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Old 01-09-2012, 02:56 PM
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Orchidvore Orchidvore is offline
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Default Re: Planning to build 24x24x36 viv

Thank you for replying EvilLost, looks like your build is coming along nicely. Why did you not make a complete 2x4 square around the top? If you could connect the two free corners of the walls it would be much stiffer. What are you going to do for the windows?

Originally Posted by EvilLost View Post
I won't say that it is at all necessary, but I would recommend that you consider building your frame of 2x4's and a plywood "shell"

I'm not sure why you are using the aluminum?
I wanted to stay away from 2x4's because of the weight and how uneven most pieces are. There won't be much weight to support so 2x4's would be way overkill and just wasted space. Also, two smaller pieces, like 1x2's, glued and screwed into an "L" shape resist twisting and bending lengthwise better than a single piece of wood, from what I understood when researching aquarium stands. I thought that using aluminum angle to replace the "L" shaped wood supports would be less work and stronger, but I'm not sure if the cost/looks would be worth it.

Originally Posted by EvilLost View Post
Are you planning to put epoxy on the wood and thats it? pour your water straight over it ?
Yup. The expoxy I linked to is what's used to make fiberglass boats and stuff, so it cures hard and waterproof. At least one person has used it to seal a plywood reef tank: 360 Plywood Reef Don't know if I'll do a "pour method" like in the link, or try just painting it on. There will be about half an inch of water in the bottom of the substrate box, and a small water feature, plus the enclosure will get misted every now and then. Maybe I should put pond liner in the box and on the back for added safety?

Originally Posted by EvilLost View Post
If you are planning to screw directly into your main wood frame, realize that you must either a) PREDRILL all your holes BEFORE you epoxy OR b) use neoprene washers/etc (personally I don't know how much/long i'd trust these, but again I overbuilt mine). If you epoxy first, and then drill your foam wall pieces to the wood without any water-protection, you will be drilling a hole through your epoxy layer and into the unguarded wood....water droplets will be able to seep into this eventually causing rot/mold/etc.
Yes I realize this, and probably won't be screwing anything in on the inside of the tank. So far the only thing I will have to screw in after the frame is sealed are front door hinges and clasps. The side windows and top divider will probably be 1/4" glass (maybe plexiglass) so I should be able to just silicone them on to the frame.

In the bottom of the substrate box I'm going to put a bulkhead, thinking 1 1/2". So water will drain through the substrate, under the false bottom, through the bulkhead, and into the sump. Then a small pump will circulate water from the sump to a small waterfall. The waterfall will overflow on container filled with gravel so the planting media doesn't get soaked. I'm thinking I can run the feed for the waterfall up through the drain bulkhead, or drill another hole somewhere.
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