If you’re wanting a custom fish tank and you enjoy a challenge, building your own fish tank may be just the project for you! It’s no secret that fish tanks can be pricy, especially large tanks. Building your tank may save you money and will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment.
This isn’t a project for the faint of heart, though. Building a fish tank is time-consuming and not the type of project you can take shortcuts on. It’s also a project that can help you grow and develop new skills, like glass cutting and the use of a caulk gun.
Here are the materials you need and steps to take to build your own fish tank!
It is imperative that you get the right glass for your fish tank. Tanks less than 20 gallons can usually be made with plexiglass, but anything larger than that needs thicker, stronger glass. Using the wrong glass can lead to leaks, flooding, and even a broken tank. Depending on the size and shape of your tank, you may even need glass almost 1 inch thick. Buying glass in person instead of ordering online will help you get the right glass. You’ll also need to decide on pre-cut glass or cutting your own.
You also need to get the right silicone for aquarium building. Silicone with additives like anti-mold agents can be unsafe for aquatic life. Aqueon silicone is an aquarium-safe product that is available in many stores and online. Marineland silicone is a good but premium-priced product.
Building your own fish tank is a labor of love, but if done well, the payoff is beautiful. You can build just about any size or shape of tank with this step-by-step guide, with some minor adjustments for very large, very small, or unusually shaped tanks.
This is a project that will take time and effort and should only be done if you have a safe place for your tank to cure and test. Always test your tank before using it or you may come home to a flooded room. For practice and safety, get comfortable using the caulk gun or silicone squeeze tube before starting on the glass. If you’re cutting your own glass and are not experienced, use extreme caution and practice multiple times with “scrap” glass before attempting to cut your glass pieces to size. Wear cut-proof gloves when handling glass. The raw glass edges can be extremely sharp.
As long as you carefully follow all of these steps to build your tank and don’t take any shortcuts, you and your fish will be pleased with the outcome. Every day you’ll get to radiate the pride of your hard work when you look at your DIY tank.
You might also like:
Featured image credit: Solarisys, Shutterstock