Making an aquarium with your own hands is not particularly difficult, so any aquarist can independently make the glass container he needs. It would seem that in our pet stores you can find a wide offer of aquariums for sale.
However, often in such pet stores there is no required size, and the cost of an aquarium with its independent production is significantly reduced.
Many aquarists are independently engaged in the manufacture of aquariums, not only for themselves, but also, having gained experience, make aquariums to order. We can say that this is a fairly profitable business that does not require significant costs.
Before you start making an aquarium, you must first determine its size. We can recommend starting with small-volume containers of 30-40 liters. You can use such a small aquarium as a sprinkler and for growing fry, and the experience gained in its production will be useful for you in making already large aquariums.
If you could make such a test copy from the first time without any visible flaws, you can easily sell such an aquarium or donate to friends.
Even if you didn’t get even seams the first time, you shouldn’t despair and immediately throw away the test specimen you made. You can always clean the sealant and try again to glue even seams together.
First of all you need to decide on the quality of the glass. Currently, you can find on sale both top-quality glass, it is designated by the M1 index, and low-quality M8 grades.
Remember that the higher the grade of glass, the better its quality. For the manufacture of the aquarium is not recommended to use glass, which has a grade of quality below M3.
For a home aquarium, a regular glass case that can be bought in a glass workshop will fit perfectly. Check only the glass you bought for scratches, bubbles and blotches.
Even before buying glass you need to determine its thickness. This can be done with the help of numerous tables that can easily be found on the Internet.
You need to take into account the size of the future aquarium, its width, length and height. So you can calculate the volume of the tank, multiplying the height, width and length.
Having on hand the exact volume, you can determine the required glass thickness for the aquarium.
In the manufacture of long and large aquariums, it is necessary to use stiffening ribs, which are small strips of glass that prevent the glass from bending under the influence of water pressure. The length of the ribs equals the internal length of your aquarium, the width is between two and five centimeters.
Their thickness corresponds to the thickness of the walls of the aquarium.
In aquariums whose length exceeds 50 centimeters, it is imperative to use such stiffeners. They are glued perpendicular to the side and front glasses at a distance of no more than 2-3 centimeters from the top.
The presence of such stiffeners not only increases the overall strength, but also makes it easy to put a cover glass on top of the aquarium.
In that case, if the length of the tank is more than one and a half meters, you need stiffeners and screeds, which are made of the same glass as the walls of the aquarium. The width and thickness of the screed corresponds to the ribs. They are glued at the bottom or directly to the stiffeners on top.
The standard width of the tie is 3-5 centimeters.
Once you have decided on the size and parameters of your glass, you can begin to cut it. It should be noted that it is not recommended to perform this work independently.
This is not only long, but often problematic. Most glass workshops sell glass and offer it to be cut, which has an affordable price. Experienced specialists in glass workshops produce cutting not with a glass cutter, but with a special machine.
This allows you to get a smooth cut, which does not require additional processing. In the future, such high-quality cuts will greatly simplify the bonding of the aquarium and improve its appearance.
In the event that you plan to make a very small aquarium, it is quite possible that you should look for a glass workshop where you will cut out the necessary materials from glass pieces. This will significantly save on the purchase of material.
When purchasing glass, you should ask whether it is possible to work the edges of the glass. This is an important aspect, since such machined edges will eliminate the danger of cuts to the edges of the aquarium.
You can order such edging in the workshop or do it yourself.
It is necessary to glue the aquarium with silicone glue. You need to make sure that the sealant you choose is:
- 100% silicone.
- It is suitable for bonding aquariums.
- It has no antifungal components that are harmful to aquatic organisms.
Immediately we filter out all silicone sealants that smell of vinegar. In addition to low strength, they release harmful substances into the water.
We can recommend you to use DowCorning 911 sealant, which is the best option for making an aquarium.
On sale you can find white, black and colorless sealant. Let’s talk in more detail about each type of sealant.
Black glue requires the performer to work precisely and to adhere to the limits as clearly as possible. But at the same time it looks better, especially in aquariums of a hundred liters or more.
White sealant must be linked with the design of the room, otherwise the appearance of such an aquarium will not be too attractive.
Colorless sealants are versatile and easily hide existing bonding flaws.
We can recommend beginners to use colorless glue. We can also advise you to purchase a special gun that will simplify work with glue.
When doing this work you will need:
- Syringe of 20 vat.
- Soft whetstone.
All work can be performed using two technologies:
The first method is the most durable and durable. However, from our own experience we can say that the technology in which the walls are glued to the bottom is not inferior in terms of strength to the first method, but at the same time such work is less labor intensive.
It is about the technology of gluing the walls to the bottom, and we’ll talk further. You just need to remember that the side walls should be shorter than the width at the bottom of the two thicknesses of glass.
If the glass workshop did not process the edges, you need to do this work yourself. Otherwise, cuts on the edges of the aquarium can not be avoided.
This work is not particularly difficult. Type in the bathroom about 15 centimeters ode. Put a terry towel on the bottom and place a glass on it.
It is necessary to moisten the grinding stone with water and process the edges of the cut.
The second step.
Wipe the polished edges of the glass, dry them and degrease the ends with acetone or alcohol.
The third step.
Place the bottom in the place where our aquarium will dry. Do not forget to just lay under the glass paper.
On a tube with a sealant we put on a plastic spout, which will allow to get a thin sausage of glue. The diameter of the spout opening should be two thirds of the thickness of the glass used.
If you use glass with a thickness of 4 millimeters, we can recommend that you apply silicone not from a tube, but with a twenty-cubic syringe.
Take the front wall, after which a uniform sausage on the end extrude the sealant. It is necessary to act as carefully as possible.
If you squeeze out more glue than is required, you will have to clean this problem area later. When applying a sealant, you should ensure that there is no thinning of the adhesive on the glass, various cavities, and so on.
In the future, such problem areas will lead to a decrease in the reliability of the finished aquarium. If you have noticed such inclusions in the process of gluing glasses, they should be immediately eliminated.
To do this, close the existing cavity to the tube with a sealant and squeeze the necessary amount of sealant into the cavity.
Apply glue to the entire length of the wall and put it on the bottom. Do not press the wall too hard, because in this case too much glue will come out. Just remember that the strength of the connection is directly dependent on the thickness of the bonding layer.
The thicker the adhesive layer, the stronger the connection.
You need to slightly press the wall so that the glue-sealant crawls out a little from both sides. Remove this sealant at this stage is not required.
Temporarily support the glued wall to ensure its location at an angle of 90 degrees.
Take the side wall and evenly squeeze the glue on the bottom and side ends. It is necessary to squeeze the glue on the side end, which will be connected to the glass already glued to the bottom. We connect the walls and look at the quality of the joints.
Must be completely absent. Check also the quality and uniformity of the extruded silicone.
Retain glued side wall in this case is not required.
We carry out similar work with the two remaining sides of the aquarium.
When fixing the vertical walls, do not overdo it with the force of pressure, as with careless handling you can easily squeeze the walls that are already glued to the bottom.
It is necessary to dry the aquarium, which takes at least a day. Remember that at this time it is strictly forbidden to rearrange the aquarium.
After waiting a day for the aquarium glued by us, it is necessary to glue stiffening ribs and screeds. To do this, put the aquarium on the side wall and stick stiffeners.
When working with stiffeners, it is necessary to apply a good adhesive to the long side.
Having completed work with ribs and ties, it is necessary to wait another day, which will make it possible to completely harden the used sealant. In the instructions for the sealant, you can find all the necessary information regarding the drying time of the adhesive.
Silicone dries quickly in a humid environment, so if possible in the room you can hang wet sheets or leave a bowl of water.
The eighth step.
Armed with a blade and cut off the excess glue. The movement of the blade should go along the glass.
This work must be done outside, while outside it is not necessary to cut off the sealant.
The ninth step.
Completely fill the aquarium with water. Remember that this procedure should be performed in a place where it is not scary if your aquarium begins to leak.
We leave the aquarium filled in with water for several days. Examine the state of the seams and corners.
In the event that there are no seeping droplets on the seams, then the aquarium is made qualitatively.
During the first test filling of the aquarium with water, there may be a leak that must be properly fixed. You should not think that such an aquarium is completely rejected, you will be able to eliminate the leakage with minimal cost.
The error is to flow in a corner.
From the inside, you can try to press hard on the silicone in the corner with your finger and thereby cover up the existing leakage. It is not necessary to flush and dry the leak.
All this work can be done right in the water. In that case, if the finger did not cover up the leakage, it is necessary to cut off the two walls of the aquarium, clean the problem area from silicone and glue the glass again.
In the process, you can smear the glass with silicone, which will be impossible to clean with a cloth. To remove such contamination it is necessary to use a blade, leading it parallel to the glass.
Error – to flow on the seam.
To eliminate such a leakage, you can try to cut part of the seam and press glue into the resulting gap. if it was not possible to eliminate the leakage in this way, it will be necessary to cut two walls.
The error is the presence of small bubbles.
If there are no leaks in the sealant if there are visible bubbles, then no action should be taken.
If you notice a small leak in an already existing aquarium, you should not immediately drain the water from it and seal the leak. Most likely, such a small leak will soon be blocked by the smallest particles of soil, and the problem will be completely eliminated.
Performing this work is not necessary to rush. Gluing the aquarium as carefully as possible, you can get rid of leaks, and the aquarium itself will be made with high quality.
Looking around your aquarium, you will surely find small blots. You should not unduly focus on them.
Remember that even a professional master in the aquarium workshop will not be able to perform such work perfectly. With experience, you can get the hang of it so that your aquariums will have a flawless appearance and be distinguished by quality and reliability.