DIY Aquarium Tips: How to Make Homemade Fish Tank

DIY Aquarium Tips: How to Make Homemade Fish Tank

How to Build a DIY Aquarium

DIY aquariums are much easier to build in reality. Anybody can make these aquariums single-handedly since they are just glass casings that are latched together. The main thing you have to do is to collect all the required materials and follow the correct method to be able to make an aquarium.

Now, the question is how do you build an aquarium? You can easily make your own DIY aquarium by buying glass and other materials from your local hardware. For the glass, you can have someone cut it to your preferred size or you can do it yourself if you have the right machine.

Once the glass panels are cut to their appropriate length, their edges must be scraped clean by sanding them and wiping them with an emery cloth.

Use an acetone cleaner if there are traces of dirt or grease on it. Properly cleaned surfaces will allow the adhesives to stick strongly for the glasses to hold tighter when assembling them.

While setting up, a middle brace should be placed inside for support to hold the panels together to keep things stable as you continually work on it.

For the stand, makers of aquariums use a steel tank stand. Since you are making your own aquarium, you can use a Styrofoam pad to save on work and time. Utilizing the styro pad even allows you to use thinner glass for different sides of your aquarium.

When applying the adhesives, do this slowly and carefully to avoid gaps or bubbles that can make an uneven finish. Silicone is the best adhesive to use to stick glass together. It is quick-drying counting only minutes so it better work it up fast.

After gluing the glass altogether, let it stand dry for a few hours and apply a little adhesive to the glass brace. You can also use duct tape as a precaution to be very sure that things will hold together.

It is time to test your aquarium! Start pouring in the water and see how it holds up. If you see no leaks, congratulations, you have just built yourself a good aquarium!

Now that you know how to build an aquarium without a glitch, it will be easy to make them in different sizes. You can even make a profit out of it by selling them to different pet shops. You can also come up with customized versions upon clients’ requests.

Further gaining expertise in building aquariums, you can go up a notch by creating aquariums of different shapes and structures. For now, a rectangular-shaped aquarium remains to be the favorite.

Choosing a DIY Aquarium Background

Aquariums do not simply mean tanks, water, and fish. They must have the necessary equipment or gadgets to make for a safe and livable environment for the fish.

The system of filtration is amongst the most essential aquarium equipment that any fish tank enthusiast must possess. This ensures that your aquarium is filled with clean water essential for aquatic species to live stress-free.

As important as it is complex, filtration systems for aquariums do the best service in flushing out the wastes that are dissolved in the aquarium water.

Different designs match different levels of filtration. Other filtrations devices are also available such as protein skimmers that remove proteins and waste from aquarium water.

The usual filtration system has the following:

  1. The inlet for the unclean water to come in
  2. Biological filtration takes away harmful organisms and bacteria that may strike the fish
  3. Chemical filtration flushes out waste that contains phosphates and nitrogen in the water
  4. Mechanical filtration that strains floating unnecessary residue in the water
  5. An outflow for the filtered water to flow back again into the tank.

Apart from the filtration system, air pumps are also essential. Air pumps provide enough oxygen for your fish to keep them alive. These pumps also provide carbon dioxide for the plants inside the tank.

If your aquarium is laden with lots of plant forms, these air pumps are a big help. Another important DIY aquarium equipment is the aquarium heater. This keeps the temperature of the water inside the tank perfect for the fish.

Fishes in the aquarium are more likely to die without enough oxygen because the water in the tank is stagnant which depletes the oxygen level. This is why air pumps are crucial and must be set in place to maintain the normal level of oxygen in your aquarium.

Aquariums, especially tropical ones with exotic fish that need tropical water temperature in order to survive, absolutely need a tool to help keep in the heat.

DIY Aquarium heaters are most suitable for this type of aquarium. These heaters have thermostats that perfectly adjust the water temperature of the aquarium to the desired level making the water ideal for fish to live in.

While there are aquarium heaters, there are also aquarium coolers, another essential aquarium equipment. These are preferably used in places where water temperature requires cooler degrees than room temperature for the fish to keep on living. This allows the fish to live more comfortably.

Of course, the fish need to feel at home! Be sure to pick out an aquarium background that is a good and natural fit for the environment you are trying to create. Your fish will be more comfortable, and it will be more pleasant to look at.

DIY Aquarium Light and Other Basics

If you are the type who is an aquatic enthusiast who totally adores aquariums, you have surely read up quite a good deal about the subject and acquired tremendous knowledge of them that makes it very easy for you to make and maintain an aquarium.

As you would advise those who want to make a hobby of creating and keeping an aquarium, it is important to read up on things related to them and learn as much as to make this hobby last for a lifetime.

When learning about aquariums, the best way to start is to understand the basics of it before getting lost with all the information out there. There is just so much to learn: aquarium light, temperature, environment, etc.

The first way to start is to determine what kind of aquarium you wish to create. Ask yourself how you want your aquarium to be. The state of your aquarium and the life of your chosen aquatic species will depend on the aquarium setting you will create.

There are several environments to consider for your aquarium. You may want to have a freshwater environment, brackish water, or saltwater environment.

If you are just starting to get into this hobby, you may choose to settle with a freshwater aquarium first since this requires easier maintenance compared to others.

When deciding on a freshwater environment, you can look at what form of aquatic life can live and coexist in an aquarium tank filled with fresh water.

You cannot put incompatible species all in one tank since they might just be harmful to one another. Once you have thoroughly read about the species you want in your aquarium, resist the impulse to buy them just yet.

You have to prepare your tank first and condition it to the habitual setting of your chosen aquatic species. You basically start with an empty tank, no fish at all, and then gradually set up the water for your fish and other water life forms.

Getting the right size for your aquarium is necessary if you have a number of fish. 1 inch of fish for every gallon of tank capacity is the rule of thumb for aquarium buffs. Not following this by-rule can result in disappointing outcomes, which can dishearten aquarium first-timers.

To make your aquarium healthy, live plants should be put in there since they absorb elements that can be harmful to fish. Plants also serve as playgrounds for the fish and provide a good supply of oxygen in the tank. A sufficient aquarium light source mounted on top of the aquarium is also needed to maintain plant life.

Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium

Having a freshwater tropical fish in your DIY aquarium is the top choice for people who simply cannot get enough of seeing and looking after assorted aquatic species. Aquariums come in different types whether saltwater or freshwater aquariums.

Setting up an aquarium or even getting into this hobby is a pleasant activity. You must get familiar with aquarium details first before jumping into owning one.

Read as much as you can about aquariums and marine life forms to make this hobby work out for you. You can also get in touch with experts in this field who can guide you through this hobby.

The DIY Aquarium Tank

Always look for the right size for your freshwater tropical fish aquarium. The right size means the correct proportion of tank size to the number of fish inside the aquarium.

A good aquarium must also have the proper filter system, a heater, and artificial lighting usually placed on top. Once it is filled with water and the right temperature is achieved for the fish not to be stressed in its new environment, the fish can already go in.

Aquarium Balance

In every form of life, balance is needed in order to survive. Even in the aquarium, this also must be achieved.

Waste matter in the tank is affected by the fish population. As a form of balance, these waste materials consume bacteria in the water thus continuing the equilibrium inside the aquarium.

If you are planning to add more fish to the tank, good timing must be observed so as not to ruin the ecosystem there. If you wish to add more fish, only add up to 5 in a month.

You must regularly check the water to see if it is still clear. You simultaneously do this as you feed the fish once or twice a day so you get to see the water as well. Otherwise, you have to do the necessary cleaning.

Temperature & Water Management

Every week, the water in the tank must be carefully changed. Be sure to avoid chlorinated water and chemicals that reduce chlorine in water as filler for your tank because these take the color off the gills of fish and damage them.

Make sure when you clean the water, you get to the bottom of the aquarium and suction the dirt out. Clean your glass tank as well. Dirty tanks make the fish behave differently and agitated.

To avoid breakage of the glass tank due to a change in temperature, pull out the plugs of your aquarium’s filters and heaters.

The water to be used must be lukewarm meaning it is not too hot for the good bacteria in the tank to live.

These are just a few basic tips for you to have and maintain freshwater aquariums, and help you create a livable environment for your pets. Putting nice accessories into your tank makes your fish want to live the rest of its life inside your aquarium.

Enjoy your freshwater tropical fish aquarium!

Aquarium Fish Care

Setting up a DIY aquarium at home is like putting up a central piece of attraction in your house. As the hobby is personally rewarding and fulfilling, keeping and maintaining it is a different matter.

Before getting an aquarium or building one, you must first know the basics of this hobby to get you to its highs. Some simple DOS and DON’TS below will get you to maintain and care for your aquarium the right way.

DO research on information about marine life and aquarium fish care, and try to read up on the topic as much as you can. If books are not enough, go online and join aquarium hobby forums so you can seek advice from professionals and aquarium enthusiasts alike.

Learn the deals with creating and sustaining the ecosystem in your aquarium, which can be a difficult task. Do this by keeping updates on helpful hints to help you create a conducive environment for your aquatic pets.

Don’t prioritize the appearance or the aesthetic value of your aquarium over the essentials.

What’s important is that you focus on creating the perfect aquatic balance in your DIY aquarium.

Its natural environment alone is already a breathtaking showcase of beauty. Marine elements that you can put in your aquarium have respective functions to keep balance in the underwater ecosystem.

Don’t do things just to dress up your aquarium. Sometimes, they do more harm than good. Instead, focus on achieving aesthetic presentation with a purpose. When choosing gravel for your aquarium, don’t get the very fine types of gravel.

They can be tightly packed together when placed inside the aquarium giving no room for the good bacteria to live there. Don’t choose gravel that’s too large either because food may get stuck into their large gaps. This also may distract your aquarium’s ecosystem.

DO have quarantine tanks available. Make them come in handy before thinking of getting new ones for your tank. Even if you are used to not having new additions in quarantine, it is much safer to have quarantine tanks handy. Remember, one sick fish is deadly enough to produce infection and extinguish your aquarium’s population so better have a quarantine process for the new batch.

Don’t feed your fish too much. It is actually safer to keep them underfed rather than bloating them with food to death. One technique to know if you are feeding your fish the right amount is when you see the food all eaten up within 5 minutes.

It means you are feeding them well. If it is more than 5 minutes and you see that the food is not totally consumed, it means that they are overfed and you have to quickly take away the traces of the uneaten food pieces or else you know what will happen.

DIY Aquarium fish care isn’t as hard as it sounds, and it sure is rewarding.


Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.