Purchasing an aquarium can be very expensive but building a custom aquarium is not. Many products used to build a custom aquarium can be bought at a craft or hobby store. The piece of plastic can be cut to the size you need, making a custom aquarium well within your grasp. The article that follows will show you how to build a custom aquarium out of hard plastic.
Step 1 – Sizing the Plastic
The hard plastic you need to use needs to be about ¼-inch thick. This will be able to stand up to the water pressure. The larger the custom aquarium the thicker the plastic has to be. The width and length of the aquarium will be determined by the plastic tray you are using. It should be a sturdy tray with at least a one-inch lip. It should also possess sharp edges and not rounded. Use the measuring tape to measure the length and width of the plastic tray. The height of the aquarium is completely up to you. You will need four sides and one bottom. Take your measurements to the store where you are getting the plastic. You will have to purchase one full sheet then have the shop grind down or cut it to each size that you need. They will usually do this for free.
Step 2 – Finishing the Plastic
After the plastic has been cut or ground down you will notice how sharp the edges are. There is no reason why you should have to cut yourself whenever you handle the aquarium. To fix this problem use the soldering iron and smooth out the exterior edges of the sides and the top edge of the sides. Do not take any plastic away, just lessen the sharpness.
Step 3 – Building the Custom Aquarium
You need to make sure you have marine-grade silicone as it will be waterproof as well as resistant to mold and mildew. Load the tube inside the caulking gun and draw a line of silicone on the inside edge of the tray and press the bottom piece of plastic in place. Add more silicone along the edge of the plastic where it meets the sides and up the lip of the tray. Place the sides in place and secure them with the strap wrapped near the center and lock it. You may need to adjust the pieces of plastic to make them secure and even. Place a bead of silicone up the seams of each corner from the bottom up. Use your finger to smooth out the bead of silicone.
Step 4 – Finishing
Your custom aquarium is nearly complete. Allow the silicone to dry for about a day and fill the aquarium with water. Wait a day or two to see if there are any leaks. If there are, drain the aquarium, dry it and add more silicone. If there are no leaks, add the gravel, accent pieces and aquarium components.