DIY acrylic tank building guidelines on thickness/bracing?

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by LivingSeas, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. LivingSeas

    LivingSeas Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I am planning to build and acrylic sump for my 300 gallon DT

    I was planning on a 125 gallon sump. I also want to make a frag
    and possible QT tank if I have enough acrylic left.

    Are their guidelines somewhere on how thick I need to buy for x wall height?
    Or is it the total amount of gallons? Both of these tanks will be pretty low..less
    then 20" tops but I'd love to be able to build bigger tanks if this works out.

    At what point do I need to add bracing? When is a full sheet brace called for or
    is euro style with an open center doable?

    I'd love to hear from some experienced folks.
     
  2. revsgirl

    revsgirl Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    7,374
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    ga
    :bump2:
     
  3. Troylee

    Troylee all about the diy!!!!! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    12,235
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Vegas baby!!!!
    What dimensions do you want?? That will determine thickness... No calculators will work it's all experience..;)
     
  4. LivingSeas

    LivingSeas Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Jersey
    That's the point. If its experience you must follow some sort of mental guidelines?

    Can you share those? You seem to be an acrylic expert based on your other postings

    Thanks. Mike
     
  5. Troylee

    Troylee all about the diy!!!!! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    12,235
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Vegas baby!!!!
    Trial and error... Really what you build today may look nice and not bow but in 2 weeks when the acrylic absorbs water turns into a football... Like I said exp... I like to see 3/8 or 1/2" thick on sumps... Euro brace depends on dimensions of tank.... Give me a dimension I'll tell you what works... Every tank is custom so it always varies...
     
  6. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders The LED Guy R2R Supporter Gold Sponsors

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,534
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Shelton CT
    How about a 6' x 18" x 10" tall tank? Maybe two strips across it for support? Sorry if I hijacked
     
  7. Young Frankenstein

    Young Frankenstein I sniff ozone and relax. R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,152
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    South Miami
    1/2" with eurobrase or 3/4" without, using my acrylic aquarium experience :)
     
  8. Troylee

    Troylee all about the diy!!!!! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    12,235
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Vegas baby!!!!
    Believe it or not but 3/4" will bow across a 6 ft span... But it's still structurally sound... I would use 1" rimless just for looks...
    With a 2" euro brace and single center brace 4" wide.. 3/8" is plenty thick...
     
  9. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders The LED Guy R2R Supporter Gold Sponsors

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,534
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Shelton CT
    Thanks, the rimless would look sweet, huh? And a 1" shorter back for a coast to coast... a man can dream, can't he :)
     
  10. LivingSeas

    LivingSeas Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Okay how about a 64*28*16 sump with two baffles? Water level would be 14.5 tops.

    I was hoping for 3/8 due to cost. I won't have room for a full euro brace. Would a couple cross slats due?
     
  11. Troylee

    Troylee all about the diy!!!!! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    12,235
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Vegas baby!!!!
    Nah that won't work.... 3/8" would suffice with a full euro of 3" around the permiter... That's the other thing it's a half a sheet waisted sometimes thicker acrylic is cheaper because you use less material... You are basically running that sump at 100% capacity all tanks have a water line 1" to 1.5" down... For that particular size I would use 3/8" bottomand baffles with 3/4" walls all the way around for rimless... Even then it will have a slight bow..
     
  12. Mstansbery

    Mstansbery Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    ^^Ditto

    3/8 seems like it would be hard to get a good bond first try, especially for the eurobrace...I would sacrifice the cash and go with a thicker sheet to ensure a larger bonding surface!!

    -Are you doing all the cutting yourself??
     
  13. LivingSeas

    LivingSeas Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I have professional acrylic manufacturer I worked with in past for business
    Will be cut on a million dollar cnc system with diamond encrusted bits. Will be
    Saw mark free.

    If I upped everything to 1/2" could I get away with a eurobrace? 3/4 is really pricey.
     
  14. Mstansbery

    Mstansbery Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Oh sweeeet!!

    I would think 1/2 is sufficient...Your going to have baffles so theres going to be plenty of shear that way and I would venture to say the baffles themselves create a loss in pressure against the short sidewalls...
     
  15. Troylee

    Troylee all about the diy!!!!! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    12,235
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Vegas baby!!!!
    1/2" with a euro brace yes without no... If you could put at least a strip 2" wide down both long sides it would work for ya... But I would suggest a 8 to 10" water line max... 14" is gonna cause you havoc on the side walls and skimmer..
     
  16. Mstansbery

    Mstansbery Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Sorry..yes 1/2" with euro!!
     
  17. crussell523

    crussell523 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    i would like to build a tank that has the following demensions what thickness would i need? length 96" width 36" water depth 42" I know i will probably need a couple of braces.
     
  18. tigerdragon

    tigerdragon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    932
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Nor Cal
    I am working on a low frag tank myself its 72"x24"x12". The acrylic is 1/2". Filled it to the edge and had less than 1/8" bow in it if you go short in height you have less bow if go to 20" i would suggest a cross brace or if you euro make sure top is one pc
     

Share This Page