Diy 65 Gallon Frag Tank

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I decided today that I need a frag tank and I am not they type of person who likes to go to the store and just buy something if I can build it. So on my way into work this morning I called a local glass shop and ordered the glass.

Here is what I am thinking..

36 long x24 wide x18 tall

Using 1/4 in glass the Volume comes out to be 65.2 gallons.

Total cost of glass $85

RTV108 $8

I wanted something long low and wide so that I could put as many frags in it as possible and still be able to transport it and light it efficiently. While I have never built a tank from scratch before I do not believe it will be too difficult to do. I have the RTV108 that they tank builders use and have watched a few videos on how to do it. So if anyone is interested follow along here and I will try to take as many photos as possible and document the build.

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This is as far as I have gotten so far

So here is how it started ..

First let me give you my parts list..

VERY IMPORTANT- * When you have the glass cut at the shop be sure to tell them you need seam edges on the glass. Also tell them to grind all the edges flat and make sure the pane is square.* I ended up having to go back and have them redo my glass because some of the edges were not flat.

1/4 Glass (bottom 36x24, left side 14x24, right side 14x24, back pane 35.5x14, Front pane 35.5x14, don't for get to take in to consideration the thickness of the glass when selecting lengths of the front and back panes.

1 RTV108 Silicone.. DO NOT TRY TO BUILD THIS WITHOUT A STRUCTURAL SILICONE.. your cheapy "aquarium" silicone will not hold. I recommend the RTV108, dries fast, cheap, and can be bought from Mcmaster Carr.

1 Old towel to lay the glass on.

1 Roll Industrial Strength Duck Tape..

1 Can of Acetone (lowes)

2-3 Old T-shirts or rags to clean up excess silicone

2-3 Heavy milk jugs or containers filled with water..

And Here is how it began....



You will want to take the Acetone and clean all the edges of the glass really well to remove all the dust and dirt left by the glass shop. After cleaning the glass you can begin to prep the pains for assembly. You will want to take a the towel and lay it out on a flat surface like I did .. I used my island in the kitchen.. your wife might not like this so beware..

You will want to tear off about 6-8 strips of the duct tape and attach them every few inches along the underside of the underside of the bottom pane of glass so that the sticky side is facing up. This will help to hold up the end pane of glass after you lay down your bead of silicone.


After this is done you will be ready to lay down your first bead of silicone. Like I stated above you should be using a structural silicone like RTV-108


*This is the order of assembly that I found to work the best.. Right side first. Then front pane. Let set 15 min then Left side and back pane.*

Lay down a thin bead about a 1/4 wide along the edge of the pane of glass and then you may attach your first pane of glass. The glass will most likely not be able to stand up on its own so that is where the tape and the milk jugs or gallon size jugs of beach and detergant come into play like you see here.


Once you have gotten the first pane in place and as vertically straight as possible you may begin to lay down your second bead of RTV108. Then set the front pane of glass down into the silicone so that it flows out on both sides. Then you will want to but the front pane of glass against the right side pane and align them so that both pieces of glass are straight and form a 90* angel. The use of a square would come in handy here.. I once you have the glass panes aligned the way you want them take a piece of tape and lay it over top of the corner of both pieces of glass so that it holds them in place. You may also want to tape the corner of both pieces together to help hold them up. Once you are done it should look like this


Now once the panes are secure you will want to take your finger and run it along the inside seams of both panes of glass to remove the excess silicone and form the inner seal. It should look something like this..


Now you should have one half of the aquarium built and it should look like this..


Give it about 15-20 min for these pieces to set up and then repeat the same steps for the other side. While not completely necessary a nice set of bar clamps might come in handy as shown here.



I was lucky enough to have the glass shop give me the some of the scrap glass that they had and I used those as a modified Euro brace.


I plan to add 2 internal overflows and possibly plum it for multiple returns to help flow since the plan is to grow SPS in this tank. I will update this thread as I make progress on the build.

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