I always love building new things and hope to share them all here one day. These projects cost me my discretionary income. Please consider donating and helping me pursue greater and bigger projects. I love you all!
The idea of this tank is to use a central reinforcing tie which should, theoretically, allow some of the thinnest acrylic possible to be used for tank walls. This would reduce the cost of an acrylic tank exponentially.
Acrylic is between ten and seventeen times stronger than glass, seals together molecularly (eliminating ugly silicone seams) and has no refractive properties. Meaning that anything inside an acrylic tank (filled with water) is seen for its actual size, unlike in a glass tank. These aspects make Acrylic superior for aquariums. The disadvantage of Acrylic is its high price (and easy scratching). In an Acrylic Fish Tank you need to use thicker and thicker grades as the height of your tank increases, which in dollars adds up quickly ($800 for 3/4″ 4×8 sheet). All though Acrylic is far stronger than glass, you often need thicker grades of Acrylic than you would need in an equivalent sized glass tank because the Acrylic bows under stress (whereas glass would shatter once bent) which means as you fill with water you risk cracking the seams as the Acrylic bends to accommodate.
By reinforcing the tank walls in wood and tying it through the center I aim to eliminate any chance of bowing. Thereby slashing the Acrylic cost of a tank by 75% or more. Take note that the wood through the center is not actually submersed inside the tank. The acrylic of the tank has a channel, sealed and forming a central chasm for the center tie to slide through. In other words, the tank is made from nine pieces of Acrylic, not five.
My other happy note to this design is the way that all of the wooden pieces fit together. They are all made to, again theoretically, hold together firmly without the use of fasteners, glue nor any other means of adhesion. I designed them to fit together like a puzzle, hold strongly against any bowing of the tank, then still disassemble easily if every necessary. As always, this model is available on my Grabcad page as well.