So this is a post on another forum from a good buddy of mine Brad Baysinger aka the Snakeguru.
He also builds and designs snake hooks. www.thesnakeguru.com
Well after several requests I decided to put this together you guys, I hope you find it of use...and please let me know if you have any other questions...as mentioned before I have used this method on tanks from 5 1/2 gals up to 38 gal....but I'm sure it would work for any. The only draw back to this style is unless you have a heated room, you are limited to only being able to use a UTH for heat....placing basking bulbs on the glass will cause them to crack...so keep this in mind please.
Front opening aquarium DIY:
¼” Plexi or Lexon (In relative size for whatever tank you decide on)
Quality window screen
2.5” Narrow Non-removable Pin Hinges (2)
Cam Lock or Wing Handle Cam (1)
3/16” x ¼” aluminum Rivits (Fastens Hinges and Electrical Panel)
Electrical Panel cutout
1/8”x1/2” aluminum rivets (used for fastening plexi to tank rim)
Jig-saw – for cutting Plexi/Lexon
Drill with ¼” or better bit.
Phillips Screwdriver (Cam lock assembly)
Adjustable Wrench (Cam lock assembly)
- Cut Plexi/Lexon to fit the inside lip of the size aquarium you intend to use it for.
- Trace hole for vent. Use drill for a starter hole for where to start cutting with the jigsaw. Cut vent hole
- Cut window screen to size and rivet the electrical cutout over the top of the screen into the plexi/lexon.
- Measure 3” off the outer edge of the vent frame and mark. Cut plexi/lexon along this line (This will be the hinge point of the top).
- Install hinges – Drill holes in location for the hinges and rivet to the plexi/lexon.
- Attach hinge point side of the plexi/lexon to the inner frame of the tank rim. I use 4 1/8” rivets, silcone or 2 part epoxy would be another viable option. (I never cared for waiting for things to dry though.
- Measure out and cut the hole for the Cam lock, install cam lock.
At this point you should be able to put the tank on it’s side and go. Alterations first time around for me took about an hour, however once you get in a rhythm I’ve been able to turn out these tanks in about 15min.
Hope this helps, and happy constructing!
Website for the cam locks if you can't find them at Menard's or Home Depot:
Just type "Cam Lock" into the search they'll pop up.
Well my buddy sold me one of his setups.. and here it is at my place.
I told him I have a spare dozen more tanks at my house. lol