Custom 6 Foot Tank Build Questions

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LifeOfAquatics

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Hello, so I really want to build a shallow reef tank. My main goal with this tank is to house tang(s) and some other slightly larger fish. I want the tank to be roughly 5-6 feet in length and about 12-18 inches in length with about 12-18 inches in height (note: for the height and the width if one of them is 16 then the other will be 12, etc. I don’t really want them both being 16. Right now I am leaning towards the height being either 12 or 14 and width maybe being 16). Another alternative to the tank dimensions is a tank that is about 4 feet by 4 feet by about 12 inches to 18 inches (with 16 being more common). I plan on building this tank using glass sheets from Home Depot and Lowes. However, their glass sheets are not past .125 inches in thickness. I am worried because I obviously don’t want the tank to burst. I am also unsure if the glass is tempered or not. Will this matter too much (the glass being tempered or not)? If the glass is too thin, I am OK with the tank being only 12 inches tall because I saw on a few forums that if the glass in thin, then the tank needs to be shallow. If the glass is .125 in thickness, could I accomplish something like a 72 inch length by 16 inch width by a 12 inch height? I really want to build a nice shallow saltwater tank, this is also going to be my first saltwater tank as well. Also, the glass sheets are going to have to be connected together. As in, if two sheets are 36 inches long, then I will silicone them together for both the front and back panel. And the bottom panel will also be a combination of 3-5 separate sheets all siliconed together. Will this be an issue if the individual panels are made up of separate sheets? To increase the glass thickness, is there anyway I can layer two sheets on top of each other to increase the individual panel thickness or will this not work? I do not plan on going smaller than .125 or 1/8 inch thickness glass and if need be, I am fine with the tank only being a foot tall. Thank you in advance!
 
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The thin glass will break very easily. Isn't there a glass shop where you are?

Glass shops will sell you material by the square foot and it will be cheaper to get the right thickness and length so you don't have to have glue seams in the middle of the tank.

I built a nice tank out of 1/4 plate when I worked at a glass shop. It was 20" water depth and it bowed quite a bit.

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LifeOfAquatics

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The thin glass will break very easily. Isn't there a glass shop where you are?

Glass shops will sell you material by the square foot and it will be cheaper to get the right thickness and length so you don't have to have glue seams in the middle of the tank.

I built a nice tank out of 1/4 plate when I worked at a glass shop. It was 20" water depth and it bowed quite a bit.

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Hello, so I changed up my idea a bit. Instead of 6 feet, I'm going to do a 4 foot by 1.5 foot (width) by 1 foot (height) tank. I plan on using non-tempered 1/4 in thick glass for this build and I might use tempered for the base (would the tempered on the base work fine?). I'm cool with 3/8 inch glass I'm just leaning towards 1/4 because one, it is cheaper, and two, normal 55 gallons have 1/4 in thick and this tank will be roughly 45 gallons plus it is shorter so 1/4 should work fine. My plans with this tank are to get a Kole tang as the main fish and since this tank does have the footprint of a 75 and a 90-gallon tank, the Kole tang should be fine. I would love to do a bigger tang but I'm going to be reasonable and choose not to bc a 12-inch height is just not a lot. I might also do a Foxface or a butterfly (might not due to the fact that I am going to be putting corals in this tank). Aside from that, I might just do a bunch of basic fish (i.e. clowns, gobies, blennies, jawfish, and maybe a dwarf angel). What do you think? And the glass is going to come from a local glass shop.
 
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LifeOfAquatics

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hi,look around try to buy a used complete system... :)
not a chance on H D glass and piecing together..:(
Hello, so I changed up my idea a bit. Instead of 6 feet, I'm going to do a 4 foot by 1.5 foot (width) by 1 foot (height) tank. I plan on using non-tempered 1/4 in thick glass for this build and I might use tempered for the base (would the tempered on the base work fine?). I'm cool with 3/8 inch glass I'm just leaning towards 1/4 because one, it is cheaper, and two, normal 55 gallons have 1/4 in thick and this tank will be roughly 45 gallons plus it is shorter so 1/4 should work fine. My plans with this tank are to get a Kole tang as the main fish and since this tank does have the footprint of a 75 and a 90-gallon tank, the Kole tang should be fine. I would love to do a bigger tang but I'm going to be reasonable and choose not to bc a 12-inch height is just not a lot. I might also do a Foxface or a butterfly (might not due to the fact that I am going to be putting corals in this tank). Aside from that, I might just do a bunch of basic fish (i.e. clowns, gobies, blennies, jawfish, and maybe a dwarf angel). What do you think? And the glass is going to come from a local glass shop.
 
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LifeOfAquatics

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Anything that size will most likely need 1/2" glass for the 6' pieces as well as cross bracing. You won't be able to get the thickness you need from anywhere but a glass company.
Hello, so I changed up my idea a bit. Instead of 6 feet, I'm going to do a 4 foot by 1.5 foot (width) by 1 foot (height) tank. I plan on using non-tempered 1/4 in thick glass for this build and I might use tempered for the base (would the tempered on the base work fine?). I'm cool with 3/8 inch glass I'm just leaning towards 1/4 because one, it is cheaper, and two, normal 55 gallons have 1/4 in thick and this tank will be roughly 45 gallons plus it is shorter so 1/4 should work fine. My plans with this tank are to get a Kole tang as the main fish and since this tank does have the footprint of a 75 and a 90-gallon tank, the Kole tang should be fine. I would love to do a bigger tang but I'm going to be reasonable and choose not to bc a 12-inch height is just not a lot. I might also do a Foxface or a butterfly (might not due to the fact that I am going to be putting corals in this tank). Aside from that, I might just do a bunch of basic fish (i.e. clowns, gobies, blennies, jawfish, and maybe a dwarf angel). What do you think? And the glass is going to come from a local glass shop.
 
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Here's an excerpt I found from an article on tank size and fish

A juvenile fish growing up in a too-small tank can be expected to experience stunted growth, spinal deformities, atrophied muscles and other developmental heath problems. As a result, a stunted fish's life span is significantly shortened, too.
 
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LifeOfAquatics

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Here's an excerpt I found from an article on tank size and fish

A juvenile fish growing up in a too-small tank can be expected to experience stunted growth, spinal deformities, atrophied muscles and other developmental heath problems. As a result, a stunted fish's life span is significantly shortened, too.
Could you answer my original question? Does the 1/4 in glass work or not?
 

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1/4" glass does not seem suitable to me. I would be very cautious doing a diy tank. You're talking a lot of damage and a lot of money gone if a rock tips over and breaks your tank. I originally wanted to build my own. But piece of mind knowing a professional built it and it has a warranty is worth the money in my opinion.
 
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1/4" glass does not seem suitable to me. I would be very cautious doing a diy tank. You're talking a lot of damage and a lot of money gone if a rock tips over and breaks your tank. I originally wanted to build my own. But piece of mind knowing a professional built it and it has a warranty is worth the money in my opinion.
this exactly!!
 

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But that aside, how does everything else sound? The 1/4 thick glass and all.
Whats the end-game here? To build your own tank to your specs and save money?

Idk man.... there are certain things you just have to pay a professional to do for you.

Just like DIY Bathroom Dentistry..... you get more value and less headaches leaving it to the Professionals


.
 

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Yes it can work with 1/4" glass in my opinion. I would never do it as a diy(and i have built glass tanks). Your latest dimensions are similar to a mass market 55g (shorter and wider though) which uses 1/4" glass.
 
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LifeOfAquatics

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1/4" glass does not seem suitable to me. I would be very cautious doing a diy tank. You're talking a lot of damage and a lot of money gone if a rock tips over and breaks your tank. I originally wanted to build my own. But piece of mind knowing a professional built it and it has a warranty is worth the money in my opinion.
not trying to sound like "that person" but I do understand the risks. this is my first saltwater and my first DIY tank so ik what I'm getting into. I appreciate the thought though. But i am taking every safety measure possible to ensure nothing goes wrong. for the rock issue i already planned on keep the tank sparsely "planted" with rocks or attaching the rocks together with rock glue. I am also planning on using either eurobraces or crossbeams or both for support and I might do thicker glass as well.
 
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