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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at my fishtank I decided that my 54L tank was not nearly large enough, so I jumped online and found a cheap way of expanding, building a plywood box, adding a window on the front and bobs your uncle.

This method is usually used for LARGE tanks however I decided to build a 1200mm long x 400mm high x 350mm deep netting (pun intended) me a nice 168L, using finger joints to connect the panels, I am new to woodworking, loving the new hobby and thought I would share my project, I lost my original drawings so I drew some up quickly using paint, I have started making my joints but doing them manually is taking a while :p I have fitted a few finished panels together to check the fit and took a few photo's.







This last photo requires a bit of imagination, this is the right hand side panel joined to the base and part of the 'window frame'. This being the first time I have made and attempt at joinery my fingers are of pretty average quality although i am doing far better then I thought I would be :)
 

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I dont get it. Wood fish tank? port hole?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
One the sides is going to be a glass panel, held in place with the frame, part of which is shown in the last photo, it will be sealed using a liquid rubber waterproofing membrane designed to seal fish ponds and food grade water tanks
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Imagine a normal tank, I am replacing the sides, rear and base panels with plywood and installing a glass panel on the front as a window, once the joinery is complete and I have it assembled it will be very clear what my design is :)
 

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Imagine a normal tank, I am replacing the sides, rear and base panels with plywood and installing a glass panel on the front as a window, once the joinery is complete and I have it assembled it will be very clear what my design is :)
Are you planning to fill it with water?






.
 

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Wow! I had never heard of these before (had to google it). Certainly make sense, though, with good epoxy paint.

Your 211% net (nice pun, BTW) increase will be really great. Those finger joints look good. Looking forward to more progress pic's.
 

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That will look awesome if it's properly treated! My only worry would be with the epically high moisture that the ply might move... create a small crack in a joint... I don't know, maybe that's not possible but it's something to consider. Even with a bead of sealant... That ply looks quite thin and water weighs a lot, will it warp?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeh but the pressure from the heavy water isn't applied evenly, the main issue with any fishtank is height not length or depth, a 3m tank is obviously going to new cross supports but mainly the height affects the thickness of the glass, I'm using 12mm (roughly 1/2 inch) ply where as the glass used in any tank under 500mm is only 6mm, if we can a 6 mm pane of glass that is stronger the a 12mm piece of glass then I would love to invest in the company who makes it. As long as the joints are straight and tight then there shouldn't be any weak points that are weak enough to be affected by 400mm of water pressure, I am using a product used to seal drinking water tanks so It should be nicely sealed, and is flexible once the membrane is dry because it is rubber and can handle some movement so if the tank settles at all I'm confident the seam shouldn't crack
 

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Yeh but the pressure from the heavy water isn't applied evenly, the main issue with any fishtank is height not length or depth, a 3m tank is obviously going to new cross supports but mainly the height affects the thickness of the glass, I'm using 12mm (roughly 1/2 inch) ply where as the glass used in any tank under 500mm is only 6mm, if we can a 6 mm pane of glass that is stronger the a 12mm piece of glass then I would love to invest in the company who makes it. As long as the joints are straight and tight then there shouldn't be any weak points that are weak enough to be affected by 400mm of water pressure, I am using a product used to seal drinking water tanks so It should be nicely sealed, and is flexible once the membrane is dry because it is rubber and can handle some movement so if the tank settles at all I'm confident the seam shouldn't crack

You are talking about 45 gallons of water...

OR

375 lbs or water...




I don't see the 'wood' in your pictures holding all of that for long. :no:


But hell - I could be WRONG! :yes:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well if you consider an identical tank would be totally made of 6mm glass with no cross bracing and the strength provided by the finger joints I think it should be fine (a tank is usually held by just a bead of silicone) I'm not personally worried :)
 

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Back when I was into saltwater tanks I saw a few of these. If you do them right they look really nice. I never trusted my skills back then to attempt it. Post lots of pictures because I would be very interested!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Spent quite a while on it today but have some new additions, being a total woodworking novice I was using every surface I could find a a work surface and then realised that I have an old dining room table that is a perfect work bench, it is the extending type so gives me perfect access to the niggly bits and also has a thick and sturdy beam running around the outside which as I turns out is PERFECT for clamping.







Have cut out the majority of my finger joints and now I have many long an painstaking hours worth of filling to make them fit nice and snug, also finish what I believe to be the most fiddly piece of the build, the longest section of the front window frame
 
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