Custom Tank and Ato build

N1tew0lf1212

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Decided to give my try at a custom tank. Went through a lot of different things to try and come up with something that is bigger but still manageable. This is a thread about things I learn along the way as well do's and dont's. So to start i did so research to select the glass that i was wanting to use and come up with a theme to it that would be unique to my build.
That theme was going to be a tinted side and back glass grey with a clear viewer front panel which should help with the light creep from sides and a true black back when applying the back paint. Next post will show the glass selection process as well as design and cuts.
 
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N1tew0lf1212

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So was trying to come up with a good design that will help when sealing the tank. Decided to do a channel slot groove on the base glass with two seperate pieces that would be sealed together. Once creating the design the glass needed to be cut and thats when the theme all came together.
 

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N1tew0lf1212

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This post is all about my team of guys helping me get the right glass for my needs bottom front and sides are all tempered glass for the durability and strength. Back piece is annealed for now til the holes are drilled for the over flow box. Then it will be tempered as well. When selecting the glass i wanted something unique to just my tank thats when the grey and clear viewer came into play.
 

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N1tew0lf1212

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Next was doing a dry set to see how everything came together and looked. Once the dry set was complete everything started becoming a reality and thats when things started to come together. It was at this moment i knew there was no coming back. The ATO was to be built first and set. This next part was trial and error.
 

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N1tew0lf1212

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I did not do a dry set for the ato which in the end I wish I would have. I got all the tape in place with what i thought would be a good edging for the silicone. I will admit first time doing it and was i wrong. I did not have the tape placed wide enough so when I siliconed in place the tape pulled at the freshly laid silicone. This is why i recommend doing a dry set to get the tape where it needs to be in order to not pull the silicone seal. Ended up free handing the seal which i will admit was a challenge. And didnt turn out as I had hoped. I will be redoing the interior seal on the ato the correct way.
 

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N1tew0lf1212

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Here is the ato so far and am proud but disappointed in myself about rushing and not taking into consideration the thickness of the glass when taping for the interior seal. Needless to say i will redo the interior and then be able to do the bigger tank without any flaws or issues this was the first ever attempt at doing this and i have learned a lot. For everyone wondering and going to ask how gard it was. I will admit some things were difficult and some things were easy. But moving forward I feel really confident in my ability to do it. Everything for the ato has turned out decent but ocd sucks lol. So i will continue to add to this post as things get done with more things on what i realized and found out.
 

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Tidal Gardens
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The ato has a 22x20x20 spec. With a total of 39.5 gal when filled to 20 inches.
Very nice :drooling-face:
What’s the thickness of glass on her? Did you silicone the edge and then squish the glass up against or did you leave a gap and inject the cone through?
 
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N1tew0lf1212

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Very nice :drooling-face:
What’s the thickness of glass on her? Did you silicone the edge and then squish the glass up against or did you leave a gap and inject the cone through?
Its a 6mm glass with the squish sequence that was a hard part if you squish to much there is no silicone so you gotta be soft and sweet. I was wanting to do an injection but some of the clamps to do it with are a pretty penny. After the silicone sets up it is a good thing to add tape to press the joints a little more to get a good seal.
 

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Great job so far, silicone is a pita especially for your first time working with it. What kind of silicone did you use? I've only worked with GE1 from homedepot but recently I've been hearing about RTV silicone that tank manufactures use, think it has a much stronger bond.
 
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Great job so far, silicone is a pita especially for your first time working with it. What kind of silicone did you use? I've only worked with GE1 from homedepot but recently I've been hearing about RTV silicone that tank manufactures use, think it has a much stronger bond.
That is actually what i used ge silicone1 for the price you cant beat it. Rtv i was reading on too but it is more expensive like twice the price. If it was bigger i would go with a stronger bond and thicker v channel seal like i will be doing on the tank build. It will be more beneficial in the long run.
 
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Eneded up doing a reseal on the tank didnt like how the seams turned out and how thi silicone looked internally but the second round went flawlessly. Attached are pictures. I retaped with the correct spacing and decided to go with a fool proof way of spreading and removing the extra silicone by using a plastic 45 cut piece to press and smooth into the channel. Did one channel at a time and smoothed. Then moved to each side til it was done. I then started into the bottom. And ran a bead along the whole bottom to make sure everything was spread evenly and again used the plastic card to smooth and scrape the surplus silicone. I would say this go was a night and day difference from the original work.
 

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N1tew0lf1212

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Going to let it sit til the weekend to be sure everything is cured and do a scrub rinse and fill. Things look great so far and way cleaner then the first attempt. I swear this is the hardest part. Just waiting for the cure knowing that you can get it going. Talked with an employee from our IT department and he is going to help with setting up a reef pi to help with the ato distribution and a few other things as well.
 
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Well got the bottom glass set and curing it was a little different process and will be injecting the 2 panes on the bottom to do a complete seal between them but all in all after sitting for a few days it will not move. Had my son help this time as i needed someone to sit on the top glass to press together til i could get some weight on it. But all in all huge success have decided this will be the main build and going to redo the sump specs to be a little shorter. The new sump specs will be 17x48x20 with a double bottom as well.
 

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Vested

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Well got the bottom glass set and curing it was a little different process and will be injecting the 2 panes on the bottom to do a complete seal between them but all in all after sitting for a few days it will not move. Had my son help this time as i needed someone to sit on the top glass to press together til i could get some weight on it. But all in all huge success have decided this will be the main build and going to redo the sump specs to be a little shorter. The new sump specs will be 17x48x20 with a double bottom as well.
oooooh thats a great idea, will the sides just sit in the outer "grooves" ?
 
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N1tew0lf1212

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oooooh thats a great idea, will the sides just sit in the outer "grooves" ?
Yes which will give it a 2 point of contact seal on the base. I have seen a few tanks done like this. Trying to make this thing as solid as possible. And prevent bottom blow outs the temper glass with the 2 point of contact seal should help prevent that.
 

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