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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First let me say that the tanks here inspire me to give planted nano aquariums a go. Thanks to everyone!

Now for my idea. I used to work with stained glass and have all the equipment to cut and sand glass. Has anyone here done this for their own tanks? What I was thinking of are different shaped tanks. L shaped, corner, perhaps even U shaped. What are your thoughts on this type of project?
One concern I have is filtration and water flow. On an L shaped tank would a canister filter in the corner be enough and perhaps an L shape spray bar do the trick? Or maybe the intake on one end and the return on the other would create enough flow.
Any thoughts on the subject?
Thanks
 

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Welcome to APC!

This is a really interesting idea. I think for an L-shaped tank the best way to set up the filter would be to have the return on one end and the intake on the other. This way you should get water monvement through the entire tank. I think any other arrangement will leave areas of poor circulation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the welcome, Michael!

I see your point on water flow, much like a stream. Worth a try anyway, thats the great thing about DIY.

Another idea (hard to explain) imagine a corner tank with arms that extend outward. Where the corner would have a flat face rather than a sharp 45 angle.
Need to draw up some designs on the home PC. I'm replying on the phone now.

Since glass comes in so many different colors, a chamber could be made on the end to house a small HOB filter or with a small pump installed the DIY filter itself.
Small size aquariums could mean thinner glass being used because of less water preasure being applied.

Different backgrounds could also be used. Opague blues or clear ripple glass, sunset, browns and greys that even mimic stone etc. the choices are endless if you have ever been to a stained glass shop. Stained glass can also be backlit. Just some more ideas rolling around my mind. Now getting around to actualy doing any of this is another!
 

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I think your ideas sound fascinating. I'd like to see what you come up with. I think an L-shaped tank wraped around something (maybe even a bigger tank) would look really cool!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think your ideas sound fascinating. I'd like to see what you come up with. I think an L-shaped tank wraped around something (maybe even a bigger tank) would look really cool!
Thank you, pweifan!

Great idea on the L-shape wraparound. Would that be attached or as two separate movable units?
 

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I understand what you mean now. The tank on the left is interesting with all those angles. Would you make a DIY light as well?

I was thinking two separate units on the L tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It would be possible to make a light. Each angle is a seperate cut held together with silicone.

Stained glass is traditionaly held together with lead and then soldered, not a very good environment for an aquarium. Another method is copper foil is wraped around the edges of each piece of glass then soldered. Again, not so great for constant moisture. As far as a base goes, foiling would look great and the solder can be given a gold or black patina. A sealer could then be placed over it. That might could work for a light as well as long as it was kept fairly dry. Would'nt want any chems leaching back into the tank. Sorry for the quick lesson on stained glass.

Purists might scoff at such a setup because it would distract attention away from the plants being the main focal point. To each his own.

Just about any shape is possible, but not all would be practical. If you wanted, a multi layout could be done say in cubes. They could be stacked offset, the top tank being bog plants, the overflow acting as a small waterfall into the bottom tank.
Small stone ledges could be siliconed for the water to flow down. Perhaps another drawing is in order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Funny thing, talking about making all these different variations, and what I really want to make first is a square reef type tank. Say, three gallons or so? Sand with an island of rock, wood & plants.
Add a few small Tetras and perhaps a dwarf frog. I already have two frogs in my 56gal and they are the funniest things to watch.
 

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Honestly, I used to love the bow-front and hex tanks when I first got into the hobby, but now I find myself only wanting rectangular tanks. It's just too hard to admire the whole aquascape at once in a tank with more than 4 sides or irregular sides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks for posting your comments, AaronT

Each to his own is great that's how things evolve. Some like the bow front and they still sell. It all boils down to personal preferences. This is simply fun and something different.

It's just a vessel, think of it as a 57 Chevy vs. a Kia Soul.

Who knows, someday I might change my style, but I still like that 57! :D

One thing about building your own is you like the square tanks, and so do I, but this gives you the option of making an aquarium to suit your needs and size that the manufactures don't offer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here is a drawing of what I have envisioned.

The stained glass, any color you wish. The notched wall, rock all the way down or a moss wall in the lower or just left the color chosen.

A whopping total of 17 pieces! 18 if a solid bottom was placed.

Just some ideas to think about.
 

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Thanks for posting your comments, AaronT

Each to his own is great that's how things evolve. Some like the bow front and they still sell. It all boils down to personal preferences. This is simply fun and something different.

It's just a vessel, think of it as a 57 Chevy vs. a Kia Soul.

Who knows, someday I might change my style, but I still like that 57! :D

One thing about building your own is you like the square tanks, and so do I, but this gives you the option of making an aquarium to suit your needs and size that the manufactures don't offer.
Yup. I wasn't necessarily criticizing your choice. Sorry if it came off that way. I was only hoping to offer some insight into some things you might discover you don't like about irregular tanks; particularly if you like to photograph them.

Either way, I'm interested to follow your build. I've not built a glass tank myself, but do some searching on what silicone to use. Most of the good builders use commercial grade stuff not available at that orange box.

I like your idea in your latest post. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks AaronT
No you did not come off harsh or anything of the sorts.
Hope my reply didn't sound like I was offended. I tend to get a bit winded in explaining things. Long ago it was said to me, " You over analize everything to much." and it's true, drives people nuts..lol

Glad you like my idea. Now actually building it is the question.

You can get GE Silicone II at just about any home store that carries a decent selection and it isn't all that much, a tube goes a long way too. Just make sure that any silicone you use dosen't contain anti-mildew additives or other funky stuff. You want 100% pure silicone. I've read it dosen't work on certain plastics such as plexiglass.

One concern on this design is if it would have too much or not enough flow. Balancing it could be tricky.
Need to go through my stained glass and see what all is there, get some clear, jump in and do it. First I need to give this further thought! Ha!
 

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The GE II is likely adequate for you small project, but most tank builders prefer to use professional silicone such as GE RTV108. It's pricier / tube, but worth the piece of mind I think.

Quoted from another site:

"Silicone
All silicones are not created equal. AGA Aquarium silicone is similar to GE Silicone I "window and door", and is made by DOW. It also appears to be the same thing as Perfecto Aquarium silicone. These silicones are only appropriate for aquariums with large seams, something I have little experience with – I started my aquarium with AGA Aquarium silicone and kept popping seams. But then I switched to GE RTV108, which is apparently used by some commercial tank builders. With GE RTV108 you can make very small seams. I gather SCS1200 works very well too, but it is difficult to get your hands on in small volumes. Both of these have a much higher adhesion strength than commercial grade silicone like GE Silicone I or “aquarium” silicones, your typical stuff available to use at Big Al's or Home Depot. These commercial (not professional) silicone have so little adhesion strength the manufacturers don’t even list it in their performance specs.

Bottom line - commercial grade silicones can work with big seams, but professional grade silicones do work, and with small seams."
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The GE II is likely adequate for you small project, but most tank builders prefer to use professional silicone such as GE RTV108. It's pricier / tube, but worth the piece of mind I think.

Quoted from another site:

"Silicone
All silicones are not created equal. AGA Aquarium silicone is similar to GE Silicone I "window and door", and is made by DOW. It also appears to be the same thing as Perfecto Aquarium silicone. These silicones are only appropriate for aquariums with large seams, something I have little experience with - I started my aquarium with AGA Aquarium silicone and kept popping seams. But then I switched to GE RTV108, which is apparently used by some commercial tank builders. With GE RTV108 you can make very small seams. I gather SCS1200 works very well too, but it is difficult to get your hands on in small volumes. Both of these have a much higher adhesion strength than commercial grade silicone like GE Silicone I or "aquarium" silicones, your typical stuff available to use at Big Al's or Home Depot. These commercial (not professional) silicone have so little adhesion strength the manufacturers don't even list it in their performance specs.

Bottom line - commercial grade silicones can work with big seams, but professional grade silicones do work, and with small seams."
AaronT

Thanks, great information! I'll have to keep an eye out for it. I'm not too far from Atlanta, I should be able to find some there.
 
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