Stay in the aquarium hobby long enough, and eventually the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) bug will get you. You might want to save money, or discover that no shops carry the item you are looking for, or perhaps you simply want the enjoyment of knowing you created it yourself. Regardless of the reason there are lots of resources on the Internet that provide information about a variety of DIY projects.
Before Starting a DIY
Before you jump into creating your own aquarium, stand, or other DYI project, you should be well prepared. First consider why you want to do it yourself. If you are trying to save money make a comprehensive list of all the equipment you will need to build that aquarium or stand. If you have to purchase a lot of tools, the cost savings could vaporize pretty quickly. If you lack the tools but still are set on doing it yourself, check into places that rent equipment.
Another resource to consider a local aquarium club. Most clubs have at least a couple of avid DIYers who may have the tools you need, and be willing to lend them to you. Also consider how much DIY work you might preform in the future. Purchasing tools to build one tank isn't very wise. But if you anticipate having a number of other DIY projects in the future, the cost of the tools might be worthwhile.
Look At The Big Picture
If you are building your own aquarium because you need a custom setup, consider all the other supporting pieces of equipment you will need. Where are you going to find a hood and light to fit the custom tank? How about a stand for it? Unless you are prepared to build all those things, you might be better off going with a standard size so you can purchase the accessories off the shelf.
Lastly, regardless of the reason for your DIY project, do your homework. There are plenty of resources on the net. Research your DIY topic thoroughly before you start anything. Visit your local pet shop and fish club for advice. Don't get in over your head with a project and end up being a fish out of water.
Where To Find DIY Information
Below is a list of a variety of DIY project instructions that are available online. If you can't find what you are looking for in one of these lists, drop me a note and I'll see what I can dig up. Those of you who have done a DIY project, and would like to share your experiences, visit this page and get your project info published online for others to enjoy.
Aquariums - Glass or Acrylic, from drilling to gluing
Aquarium Stands - A lot less expensive than store bought
Canopies and Hoods - Especially helpful for non-standard sized tanks
CO2 Injection - If you have lots of plants, CO2 is a must
Filtration - A variety of great filter plans
Foods and Feeders - Recipes for foods and building feeders
Misc - Everything from tank dividers to pump silencers to water changers