Tank for moss and emersed growing - DONE :)

Discussion in 'Hardware & DIY' started by Tony Swinney, 23 Nov 2009.

  1. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Cobham, Surrey
    Hi

    I've designed a 'growing' tank, which will have several compartments for moss / plants which will be submersed, plus two larger compartments for emmersed growth of plants.

    Its going to be built out of acrylic, and a friend has already computer cut all the pieces for me at his work. My first question is what is the best stuff to use for gluing the acylic tank together ???

    I have aquarium sealant, but it doesnt mention acrylic on the instructions, just glass. Will this be OK to use ?

    Heres a sketch of the setup (the heat cable may not be used, but is an option) ...

    Moss_tank.jpg


    Any thoughts appreciated !

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  2. JamesM

    JamesM Member

    Messages:
    1,913
    Location:
    The BIG End, South Wales
    Re: Acrylic tank for moss and emmersed set-up

    Silicone simply wont adhere to perspex...

    http://www.eagletransporter.com/forum/s ... .php?t=169


    You should find bucket of the stuff on eBay, or via Google Shopping :thumbup:

    Always test a small area on a off-cut beforehand :)
     
  3. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Re: Acrylic tank for moss and emmersed set-up

    Thanks for that James, lots of useful info there :D I'll let you know how I get on

    Tony
     
  4. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Cobham, Surrey
    Re: Acrylic tank for moss and emmersed set-up

    I got both Tensol 70, and Weld-On16 today, so will do some practise plastic welding tonight, and hopefully put it all together over the weekend :D

    Tony
     
  5. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Cobham, Surrey
    Re: Acrylic tank for moss and emmersed set-up

    So the testing progressed quickly to building the proper tank :lol:

    I now have the upmost admiration for folks who build acrylic tanks for a living - its very tricky stuff to work with !

    The "adhesive" actually melts the acrylic, so that the 2 surfaces to be affixed melt together into one piece. This means there is no margin for error when it comes to placing the pieces together, and no room for sloppiness, as you cant wipe this stuff off - it starts to melt the acrylic instantly. The edges of the acrylic that are to be mated together also have to be perfectly smooth and square if theres any chance of gaining a watertight join. I found the Tensol 70 easier to use than the WeldOn16, as it is thinner and the capillary action means it draws itself into the joins. The Weld-on is a thicker substance which I've used around the base joints as you can build it up more, to form a stronger seal.

    Luckily for me, this is only for a storage / growing on tank so I'm not too worried about the finish, but of course I'd like it to be good :lol:

    This is where its at now - this is the base, and front panel facing towards the wall, plus the 2 end panels and a couple of strengthening ribs too:

    mosstank_1_0654.jpg

    Tomorrow I'll add in the central divider and "moss compartments" :D

    Tony
     
  6. JamesM

    JamesM Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Re: Acrylic tank for moss and emmersed set-up

    Good start bud, you're flying along! :)
     
  7. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Cobham, Surrey
    Re: Acrylic tank for moss and emmersed set-up

    Cheers James :thumbup: I got the rest of it put together this afternoon, just leaving it to cure over night before a leak test tomorrow. Excuse the crappy iphone pics, but it gives you an idea !

    Tony

    The full tank, with lids in place:

    mosstankbuild.jpg

    This pic shows one of the back compartments, that I'll keeping mosses in. Each will have a water inlet like this one :D

    closeup.jpg
     
  8. JamesM

    JamesM Member

    Messages:
    1,913
    Location:
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    Re: Acrylic tank for moss and emmersed set-up

    Cool :D Not a lot of room for access to the moss chambers though, or am I wrong? What filter are you using bud?
     
  9. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Cobham, Surrey
    Re: Acrylic tank for moss and emmersed set-up

    Hi James

    There are 5 moss chambers on the left which are 12cm x 12cm so I can just get my hand in there. Each moss is going to be on a branch within the chamber, so you can just lift the branch out :D The other two moss chambers on the right (I made it a bit different to the drawing) are 22cm x 12cm as i might use these for storing submersed plants aswell as mosses. All these chambers will be 230mm deep with water.

    The front 'trough' is for emmersed growth, and is partially split in two so that the left half will have 100mm of substrate / water, and the right half will have 35mm of water in it.

    I'm not going to run a filter on this initially. Instead I'm going to use a garden watering timer to open the valve on my RO / HMA storage tank and let 20 litres fresh water in every morning (thats about a 75% wc). The old water will run out to waste as it tops up. I have a spare eheim 2026 which I could add to this easily if I find it needs it, but I dont think it will.

    Any thoughts and advice are welcome (from others aswell as you James :lol: ).

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  10. glenn

    glenn Member

    Messages:
    358
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Re: Acrylic tank for moss and emmersed set-up

    cant beleive i only just noticed this! :shifty: it looks a very cool project tony and you must be excited as to weather it will all come together and work for you, it must be handy having a friend with access to machines that can do that sort of stuff!
    good luck to you with it, im excited for you :D
     
  11. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Cobham, Surrey
    Re: Acrylic tank for moss and emmersed set-up

    Thanks Glenn, this certainly wouldnt have happened without my mate doing all the acrylic for me - well worth the bottle a bottle of Bushmills :lol:

    The leak testing is complete, and it passed :thumbup: so its now in situ, and I've just trialed the water system too. The overflow weirs are working great, and it looks like the garden timer will work a treat too, adding fresh water once or twice a day.

    The inlet pipework has one small leak to resolve so I'll get onto that tomorrow night. I'm thinking of installing the heat cable in the front 2 compartments and the 2 larger rear compartments as these will house potted plants, so I'll probably add a covering of gravel too just to hide the cable and give a flatter surface :D

    Cheers

    Tony

    Just filled:
    _MUS3395.jpg

    Overflowing the front weir:
    _MUS3400.jpg

    The whole system running, and overflowing:
    _MUS3402.jpg
     
  12. andyh

    andyh Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Derby
    Re: Tank for moss and emmersed growing - DONE :)

    Hey

    That looks very proffesional!

    Cant wait to see what you can grown in it!

    Are you going to do a journal?

    Andy
     
  13. JamesM

    JamesM Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    The BIG End, South Wales
    Re: Tank for moss and emmersed growing - DONE :)

    I want one! :D
     
  14. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    Super cool Tony, absolutely love it!
     
  15. AdAndrews

    AdAndrews Member

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    beastly 8)
     
  16. viktorlantos

    viktorlantos Aquascaper

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    wow nah that's a top qual DIY project.
    can not wait to see the plants grow there.

    great work mate :thumbup:
     
  17. Stu Worrall

    Stu Worrall Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,987
    Location:
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    Top build tony, looks really good! You have to change your name to Moss_Farm_Tonser now :D
     
  18. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Cobham, Surrey
    Thanks guys :thumbup: I'm looking forward to getting it stocked at the weekend :D

    Or perhaps RottingMoss_Farm_Tonser depending on its success :lol:

    Tony
     
  19. Graeme Edwards

    Graeme Edwards Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Wirral/Chester Cheshire.
    Bitchin mate... As always Tony, when you do something, you do it right....make me sick :sick: :lol:

    Love ya work mate...respect.
     
  20. john starkey

    john starkey Member

    Messages:
    1,593
    Location:
    worcester
    wow tony thats a nice looking propogater,i wish you all the best with this project,i am sure it will work with your loving care, :thumbup: ,
    regards john.
     

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