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250 Gallon DIY Plywood Tank With Sump

Diy Plywood Sump aquarium glass tank fish filter homemade piranha

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#1 npacholko

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:32 AM

Hey guys,
A couple weeks ago I started looking into a plywood tank, so I figured I'd share my progress with you so far.
The [inside] tank dimensions are 72" Long by 36" Wide x 23.5" Tall = ~263 Gallons. (It's on square by 1/32", not bad if I do say so myself)
I used 3/4" Plywood for the sides back and bottom, and have a 12mm Front pane of glass on the way, should be here next thursday.

Total items used for the project so far:
(10)x 2x4x8' - Base
(10)x 2x4x10' - Tank
(2)x 4'x8'x3/4" Plywood Sheets
(?)x Screws, Wood Glue.
(2)x 1 Gallon buckets of "Zavlar Liquid Rubber Sealant"
(1)x Roll of drywall tape to strengthen edges and seams
(4)x L1x1x1/8" x 10'Lg. Angle Steel for top rim of tank and rim around window.

This thing is built like a brick shithouse.

Here are some pics of the progress so far:

The base for the tank
IMG_9647.JPG

The tank built on the base
IMG_9652.JPG

Corner construction
IMG_9659.JPG

Detail
IMG_9660.JPG

Drywall Tape
IMG_9662.JPG

First Zavlar layer on all corners, seams, and inconsistencies in the plywood (holes, knots, etc)
IMG_9664.JPG

First full Zavlar coat
IMG_9665.JPG

Zavlar
IMG_9667.JPG

I'm two full coats of Zavlar in now, and still have enough for another full coat.
Bulkheads arrive tomorrow, also going to buy the PVC and filter supplies.

For substrate, I'm going with "Rock Dash" (The gravel you stick on stucco siding.)
Its 18$/100lbs. Jet black at my local siding store.
Might consider the blasting sand later, but for now its gravel.

Here's a pic of a big ass piece of driftwood I got tonight at my local park. (nearby highway masked the chainsaw sound)
It's 5.5 ft long. Should fit nicely.
IMG_9683.JPG

I'll keep you posted on further developments as I work more on the project, I know you guys love to see some DIY stuff!

(Not bad for my first related post) ;)

N

#2 XChrisKOTD

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 02:09 AM

Damn, lookin' awesome. Is that gonna be the permanent location in the workshop for the tank? If so, it would be awesome if you had windows on all sides. Also, I would've double layered the wood tape and used sealant in the edges but that's just me being a worry freak. Good post!

#3 npacholko

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 02:13 AM

No, It's going in the house(basement of course), the base and tank are separate pieces.
I figured one layer of tape would be fine, and the liquid rubber seeped through the tape so I think it'll be fine.
I guess time will tell!

Thanks a lot!

Edited by npacholko, 30 April 2014 - 02:14 AM.


#4 XChrisKOTD

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 02:53 AM

Cool, What fish are you going to put in it?

#5 BRUNER247

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:49 AM

Idk bout the stucko part. That would be very sharp to fish. Looks awesome though. Driftwood might be lil big. Gotta have room for fish. Do you know what kind of tree that was? Might have problems with the stump.

#6 .piranhakeepers.com.

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 07:45 AM

I agree that wood is way to big unless your shoaling Tetra's or something. Looks great though, your stand looks just like a wood version of mine. Dunno how the bottom of the tank is made but I suggest running two cross braces on the top of the stand from front to back...does not hurt and helps to distribute some of the weight. I googled rock dash and it may contain glass and sea shells. P gravel might be a better choice and cost even less. GL with the rest of the project.


How do you clean the tank sides with an uneven, textured coating?

Edited by .piranhakeepers.com., 30 April 2014 - 07:52 AM.


#7 Piranha Dan

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 08:29 AM

Awesome build man. Have to agree though that log is way too big. What's your plans for stock?
So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again. --Corrax Entry 7:17

#8 FISHnSCAT

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 08:41 AM

great build continue as you are and do what you please. it's your tank after all
trav- ye I got weird cat eyes and one is lazy

also trav- I like to lurk around the mens public toilets holding a tub of vaseline and a box of tissues


#9 npacholko

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 09:56 AM

Hey guys, thanks for the input!

The stucco,
My aunt has used stucco rock in her cichlid aquariums for years, so I figured it wouldn't be a problem.
If it does turn out to be a problem, I'll just go to blasting sand.

The driftwood,
I hauled it out of a local river and it has all sorts of bugs and stuff living on it, I don't think it will be a problem after I pressure wash it.
Size was something I already questioned, so I'm going to cut another foot or so off the end.

Stock
I've currently got one 6" Red belly, and living in northern BC already makes it hard to get fish, so for now I'm going to build up a small shoal (>10) of them, since they are available at my LFS.

Cleaning
I'll either use a homemade or store bought aquarium scrubbing wand to get the sides, the uneven surface isn't jagged so shouldn't be a problem.

This is my first tank this size so all your input is appreciated and being taken into account.
Thanks!

#10 .piranhakeepers.com.

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 11:40 AM

Where in northern BC you at?
O you'll have bugs in your tank! You can try to dry it out completely over a few months, it will help but not 100% or boil it in a 55 gallon steel drum over a fire pit, cut it into smaller pieces then rejoin it would be ur best bet. Some use bleach but I personally would not.
What are you doing for filtration? To bad you missed out on that 18" rhom, I think it was in surrey. Sold a few months ago was beaut! One of the nicest in captive in all North America and would have been perfect for a 300

#11 npacholko

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 02:14 PM

Yeah, not sure how I'll get rid of the bugs. I'd rather not cut it up and stick it back together, but that's an option I suppose.
I'm going to build a sump filter with a couple plastic drawer units and some sort of container/tank/Rubbermaid.
I've ordered a couple bulkheads on amazon. I found a used 1/2 HP sump pump that does 2500 GPH for 40$.
For bio media I'm actually thinking of snapping a bunch of disposable forks in half and throwing them in my filter like pick-up sticks.
But I'm going to look in wal mart and the dollar store for more ideas.
Dollar store scares me because of cheap plastic/paint seeping into the water.
A big rhom would be cool but I personally prefer schooling fish.
I live in Prince George, Not much for Pet Stores here..

#12 .piranhakeepers.com.

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 04:03 PM

1/2hp at 2500gph? This sounds like a 3450 rpm pump. These are not generally used on home aquariums due to their high power consumption and they are loud.
For example, my pump is 1/4hp at 6000gph and 1750rpm. The 1/2hp is a pump used for strength not flow as your numbers show. It's meant to push water hard without headloss so great for long distances or deep holes with lots of vertical resistance.

Edited by .piranhakeepers.com., 30 April 2014 - 04:04 PM.


#13 npacholko

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 04:50 PM

Yeah just found specs for the pump.. 600$/yr approx. Whoops.
What kind of pump are you running if you don't mind me asking?

#14 FISHnSCAT

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 04:52 PM

i know shower scrungies work well for bio media, and idk if it's just me, i've never cleaned the sides on any tank i've owned unless it was visible from the outside.
trav- ye I got weird cat eyes and one is lazy

also trav- I like to lurk around the mens public toilets holding a tub of vaseline and a box of tissues


#15 npacholko

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 04:58 PM

I kind of like the natural look of the slimy walls. No problem occasionally brushing it off though.
I've got a magnet brush for the front glass.

Just re-calculated the cost to run that pump 24/7 with BC Hydro's price (7c/KWH) and it's more like 300$/yr. Still crazy though.

#16 XiDiS

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:05 PM

Good ol PG... i grew up in Fort St. John/Taylor just north west of you. PG has crap for stores you got that right lol.
Posted Image
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Posted Image <---- Slip n Slide like a BAWSE!!!
P.P.C

#17 npacholko

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:08 PM

Shower scrunchies look awesome, I'll price them out.

Yeah, but where else can you drag a chainsaw down to a local park and buck up driftwood in broad daylight!

#18 Piranha Dan

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:13 PM

I'm not well versed on sumps but 2500GPH sounds like a lot.....? I think you're looking for something more in the 500gph range.
So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again. --Corrax Entry 7:17

#19 npacholko

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:21 PM

The tank is 263 Gallons, so 2500GPH is under 10 cycles/hr.

I don't think too much filtration can be a problem haha.

#20 FISHnSCAT

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 09:55 PM

id keep that gph atleast in filtration. i like magnet brushes depending on the substrate, also they can pretty easily scratch glass. i've always simply used a razor blade. best method i've used yet.
trav- ye I got weird cat eyes and one is lazy

also trav- I like to lurk around the mens public toilets holding a tub of vaseline and a box of tissues









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