How to Make Your Own Glass Aquarium

How to Make Your Own Glass Aquarium
How to Make Your Own Glass Aquarium
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From the designer: "Building your own glass aquarium is a satisfying project and even if you don’t have fish, it has a dozen uses. Use it as a kitchen herb garden, a terrarium or indoor atrium. Being made from glass, people often imagine that construction will be tedious and complicated and overly delicate. Sure, you have to be careful when handling glass. But no more careful than you are with paint thinner or a pair of sharp scissors."

Estimated Cost$21-$30

Time to CompleteIn an evening

Primary TechniqueGlass Crafts



Materials List

  • Glass Panels
  • Silicon
  • Masking Tape

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Ensure all pieces are clean of any grit or grease. Methylated spirits is ideal as it will evaporate quickly. Using your masking tape, tape one side of your base piece so that the tape is half under the glass and half exposed. This is going to help you steady the front and base pane until you have siliconed the two. As you go around, you are going to lift the tape upward so you can attach the adjoining piece of glass.

  2. Lay down an unbroken 3mm line of silicone along the edge. Place the front pane down and apply pressure (not too much, but firm). If you need to, lay something heavy against the front glass pane to act as a wall and keep the panel upright.

  3. Continue down to the bottom panel with one continuous line of silicone. Keep it just off the edge. Do the same with each side of your front panel and then begin to attach the side glass, applying even pressure as you go. Try not to lift and replace the glass once you have put it in position. This can create air pockets which later cause leaks. Simply move the panel around in the silicon so that it is flush - then leave it be. You can always go in and add addition silicone if needed once the pieces are all in place.

  4. Do the same thing for the final panel (the back pane). As soon as you have completed all sides, remove the tap and allow up to 48 hours for the silicone to properly cure.

  5. Curing and Finishing your Glass Aquarium: Finally, fill your tank with water and check for any leaks It is a good idea to leave the water in the tank for a full 24 hours to be sure there are no leaks. Once you have done this, remove all water and dry the tank out for a day. This will allow any residue from the silicone to evaporate and ensure your tank is clean of any chemicals before adding your fish.

  6. Enjoy your new tank!

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The concept of making your own aquarium is interesting. My husband and I have a 65 gallon tank and we love it. I plan on making a small aquarium using these directions just for the fun of it. Who know, maybe we can have a twin 65 gal tank if I master a small version.

Cool. I just like the presentation of the aquarium. What puts me off about most aquariums are the edges. This is beautiful. I may try this is a smaller size first that will fit on my desktop at work. Great idea.

I find the task of making an aquarium out of glass from scratch rather interesting, probably because of the potential for a big mess! I think if I saw it was a vase or a smaller project, I would not think of it as such a big deal. But after reading the instructions, I could see where this would,be pretty neat because you could get the size you want at a fraction of the cost and the satisfaction of making it yourself, which I did not know was even possible! Wonderful inspiration and a clever idea! Thanks for sharing!


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