The sight of beautiful fish swimming in their natural background is a very relaxing and engaging experience. Keeping and maintaining an aquarium at home has thus become an obsession for some. There are many advantages to keeping fish as pets, which attracts people to them. But did you know that one of the most important things in keeping fish as pets, the aquarium, can easily e built on your own, without spending extravagant amounts on ready-made versions?
- Plywood Sheets
- 3/8" glass sheets
- Glue gun
- Tape measure
- Varnish paint
- Silicone seal
The first step is to decide the size and shape of the tank you want to build. This depends on the volume of water that it should be able to hold. On an average, most aquariums these days can hold about 100 to 150 gallons of water. However, choose a smaller size, say, 60 to 80 gallons, as it would be a more convenient size for you.
Start by cutting the glass into five pieces, one each for the bottom, front, back, left, and right side of the tank. You will have to take the help of a professional glass cutter. While getting it cut, you should keep in mind that the side pieces of the glass would be directly glued to the bottom piece. Ask the cutter to smooth off the edges.
Now that you have four cut sections, it is time to build the tank by starting with the basic structure first. Take the rectangular base and lay it on a flat, dry area. You can place a varnish-painted plywood sheet on the stand and keep the glass base on it. Now, use the glue to paste two side panels perpendicular to the two shorter sides of the base glass. Now stick the back and front glass panels, so that there is no gap between the base and the panels, or between the four erect panels, and you have a glass cuboid that is open at the top.
Slowly fill the container with water to its maximum capacity, and leave it in there for some time. While doing this, any flaws in the basic aquarium structure will be revealed. Leakage at any place can be mended using the silicone seal before it is too late.
The next step is to include lighting. An aquarium has to be sufficiently lighted, as a dark, dim aquarium can be very depressing for some fish. The aquarium should have its own light from inside, and not other sources of light in the room where it's kept. There are many waterproof lighting sets available in various patterns. Make sure the lighting is properly insulated, or else your fish may get a 'shocking' welcome!
One important feature of aquariums is a filter. It is not advisable to build your own filter, as it is a mechanical device using complex techniques. It is also a vital component of an aquarium, as it filters and gets rid of toxic components, and helps control algae. It is important for the health of the fish inside.
Another addition might be a cover on the top. You can shape the wooden ply sheet to your liking, and use it to cover the tank.
And there you have it, your homemade aquarium!