the glass in my future practice build. I buy glass locally for most of my projects in Archbold, Ohio (quality glass) though and that is where my Sump glass came from.  Any glass shop should be able to fix you up so definitely shop around as price varies wildly!  As far as durability I have no concerns but I did the pour method with epoxy so I have at least 1/4” on all surfaces and 1” fillets in the corners  I am a little more skeptical of these builds where they brush and roll the waterproofing materials on. They definitely seal but I feel better about my thick multi-layer built up way of doing it.  I would have no concerns with your dimensions, but you may need cross braces at that height

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I tore apart a leaking 90 for the glass in my future practice build. I buy glass locally for most of my projects in Archbold, Ohio (quality glass) though and that is where my Sump glass came from.  Any glass shop should be able to fix you up so definitely shop around as price varies wildly!  As far as durability I have no concerns but I did the pour method with epoxy so I have at least 1/4” on all surfaces and 1” fillets in the corners  I am a little more skeptical of these builds where they brush and roll the waterproofing materials on. They definitely seal but I feel better about my thick multi-layer built up way of doing it.  I would have no concerns with your dimensions, but you may need cross braces at that height
Interesting. I'm really getting more excited about this by the minute!

I'm curious as to this 'pour' vs 'roll' method that you speak of. I am a project manager for a large commercial epoxy flooring company, so I'll have to research this a bit more. Typically, manufacturers have an exact installation method for their products- it's not an either/or option. Certainly do appreciate you bringing this to my attention!

I can't quite think of a reason not to do this build... Someone talk me out of this!!

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26 minutes ago, RockyProndoa said:

Interesting. I'm really getting more excited about this by the minute!

I'm curious as to this 'pour' vs 'roll' method that you speak of. I am a project manager for a large commercial epoxy flooring company, so I'll have to research this a bit more. Typically, manufacturers have an exact installation method for their products- it's not an either/or option. Certainly do appreciate you bringing this to my attention!

I can't quite think of a reason not to do this build... Someone talk me out of this!!

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I’m not trying to talk you out of anything lol

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7 hours ago, RockyProndoa said:

Interesting. I'm really getting more excited about this by the minute!

I'm curious as to this 'pour' vs 'roll' method that you speak of. I am a project manager for a large commercial epoxy flooring company, so I'll have to research this a bit more. Typically, manufacturers have an exact installation method for their products- it's not an either/or option. Certainly do appreciate you bringing this to my attention!

I can't quite think of a reason not to do this build... Someone talk me out of this!!

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I don't think you are in the right place to be tasked out of building a big tank. Lol

Go big, or go home!

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Who wants to volunteer to come tell my wife? Lol.

In all seriousness, trying to source/price a piece of Starfire glass for the front, but getting a little hung up on thickness. Does anyone know how to calculate proper thickness with any certainly? Website/link/etc.?

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This may help. It’s not the one I was looking for so I’ll look some more when I get home
But, but there's no attachment or link. Now you're just teasing me, lol.

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14 minutes ago, RockyProndoa said:

Perfect! And I was a good guesser, had 16mm Starfire quoted. And does that seem really thin for a 7' tank to anyone else but me?!

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The height is really more important than length. I would have guessed 3/4” so in ballpark. How tall is the top of your window in the tank?  The couple inches it is likely lower than the water level can be a difference maker!

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The height is really more important than length. I would have guessed 3/4” so in ballpark. How tall is the top of your window in the tank?  The couple inches it is likely lower than the water level can be a difference maker!
I'm not sure I follow what you're saying here, but nevertheless, I finally got some numbers back from some suppliers - and it's way cheaper than I expected!

I think 30" is too deep, however, as I don't want to go swimming every time I need to reach the sand bed, so I think I am back to 24" deep and 30" wide, 84" long. I sure wish I could go bigger, it doesn't really seem worth the effort for 260 gal.

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I've built  plywood  tanks for 20 years you will  get tired of it before  you ever have a problem  2 part expoxy  good smooth  plywood  screw and glue the box screw every 2 inches never had one leak largest was 540 gallons 

 

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I've built  plywood  tanks for 20 years you will  get tired of it before  you ever have a problem  2 part expoxy  good smooth  plywood  screw and glue the box screw every 2 inches never had one leak largest was 540 gallons 
 
Great... More people trying to talk me out of this...lol.

Serious, legitimate concerns:

Cleaning - I can't exactly take an algae scraper to the sides, can I?

Mounting equipment?

Overflows? Do I drill overflows or am I stuck going up and over the sides/back?


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You can use bulkheads no alge scrapers I used the old  style  alage brush with  white pad easy to clean key smooth  plywood when painting  any questions  u can call me 567 7120433 tim

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I have bulkheads through mine with no problem and glass can be attached with Silicone to make an overflow box just like a regular tank if you want. Mounting equipment can be a challenge because magnets aren’t strong enough. I have people do various acrylic or glass creations for that

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Any updates?
Eh, trying to logistically figure out how to build it. The size I want to build won't fit down my basement steps, so I'd have to build it in place. That would require me tearing down my existing tank and putting the livestock in a temporary holding tank until the new one is built. Then arises the issue of semi-cycling the new tank with the love rock from the old along with new. It just sounds like a headache lol.

I think it may be easier to just add an addition to my house so that I can just have ANOTHER tank...lol.

So, to your answer question, I'm not sure it'll ever happen anytime soon. But man, the idea of 400g tank sure is persuading...

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