Construction Questions: Indoor Raised Pond Construction W/ Viewing Window

Zach B.

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I want to build a pond in my basement for freshwater fish and stingrays. For ease of construction I want to build it with outside dimensions of 8 foot x 4 foot x 4 foot. The challenge is I also want as large of a viewing window on the front. I would also like to have a polished beveled exposed top edge glass but if I can make the window bigger by having the top framed I would like that more. So my ideal front would be open top glass with a 6" rim on the sides and bottom. The other challenge is I don't have any welding experience and so as far as metal working I can cut it with a grinder and drill it and bolt it so I want the frame to be primarily wood. As with any project I want to be as economical as possible but want to make sure it is extremely sturdy.

So far from watching videos, reading webpages, and talking to people I have a general idea on what I need to do but would like more advice. Below I will describe two different builds I was considering and want them picked apart as best anyone can.

construction type 1:
This is the pond build done by the King of DIY. It works but I am not sure how to do it with a viewing window or if it is possible.

Construction type 2: My plan was to use 4x4 lumber and lay it on the floor length wise and stack the lumber up drilling a hole with a drill press through each 4x4 every 2 feet and at each end. I would then run an all thread rod and counter sink the hole on top and bottom and secure them with a nut and washer. To secure the corners I was thinking of using 2 inch angle iron with 3 inch lag screws with 2 screws per board. I would also stager the end so every other board was from a different panel and run an all tread through that as well. I know that this method is probably overkill so please save me some time and money by simplifying it.

Construction type 3: I am all ears for ideas!

As far as to waterproof it I plan on using a 45mm pond liner with an underlayment of some sort.

for filtration I plan to use a large canister filter like the FX6 and a large sump like a 90 gallon tank.

The wall I plan to put it against is a 13 foot wall and ill have 2.5 feet on either side for filtration that I will frame in to hide it from view.

I don't mind top bracing but I would want it to function as utility as well as structural integrity. By utility I mean I would like it used to hold lids in place and be a structure to mount lights(possibly).

For lighting I would like to have recessed lighting in the celling above it or hanging lights that are on a cable hanging from the ceiling.

Any and all input is welcome even if you want to call me crazy for putting a pond in the basement. but lets keep it construction related because I already have a thread about my fish room plan. you can read about it in this thread. Fish Room Design/ Planning (need Input)
 

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kallililly1973

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Never built one but i seen a video a while back that had a raised outside pond with a viewing window. Not sure if you seen that video but its worth a search.
 

BettaDollar

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Don't build it outside & try to fit it thru your basement door.
I admire your ambition and hope you can do it. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of the completed project.
Gonna be awesome to watch your rays!
 
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Zach B.

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I just saw an awesome idea I could run bracing on the bottom under the liner. Do you think this would be helpful at all even if I notched out the 2x4 out of the 4x4 and secured it similar to a half lap joint.

I am leaning towards running the 4x4's with staggered corners and a 3/8 in x 5 inch lag screws counter sunk every 2 feet in place of all threads and 2 in the corners. Once the frame is built run angle iron with lags up the corners for extra strength as the corners are the weak point. The front window will be 3/4in tempered glass that overlaps 4.5 inches on all sides. The trick will be getting a 7 foot by 42 inch piece of glass through a door at the bottom of the stairs. I will test it with a piece of plywood first before construction in case I need to go 6 foot by 42 inches that is still a large viewing window. With the inside dimensions not counting the sump it will be about 800 gallons.
 
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