5.5 gallon Expander HOME Part 1 and 2

Here is what you will end up with... A tank that can be used as regular fish tank or a bottomless aquarium. Make this at home with parts from the hardware store and simple step by step guide below!!
Expanding a 10 gallon into a 15.5!!! Any tank larger tahn 10 gallon is compatible!!
Getting started:
Getting your material, you will need .100" acrylic sheet available at the hardware store such as mac's or menard's.
(1) .100" thick 18" x 32" sheet of acrylic. (about $9)
(1) .22" thick 9" x 17" sheet of acrylic or larger (10" x 18" will work better for tank expander, support overhang included in instructions)
Acrylic cement and applicator bottle (tap plastics online or other supplier)
Tools needed:
Razor blade, C - clamps, wood blocks (various sizes), 180 and 220 grit sandpaper.
Cut acrylic sheet at your own risk, edge's are sharp. You can cut thin acrylic by scoring then breaking, see our overflow box page for more help with cutting acrylic sheets. Always sand then scrape the edge's and don't attempt to cement until they are flat and smooth. When the cement dries it won't fill gaps. It will leave air pockets and bubbles if you skip this step.
Determine the size of your tank with a paper and pencil or else hang in there and use my dimensions for any tank 10g or larger!!
Take your 18" x 32" .100" thick acrylic sheet and score it in order shown below.
1. Score the large sheet the long way at 9" shown in RED above. Clamp to the table with wood blocks and break the sheet in half (see overflow box page for more help with scoring acrylic).
2. Take one of your piece's and mark it halfway or at 16" and score and break it into two 9" x 16" pieces shown in GREEN above. You now have the front and back piece's
3. Take the other half (9" x 32") and mark it at 8.75" in BLUE above. Score and break the piece.
4. Take the last piece and mark it at 8.75" in YELLOW above. Score and break the piece, you now have both side piece's that will measure 8.75" x 9" and .100" thick.
 Front and Back Piece dimensions.
Now you have the piece's and should be very close to done if scored and broken correctly. Now see overflow box page for help with scraping your edge's, use 180 grit and then 220 grit sandpaper along with a razor blade scraping method to prepare your contact edge's.
5. Assemble your piece's and use electrical tape to hold it together. A small square can help you get a 90 degree angle while assembling.
Peel plastic one side of your largest piece (16" x 9" or larger .22" thick acrylic sheet). Tape the edge's together once they are scraped PERFECTLY flat. Once you have practiced cementing acrylic with some of your leftover piece's, then you are ready to complete the tank and allow to dry.
Now glue the bottom piece's around the inside then outside, follow this video or see our Gluing Acrylic page for some assistance:
After a few minutes you can start on the edge's and complete the project by adding a center brace from the leftover piece.
Take your leftover and determine the size of the center brace, I made mine 8.75" x 1.75" and cemented it in place. The size isn't really important but the brace itself is. It will prevent too much bow in the tank.
Congrats you've completed you DIY TANK!! Thanks for checking us out.
All info is FREE!! All Donations are deeply appreciated!!
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