How to Build a Fish Tank

Building your own fish tank can be a very interesting thing to do. You can save a great lot of money too! You can also design that perfect aquarium exactly the way you want. This is a great hobby for the fish enthusiasts. The instructions in this article are meant for a 25-30 gallon tank.

Required Materials

  • Glass (for the front and back: two sheets of 1/4″ glass of 36″ x 24″, for the sides: two sheets of 1/4″ glass of 12″ x 24″, and for the bottom: one sheet of 1/4″ glass of 12″ x 36″)
  • Emery cloth
  • Gloves for handling cut glass
  • Acetone
  • Non-toxic 100% silicone sealant
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic or rubber corner trim
  • At least one square
  • Single-edged razor blades
  • Roll of duct tape
  • Felt tip marker
  • Alcohol
  • Toxicity test strips
  • pH test strips

Instructions

  1. First, have a place ready for your fish tank. Be sure to buy some trim for the bottom of the tank to sit in so that the glass does not scratch or damage the surface. This adds to the strength of the tank as well.
  2. Take the bottom piece of glass and lay it on a smooth, clean surface.
  3. Take some duct tape and lay a few strips across the length and the breadth of the surface. Be sure to overlap them about 5 inches or so.
  4. Turn the bottom over and get the sticky side of the tape up.
  5. Take acetone and towels and clean the edges of the glass that are about to be joined.
  6. Lay the front piece of glass on top of the tape, and flat next to the bottom surface; you want the edge of the front piece of glass on the surface of the tape, and not setting on top of the bottom glass.
  7. Use the non toxic sealant and fill the area between the two glass pieces.
  8. Take the front piece and raise it to a 90 degree angle. Use the square and attach it to the two pieces. Tape it to the glass to make sure it’s secure.
  9. Now take the sealant and place a bead on the inside joint along the full length of the tank.
  10. Now, lay the back piece of glass on top of the tape, and flat next to the bottom surface; this should be in a similar manner as the front piece.
  11. Use the non toxic sealant and fill the area between the two glass pieces.
  12. Take the front piece and raise it to a 90 degree angle. Use the square and attach it to the two pieces. Tape it to the glass to make sure it’s secure.
  13. Repeat step 9 for the back piece, taking the sealant and placing a bead on the inside joint the full length of the tank.
  14. With both the front and back sides secured, let dry for 24 hours.
  15. You can carry out similar steps for the side pieces, as the front and the back, and allow to set for 24 hours.
  16. Clean the edges with acetone and paper towels.
  17. When everything is set, turn the tank upside down. Take a think bead of sealant and run it around the four sides of the bottom.
  18. Place trim around the sealant at the base and allow drying for about 6 hours.
  19. When dry, turn right side up and place trim onto the edges of the tank, using the same process.
  20. When the glass is fully trimmed, let it dry for another 24 hours.
  21. Fill it with water and let sit for 12 hours. This will test for leaks. If found, repair them with the sealant.
  22. When finished, add fresh water and allow the water to get room temperature. Add any chemicals needed if salt water fish are used.
  23. Use the pH test strips to test the pH balance, and add appropriate chemicals to maintain the balance.
  24. Add accessories as needed. Once done, your fish tank should be ready to host fish!

Further Reading on How to Build a Fish Tank:

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