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Revised: January 16, 2006

My first Pacu tank
in the garage using
landscape timbers measured 8'  by 8' by 4' deep and contained 1,600 gallons.

I used 60 D nails / spikes, 5 in each timber per row, one in each corner and 3 evenly spaced along the 8 foot span.  Each successive span requires the nails to be offset 6" to avoid hitting the head of the nail in the tier below.

8' x 8' x 4' = 1,600
gallon tank.  Note:  The nail holes must be pre drilled to a size slightly under the nail diameter to prevent the wood from splitting. 

When I built my 2400 gallon aquarium I also inserted 8 Sampson angle braces, one in each corner on top of the first row of timbers and another 4 up about 12". I used 3/8" by 8" lag screws.

I have used JM type two inch foam insulation with an R-13 value on top or anywhere it can't get waterlogged; otherwise use the 2" closed cell Styrofoam insulation with an R-10 value.

In the garage with an ambient temperature of 65 degrees, this insulated tank requires one 300 watt heater to maintain 78 degrees.
Liner is 6 mil con-tractors plastic. A black PVC 20 mill pond liner would have been better as the pacu soon chewed holes in the clear plastic. Temporary
filter with
two 50
gallon sump tubs which can support a 200lb. fish load & 5 lbs. daily feed.
Top tub is siphon
overflow, center is a fiber  mechanical filter, bottom chamber is the bio sump with heaters.

2,400 gallon tank
under construction,
12' x 8' x 4' high. Glass window is 1/2", 3/4" would have been better.

The window glass is 88" by 34" overall, with a 2" mounting surface on all sides the net opening is 84" by 30".

I used 4 of these Sampson angle braces to secure the window frame corners, as shown in photo to the left.

Installing 7 ft glass
window.  I used 12 tubes of Silicone II sealant from Home Depot,  The glass should rest on 3/16" thick 1/2" by 1/2" square neoprene rubber shims placed every 6" inches all the way around. Let the Silicone cure for at least 3 days or more in warm weather, longer if below 70 degrees.

Installing 4 inch
overflow drain.  I used ABS pipe flanges with 1/4" rubber gaskets.  I drilled a hole through the cherry wood timbers, splitting the distance between them so so no timber was completely severed.

2,400 nearly done
summer 2003.  Timbers are all glued in place to 3/4", CDX, plywood with "Resorcinol" two part mixed wood glue.  All surfaces must be clean and dry.  Next everything is painted with a good quality, water based latex primer.  Two coats may be required to cover blemishes.  Finally one coat or two would be better of semi- gloss exterior water based latex.  Let it dry for 3 days at 70 degrees

"T" section used to secure top straps, 2" by 6" timbers on 4 foot centers.  See photo to the left and right. Note:  The 4' by 8' Styrofoam covers fit snugly resting on the top straps.

I used a total of 12 each 4" by 4" treated timbers.  One row around the base, a second row to frame the bottom of the window and a third to frame the top of the window.  As the 4" by 4" timbers are slightly different in size from the cherry wood timbers it is necessary to use the same timber for the entire row to preserve uniformity.

Filter box, 350
gallons, 3 chambers
Center chamber contains 50 gallons of bio mass. Water, power & remote  temperature readout in ditch.      

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