Pico fish tank

So over the last few days I decided I wanted another tank. This one I wanted to be smaller so it could sit on my desk by my work station.
When I had the measurements I cut it all out of 1/4" cast acrylic, pieced it together to see how it would fit.

I found that the GF does not do clean cuts on the acrylic… kind of leaves a rough cut, but not as bad as a table saw would leave.

I had to sand it with 800 grit, then 3000 grit, and then finish it off with a polishing paste and soft cloth to get the edges I need so I could weld it together.

After being welded

Letting it start to cycle before adding any corals and critters.

It holds 2.2 gallons of water, filtration is a canister filter I had from a previous tank, and a Par 38 bulb to grow corals.

In three weeks after the first cycle I will be able to add other thens from my other tank, and maybe get a few new things I have wanted to try in a smaller tank.
I even added my little logo I used to use on my other stuff to the tank as well for a personal touch.


Ooh, you’re making my aquarium itch act up again…I haven’t tried salt water yet, but I had 27 freshwater planted tanks ranging from 2 gal up to 125 gal before we decided to relocate across the country. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I was actually surprised how much easier it is to make it in the GF then to hand cut everything… saved me about three hours of work.
The hardest part was making sure it held water… :joy:

I have had one freshwater tank, but had a few saltwater ones… personally I like the saltwater better because it is more of a challenge


Gorgeous - and ooh…hmmmm. I can’t imagine getting back into the 125+ salt water tanks, but something like that…hmmmmmm :slight_smile:

For the edges, you might find they improve much faster with a flame polish (which is what a lot of the big shops do), skip the sandpaper and hit it with a torch (blow/lighter/whatevs) and it polishes right up :slight_smile:


i like OTHER people’s saltwater tanks better because saltwater fish are (generally) more colorful and interesting. but don’t want one myself because i’m not up for the challenge.

sticking with dogs.


I would be afraid of warping the acrylic and causing beveled edges

As someone who has banned betta fish in the house due to how nasty the tanks always get, I’d say that if saltwater is more challenging, I am definitely not qualified since I couldn’t keep a betta fish living in a nice clean tank. And dang those things take forever to reach the expiration date! (My kid has gone through three of them now, definitely no more :slight_smile: )

But I do love a good fish tank (as long as it’s not mine)


Very Nice! I loved my saltwater tank.
The only thing about a laser cut is it’s tapered due to the shape of the beam focus. A table saw gives a true 90 degree cut, but it looks like you got it since its not leaking.

After getting scuba certified in '84 I switched from fresh to salt in a 55 show tank. Loved it! That is besides the water changes and maintenance. I had a large drip filtration setup in the basement below the tank, the entire system was around 100 gal. Kept after it for about 15 years, but finally gave it up.
The ocean is the most stable environment on Earth, so the creatures are very sensitive to change - and a tank due to its size and the inhabitants is always changing. It’s a drag to watch a thing slowly weaken and die.
I could spend many hours mesmerized by the fish, tube worms, corals and sponges. I also had a small octopus (my favorite ocean creature). The “live rock”, what divers know as rubble were always packed with surprises! Occasionally you would end up with one of the nastiest creatures there is - a Mantis shrimp. When you would hear a loud popping or snapping sound, you knew your tank was in trouble.

Thanks for sharing your project!


I have wanted a mantras shrimp for a while.
This is my second tank in our house, but I have had many more in the past. I have not had anything larger then a 30 gal.
The water changes are no issue at all for me. My tank 30 gal has been going for about a year and I’m about 6 months+ without a water change. Once you get the system in line and the proper dosing technique, you just basically have to feed the tank and add rodi water for what evaporates.


I need a long vacation… because this is what I was expecting…


That’s next on my todo list


:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Yup was my first impression as well :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Great job looks fantastic - what was your experience on the welding? (Preferred glue) did the polish create any issues?

Used Weldon #4, and the polished acrylic actually helps get a better bond then if it is rough.

I have tried many thing over the last few years when building tanks for myself, or helping friends. The polished smooth edges always made the job easier.


Success! Glad you were able to get your edges smoothed for a glue up! An awesome project.


I’ve got a 80% finished tank for triops and plants… this is inspiring me to get it over the finish line!


A quick way to make acrylic clear again is to sand at ~220-300 (to get rid of “cuts” or “swirls”) and then again around 800 (to make relatively smooth) and then take a torch to it (this makes it clear and smooth). Way faster than polishing.

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I agree with @geek2nurse, you’re making my MTS (Multiple Tank Syndrome) flair up! This is awesome though!


You’re not alone in that thought. LOL! Why is it called a Pico tank anyway? Why not a fish tank? I would have understood that. Haha!

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The volume of water defines the name of the tank. Pico tanks are 0-4 gallons, nano tanks are 5-40galons, and then 40+ gallons are just tanks… lol
Just like every hobby, everything has limits and names.

I helped and changed the title for ya… lol hope it helps out.