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The Whole Shebang
That looks good. M.   The foam is tied to a length of plastic right-angle profile? And the profile is gooed to the aquarium glass?  If the answer to the latter is 'yes', and if  the profile comes loose at some point, I'll tell you my patent method of fixing it more securely.

Meanwhile I've been refining my 'Sheba' plans in two stages.

First I made a life-size model : remember, my brain can't readily hack drawings covered with numbers ; and I can't draw 3-d representations of things with any meaningful degree of success! So …

Here's a sequence of pics showing the model in successive states of undress!  The last one is of it sitting in the rack …






It all appeared to check out OK so I proceeded to stage two which was to re-check all measurements starting from scratch.  I've been able to add ten millimetres of length because I'd originally envisaged using the remainder of the 15mm foam to insulate (I'd have to buy a whole huge sheet) but have now decided on the 3mm closed-cell foamboard that I used on the last tank set-up. 

The acrylic samples have arrived : the 5mm one looks plenty strong enough for my purposes.  I got one with a satin finish which looks great - but I don't think the particular cut-to-size-plastic company that I'd use stocks it. 

As usual, the first port of call for tank builders is #1 LFS who use a 'trade' company called Seashell.  I believe it's important to support valued local independents whenever possible, so I always give #1 LFS first opportunity to supply and/or to price match online quotes. I took the model. He's prepared to do drawings when I return with it on Saturday but in the meantime I'm going to try my 2-d best with Microsoft Paint! 

Being a bit better with words rather than graphic stuff I've cobbled together a textual description which I'll base my drawing attempts on, and which the tank builder can refer to.  Can someone look through it please to check that I've not missed any important detail(s)?  Here it is …

"These are three identical oblong aquariums to populate a racking unit. Continuing description is of one of the tanks.

Maximum external dimensions are :  1190mm (L) x 390 (W) x 330 (H).

The rear panel is black glass. The front panel is Optiwhite, or low-iron glass. The side panels may be standard glass.

Glass for the outer panes is 6mm.  Glass for internal glasswork is 4mm. Glass for the top-panes [see below] is 2mm (unless professional advice is that 4mm would be preferable, or if 2mm black glass isn't available).

Internal dimensions are : 1178mm (L) x 378 (W) x 324 (H). 'Brim' water capacity is therefore 144.27L ; the operational water volume will be 122.45L ; and the 'swimming' volume will be 91.2L

There are two braces across the tank [378 x 50mm] each flush with the rim of the aquarium and set such that their inner edges are 150mm from the aquarium's side panels. Besides offering some  structural strength, the braces will support the light unit's brackets (Nicrew 80cm). The light unit weighs c1.5 kilograms.

Rails, 25mm wide, are set perpendicular to the outer panes such that the upper surfaces of the rails are 25mm below the aquarium rim.  The rail on the rear panel [1138mm x 25] stops 20mm from both rear corners (to allow for cable entry).  The rail on the front panel is full-length [1178mm x 25]. There are short lengths of rail [50mm x25] mounted centrally on the side panels. The purpose of the rails is to support loose top-panels which cover the aquarium.

There are six top-panels.  The two outermost top-panels (375mm x 160) which are butted against the sides of the aquarium, are of black glass and have their rear corners cut off  (to allow for cable entry).

The four central top-panels [375mm x 214] are of standard glass. Each has a 40mm hole drilled (to allow for feeding). The centre of each hole is 100mm from the short edge of the panel and 107mm from the long edge. A means of closing each hole when not in use should be provided. A simple square of 2mm glass [50mm x 50], plus a short 'handle', should suffice ; but a circle would be more pleasing.

The principal feature of the aquarium's internal design is an arrangement which affords a linear current of water within it.  A pump (Eheim CompactOn 600) is immersed at the left-hand end of the aquarium from which a hose [12/16mm], resting on the floor of the tank, returns water to the right-hand end.  Both ends are partitioned off from the 'swimming space' of the aquarium [878mm long] by identical baffles. 

Each baffle is 25mm thick and composed of a sheet of 15mm, 30ppi reticulated black foam, sandwiched between two perforated plates of 5mm black acrylic. Water is thus enabled to pass through the baffles. The baffles are raised 20mm above the tank floor in order to provide for a shallow depth of substrate. The internal glasswork exists simply to support the baffles and keep them in place ; it does not have any other structural function. 

Doubtless there are more ways to achieve this support other than via the configuration of glass panels suggested here.  The four essential features are: 

a) that a 12/16mm hose should pass under the baffles at the rear of the aquarium ; 

b) that the surface upon which the baffles sit should be plane and level;
c) that the baffles are able to move sideways such that they may be withdrawn from the tank through the gaps between the vertical elements of the supports (the perforated acrylic sheets may not be withdrawn vertically because of the tier of racking above - though the 'floppy' foam inserts can be withdrawn vertically for cleaning).

d) that the inner faces of the supports (i.e. those seen by an observer looking in to the aquarium) should be black (or at least appear to be black!)."

Also I've solved the conundrum of where to put a spraybar (if required) and how to mount it : it was obvious once I'd made the full-size model. So at least I know it doesn't need to be part of the initial build, I can think further about it later.
Chocolate Gourami
False Eight-Banded Barbs
Liquorice Gourami
Phoenix Rasbora
Pseudomugil sp. "iriani" Rainbows
Sakura Shrimp
Sparkling Gourami
Spotted Blue-Eye Rainbows
Food : anything that appears in an outside bath, plus: blackworms, daphnia, earthworms, microworms, moina, waterlouse
[-] The following 4 users Like Vale!'s post:
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An interesting project. I'm not a designer, I just enjoy making things. A few thoughts about the design. My initial impression is that the baffles are somewhat of an over-kill. Using a large filter area means that the water flow will be slow threfore there is little or no "stress" on the filter medium. I presume that the baffles are not strength supports. If this is so then a possibility would be to use two thicknesses of filter medium with plastic netting (1cm) sandwiched between. Make the foam slightly longer than the width of the tank so that it is slightly bowed and that shoud be sufficient to hold it in place. If not I'll think about plan B.
My filter effort is a separate unit made of acrylic, and yes, silicon doesn't stick well. The filter is held in place by the tops of rectangular electrical conduit cut in half. The filter is very easy to remove, perhaps too easy. It was made as a feasability study. Mk 2 version will be much improved. The wife dosen't know yet but it will be used in a larger tank.[Image: smile.png], that is if I'm still alive. Huh
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