Aquarium Wood & Epoxy & Glass DIY HomeMade

Water volume : 320 G - 1200 L including filter area
Exterior measures of the whole thing : Length :120 inch. Width : 30 inch. Height : 39 inch.
Weight : Unknow, but the glass alone weighs about 250 pounds
Frame : 2x3 & ½ plywood
Beam : 2x4 & ½ plywood
Glass retaining system : 1x1 on both sides
Glass : 24mm (2 x 12mm tempered glass laminated with plastic film in middle)
Waterproofing : 3 to 4 layers of epoxy resin
Filtration system : 2 submersible pumps with 1½ abs pipe and a custom made steanless steel basket fill with filtration media
Vertical exterior finish : ¾ groove pine stained black
Top exterior finish : ½ plywood opening panels covered with black stain and epoxy.

Time to build : 2 months by evenings and week-ends

Approximate material cost : 500 USD for wood + screw + abs piping, 600 USD for glass including delivery by 2 guys, 350 USD for water pumps, 400 USD for epoxy, 250 USD for lights and air pumps, 300 USD for various pets shop furniture (plants, cleaning tools, etc.), 0 USD for rocks (they were on my yard) and 0 USD for labor. These prices exclude fishs...

Construction mistakes :
1- Sealant around glass : I had to add apparent sealant around the glass by the Inside. To avoid this, I should have take more time during the glass install to apply most effectively the not visible sealant between the inside side of the glass and the inside 1x1 wood retaining furring. In fact, there was few leaks after the first water fill, so I had added the apparent sealant after that. My initial goal was to see no sealant at all around the glass.
2- Epoxy coating : In my video, all the construction process seems almost easy but this is because I skip to show all wasting time put during the epoxy coating job. If the total project tooks me around 8-9 weeks to do, maybe 2-3 weeks was used at the end to reach a correct epoxy finish ready to receive water and fishs. For example, I did few mistakes that I then had to repair like puting silicone sealant at some weak spots between epoxy coats but then realize that the epoxy does not hold over the silicone sealant… So to overcome this situation, I had to find another sealant type which epoxy will hold on, then cover the first sealant with the other sealant, and finaly being able to add my other colored epoxy coats everywhere… One other example : After the first water fill, I found a bad little plastic smell coming from the water (no way that I could put fish in that water), So after unfilling all the water and sanded a little all the epoxy surface, I had put one final coat of an another type of epoxy. This time, everything was fine with the water….

Filtration system details : My initial goal was to have a system that would require no occasionally vacuum cleaning of the aquarium ground and also a system that would be really easy to operate (more easy to clean than an external fluval filter which I found cause always a mess to open/close and clean media). That said, I am pretty happy of my system because the water exit pipe push all fish waste (a lot of waste with koi) to the other side of the aquarium where one of the submersible pump is located. So all the aquarium ground can be cleaned within only 10 to 15 minutes when I start the pumps. Then I am also happy of the system maintenance ease. To clean filtration media, I just have to open the panel on top of the filter part, then dive my hand in the basket to reach dirty filtration media in orther to clean them. So it is easy to operate but it is not miraculous because with my 9 fishs including my 2 koi of about 12-14 inch… the filtration media must be cleaned really often to keep the water as clean as after a water change.

Music : Magdelayna - Tears For Adagio (Original Mix)