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Large tank construction

Looking for more input on the large tank I am designing! Here is some
of the latest ideas. Feel free to offer suggestions or add ideas.

We have settled on making the tank 8 foot long. I think that I am
going to bump the width up to 28 inches. While I can't stand on one
side and reach the far bottom corner I have access from both long
sides of the tank I don't see this being a problem.

I am thinking of making the hood in three pieces instead of two. It
would still open from both sides but there would be a center piece
4"-6" wide that is stationary. The hinges for the opening sections
would attach to this.  The stationary piece would give me a place to
attach wiring and plumbing. I have also been thinking about running
the wiring in small conduit for safety reasons. This center piece also
gives me a place to run plumbing and keep it out of site.

I made a trip to a large Pet store yesterday and while checking out I
talked to owner about my project and he gave me a good idea. Since
only one of the small ends of the tank will be hidden (Front, back and
one end are open to the room) and all the plumbing must come through
this one end he suggested adding a bulkhead for an overflow/return to
the wet/dry filter instead of a stand pipe. The filtered water could
be returned to the tank by attaching PVC pipe to the underside of the
hood (where it would be hidden from view) and running it to the far
end of the tank. Then I would have several options on how to dump it
in the tank. The only draw backs we saw were it would take a larger
pump. It would take a bit more work to remove the hood from the tank
if and when needed.

Michael, or any one else that has built plywood tanks, I have a
question for you. For an 8 foot long tank I am thinking of using 1/2
plywood for the faces. (Probably will use birch veneered cabinet grade
so I can get a nice stained finish on the outsides). I am not sure if
I want to use thicker than 1/2 inch for the floor or not. What do you

I am thinking about cutting a groove (dado cut) in the face pieces
about 3/4" above the bottom then inserting the floor in this groove .
Then adding strips under the floor running across the width ever 2
foot. Then the floor would have some reinforcement.  I could also
build the cabinet with a solid top so that the load would be spread
over the edge of the tank and the strips running across the tank too.
Floor size should not be a big problem then. (Humm, guess I answered
my own question there! )

I have also settled on coating the inside with epoxy resin (not paint)
and then adding a layer of light weight glass cloth like I used on my
kayak with another coat of epoxy resin. This will tie all the pieces
together as one big unit and make it much stronger. And of course make
it hold water a little bit better! <G>

I obviously I will have to have braces across the top of the tank. I
am thinking of using a 2"-3" wide piece of plywood, notching the top
of the tank and epoxying it in place. I would like to just use one in
the center but I suspect that will not be adequate. Anyone know for
sure? I know that to much is always better than not enough! I will
most likely use 3 braces just to be sure.

Where can I find information on sizing glass? I know that I have I
have seen this on the web but I didn't save the site. Anyone know?

Jeff <*\\><
"Consider carefully what you hear", he continued "With the measure you
use it, it will be measured to you -- and even more.  Whoever has will
be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken
from him." Mark 4:24,25
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