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How to Make an Aquarium Tank

In my previous post, I listed the reasons why you should make your own aquarium tank. Now, I will show the step-by-step procedure of making your own aquarium tank. You will need a hand (I mean someone to help you :p) since glass is delicate, you would not want to break it.

a. Measure. Bring the tape measure or ruler, and measure the size of the table or place where you will put the aquarium.

b. Glass. Get the measure of the glass you need before you head to the store. Here is the best link that provides calculator to measure every side of your tank.  Hint* Based on my experience, keep an extra space similar to the thickness size of the glass in the base. This will make sure that the sides will fit properly.

Front and Back Side Glasses

Front and Back side glass


Left and Right Side Glasses

Left and Right side glass

c. Buy glass, silicone and silicone gun, styrofoam, and strings. Make sure that the silicone you bought is for aquarium use. There are some silicone that are not for aquarium so read the fine print at the back of the tube, it should be mentioned there that it can be used for aquarium tank.

Silicone for Tank

Silicone in its dispenser

The styro foam that you need should be as big as the base of your tank. This will prevent your tank to crack and it’s easier to move the tank later. And the string will be used to hold the glasses in place after it is assembled.

d. It’s silicone time! First, put silicone on all sides of the base glass. Next, put silicone on the two vertical sides of the glass which will be the longer side of the tank (front and back glasses). Make sure that there are no blank spots when you put the silicone.


Applying silicone on the sides of the base glass

e. Assembly time! When you’re done putting silicone on the sides of the glasses as mentioned above, it’s time to assemble them. First, on the base glass, put the back side glass on the part where you put the silicone, making sure that ends are correctly placed. Next, put the two glass sides, again, make sure that silicone are holding them and the sides and corners are in place. Lastly, put the front side glass, if you measure the glass properly, it should be easy to assemble this last piece as it is like putting the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle. When you are sure that all corners and sides are properly adjusted, put strings around them and tighten them just enough to hold the glasses in place. (I was not able to take pictures while assembling the glasses because this part was quite hectic that I forgot to snap photos.)


Assembled tank with strings around

f. Silicone again?! Yes, this time you need your forefinger. You need to fill in the corners with silicone to prevent the water from spilling. Put a moderate amount of silicone on your forefinger and run them through the inside corner of the tank. Repeat this until all base corners and side corners are filled with silicone. You may apply another coating of silicone if you think that it is too thin.


Applying silicone on all corners inside the tank

g. You’re done! Rest the tank for 24 hours and then you’re ready to use it. Make sure to clean it first before using.


Finished aquarium tank

Why You Have to Make Your Own Aquarium Tank

My newly made aquarium tank

What has prompt me to make my own aquarium? I will give you three reasons why I made my own and why you also have to make your own aquarium tank.

First is the cost of the commercially sold tanks. To buy my first small tank, I have to canvass from several aquarium shops how much the cost of the tanks is, and compare their prices. I noticed that there are shops that the price of the tanks is sky-high while others promise an invisible tank at low price and you have to wait forever before you could hold on to your tank. When I made my tank, I was able to save a lot and was able to put the savings into a better quality glass instead.

Secondly, the size of the tank does not fit onto your table, or door, or your tinnie-weenie place. One of the advantages of making your own aquarium tank is that you can customized the width, the length, and the height of your tank according to the place where you plan to put it. When I bought my second aquarium, I had to search in many places just to get a table that is big enough to fit on it, and strong enough to hold it specially where I put water in it. Making your own aquarium tank will give you the opportunity to calculate what size of tank you have to make as per your table capacity. It is important that the table is strong enough to hold the glass tank and the water, if not, it will end up a disaster.

And lastly, the “I made it” title award. You may laugh at me when I said this, but it’s true, you have the right to boast to your father and mother, and to your friends and to whoever see your aquarium. It is an accomplishment! When I made my first tank, it wasn’t big but there was that sense of accomplishment, and I immediately phoned my parents and told them that I made an aquarium tank hahaha… After that, I aimed for the bigger tank, and just few days ago, I made that. Now, that tank is the house of two blood parrot fish, two red devil fish, and three blue gourami.

On my next post, I will show how I made my second aquarium. Watch out for it! Till then…