How to Make an Open Bottom Fish Tank


Open bottom fish tanks are beautiful conversation pieces. They are easier to keep clean, require less filtering and provide fish with a more natural environment. Because there is more surface area in an open bottom tank, there is better oxygenation of the water. Combined with a water wall, an open bottom fish tank adds to the relaxing atmosphere of a Japanese-inspired patio meditation garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Square fish tank, 30 inches long by 30 inches wide by 15 inches deep
  • 2 sheets 18-inch by 24-inch acrylic aquarium glass
  • 1 sheet 18-inch by 6-inch acrylic aquarium glass
  • 2 sheets 6-inch by 24-inch acrylic aquarium glass
  • 1 tube aquarium-safe clear silicone adhesive
  • Two 6-inch by 2-inch by 2-inch clear acrylic or glass flat paperweights
  • Submersible aquarium pump
  • 15-inch bubble curtain stone
  • 10 feet clear plastic air line
  • Aquarium gems
  • Aquarium-safe rocks
  • Use aquarium-safe silicone adhesive to assemble 2 sheets of 18-inch by 24-inch aquarium glass, 2 sheets of 6-inch by 24-inch aquarium glass and one sheet of 18-inch by 6-inch aquarium glass into a 24-inch tall by 18-inch wide by 6-inch tube aquarium, open at one of the 18-inch by 6-inch ends.

  • Place the 2 clear glass or acrylic paperweights 12 inches apart in the bottom of the 30-inch by 30-inch tank. Secure them to the tank bottom using aquarium-safe, clear silicone adhesive. Allow the adhesive to set overnight.

  • Secure the 24-inch by 18-inch by 6-inch tube aquarium, open side down, on top of the glass paperweights using aquarium-safe clear silicone adhesive. Allow it to set overnight.

  • Place the submersible pump on the tank bottom. Attach the air line between the pump and the bubble curtain air stone. Place the bubble curtain air stone flat inside the tube aquarium. Place a few handfuls of aquarium gems in the bottom of the tank. Place a few large aquarium-safe rocks in the tank as well.

  • Fill the tank with water. Allow the tank to sit overnight so that any chemicals in your tap water dissipate, or use commercial water conditioner. Prime the pump and turn it on. Circulate the water for 2 to 3 days before adding fish.

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