HOW TO: Build an aquarium – THE OFFICE TANK BUILD!!


Hi, everybody Joey here again And welcome back so today marks the first video of a five-part series on how I built my office aquarium now This is a really interesting Build that I know a lot of you are really going to enjoy because there’s a lot of unique Aspects to it of course I built everything for it, but in this series You’re going to see things like how I built the aquarium itself how I built the filtration the stand lighting how I set it up all the equipment how it all works and of course the stocking and Aquascaping another thing about this build and really do it yourself in general Is that nobody in the world has a system like this? But I’m going to show you how I did it so you could potentially build it yourself or Simply get some inspiration and use bits and pieces to apply to your own [built] this build headed a lot of unique Challenges and obstacles that I had to overcome yet the final outcome is actually one of my favorite builds out of the last Few Years now if you’ve been following me for any amount of time you’ll remember the 375 gallon Acrylic tank filled that we just did you’ll also remember that after I built this tank there was a lot of spare acrylic left over Now some of that acrylic I used to build my planted aquarium Which is set up and running right now? And I know a what if you want to see that build and it’s coming if you follow me on Facebook I actually announce the exact date that that build is coming out. So if you’re not following me on Facebook I suggest you do this is really easy for me to give you updates like that now Let’s focus on the office tag build you’ll notice that my office is rearranged tremendously And it is I had to do quite a bit of renovations to make this happen I wasn’t planning on it but to accommodate this new build I had to and I gotta tell you I’m entirely pleased that I did in the future at some point when All these series comes out and you see all these tanks that are now in this room I want to do an office tank tour so you can see everything that I see I don’t know exactly when that tour will come out, but if you’re subscribed to this channel you’ll of course get a notification when it does so like I said there was a lot of scrap acrylic left over from the 375 Gallon Tank, it was a lot of odd dimensions of acrylic But has some really good pieces, and I had to get creative with it. I had a number of options yet Let’s just go ahead and watch what I mentioned before so I can bring you guys up to speed now speaking of getting creative I still have no idea What I want to do All of this scrap acrylic now I’ll remind you this piece is three-quarter inch and these two pieces of three-quarter-inch Cell cast acrylic this piece here is six feet long two feet wide these two pieces here are eight feet long in One foot wide These are some pretty sizable pieces of Scrap acrylic from the 375 Gallon Tank built I should also mention that out of the scrap acrylic from that build I also already built that planted aquarium Cube We’ll take a look at that minute though, so I’d like to do one of two things here I’d like to build some tanks that are either interesting or very useful or hopefully the both so we actually talked in the past where I was going to build a tank that would line the wall of my Desk, and it would run the length of my desk however It would only be about eight inches front to back 12 inches tall and then run the length of the tank [I] think that would make for a really interesting tank and obviously I would get to see it all the time However in the live streams on Facebook that I’ve done some of you have even suggested doing a large tall Column tank for example with the Scrap acrylic I could do a six foot tall tank But it would only be 12 inches around on each side that would be pretty fun and interesting to see but I don’t think it would be that useful and or Practical for stalking although I’ve been curious to see what you guys to do with it last but not least there’s the more practical approach and Simply taking the acrylic and building some cube tanks with the amount of Kerlik that I have here I could build 5 Cubed tanks all of which would be 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches what I would do with all five I don’t know then I can do something more rectangular like three tanks that are 24 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches or potentially a mixture of Cube tanks and rectangular tanks So I’d like to hear your guys thoughts on those four options or perhaps you have another idea Given the dimensions that I have here again. I’m gonna let you guys boat and a pop-up should appear right now I’ll wait to see what you guys think before we move any further with this so I let you guys vote on what I should do with it and Seventy-four percent of you said that I should build the long desk tank the problem there is I kind of miss measured how things could go you see the desk itself is 90 inches long and 60 inches wide it’s actually a u-shaped guest so it goes all around here now I couldn’t build a 90 inch long tank because if there wasn’t enough acrylic to do So I guess I could have but the tank would have only been about eight inches wide and eight inches taller There’s no way. I was gonna waste the acrylic on that although that might have been a pretty neat tank however I wanted something more practical I also didn’t want to build it 60 inches long because I could only build it 12 inches wide in 12 inches tall would be a relatively small tank. I wanted to get the biggest tank possible I wanted to get the biggest tank possible out of this But yet, keep it long and narrow mainly because there’s not really tanks out there like that And I wanted to get creative with the stalking although I knew [exactly] what I wanted to keep right from the beginning so what I ended up doing Was taking that long piece that was [6] feet long and 2 feet wide I cut it right down the center that gave me two? Pieces that were six feet long and one foot wide this would serve as the front and the back of the actual tank Then I took one of those longer 8-foot pieces that were 18 feet long by One feet wide and I cut [that] into three pieces one that would be six feet long and the others would be one foot long each The longer piece would serve as the bottom of the tank and the 21 foot pieces would serve as the sides of the tank So this would end up being a tank That’s six feet long one feet wide and one foot tall which gives me about 45 Gallons now this size aquarium is more practical to the majority [of] my viewers I know many of you are not going to be able to build or have any ambitions to build these massive tanks So I know this office tank will inspire many more of you than these ones would although these ones are pretty cool themselves with that tank Decided though it still leaves me with a piece of acrylic that’s eight feet long and [1] feet wide and remember this is Three-quarter inch cell cast acrylic with that extra sheet I’m going to build another tank with it And I have a good [idea] for it till this tank being 6 feet long one feet wide and one foot tall it would look Awkward going on the 90 inch length of the desk and it would jut out if I went the 60 inch length of it So I decided I’d moved the desk out of the way and I’d expose a large area on the wall You’ll probably remember the mirror that I glued to the wall previously was there And I had to remove that and I mostly broke it and ripped apart the wall But that’s fine because the stan covers it anyway But this new gap in the wall leaves you with a nice 80 inch to work with however now I’m taking up a massive amount of real estate in a relatively small office where I value storage tremendously? So I really had to take that into consideration when I was building the stand and that’s where this build gets really interesting But we’ll get to that in a couple [videos] so with that all out of the way and with you guys brought up to speed With why I made these decisions. Let’s talk about how I built this tank again. This tank was six feet long One foot wide and One foot tall made out of three-quarter-inch Cell cast acrylic now given its width and height I knew automatically. I’m not going to need any bracing so this was going to be a Bracelet tank Which looks really good once done to start off cutting up the acrylic is pretty simple I use the 10 inch 80 tooth carbide tip Blade now given that. We’re using a three-quarter inch material this means that the Welding war cementing method has to apply to its thickness Now typically you guys have seen me use a method called Called the capillary method now that method is really simple and easy to do with thinner acrylic You just have to put two pieces together and run some cement along the scene Capillary action Wicks the acrylic into the seam and it softens it and cements it together however on three quarter inch It’s too wide to be able to do that, and it doesn’t wake in far enough You can try to get it at both sides But it just ends up making a mess and the horrible scene yep the capillary method is tremendously easy However will be applying the pin method to this aquarium the first thing you always have to do is peel back the protective paper That’s on the acrylic. You can peel a couple inches back and tape it back, or just rip it right off We do this because we if any cement gets on that protective paper It makes a mess of the acrylic And it’s easier to actually see what you’re doing now because we’re using the pin method I didn’t really need to prepare the edges as well as I normally would you see when building an acrylic aquarium the edges are Everything if your edges are not flat and true You’re going to have a horrible scene Even with using the blade that I use you can you can tend to get some saw marks within it and you have to remove? Those however the pin method allows the acrylic to melt more before you actually fuse them together Which means all of these lights saw marks are basically going to turn into mush And then cement together you’ll see what I mean in a minute now putting an aquarium Together while using the pin method on larger aquariums is much different than putting a smaller aquarium or are even a larger aquarium using the capillary method using the capillary method is very similar to Say putting together a glass aquarium yet using the pin method We approach it much differently however this tends to take a lot longer But results are usually a lot better you want to start off with either the front or the back panel laying it down Then take [one] of the ends and brace it you can use a number of things to square off this piece and hold it there Personally I just rigged up a square with using supply would this holds it together for me And I don’t have to worry about it being level or square or even have to hold it does it all for me Next comes the pins you want to find the smallest pins possible these are tiny little Bobby pins but you can use something like acupuncture pins or even small sewing pins Personally I like to use ones that have a little nub on the end so that when I pull them out I have something to grip on two pins need to be approximately every two eight to [twelve] inches it really depends on the length of the tank that you’re Cementing together but for this one I just used two pins because it’s only a 12 inch length if I only used one it’s gonna wobble back and forth So obviously I need to use to now the way this works Is those pins slightly elevate the acrylic away from each other then we take a syringe? Or an applicator bottle filled with weld on for well, don for is a popular Acrylic cement using the syringe or applicator bottle we start squirting in the weld on for into the scene now I actually own a router so I like to have a tiny bit of acrylic overhanging and the reason I do that is because if my cuts are off by even a little bit it’s Going to ruin the tank so what I prefer to do is move the panel in slightly and then route it off later I’ll show you more on that in a minute once we’ve filled up the entire scene with weld on for we wait Approximately 90 to 120 seconds or a minute and a half to two minutes It’s best to actually time this out if you have somebody with you especially if you’ve never done this before Personally for me. I use my fingers. I keep touching the cement and waiting until when I pull my fish apart There cement in it almost like a cobweb Now the cement by itself won’t actually do that its water thin and it evaporates off your finger after a few seconds however What’s creating that webbing is the acrylic is softening, and that’s when you know it’s ready at this point We pull the pins you do need clamps you want to clamp it together? You don’t need a tremendous amount of force But you do want a firm clamp this just simply Squeezes it together and ensures you get a bubble free scene now because we’ve softened the acrylic We fused it on a molecular level and that’s why a well-put-together acrylic aquarium Technically doesn’t have any seams now. We wait now, technically after about 20 [minutes] You can start moving this around pulling the clamps off and that sort of thing however. I highly suggest you wait until the next day Why it guarantees the Seimas fused together properly and cured? However, it actually takes a full seven days for the cure to reach one hundred percent strength after 24 hours though It’s up to about eighty percent strength if you pull your clamps too soon or you start moving it around you run a high risk of Ruining that seem introducing bubbles or simply just making a mess out of the tank and the thing with acrylic is While it’s really easy to put together it is unforgiving to mistakes You make a mistake And there’s no taking effect unlike a glass aquarium for example if you mess up putting that together Wait till it cures. Take it apart and do it again with an acrylic aquarium There’s no turning back now that we have one end on we can move to the [other] we literally do the exact same Thing as we [did] for the first scene again wait to 24 hours And then we can move on now it gets kind of tricky we have to flip the tank upside down and Cement both ends to the other side however once you flip this contraption over Depending [on] how long the span of this is and how thick your acrylic is it’s going to bow Now bowing isn’t a big deal with acrylic It has a high tensile strength really difficult to actually snap it But the problem is is that when they bows in the middle it pushes out the ends and we can’t have [that] happening So when cutting up your acrylic make sure that you cut up a spare piece of plywood or would the same width as the end Panels so that when you flip this over, you can stick that in between and it stops it from boeing now You can do the exact same thing We did to the other sides to the bottom sides Again square them off put the pins in apply the cement wait a minute and a half to two minutes and pull the pins Pulling the pins by hand is not advisable because they are actually stuck [in] there pretty good So get a pair of pliers or vise grips or or a tool of some sort? What that will help you pull them out? Just make sure that you brace the side when you’re actually pulling it in now This thing’s starting to look like a fish tank The last panel is the bottom panel now as long as the rest of this was squared up even though with this is the most Cementing it’s actually the easiest because all the hard work is done you just have to put it in place prop the pins under it get some clamps in place and ready and Start cementing now. This is technically 14 feet of cementing I have to do and I should have had somebody there with me that could have pulled the pins Because cementing this will take longer than two minutes It will probably take me three to five minutes to actually cement the whole thing And in doing so I might not be able to pull the pins in time Which will potentially? lead to a scene with bubbles in it or one that is not perfectly clear why because the acrylic is starting to soften up and Oxygen gets into it So I highly advise you if you are building a big tank to have somebody there with you that can all they have to do Is pull the pins right behind you after a certain time for me? I figured I could move fast enough to get to them in time which I did and I kind of lucked out however I was really pushing the limit [here] After cementing the entire bottom in plays and pulling the pins and tightening the clamps I waited another 24 hours Now one thing that you’ll notice is that I put the tank up on some wood blocks I only did this so I can actually get my clamps under it the downside to building a big tank using the pin method is That you do need a lot [of] clamps luckily for me I buy them up when I see him on sale the next day I came back with my router and routed off all of the additional edges now I used a double flute Quarter-Inch router bit and just ran the entire perimeter of all of the tank now the tank is essentially It’s time to polish it now with thinner acrylic [this] is really easy, you could take a propane torch or a map gas torch and Simply flame the Edges and it will polish them to be crystal clear however on the thicker acrylic It’s really difficult to accomplish this Why because the acrylic is just so thick it takes a lot longer to flame polish it and while doing so well Acrylics actually flammable and the longer you have to flame polish the higher chances it has of catching on fire Usually it’s not [going] [to] catch on fire, but you will find that you burn more than you polish however. There’s a lot of plastic Polishers out there. I prefer to use novus products simply because it’s available to me. There’s a line up of three of them I’ve actually shown you guys how to remove scratches from aquariums in past videos including glass and acrylic aquariums, and when removing scratches from an Acrylic aquarium I showed you how to use novus novus two is fine scratch removal and Nova’s three is Heavy scratch removal now you can use a combination of three [and] two? but most likely you’ll only need two all you have to do is apply a bit to the acrylic you intended polish or Apply it to a buffing wheel and buff it out. It actually buffs it out really quick however It can make a bit [of] a mess however after using it you go from having a scene You can’t see through to having a [crystal-clear] [scene] Again the downside to it is it’s a bit messy so as you can see here although the seams are clear There’s still lots of polish everywhere I don’t worry about that until I’m ready to remove the protective paper anyways, so that was it That’s how I built the office tank again just to summarize the tank is six feet long one foot wide one foot tall being about 45 gallons and capacity and again one of my new favorite tanks next week We’re going to move on to how I built the filtration for this aquarium If so far you’re interested in this build or are looking forward to the filtration Portion of this build or anything else that I have planned for and you’re not a subscriber I invite you to do so so you don’t miss out on any of this I should also mention that if you are interested in building your own aquariums whether it be glass acrylic, or plywood I? Did cover them in far more detail in my book the ultimate do? Handbook for the do-it-Yourself [of] queres And you can get your copy at the king of diy com where it comes in ebook as well as soft cover Version anyways, hope that you guys enjoyed today’s video I also wanted to thank you for watching and I will see you guys next Sunday for part two of the office tank build series

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