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How to Build Aquaculture Fiberglass Tanks

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Plywood tank frame

  • One gallon polyester resin and hardener

  • Four yards of fiberglass mat

  • Face mask with carbon filter

  • Gloves

  • Scissors

  • Three sheets of sandpaper, 60 grit

  • One gallon Epoxy Top coat

  • Plastic containers

  • Two solvent-resistant paint brushes

  • Wooden stick

  • Clean cloth

Aquaculture involves the farming of fish and invertebrate animals, such as lobsters, under controlled conditions. The eggs and larvae of marine creatures are small, so grow out tanks for these aquatic animals need not be more than a few gallons in volume. The plankton species, upon which the young fish feed, are mainly microscopic and can be propagated in equally small aquaculture tanks. Although not all aquaculture tanks need be small, the following description is for a fiberglass tank of less than ten gallons.

Place the mask with carbon filter over your nose and mouth. Position the plywood tank on a work bench. Ensure that the room is well ventilated, as the polyester gives off toxic styrene gas during hardening.

Cut the fiberglass mat, using scissors, into strips. Cut three strips so each one will cover the entire back of the tank. Cut an additional three to cover the floor. Cut three more to cover each inside side of the tank.

Repeat the process and cut strips of the same size to fit on the outside of the tank.

Place the gloves on. Pour 1 gallon of the polyester into a plastic container and add the hardener in a mixing ratio of 1 part hardener to 100 parts polyester. Mix with a stick.

Position the tank so the section you are going to work on is horizontal. Paint the polyester onto the inside of this side of the tank. Place the fiberglass mat onto the wet polyester surface and paint another layer of polyester over this. Lay a second sheet of polyester and then a third.

Push down onto the fiberglass mat with the brush to expel any air bubbles. Repeat the procedures mentioned in Steps 6 and 7 for each side within the tank.

Allow the polyester to cure for four hours. Repeat the procedures mentioned in Steps 6, 7 and 8 for each of the outside sides of the tank. Leave the tank to dry for two days.

Sand the entire tank, using 60 grit sandpaper. Wipe the tank down with a clean moist cloth.

Paint the entire tank, both outside and inside, with an epoxy top coat. Allow the first layer to dry for four hours and apply a second. Apply a third coat after a further four hours. Allow the tank to dry for two days.