The decision to build this tank was made after a great deal of searching for a commercial tank or clear container that would fit our needs, however the tank could not be wider than 2.4" and of course the next highest standard is 2.5", the next size down we found was 2.25" which was too small so I decided to build the tank. Due to the size constraints I wanted to give my fish the largest volume of water so I opted for 1/8" thick polycarbonate, however if you are planning to build a larger tank I would highly suggest moving up to 3/16" or 1/4" thick polycarb for strength. I also suggest reinforcing the corners with extruded acrylic, I used triangular pieces but I would suggest using square bars as they will be easier to work with.
You will need the following for the tank:
1. Polycarbonate: [Mcmaster Carr
2. Extruded Acrylic: [Ridout Plastics
3. Acrylic Glue: [Ridout Plastics
The amount of these items will vary on the size of your tank, but for a small one like mine you are looking at 2 sheets of Polycarbonate (1' x 2'), 2' worth of Acrylic Extrusion, and about 3 ounces of Glue. This is for a 2.40" x 6.00" x 24.00" Tank.
Tools you will need:
1. Cutting Implement: I used a bandsaw with a guide to get nice strait cuts. You could also use a dremel with the linear guide attachment. (Would have been really easy with a laser cutte... winkwink r ;) )
2. News Paper to cover your work area.
3. A drinking straw (I'll explain later)
Things you will need for your fish:
1. Well.... The fish themselves of course, I wouldn't put more than two Bettas in this size tank unless you are mean.
2. Water conditioner, Assuming you are using Tap water
3. Food, mine seem to hate dried bloodworms and prefer the pellets.... go figure.
4. Filter, there are a couple that will fit my size tank but look below for the one I purchased. It works phenomenally well for $15.
5. Fake plants (Or real if you know what to do)
6. Gravel, to hold your plants down and make the bottom look nice.
7. An Easter Island head, optional of course.
8. A mesh net for when you have to transplant the fish
So far my tank has been running for four weeks going strong, I run the filter during lunch for an hour a day and it keeps the water sparkling clean. Just add some of the water treatment of your choice each week to replenish the minerals in the water.
On to construction!!