It's been a productive day today
I was working on a plan for how to design the 10 gallon tanks I got during the $1 a gallon sale at Petco. I wanted them all to have the same look so I did them all at the same time and took pics so you can do this too if you want. These have a sliding glass track but only uses a single pane in the outer track.
10 gallon tank
5" x 9.75" glass (soil dam)
1" x 9.75" glass (top brace)
12" x 10.25" glass (door)
Amazing Goop glue
1/8" sliding glass track profiles Outwater Plastics (choose product #180 in black white or brown)
glass cutter & T square (Lowes will cut glass to size if you are not sure how to cut glass easy to do once you learn but it's a PITA to learn!)
Rubbing alcohol & towels to clean glass before gluing and removing excess silicone and marker marks
not shown: Masking tape, T square and aluminum mosquito screen.
GOOP brand glue is a silicone type glue which will bond glass and plastic and dries glass clear, stinks to high heaven though compared to normal silicone so best to do everything outside or with fans and a window open. As with silicone let your project air out outdoors for a week and rinse it out after that week before putting anything in it.
Sand the tank lip with the sanding block to rough the surface up a little. Glue in the 5" soil barrier for the base of your tank
Glue the top glass brace in. My finger is pointing at the lower edge position of 2 1/2" (between this point and the outer edge of the tank lip) there is a 1" gap between the top of the tank and this glass brace. The open gap is where the ventilation strip will go later.
Cut the sliding glass track rails to size 9.75", make it a tight fit par it down with a utility knife if you need to better too big at first than too small and have to cut another rail. Put a dab of Goop in each corner and wedge the tracks in and smooth out the excess goop that comes out of the placement.
Now put a strip of masking tape about 1/8" - 1/4" away from the sliding track on the glass of the top brace and bottom soil dam
Run a bead of Goop along the joins of the glass and sliding tracks. Use your finger to press and smooth the glue into the join. Let sit a few minutes.
Now peel the tape off before the glue sets permanently and you'll see you have a nice perfect glue line just like on TV!
Cut the aluminum screen to 9.75" x 2" check the placement of the gap and cut the screen so there is only a 1/4" overlap from the ventilation gap. screen should be 1 1/2" wide but check width before you cut just incase so you don't have to cut another piece and get it perfectly flat.
Run a bead of silicone on the tank lip first and then install the screen flush against the tank lip, pushing the screen down into the silicone and work the silicone back and forth to create a "sealed" edge to the screen.
Now as before take the masking tape and tape the glass, this time put the tape right against but not over the screen. Then run a bead of silicone over top the loose taped edge of the screen and work the silicone down into the screen and against the glass as before.
Peel off the tape, slide the front glass pane in the tracks and you're done!
If you plan your glass sizes and do them all at once they should all look like the same "series" as these. These six tanks cos me about $100 for all. Took a couple hours total to assemble, I took lots of breaks to go indoors it was hot out. Glue the ventilation screens in with silicone because if it ever needs to be replaced silicone comes off but Goop doesn't.
I hope you enjoyed this little project, I had fun!
I'm looking forward to doing this same type of conversion on four 20 gallon high tanks that I have stacked up out in the garage this weekend. Some might say I need professional help!