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Re: Acrylic tank questions

>Ok got a chance to make my own tank.  Bought the tools and supplies.  I have
>1/4 inch acrylic.  With that kind of thickness what size tank am I limited

18" high typically. The thickness primarily determines the maximum height 
your tank can be since it is the height that has the biggest effect on the 
pressure on the tank walls.

>I remember a long time ago someone was talking about the wider a tank the
>better....is this true.  They where referring to the surface area of the top
>water.  With that in the back of my mind I was thinking about a 4 foot long
>by 2 feet high by 2 feet wide tank.

Hmm. I wouldn't think surface area to be a big deal if you are using a sump
of some sort or some other means of external filtration that introduces 
some turbulence. Surface area is a big issue when you're worried about gas 
exchange or if you need to be able to easily light your tank :-)

>I am not sure what size in gallons this would make my tank and am not sure
>if the 1/4 acrylic would be strong enough for it.  Any one with some ideas?

A 4x2x2 foot tank is going to be around 120 gallons or so (one cubic foot 
is approximately 8 gallons. My conversion table isn't handy though so don't
trust that number too much). You should really be using 1/2" acrylic for a 
tank of these dimensions and you MUST provide some top bracing (look at 
some commercially made tanks to see what I mean). I have thought about 
using some fiberglass angle stock to build the top braces so that I could 
have the central part of the tank open, but that project has been delayed. 
Fibergrate makes fiberglass structural extrusions if you want to look into 
it, but you will need to do the engineering analyses to determine the sizes
you'll need for the spans you have in order to keep deflection within 
tolerable limits.

BTW, if you are building your own tank, I suggest looking into making a 
*square* tank. Big square tanks where you can look in all four sides are 
really neat IMHO.


>Dave Berryman

Waveform Technology
UNIX Systems Administrator