Constructing the Tank

After several weeks of research, both online and through LFS (local fish shop) employees, I came to the conclusion that the only ready to go tank I was going to be able to afford, along with all the necessary equipment, was going to be a standard 55gal. From my research I also gleaned that this was not going to be big enough for my needs, and that the height of these tanks makes it difficult to work with. It was time to change the direction of my quest.

I have worked with both glass and wood in the past. I have not worked with acrylic. The decision had been made, by myself, that I wanted about a 75-85gal tank with more depth front to back than standard tanks and less height so that the lighting would be more effective. The glass for such a project would be very heavy so I turned to an alternative. I discovered that the people at G.A.R.F. (Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation) were using plywood tanks with glass fronts for their grow out tanks. This seemed to me to be both economically sound and the fact that the tank could be made just about any size desired. GARF also had plans and a calculator to figure out exactly the dimensions of the plywood right on their site readily available. I pretty much followed their plans with a few exceptions that will be noted in this article. Here is a list of the materials I used to construct an 80gal/48"L x 24"W x 16"H tank:

The GARF Plywood Tank Construction plans are pretty straight forward and I ran into no hitches with the construction. The plans did call for a different type of glue. I opted for a glue that I was familiar with (Gorilla Brand) and that is 100% waterproof and very strong!! Here is a list of tools that I used for the tank construction (If you don't have a table saw or circular, you can get the wood cut where you purchased it):