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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Since the local glass store was giving away 20"x20"x1/8" glass panes, I thought I might as well use them for something.

Unfortunately I don't have much space left in the house and I didn't want another ugly wire rack. But I was giving some books to charity this weekend and decided I might as well keep the ikea bookselves and use them for something. So as of today I'm building 14.25"x10.25"x20.25" vivariums. That makes a nice 10 gallon for my thumbnails. I'm going to build one first, and then two more if it works out. Or maybe six total.

I admit I'm bad with glass, but I figured the space on the shelf isn't that big and I can use it as a template, so there isn't that many ways to mess up. I got an L, glass cutter, and a glass seamer, and got to work.

I made two 10x20 for the sides, two 10.125x14.25 for the top and bottom, and a 20x14.25 for the back. I put blue painters tape around the corners of the shelving space, then dropped the bottom glass in. I used clear GE silicone II on the edges, then put the back in. Added more silicone, then put the sides in. Repeated again, then dropped on the top. I finished off with a nice layer inside the tank. I used some shelves to put pressure on the top and one inside the tank to keep the sides from falling inward.

After a couple hours of hardening, I pulled out the tank from the shelf to make sure it could be pulled in and out, then removed the painters tape and placed the shelves properly on their pegs. Now I wanted to test out some lighting. I used three 110mm angel eye LED lights to stick between the tank and the next shelf. I also added a 9.5" waterproof blue LED strip for night lighting. So far they looked good, but I still need to drill holes in the shelving for hidden cables.

I wanted to give the tank a lip for glass on glass, so I added a 2"x14" on the top and 2"x13" on the sides. These were really hard to keep flat while the silicone dried.

After staring at the tank for a while I decided I wanted hidden vents at the top, and a euro style vent at the front. Since I'm bad with glass and cutting a shape is impossible for me, I'm opting for holes. I also plan for a hinged front. At the moment I just placed a recessed piece of glass at the bottom.

Work on progress. I managed to get a diamond drill bit. But I still need a new drill!

Justin
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Travis, this place is literally at the end of the street from Charles. Take some next time you're here. They say take 50 free, but they leave them sitting out all day everyday and night for anyone to grab. Not only did I get a bunch of 20x20s, they have these tempered tinted 9x12s sitting there no one wants since you can't cut them.



So I started on the second tank, and cut the front glass with the hinge for the first tank. The hinge is great, but the glass on the hinge doesn't sit right because of the plastic and will easily let fruit flies in. So I'll have to either make the front glass the entire width of the front of the tank, or take off the front glass and try to redo it.



Hey Mike, as you can see, this is where I normally keep that cylinder vivarium, and these sit right next to my tropical ecos tank, so I thought I would make them in a similar fashion, except with a hinged front. I'm still debating moving the cylinder to have a nice row of three. What do you think?



If anyone is curious I love this hinge which costs me about $2.50 per tank. I decided to make some dark 5 gallon grow out tanks out of the dark tempered glass. I will need to cut glass for the front and back, but all the sides are black, and it fits nice in an EXPEDIT Bookcase from Ikea.



I still need to work on the vents, but I just need to drill the holes (since it's tempered glass, I'm stuck drilling in the back). As for lighting, since they are small tanks I'll probably use white 9.5 inch white waterproof LED lights inside the tank. $2.88 (I think the price went up) from dino direct with shipping!

 

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This is such a great idea, the cylindrical tank in so awesome as well.
 

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sweet build, but be careful with that 1/8" stuff!!! it tends to shatter easly as a door, the sides since framed in wood will probably be just fine, but id be a little worried about the door construction. i suggest talking to them and seeing if you can get a piece of 3/16" its got a little more strength to it.

currently building some fun stuff with my 21 pieces of 3/16th ;)
 

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Are you at all worried about the weight of the tanks? Ikea is not the safest bet for humid, heavy objects, IMO.
 

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Good observation! Ikea stuff is always kinda "flimsy". I'm not thinking that it would be an issue though for tanks.
 

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Are you at all worried about the weight of the tanks? Ikea is not the safest bet for humid, heavy objects, IMO.
im sure the dead load compared to books is less than a tank with a false bottom. also the load will be carried at the shelf mounts not in the middle of the plank. i think the tanks will be fine in there. if you want i can run some calcs for ya :D but off the hip youll be just fine with what you can see in delection in the self above loaded with books


ohhh and where did you get the magnets at?
 

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In my experience, Ikea shelves can sometimes shift a bit when bumped into and things are placed or taken off. Be very careful that there is enough play between the glass and the wood of the furniture to avoid cracking that thin glass should the shelf flex and apply pressure to the tanks. The back might be particularly vulnerable since it could rapidly become a load-bearing structure if the shelf leaned a couple degrees. Otherwise they look pretty cool. Always fun to build with glass.

The tempered dark stuff is pretty cool too. I'd worry about using tempered 1/8" in this application as it will still be relatively vulnerable, particularly if the edges weren't well-smoothed before they fired it. One chip and you've got a pile of little glass chunks all over the place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I can't say the BILLY Bookcase, or anything from Ikea is great. But it works and my wife likes it. So she wants to keep them. :)

Ikea has their max load at 33lbs. for each shelf. I think that's fine with no water features. Now if there was a bunch of water sitting in it I'd be worried. Or if I was using rocks on the bottom and a clay background. But a false bottom even with hydroton and a expanding foam background usually are way under the 33lbs limit. My hard cover Harry Potter books are heavier! Thanks for the offer to do the calculations. The tanks are all on the center shelves at the moment, which I think are a littler studier than the ones with just pegs. So I'm considering 6 tanks.

3/16" glass would be HEAVY! I was actually thinking of going back to 3/32 or something.

The magnets are from APPLIED MAGNETS-Neodymium Magnets-Rare Earth Magnets-Ceramic Magnets-Industrial Magnets-Magnets Wholesale To The Public
I prefer the 1/2x1/2x1/8. But I ran out of those around the house so I'm using the 1/2x1/2x/14 which are really really strong. Too strong. But I might do a combination because I want a stronger hold at the top and bottom of the tank. I think if I add magnets near the hinge, it will solve my problem of space between the pieces of glass. However I think finish my build using the magnets to hold things in place might also work.

So far I've had the cylinder tank using 108 LEDs for 3 months and it's going fine. About as bright as a 9w CFL. but with the white sides for bounce, it's even brighter.

I agree if the tank it too exact to the sides of the shelf, this may be a problem. But I don't really use the shelves much so I'm less worried. And the books I kept will be below, not above. Maybe I'll put the fruit flies above.

The tempered glass was actually cut really nice. And for the record I broke one to see how much damage it would take. Yes, a bunch of little pieces needed to be picked up and tossed out slowly. Not fun.

Justin
 

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In my experience, Ikea shelves can sometimes shift a bit when bumped into and things are placed or taken off. Be very careful that there is enough play between the glass and the wood of the furniture to avoid cracking that thin glass should the shelf flex and apply pressure to the tanks. The back might be particularly vulnerable since it could rapidly become a load-bearing structure if the shelf leaned a couple degrees. Otherwise they look pretty cool. Always fun to build with glass.

The tempered dark stuff is pretty cool too. I'd worry about using tempered 1/8" in this application as it will still be relatively vulnerable, particularly if the edges weren't well-smoothed before they fired it. One chip and you've got a pile of little glass chunks all over the place.
good point i didnt think about the lateral movement of the self! that would surely cause the glass to loose adhesion at the silicone(dumping the false bottom water) or worse shatter the glass.
 

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The main issue with the edges is that most tempered glass applications don't require them to be super rounded the way we like them for rimless terrariums, meaning any sort of impact at an angle that applies a shearing force to the edge is likely to result in a chip; this is why we round all the corners and smooth the edges on flats on the tanks we sell. Standard glass-shop finishes are often extremely susceptible to chipping on the racks and stands we commonly use (one reason we sell closed-cell foam protector pads as well), and the tempered panels are just a horrible disaster waiting to happen sometimes.

Thickness and weight wise, we always work with 1/4", even on tiny tanks, so I tend to immediately think even a small tank might be capable of bowing a shelf a bit, but at the same time I can't imagine working with something thinner since our 1/8" seems so fragile (we use it only for doors). Being totally enclosed by shelf and not in contact with metal, your application might work just fine with 1/8", but I think I'd be sweating pretty hard if it came time to move it. There's a lot less silicone contact and a lot less resistance to cracking from torsion in glass of that thickness.

That said, looking real good. Kinda wish we had easier access to some of that tinted stuff for special applications.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well so far I'm it's pretty easy to take the tank off the shelf. It's only a 10 gallon and even 10 gallon aquariums are made with 1/8" glass. We'll see once the tank is complete on the inside. I think I may do a set of three and leave it at that.



Anyway it's free glass, so who am I to complain. All the parts cost me about six bucks. Also everything is the first time so nothing is perfect. For example I just cut the holes for the front with a 1" diamond head drill bit. I did a few test before, but that didn't stop me from making a bit of scarring on the front of the tank. Live and learn. I took a 3/4" snap in grommet to the hole and surrounded it with no-see-um mesh.



Not sure how this hinge or the magnets are going to work out. But 1/2x1/2/1/4 magnets on the back and 1/2x1/2x1/8 magnets on the front seem to be enough to make a tight seal. As for the second glass inside the tank, we'll that's going to be interesting unless I find a good way to keep the hole closed. But It's mainly to keep the water out. I think I may even put rocks in to hide the actual false bottom.



While I generally don't make additional holes, just to be safe, I'm adding two more at the top about three inches from the back. This way there is some air flow. I would have shown you the finished version, but the drill ran out of battery power. I really need a new drill.

Justin
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The slow build continues with #3. I'm going to stick with three for now.



The hinge works better than expected and with the ends of the glass now connected to the hinge with silicone, everything is nice and tight even without the magnets at the bottoms. Still they seem like a nice safety measure.



I also added a handle for the door, finished drilling the holes on top, and decided to put in a 12 volt rocker switch on the front of the tank. How I'm going to build internal wiring, I'm still not sure.

But I had this crazy idea to place a heat sink fan for a video card on the inset glass behind one of the vent holes. I figure it will pull the air from the vent, and push it out into the rest of the tank. Not sure if it will really work how I'd want by design. Maybe I need to try a different fan.



Justin
 

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Yo Konton!

Looks good so far. I will say that the vents on the bottom could be absolute genius or the bane of your existence. I can see them becoming an issue for several reasons.

I'm going to have to swing down to SJ this w/e and get some of that glass before it's all gone (if it isn't already).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What reasons would they be a problem? I ended up going with three vents at the bottom because I didn't really want to try to build electricity into the tank. So far they seem good to me. I'm just finishing up the last two tanks tonight to get my trio complete.



I did some tests and I think only 66 total LED's will work per tank if I get the circuit in parallel and up the voltage to 15. I thought the LED's were in parallel, but I'm getting a noticeable dimming of the lights. So I guess not.

For those curious, the hinge works great, although I do a messy job with silicone. The bottom glass with the vents is 5-3/16" x 14-1/4" and goes over the edges to so three sides are glued right to the ends of the tank.

The other pieces of glass that make up the front of the tank are inset, so the 12"x13-3/4" cover sits on top connected to the hinge. The top is 14"x2" and both sides are 2"x12-3/4".



The hinge is cut so it fits right over the edge on the ends, and then 2" are cut off either side of the part that holds the cover. That way the cover and the sides can overlap, The 2"x12-3/4" side pieces of glass sit nicely on the lip of the cut hinge, and I added a line of silicone to make sure the fruit flies don't get through.

Justin
 

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That is a great looking set up......Very nice.
 
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