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Old 07-08-2020, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: 4 Foot Vivarium Build From The Ground Up

Originally Posted by kimcmich View Post

I've made some very large vivs. Prior to my current plexi/glass/wood setup I had large plywood + glass and both those vivs followed a few previous mid-size setups with plexi and plywood.

I have not worked with Pond Shield. I used West System epoxy as well as a Sherwin Williams potable water epoxy for my builds. I notice pond shield instructions mentions applying it with "a squeegee or roller" which makes me wonder if the consistency is rather thick. West System epoxy has a very paintable consistency which is very, very helpful when coating a large, 3D plywood surface.

In terms of dimensions, I would suggest more ambition in the vertical. If you are going to the trouble of building such a sturdy stand, I would push the viv's height to 36". You can still get adequate lights for that height (vivs any taller are more challenging for lighting).

Aquariums tend to stay wide/long rather than tall because reaching an arm into a deep tank is a hassle for setup and upkeep. A front-opening viv does not have that limitation and you will appreciate the extra options a taller viv presents you in terms of plants and decor.
Pond shield like the West System has variable consistency based on additives. You mix in isopropyl alcohol for the initial coat to thin it out. There are some videos out there on how to do it.

From Pond Armor:

Using silicone in the seams instead of fiberglass:

Old video from KingofDIY Fishkeeping:

Installing Glass:

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