How to Build a Fish Tank

Learn how to build a fish tank for your aquatic pets. Building your own fish tank will give you the luxury of having exactly what you need, as well as the satisfaction of designing to your own specifications. These directions are for a tank of 25-30 gallons or less.

Required Materials

  • two sheets of 1/4” glass of 36” x 24” (front & back)
  • two sheets of 1/4” glass of 12” x 24” (sides)
  • one sheet of 1/4” glass of 12” x 36” (bottom)
  • acetone
  • non-toxic 100% silicone sealant
  • roll of duct tape
  • paper towels
  • plastic or rubber corner trim

Note: It is often possible to have the glass cut by an employee of the hardware store where you purchase it.

Required Tools

  • at least one square
  • single-edged razor blades
  • felt tip marker
  • emery cloth
  • gloves for handling cut glass
  • alcohol
  • toxicity test strips
  • pH test strips


  1. Beginning Assembly - Place the bottom piece of glass on a smooth, clean surface with the inside facing down. Attach several lengths of duct tape to the outer surface of one entire long edge, making sure to leave several inches of width to hang over the edge. Carefully turn the bottom over to expose the sticky side of the overhanging tape. Lay either the front or back piece of glass on top of the tape, in line with the bottom piece of glass. Using paper towels and acetone, gently clean the area to be joined. Using a non-toxic sealant, fill the area between the two pieces of glass. Raise the front or back piece of glass to a 90-degree angle using your square and then secure the two pieces of glass to the square with duct tape. Place a good-sized bead of silicone sealant on the inside of the joint. Allow this to dry for 24 hours. You can do both the front and back of the fish tank at this time if you have more than one square to tape to the unit.
  2. Assembly of the Sides - Place several lengths of tape under the bottom of the tank, sticky side up, with a generous width of tape exposed. Lay the side of the tank beside the bottom piece and line them up. Clean with acetone gently to remove any residue or oil which may have been transferred from your skin. Fill the joints with sealant and then raise the sides to meet the front and back of the tank. Use several strips of duct tape to secure them in place. Run a generous bead of the sealant over the inside of these joints and then repeat for the other side. Allow another 24 hours for drying.
  3. Finishing - Turn the assembled tank upside down. Run a thin bead of sealant around the four sides of the bottom. Carefully place trim around the base over the sealant and allow 6 hours to dry. Now turn the tank upright again and run a thin bead of sealant over the edges of the glass. As done previously, place trim over the glass to cover any sharp edges, then seal and finish. Allow another 24 hours of drying time. Fill with water and allow to sit for 12 hours to test for leaks; repair any that do occur with the sealant. Fill with clean water and attach your accessories. Allow to sit for another few hours until the temperature of the water matches room temperature. Test for pH balance and toxicity.
Source: ihowd
How to Build a Fish Tank How to Build a Fish Tank Reviewed by Bobby on 9:59 AM Rating: 5

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