If you are the type of handy person who enjoys building things yourself to save on expenses, then perhaps one project you may be interested in is building your own acrylic aquarium. A project like this is both challenging and very rewarding—and the fact that you do not need too many kinds of tools to get the job done means that making an acrylic aquarium is an excellent choice for anyone who wishes to have an aquarium for their fish but cannot due to a tight budget, or even for people who simply want to get their hands wet in the world of do it yourself projects. Either way, if you are interested in making something like this and unafraid of a little hard work, then this article will help guide you in building your own acrylic aquarium with as little hassle as possible—so long as you follow the steps provided below, then a cost-effective acrylic aquarium is all but guaranteed.
- First thing is to gather the necessary materials. This will include your acrylic panels (which can be purchased from a supplier of acrylics), acrylic solvent, a solvent applicator, some paper, a pencil, tape measure and some non-toxic gas cleaner. As was stated above, you do not need much to build an acrylic aquarium of your own, though you may have to go through a bit of effort and negotiation to purchase acrylic panels in the prices you want. In any case, gather the items and ready your workspace.
- Draw up your blueprints. Depending on how you want to go about making your acrylic aquarium, blueprints can either take a bit of effort or none at all. If you have properly measured the work area and have determined exactly where you want your aquarium to be and how big, then it is simply a matter of drawing up the exact measurements. If you haven’t done so yet, then you can experiment a little with sizes until you decide on one you wish to use—remember that you will need to repurchase or at least cut down the acrylic panels if you change the size in your blueprints.
- Mold the pieces together. Using your acrylic solvent and your applicator apply the adhesive to the edge of one of the acrylic panels and gently fuse the two panels you wish to start with together. The tricky part is letting the pieces form together—you need to set them in a way that does not interfere with the curing process, and wait for at least three hours before trying to mold another piece onto it. Using the blueprints you drew up as the guide, repeat this step over and over again until you have properly assembled the acrylic aquarium. This could take some time, so be ready to have something else to do while you wait for the attached pieces to properly harden.
- Let the acrylic aquarium complete its curing process. Although the solvent will stick them together after a few hours, for the acrylic panels to really be sealed shut, you will need more time. If you give your acrylic aquarium a week to let the curing process sink in, then it will never break off on its own.
After the wait, the last thing you have to do is to move it to the location you had planned it to be—and there you have it. You now have your very own acrylic aquarium.