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How to make an aquarium with silicate glass

I welcome you, dear readers on the pages of the blog aqua-blog.com.ua and as you probably already guessed, I have another useful post for you. How to make an aquarium with your own hands – this is the question that torments many novice aquarists and they tirelessly ask it in numerous forums devoted to aquarism.

But before I start talking on the topic, let’s decide.

What the hell do you think of yourself having an extra smut and making an aquarium with your own hands? But this question is quite expected, as now you can buy aquariums freely. either order or buy ready.

However, this question can still be answered. Obvious, I know only three possible answers.

First answer. You can not pick up a suitable copy (there is no necessary configuration or the ratio of price and quality is not observed);

Second answer. You wanted to test yourself and your hands. Will you succeed in successfully assigning and then bragging about successful completion;

Third answer. You want to get your hand in this way and plan to earn money on making aquariums yourself.

Well, it seems that we figured out the reasons for making an aquarium with our own hands, it remains to make out how you plan to see the result. The most important point in your work will be the size of your aquarium.

However, do not forget that your desires and where to start can not always coincide. For starters, it is better to try to make the aquarium liters to forty maximum, do not undertake to make a 100 or more liter aquarium.

Suddenly, you screw up somewhere and all your hard work will go down the drain.

Due to the fact that I just wrote, reproaches can be poured at me that this is a waste of time and money. And the pipes!

To begin with, this is an experience, a very valuable experience and should not be forgotten. I guarantee that your attempt, if it is successful, will come in handy for you anyway.

If your aquarium has turned out without a hitch, then you can safely sell it, and if you do not want, give it to someone or keep it for yourself. If you decide to seriously engage in aquarism, then sooner or later you will need a spawning or quarantine.

In case the aquarium turned out to be non-marketable, do not rush to break it on someone’s head! (Joke) Leave it, try to glue it all over again, look and it will turn out much better from the second time. I think we have decided on goals and desires.

Let’s go further.

When you choose glass, pay special attention to the type of glass. Glass varieties for the aquarium lie in the range of M1-M8.

Grade M1 is considered the highest, and as you know, the higher the grade, the better the quality. It is generally recommended to use a grade not lower than M3, it is better not to risk it.

If you decide to make an aquarium for your home, it’s better not to be too smart with the glass material. Ordinary window glass – this is what is perfect.

Go to any normal glass workshop and feel free to buy. Only when buying, be sure to inspect the glass carefully, make sure that there are no cracks, scratches or any inclusions on it.

Then, as you chose glass, decide on its thickness. For this, you can use special tables.

If you came to choose glass, then I think you have already decided on the dimensions of the future aquarium.

How to deal with the size of the aquarium? Very simple.

The volume of the aquarium you know. So, the volume is calculated by the formula:

V = l * a * h, Where:

l – estimated length

a – aquarium width

h – the height of the aquarium.

Multiplying these parameters you get the volume. There is nothing complicated, simple math with a calculator. Here is a table where you can peek at the thickness of the glass based on the size of your tank:

What is meant by stiffeners? As the ribs will be used strips of glass that will strengthen the walls of the aquarium from the deflection, as well as the water pressure must be taken into account.

Stiffeners need to do the same thickness as the thickness of the glass of the aquarium, take the same length, I think that’s enough width of about 5 centimeters. If the aquarium is more than half a meter long, the presence of stiffening ribs is a prerequisite (however, this does not exclude the possibility of installing ribs on aquariums of smaller volumes).

They need to glue at right angles to the front and side windows.

In addition to increasing the strength of the vessel itself, the ribs make it possible to put a cover glass on top, plus, it is convenient to carry it. If the length of the aquarium more than one and a half meters, in the appendage to the stiffeners also set the tie. These are strips of glass similar to rib, only they are glued to the stiffeners at the very bottom or below the ribs themselves.

Width of about 5 centimeters will be enough.

It seems that everything is clear with glass and its parameters. Another moment – how to cut it?

If you skillfully own a glass cutter – then go for it. But if you are not confident in your abilities, let an experienced glazier do it for you. It is better not to cut it yourself, it is very dreary.

Yes, and more, usually the price of glass includes it and cutting. And if you have found a good workshop, then there will be cutting the glass not with an ordinary glass cutter, but with a special machine: with the help of the machine I will be more accurate in size, better cut.

These parameters greatly affect the quality of gluing aquarium, and the appearance will be more accurate. If you plan to make a small aquarium, you can ask that you make parts from scraps. You will be very pleasantly surprised by the price 🙂 There are also such services where they can process the edges of the glass.

For security reasons, this is very important. If this service you will not find, do not worry.

Take and process the slices yourself at home.

If you decide to make an aquarium with your own hands, get ready for hard and painstaking work.

What is the best glue to glue the aquarium? Definitely – silicone glue. Here it is only desirable to make sure that:

one. Your chosen sealant is 100 percent silicone;

2 It is suitable for aquariums. Read carefully the information on the tube.

I want to warn you right away, you can find special antifungal sealants on the market, but they have a very detrimental effect on living organisms of the aquarium. Remember this!

The best and proven option is considered Dow corning 911. You should have no problems with him.

Tax, go further.

With the brand of sealant you have already decided, now you need to decide on the color of the adhesive. They are colorless, black and white.

If you choose a black sealant, then you should know that this sealant should clearly observe the boundaries, and it looks better in aquariums over a hundred liters. With a colorless sealant is a different situation. With it, the gluing errors are not so visible and they are universal.

White sealants are difficult to link to the design of your room. Bottom line, for a beginner, a colorless sealant would be better.

Due to the fact that the glue is pressed out of the tube tightly, buy a special gun for this purpose. It will be more convenient with him.

What is useful for gluing?

one. Grinding pebble (it is better to be soft);

2 Twenty cc syringe;

3 Wipes are also useful;

four. Blade or clerical knife (you will need to cut off the remnants of glue);

five. Degreaser bottle;

There are two basic ways to glue:

one. The walls are glued to the bottom;

2 The walls are glued around the bottom of the aquarium.

If you delve into the literature, you will see how widely described the second method, such as it is more reliable. But as practice and reviews of masters show, the first method is also very good and it is not inferior in strength. Some say that it is more convenient to manufacture.

Using his example, I will tell you how to make an aquarium with my own hands at home. When using this method, the main thing to consider is that the side wall is made shorter than the width of the bottom of the aquarium by 2 thick aquarium glass, + millimeter of stock.

Well, we got everything we needed, we went to work 🙂 Let’s start!

Step one. If the edges of the glasses in the workshop are not sharpened, then you will have to do it yourself. Make it necessary, or you will not avoid cuts.

At home, it’s better to do this: type 15 centimeters of water in the bathroom, put a towel on the bottom (a terry towel is perfect) and put glass on a towel. We slightly moisten the grinding stone and carefully grind off the ribs. Do not try to handle stone cut surface.

Silicone is such a thing that it holds better if the surface is smooth and not rough.

Step two. As soon as the procedure of processing the edges has come to an end, the glass is well wiped, dried and how should we degrease the glass from the end with acetone or alcohol.

Step three. We put the bottom of the future aquarium where it is going to dry. Just do not forget to spread something under it.

The paper should fit perfectly. We screw on the spout with a sealant tube, pick off the tip so that the hole in the spout is 2/3 of the glass that we will glue. Naturally, the cut will be higher, the hole will be smaller.

Then we take the front wall of the aquarium in our hands and apply a layer of sealant from the tube evenly on its end. (In cases where you glue the four glass (4mm), it is more convenient to apply silicone using a twenty-cubic meter syringe. The sausage will not be so thick)) Yes, and you will not need to remove the remaining glue.

Remember, if you apply a layer of silicone, try to prevent the formation of cavities and thinning.

Because of them, the strength of gluing will be broken, and thus, you risk losing the reliability and integrity of your future aquarium. If you see such things, try to remove them quickly.

Present the tip of the tube of glue tightly and squeeze a little glue into the cavity so that the resulting cavity is filled. So, put glue?

Great, now take the front wall and gently put it on the bottom of your aquarium. Do not press down strongly, otherwise there will be a lot of surplus glue, and you will have to cut them with a blade or a clerical knife.

Silicone is such a thing that the thicker the layer, the better and stronger it will hold.

When gluing aquariums, try to prevent glue residue from standing out on both sides. What we got out, we leave as it is, until we touch anything. Let it dry properly, and then carefully cut off.

Glued front wall will need to temporarily rely on something.

Step Four. So, the front wall is glued, we begin to glue the side wall in the same way.

We coat with a uniform layer of the side and bottom ends of the side glass with silicone and neatly sticking. When glue the side wall, pay attention to the joints, try to avoid bevels. How to stick the side wall, look at the quality of silicone in the joints.

Now it will become much more convenient and you will know how evenly the sealant was distributed at the side joint. In this case, the side wall is no longer needed.

Step five. You understood the meaning, and you will glue the next two faces in the same way.

The main thing is to monitor the quality of the joints, it is very important. When you glue the vertical walls, it is better to press them together without fanaticism, otherwise you will squeeze the already glued ones at the bottom of the aquarium.

Step Six. In this form, our aquarium is left to stand in the same place for 24 hours in order to dry out the sealant.

In no case do not move it, otherwise you can disturb the quality of the gluing itself.

Step Seven. After the day has passed, we begin to glue stiffeners in the aquarium, unless of course there is a need for them. To do this, turn the aquarium on its side.

We evenly apply a stiffener on three sides with a sealant (two widths and along the entire length). Remember one important point. if you glue the ribs. In this process, the main thing is how to glue the long side with glue.

Next, neatly sticking. Stuck?

Ok, now again wait a day until it dries. If you glue a small aquarium, it will be enough days for the glue to dry, but if it is large, it’s better to wait 48 hours.

Better to be safe. In general, before you apply or buy a particular sealant, read carefully the instructions on the packaging. There everything is described in detail: how long it will dry and so on.

There have been cases when I came across such sealants, which did not dry out for two days.

Want to tell a secret? So, silicone dries better if there is a little humidity.

I do not know why, but the fact remains.

Step Eight. So, we waited until the glue dries.

Now we need to cut off the remnants of the glue that came out of the seams. We take the blade and neatly along the seam we cut off the glue residue. Inside the aquarium, in principle, you can not cut, especially if you are glued with colorless glue.

Water should hide everything and it will not be evident.

Step nine. It seems to be all, now it is necessary to check the tightness of your new aquarium.

You begin to fill it with water, of course it is better to fill it completely and in that place, so that if it suddenly flows, there will be no problems later. So, water poured, now leave it for a couple of hours to stand with water.

After a few hours, check the condition of the seams, if you have not noticed any droplets and oozing water, then everything worked out perfectly for you. By the way!

I recently wrote a post about how to care for aquarium plants correctly, it is better to read it, it will be very useful for you in the future, because you did the aquarium not just like that, but to plant it with vegetation and run animal life there.

Step-by-step instructions for gluing the aquarium at home

A self-made aquarium may have several errors. As experience shows, you should not get rid of the product, you can fix everything, you just need to know how and by what efforts. The main thing to look what and how the situation.

I will now give you the basic errors in the manufacture of an aquarium with your own hands.

Example number 1. Flow in the corner of the aquarium

How to be in this case? We take on the finger a little silicone and with some force push it into the corner from the inside of the aquarium.

You can perform such operations even if there is water in the aquarium. If this way the problem is not solved, you will need to completely cut your seam, what is most interesting, you will need to cut 2 walls of your aquarium.

After you removed a couple of walls, the edges were cleaned from the edge of the silicone with a blade, degreased again, missed and glued together.

Example number 2 Flow in the seam

What is there to do? First try to remove the seam piece.

In its place, begin to press the silicone. If this does not lead to anything, then you will have to remove two walls as in the first example.

Example No. 3 Small bubbles in a row

If there are no leaks in such places, then it is better not to do anything, as practice shows, such aquariums have been standing for a long time and have not seen any problems with them.

In general, do not worry, this only at first seems scary and difficult. The main thing – do everything neatly and clearly, and there will be no problems. When your work on making an aquarium with your own hands has come to an end, looking through your creation you will see small defects, distortions and so on in any case.

If you have not read my post about aqua design, I advise you to read, it will be useful to you in the near future. You should not find fault, because even in the coolest workshops you can’t cut glass perfectly, and the pros can be wrong too!))

Perhaps on this I will complete my story. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article, believe me, I tried and wrote this post for two days) I think it will be very useful to you and please do not judge me harshly. Where what is not so expressed, I apologize and wait for a heated discussion in the comments.

Be sure to subscribe to blog updates, in the near future I will post on the blog is no less valuable post.

As you understand, making an aquarium with your own hands is quite a painstaking process, requiring the master to have certain skills and skills. To practice, I would recommend that you start with gluing small containers.

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