Aquarium owners have entered a whole new degree of beauty with the introduction of the acrylic fish tank. Aquariums have always drawn attention for their colors and display of fascinating aquatic life. They display a slice of a totally different underwater world that is usually only found in movies and photographs. They’re a dynamic, ever-changing showpiece that can bring interest and sophistication to any home or business where they reside.
The issue with these beautiful acrylic aquariums is that they look so beautiful and expensive that many believe that they could not possibly afford to own one. But that’s not the case. Many standard designs have all the elements a fish aficionado needs to display his pride and joys to best effect. Of course, with a slightly higher spending budget, all sorts of stunning custom designs are possible.
The typical fish tank is really not that hard for even a beginner to construct. Those who have built a fish tank using the old style designs employing glass and steel frames may find working with acrylics to be a delight. Similar to the glass aquariums, step one for making an acrylic tank will be to cut the transparent sheets. This really is much easier for acrylics. You are able to mark or score these sheets and then cut them with a hacksaw. One of the best things about the acrylic tanks is that a frame is not required. You only need to join the acrylic edges on the seams. However, those edges and seams are important.
Professional acrylic aquarium builders use milling machines to create matching edges accurately. When creating more difficult models, a milling machine referred to as a CNC machine is used to produce incredibly accurate cuts. The second consideration is that edges and seams need to be clear. The acrylic cuts will leave an edge that’s somewhat rough and translucent white in color. This needs to be polished so the edges are transparent like the middle. The majority of the higher end fish tank assembly houses do that by hand. A quicker but lower quality method utilizes a torch to melt the edges.
Another necessity for the most beautiful acrylic tanks is a sump accessory tank. This is actually the secondary tank, meaning it houses all the air pumps and filters so you will not have anything mechanical in the aquarium itself. For many aquariums, the sump is hidden in the support table beneath the primary tank. You can also discover it in the ceiling above the tanks as well. Viewers are not always aware of the difference between a tank with a sump and one that has the pumps and filters visible, but the overall reaction is that the tank with a sump seems more natural.
In salt-water aquariums, the sump can also contain a calcium reactor. Inspite of the word reactor, this is not any kind of a standard energy source. It really works to create a natural balance between the alkalinity that’s necessary for all the marine life. It can also be found in freshwater tanks containing freshwater clams, corals, and other invertebrates, which require a constant flow of calcium.
Aquariums can also include a refugium, a separate portion of the aquarium set aside for sensitive marine life such as sea horses, or for growing live food such as feeder fish.
These factors combine to create wonderful underwater effects for the home and office. These acrylic fish tanks present art-gallery-level beauty and attractiveness wherever they’re displayed.
By: Claire Winters