There are many very competent DIY’ers about, doing all sorts of jobs from putting up a new shelf to building a house. The marine hobby is an excellent area for a spot of [tag-tec]aquarium DIY[/tag-tec].
Many aquarists have completed DIY projects very successfully. These projects might be a filter using acrylic tube, a protein skimmer, an aquarium lighting system etc. Some go a step further than that and design and build their own aquarium.
Making your own aquarium must provide tremendous satisfaction. I say must because I have never done it. I know of those who have made aquariums out of solid non-glass materials.
There are also those who have done it in glass.
Building an aquarium in any material is difficult. Doing it with glass calls for a lot of confidence and a fair amount of expertise. The design must be correct taking into account the amount of water that will be contained, and the height and length of the aquarium. The joints must be siliconed correctly so that there isn’t any danger of a leak. Obviously when the job is done a full leak test needs to be performed.
The water within the aquarium is going to exert pressure outwards. Therefore it is important to use the correct thickness of glass to match this pressure, which needs to take into account the panel dimensions. There will need to be cross-braces to give the aquarium more strength.
I’m not going to give any suggestions – as said I’ve never done the job but purchased an aquarium ready built. However, for those DIY types who are considering constructing an aquarium in glass, there are two links following which give glass thicknesses and tips on construction. There is also another link which covers creating an aquarium from acrylic.