In the past, one wouldn’t imagine an aquarium made of wood. This is basically because of the common knowledge that water destroys wood, but then again, so is steel yet it has been in use for making aquariums. But now things are changing as people have explored and found out that wood is indeed a very good material for making wood aquariums.
Factors to consider with wood aquariums:
1. Wood coating
When making an aquarium using wood however, just like most of the other commonly used materials, we need a coating between the wood and the water making the aquarium water tight.
Aside from that, stiffness is another important factor. To achieve this, thickness of the structure is inevitable to ensure the structure doesn’t bulge as well as bend due to the pressure. This factor is indeed a major advantage for wood compared to the other commonly used materials like steel. This is because wood is usually available cheaply and in good thickness. Steel on the other hand are usually thin and would usually bend under the pressure of the water. This is the main reason you will not find an aquarium made of purely steel, because thick steel come with a huge cost which is not bearable. In cases where the wood isn’t strong and stiff enough one can use either horizontal or vertical beams to reinforce.
3. Use of beams for strength
As mentioned above, either horizontal and/or vertical beams are used to reinforce plywood whenever there is risk of bending of the aquarium structure. To achieve this, there is need for calculation of thickness of the beams to achieve the desired strength. There may not be need to go into the tedious calculations however.
4. Gaps between the wood plates
One of the challenges of using wood as an aquarium construction material is sealing the gaps between the wood plates. This can be solved by either plugging or even gluing. Do not however make a commonly made mistake of simply painting hoping the gaps will be sealed, as this would lead to leakage. Note that painting is not an option even if the gaps appear small.
Importance of silicone
Silicone is a very important material in the construction of an aquarium using wood. One of its main advantages is the fact that it is non toxic and hence it will not cause any harm to your fish. Secondly it is very elastic coming in handy. Also, it is very strong hence can endure pressure to a great extent.
Use of glass
For visibility of the fish in the aquarium, a glass is used on the sides and even on top or bottom as desired, to replace the wood. The thickness should be just enough to sustained the pressure of the water.
Construction involves a step by step process but it is recommended that you make the stand first. Then after that, make the side walls, back wall and finally the bottom wall. After that, you can assemble the parts into the whole structure.
Ensure you do a proper coating of the inside of the structure to ensure no leakage. Also ensure you use rust free screws in joining all the parts. When done with the assembly, do a proper outer coating by using thin sheets of plywood.
Constructing an aquarium using wood is indeed a noble thing and it reduces the construction costs considerably. The advantages of using wood far outweigh the disadvantages and wood are very fast becoming a material of choice. When everything is done right, wood is one of the best options.