First acyrlic tanks. Water level?

Oughtsix

Dovii
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Apr 9, 2011
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I have always had glass tanks. I just picked up my first acrylic tank.... 6' x 2' x 2' (yeah, a cute little tank when I come to this site).

I always set my overflows in my glass tanks to keep the water line above the plastic frame. I think it looks much nicer this way. This acyrlic tank doesn't have a plastic frame (of course). What water level do you guys run? I am thinking from a purely asthetic standpoint here.

I haven't decided if I want to use a hood (like every glass tank I have ever had) or leave the top uncovered and hang the lights above the tank. I am open to suggestions?

I have a lot of cleaning and polishing to do before I start figuring out how I am going to do the overflows... which will set the water level. Even before the overflows I will need to build a stand. But the stand construction will be dictated by the overflows and filtration (sump and DE filter).

$250 from Craigslist plus $40 for a really nice little giant high pressure pump. The tank is going to be a dirt bottom planted tank with lots of little fish.
 

esoxlucius

Redtail Catfish
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I'd stick with what you're familiar with i.e. a hood to hide the water level. It hides your light fittings, helps with evaporation and more importantly prevents any jumpers from landing on your floor! I'd never have an open top tank, i just don't like the look, but each to their own eh?
 

Davidiator

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Sep 17, 2017
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I have always had glass tanks. I just picked up my first acrylic tank.... 6' x 2' x 2' (yeah, a cute little tank when I come to this site).

I always set my overflows in my glass tanks to keep the water line above the plastic frame. I think it looks much nicer this way. This acyrlic tank doesn't have a plastic frame (of course). What water level do you guys run? I am thinking from a purely asthetic standpoint here.

I haven't decided if I want to use a hood (like every glass tank I have ever had) or leave the top uncovered and hang the lights above the tank. I am open to suggestions?

I have a lot of cleaning and polishing to do before I start figuring out how I am going to do the overflows... which will set the water level. Even before the overflows I will need to build a stand. But the stand construction will be dictated by the overflows and filtration (sump and DE filter).

$250 from Craigslist plus $40 for a really nice little giant high pressure pump. The tank is going to be a dirt bottom planted tank with lots of little fish.
I would get a small wooden or plastic strip from the hardware store and glue it to the tank

I'd stick with what you're familiar with i.e. a hood to hide the water level. It hides your light fittings, helps with evaporation and more importantly prevents any jumpers from landing on your floor! I'd never have an open top tank, i just don't like the look, but each to their own eh?
that's a good ifea
 

Jexnell

Redtail Catfish
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I have 2 acrylic tanks. One with a hood, one without. 20180504_095310.jpg 20180505_183913.jpg

I fill both of them to about 1in from the top.
 
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Gourami Swami

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I don't have a top on mine, fill mine up almost to the brim. Looks great for a couple days until it evaporates a bit and the level drops. If you're worried about jumpers buy acrylic from HD and cut it to size to cover the holes. As for lights, I would say just do whatever you like better. I have a clip-on led strip over mine.
 
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Oughtsix

Dovii
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Thank you for the replies! I really appreciate the pictures (Both very nice aquariums).

I am not worried about jumpers, we will be stocking with LOTS of small fish. Guppies and tetras to start. I am used to having the full top of the aquarium open for working on it. The little cutouts in the top of the acrylic are a big change for me!

I am leaning towards making a hood and covering the water level. My idea of a hood needs to catch up to little cutouts in the top of an acrylic for access.

When I purchased the tank the seller assured me multiple times that there were NO LEAKS! I didn't believe her and bought it anyway. There was silicone in the bottom corners of the aquarium and I know that silicone is not the proper way to repair acrylic. She also said there were no cracks and that was obviously a lie.

DSC05004 (Medium).jpeg

DSC05009 (Medium).jpeg

DSC05012 (Medium).jpeg

DSC05022 (Medium).jpeg

There was a broken off fitting under another fitting in this bulk head. There is no way that was holding water! This is how you remove a broken fitting if you have never don it before.
DSC05025 (Medium).jpeg


No cracks or chips? I don't think so!DSC05033 (Medium).jpeg DSC05038 (Medium).jpeg


I am comfortable doing repairs on acrylic. I do not believe these chips will be a structural problem but I would like to figure out how to fill these voids to make it look nice? Can I use some plexi-glass "saw dust" and weld-on to fill these voids before sanding them flat and buffing them out?
DSC05035 (Medium).jpeg


Initial water test to evaluate what kind of work I have a head of me.
DSC05031 (Medium).jpeg



I knew it LEAKED... I knew it... I knew it... I knew it!
DSC05042 (Medium).jpeg




Oh... it is just my plugs that are leaking... huh.DSC05043 (Medium).jpeg


Are you ready for this? Trip #001 into town. More vinegar, Mr Clean magic erasers, 800-2000 grit sand paper.

What Weld-on should I buy off amazon? I was thinking 4oz - #3, 4oz - #4, and 4oz #16???? I will also be ordering the 3 grit acrylic polish.
 
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Oughtsix

Dovii
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Apr 9, 2011
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The top of the tank is a 3/8" x 3/8" rim that is glued on! The little square piece of acrylic is hollow! This little hollow drip edge is where all the damage is... IT IS COMING OFF!!!!

I will have to find some place local in central Oregon where I can get some strips of Acrylic... probably 3/4" x 3/4" to make a new drip edge with solid material.
 

Kris P Bacon

Piranha
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May 7, 2018
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GOD's country Arcadia Fl. Chasing mollies
I have always had glass tanks. I just picked up my first acrylic tank.... 6' x 2' x 2' (yeah, a cute little tank when I come to this site).

I always set my overflows in my glass tanks to keep the water line above the plastic frame. I think it looks much nicer this way. This acyrlic tank doesn't have a plastic frame (of course). What water level do you guys run? I am thinking from a purely asthetic standpoint here.

I haven't decided if I want to use a hood (like every glass tank I have ever had) or leave the top uncovered and hang the lights above the tank. I am open to suggestions?

I have a lot of cleaning and polishing to do before I start figuring out how I am going to do the overflows... which will set the water level. Even before the overflows I will need to build a stand. But the stand construction will be dictated by the overflows and filtration (sump and DE filter).

$250 from Craigslist plus $40 for a really nice little giant high pressure pump. The tank is going to be a dirt bottom planted tank with lots of little fish.
Wood? Steel? I recently welded a stand for my 29 gallon from angle iron. Quite stout, the top is a nice wooden counter top I junk picked that is a perfect fit (after one long cut)
 

Oughtsix

Dovii
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Apr 9, 2011
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Redmond, OR
I am more of a wood worker than a metal worker. I usually plane 2 by stock down to common thicknesses and square the corners on the jointer before I laminate them together for strength.

I like to keep an open span under the length of the tank (no middle braces) so it is easy to work on the sump and pull it out if it ever needs to. Doubled 2 x 6's had plenty of strength for my 4 foot tank. Might have to tripple 2 x 6's or go to 2 x 8's for a clear 6 foot span with this tank. I am thinking of using a 55g for a sump on the tank. It is hard to get 4 foot of tank under a 6 foot tank with a center brace in the way.

I usually put a piece of plywood under the frame of the stand then fiberglass the inside bottom to make a bit of a water proof tub to contain the regular spills without doing any damage.

The stand is going to be completely enclosed and in a pensula configuration in the great room as a bit of a dividing wall. I was thinking of making the stand 7 foot long then build a 12" x 24" box on the end of the stand against the wall to enclose all the plumbing and wiring from the stand to the top of the tank. I am still deciding and open to ideas.
 

Kris P Bacon

Piranha
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May 7, 2018
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412
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GOD's country Arcadia Fl. Chasing mollies
I am more of a wood worker than a metal worker. I usually plane 2 by stock down to common thicknesses and square the corners on the jointer before I laminate them together for strength.

I like to keep an open span under the length of the tank (no middle braces) so it is easy to work on the sump and pull it out if it ever needs to. Doubled 2 x 6's had plenty of strength for my 4 foot tank. Might have to tripple 2 x 6's or go to 2 x 8's for a clear 6 foot span with this tank. I am thinking of using a 55g for a sump on the tank. It is hard to get 4 foot of tank under a 6 foot tank with a center brace in the way.

I usually put a piece of plywood under the frame of the stand then fiberglass the inside bottom to make a bit of a water proof tub to contain the regular spills without doing any damage.

The stand is going to be completely enclosed and in a pensula configuration in the great room as a bit of a dividing wall. I was thinking of making the stand 7 foot long then build a 12" x 24" box on the end of the stand against the wall to enclose all the plumbing and wiring from the stand to the top of the tank. I am still deciding and open to ideas.
Just got into the hobby myself, with a 29 gallon. Don't know much about sumps and filtration on giant tanks. I just know a 29 gallon failing due to stand in a house would be a real bummer. I could only imagine a giant tank...yikes!!!

You sound like you are a methodical planner and craftsman, so I am sure you will have a nice setup. I will follow this thread with interest and look forward to updates and pics.
 
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