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My custom acrylic axie tank project!

This is a discussion on My custom acrylic axie tank project! within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Well, I've been working this summer, and decided to treat myself... well, treat my axies :) I've gotten a little ...

Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate Discussions on tanks, temperature, filters, gravel, lights etc.

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Old 26th June 2012   #1 (permalink)
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Default My custom acrylic axie tank project!

Well, I've been working this summer, and decided to treat myself... well, treat my axies :)

I've gotten a little fed up with the tank they're in. It's a 29 gallon long. Great for fish. Not so great for axies.

The footprint isn't that big, and I don't think it has more than 15-18 gallons in it at any point in time. So it's really not good for my two adults!

I've decided to build a tank made with axolotls in mind. I'm going for a BIG footprint, instead of height.

The dimensions are 26x26x12 inches. With 10 inches of water in it, that's 30 useable gallons!

I've already ordered the acrylic. I'm using 1/4" thick, with eurobracing at the top. It should get here on friday!

I'll start uploading progress pics as I start building. Hopefully everything works out and I can add another axie to the family!



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Old 26th June 2012   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

Awesome! I'm too scared to make my own tank but I see a lot of DIY threads with successful ones all the time. Can't wait to see your tank!



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Old 1st July 2012   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

Keep this thread updated, keen to see the build progress!



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Old 1st July 2012   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

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Originally Posted by tusken raider View Post
Keep this thread updated, keen to see the build progress!
Will do! The acrylic should arrive on Tuesday, so after that, I can start taking pictures!



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Old 1st July 2012   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

I can't wait to see this too(*^_^*)



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Old 11th July 2012   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

Alright, so my acrylic finally arrived, and I was able to begin! Here are the initial steps of my build.

Here are all my cut pieces, labelled so I don't make silly mistakes!
Click the image to open in full size.

My arsenal
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Quick tape up to make sure it all fits (cup was placed inside to give some sort of scale)
Click the image to open in full size.

Peeling back a bit of cover to start welding!
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Lining it all up...
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Getting that 90º angle is VERY important
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Once I'm sure, weld-on 4 is ready to be applied!
Click the image to open in full size.

Two sides up
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Three sides up
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All sides up!
Click the image to open in full size.

So far, things have been working out! I will add the eurobracing next, after I prep a hole for my filter, and will add more pics when that happens! Will probably be friday.
Then, I get to check it for leaks, and if it's all good, I get to start setting it up!

The only issue I've had so far is that one of the pieces wasn't cut accurately, leaving a tiny gap in one of the bottom corners a couple of mm thin and about 3" high. I'm bummed! But it's definitely fixable. I've filled it with thicker weld-on 16, and we'll see how that holds during the water test. Worst case scenario, I'll have to add some acrylic ontop of the gap to seal it, but I'll just cover that with decorations. It the back right corner, so it will be in a corner anyways.

Can't wait to update more, and move my buddies in!



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Old 12th July 2012   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

How are you planning on the tank to be viewed, sit it a bit lower as its a square so you can see the whole tank?

How long are you waiting for the tank cure before adding water, with mine i had to wait at least 7 days



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Old 12th July 2012   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

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Originally Posted by tusken raider View Post
How are you planning on the tank to be viewed, sit it a bit lower as its a square so you can see the whole tank?

How long are you waiting for the tank cure before adding water, with mine i had to wait at least 7 days
I'm probably going to test it for leaks a day after I add the eurobracing, so the main joints will have been curing for 6 days.

If there are no leaks, it will still be at least another 5 days before I can set it up :)

I bought a set of shelves from Ikea that comes up to my waist in height. With the tank on top, it will be the perfect viewing/maintenance height.

The tank will be placed in a corner in my room, so there will be two sides to see through.



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Old 14th July 2012   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

Added the eurobracing tonight! I got a little caught up in the work and didn't take pictures during... but here it is after I finished adding all 4 strips:

Click the image to open in full size.

The place where the square is hanging through is the hole for my HOB filter.

Tomorrow, I test for leaks!!! Hopefully soon, I'll be able to start adding updates of scaping instead of building I'm going for live plants!



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Old 14th July 2012   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

Yeahh looking good



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Old 14th July 2012   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

There's a leak in the front right corner! I'm so bummed Sealed it with some weld-on 16, now I have to wait until tomorrow to test it, and if it's good I'll have to give it a couple more days to cure.



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Old 22nd July 2012   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

Finally, no more leaks! I filled it up and let it sit for about 30 minutes and there wasn't even the tiniest it of moisture on the edges. I'm so happy!

Now I just have to let my soil finish mineralizing and I can set up the tank and move the axies in :)

Here are some pics of it holding water:

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 22nd July 2012   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

Nice clean job looks excellent, is this your first tank you've made?



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Old 22nd July 2012   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

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Originally Posted by tusken raider View Post
Nice clean job looks excellent, is this your first tank you've made?
Yup, it's my first ever! Although it's not perfect like something you'd fine in a store or if a professional had made it, I am so pleased/surprised with how it's turned out!

I really want to flame polish the edges, but I'd somehow have to get my hands on a small propane torch in order to do that.

I'm hoping the mineralizing process will be done soon (latest by friday), and then I can add pictures of the set up + axies!



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Old 23rd July 2012   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

I'm in the process of building a stand for my tank and i agree although its not perfect I'm really happy with the result so far and the money i have saved. if you want check it in the photos and pictures of enclosures



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Old 23rd July 2012   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

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Originally Posted by tusken raider View Post
I'm in the process of building a stand for my tank and i agree although its not perfect I'm really happy with the result so far and the money i have saved. if you want check it in the photos and pictures of enclosures
I know what you mean about saving money! I was on the fence about whether to build it myself or order it. I decided that I should order it as long as the quote that I got was less than $100 over what it would cost me to build.

Having the pieces cut to size and shipped to me along with all the materials I needed was $200.

The only place that got back to me within a reasonable amount of time with a quote was asking for $430! It made my decision REALLY easy, and all in all I think it was really good experience.

I'd love to see that! Enclosures? Where is that thread?



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Old 23rd July 2012   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

Yeah I've got quotes for stands/ light hoods and what you can make it for is about 1/4 the price, the only new things i get are tanks and canister filters.

I'm not game enough to build my own tank just yet but big ups for your commitment. What type of suppliers did you message for the glass?

This is the thread: Aquarium Build + DIY extras

Not really an enclosure its all my builds for my community aquarium and axy tank so the stand, light hoods and a 3-D background I'll be committing to in the future. I'm thoroughly enjoying the DIY



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Old 23rd July 2012   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

Wow, that's a really great looking stand! Especially without power tools! The cuts are so clean :)

And I love the 3D background. I've always thought they look much better than those awful picture ones haha.

Well, I used a US supplier called TAP Plastics. I found them just by googling acrylic cut to size. Don't know about australia.

I'd recommend it! It's been really fun so far. I'm totally going to be doing this again in the future.

This is actually what I consider to be a prototype of my dream tank. One day, when I have lots of room and money (I currently share a house with 8 people, so the only place I can keep my tanks is in my room), I want to build a tank like this, but with a much bigger floor space, so that it totals to something more like 70 gallons and I can keep every axie morph in it.

The only difference between this "prototype" and my dream tank besides the size is that I'd want it to be a centrepiece, so that you could walk around all the sides and observe the tank. This means two things:
1. Much thicker acrylic
2. No HOB filters. I don't want people to be able to see the filtration or anything. That would all have to be hidden under the tank.

One day, I will build this!



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Old 24th July 2012   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

Thanks, i will continue to update as i progress more, yeah i would never consider a picture one they look so terrible.

Yeah we all have our dream tanks haha sounds great



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Old 30th July 2012   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: My custom acrylic axie tank project!

Ok, so I finished!!! It's finally all set up! Here are the remainder of the pictures.

Flame polished edges
Click the image to open in full size.

Tank in place!
Click the image to open in full size.

Mineralized soil + red clay ready to be mixed!
Click the image to open in full size.

Sand + soil + plants
Click the image to open in full size.

Everything in place and filled up
Click the image to open in full size.

Axolotls added! The box the golden is in is detachable and only for when I'm gone for a weekend or so. Otherwise, he's got his own plastic container
Click the image to open in full size.

More views!
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

And here are some happy axolotls in their new home!
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Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.



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